News

Flag back on Sunol Grade, but still without a permit

Caltrans will seek 'suitable location' after Schwarzenegger protests its removal

There will likely be at least one permanent mural of an American flag in the vicinity of the Sunol Grade section of Interstate Highway 680 in unincorporated Alameda County near Sunol, California Department of Transportation officials said Tuesday.

The agency set off a firestorm of protest last week when it removed a flag mural that had been painted on a concrete slab near the freeway section after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Caltrans said it removed the mural, which was visible to passing motorists, after it belatedly discovered it was on state-owned land.

Gov. Schwarzenegger said on Friday that it was "unconscionable" to remove the flag mural only a few days before the Fourth of July.

Caltrans spokesman Matt Rocco said today that the agency will meet sometime this week with East Bay residents R.J. Waldron, Eric Noda and Thomas Hanley, who painted the mural in 2001, "to discuss a suitable location" for a flag mural.

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We will work with the artists and the community in the permitting process" for a permanent mural, Rocco said.

He said two other men repainted the flag mural on Saturday, without contacting Caltrans, so it would be in place for the Fourth of July.

Rocco said Caltrans hasn't yet been in touch with the new artists but will also try to work with them if they want to have a permanent site for their work.

Steve Gallagher, a spokesman for the state Business,, Transportation and Housing Agency, which oversees Caltrans, said, "The flag is back and will remain up until we figure out a permanent solution."

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Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

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Flag back on Sunol Grade, but still without a permit

Caltrans will seek 'suitable location' after Schwarzenegger protests its removal

Uploaded: Wed, Jul 7, 2010, 5:24 am
Updated: Thu, Jul 8, 2010, 7:41 am

There will likely be at least one permanent mural of an American flag in the vicinity of the Sunol Grade section of Interstate Highway 680 in unincorporated Alameda County near Sunol, California Department of Transportation officials said Tuesday.

The agency set off a firestorm of protest last week when it removed a flag mural that had been painted on a concrete slab near the freeway section after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Caltrans said it removed the mural, which was visible to passing motorists, after it belatedly discovered it was on state-owned land.

Gov. Schwarzenegger said on Friday that it was "unconscionable" to remove the flag mural only a few days before the Fourth of July.

Caltrans spokesman Matt Rocco said today that the agency will meet sometime this week with East Bay residents R.J. Waldron, Eric Noda and Thomas Hanley, who painted the mural in 2001, "to discuss a suitable location" for a flag mural.

We will work with the artists and the community in the permitting process" for a permanent mural, Rocco said.

He said two other men repainted the flag mural on Saturday, without contacting Caltrans, so it would be in place for the Fourth of July.

Rocco said Caltrans hasn't yet been in touch with the new artists but will also try to work with them if they want to have a permanent site for their work.

Steve Gallagher, a spokesman for the state Business,, Transportation and Housing Agency, which oversees Caltrans, said, "The flag is back and will remain up until we figure out a permanent solution."

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

Comments

Izzy
another community
on Jul 7, 2010 at 10:31 am
Izzy, another community
on Jul 7, 2010 at 10:31 am

Would be cool to see a photo with this story... just an idea.


Cholo
Livermore
on Jul 7, 2010 at 10:47 am
Cholo, Livermore
on Jul 7, 2010 at 10:47 am
like2seeit
Bridle Creek
on Jul 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm
like2seeit, Bridle Creek
on Jul 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm

a photo of what? Anyone have a picture of the flag before Caltrans painted over it?


Stacey
Registered user
Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 7, 2010 at 9:26 pm
Stacey, Amberwood/Wood Meadows
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2010 at 9:26 pm

That is a suitable location!


steve
Parkside
on Jul 8, 2010 at 8:12 am
steve, Parkside
on Jul 8, 2010 at 8:12 am

chola and the non-patriotic occupiers our land lose again.


Dave
Birdland
on Jul 8, 2010 at 8:37 am
Dave, Birdland
on Jul 8, 2010 at 8:37 am

I think Cholo was talking about Bureaucratic Stupidity when she referred to "old news"!


Arroyo
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2010 at 9:37 am
Arroyo, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 8, 2010 at 9:37 am

Boy, was I misled. Somebody told me that Cholo was one of those up there on the hill repainting the flag. Another positive image destroyed...!!


Steve
Lydiksen Elementary School
on Jul 9, 2010 at 9:24 am
Steve, Lydiksen Elementary School
on Jul 9, 2010 at 9:24 am

Since when is a concrete slab not a "suitable location" for an American flag mural? Caltrans had a problem with it because the American flag was painted on State owned land? Aren't there American flags painted on other State owned land? I'm pretty sure there are plenty of flags flying over State owned land, since California is still in the USA. So a plain, concrete slab is more desirable than one painted with a professionally painted American Flag? Is anyone at Caltrans going to be punished for such poor decision-making...I won't hold my breath.


Arroyo
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm
Arroyo, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Don't worry, he's gone. That guy who made the decision to paint over the flag has left Cal-Trans for a new job with the Obama administration overseeing a portion of the new Federal Health Care plan.


ptowngirly
Mission Park
on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:41 pm
ptowngirly, Mission Park
on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:41 pm

The amazing patriotic gentleman who painted the flag mural after 9/11 should be allowed to paint it again, this time with assistance of cal trans who should not have painted over it in the first place. The gentleman who painted this mural is someone I know very well and worked with for many years. What's even more amazing about what he did when he painted the mural is the fact that he is of asian decent and I believe is first generation american. Great guy who deserves our respect for years to come. This is a man who respects and honors the country who graciously allowed his family to build a life in. Haven't been on that section of 680 recently, but if the flag is back up....HOORAH!


Mom of Foothill student
Foothill High School
on Jul 12, 2010 at 8:40 am
Mom of Foothill student, Foothill High School
on Jul 12, 2010 at 8:40 am

If you are proud to be an American you should not have a problem with an American Flag painted where everyone can see it, without a permit.


Kermit
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2010 at 10:54 am
Kermit, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2010 at 10:54 am

I would much prefer that Caltrans concentrate on fixing potholes and broken pavement on I-680 than worrying about obliterating an American flag. The real story about this is more likely that a left-wing-loon within Caltrans didn't like a patriotic display and decided to take it out.


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