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Graffiti (Stoneridge/680)

Original post made by Resident, Kottinger Ranch, on Oct 13, 2008

I couldn't believe the massive amounts of graffiti off the freeway in North Pleasanton. I moved from Fremont to Pleasanton because I saw this happening along 880 in Fremont. After it happened in Fremont, I notice the spiral affect it had on the areas surrounding those parts of the freeway. More spray painting on fences in the neighborhood, more pitbulls running around, more police cars called to houses (not sure why, but police car presence was more frequent). All I can say is that Pleasanton should clean this up ASAP as it does lead to more detrimental behavior (I've witnessed it firsthand in my old Fremont neighborhood).

Just read "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. It has been proven that people will behave worse in "trashy" neighborhoods then they would in "nice" neighborhoods (i.e., think of the general population and how they would behave in a church as opposed to a major sporting event).

My suggestion is to plant freeway ivy (or similar plants) to cover the walls and force taggers to go elsewhere as perpetual painting over graffiti is not the answer either. Freeway landscaping is the answer...I hope someone in our city government reads this.

PS - I know I'm gonna take some crap for my "pitbull" comment - but statistics show that while these dogs may NOT bite more than other breeds, they do maim or kill more (when they do bite) no, I'm not a proponent of ownership of these dogs. I think pitbull ownership is a status symbol and people need to get over it. I don't think the risk warrants it.

Comments (27)

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 13, 2008 at 10:49 pm

Per the PPD Community Service Officer that spoke at our Neighbor Watch meeting, if you report graffiti to the city it will be addressed. It seems there are a few wantta-be gangsters in Pleasanton.

I think there's a number to call to report graffiti. If it's not listed in the phone book call the PPD business number...

Posted by Pleasanton Gangs?
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:27 am

The Officer that responds to graffiti admits the hotline (931-5245) is not checked often and it is best to call the non-emergency PPD number (931-5100). They make it a high priority to remove graffiti. There has been a lot of it lately.

Graffiti and Gang activity in Pleasanton
Web Link

There was a very recent article that quoted Superintendent Casey addressing school safety, he named the gangs that we have in our schools. I cannot find it, Stacey or Emily can you find the Quote?

Posted by mike
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:11 am

Sorry, I find it hard to believe that the reason you moved from Fremont to Pleasanton was because of "graffiti".....let's keep it real.

Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:39 am

This article from PW speaks to campus security, but does not name gangs.

Web Link

Posted by Resident
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:52 am

Hi Mike of Deer Oaks, yes I did re-read my posting and it appears I'm saying I moved from Fremont to Pleasanton because of graffiti. Let me correct myself: I moved because of all the incidences I saw happening after the graffiti went up exponentially (the tagging inside the meighborhoods and not just the freeway walls, the police cars called to the neighborhood, the petty crime increase, etc etc). This activity leads to acceptance of more serious's a cascading event. I'm sorry if you misunderstood my intent here and I hope I've clarified myself.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 14, 2008 at 9:55 am

To the poster above,

Maybe you're thinking of this discussion? Web Link

Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 14, 2008 at 10:33 am

Correction: incidents & neighborhoods

Posted by Julie Testa
a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 14, 2008 at 11:50 am

Thanks Stacey I found it.

Web Link

"focus turns to cutting student drinking"

Casey was asked about gang activity as an aspect of school safety. He said, “We do have to be concerned about gang activity on campus and around campus. We can’t be blind to the fact that certain times kids exhibit gang type behavior. I like to think it happens less here.” Graffiti on campuses and around town is an indicator of gang presence, he said. “We have the Nortenos and Surenos, and some home-grown gangs, Caucasian-based, along the lines of skinheads,” said Casey.

When kids become anonymous their behavior changes.
Schools get too big, kids get lost, problems get big!

Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 14, 2008 at 11:54 am

Well stated, Julie Testa! Well stated!! *clapping*

Posted by parent paying attention
a resident of Castlewood
on Oct 14, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Nice thought about anonymous kids . . . . but WHERE ARE THEIR PARENTS??? When the parents buy the kid a car, give the kid an allowance, then fail to pay attention, this is what happens. My 16 yr old did not get a car and was not allowed to use the family car until paying for insurance and gas. He was never, EVER, allowed to use a computer behind a locked door and was allowed no TV at all on school nights. He is now a productive 23 year old, living on his own, completing grad school -- and paying his own way 100%. He was not hatched with those values, we taught him. You make a child, you take care of it. Do not stick society with your duty.

Posted by JT
a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 14, 2008 at 12:35 pm

I have three wonderfully individual kids. If I had had only one… I would have been looking around wondering why everyone else couldn’t be as great a parent as I am. Three kids later... I have been humbled.

I have played a role in parenting dozens of kids (kids that are at our house a lot), all of them good kids…none of them perfect. I am proud of each of my amazing kids but I do not pass judgment on other parents. It is a hard job, and most of the parents in Pleasanton are here because we want our kids to be good citizens.

I believe parents today monitor their kids much more than in my parents generation, when my friends and I would leave in the morning and not return home until meals.

Posted by Denial
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm

I just ran into someone in L.A. over the weekend who grew up in the Tri-Valley. He still maintains friendships here. His comment was that his frieds tells him that Pleasanton is in the biggest need of a reality check of almost any small city in Northern California. Everyone runs around talking about how idilic it is, but they aren't paying attention to what is going on right under their noses!

How do you monitor kids that have money, cars, unlimited access to computers/cell phones etc...... In addition kids have gotten very clever through use of technology. A party can break out with a single text (and does). The problem isn't really that our kids are sneaky (just like we were), but that we deny they are anything but perfect. I've seen kids do things first hand, discussed the issue with their parents only to hear "my Jane or Johnny would _never_ do that"! We wonder why kids deny everything.

Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 14, 2008 at 4:21 pm

To Resident: I hope you don't believe graffiti, or not cleaning up graffiti, leads to gangs. Clean up the graffiti, put out graffiti patrols to catch the perps, and presto! no gangs in Pleasanton. Life should be so simple.

Your posts come across that way, although you don't say this explicitly.

Posted by Good Parent
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 14, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Who's the one in denial, we were very clever when we wanted to party also, even without computers.

Parents today know the reality of our kids. I am acting as a responsible parent of teenagers just like my parents did, but I still managed to get a few things past them. I know my kids will get some things past me but my eyes are wide open and they know it.

They are doing their job and I am doing mine...but thanks for your support.

Posted by new parent
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:37 am

Whats being done at this point? Are there officers on the campus' of the high schools? A task force with student and community leaders? Is there even a gang unit in the Tri Valley? I've heard alot of complaining, but no ideas on how to get a handle on the situation.
What gangs are we talking about? Have there been any crimes associated with the gangs? I ask, because someone mentioned above about the rich teenagers with computers and cell phones. Did we somehow get from graffiti to parenting skills in less than 12 hours?

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2008 at 8:37 am

PW staff it sounds like there is interest in a story about the GANG PROBLEM that Dr. Casey has made us aware of and has become apparent from the increase of graffiti.
I would like to know from the PD and PUSD, what has really been happening, what is being done, and what we should be watching for as parents.

Posted by Amador Parent
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:14 am

To some who may not be aware, Amador Valley has a full time Pleasanton PD resource officer on campus. I'd guess that Foothill does as well. He has his own office right next to the A.D. From my experinece when/if anything happens on or near campus it is addressed very quickly.

Regarding gang activity. I believe the point is that there is some level of gang type presence in virtually every town. To deny such presence would be foolish. To imply that gangs are prominent would be incorrect. The tagging could easily be accomplished by kids not even associated with a gang (I said could be), but Pleasanton has shown to be very responsive in getting this removed quickly in the past which is the biggest deterant of all. I think the reason the weekly hasn't run a story is because this would give unecessary and unwarranted attention (which is exactly what the gangs would want)to what is really a minor issue at this point.

We have a much bigger problem with vandelism by our own kids than we do from any type of gang activity.

Posted by new parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:13 am

I think you hit the nail on the head Amador Parent, well said.

Posted by Changing community
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:39 am

I agree we don't want to glorify the activity, but I think if Dr. Casey made that public statement he is sending a message to the community.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Oct 15, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Hey everyone - my original post did not mention gangs. I simply wanted to point out a proven correlation between environment and acceptable behavior. To act inhumane is much easier when the surrounding environment fosters it. This can be as simple as trash, graffiti, petty crime, something as complex as a war torn country. When a city quickly removes graffiti, crime rates are reduced. I did not mention gangs simply because I was focused on the act of crime, not any entity which may or may not produce crime.

To Frank of Pleasanton Heights, please read "The Tipping Point" by Gladwell. I think you will understand my point a bit better. If not, I'd be happy to discuss it with you after you are finished with the book.

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 16, 2008 at 12:15 am

Per the PPD Community Services Officer at our Neighborhood Watch gathering, there's no established gangs in Pleasanton. Just a group of "wanta-be" kids that does the majority of the "tagging" to impress other kids.

From what I understood, the PPD has ID'ed these kids and keeps a eye on them as well as they can.

Would be interesting to know where Dr. Casey got his info.

Posted by James
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 17, 2008 at 12:15 pm

i'm sure mayor hosterman can find a green solution to the graffiti issue if she takes enough trips to other countries.

Posted by MOM
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 18, 2008 at 9:24 am

I would suggest that Mr. Casey got his information from the kids that are getting in trouble at school for participating in gang activity.
My kids have been telling me for years that they feel threatened by the gangs at Amador.

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 19, 2008 at 1:02 am

If Dr. Casey got his info from students participating in "gang activities" in school, wonder why he wouldn't inform the PPD. They don't seem to realize there's "gangs" in Pleasanton...

Could this be a well kept secret to uphold the "Community of Character" image...:)

Posted by Wanna Be's
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 19, 2008 at 10:46 am

Some Ptown kids, dress like, act like and in some ways _think_ they want to be associtated with gang/thug behavior. The reality is they would get eaten alive given 60 seconds in a real gang environment. There are no "real" gangs in Pleasanton, just some bored pretenders with too much time on their hands.

Posted by resident
a resident of Ponderosa
on Oct 21, 2008 at 9:32 pm

I noticed that wall driving home from work.Sometimes I think cute pleasanton is going to shame. I'm suprised city of p-town has not removed it yet.

Posted by Lindsay Wright
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Dec 3, 2008 at 4:04 pm

My name is Lindsay Wright and I graduated from Village High (your local continuation school), in 2005 and I went to school with what you are all calling the “thug/gangster” children. I would just like to ask you what does Graffiti have to do with gangs? Graffiti in Pleasanton isn’t just being done by thugs and gangsters as a way to show territory it’s being used by other people in our city as well. I promise you no amount of trees or shrubs you put up on freeways or over passes is going to stop these kids from performing what they see as an art form. Now I know that Pleasanton has its cute and proper reputation to uphold but why not set up a better way for children to outlet their artistic ability? I also know that it may sound like an extreme idea but why not set up something like they have in Venice Beach, LA? Right along the beaches in La the city has set up a bunch of concrete blocks for Graffiti Artists to paint on, as long as it isn’t gang related, racist, or vulgar. I know that it’s hard to imagine Pleasanton setting up a place for children to actually Paint openly on walls but I think it’s the best idea to help cut down on children tagging on personal property and city property. Take my advice or leave it, however as I stated before, as someone who went to Village, graffiti isn’t just a gang related offence, it can be a form of art and if our city doesn’t help open a way to support children in other forms of art, you are going to spend most of your time trying to clean up after them, and they are just going to bomb harder then you and your vandal squad can keep up with.

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