Petaluma’s Blight Plight!

…and by blight I am referring to graffiti, trash, and abandoned shopping carts.  Granted, there is a large problem with foreclosed homes, or soon to be foreclosed homes, in our neighborhoods; however, I make no attempt to address that issue in this article….

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While the obvious graffiti has been somewhat down of late, I have noticed a resurgence of “practitioners” in certain areas around Lucchesi Park…

And of course, there is always the Weir Writing Wall on the Lynch Creek Trail…

There has been some progress on the abandoned shopping cart front now that Raley’s and Safeway have controlled their carts with electronic locking devices. I trust, however, that Safeway will not relax their diligence because they are diverting resources to scanning driver’s licenses!

But it matters not what Raley’s and Safeway do–there are still plenty of  carts from other stores roaming about our streets and neighborhoods…not to mention cavorting in our parks…

Lucchesi Park continues to be a shopping cart magnet. They should be listed as a featured attraction…

…along with other manifestations of  “trashy” behavior…

On a positive note, I can report that at least one person was thoughtful enough not to throw an empty cup on the ground…

I now close the Blight Report for March 2010. In fact, it will suffice for the balance of 2010.

 

 

Lucchesi’s Still & Stagnant Waters…

FOREWORD

Petaluma’s Lucchesi Park and Community Center have endured many public indignities over recent years

  • Abandoned shopping carts
  • Graffiti (gang & hate tags)
  • Homeless camps
  • Trash
  • Vandalism

Much of this blight continues to this day as evidenced in these photos taken during the week of July 12…

Composite July 2009 Lucchesi

Fortunately, the good efforts of various volunteers and City staff have helped keep the worst manifestations of our urban blight in check.

Unfortunately, recent cuts in the City Budget necessitated by the ongoing financial crisis have reduced the ability to keep up.  For example, the build up of debris and duck doo doo is becoming quite noticeable…

Lucchesi July 13 2009 033

STAGNANT WATERS

Graffiti, shopping carts, trash and duck doo doo notwithstanding, there is a far more serious problem lurking beneath the waters in Lucchesi

The fountains in Lucchesi have not been operating for months.  Presumably, they are broken or are not being operated to save money. 

Whatever the reason, the waters are now showing the effects.  Artificial ponds or lakes require aeration and maintenance to keep the algae under control.  The fountains were not merely ornamental. They provided the necessary aeration.

Without the fountains, we are now presented with a large stagnant body of water full of algae…

Lucchesi July 13 2009 001

The consequences are quite visible…

Lucchesi July 13 2009 036Lucchesi July 13 2009 022Lucchesi July 13 2009 009

To see more of the rapid deterioration, view a photo album by Clicking Here When it opens, select the full screen option for the “best” viewing experience.

COMMENT

The budget crisis has set the stage for an unfortunate but inevitable change in Lucchesi

As the stagnation continues, I suspect odors may start wafting off the now dead waters. In a few more months the algae build-up may reach the point where visitors can walk on water.

On a more serious note…

  • Will the pond become a public health hazard? 
  • Is the pond already a public health hazard? 

We are going to have to come to terms with what to do about the pond.  If there is no money to run the fountains and to maintain the pond, then I am afraid it is time to do what some have wanted for a long time—drain it.

Doing nothing is no longer an option…

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For an update on the status of the fountains, Click Here.

They’re Back! Tag!! We’re It!!!

Graffiti and other forms of vandalism seem to be a part of urban life these days.  On the East Side of Petaluma, I have noticed a sudden up-tick in graffiti (gang and tagger crews) in our public parks and trails…

They're Back! 002They're Back! 003

And if they tire of painting their symbols on public or private property, there is always a public toilet somewhere that can be turned over for sport…

They're Back! 004

A recent column in the Press Democrat reported that there was also an increase in graffiti in Santa Rosa.  The  article argued that graffiti could be reduced if we just provided a space for the “graffiti artists” to perform.

Of course, art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.  I wonder what the columnist would think of this piece of  “art”…

They're Back! 005

Sigh…

It’s looking to be another long…hot…summer on the East Side…

They're Back! 007

Blight–Graffiti & Trash Creeping Back…

For several years I documented the progress of graffiti and  trash in our public areas, trails, and parks.  Over the last few months, it seemed as if these symptoms of urban blight were on the decline. A tribute, perhaps, to the various volunteer efforts to clean up our parks and trails.

Granted, I  severely restricted my surveys and searches for such scenes starting last year as it was pointless–not to mention, risky–to pursue the subject any further.  I did take some solace that  the frequency of these “incidents”  seemed to be trending downward. 

This morning I was reminded that graffiti and public trash are still around. It was too obvious to ignore…

Gang Graffiti In A Park

Lucchesi Park May 20 2009 001Lucchesi Park May 20 2009 002Lucchesi Park May 20 2009 003

Soccer Field Trash

On the soccer field in the same park, trash was blowing across the field…

Lucchesi Park May 20 2009 004Lucchesi Park May 20 2009 005

As least I did not find any swastikas or other “hate” graffiti. For those interested in a photo documentary of hate graffiti in Petaluma, go to Petaluma Swastikas & Racial Tags.