I didn't understand the point of Lezlie Lowe's "Broken windows" (Sep. 25, Lowedown). It was a complaint-ridden article that drifted between Vancouver's safe-injection sites to graffiti to prostitutes. However, Lowe did extensively lament the lack of graffiti cleanup in Halifax and noted how her complaints to city officials about graffiti on her street have fallen on deaf ears. I think that if a journalist is really going to do an article on graffiti cleanup in Halifax they should at least note what has been happening on Quinpool Road for the last five years. The business association and the surrounding community have banded together to create an annual spring fundraiser for graffiti removal. The Quinpool Business Association pays for quarterly cleanup on all the buildings and structures on the street. They also have power washers and cans of graffiti removers that they lend out at no cost to businesses or homes on the street. Lowe sarcastically mentions that maybe she should just rent a power washer and spray the tags off herself. Why not? If communities are concerned about graffiti, maybe they should do just that. Why should we rely on city officials? It is a lot more economical to create a community organization to combat the graffiti and ask for financial support than it is to call the city and wait months for a city-paid truck to come. Graffiti cleanup is extremely expensive---Quinpool has spent more than $10,000 some years. That is just one street. People expect the city to take care of the graffiti and lament, just as Lowe has, when it doesn't get cleaned up fast enough. They don't think about the financial burden of trying to stay on top of the cleanup of a whole city. Sometimes they probably have no choice but to put graffiti cleanup on the backburner. Sheila Fougere, presently running for mayor and sitting on the Quinpool Road Business Commission, is one of the people who helped Quinpool fight graffiti. If Lezlie wants her neighbourhood cleaned up, maybe she should check Sheila's box October 18...or rent that power washer.
By Nicole Smith