Graffiti Requires An Active Approach & Get Off Your Knees

At the end of december, I considered my resolutions carefully.  At the end, a resolution to not hold back my feelings concerning this column space was appropriate for the direction I plan on going.
So, without further adieu…
With plenty of talk being devoted to the “Downtown” area of Brawley in the past few years, I’m not seeing a whole lot done.
Sure, five events a year at Brawley’s Plaza Park organized by the Brawley Main Street Association is nice, and I can’t say I don’t enjoy myself at them.
However, do those events really raise awareness of the downtown area at this point or are they now something the public expects?
Right now, Downtown Brawley is doing okay but it could be much better.  However, the responsibility should not be put on the City itself.
There are eyesores in the area that need to be dealt with, including defunct buildings, unusable lots and other problems.
What Downtown Brawley needs is a makeover, and it needs to be done by the businesses and building owners in the area.  Parts like the old Texaco station and the Brawley Theatre need to be torn down and rebuilt as something else.  Historic is one thing, useless is quite another.
The City, the Chamber and the businesses in the area can talk about revitalizing the downtown area all they want, but something needs to be done before people will even consider doing business in that area.
And no, the economy is no excuse for not making the necessary changes.  When times are bad, nothing gets done out of necessity, but when times are good, nothing is done out of greed.
For all the talk about graffiti, and how big a problem it is in Brawley, there isn’t much done to discourage it.
I’m not talking about The City of Brawley, who spent over $100,000 of taxpayer money fighting graffiti last year and the money isn’t there to pay the graffiti crews.
Also not to blame are the Brawley Police Department, who have done everything humanly possible to discourage tagging.
However, it’s difficult to arrest a tagger as they need to be caught in the act and there needs to be a good witness to the crime.
While irresponsible parents are mostly to blame, some of the responsibility for tagging falls on businesses that do not paint over their buildings and walls as quickly as possible.
Those who “tag” buildings want their stuff on display, and business owners who don’t cover the graffiti immediately are only encouraging more in their area.
The solution is quite simple:  When graffiti is seen, paint over it as soon as possible.  A few dollars in paint and brushes will go a long way in discouraging taggers.
Graffiti may never go away completely, but if businesses take a pro-active approach and not a reactive one, it might be controlled.
For those who believe that prayer will help the victims of the recent Haiti earthquake need to look at situation on YouTube or on the news, get off your knees, and do something.
The only thing prayer does is make the person praying feel like he’s doing something when, in the most undisputable of facts, they are doing nothing.
What the people Haiti need is tangible, temporal help in the form of food, medical assistance and other aid.
Prayer alone will not help rescue workers find survivors or to account for the dead and missing.
Prayer alone will not feed , clothe or shelter Hatians who have lost their homes, families and social order.
Prayer alone will not do anything for the Hatian people.  What you should do is find a reputable charity and donate what you can afford.
As we approach February, we find ourselves gearing up for another California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta.
This year, in lieu of a main attraction act, the Fair Board is giving us another series of tribute band concerts like last year.
This year, expect bands paying homage to The Eagles, Van Halen, The Beatles as well as tributes to country music, and music from the 1960s.
The Fair Board is doing this in order to save money as hiring mainstream musicians is expensive and it should be applauded.
Last year’s concerts were entertaining and this year’s acts will generate the same excitement.
Of course, improvements to the general area, including the pavement and a reconstruction of the Grandstand and racetrack area would be applauded as well.
Perhaps it’s time to move the race track to another part of the facility and create a real area for a concert stage at the fairgrounds.
Since the racetrack is dirt and not concrete or asphalt, moving the track area shouldn’t be as difficult as some might imagine.  Also, this would clear up much needed space for large concerts  and other outdoor events.
It would also create an impetus to reconstruct the Grandstand itself, something that’s long overdue.
Until next time…