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Lawmakers consider state-level anti-graffiti program

By Sam Eifling / Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 04:11 p.m. HST, Feb 07, 2014



Hawaii would post cameras on state property and hire someone to coordinate anti-graffiti programs if lawmakers pass a bill they are considering.

The bill (SB2602) states that graffiti on buildings, walls, bridges, bus stops, trees, mail boxes and other surfaces is a blight on Hawaii.

City and county police handle graffiti now, said Shawn Tsuha, the Department of Public Safety's deputy director of law enforcement. Police generally catch taggers only when they stake out a spot or, more commonly, a witness calls 911, he said.

"Hawaii's starting to get more and more graffiti," he said. "With the explosion of social media, taggers are going for a worldwide audience now. Before it was gangbangers marking territory, prospective artists trying to put up some love message to someone."

The bill would put an anti-graffiti coordinator in the office of the lieutenant governor. It would also install cameras to catch vandals on state property such as highway signs and bridges.

"It's trying to leverage a coordinator so the anti-graffiti efforts at the state level can be synchronized," Tsuha said.

Observers of the burgeoning Honolulu street art scene expressed hope that enforcement efforts would not conflate all spray-paint artists with vandals.

Steven P. Harrington, the editor-in-chief of Brooklyn Street Art, a website that tracks street art worldwide, said the art festival POW! WOW! Hawaii, which takes place this month, has given Honolulu an international reputation as a destination for street artists and muralists.

"No one can condone vandalism," Harrington said. "However, a lot of vandals eventually grow into really good artists. I can name 20 people who have graduated from being vandals to, as they got older, getting very good at their craft."






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rayhawaii wrote:
Best thing to do is write words next to the tagged spot like, "Su_k's", "Has a small win_y" "Is stupid". I am sure you can think of plenty more sayings to add.
on February 7,2014 | 03:03PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Don't know how you can have a task force to fight graffiti and then say it is "street art" when it is in Kaka'ako.
on February 7,2014 | 04:40PM
serious wrote:
To me this sounds like an administration decision from their own funds. Why are the lawmakers working on these minor items, like allowing dogs into bars, disallowing armed policemen having a drink while on duty? While a lottery bill, legalizing pot and minimum wages should be debated.
on February 8,2014 | 07:54AM
whs1966 wrote:
According to the article, "The bill (SB2602) states that graffiti on buildings, walls, bridges, bus stops, trees, mail boxes and other surfaces is a blight on Hawaii." How about all the trash people dump all over...and the homeless tent cities?
on February 7,2014 | 06:12PM
ramsey wrote:
"No one can condone vandalism," Harrington said. "However, a lot of vandals eventually grow into really good artists. I can name 20 people who have graduated from being vandals to, as they got older, getting very good at their craft." And who paid for their education from graffiti vandal to artist? You and me and all who pay to clean up their mess.
on February 7,2014 | 07:37PM
Bdpapa wrote:
These graffiti guys are not artist. They may have some talent but they are not artist. They don't have the heart and the discipline. They are destroying property. Some of these walls cannot be cleaned and be made like they were. It is time to come down hard on them. Give them jail time and make them clean up graffiti during their time in jail.
on February 8,2014 | 06:43AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Very ghetto. POW WOW will son be a thing of the past as Kaka'ako rids itself of the various warehouse walls and turns itself into a mini Singapore...
on February 8,2014 | 07:29AM
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