We stayed up until almost 2 in the morning visiting with friends and singing (if that's what you call it) a few Karaoke tunes, so getting up well after 9:30 is something totally out of the norm for me, but very necessary this morning. I put on a pot of coffee and checked a few e-mails and before long, our big dog, Gracie was ready to go out and visit the backyard for a little while.
After such a crappy weather day yesterday - you know, when it refuses to just come right out and rain, but keeps misting as if we had suddenly moved to England or someplace wet all the time - it was a stunningly beautiful morning today, with just the slightest of breezes to ease the warm sun. So, my dog and I threw the ball around for a little while. Well, technically, I threw the ball, and in return for a few kibbles from her treat bag, I'd get the slobbered over dirty tennis ball back so the entire process could start again.
I thought to myself how much I loved the mornings like this and how much I appreciated living in Silver Creek and in San Antonio. If the weather would stay like this forever, life would be perfect, at least in my backyard.
But sadly, people all over my neighborhood, and people in neighborhoods throughout our city will eventually leave their homes and be greeted with what I saw as I drove by the local library just down the street. One person; one incredibly inconsiderate, selfish and malicious punk who for whatever reason finds himself to be so self-important, that he must leave his mark in five-foot tall letters on the brand new addition to a place shared by everyone. You might suspect that this kind of thing really gets on my nerve. It does. I do a lot of research on the Internet and participate in discussion boards where Tagging is a topic of interest. I'm so sick of reading that these people with their cans of spray paint are simply future artists trying to express themselves. One guy wrote that we should allow these taggers to use the world as their canvas, and eventually, they will become good enough to have their "art" displayed in galleries. Why is it that people with this forgiving attitude never give directions to their personal privacy fence, mail box and home?If they want to be seen in a gallery somewhere, let's start with their face up on a wanted poster in the Post Office. But that won't happen because, even though everyone agrees that this vandalism is against the law, it is not nearly the infraction that going 5 miles per hour over the speed limit is. That is not a jab at our police either. But it is a jab at our city council and the people responsible for directing the Police Chief in where they want emphasis placed on enforcing laws.
Speeding tickets generate revenue; trying to find some 16 year-old with a can of spray paint tucked in his pants costs money. I get it. But what I don't get is why with all the money spent to build new public facilities, we don't have the sense to add in the extra minimal amount of money needed to outfit each new building (and hopefully retrofit existing buildings) with surveillance cameras that could first, alert someone to the fact that someone is doing something, or if not, at least provide evidence of who the culprit was after the fact?
Industry is already on to this. Construction companies have figured out that it costs them less money to spend cash up front to provide surveillance to construction sites to deter and/or catch the vandals and thieves, than it does to constantly react to the problems that occur when building anew home. So you can imagine that people in the security industry have come up with ways to help.
I drive by Wolfe Stadium every morning on my way to work. On one side of Callahan Road is a neighborhood of older, modest, homes. There was one house, obviously abandoned, that was so tagged up that to tag it any more would require the "artist" to use a roller just to clear off an area before he could then deface the property with his latest work.
On the opposite side of the road, behind the stadium, they have turned an empty field into what looks like some sort of concrete baseball diamond. I really have no idea what it is, but apparently, someone realized that given the proximity to the vandalized homes across the street, they should figure out how to protect this new thing.
So as I drive by one morning, I see this little trailer like thing with tall spot lights, flashing sirens, speakers and cameras. The logo on the side of this thing says "Pro Vigil" and of course, I looked it up. You can too, here. The bottom line is, this equipment can detect movement in the area being protected, then it lights up the place, gives an audible warning that the police are being called, takes pictures of everything that happens and if the intruders do not leave the site, police or whoever (private security) are called to the scene.I don't expect the city to go out and purchase something like this for every public space - can you imagine the outcry from the "This is Big Brother" crowd? But how hard is it to use a little common sense in planning to consider physical security of buildings as a factor when funding projects? Blame it all on 9-1-1 and say you are trying to catch terrorists, maybe that will get us some federal funding to assist. But for how much longer are we going to sit back and just live with the continuous, daily barrage of new tagging everywhere around the city?
I do know that the city has tried to take action on a small scale. They have already used surveillance cameras to identify and arrest several taggers. Great. Now that you know what works, let's step it up.
If you live in my part of town, or if your part of San Antonio is watching the value of your home drop because of the increased tagging, I urge you to send a message to your district councilperson. We need a little less of worrying about what entrepreneurs do in their restaurants, and a little more concern with the blatant vandalism.
Or you can confine yourself to beautiful days throwing a ball to your dog in the comfort of your backyard. If we don't get a handle on this situation, that's about as good as it is going to be.
Tell me what you think about it.
About Your Host
- San Antonio, TX, United States
- I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.
Sites For San Antonio
- About San Antonio
- Artichoke Anathema
- Bexar County Line
- Braun Station West
- City Data - San Antonio
- Concerned in SA
- Craigs List
- Great Northwest
- KENS-5 TV
- Live From the Alamo City
- Living Out Here
- MySA (Express-News)
- SA Metro Daily
- San Antonio & Austin Radio
- San Antonio Burger Blog
- San Antonio Daily Photo
- San Antonio Hams
- San Antonio Lightning
- San Antonio Remembers
- San Antonio Spyglass
- Strange in San Antonio
- Texas Cooking
- Texas Escapes
- The Cleto Show
- The Dish on Food
- The SA Airport
- Views of Texas
Blogs I Visit From Time to Time
- ► 2010 (150)
- ► 2009 (326)
- Strange in WHMC Report: What the Hell?
- GNWatch Report: My Notes - Great Turnout!
- Reminder: GNWatch Meeting 27 Feb 08
- Tree Trimming Report: Timber(Your Street Here)...
- River Walk Construction Update: Actual Walk...
- Garcia Park: A Little Church...
- Lunch Report: Schilo's...
- Trip Report: Houston Street Market & Fair...
- The Grill Report: Fried Fish...
- SilverCreek78250: Russian Style
- GNWCIA Meeting Report: My Notes...
- San Antonio Menu's...
- Neighborhood Report: GNW Library Tagged...
- Cool Campaign Idea...
- Dinner Report: Chili's on Valentine's Day...
- Rodeo Report: Cows go Moo...
- GNWatch Update: Park Police to Speak...
- Tezel Construction Update: Light at the end of the...
- Goofy Sighting Report: Fish Family...
- Lunch Report: McBee's Bar-B-Q in Hondo...
- Elvis Sighting: Tractor Supply Co, Castroville TX
- Trip Report: Lytle, Natalia, Devine...
- GNWCIA Meeting Report: Not Much to Say...
- Lunch Report: Rib House Update...
- A Total Breakdown in Society: Proof in a Parking L...
- Super Bowl: Ha Ha!
- A-Team in Action: Tennis Anyone?
- Two Goofy Things...
- Dinner Report: Tiagos Cabo Grill...
- ▼ Feb 2008 (30)