9/17/2014

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Graffiti victims tired of cleaning up other people's messes

Graffiti victims tired of cleaning up other people's messes
It's an ongoing problem here in Yakima and across the valley and it only seems to get worse once school lets out for the summer.

Talking about graffiti.

With every municipality on a tight budget..cleaning up after taggers is an expense they can do without.

It's a problem local official's have been dealing with for quite awhile now.

"Our community is a strong community and we have to pull time away from our family to go scrub somebody else's mess that it just shouldn't be here," said Michael Waterworth.

Michael's neighborhood has been dealing with graffiti problems for the past few years. Recently it's been getting much worse. He said last week it happened twice, the first time on two panels of the fence. And the following night after it had been cleaned off, it happened on seven panels.

"Well honestly its a horrible feeling, I mean we have ourselves that we're working all week long. We come out and we have to scrub it off after we get off work. We have a very nice neighborhood and we want to keep it that way," said Michael Waterworth.

Michael and his family live on the border between Union Gap and Yakima, and have looked to both cities for help.

With Union Gap currently down one Code Enforcement Officer, its difficult for them to keep up with the tagging complaints.

Yakima recently installed more security cameras to catch the taggers in action.

"We have to clean it up, and the people just do it for their amusement, and don't even care what we think about it," said Aleea Banda.

Or how much it costs the city to clean up, running Yakima a tab of $100,000 a year to remove graffiti damage.

There's a park by my house, it's the Kiwanis park, and on all the playground, its full of graffiti. I mostly don't like going to that park because I get scared," said Levik Maria.

Last year, YPD documented 115 incidences of graffiti in the city.
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