Update! We Know Who Refinished the Bench at the Vista Point! 090810
The Prospect has discovered who refinished the benches at the Vista Point and so erased the famous “H.S.R.A. Out” graffiti.
However, though we tried for the entire day, being put on hold and leaving voice messages, we were not able to discover if the refinishers would be in trouble for doing the work without government permission.
The people we spoke with at the various state agencies declined to be identified, and didn’t have much information.
It seems Caltrans would have to make a complaint to the California Highway Patrol, and the CHP would investigate to see if it is a crime. Is it a crime? No one knows for certain, but no one would say it was not. No one would say for certain that the bench refinishers would NOT be cited for some violation of some ignorant law.
In order to save the government thousands of dollars, and because my source is one of the bench refinishers, and I always protect my sources, I can’t reveal who did it.
I can say this: the refinishers are members of a local group, though the individuals were not acting on behalf of anyone but themselves. They refinished the bench because “hundreds of people a day stop here, and that isn’t the memory we want them to have of the Sierra Valley.”
The group has occasion to disagree with High Sierra Rural Alliance, but one of the un-vandals said “it doesn’t have much to do with HSRA, it’s about how the community is viewed. This isn’t how our differences get resolved.”
My pappy used to say, “no good deed ever goes unpunished,” but we hope this one does. Thanks, unidentified bench refinishers, from all of us not afraid to say you did the right thing.
The Lone Ranger. How come Tonto doesn’t get a mask?
We hope this photo is not copyrighted.
Sometime before Wednesday morning, someone put graffiti on a bench at the Vista Point east of the Yuba Pass. A photo appears below. It is not known who wrote the words, which were seen by board and staff of Sierra Nevada Conservancy who were visiting the county.
The graffiti quickly became the topic of discussion. Some praised it for its placement and timeliness, while others agreed with the sentiment but regretted that SNC folks should have to see our local dirty laundry. Some felt it was completely inappropriate and others said it was like the graffiti of ancient Rome, giving a clue to the things real people are concerned about. Some said it encapsulated the general view of the community, and others said yes, it sure did. Still, it was wrong, a bad thing to do. Shame on whomever did it, we suppose.
The graffiti. We’ve blocked out a phrase we felt might offend some readers. However, we can tell you that Wikipedia defines the term as “a piece of equipment for …rinsing the vagina,” and the Urban Dictionary defines the term as “Someone who has surpassed the levels of jerk and a**hole, however not yet reached f****r or m**********r.”
Here is the same bench on Sunday. Someone removed the graffiti between Thursday and Sunday; we’re guessing not Caltrans.
But, then, on Sunday we learned that the graffiti was gone! Someone, clearly not CalTrans because it happened over the 3 day weekend, went up and sanded the bench, indeed, both benches, and gave them a new coat of preservative.
The person who originally penned the graffiti is probably liable for a fine of a hundred bucks. But, surely the vandal who sanded the graffiti off and re-finished the benches is in far bigger trouble: likely you don’t fix government stuff without insurance, a certificate, specially approved materials, and a permit for $1,000 which covers supervision by a state snoop. They are probably in line for about a half million in fines.
As well they should be. Such community mindedness is contagious. First one person starts caring about the place, and fixing something without being asked, and then another and another and pretty soon just anybody is helping just anybody at just anything. That doesn’t happen in an orderly society. In an orderly California, we don’t do more than we’re required to.
Anyway, good luck to all the vandals!