Daresay - Deb Meissner

Daresay - Deb Meissner

Can’t we all do our bit to stop vandalism?

Deb is fed up with all the wanton acts of defacement and destruction in the town of Smithers

“The willful or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property,” is how the Merriam-Webster dictionary describes vandalism.

I call it pathetic, something those who have too much time on their hands and not enough to do, deciding that destroying or defacing others’ property would be “fun.” Well, I’m sick of it.

Friday, as I came across the Bulkley Bridge into work, I saw a man from the works department for the Town of Smithers with a can of silver spray paint, covering over graffiti of disgusting, vile content sprayed all over the cement barriers that line the edge of the road. I was livid.

I then remembered noticing the bus stop between Smithers and Telkwa numerous times being covered with graffiti and checking today as I drove in, it still is.

When I look around town, buildings have graffiti, garbage dumpsters are covered, the CN Rail cars have “tags”(graffiti of a kind) on almost every car, the bridge (from the river view) is plastered with sayings, slang, and crap that embarrasses me and makes me wonder who exactly is crawling under there to spray paint all of that, but lately, it has angered me.

I covered (for the paper) the destruction at the Rotary Park recently for our paper and seeing the people there spending their free time fixing everything up and them being so frustrated and upset, really raised my blood pressure.

The Rotary Club spends a lot of time making our community a better, prettier place, and it takes idiots overnight to screw that up. How many times do you suppose the Rotarians will replace or fix benches before they give up due to frustration that it all happens over and over again?

Don’t you think business owners care that residents and tourists see the crap spewed all over the walls of their businesses in bold spray paint? Of course they do, but how many times would you be willing to pay someone to re-paint the walls or clean the glass?

Is it a game? Is it supposed to be funny?

I’m not playing this game or laughing, and I really don’t think hard-working residents of this valley appreciate all of this crap either.

I don’t want my kids to see this, or my grandkids to become indifferent to seeing it and thinking to themselves “oh well, the adults aren’t doing anything.”

I don’t want to see it or to see my friends have to work on a day off to repair what was already hard work to put up or install and have it destroyed overnight. I don’t want the people visiting out town to think we feel it’s “okay” or “what the kids do” when they are bored.

That’s all bull crap. I know people care. I know that people in these times are tired of caring and fighting about so many things.

Seeing, reading, and being inundated with negative, disgusting, insulting words from everywhere these days makes me tired. If it’s happening to me, I’m pretty sure others feel the same way.

Smithers used to have an active group called Citizens on Patrol, that were on the streets at night, to make sure businesses were not vandalized. Some of the organizers moved, and I haven’t heard whether they still have a presence here, but is that what it takes to keep others from busting up our parks and defacing our public spaces?

Are we all too “fed up” with fighting each other to still care about our town and those that think it’s funny or whatever they think, when they spray paint and tear things up?

I want to believe people do care about one common thing, even if it’s only that vandalism has no place here.

I don’t think it’s funny, no matter what side of the vaccine fence you are on, that our Alpenhorn Man has a huge needle sticking out of his arm, and it’s been there for almost a week. I don’t think any of it is funny.

If you see someone doing any of this, say something, call the police, take a picture of them tearing up a park, then turn it into the police.

We all seem to use social media and our cameras all the time for negative, how about for watching each other’s backs? Looking out for our businesses? Stopping when someone is in the middle of the road spray painting our bridge?

Stopping would probably make them run without ever getting out of the car.

Can’t we agree on just that little bit?


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