GRRC Starts Graffiti Fighting Season

Middle Village and Maspeth were hit this winter with two high-profile graffiti incidents. Here, police say a man sprayed yellow paint indiscriminately along Juniper Valley Road.

The annual battle against graffiti is about to start.

Every year in April, the Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corporation (GRRC) starts its cleaning season in Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village and south Forest Hills.

Right now, they’re asking for help getting ready.

Before the April 3 start date, the GRRC needs both funding and locations to use that funding.

The GRRC expects this year to be a busy one. Representatives said in a release that while they haven’t done a formal survey yet, they’ve noticed a surge in graffiti just from informal observation.

The winter saw several high-profile cases of graffiti in the area as well.

On Jan. 31, a man in Middle Village indiscriminately sprayed yellow paint on about a dozen locations around Juniper Valley Road.

And on Feb. 29 in Maspeth, parishioners found swastikas and other graffiti scrawled in silver on Trinity-St. Andrews Lutheran Church.

To clean a site, GRRC needs a waiver, and at the start of this season, they have a list of 20 sites ready to go.

“We’d like to reassure owners who have already signed up that we’re ready to clean their properties,” Peggy O’Kane, the program coordinator, said in the release. “ But we need to reach others who have graffiti and have not signed our permission slips. So if you have graffiti on buildings where you live, in Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Bushwick, or south Forest Hills, call us.”

The second piece to this program is funding, and GRRC is campaigning for any help it can get.

Executive Director Angela Mirabile said that they’ve been cut out of state funding for the past couple of years and have had to tighten the program as a result.

Crews used to work five days a week, but the program has pulled back to three days a week with only one crew.

“We have been getting a good response, but will always welcome more tax deductible contributions.” Mirabile said. “We have to rely on our friends and neighbors to keep this important program running.”

By Jeremiah Dobruck

Still quiet here.sas

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