19 August 2010

Artistic Expression (And More) in Carbon Canyon Goes Unchecked

As a relative newcomer, six-and-a-half years a resident in Carbon Canyon, your humble blogger has somewhat limited experience with the long-term knowledge of the presence of graffiti within the Canyon, but new tagging has appeared on CalTrans street signs within Sleepy Hollow and at least two more signs on the Brea side within the last couple of days or so.

In fact, there has been much more of this "artistic expression" within the Canyon in recent months than at any time during the several years noted above (and, probably, ever.)

So, online requests for cleanup will (and should) be made to CalTrans for removal and, at least on the San Bernardino County side, hope for as efficient and prompt a response as usual.

The question, though, is:  can anything be done to try and mitigate, if not prevent, it?  As with the recent surge in homelessness and, probably not coincidentally, theft in Sleepy Hollow, might any more of a policing presence mean something?  Certainly, it is understood that economic realities affect our local constabulary as they do virtually everything else, yet there has to be some potential for some occasional patrols.

Concerning the homelessness, it would be insensitive to not acknowledge at least the possibility that the sorry economy is a potential factor in its increase here, among other causes, and unfair to suggest that homeless people automatically will be threats to a community. 

Still, at least one enterprising person tapped into a power line to provide electricity at his "campsite."  Done poorly, this "use" of the power lines could cause sparks or a surge that could lead to a fire.  Indeed, it has been recalled that the 1990 wildfire, which destroyed some fourteen homes and burned thousands of acres, was started by a homeless man's campfire--it could easily happen again, especially if predictions of a La Niña (that is, dry) winter hold true after this mild summer.

Relative to the thievery, it isn't completely fair to suggest that the perpetrators have to be among the homeless now in the community, but it shouldn't be discounted either, especially given the comment left on this blog back on 12 June. The informant was very specific, which is hardly proof in and of itself, but it is two months later and the criminal activity continues.

A local resident (who has plenty enough to keep busy as it is) has been working with fire and police officials to do something about removing homeless persons who have descended on the community (which provides better camouflage than outside the Canyon) lately.  It has been stated that some of these folks have actually been allowed to move into a house within Sleepy Hollow by its owner, who now lives out of state.  Others have retreated from the banks of Carbon [Canyon] Creek and moved up to the top of the hill at the south end of the community.

On the bright side, the "On the Skids" feature has been absent for quite some time now, because accidents appear to have waned recently (although there is a fender and some broken plastic and other debris at the interesection of Carbon Canyon Road and Valley Springs Road on the CH side of the Canyon--it could, however, have been a simple matter of a car turning into traffic from the latter to the former and getting hit, but maybe not.)

It would be naive to suggest that all of these issues (graffiti, homelessness [except for those who are given places to stay by property owners], maybe even the thievery) can be completely stopped at all times, but it just seems that there hasn't been enough done in a reasonable time frame to seek to address these problems.

Still, maybe there'll be a breakthrough (rather than more break-ins) on one or more of these soon?

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