Northfield’s graffiti problem (5×8 – 2/6/12)

The Monday Morning Rouser:

1) NORTHFIELD’S GRAFFITI PROBLEM

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Northfield, what’s your problem? An outbreak of graffiti has occurred in the city’s downtown of late, Locally Grown’s Griff Wigley reported over the weekend.

Earlier last month, he reported on the outbreak in town. Once you notice graffiti, you begin to see it everywhere because it is everywhere.

Is graffiti art?

In Salt Lake City last week, a bill to criminalize the possession of “graffiti tools” was defeated in the state Senate. Right around then is when the group, Anonymous, hacked into the police department. The perpetrators said cracking down on graffiti is just one more step toward a police state.

And, yet, there graffiti normal people enjoy, as long as it’s old enough. In a small town in Virginia — Culpeper by name — historians are gently trying to recover the graffiti that Confederate and Union forces scribed on the walls during the Civil War.

So, perhaps what we’re looking at above is tomorrow’s revered history.

2) WHEN GREEN IS UGLY

Solar energy is viewed as environmentally friendly. But what about when it’s not? What about when it destroys an area just as the North Dakota oil patch is changing the environment?

In California, a piece of the Mojave desert is being mowed down, endangered species are being threatened, and an ecosystem changed forever, with the help, apparently, of environmentalists who used to protest such things, the Los Angeles Times reports.


Industrial-scale solar development is well underway in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. The federal government has furnished more public property to this cause than it has for oil and gas exploration over the last decade — 21 million acres, more than the area of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties put together.

Even if only a few of the proposed projects are built, hundreds of square miles of wild land will be scraped clear. Several thousand miles of power transmission corridors will be created.

The desert will be scarred well beyond a human life span, and no amount of mitigation will repair it, according to scores of federal and state environmental reviews.

“The scale of impacts that we are facing, collectively across the desert, is phenomenal,” said Dennis Schramm, former superintendent at neighboring Mojave National Preserve. “The reality of the Ivanpah project is that what it will look like on the ground is worse than any of the analyses predicted.”

Some environmentalists say ecosystems must be destroyed in order to save the planet from climate change.

3) THE LAST WORDS THAT LIVE ON

If you knew you were dying, and you could record phrases to live on after you, what would they be? Dr. Richard Olney, one of the country’s experts on ALS — Lou Gehrig’s Disease — died late last week. He had ALS.

In Wisconsin, a Native American girl was benched from her basketball team because she said “I love you” in the Menominee language. The principal has since apologized.

4) HOME, JAMES

Air traffic around Indianapolis an hour before the Super Bowl yesterday…

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Air traffic an hour after the Super Bowl. Most of the departing traffic was private corporate jets.

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Over 1,000 private aircraft showed up at the airports around the city on Saturday. Fansmanship.com flew in, too, and documented “The Super Bowl of the Air.”

(h/t: Flight Aware)

5) OK, PLAY

Maybe this should’ve been the Rouser this morning:

TODAY’S QUESTION

Minnesotans will gather Tuesday night to declare their preferences for president, elect delegates to party conventions and help shape party platforms. What do you think of Minnesota’s system of party caucuses?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Why does the U.S. imprison so many people?

Second hour: How we can incorporate more smart thinking into our daily lives?

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Phil Picardi and Mike Pomeranz co-host on sports. Jim Klobuchar on Vikings, Terry Ryan on Twins & David Kahn on Timberwolves.

Second hour: Jane Kirtley of University of Minnesota, speaking at the Minnesota History Center about a free press.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: The failure of the world to intervene in Rwanda spawned a principle called “the responsibility to protect,” which compels the international community to step in and prevent genocide and war crimes. But principles don’t determine who rates help, who intervenes, and when.

Second hour: Will the Occupy movement have any lasting effect?

  • Jim Shapiro

    Is graffiti art? Why not? And like any art, sometimes I’m gonna like it and/or it’s message and think the tagger has real or potential talent, sometimes not so much.

    Regarding the tagging of public and commercial spaces, I think its important to permit it as a creative and emotional social outlet.

    But if you tag my home without my permission, be prepared to spend some time removing the spraycan from a major excretory orifice.

  • This is NOT lucy

    “Regarding the tagging of public and commercial spaces, I think its important to permit it as a creative and emotional social outlet.”

    I look at it that way too, although I think that there are better places for tagging than others. I am thinking of one particular very well done tag but it was located in a space where it was definitely detracting from a public historical park and most definetly would be painted over with beige.

    I have often wondered why they paint over with beige. It is almost an invitation to paint on a brand new fresh canvas.

    Oh well.