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August 03, 2009 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-08-03

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Monday, August 3, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


From Page 2
ordinance tobe effective.
"The ordinance, for better or
worse, is complaint-based, so there
is no one running around basically
issuing tickets to anybody unless
someone complains," he said.
Clark said he hopes to organize
a "graffiti walk" with the Main
Street Association in the near
future. The event would occur on
the weekend, and members would
walk around Ann Arbor, locating
graffiti and talking with building
owners to inform them of the ordi-
"(We'd) tell them, 'Hey, you
know there's an ordinance. You're
in violation. Here's some informa-
tion about the grants that theDo-
wntown Development Authority
has made available to help pay for
the clean up,"' Clark said.
Because building owners and
tenants have to pay to remove the
graffiti, the Ann Arbor DDA has
made grants available for property
owners who may not be able to
afford to remove graffiti.
"Sooner or later someone is
going to call the building owner
and say, 'You've got to clean this
up,"' Clark said. "So we're just
focusing on educating people that

this doesn't necessarily mean
you're on the hook on paying for
everything, (because) there are
resources available."
City Council member Christo-
pher Taylor (D-Ward 3), one of the
sponsors of the graffiti proposal,
said City Council has not yet evalu-
ated the effectiveness of the ordi-
"I don't know the extent to
which folks have been calling com-
munity standards and the actions
that have been taken after that - if
in fact people have been calling,"
he said.
Taylor said City Council will
review the ordinance in a report
six months to one year from now.
Dave DeVarti, an Ann Arbor
resident and co-owner of three
condominiums on 212 East Huron,
received a notice taped to the door
the graffiti on the outside wall.
DeVarti, who likes graffiti, was
angry at City Council for forcing
him and other building owners to
cover it up.
"We're in favor of graffiti, and
we don't mind it on our building,"
he said.
For now, DeVarti complied and
painted over it, but he said he plans
on fighting the ordinance by post-
ing a sign outside that invites all
graffiti artists to paint on the wall.

"We encourage the community
to express themselves with graffiti
on our building as long as it's not
on the windows," DeVarti said.
He added that he considers
graffiti a "Constitutional right of
freedom of expression."
"If we want to put a mural on it
we should be able to put a mural
on it," DeVarti said. "If we want
to hire a graffiti artist to put some
graffiti art on the back we should
be able to do that."
DeVarti also said the city has
bigger issues like homelessness
and hunger, and energy should be
focused on fixing those problems
instead of eradicating graffiti.
"I think the council is wasting its
time onthings like this," he said.
While the graffiti in Ann Arbor
remains a debated topic, no one
seems to know who is behind the
duck tags.
Hart said he suspects it may be
an LSA student because the graf-
fiti is prominent on Central Cam-
pus, citingthe fact that he has seen
some in Angell Hall and none on
North Campus.
Whoever is behind all of the
"duck" tags, Hart doesn't mind
seeing the word scattered every-
"I've always enjoyed finding
them just because I've turned it
into a little game," he said.

The University parkour team trains in Liberty Plaza on Sunday, Aug. 2. The group
gathers weekly to participate in conditioning exercises, such as crawling up and
down stairs.

The Heidelberg
Poker Room
215 N. Main St. Ann Arbor
All proceeds go to
Rudolf Steiner School's
General Fund
Lic # M50158
full tournament schedule

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