A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Where the need to clean up never ends

Written May 27th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

The Periwinkle Bikepath behind Lowe’s was clear Saturday, but the wall wasn’t.

Riding the bike on the Periwinkle Bikepath extension behind Lowe’s was easy Saturday because for once, nobody was camped on the path itself.

The wall between the path and the store was a different matter. Once again vandals with spray cans had done their ugly work. Now and then the graffiti there are painted over, but then new markings are back in no time at all.

Albany City Manager Peter Troedsson mentioned the site in his weekly report to the city council on Friday. He captioned the paragraph “Transients and cleanups.”

“Two areas are requiring major cleanup and response activities,” Troedsson reported. “The first is City property between Eads Park and the new Banks Apartments, in which criminal activity is threatening residents. Behind Lowe’s along Periwinkle Creek is also a problematic area.  We’re cleaning up the area on a weekly basis, only to have it very quickly trashed after being cleaned up.”

Transient camps and graffiti vandals are not the same, but both require repeated efforts to clean up.

Troedsson mentioned another area where vandals are causing the city grief: Park restrooms.

“Restrooms will be opening by this weekend,” he wrote. “We have a good seasonal staff, but their efforts are significantly challenged by acts of vandalism.”

It’s also the public at large that is “significantly challenged” by acts of vandalism, especially the defacing of public and private property by criminals equipped with with spray paint and eager to use it when nobody is watching in the dead of night.

What can be done about it? Nothing, apparently.

Except clean it up, again and again, and hope that sooner or later these troublemakers will grow up, become civilized, or move away. (hh)

And in the other direction, the same thing.



20 responses to “Where the need to clean up never ends”

  1. Bob Woods says:

    Bad parenting has no solution.

  2. Anony Mouse says:

    I’m a progressive when it comes to street art.

    This form of art is created by a person who wants to have a conversation. Yes, occasionally it can be immature. But oftentimes it’s a conversation captured in a lovely image on a public wall.

    So lets hire a consultant to structure a program, appoint a Street Art Commission to advise the city council, and create a PERS paying city position to administer the program.

    Hostility is not a progressive ideal. Lead with empathy, compassion, and bigger city government.

    • MarK says:

      You should post an invitation for those to come “express themselves” on the walls of your house.

      • David McGarry says:


      • Matthew Calhoun says:

        That would be a challenge since Gordon doesn’t live in Albany, let alone Oregon, or even the West coast.

        (We’ll see if this comment passes Hasso’s censorship)

    • Cap B. says:

      You are about as progressive as Donald Trump. Or, if you are sincere, send your Social Security check back to the government each month…if you old enough to collect one! That would put your “scribblings” and your money where your mouth is!

    • Cap B. says:

      Since you, Anony Mouse, lobbed a volley at PERS (Public Employees Retirement System), I will suggest that you return your Social Security check to the government each month (If you are old enough to receive one). You can put your scribblings and your money where your mouth is.

  3. Peggy Richner says:

    Painting over the graffiti seems a Sisyphean enterprise. Why give these “artists” a clean space to repeat their handiwork?

  4. Cap B. says:

    Sorry about all this. Our society has deteriorated, as has our country. I’ve forgotten where Eads Park is. I’ll look it up. If I were you, Hasso, I wouldn’t use that path behind Lowe’s.

    • Barb says:

      It’s such a shame that people who deface and vandalize public areas can continue to do so. Whereas, those of us who pay for these places are told to stay away.

  5. Bill Kapaun says:

    Maybe require ID to buy cans of spray paint?

  6. Hartman says:

    Perhaps it’s time for the self-proclaimed “regular folks” of Albany to admit publicly that they have done a horrendous job of passing-on any sort of moral or ethical underpinnings to the young of Our Fair City. Perhaps all the hand-wringing about transgender persons and critical race theory shows that the Albany Right is a hollow shell, without substance or any real belief outside of phony anger. Perhaps all the strong man threatening we read daily by the Radical Right Commenters in Hering’s screed are really the musings of the misguided, fueled only by their own inept rage. Perhaps these folks should look in the mirror.

    • Cap B. says:

      Hear, Hear!

    • Al Nyman says:

      I watch you blather on and accuse anybody with a different opinion to be a Radical Right Commenter in Hering’s screed are really the musings of the misguided, fueled only by their own inept rage. Did anybody tell you that you are an officious prig!
      There is a poem by Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr. entitled The Man in the Glass which the coach of the most famous football team in OSU history instilled in his players to build unity which you should read. Calling everybody names because they disagree with your personal feelings of left wing politics is fundamentally wrong.
      To quote the final line in the poen as follows:
      “You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years and get pats on the back as you pass…bur your final reward will be heartache and tears if you’ve cheated the man in the glass”
      It’s time to grow up.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      Odds are these perps are raised in a “public assistance” based household with no sense of what things cost us taxpayers and with a sense of govt. entitlement. These are the households that predominately vote Democrat. If it’s free, it’s for me.

      • Hartman says:

        The very wealthy pay most of the taxes in this country. Think of it as reparations for being priggishly wealthy.

        • Al NYMAN says:

          Nothing stopping anybody with brains from being wealthy so, if you’re not rich Hartman, is it lack of brain power and blaming everybody else. I was raised in South Dakota on a farm with no running water and an oil stove in the living room for heat with no insulation in the walls. I have a large number of refugee workers that came in the 90’s that own their own homes. Most of them don’t speak English! Quit blaming everybody but yourself for your own failings.

    • Cap B. says:

      Well said. I agree.

    • Barb says:

      Misguided anger? The right are not the ones causing, unimpeded, millions of dollars in property damage, injuring and killing many innocent people while acting like thugs and quintessential criminals!!!

  7. Marlenea says:

    Why don’t you all have the ones that are making the mess on the walls do a picture of some sorts instead of graffiti why not have art like a mural done bye them??? Just a thought


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