So back on October 8th I wrote about my surprise in finding a second seemingly long-standing swastika scratched into the concrete roadbed on 4th Street in Hancock Park and dutifully harumphed both at the symbols of hate and myself for my failure to act in getting the first one removed when discovered a couple blocks further west more than a year ago. In closing that post I vowed to report it to the appropriate civic agency in hopes they could be erased.
First up I contacted the Bureau of Street Services (BOSS) and filed an online service request, which included an offer to meet personnel at the scene to point out the swastikas’ locations, as they are easily missed. Five days later when my request had not surprisingly been summarily ignored, I followed-up only to be politely told by a BOSS representative that regardless of the reprehensible symbols being in the actual street, such requests were not under their jurisdiction and that as a courtesy they had forwarded it on to the Department of Public Works’ Office of Community Beautification (OCB). How nice of them.
Not willing to believe that, On October 13 I went to the OCB website and filled out a removal request form, again detailing the nature and location of the two swastikas, and offering to meet workers on-site to show them where they were.
Yesterday, I got the following automated e-mail from OCB:
On behalf of the City of Los Angeles and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and your city council, thank you for contacting 3-1-1 to report graffiti in your neighborhood.
According to the contractor servicing the area, the graffiti (346217) you have reported on Oct 13, 2009 at W 4TH ST & S JUNE ST was removed on .
Please let us know if there was any problem with the service or if the graffiti reoccurs at this or any other location.
Graffiti abatement requests may also be submitted to OCB at the following website: www.lacity.org/BPW/OCS/grsr.htm
If you would like to provide any feedback on this request, you may e-mail [email protected]
Office of Community Beautification
Department of Public Works
200 N. Spring Street, Suite 356
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Despite the email only addressing one of the two swastikas and also failing to list the date the alleged contractor allegedly removed it, I have to say I was half-way impressed… right up until this morning when I biked by and found the hateful thing entirely untouched:
Naturally I’ve both emailed the OCB and left a voicemail message enthusiastically looking for an explanation as to why on behalf of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and my city council they would declare a job done that it hadn’t even started. I expect they’ll be in no rush to reply so in the interim I’m going to find out if the Hancock Park Homeowners Association and Councilman Tom LaBonge are interested in ignoring me, too.
Updates of either progress or continuing bureaucratic stagnation to come, as they develop.