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Local thanked for help in fight against graffiti

Community: City officials recognize local for his help in removing more than 2,000 tags from public

Posted: February 6, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 6, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Dan Rasper has a notebook full of tally marks that keep track of all the graffiti he’s cleared.

The 27-year-old Santa Clarita resident and Imperial County firefighter has used free cleaning wipes distributed by the city to clean off more than 2,000 tags scrawled across local walls, utility boxes and other public properties for more than two years.

The Santa Clarita Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission honored Rasper’s dedication to keeping the city graffiti-free with its “Person of Character and Kindness Award” during a commission meeting Thursday night.

“It’s nice to see a sign of appreciation,” Rasper said.

The local volunteer said he doesn’t want his hometown to become tarnished by the spread of graffiti, which he has witnessed while working in Los Angeles.

He often pulls his car over and searches for his stash of graffiti wipes if he notices any new tags while driving around town.
“I’ve had people thank me on the street,” he said.

Nicolas Marinelli, graffiti-removal coordinator for the city, said he was impressed by Rasper’s dedication to keeping local property graffiti-free, which inspired him to nominate the Santa Clarita resident for the kindness award.

“I thought it was pretty neat how he was just doing this on his own time,” he said. “

We really don’t get too many people that go and track all the tags themselves.”

Marinelli said he first met the award recipient sometime around September 2008, when he came to the Santa Clarita Activities Center to stock up on what the city calls “graffiti wipes” towelettes packed with cleaning agents that can clear spray paint or marker tags from smooth surfaces.

Parks officials started distributing the graffiti-blasting wipes in 2007 to residents committed to eliminating new tags soon after they surfaced.

With the help of dedicated local volunteers like Rasper over the past few years, the city has been able to keep the overall incidence of graffiti to a minimum.

Rasper, for one, has noticed.

“There’s been a lot less graffiti lately, so someone or something is making the difference,” he said.

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