Taggers no match for this trio

Ivo Jaager and Barbara Coburn-Jaager give a thumbs up in front of the legion building wall they and one other individual cleaned yesterday.

PENTICTON - When three locals saw tag vandalism spray-painted across the Penticton Legion, they rolled up their sleeves and went to work. 

Barbara Coburn-Jaager and Ivo Jaager were basking in the glowing aftermath of a job well done Thursday, the day after their successful graffiti clean up effort.

The two were assisted in the clean up effort by Jake Evans, a Penticton resident who is concerned about the amount of graffiti in the city. Evans brought supplies and also helped to clean the wall.

Coburn-Jaager said the three decided to clean up the tag — which was sprayed across the legion’s Martin Street facade sometime last Saturday night — as soon as possible so the tagger’s signature would be gone.

“We all pitched in with some good old elbow grease and got rid of it,” Coburn-Jaager said, saying it was a "split decision" to remove it.

“Some say to leave it up to discourage the wall from being tagged again, but we are a service building and it looked horrible. We’ll fight until our fingers are blue to keep it off. Unfortunately, it only takes a few minutes to tag, and hours to clean up.”

The three used a special graffiti removing solution they purchased from a local hardware store. In spite of buying a specialized product, it still took a lot of hard scrubbing to remove the tags.

As they worked through Wednesday afternoon, motorists passing on Martin Street honked their horns in approval.

“We were having a happy dance party - we had a great time,” Coburn-Jaager said. “It felt good to get rid of it.”

Ivo Jaager said patrons of the legion were in shock earlier this week when they saw the damage.

“Everyone was shocked. They were asking, ‘how could anyone do this?’" said Jaager.

Coburn-Jaager believes she is seeing increasing instances of graffiti and tagging in the city.

“It’s their signature, but they are being watched, more and more. People are getting stirred up and getting motivated, and they are stepping up to help provide funds and equipment to repair the damage. It’s nice to see that unity happening.

"The more that know about the issue, the more will come to help out. We can’t let this continue. The cost is growing and growing," she said.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

Editor's Note in response to allegations from Vernon RCMP Supt. Jim McNamara
Editor’s note: • Watch shifts at the Vernon detachment have fallen to as low as three roadable officers. • The department suffers from chronic understaffing. • Sources, who we trust and who have knowledge of the s

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