Members of a Whitestone civic group are angered by the increase in graffiti activity in their area that also included the welcoming sign they donated to the community.
In 2010, Devon O’Connor started the Welcome to Whitestone Commercial and Residential Civic Association. One of the group’s first projects was to raise $4,000 for a new “Welcome to Whitestone” sign for the community to replace the dilapidated one at the intersection of Francis Lewis Boulevard, the Cross Island Parkway and Locke Avenue.
The decorative wooden sign was erected in November 2011. O’Connor reported last Thursday that the sign was graffitied earlier in the week. Although members were able to remove the scrawlings, O’Connor is concerned about the growing problem in the area.
“It’s a big problem and we are trying to fight it,” he said. “It’s being done by bored kids from the neighborhood.”
He noted that witnesses have seen incidents of “drive-by spraying” from cars, in which perpetrators are able to make a quick getaway from their crimes.
O’Connor said his group is working with the city’s anti-graffiti program to remove it regularly from fences, gates and storefronts.
The civic has also held fundraisers for the Whitestone Community Volunteer Ambulance Service and helped get new stop signs installed in the community.