EDITORIAL – Like dog turds in spring, graffiti has made its annual appearance

(Image: ArmchairMayor file photo)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

AS SURE AS the melting snow reveals crocuses and dog turds, graffiti is once again sprouting in Kamloops. It’s spring. Unlike the diminutive crocus, which symbolizes rebirth and new beginnings, graffiti is more like dog droppings — an unwelcome presence we’d rather not have to look at.

Winter weather makes conditions for painting graffiti less than ideal. Once temperatures rise consistently above freezing, though, it becomes more comfortable, and surfaces hold the paint much better.

So, we’re into our annual battle as the graffiti vandals go about their dirty work. Please, please don’t tell me they’re just a bunch of creative artists plying their craft, using the urban landscape as their canvass.

While it’s true that many of them have artistic talent (and many don’t), it’s talent that’s put to destructive, misguided purpose, creating ugly cankers on both public and private property, foiling efforts to beautify the community we call home.

And, it’s illegal. There’s nothing good about graffiti. So, please, teachers, no more class projects on graffiti as just another interesting form of urban expression. Please, no more art exhibits or exhibitions of graffiti painting at public events. No more legitimizing graffiti.

Let’s be clear: some graffiti may be art but it’s vandalism when it’s done in and on the wrong place. Defeating the graffiti vandals takes a community. The best way to stamp it out is to find it and paint it over or remove it quickly, preferably within 24 hours. If it comes back, do it again.

The Graffiti Task Force, which has been contributing to a cleaner, better looking city for 20 years, is engaging the help of the public. Anyone who spots new graffiti — whether it be on City property, utility boxes, bridges or walls is asked to contact the task force or community services.

The more eyes the better. And the less we glamorize graffiti as just another art form — well, that helps, too.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9648 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on EDITORIAL – Like dog turds in spring, graffiti has made its annual appearance

  1. Being a Harley owner,I agree about the racket they and small Honda cars and pickups are capable of. I wonder how the yokels are going to make their electric vehicles noisy. CD’s and external speakers would do it.Perhaps no yokels by then,but that’s too much to hope for.One thing about a Harley though you can hear him ( a lot of hers these days) coming. Those Italian jobs that silently pass at 150k can give a guy( lady) a turn can’t they?
    i agree on the jail time,for that and much else. As an old person who was born and raised in Vancouver and lived in the East End, I can remember no racial issues with the Chinese amongst us. There were issues in the early years,but they were pretty well gone by the 50’s. As my old Btitannia High schoolmate Bernie said at a reunion years back, ” Multiculturism? We invented it”.

  2. Around Kamloops it is the diminutive but nevertheless magnificent yellow buttercup that signals the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new growing season. But yes, colourful graffiti are indeed a sign of whatever it is opposite to the buttercups significance. But then who is going to cover-up that “form of expression” installed at the rotunda on Lorne Street? I am avoiding that area just to avoid looking at that thing! And don’t get me started on the dog turds thing, that is over-the-top disgusting. Last but not least, the worse thing about spring is the arrival of unmuffled Harley Davidsons. That’s where community should really get together and put an end to the annoyance!

  3. Ian MacKenzie // March 24, 2022 at 6:15 AM // Reply

    AGREED! The turds who painted over that lovely Chinese history in Vancouver should get jail time. Then to erase their time use them as a squad to erase their turds!

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