Blaster spells disaster for Walla Walla graffiti

Ben Workman, center, aided by Dick Morgan, uses a glass-bead blaster to remove painted-over graffiti on a bridge over Garrison Creek on Chase Avenue this morning.

Ben Workman, center, aided by Dick Morgan, uses a glass-bead blaster to remove painted-over graffiti on a bridge over Garrison Creek on Chase Avenue this morning. Photo by Andy Porter.

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WALLA WALLA — The city’s new Graffiti Blaster team went to work this morning.

Using a glass-bead blaster, the three-member team attacked paint and graffiti at three locations in Walla Walla.

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Ben Workman uses a glass-bead blaster to remove painted-over graffiti on a bridge over Garrison Creek on Chase Street this morning. The location was one of three the new Graffiti Blaster team planned to be at today, said Vicki Ruley, crime prevention coordinator with the Walla Walla Police Department.

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A sign marks the sight of a graffiti removal operation this morning at a bridge over Garrison Creek on Chase Street. Volunteers, in background, used a glass-bead blaster to strip off paint-covered graffiti at that spot and two others this morning as part of a demonstration of the new project.

The first location was the bridge over Garrison Creek on Chase Avenue near Garrison Middle School, where team members Ben Workman and Dick Morgan, both volunteers, used the equipment to strip off paint-covered graffiti on the bridge sidings.

Two other work sites scheduled for the day were the Third Avenue bridge over Garrison Creek and the rear of a building on East Rose Street.

The Graffiti Blaster is fairly new, said Vicki Ruley, Walla Walla Police Department crime prevention coordinator and crime victim advocate. With the aid of a Sherwood Foundation grant, the pieces for the team came together in March and today’s effort was one of the first demonstrations.

“We’re just coming off the experimental stage,” Ruley said over the noise of the blaster operating in the background today.

Volunteers are being sought to help run the program and can contact Ruley at the police department for information.

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