Al Carena, as well as the Spencer Estate community-at-large, feels the east Bronx is being hit hard by graffiti vandals. As president of the Spencer Estate Civic Association, he has invited Senator Jeff Klein to help fight this never-ending battle.
Klein will work with community leaders like Carena to make sure that a graffiti-prone approach to the pedestrian overpass at Bruckner Boulevard and Middletown Road is repainted periodically.
“It is not as bad at the pedestrian-bridge overpass as it has been in the past, but it seems like whenever we paint over the scrawl it is back within a week,” Carena said.
The wooden fence of a private home on Bayshore Avenue and Outlook Avenue has also become heavily tagged, and Klein’s office sent his graffiti cleaning service to paint over the fence on Monday, March 30.
Senator Klein’s office currently allocates most of its graffiti-fighting resources to commercial strips, but also does work with homeowners who may need additional financial help to remove graffiti from their properties. Sometimes, it is a question of the homeowners having the time to do the cleaning.
“We must be vigilant in the battle against graffiti,” Klein said. “For 15 years I’ve beaten back the tide of vandalism with my free graffiti removal service and this year we’ll continue with a Spring cleaning of various commercial strips. Together can and will fight career graffiti criminals and kept our community strong.”
Klein commenced his cleaning service earlier this month, starting first in Pelham Bay, Country Club, Spencer Estate and City Island and then moving north towards Morris Park and Pelham Parkway.
One recurring tag that has become an ugly fixture on some utility poles in Spence Estate is the tag “BVB,” which Carena said stands for Bayview Boys, a group of quarrelsome and ill-tempered teens and adults from the area around Bayview Avenue.
“It must take the about two minutes to spray ‘BVB’ on a utility pole,” Carena said. “They must be out in the early morning hours when most people are asleep.”
Carena hopes to someday start a program where a cash reward can be given to those with information leading to the arrest of those who spray-paint individual tags, like “BVB.”
“Some people may call the people who spray graffiti artists, but I call graffiti taggers vandals,” Carena said.