Statement of being chapped is by Jennifer C. the creator of this post. Richard H. is not chapped at this time.
Posted in crime, environment, James River, RVANews-news
Agh! I love the “chalk on the sidewalk is not a crime” thing–the point to me is that it WASN’T on a sidewalk, it was on a rock at the river–a place where people go to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. i enjoy seeing kid’s artwork on sidewalks or even in the street, but i would never allow my child to do something like that on rocks by the river in a city park. And yeah, way to lie on camera.
Yes, I usually speak for the trees, but in this case I’m speaking for the rocks, and I agree with The Leemur on this one.
I have had cases with this officer. I knew there was more to this than I initially heard. He just isn’t that tightly wound to ticket for something innocent.
Who ever could have dreamed that the third syllable of an otherwise innocuous 1960′s development would become forever embedded in the English lexicon.
Hey, how about you pay the two year old fine before you contest the new one and take up valuable court time?
I suspect the unpaid fine from last time will make contesting this one a little tricky.
From the get-go this was a tempest in a teapot.
Jennifer C – the unpaid fine has no effect on her being able to contest this charge, it just means she doesn’t have a driver’s license. Her previous conviction will have an effect on her sentence and the likelihood a prosecutor will offer her a decent plea deal.
Seems to me that this is still about a cop ticketing for a child drawing on a rock with chalk. Whether or not you like the mom or approve of her actions years ago seems immaterial given that paint is not chalk. If I got ticketed for destruction of property 2 years ago, I’d conclude that non-destructive chalking would be ok. I wouldn’t live my life constantly looking over my shoulder, wondering if Officer Stacy approves or not.
I guess for most of my neighbors, rigid law and order trumps common sense and any sense of proportionality. It wasn’t always like that, but we’ve become so disconnected from and resentful of each other that we rely on folks like Officer Stacy to mediate between us on the most banal of differences with a handy book of rules that can reduce any complex situation to a straight forward misdemeanor or felony.
@Jeremy – my parents taught me not to lie. She was willing to go on television to talk negatively about Stacy, the big mean police officer, without revealing what a lot of us see as a rather significant piece of the story. Seems like she didn’t feel particularly terrible about the paint, given the big red PAST DUE next to the court case.
Your second paragraph is drivel.
@Jeremy, your quote from the original thread: “I judge Officer Rogers based on the facts I know, and if the facts change the situation, I will change my judgment.”
I know Officer Rogers and agree that he isn’t so wound up that he would ticket a reasonable person.
Stacy puts a lot of heart into his work, you would not believe some of the stories he could tell.
One of the main emphasis of the park according to the park staff is that it be a natural park. I like that. It is an amazing natural area right in the middle of the city.
I see a lot of freedoms granted to park users, some pretty awesome stuff goes on there.
For the amount of visitors to James River Park it looks remarkably good.
My thanks go out to everyone that helps to keep the park in good shape.
I had no idea that it is a crime to use chalk. I think it’s a silly law, even in the natural beauty of that area. Chalk doesn’t harm anything and it is only as permanent as the area it is used on is dry.
At the same time, I would bet if I had my kids (with their ubiquitous chalk) and they were drawing on the rocks and a police officer came along I would be told to have them stop, maybe clean it off a little and be left alone if I complied (with no ticket).
I agree with Don on thanking the people who keep the James River Park in such great shape. I hadn’t been on the trails in a while and just ran them; the amount of work put into improving and maintaining them is incredible and the results are spectacular.
now if only we could get some people ticketed for littering throughout the southside (namely Reedy Creek), just think of the revenue for the city!!
Isn’t it ironic that this thread is much longer and passionate than any discussion of school zoning, closing schools, school/city budget, etc?
This doesn’t change my opinion at all. I doubt Rogers was familiar with a two year old destruction of property ticket when he issued this one but who knows maybe he radioed this in and that’s why he issued the other ticket for the chalk. Still doesn’t make a difference in my book. Have her pay the first one, give her community service for the second cleaning up at the park or something (lord knows it would help) and go from there. The fact that this lady is a liar doesn’t change my opinion of the chalking incident and Officer Rogers decision to fine her…still seems heavy handed to ban her from the parks for some chalk.
@Jennifer making the statement that Jeremy’s comment is “drivel” kinda proves his point. No need for name calling. The normal moderator of this blog is normally above that fray so your neighbors would appreciate it if you behaved similarly.
Commenters please begin dissecting my statements and criticizing me…….now. GO!
Also, in regards to “this is where people go to enjoy the beauty of nature” idea here that somehow this is an entirely “natural” area devoid of human impacts is not in line with the reality of the park system. This park has done a lot to utilize the man made things in it to capitalize on the beauty. I don’t think anyone would have posted on here “no way should we dredge the lake in forest hill park, that will diminish the natural state of the park” or “these unnatural man made bike trails have to go!” I’m not saying that this “chalking” in anyway contributes to the park, just saying it doesn’t detract either being that this will wash off and would have probably been gone anyway by now as the river is at around 13ft and when I rode my bike to work this morning not a single rock was exposed anyway. Pretty sure 10′s of thousands of gallons of water would have, and did, take care of the problem, but the issue of the correct administration of justice is still relevant even in light of the fact that this lady is clearly questionable in her statement of the facts surrounding the situation.
“no way should we dredge the lake in forest hill park, that will diminish the natural state of the park”
Lol, Willis, I guess you haven’t lived around here for very long. There was indeed A LOT of back and forth about the FHP Lake over the decades. There were many people (and gov’t agencies) that considered it a wetland to be preserved, while still others advocated restoring it to its more groomed, man made state.
The ‘leave it be’ faction did have a point: there was considerably more wildlife and habitat diversity there prior to the dredging than there is now, but, as with all things, some of the plantings need time to fill in, and life will return.
There was also a considerable amount of justified criticism of the trail system in FHP that had been carved out in the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel: the problems have since been corrected and the trail system now meets sustainability standards and all parties are pleased with the results.
For anyone interested, here is the city ordinance on the subject of graffiti:Please note that graffiti does not exclude the use of chalk. Anyone who bothers to look up the definition of the word in a dictionary would understand that the term doesn’t solely apply to spray paint anyway: the temporary nature of chalk is irrelevant.
“Sec. 38-191. – Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Graffiti means the unauthorized application of any writing, painting, drawing, etching, scratching or marking of an inscription, word, figure, or design of any type on any public or private building or other real or personal property owned, operated or maintained by a governmental entity or an agency or instrumentality thereof or by a private person.
(Code 1993, § 19-70)
? Cross References: Definitions generally, § 1-2
Sec. 38-192. – Graffiti prohibited; criminal penalty.
It shall be unlawful for any person to deface or otherwise damage private or public property, by or through the application of graffiti.
Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.
(Code 1993, § 19-71)
Sec. 38-193. – Parental responsibility for damage to public property.
If graffiti is applied to any property of the city by a minor who is living with either or both parents, the city may institute an action and recover from the parents of the minor or either of them for the damages suffered by reason of the willful or malicious destruction of or damage to public property by the minor. The action by the city shall be subject to any limitation on the amount of recovery set forth in Code of Virginia, § 8.01-43 or other applicable provision of state law.
(Code 1993, § 19-72)
Sec. 38-194. – Authority for city to remove or repair defacement of buildings, walls, fences and other structures.
The chief administrative officer is authorized to undertake or contract for the removal or repair of the defacement, by or through the application of graffiti, of any public building, wall, fence or other structure or any private building, wall, fence or other structure where such graffiti is visible from any public right-of-way.
Prior to such removal, the chief administrative officer shall provide the property owner with 30 days’ notice by at least first class mail, together with such other means as may be legally required, of the chief administrative officer’s intent to undertake or contract for the removal or repair of the defacement and shall simultaneously with such notice seek the written permission of the property owner. Should the property owner fail to provide such permission or remove or repair the defacement within 30 days of the date of the notice, the chief administrative officer may have such defacement removed or repaired by agents or employees of the city. Such agents or employees shall have any and all immunity normally provided to an employee of the city.
The removal or repair work may be undertaken by volunteers or individuals required to perform community service by order of any court, under appropriate city supervision. If the defacement occurs on a public or private building, wall, fence or other structure located on unoccupied property, and the city, through its own agents or employees, removes or repairs the defacement after complying with the notice provisions of this section, the actual cost or expense thereof shall be chargeable to and paid by the owners of such property and may be collected by the city as taxes are collected. Any charge authorized by this section with which the owner of such property shall have been assessed and that remains unpaid shall constitute a lien against such property, ranking on a parity with liens for unpaid local taxes and enforceable in the same manner as provided in Code of Virginia, Title 58.1, Chapter 39, Articles 3 and 4. The chief administrative officer may waive and release such liens in order to facilitate the sale of the property, provided that no waiver or release of such a lien shall be deemed to be a waiver of the personal obligation of the property owner at the time the lien was imposed. Such liens may be waived only as to a purchaser who is unrelated by blood or marriage to the owner and who has no business association with the owner. No lien shall be chargeable to the owners of such property unless the city shall have given a minimum of 15 days notice to the property owner prior to the removal of the defacement. “
@ Stuffa. 13 years and counting.
@Willis- you think what Jeremy wrote is peachy-keen, but my calling it “drivel,” is somehow personally insulting? We will have to disagree. As noted above, Stacy wrote both tickets, so there’s no reason to think he has no idea who this woman is.
I am perfectly at peace with my relationship with my neighbors.
FWIW, when I sent this to Richard (because I seem to have some block where it comes to posting links to media) I put a couple of comments in the body of it that were meant for him – apparently not clearly so – and he put them up with the video. I probably would have phrased them more circumspectly if I had known they were going to be put up as-is, although the substance would not have changed.
@ Jennifer- calling something “drivel” is quite different from what I read from Jeremys comment. Perhaps you meant something along the lines of “in my opinion your second paragraph isn’t reflective of the current state of the relationship between citizens and the public servants who serve them” or similar. Saying it is simply “drivel” doesn’t really articulate your position very clearly and as such it does marginalize your relationship with your neighbors (such as myself) who find that it is difficult to understand another persons (your) position on the matter when the strongest persuasive argument they can present is that someone else who posted is reciting “drivel”. Other than personally agreeing with the position Jeremy has stated, yes I think it was a well crafted comment. Similarly, there are equally well crafted and presented comments supporting the officers actions.
Actually, “drivel” summed it up just fine for me. The First Amendment allows all of us to state our opinions, and cheap replacement keyboards allow persons with apparently unlimited free time to type volumes of dissent.
The normal moderator of this blog is normally above that fray so your neighbors would appreciate it if you behaved similarly.
This being the same moderator that had to edit one of your comments on the original story? I speak only for myself, and there is a dearth of neighbors-plural jumping in here to scold me for my terrible manners.
I <3 Jennifer C.
Jennifer, sorry you have to take it so personally that other people have constructively pointed out there is a legitimate space for discussion on the topic at hand and would like to do so amicably. Insult away if you please, I won’t be going anywhere.