GRAFITTI MADE FOR GRIM FACES AT THE SKATE PARK – Overnight Nov. 24-25 probable out-of-towners to the La Conner community struck the skate park at the north end of Sixth Street, spraying obscenities and defacing almost every surface. Eric Whitehead, left, and Landon Stevens were worried and upset by the vandalism. See police blotter, page 10. – Photo by Ken Stern
GRAFITTI MADE FOR GRIM FACES AT THE SKATE PARK – Overnight Nov. 24-25 probable out-of-towners to the La Conner community struck the skate park at the north end of Sixth Street, spraying obscenities and defacing almost every surface. Eric Whitehead, left, and Landon Stevens were worried and upset by the vandalism. See police blotter, page 10. – Photo by Ken Stern

In a community where good art is appreciated and great art revered, racist graffiti has no place. 

Especially when the place in question is as public as the popular skate park on the La Conner schools campus at the end of North Sixth Street and the offensive tagging turns up on Thanksgiving Day. 

That is a bad combination all the way around. 

Profanity and images painted in yellow and white greeted youths on skates and scooters who gathered at the park’s cement bowl to enjoy the outset of a five-day Thanksgiving break from classes. 

The scene, which should have been festive, instead reflected a more somber mood. Fear, anger, and disgust prevailed. 

“It makes me think we shouldn’t be here because we’re kids,” said student Eric Whitehead, among about a dozen people at the park Friday afternoon.

“The n-word is a very bad word.” 

Others expressed similar sentiments, some indicating the troubling graffiti made them less inclined to visit the park again. 

Town Public Works Director Brian Lease had begun the laborious task of trying to remove the graffiti on Thanksgiving, shortly after it was discovered. 

“Brian came in on Thanksgiving and worked for hours getting what he could off,” Mayor Ramon Hayes told the Weekly News. “I’m sure Public Works will follow up in the morning.” 

Still, there appeared to be no easy fix. 

“I went to the skate park on Friday,” said La Conner planning commissioner and town councilmember-elect Rick Dole, who resides on nearby Tillinghast Drive. “The graffiti was still there. It looked as though someone may have tried to pressure wash it, but if they did, it was not successful.” 

Additional evidence of senseless vandalism was discovered a short distance away on the north side of La Conner Elementary School, facing the Braves baseball complex and athletic practice fields. 

Someone had chosen that spot, on a covered concrete entrance way, to urinate. 

Areas on the north end of town, including the Town Public Works building and school bus barn, have been targeted for vandalism and break-ins since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020. Even the large oak tree north of the skate park and which is noted for its beautifully colored autumn leaves, was targeted last year by graffiti taggers. 

The latest paint job has left locals of all ages feeling especially blue. 

Student Landon Stevens, whose lineage runs through the pioneer Peth family, perhaps said it best. 

“This,” he said, “is not how La Conner should be represented.”