Parents, know where your kids are!

There has been a marked increase in vandalism in our community since students are out of school and many other people have time on their hands due to the coronavirus epidemic.

In the Howard Preserve, some-one(s) spray-painted the walls of the irrigation canal and headgates with coronavirus graffiti and defaced the posted signs. They also sprayed graffiti on the Bellevue water tower.  A friend reported that structures in a Hailey park were also hit.

Three police cars and a firetruck with five firemen were dispatched to put out a fire started by three teenagers close to a home on the river. This could have diverted these essential services away from other more serious emergencies.

Vandalism is a crime. It can cost taxpayers and private businesses a significant amount of money to repair the damage. Courts can demand fines and restitution.

I’m sheltering in place, too, and I sympathize with people’s frustration. However, there are other more positive options for activities during this unusual period of time. Those who have time on their hands could instead pick up trash and dog waste at our parks and trails instead of damaging them. Kids could do yardwork and gardening. Parents could teach them a skill. The Mountain Express, the local libraries and churches are offering many online resources for all ages.

Vandalism isn’t the only option.

Florence K. Blanchard, Bellevue

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