Over the past few weeks, Chipmunk Canyon residents have noticed a drastic uptick in graffiti and trash right off the road to their homes. A large boulder has now been painted entirely blue with white hand prints and initials. Other nearby boulders are covered by more traditional graffiti such as initials and peace signs.
Spray painted letters on the sides of local buildings raises the blood pressure of many local residents. Graffiti is not new to that location near Chipmunk Canyon or the Eastern Sierra, but the extent of this painting has some local residents up in arms.
The Inyo Sheriffs Department first took the report of the graffiti on December 30th. Deputies have stepped up patrols in that area since that time. At last word no one had been caught, and residents say that additional graffiti continues to appear.
While someone may be having fun painting up a wall or a rock in this case, it is up to the property owner to clean up the mess left behind. With these rocks on the way to Chipmunk Canyon, it appears that the property owner is the Department of Water and Power. Chris Plakos with DWP explained that the department has an active policy to remove graffiti when its found or reported. If this new paint job is on DWP land, crews will have their work cut out for them. The entire boulder, about the size of a VW bug, is completely blue on all sides.
While the paint remains, local residents have worked to clean up the trash that appears to be associated with the new graffiti. One Chipmunk Canyon property owner reports that residents filled half a pick-up bed with paint rollers, empty bottles, smashed computers and other detritus. A quick look around the now blue boulder reveals numerous Bud Light and King Cobra bottles that appear to be recently tossed.
With a rock painted the colors of Bishop High School, it is no great stretch to consider a possible link to local students. Bishop School Superintendent Barry Simpson said that his staff is looking into the graffiti incident and possible teen drinking that may have occurred.