Home' Greymouth Star : December 9th 2014 Contents Miami
The acrid smell of spray paint fills the
air in Miami’s once-blighted Wynwood
neighbourhood where graffiti artists
from all over the world have descended,
covering walls — sometimes invited,
sometimes not — with eye-popping
murals from traditional graffiti lettering to
“This is the place to be relevant, where
your work can be in the public eye,” a
35-year-old, New York City-based artist
called Mast said.
He and others flooded the streets
donning gas masks, part of an estimated
70,000 art enthusiasts who have converged
on the city during its annual contemporary
Art Week, centred around an event called
the Art Basel Miami Beach fair.
Wynwood, located just north of
downtown Miami, is filled with hip-
looking crowds posing for pictures in front
of murals that adorn more than a dozen
square blocks, creating a unique outdoor
“This place is amazing, it ’s where you
can come to see all of the artists you see
online, in magazines,” Haroldo Paranhos,
27, visiting from Brazil, said. “You never
have so many big walls like this all
The week draws globe-trotting street
artists like Shepard Fairey, famed for his
2008 blue-and-red portrait of Barack
Obama captioned Hope. Better-known
artists like Fairey paint for free but are
sponsored with free paint, a wall and
a team of assistants to undertake big
One local developer commissioned
nearly three dozen artists to cover
Wynwood Walls, a free, outdoor complex
showcasing the world’s top street art.
Independent artists like Mast pay
their way, haggle for a wall and barter
for supplies. Some are lucky enough to
be given free weatherproof spray paint
cans by companies like Germany-based
Montana, which sponsors artists around
the world, though their murals may not
“ Walls are getting done over, left
and right, with total disregard,” David
Anasagasti, a Miami-based street
artist known as Ahol Sniffs Glue who
complained Wynwood had become
gentrified and over-saturated, said.
“It ’s getting kind of tacky,” he said.
A handful of gallery owners have also
begun shying away, citing rising rents, few
art buyers and condominium development.
“It ’s not going to be Chelsea, it’s not
going to be Soho,” Fredric Snitzer, who
left the area three months ago, said. “It
will be a nice enough neighbourhood
but it is not going to attract good quality
Still, the graffiti art is welcomed in a
city trying to enhance its fun-in-the-
sun image and become a more cultured
“It ’s not the same Wild West it once
was,” Fairey said. “But I have always been
a populist. I love the idea of democratizing
art. Wynwood is a template, and there are
lots more walls out there.”
While Wynwood’s street art-friendly
attitude has made Miami a popular venue
for graffiti artists, it can still be a risky
Activists held a vigil on Saturday for
Israel Hernandez-Llach, an 18-year-
old graffiti artist who died after being
subjected to a Taser by police who found
him spray-painting an abandoned building
on Miami Beach in 2013.
A Miami Beach bar’s staff arrived to find
that a “guerrilla” artist had hidden inside
a bathroom overnight to emerge after
closing and paint a pattern of black cryptic
symbols on its walls.
“Art Basel brings out the crazies!” Purdy
Lounge manager Aron Epstein wrote on
Twitter. The work, believed to be by an
artist called Zeem Rock, was so “cool” that
Epstein said he was considering leaving
“ Well played sir, well played indeed,” he
added. — Reuters
4 - Tuesday, December 9, 2014
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and — except for e-mails — your signature. Noms
de plume are not accepted.
Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
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reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are offensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
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uLetters to the editor
1594 - Gustavus II of Sweden born; by the
time of his death in 1632 Sweden had become
the strongest power in Europe.
1625 - England and United Provinces agree
to subsidise Denmark’s King Christian IV in his
campaign against Germany.
1824 - Spain’s army is defeated at
Ayacucho, Peru, by Simon Bolivar’s
1940 - British 8th Army opens
offensive in North Africa in World
1941 - China formally issues a
declaration of war against Japan,
Germany and Italy.
1975 - Death toll is put at 160 in two days as
war rages between Muslims and Christians in
1987 - Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meets
US President Ronald Reagan in Washington
one day after the US-Soviet nuclear arms treaty
1992 - Prince Charles and Princess Diana of
Britain announce they are separating.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Claude-Louis Ertholle, French chemist
(1748-1822); Clarence Birdseye, US frozen
food inventor (1886-1956); Douglas Fairbanks
Jr, US actor (1909-2000); Kirk
Douglas, US actor (1916-); Dick
Van Patten, US actor (1928-);
Dame Judi Dench, British actress
(1934-); Beau Bridges, US actor
(1941-); Joan Armatrading, British
singer-songwriter (1950-); John
Malkovich, US actor (1953-);
Donny Osmond, US singer (1957-); Joe
Lando, US actor (1961-); Felicity Huffman,
US actress, (1962-).
“The well of providence is deep. It ’s the
buckets we bring to it that are small.” — Mary
Webb, Scottish religious leader. (c. 1881-1927).
“ I spread out my hands to You; my soul
thirsts for You like a parched land.”
— Psalm 143:6.
“Dear Santa, would
you please bring me
a bridal doll and a
nurse’s set, a pram and
blankets for the pram. Some paints and sandals.
Dad and mum want £500 for a new car. I’ve
been a good girl. Mum and dad have been good
This is the first letter that was popped in the
Santa Claus letterbox which has been placed
outside the NZBC studios in Mackay Street
this morning. It is the advance guard of 700
letters Greymouth Jaycees expect to receive in
the next two weeks — and every one of the
youthful letter writers will receive an answer.
Acting as secretary to the white-bearded
gentleman and with the mammoth writing task
in front of him is Jaycee board member Mr Pat
Mr Andrew Nolan, of Milton Road,
Greymouth, suffered head injuries when
he fell from the stone crusher at Blaketown
shorrtly before midday today. Mr Nolan, who is
employed by the North Beach Crushed Metal
and Shingle Company Ltd, was treated by Dr
W H Bird and admitted to the Greymouth
It is understood Mr Nolan was carrying out
adjustments high on the crusher when he
fell. He was unconscious when first attended.
His condition this afternoon is reported to be
Greymouth late shopping nights will not
be altered for the coming Christmas season.
Greymouth members of the Canterbury and
Westland Retailers’ Association, who met this
morning, decided that because there was a
division of opinion it would be better not to
disturb the usual arrangements.
Late night shopping will be observed on
Christmas and New Year’s eves.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Graffiti ‘artist’ Anthony Arias works on a mural in Miami’s Wynwood neighbourhood yesterday.
Graffiti ‘artists’ snap up vertical real estate
s Brendan Megraw ’s coffin
was lowered into his family
grave 36 years after he was
kidnapped and shot by the
IRA, the mourners at the
cemetery felt relief but also
anger at Northern Ireland’s reluctance to
investigate its past.
Among those gathered at the graveside
were relatives of a dozen other people
“disappeared” by the Irish Republican Army
in the 1970s and 1980s. Six bodies remain
missing and, like most of the 3600 victims
of the Troubles, none of the crimes have
“The past has been left behind and the
politicians are quite happy to let it go ...
it ’s hard to take,” Oliver McVeigh, still
searching for the remains of his brother
Columba kidnapped by the IRA in 1975
“It ’s never gonna be dealt with while the
extremist parties are involved.”
Details of the murders emerged after the
1998 peace deal ended three decades of
tit-for-tat killings by mainly Catholic Irish
nationalists, who opposed British rule in
Northern Ireland, and mainly Protestant
pro-British loyalists. The deal ushered in a
The IRA admitted killing 13 of the 16
classified as “disappeared” in the 1970s
and 1980s, mostly Catholics accused of
collaborating with British forces, while the
Irish National Liberation Army admitted
one. No one has taken responsibility for the
other two, or two more who went missing
A deal was brokered to allow details of
grave sites to be disclosed but no evidence
collected for prosecutions.
But in May, Gerry Adams, leader of the
IRA’s political wing Sinn Fein, was arrested
briefly and questioned over the 1972
murder of Jean McConville. Adams denies
any role in her murder.
His arrest shook the power-sharing
government and prompted Sinn Fein
to question police neutrality. Talks were
instigated on a new structure to deal
with the past with a Christmas deadline.
But there is a gulf between the kind of
structure favoured by unionists, who blame
paramilitaries like the IRA for the Troubles,
and nationalists who blame the British
“No one here believes there will be
agreement ” ahead of elections next year,
nationalist commentator Brian Feeney said.
“If there is no agreed process ... this will just
go on suppurating for generations.”
The problems faced by the families of the
disappeared echo those of a land where the
murders of 3000 people, one in 600 of the
population, remain unsolved. From villages
to Belfast housing estates, killers pass
victims’ families on the street.
“ We know who was involved. They are
local people,” Sheila Simons, whose brother
Eugene was taken on January 1, 1981, said.
Her father Walter said he was threatened
when he tried to find his son, whose body
was found, by accident, in a bog in 1984.
The huge backlog of cases, cuts to police
resources and the gradual disappearance of
forensic evidence, including the destruction
of weapons during the peace process, has
convinced him the chances of the crime
being solved “are nil”.
Like many of the families, he sees the
number of veterans of the conflict who are
in power as a barrier to progress.
“The sad thing about it is the architects
of those Troubles ... are now governing us,”
Walter said. “It makes me wonder how we
are ever going to get peace.”
But the priority for most of the families
is securing the return of the bodies, not
“ We just don’t want to think about it,”
Patricia Gearon, whose brother Peter
Wilson, then 21, disappeared in 1973, said.
His body was found on a beach in 2010.
“The trauma they have caused through
the years to the family because they have
disappeared the body is unbelievable,” said
Philomena McKee, whose mother was
hospitalised due to the strain after her
17-year-old son Kevin disappeared in 1972.
We are never going to know the answers.”
Patricia Gearon, left, and her sister Helen McKinley walk to the site where their brother Peter Wilson’s remains were discovered in 2010 at Waterfoot beach in County
Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Scouts are moving with the
times and offering badges
for Google searching, giving
a Powerpoint presentation
and knowing how to use a
As technology advances, the
near-century-old movement is
doing its bit to remain relevant
to its youthful membership;
now judging their ability to tie
a knot and light a fire as well as
the ever-growing use of phones
Scouts NZ regional
development manager Brian
Corney said Scouting was not
turning its back on outdoor
skills but making changes to
keep up with modern times.
“It’s about trying to
incorporate technology but
keep core skills of being a
scout,” he said.
The biggest changes were in
the technology badge which
had been overhauled to reflect
the role of computers in
Cubs needed to demonstrate
regular use of a computer, show
they could use a keyboard and
know how to use programmes
to find information.
Scouts needed to be able to
explain the difference between
software and hardware,
describe different aspects of
computer systems, connect a
printer to a computer, publish
a resume or greeting card and
demonstrate proficiency using
Other badges had been
altered to accommodate
new technology such as
demonstrating Powerpoint for
the presentation badge and
using a GPS for the map-
But Corney said the
introduction of new technology
was not at the expense of tried
and trusted methods.
“The map and compass are
still in the badge as well as
using the GPS,” he said. “ We
take the line you can never
rely on modern technology
working. It’s great you can use
the new technology but good
to have a back up.”
But some outdated skills
such as bookbinding had been
“ Bookbinding has morphed
into a log book. It was
also getting difficult trying
to find someone to teach
Corney said a smartphone
app was being trialled among
some troops to keep track of
badge work and check what
skills were needed for new
badges. “If they were out at the
beach with their parents they
can have a quick scan through
the conser vation badge and see
if they can tick off anything.
The app keeps track of their
It was expected to be
available to scouts nationwide
He said the movement was
enjoying a resurgence, with
15,000 members throughout
New Zealand. — NZ ME
Technology spurs new scout badges
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