EVERETT — More than a dozen people watched a train rattle along a freshly painted stretch of the Hewitt underpass Saturday afternoon.
Just a few rainy hours earlier, the clean, white wall was covered in graffiti.
About 70 volunteers and county officials cleaned and painted several sections of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway northwest of the Everett Station during a paint-out session Saturday.
“It’s very inspiring to see people from the community who want to make a difference,” Sound Transit program manager Martin Young said.
Young said they did a good thing for people traveling in the passenger trains. “Now they can look out the window and feel refreshed. They can have a good view of Everett as a welcoming place.”
The event was organized by the county and other sponsors to encourage people to fight graffiti in their neighborhoods.
For members of a Snohomish Boy Scout troop, it was time well spent.
“As far as community service goes, this is pretty rewarding. You can see the work that you do,” Scout Matthew Harper said.
Troop leader Greg Bellows said the Scouts participated in the cleanup last year and decided to come back.
Last year, the paint-out team went out to clean a section of Interurban Trail south of Everett, armed with nearly 100 gallons of paint, Snohomish County executive’s office spokesperson Christopher Schwarzen said.
He said county officials want to make a statement that tagging won’t be tolerated.
And they proved that they mean it, too: Within a week after last year’s cleanup, someone tagged the area cleaned by volunteers. Schwarzen said the crews came back to paint it over. But the area was tagged again.
Eventually, the taggers gave up after a couple of weeks of graffiti battle. “We were tenacious,” Schwarzen said.
The authorities are prepared to do the same this year, executive’s office administrator Brian Parry said.
Still, he said painting was only one part of the job. The other part was collecting more than a dozen hypodermic needles and other trash that filled 40 bags.
Parry said County Executive Aaron Reardon, Sheriff John Lovick and county councilman Brian Sullivan were out in the field together with volunteers.
Reporter Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452 or email@example.com.
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