Archive for Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Erasing vandalism’s stains

Spray paint at church tests Prosoco Inc. products

Daryl Ortgies, formulations chemist with Lawrence-based Prosoco Inc., applies a solvent that he helped develop to remove graffiti from the west wall of Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 6001 Bob Billings Parkway. Nine Lawrence churches have been damaged by graffiti since last weekend.

Daryl Ortgies, formulations chemist with Lawrence-based Prosoco Inc., applies a solvent that he helped develop to remove graffiti from the west wall of Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 6001 Bob Billings Parkway. Nine Lawrence churches have been damaged by graffiti since last weekend.

August 1, 2007

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Lawrence company cleans graffiti

A Lawrence company puts its' best science to work, removing spray-painted graffiti that deface a church. Prosoco is cleaning four areas that had been tagged at Corpus Christi Catholic Church over the weekend. Enlarge video

Three questions with ... Bruce Boyer, from Prosoco Inc.

Bruce Boyer, from Prosoco Inc., answers questions about what folks can do to protect themselves from graffiti, clean up after graffiti or otherwise deal with graffiti. Enlarge video

They've dissolved fake blood left behind by King Kong atop the World Trade Center and scrubbed away billions of microbial algae, lichens and molds from the porous limestone walls of Allen Fieldhouse.

Tuesday morning, it was the spray-painted graffiti on the back of Corpus Christi Catholic Church that proved to be no match for products from Prosoco Inc., the Lawrence-based company whose products are known nationwide for cleansing brick, masonry and stone.

A team of specialists - a corporate officer, a testing director and a formulations chemist - took on the work for free, using it as a real-life case study for new products designed to remove the painted "tagging" that ranks among the most stubborn of stains.

"It's the newest, most durable paint that's out there," said Bruce Boyer, Prosoco vice president, who was on the scene Tuesday at 6001 Bob Billings Parkway. "It's the big paint manufacturers trying to make the most idiot-proof, durable paint they can, and then the kids get a hold of it, and it's really some of the meanest, nastiest stuff to take off.

"This is a good training field."

Prosoco, which moved from the Kansas City area to the East Hills Business Park in 1999, has 86 employees dedicated to coming up with products strong enough to eliminate growths, stains and other discolorations from a variety of surfaces.

The graffiti at Corpus Christi showed up over the weekend; the church was one of eight that reported being hit with spray-painted vandalism. Another report turned up Tuesday - this one at Lawrence Baptist Temple, 3201 W. 31st St., which had graffiti spray-painted on an exterior wall and on a bus parked on the property.

While less than 5 percent of the solutions and other products Prosoco sells each year are used to clean up after such vandalism, Boyer said, the jobs account for more than 20 percent of the time and money spent on cleansing jobs annually. Last year, privately held Prosoco recorded sales of more than $20 million.

At Corpus Christi, the Prosoco team spent much of Tuesday assessing the problems, treating affected areas and preparing to return today. Initial treatments with a paint stripper - Defacer Eraser Graffiti Wipe - were followed up with a medium-intensity power wash and proved enough to remove all of the spray paint from two metal garage doors at the back of the church.

Two areas of brick proved more difficult to clean. Daryl Ortgies, a formulations chemist, treated those sites with a second product: Enviro Klean Safety Peel 3, a solvent-soaked paste that he painted on the bricks like a facial mud mask.

The solvent is absorbed by the brick, so that it can dissolve atomized paint particles and then evaporate - leaving the mask to be washed away, just like in a salon.

"Same scenario," Boyer said.

Prosoco products have been used to clean a number of prominent landmarks, including the U.S. Capitol, Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building and Carnegie Hall. Soon to be added to the list will be the Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Mass.

Comments

Confrontation 8 years, 1 month ago

With this happening at so many churches, I can't believe that churchgoers don't see it as a sign from God. "Hey, your children are idiots and you're horrible parents." There's the sign.

jmadison 8 years, 1 month ago

Hate crimes alive and well in Lawrence, KS, USA.

KsTwister 8 years, 1 month ago

Offer a reward ---someone will slip up and talk then.

Ceallach 8 years, 1 month ago

Confrontation (Anonymous) says:

With this happening at so many churches, I can't believe that churchgoers don't see it as a sign from God. "Hey, your children are idiots and you're horrible parents." There's the sign.


Talk about hate speech!!!

Confrontation 8 years, 1 month ago

How is that hate speech? Do you like bad parenting and kids who behave like idiots?

Ceallach 8 years, 1 month ago

You know very well how that is hate speech. You would not let such comments about other religions or belief systems go by without challenging them, now would you? Your comments are just "tolerated" because you make them against Christians. The majority of your posts reflect your anger toward Christianity, the Bible and any interpretation of either one (other than your own).

Lonestar1 8 years, 1 month ago

This is no hate crime, it's just plain rude behavior. Once caught, an example should be made of them. Maybe scrubbing sidewalks down town, with a toothbrush for 8 hours a day until the job was done. I agree that a large part of it is on the parenting. If you are taught to respect others, you don't wander the night with a can of spray paint. Some jail time may be good shock therapy.

toefungus 8 years, 1 month ago

Could any of these churches been against the registry?

Sigmund 8 years, 1 month ago

Lonestar1, the FBI disagrees with your assessment. The FBI lists church vandalism as a "hate crime" and believes that Title 18, U.S.C., Section 247, prohibits "intentional defacement, damage, or destruction of any religious real property, because of the religious, racial, or ethnic characteristics of that property." Punishment for such offense starts at one year Federal prison time (Leavenworth not Douglas County jail), a fine, or both. http://miami.fbi.gov/hate.htm http://miami.fbi.gov/statutes/title_18/section247.htm

Those pastors, partitioner's, or local LEO's who wish can contact the local FBI field office using the link. http://kansascity.fbi.gov/contact.htm

Sigmund 8 years, 1 month ago

Sorry max1, the motive is irrelevant all that is needed is for these punks to face and be convicted of a Federal hate crime is that they intended the vandalism. The "Ooops, we just burnt that cross in the black families home or we just painted swastika on the synagogue as a prank" won't relieve them of culpability. If they are caught I strongly suggest they don't hire you as their attorney!

.

Sigmund 8 years, 1 month ago

Max1, while motive may be considered when deciding to charge a hate crime (prosecutorial discretion), it is NOT a requirement of being charged and convicted for a hate crime. Here is a link to the US Department of Justice, while it isn't CNN, it does have some credibility. http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/crim/247fin.htm

Feel free not to believe. In fact, try armed robbery, burning crosses in black families yards, painting swastika's on synagogues, kidnapping, shoplifting, or any other crime you can think of and then tell the judge it was all just a "prank." He or she may find you not guilty by reason of mental defect, but will not find you not guilty by reason of the "prank defense."

Confrontation 8 years, 1 month ago

Ceallach: You're just another Christian with your panties in a wad. If you are such a good Christian, then how can you not believe there's a possibility that this is a sign from your God? Perhaps you are a bad parent, which is why you are so defensive.

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