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Henkel Update (18 replies)
The California Regional Water Quality Control Board has announced a cleanup plan for the Henkel site.  This cleanup is for the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) pollution.  We as neighbors to the site have been contacted directly and we have complied with our concerns and requests in writing.
Third Street
Posted – 04/15/06 9:51am by Lynn R Slater, updated or replied 04/15/06 2:06pm

Hi Rose, What does this cleanup entail? What is the potential impact on the immediate neighborhood? What are the concerns and requests you mentioned? This is very interesting in light of the interest in the building's appearance. Do you have a sense that there will be some cosmetic improvements as well? When does the work begin? Thank you, Cathy Lyn
Posted – 04/15/06 9:52am by Lynn R Slater

If our current contact at Henkel refuses to budge, then perhaps it's time to reach Henkel's Board of Directors and the company stockholders. Confronting Henkel on their home turf  might be more effective than dealing with them long distance. Documentation of previous correspondence should be in place. A plan of action should be created.  Some ideas are: a petition presented to Henkel's board, a Niles delegation visiting Henkel's headquarters, a picket and demonstration at their headquarters, press releases to their local media, and so on. Niles has lived with this blight too long. Cathy Lyn on Washburn
Posted – 04/15/06 9:52am by Lynn R Slater

What may get through to them is the relief of the
burden on constantly having to paint over the grafitti
that gets sprayed there. 
I can think of only once incident, and it was very
recent, where anyone has defaced the two existing
murals, and that was quickly repaired.

Hhmmmm, wide open grafitti strewn walls or bright,
colorful, appealing murals.....

Put together a series of photographs before you go,
several repaints of the henckle if you can and nice
pics of the mural walls.

Don and I were recently in Gallup and Alburqurque NM
and the murals there would take your breath away. I
took some pictures, you're welcome to use those to
show how murals are used to attract tourism and reduce blight.
Posted – 04/15/06 9:52am by Lynn R Slater

My concern regarding a mural or murals on the Henckel building would be graffiti.  How would we protect the paintings from the inevitable?  Any ideas?  Graffiti at that site is ongoing.  I don't think they'd care about defacing someone's art.

vickie on 2nd
Posted – 04/15/06 9:52am by Lynn R Slater

There is a 2-part solution on the market that supposedly creates a 
washable surface. I would be willing to buy some and test it on 
sample artwork done in various media. Any other ideas? Is it best 
just to stick with some nice solid paint colors on the window boards 
that can be continually touched up? Cathy Lyn on Washburn Dr.
Posted – 04/15/06 9:53am by Lynn R Slater

I really liked the idea that was presented in years
past of a film reel winding its way down the building,
or of train car windows (which in their simplest sense
could be done like silhouettes, and could always be
dressed up later).

Make sure that any proposal to henkle includes the
improvements already amde to the area including the
city's addition of lighted gateway signage.

Posted – 04/15/06 9:53am by Lynn R Slater

A mural featuring a film reel or train cars would be spectacular. 
Since Niles is a virtual artists' colony, I can't imagine any problem 
getting some wonderful artwork for the facade fix-up, but how to 
preserve and protect it? Because of its location, the Henkel building 
facade is likely the most vulnerable site in Niles for graffiti and 
vandalism. It's isolated and unsecured. Whatever is done to the 
Henket building facade must incorporate a practical plan for handling 
graffiti. The only way to deal with graffiti is to paint over it or 
remove it immediately, thus discouraging the "taggers." (I dealt with 
this problem in my Boston neighborhood for years). On that subject, 
who is currently painting over the graffiti on the Henkel building? 
Will you raise your hand please? Thank you. Cathy Lyn
Posted – 04/15/06 9:53am by Lynn R Slater

I feel the same way and have similar concern.
Less then a week after the last shop closed at the corner of niles/rock the building, walls, doors, etc.. are all marked up with graffiti. Just a block away from the Henkel bld on niles is a lot of graffiti on the 2nd floor of the brick building. Unless this area was kept clean, well lit and maintained i am affraid the first thing people see when comming into Niles is a buch of graffiti of 'niles boys' or whatever else those idiots decide to write on public space.I would love to see something done with the space, it is such a perfect canvas to welcome people to the area.

As a side note what is the most sucesfull way to report and get graffiti taken care of? I was looking at the graffiti hotline and was going to report some and also looked into joining the volounteer group.

John @ The Trees
Posted – 04/15/06 9:54am by Lynn R Slater

You know we did have some fun back in those days, pushing harmless buttons, What did they used to call it? I think "Publicity Stunt" was the phrase....
Oh man, No, I will not tell that story right now, But the real point is, a town, or a business in a town, does have the potential to be a place where people feel a sense of ownership and freedom of expression, a place where their presence and patronage is a meaningful action.
When an owner builds a good frame, that people look and feel good in, then something subtle happens, Ownership is shared, including pride and responsibility.
It's a two way exchange, business owners have tremedous responsibility and power to facilitate, but so do customers have their parts to play. And here's the part I was slow in learning, but eventually could not escape:
In a very important sense, I didn't actually own my little business, my customers did!
"The place has a life of it's own" is no empty phrase....
 Almost as soon as we opened the doors we were forced to surrender a large measure of control to the people who brought us the money to pay our bills.....What a concept!   Their requests, ideas, and suggestions, and of course, purchases, formed the guidance of our success. 
The embryonic chalk art "festival" was just a small manifestation of that irrepressible spirit in our customer base...People love to be part of something fun, something which is 'happening'. And.... they love to feel their own power in making it possible, supporting it, keeping it there..... That was our real secret in those early days...
Without those people, and their natural enthusiasm, and contributions, we would have never stood a chance!
Posted – 04/15/06 9:54am by Lynn R Slater

Henkel Heckle
 Dear Judy, Dirk, Debi, Rose, et al - Thank you for your thoughtful and creative responses to my posting regarding the need to improve the Henkel building facade at the Mission/Niles Blvd. entrance to our town. Regarding Henkel's previous refusal to paint the facade or allow a mural, sometimes it is a good idea for an idea to get cold. Decision-makers come and go, perspectives change. Therefore, approaching Henkel again is certainly worthwhile. 

If the soft touch doesn't work, perhaps the citizens of Niles can mount a full-blown campaign to get something done - bring media attention to the fact that Henkel's position is a major barrier to a fully restored and rejuvenated Niles. I can see it in the Argus and Merc, "Niles Artists Up Against a Wall."  Cathy Lyn Harrison, Washburn Dr.
Posted – 04/15/06 2:02pm by Lynn R Slater

Henkel Update
Hmmm....I wonder what would happen if a mural or some such suddenly just appeared? would someone really make the effort to paint over it.
Mark DuBois
Duarte Ave
Posted – 04/15/06 2:03pm by Lynn R Slater

Again, we can go to the stockholders. I will find out if they are publicly traded or privately held. Cathy Lyn on Washburn
Posted – 04/15/06 2:03pm by Lynn R Slater

What exactly is Henkel? (this reminds me of the Erin Brokovich movie)...
Also, in regards to those 2 names Leonard and Doug....  I won't say which one but one of those guys was in charge of the house that I currently live in. It is a rental. He came buy and took several pictures of the leaks in the roof, the mold in the bathroom and in the kids room, stairs and plumbing that were not up to code and a bunch of other misc items. He sent the owner a notice to comply and she had to attend a hearing of some sort. To this day, 11 months later not one repair has been done. The leaks continue to get worse and many more are popping up. I called him up in early January when the rains came down hard and soaked (I mean soaked to the point the bumper was ruined) in my infant sons crib,   dripped puddles on the dresser, soaked my lamp on the bedside table and dripped right into the middle of my bed. To this day he has not returned any of my phone calls and the landlord has not made a single repair. Yet, I continue to pay my rent.      So... good luck...... with those guys.
Niles Blvd
Posted – 04/15/06 2:03pm by Lynn R Slater

For anyone who wants to contact these folks.

Henkel Corporation

2200 Renaissance Blvd.,

Ste. 200

Gulph Mills, PA 19406 (Map)

Phone: 610-270-8100
Fax: 610-270-8104

The US subsidiary of German giant Henkel KGaA, Henkel Corporation helps consumers stick to it. It sold off its chemical businesses (Cognis and Henkel-Ecolab) and is concentrating on its four business sectors: laundry and home care, personal care, consumer and craftsmen adhesives, and Henkel Technologies. Henkel KGaA deepened its product mix with its purchase of The Dial Corporation in 2004. Henkel also manufactures and markets industrial and engineering adhesives and surface technologies. The founding Henkel family controls the firm. It bought into chemicals again, though, with a $575 million purchase of Sovereign Specialty Chemicals.

Posted – 04/15/06 2:04pm by Lynn R Slater

I agree,  The Graffiti Hotline # is 494-4897. We need to get rid of all this graffiti first.  For example just look at our new train bridge ( on Mission Blvd.) and what they did to it. Just look under the bridge on the sides  So I don't think that painting the Henkel building is the right thing to do right now.
Posted – 04/15/06 2:05pm by Lynn R Slater

just an FYI - the train bridge is UP property, not the city.  They aren't
very fast when it comes to dealing with graffiti

Beth B
Posted – 04/15/06 2:05pm by Lynn R Slater

I think thats all the more reason that additional
murals should be explored and created- less space to
place grafitti, higher community consciousness of the
I think we know these are young ppl at work- so lets
spread the word that their talents would be more
appreciated in a long term artistic venue than the
common and vulgar tagging.  Look how long those J
street murals have stood without being bothered?
Everyone loves them.  if you have teens and young
adults working on them, the message will be out very
quickly and they are likely to be left alone.

I'd rather look at a gorgeous mural scene than the
newest paint of the day color spread over the latest grafitti.
Posted – 04/15/06 2:06pm by Lynn R Slater

I agree.  With murals, we have beautification every day they are there.
How many days of beautification versus how many days of graffiti issues to address?
I think the days of beautification will far outweigh the days we may need to address graffiti, if history of the J Street murals is any indication.
And besides, what is the harm in trying?  Thank you all those in the community who are participating in this grassroots project to make our little town more welcoming and beautiful.
Just my 2 cents.
Posted – 04/15/06 2:06pm by Lynn R Slater

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