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Agencies Gang Up on L.A. River "MTA" Tag

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, October 08, 2009, at 11:21PM
MTA White Out Ed Fuentes

Councilmembers Jose Huizar and Ed Reyes take on the tagged Los Angeles River.

|VIDEO| At 2,000 feet long by 60 feet tall, the MTA tag near the 4th street bridge was said to be one of the largest graffiti tags in the United States.

On Thursday it proved plenty large enough for a press conference that included the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, a pair of City Councilmembers and the L.A. Sheriff's department.

Contractors hired by the Corp of Engineers began removing the giant tag, with funding provided under the federal stimulus package. Councilmen Jose Huizar and Ed Reyes got to take the first strokes. Both have been active in efforts to revitalize the Los Angeles River.

The event included praise for the Sheriff's Graffiti Task Force, who in January arrested eight individuals suspected of creating the tag, an acronym for "Metro Transit Assassins."

While the current paint-out is a budget affair, Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Koontz said it would cost $3.7 million to properly clean away the tag without allowing any paint to drain into the river.

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