Friday Five: Billboards, Skateboards, and the Occasional Kitten

Friday, May 4, 2012 —

One of Growing in Grace International’s billboards in Ontario, Canada.
(Aaron Lynett / National Post)

International Religious Sect Erects Apocalyptic Billboards The end is nigh — or perhaps just a very different sort of beginning. Members of the international religious sect known as Growing in Grace prophecize that come June 30, their Armageddon will arrive — and they want the world to know. Followers of Jose Luis De Jesus, the leader of the organization, believe that they will be granted superpowers in this new era, as currency fails and governments fall. Their symbol of faith, the number 666, is a means to spread their message. Growing in Grace posted numerous billboards in the Ontario area, with plans to expand its informative campaign throughout other regions of the US and Europe where sect members gather. The billboards, which read “666: Number of Wisdom” feature a photograph of Jose Luis De Jesus saluting passersby. Despite the onslaught of media surrounding Jesus’s prediction, critics of religious sects claim the organization’s setting of a deadline is indicative of its imminent demise (and not the sort of demise they’re planning on).

Krakel should have petitioned Peoria to post cat crossing signs like this one instead.

Feline Fatality Prompts Traffic Sign Swap A Peoria, Illinois man was arrested last week after he was discovered attempting to switch traffic signs between two intersections. Anthony Krakel, 37, told authorities that his cat was killed in the street earlier that day. He was rearranging the signs in hopes that swapping yield signs for stop signs would prevent further reckless driving. Krakel was booked on a charge of reckless conduct. A street crew returned later in the day to return the signs to their original locations.

A welder works on an electronic billboard in La Crosse.

Digital Signs: The Controversy Continues In La Crosse, Wisconsin, the city’s Judiciary and Administration Committee has recommended that the moratorium on digital signs be extended another ninety days. City officials have expressed the need for more time to review and revise regulations that can help to address the safety of citizens in the community. Some members of the council have criticized an extension, claiming that such a move is just an example of councilmen dragging their feet through the process, since their personal agendas are against digital signs. However, La Crosse’s neighbors to the far West have a different take on the role of digital signage in their town. Diamond Bar, California, has implemented sixteen LED illuminated street signs throughout the city, using money from Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant federal stimulus funds. The lights have been placed at several busy intersections, and are seen as a step in the right direction for the southern California suburb.


Four-way stop signs provide a cheaper alternative to traffic lights.

Installation of Four-Way Stop Sign Deferred for Two Weeks Another Wisconsin town has been debating over sign installation as well. In Kenosha, councilmen proposed that the city install a four-way stop sign at the intersection of 39th Avenue and 18th Street. At their most recent meeting, members voted to defer the final decision for another two weeks, although the assistant city engineer was fully in support of the plan. Clement Abomgwa noted that the city had received complaints from residents that speeding at the intersection was becoming an issue. Fast drivers may be a problem, but judging from recent news, fast decisions do not seem to be a concern for residents of the Badger State.

Skateboarders in San Pedro, California would be targeted in a new ruling by the LA City Council.

LA Council Seeks Speed Limit for Skateboarders The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to set a speed limit for skateboarders in the county. Councilman Joe Buscaino, who sponsors the proposal, suggested that the local government establish a system that would penalize skateboarders for downhill “bombing,” riding boards at high speeds while weaving in and out of traffic. Buscaino and fellow councilmen agreed that new legislation would give police the power to confiscate skateboards after speeding citations, so that the parents of the young demographic are involved in enforcing safety rules. Some avid skaters have opposed the upcoming ruling, including Mike Horelick, the owner of a Santa Monica board shop. Horelick says it’s unreasonable to expect riders to know how fast they’re going at all times, especially since bicycles are not given the same restrictions. Do you think skateboarders should be subject to traffic laws? Let us know in the comments section!

– R. Sapon-White