Made the FRONT PAGE!!!

*Pictures are at the end of the post!*

I recently made the front page of both the Union Democrat and Calaveras Enterprise newspapers who each used photos I took of the Camp 9 Road bridge. The bridge was painted with bright neon letters spelling out “BLACK LIVES MATTER”. I stumbled across the letters on June 9th while I was going for a drive. Thankfully I had my drone with me, so I took a ton of aerial shots of the bridge, two of which the newspapers used for their articles.

Once the public found out about it, there was quite a bit of public comment, both negative and positive. Some comments even claimed the images were fake and in one case, someone claimed they saw an article where the “photographer” even made statements that he photoshopped the images to make a point. Obviously this was untrue, and when asked for the article to be provided, I never received a reply back. When interviewed by both papers I tried to keep my comments as noncontroversial as possible, given my profession, and even though I didn’t mention it to reporters, I really wanted to document the message before it was ruined. I figure that whoever painted the bridge would have wanted as many people to see it as possible before it got covered up or altered.

And guess what? Both papers are now reporting that someone did in fact go down there and tried to convert the message into “ALL LIVES MATTER”. Admittedly, they did a horrible job. In viewing new images of the bridge, it seems like someone tried to do various burnouts across the original message as well.

While the owners of the bridge, PG&E, initially said they were not going to paint over the first message, now that there has been more vandalism, they are planning on removing all of the paint on the bridge.

Kudos to PG&E for allowing the message to stay up as long as it did. I’m also *secretly* happy that they are making a stand against the counter-vandalism that has popped up since it was reported.

Anyways, here are the news links of the whole thing. I am going to try to list these in chronological order from when the story broke to the present.

UNION DEMOCRAT ARTICLES:

“Black Lives Matter” painted on Camp 9 Road bridge near Yea Hoo Gulch

Black Lives Matter!” paint on Camp Nine bridge defaced

PG&E decides to remove all paint from Camp Nine bridge

CALAVERAS ENTERPRISE ARTICLES:

Aerial images show ‘Black Lives Matter’ graffiti on Camp Nine Bridge

PG&E vows to clean Camp Nine Bridge after BLM graffiti defaced to read ‘All Lives Matter!’

Another independent reporter from Sacramento also reached out to me and interviewed me for another article, but it has yet to be published.

I always love it when I get on the front page, and I feel like the original message was definitely newsworthy.

Thanks for reading this!

-Aaron

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