KMPH FOX26 Reports on Vandalized Billboard

The local Fox affiliate interviews two individuals from our coalition and another local man about the billboard and its defacement.

Original Article Here

Note: the name "David Boyd" used in the article should have been Mark Boyd.

Controversial Billboard In Fresno Defaced

Posted: May 06, 2011 9:53 PM PDT

The message on a controversial billboard in Fresno didn’t last long before it was defaced. It only took two days for a tagger to scale the billboard on Blackstone Boulevard and alter the message. The tagger also left his signature which the city blanked out.

On Tuesday the billboard originally read, "Don’t believe in God? Join the club." Central Valley Coalition of Reason is behind the billboard. "It’s very easy to feel ostracized in what’s often called the Bible Belt of California. So that’s the primary goal to reach out to like minded folks," said David Costa.

David Boyd, a local leader of non–believers, was astonished to see what the tagger had to do to deface the sign. "The access to the sign is fairly easy but to get to the top of the sign and cover up that don’t required a little bit of acrobatics."

But after closer inspection there is a catwalk near the top, on the opposite sign of the billboard. So the tagger wasn’t that courageous.

Desi Marquez was getting his car repaired at a shop by the billboard. "I believe in God but I don’t believe in vandalism." Marquez is surprised to see the billboard on Blackstone Boulevard. "Especially with what’s going on in the world today. God is something people should believe in. Things like that don’t help."

The monthly bill for the billboard is close to $5,200. Central Valley Coalition of reason bought space for a month and David Costa says it wants its’ moneys worth. "We already contacted CBS the owner of the billboard itself and asked for the billboard to be replaced. Our parent company said it will foot the bill if we have to, and we’ll get the billboard looking brand new again."

Costa believes it’s worth trying one more time. He hopes the community realizes free speech is important for everyone.