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Stuck on Highland Park: Sidewalk gum leaves its mark on Figueroa despite clean up

Courtesy Amy Inouye

By LUCY GUANUNA

HIGHLAND PARK — Fed up with the sight of dried gum that dots the sidewalks of Figueroa Street, a group of about a dozen volunteers came together on a recent Saturday morning for a “Gum Clean Up.” But after two hours of scraping and cleaning, the results were a “little disappointing,” said the organizer.

The volunteers were armed with metal scrapers, brushes, knee pads and all sorts of cleaning liquids and powers.  They made slow but steady progress,  taking two hours to de-gum about 15 feet of sidewalk, said designer Amy Inouye, who organized the cleanup outside her Figueroa Street studio and gallery.

The group was able to pull up the old wads of gum. But now they’re left with another problem: gray stains left behind by the gum.

“It’s better, but not great. Considering the 20 plus man and woman hours, it’s a little disappointing,” said Inouye who said they are looking into steam cleaning to remove the stains.

But it looks like the “Gum Clean Up” could be the start of a larger community-led cleanup of Figueroa.

“We had a nice time visiting and tossing around other ideas for cleaning the sidewalks, and neighborhood and we all thought it was a successful event,” said Inouye.

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Courtesy Amy Inouye

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