Arcata City Council Member Caught Spray Painting PG&E Fence

33834548-c319-418d-beec-2adcb296a9c4Sometimes catching someone doing something above and beyond the call of their job is the best kind of news. On March 15, reader Manuel Fonseca was out walking his dog in the early evening when he discovered Michael Winkler, Arcata City Council Member, removing graffiti from the PG&E substation located in Arcata.

“When I greeted him and asked him what he was doing, he declared he was fulfilling his self assigned counsel duties,” Fonseca said.

Kudos to Michael Winkler for taking care of his community and kudos to Manuel Fonseca for noticing and sharing with us.



  • He needs to put that mask over his nose….

  • I’m all for covering up graffiti as quickly as possible. However, is the property owner okay with that method of removal/cover up?

  • amimissingsomething

    The fence has nothing whatsoever to do with his counsel duties. Whatever he said he was doing he wasn’t on city property he was on private property. He has no duty to either deface or clean up private property. It is the private property owners responsibility. He should be recalled or arrested and should apologize to PGE for what he did. How about 200 hours cleaning graffiti as his punishment. He is a public servant caught doing something illegal and he should be held to a higher standard.

    • I believe that’s why he told the photographer “he was fulfilling his SELF ASSIGNED counsel duties”.

    • Do you really think this guy should be arrested? He was covering up graffiti that dome asshole put on pg&e fence, that they’ll probably never cover up or spend the money to cover. Props to this guy for taking time to do this. Only if all council / government officials were like this.

    • youAREmissingsomething

      You are missing several things: civic pride, love for others, a conscious( a jimminy cricket) , a dislike for ugliness, a dislike for nastiness, a sense of charity, eyes that might have seen that ugly gang stain for weeks, a sense of thrift (how much money would be spent, through the courts and enforcement, to get that gang skid-mark removed, either by pg&e or by the offender), and possibly opposable thumbs.

    • MissingYou Always

      Wow. You sound like you have some ‘issues’ that have little to do with this incident.

    • So you’re saying leave it up go the govt to do everything for you. You are the problem as much as the graffiti artist (if that’s what you call him) get some spunk and help heal not add to the pain of defilement. This nation needs Healers Not takers!

    • U my fine sir are [edit] probly the one who taged it in the first place. Ignorent coment like that pure amazment

    • “council duties” not counsel. He’s not a lawyer giving “counsel.”

  • What a nice guy!!

  • Thanks Michael Winkler for caring! I think I saw him cleaning off graffiti from a fire hydrant a few weeks ago.

  • Taggers are a sign your city is in trouble. The more lowlifes that move into Humboldt the more graffiti and crime Humboldt has. Don’t jail them and pay to feed them, make them work, fine them and wreck their credit if they have any. Or an alternative to being fined give the taggers 365 days of community service cleaning up Humboldt every time they’re busted and you’ll see the blight go away quickly. Humboldt is one of the most beautiful places you could live in the whole U.S. People need to realize what a privilege it is to live in such vast natural beauty. Our fines should reflect that beauty, with the highest fines in the nation for defacing Humboldt’s natural beauty. If you don’t love Humboldt’s beauty you should go back to your dirty city. Taggers are not nice people or frustrated spraypaint artist as so many try to say they are. They’re mostly gang members or wannabe gang members. Taggers are aggressive criminals defacing our city and should be made to pay for their crimes.

    • Just wait until legalization…. hear that sound? It’s all the cash migrating to distant lands.

    • Colette you have no idea what you are talking about. I have known many graffiti writers who are nothing close to being a gang member. To call someone who writes on walls an aggressive criminal seems a little far fetched.

      • sharpen your pencil

        She is far to narrow minded to believe the fact that most of the taggers of humboldt are well off white kids that attend HSU, way easier to blame it on gang members!

        • excuse me, but what would well off white kids be doing at HSU? wouldn’t they be with well off minorities at bigger, better party schools with waving the flag of the 1% with their far larger corporate business majors and cryogenics/robotics program discovering a way to revive Ronald Reagan?

    • They were tagging a fence. Not the natural beauty.

  • At least he cares!come on people.why would you want to lock this man up?let’s lock up criminal’s ie:robbers,rapists,not a man for cleaning up graffiti!

  • Thank you Michael!! Taggers are the lowest form of scum, defacing other’s property. It’s also a sign of extremely low self-esteem.

  • Unless authorized by the owners in this case pg&e he is also vandalizing pivoted property, besides he’s doing a crappie job covering up the graffiti, he’s going over the letters practically just changing the colors of it.
    Arrest this idiot!

  • Since we aren’t arresting the taggers I don’t see any reason why police would arrest an un tagger, despite legal definitions.
    I would suggest a brushed on latex paint for better coverage.

  • He was not cleaning or removing graffiti. He was covering it up with more toxic spray paint, contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer and adding to the waste stream. The can of brown paint is not the same color brown as the fence. It’s the equivalent of sweeping the dirt under the carpet. It’s still there. If someone’s car or house was graffiti’ed and someone sprayed painted over it in a slightly different color, I don’t think she or he would appreciate it. I realize this is just PG&E and not your car or house, but paint and a brush in a close color would be removing it, not lamely poisoning the environment while the graffiti still shows through the weak spray paint. Yes it’s a minor point, but the man is hardly a hero or doing a good job at getting rid of it if that was his intention. Brown paint and a brush, next time, if you’re short a sand blaster. OK, the tagger’s work will be tarnished. But PG&E will still have to take care of it.

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