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July 21, 2004

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Swastikas carved into picnic tables Swastikas carved into picnic tables (July 21, 2004)

Vandals have carved swastikas into the picnic tables at Greenmeadow Park in south Palo Alto. The Nazi symbols, which were discovered Friday morning, were lightly carved into five of the six picnic tables in the privately-owned community center and park.

"The same thing happened last summer," said Lannie Wheeler, president of the Greenmeadow Community Association. No one was ever arrested for that act of vandalism.

Wheeler said that parents in the neighborhood talked to their teen and pre-teen children after last year's incident and found many of them didn't know the historical significance of a swastika. But without an arrest, there is no way of knowing if the carving is youthful vandalism or something more sinister.

Last year, the vandalized tables and benches were sanded down to remove the offensive symbols, which the neighborhood association will now do again. -- Don Kazak

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