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Store graffiti vandalisms begin day of vote on
By: Roger Bianchini

Jane Elliot points to Faithful and True windows yelling, “Your photos did this,” to one media photographer at scene.
Earlier in the day a second vote to repeal Town of Front Royal Code 110-17 banning gypsies or others from “pretending to tell fortunes” or “practice other magic arts” was scheduled, two incidents of graffiti vandalism were discovered at downtown retail outlets either directly or indirectly involved in the “magic arts” dispute.
Targeted with spray-painted messages that included “All You Need is Love”, “We Love You” and “Jesus Loves Everyone” were Faithful and True: Catholic Books & Gifts and The Brooklyn Store. The stores are located about a half block from each other on East Main Street in Front Royal’s historic downtown business district.
Faithful and True window
The Brooklyn Store was the retail shop in which a self-described Pagan Priestess, Maya White Sparks, had a tarot card reading table set up for one day this spring. Window signs advertising Spark’s tarot reading inside attracted the attention of a small group of citizens who complained to store owner Arlene Ballou about the presence of a tarot reader in her shop. Ballou told us she then asked Sparks not to return so as to avoid a protracted fight with what in the past had shown itself to be a very visible and vocal advocacy element of the local community.
Sandra O’Gorman, owner of Faithful and True, was one of six people to write May 26 letters to the town council in support of an ancient and long-unenforced town code prohibiting the practice of fortune telling and other “magic arts” by gypsies and other groups. She then appeared at the May 27 council meeting with a group of about 10 people appearing to be from the local Catholic community supporting three speakers echoing the six letters calling for enforcement or strengthening of town Code Section 110-17. O’Gorman then appeared as one of 12 speakers in support of the code at the Aug. 11 council public hearing on repeal of the code at which as many as 50 supporters of the code were present. A Catholic priest led that group of 110-17 supporters in prayer, in the rain outside the government center prior to the meeting.
Brooklyn Store owner Arlene Ballou addresses media outside her store after incidents
During that Aug. 11 appearance, O’Gorman identified herself as owner of the Faithful and True store and surmised whether a question posed in local media coverage of the evolving controversy about her participation had contributed to an alleged rise in shoplifting within her store. She threatened to sue to recover the expense of new security measures she planned to install to fight the alleged crime wave in her store.
The afternoon of the incidents we asked both store owners for reactions to the vandalisms of their store windows.
“While it is not a bad message, the delivery was a little wrong – vandalism is vandalism,” Brooklyn Store owner Ballou said. “Whatever the intent was I’m afraid this will just fuel the fire of an escalating situation.”
Faithful and True owner O’Gorman said, “I’ll be speaking tonight at the council meeting – you’ll have to get it there.”
Uh oh, we’ve already been blamed for shoplifting in her store I can just imagine how this is going to go. – That part went as expected, but after hearing 27 speakers, 16-11 for repeal of the code and a highly vocal majority of supporters for that repeal, the Front Royal Town Council voted 4-2 (Sayre and Funk dissenting) on its second reading, thus finally repealing the code that may date back as far as the 1920s.
Brooklyn Store window


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Store graffiti vandalisms begin day of vote on
By: Roger Bianchini
   
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