Navy to spend $600,000 to mask 'hateful' swastika-shaped barracks
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"The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air," Tony Perry reports in Monday's edition of the LA Times. "The four L-shaped buildings, constructed in the late 1960s, are part of the amphibious base at Coronado and serve as barracks for Seabees."
The article continues, "But once people began looking at satellite images from Google Earth, they started commenting about on blogs and websites about how much the buildings resembled the symbol used by the Nazis."
The shape of the barracks was first noticed and commented upon at a Google Earth Community bulletin board as early as February 2005. As the oddity became more widely known, however, calls arose for the Navy to do something about it. Now the prevailing tone in blog comments is one of scorn for the waste of $600,000 on something that can only be seen from space.
Excerpts from LA Times article:
When contacted by a Missouri-based radio talk-show host last year, Navy officials gave no indication they would make changes. But early this year, the issue was quietly taken up by Morris Casuto, the Anti-Defamation League's regional director in San Diego, and U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego).
As a result, in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, the Navy has budgeted up to $600,000 for changes in walkways, "camouflage" landscaping and rooftop photovoltaic cells.
The goal is to mask the shape. "We don't want to be associated with something as symbolic and hateful as a swastika," said Scott Sutherland, deputy public affairs officer for Navy Region Southwest, the command that is responsible for maintaining buildings on local bases.
FULL LA TIMES ARTICLE CAN BE READ AT THIS LINK
The following video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast on September 26.