Letters to the Editor: Nov. 28

Does Cranbrook have an issue with illegal "scratchers?"

‘Scratchers’

My name is Fuji (in the tattoo world). I am an apprenticed tattooer that works in a licensed shop in Calgary. I moved to Cranbrook two years ago and I purchased a home that was zoned commercial with the intention of opening half of it as a licensed tattoo and piercing facility.

After only months of living in Cranbrook I realized your town has a super serious issue with what we like to call “scratchers” who work out of their basements and kitchens with no responsibilities and or restrictions due to their ignorance to the laws and health boards, even if they claim to work in their so called sterile environments (my last count was 25).

My question is this. I myself have moved on to Calgary due to not having enough clientele to survive as have others I know. I still live and own in Cranbrook so I commute to work five days a week but others, like Conner, Pin Up, and the other few legit tattoo shops around town still have to pay their bills, pay the city, honor the codes, jump through hoops and believe it or not feed themselves in the process.

To many, you see tattooing as an easy trade, a quick way out or just simple and fun, not really a job, I know this because many people I know have what they call “real” jobs. For a week I’d like to see you step into our shoes.

My point is this trade is absolutely the most challenging trade I have been involved in. Yes, I carry two red seals amongst my years of experience. My question is, when is Cranbrook going to have enough respect for its struggling legitimate small business owners and operators that it will enforce the laws in place that are at their disposal to clean up the illegitimate scratcher tattoo facilities around town and create both more work for the licensed people and make room for those colleagues of mine to hire and grow ?

Step up Cranbrook your state of blissful ignorance is a complete insult .

Fuji, Under The Gun Ink/Calgary and Cranbrook resident