'Tis the season for peace and good will -- not vandalism.
One Soldotna business owner was not so joyous when she arrived at her store Thursday to find a large wooden cross obstructing her sign.
Rondell Gonzalez, 45, owner of Pye' Wackets, a metaphysical store on the Kenai Spur Highway, said she reported the incident to authorities.
"I drove in my parking lot this morning to find an almost 6 and a half foot to 7 foot cross attached to my business sign," she said. Vandals had used plastic food wrap to secure the cross to her sign's support post.
As a practicing pagan and spiritual individual, Gonzalez said the act of vandalism goes completely against her belief system.
"I believe in spiritualism. I don't believe in organized religion," she said. "My father fought and died in Vietnam for religious freedoms and personal freedoms. This is freaking ridiculous."
Pye' Wackets specializes in wellness and self-help books, candles, oils, crystals, as well as other spiritual tools and instruction to help people understand how to use them, Gonzalez said.
"We offer all kinds of things, healing, readings, classes, workshops, seminars," she said.
Soldotna Police Sgt. Duane Kant said a case number has been drawn against the incident because of Gonzalez's report.
"It was just a physical cross. It wasn't like someone scratched it in the door or painted it in the door or something permanent," he said. "It doesn't appear to be anything more than that."
Gonzalez took down and disposed of the cross herself, he said.
According to Kant, this is the first time vandalism of the religious nature has occurred in Soldotna.
If there's something someone doesn't agree with there are more appropriate avenues than tampering with another's property, he said.
Gonzalez said she has nothing to say to the people that hung the cross on her business.
"I just think it's pathetic there are still so many small-minded people and it's someone that probably has never stepped into my store," she said.
"It's like somebody going to deface any of the churches around here," Gonzalez added. "Surprisingly enough it wasn't on fire. Is this burning times again?"
Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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