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Updated at 7:20am — State Takes Aim at Hatch’s Giant Pig

Teako Nunn, co-owner of Sparky's Burgers, Barbeque and Espresso in Hatch, is seeking a variance of a local ordinance to allow him to advertise the restaurant on a giant figerglass pig at an off-site location. Some locals are not fans of the big pink pig, prompting Nunn to produce "Save the Pig" T-shirts. (Rene Romo/Journal)Despite village trustees’ OK of display.

That 12-foot Fiberglas™ pig advertising Sparky’s Burgers, BBQ & Espresso in Hatch got the OK from village officials last week, but now state officials has the giant porker in their sights, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

The pig’s owner, Teako Nunn, thought the matter had been resolved, but on Tuesday he and his wife, Josie, received two letters from the state Department of Transportation informing them that the giant pig and an extra-large hot dog-shaped sign — also owned by the Nunns — were in violation of state law, the Sun-News said.

The state apparently has jurisdiction since the signs are located off N.M. 26, which runs through Hatch, the paper reported.

One of the DOT letters said advertising can’t be attached or placed on “mobile vehicles or trailers” and the pig, which has a “Sparky’s” banner, sits on a trailer, the Sun-News said.

The second letter says the hot dog sign, which sits in front of another of the Nunns’ businesses, Franciscan RV, doesn’t have a permit, according to the paper.

Nunn told the Sun-News he doesn’t believe the signs violate state law and he said he feels he’s being singled out unfairly.

The DOT letter about the pig says the figure must be removed within 30 days or the state will remove it, the paper reported.

Meanwhile, Nunn says he’s not deterred and plans to add another giant advertising figure to his collection in Hatch — a 7 1/2-foot-tall Statue of Liberty.

“That’s kind of appropriate for private enterprise and the land of the free,” Nunn told the Sun-News.


 

7:00am 2/10/10 — Sparky’s Pig Now Legal: Owners of Sparky’s diner in Hatch seeking permission to use 12-foot-tall pink pig as off-site advertising.

Sparky’s diner in Hatch features two former A&W restaurant mascots, chubby people with burgers held aloft, on the roof, plus a Ronald McDonald figure standing out in front near Colonel Sanders, who is sitting on a bench.

But it’s the 12-foot-tall pink pig that has rubbed some locals the wrong way, and prompted diner owner Teako Nunn and his wife Josie to print up “Save the Pig” T-shirts.

Nunn will go before the Hatch Board of Trustees at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday seeking a variance of an ordinance prohibiting off-site advertising so that he can place the pink pig, with Sparky’s advertising painted on its side, at the intersection of N.M. 26 and N.M. 185.

“It’s just good fun,” said Nunn, who moved the pig out of village limits after hearing about complaints. “The figures work, not just for me, but for the whole town.”

Nunn’s figure collection also includes a 30-foot-tall Uncle Sam in front of the Village Hall; a large white rooster fixed to the roof of a ’64 Suburban across the street from Sparky’s; and a giant towering over Nunn’s RV dealership.

Hatch Mayor Judd Nordyke said he considers Teako Nunn’s collection to be folk art more than advertising, and says its draws people to stop and spend money in town.

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