-- The Fremont Troll has some new high-powered friends in high places.
Twin 400-watt floodlights were installed last week under the Aurora Bridge to discourage vandalism to the concrete statue.
Since it was built in November, the troll has provoked the ire of homeless people who live under the bridge and late-night revelers who gather there after bars close, neighbors say. They've shattered beer bottles around the troll's beard, tossed colored dust into his hair that took a day to sweep out and chiseled their way into the trunk of a VW Bug that is part of the artwork.
Neighbors and troll supporters complained that the dimly lit underside of the bridge shielded troublemakers and squatters. The floodlights are about 25 times as powerful as a standard 100-watt light bulb.
The $450 floodlights, installed last Tuesday, are being leased by the Fremont Arts Council for $13.94 a month.