Try some skepticism

You say Medford et al. were charged with destruction of city property for unbolting a bench and moving it 10 feet (“Assault with a deadly beanbag,” Sept. 2). Actually, they also filed down the mount, which seems likely to require a repair. Did they fix it? And even if they did, there is a reason they are bolted down. Most adults understand that.

You have a lot of complaints of irrationality from the London Bridge Pub, but from the public record, it appears that nothing was actually done to it.

You have a bunch of people alleging huge financial losses in a world where people also allege climate change is not real. It would be nice to see their books. Did they show them to you? A smidgen of doubt might be in order in real journalism.

You have the folks from the Pour House complaining about a “weeks long” battle over placement of their cash register. I get that they don’t like what the police think the law is, but they were given plenty of chances (weeks of them) before being threatened with a charge for ignoring police instructions. If they take the charge, they’ll have the chance to go to court. Or they can go to the council and ask for a change in whatever rule applies. There’s a lot of complaining about how millennials are ignored there, but perhaps they were heard there (consider the issue of food trucks) and simply didn’t prevail on this issue.

In framing elsewhere, you also have people pretending public property is private property, and claiming that the free market should rule and these bars should be allowed to do as they please. But it’s not #SaveThePatios, it’s #LetMeHaveThePublicSidewalk (there’s that framing again). And it’s not a “free market” when somebody expropriates public property for the benefit of their private enterprise. In a real free market government, the public infrastructure owner would charge businesses a market-based user fee. And it would be a hell of a lot, if the use of it is as valuable as these guys claim.

Nor is this regulation proof that our regulators are from Mayberry; it would seem that most cities larger than ours have similar, or more burdensome, regulations.It’s completely clear that the new rules are hurting some businesses, and I certainly don’t blame them for complaining. Perhaps they will come up with the books and show these losses. It’s also conceivable to me that the council, in balancing the interest of businesses, patrons and residents in this location, got it wrong. Maybe there were too few complainants.Or maybe, as Councilor Bonner Gaylord suggested, having people spill out of bars twice won’t really address the noise problem, particularly since private patios aren’t regulated. These are localized problems, and the solution for the center of downtown may not be the same as the solution for Hillsborough Street, Five Points or OTB, and the regulations don’t seem to consider that either.

But most of the arguments advanced against these limitations are of really poor quality, and this kind of coverage does not exactly advance the ball.

Neil Riemann, via

Hatchet job

Wow, if you can read through the vitriol of Billy Ball’s article (“The wrath of Kahn,” Sept. 2), it seems like Kahn may have some good ideas. What a hatchet job. Are these guys (Kahn and Ball) spurned lovers? I’ve never seen something like this.

Ben Levitan