A Living in Lynn post, a Licensing Board meeting and today’s Salem News tell the story:
Let’s start with the most recent, today’s Salem News story, announcing 2am closings for New Year’s. The link will open in a new window.
You’ve read it? Good. Here’s my response, posted December 14th, to Lynn’s last Licensing Board hearing in which 2am closings for New Year’s were denied, followed by a link to a video on LynnHappens. Before you read it, though, I’d like to point out that I’m aware the Licensing Board only meets once a month, yet there was still plenty of time to convene another meeting if they were urged to reconsider by either the Mayor’s Office or City Councilors. It’s my understanding that not all of them were aware this issue was on the board’s agenda. While I can only imagine that politically, it would not be easy, they would have some strong allies. Even the Item ran an editorial in favor of a special extension on December 15th titled, “Request to push New Year’s closing time reasonable.” (The Item’s op/ed page is not linkable online. It’s behind a pay wall.)
From Living in Lynn, here’s a complete re-post, so there’s no need to follow the link:
No Fun: “Say your New Year’s toast and get out before they shut me down!” (edited title to make the LH version safer for work)
Tuesday was meeting day. I went from covering a Licensing Board meeting where every excuse was used to prevent bar owners from staying open just an hour later on New Year’s, to meeting with the local and mbta police on some Munroe Street incidents, where I mentioned we could have a positive impact on our safety if we were out in the streets at night.
In DTL, we walk to and from bars and restaurants. In DTL, we’re trying to build an arts scene. I’ve never known an active art scene that didn’t put on shows or party until who-knows-when. And I don’t think most DTL residents came here just for early morning craft fairs. In fact, many of us, including myself, find ourselves in other cities and states attending art events, shows, etc. because of the extended hours of not just bars – but of the art/music venues and food establishments. Elsewhere, we can be out late eating something better than fast food (I can’t even eat fast food and don’t eat meat so Lynn’s late night food options are useless to me).
The rollback actually hurts our efforts to build a neighborhood. The recent traffic incidents on Munroe? They happened at hours that had nothing to do with the closing of bars. The thefts in the garage? They had nothing to do with the closing of bars. Getting people out there more hours, will do a lot to prevent crime, however.
Yet the Licensing Board, which is heavily swayed by police opinion, instead of looking for solutions with bar owners to both keep the public safe and hold onto businesses, only puts up roadblocks and excuses.
They didn’t like O’Brien’s proposal because they said it allowed for all bars to stay open an extra hour on New Years, but they said they trusted his establishment. Fine. The City Council approves things with amendments all the time. Why couldn’t the Licensing Board have amended, and then voted on an amended version allowing for a select number of bars passing a criteria of no trouble in X amount of days to stay open the extra hour?? Somerville has handed out provisional 2am licenses after being a 1am city, and you can’t argue with what’s happened there.
It’s because the answer was going to be ‘No’ anyway.
Lastly, here’s a link to the full video of the Licensing Board meeting held on December 13th. LynnHappens has decided since it has a night life calendar, it should expand video coverage to these meetings as a further service to its readers.
One last thing – Danvers grants a New Year’s 2am extension. Are we going to allow ourselves to close earlier than Danvers? C’mon Lynn, this is embarrassing!
Stay tuned for the New Year’s weekend rundown later this week, and if we don’t see you before then, have a happy New Year’s no matter when you call it a night and be safe!