presumption and predictive sample sizes
see, the identities of the urinators don't match up with any of those demographics presumed by the folks who aren't down here at all, or the excuses mouthed by the license commission. (what do you know, or, maybe, don't know, but can't give credit to those of us who are actually out at these bars meeting the miscreants in person so as to know a bit about their backgrounds). in fact, they correspond perfectly with the characterizations offered by the superintendent of police at every downtown neighborhood, city council and license commission meeting i've attended. and they match exactly what i see myself when i'm out and about. we don't have a problem with college kids downtown. we do have a problem with homeless drug addicts committing petty crime and thefts and worse, but not particularly during the bar hours, but, rather, other times during the day. and the gang stuff, bad as it is, is happening out in the other neighborhoods, and generally not downtown where all the police are on weekends these days. but you don't have to take my word for it, you can start reading the police blotter, or getting out yourself.
anyway, the five cited are 33 and 34 year old residents of the upper and upper upper highlands, a 20 year old rochester new hampshire townie, a 24 year old littleton, ma townie, and a 26 year old dracut townie. i guess it's possible the 20 year old rochester boy matriculated somewhere nearby, but i'm gonna bet you he didn't. i wouldn't guess any of them are drug addicted, homeless, or members of a gang, either. nope, i'd predict for you that the five are, as most of the folks doing wrong downtown here, drunks from anywhere but here getting overserved at either hookslide kelly's, brian's ivy hall, the village smokehouse, or the bar that shall not be named lest i be accused of bias. in fact, i'll even retract that last bit completely, and exonerate our favorite downtown bar, and suggest that the locations of the five exposed penises and four urine streams would mostly likely indict four counts between hookslides and brians, and one for the smokehouse. (though i will observe for you the urine stains on the walkways aside of the leo roy garage and suggest that not everyone relieving themselves in public over the weekend was caught by the police, nor from just those three bars mentioned above).
good news, i guess, is that i didn't see any puke on the sidewalk this weekend. there were no broken windows or broken flower pots (that i know of) and the fetish kids were their own completely benign selves as they always are at the 'rock. melvern taylor and his fabulous meltones were fabulous, as they always are, over at the back page, which was standing room only on saturday night (and i'm glad to report in apparent full compliance with all fire codes given the quick and professional arrival and departure of three impeccably uniformed members of the department with their clipboard on one of their routine unannounced checks) and doing its usual land-office and downtown-detractor-denying business. (why is it so hard for some people to accept the fact that some folks actually like a decent place to see music downtown, in addition to all the rest of the choices on a saturday night, or any night for that matter?)
the superintendent of police and his captains and their men and women on the street with them have the stats from their arrests and their own two eyes each to tell the license commission and the city council where the problems are, who the problems are, and when the problems are. the downtown residents who are out on the street and in the bars see it too. now we just need the license commission to understand that nobody wants to put the bars out of business--just put the rules back into force, and make this the kind of place that *more* people want to patronize rather than less. it's good for the bar owners! it's good for the neighborhood! it's good for the city! and the residents here don't mind at all if they do.
it's the puke and the piss and the vandalism and the violence that have to go, and the bar practices that lead to it all via lax alcohol management and general irresponsibility. when there's something worth doing downtown, people like me and even people not like me are catching a few beers in the afternoon, (guinness upstairs at the old court at the book event), eating dinner at a downtown restaurant, (viet-thai rocks, though others i know went for the chili at the brush art gallery soiree), and then heading out for an evening on the town. i dropped my usual pile of payday cash happily on the counter at all of these places, getting value for my money and treated well in a safe and respectful environment. the whole thing cost me a fraction of what i'd have to pay for any one of the three alone in other nearby cities, and that's a wonderful thing. i don't want that to change.
it's just a bit less of the puke and the piss and the vandalism and the violence from overserved drunks with which we could do. it's not asking alot.