Brickbat: Like a Candle in the Wind


Alain Lacroix /

Fire officials showed up at the UpperWest wine bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts, telling the owner the restaurant could no longer use candles at tables, citing a city ordinance. The ordinance turned out to be a new paragraph on the fire department's website that had been posted without public comment or notice. "Some person put a sentence on the website," said said UpperWest owner Kim Courtney. "That does not create a law." The city's license commission disagreed, suspending the bar's alcohol license for violating the law.

NEXT: Movie Review: Aquaman

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I have changed the deal,pray I do not change it further.

    1. Is that a meta joke where you are altering the quote and we pray you don’t alter it further?

  2. Yes, Virginia, there really is government overreach . . .

    1. Virginia already knows this, and does its best to screw its residents.

      1. Virginia’s state motto is: “Virginia is for lovers”.

    2. Virginia, being right next to DC, practically invented government overreach.

  3. It would definitely be a tragedy if the license commission caught on fire.

  4. Sue the bastards!

  5. “Some person put a sentence on the website,” said said UpperWest owner Kim Courtney. “That does not create a law.” The city’s license commission disagreed, suspending the bar’s alcohol license for violating the law.

    At least they are getting more transparent about the FYTW. Due process? Notice and comment? Separation of powers? Get outta here with that shit.

    1. If you keep everything out of the courts you can’t be challenged in courts.

  6. Why would voters give the Fire Department authority to suspend alcohol licenses?

    Fire safety has zero to do with drinking alcohol. I guess assessing fines and/or closing a business, for fire hazard violations, is not considered legal.

    1. The licence commission suspended the license. Read harder.

      1. *Based on a fire code violation*

        Read harder.

        For the slower thinkers like Sarcasm… What does a fire department website violation have to do with selling alcohol?

        1. *Based on a fire code violation*

          Who cares what it was based on? The commission suspended the license, not the fire department.

          If someone complains about their neighbor committing a non-crime, and the neighbor is arrested anyway, were they arrested by the person who made the complaint? No. They were arrested by the police. The police could have told the complainer to pound sand, but they didn’t.

          The licence commission suspended the license, not the fire department. They could have told the fire department to pound sand. But they didn’t.

          What does a fire department website violation have to do with selling alcohol?

          Fuck you, that’s what. When people with power face no consequences for overstepping their authority, then they can do whatever they want. Then tell you to fuck off if you don’t like it.

          1. Poor Sarcasmic and his reading comprehension problems.

            He gets schooled and then rants like usual.

            1. What is is about your particular brand of elderly conservative that thinks they can narrate a situation as if it retroactively dictates the facts? My father-in-law did the same thing to his sons while they would still talk to him. It’s an incredibly weak form of argumentation and you seem to do it all the time on here. You’re actively providing ammo to the people who say “for a site called reason”.*

              And what part of your rude response “schooled” anyone? The part where you apparently failed to comprehend the article?

              Police showed up again the following month for the same reason. When both sides could not come to an agreement, the issue went before the Cambridge License Commission.

              Someone(s) in the city is interpreting copy on a fire department website as law and applying it as such. What the fire department has to do with it is, well, it’s their website, and someone from there ostensibly added the text (and, the city argues, thus enshrined it in law). As Sarcasmic tried to explain to you, it is indeed the Cambridge License Commission who suspended UpperWest’s liquor license.

              UpperWest naturally disagrees with this process, as it does seem fairly absurd. Voters in fact did not “give the Fire Department authority to suspend alcohol licenses” (which, by the way, is ridiculous as one cannot delegate an authority they do not already possess).

              * (drink)

        2. *Compliance with law and codes* is why they were suspended – officially. Really, its because they didn’t submit.

          1. But they didnt shut the place down, only suspended the liquor license for 3 days.

            The place could have catered food or BYOB and stayed open without serving alcohol for those 3 days.

            If the candles are a true fire hazard and against the law, then the place remaining open was risking the entire town burning down.

            1. It was a show of bureaucratic force and that is not what those fire codes are for.

            2. If the candles are a true fire hazard there would not be the exceptions.
              A good case could be made that by exempting houses of worship, the establishment clause is violated.
              Maybe the bar should just become a Jedi temple?

              1. There are NOT the candles you are looking for….

  7. A government of laws, not of websites.

  8. And the Cambridge city government is…Democrat.

    1. There’s a reason it’s referred to as the People’s Republic of Cambridge.

  9. What, did cut off the chief of the Fire Department when he had too many and this is his revenge?

  10. So no more candle light dinners for anyone any more, unless they stop serving alcohol? Did I read this right?

    Totally makes sense, never mind the creative website editing to alter and amend regulations.

  11. Sounds like someone needs to hack the fire department’s website and add some creative new rules. “Beginning Tuesday, all men shall wear their underwear on the outside of their pants”.

    Just thinking out loud here. This is neither a solicitation to sell, nor an offer to buy, hacking services. Your mileage may vary.


    1. Not gonna fly; sexist.
      “ALL persons, of any real or perceived sex and/or gender, shall wear underwear outside all other layers of coverings.”
      Note for the purposes of this web sentence, any and all affected entities shall procure and wear said underwear even if they previously did not wear any. Additionally, for the purposes of this web sentence, only items previously in common use as underwear shall qualify to be worn as the outer layer. This web sentence is not to be interpreted to require the newest ‘layer of clothing closest to the skin’ to be redefined as the ‘new underwear’.

  12. Somebody got behind on their payoffs….

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.