To the editor:
Regarding the Local Historic District dispute, I have two comments. I am used to the standard argument denouncing its implementation, against which no rebuttal seems to work, that an LHD is yet another intrusion of the government into our lives. Honest to goodness, this sort of screed has been around since the time of Pontius Pilate. Get over it. What I have more difficulty with is the constant repetition by opponents of the usual canards as though they were facts, like the, "Gee whiz, I can't paint my house bright purple if I want to." The latest revolves around what could become the most famous artifact in town, a 25-foot length of picket fence that separates my house from that of a neighbor on Fruit Street.
Mary Krajci, in her opinion piece that ran recently, calls the rejection of permission to replace this fence an example of the "purist mentality" that lies at the heart of those supporting an LHD. This is utter hogwash.
The chair of the Fruit Street LHD wrote a definitive explanation for the commission's decision in The News, Jan. 6, in response to a similarly incorrect claim. I will not repeat his points; read them yourselves. I will add this detail. When we bought the house three decades ago, the barrier between our properties was a 5-foot-high chain-link fence painted florescent silver. An LHD grandfathers everything in place up to the point of its implementation. If that chain-link fence was still standing, it could be replaced by the same thing if the owner wished, however inappropriate that might seem for a historic district. This holds true for Anderson windows, aluminum storms, pink flamingo garden ornaments, playground gear and whatever else around the house that purists might consider junk. The LHD ordinance as written is pablum in comparison to others in our state. If you don't believe me, read Provincetown's.
My second comment regards the online comment section of The Daily News. I cannot help but notice that when reasonably argued letters are printed in The News about you name it, blog responses are uniformly on fire with indignation and vitriol. As these explosions are guarded by anonymity, we can see people literally losing their minds on the electronic page. Some readers may think this is fun to watch, which may be true if your taste runs to graffiti, but I for one think it smacks of cowardice.
I often disagree with many of the editorial positions of The News, but that is not to say that I wish it would disappear. The city would be a poorer place without our daily paper. Allowing these often illiterate postings to run anonymously in our journal of record's blog section, however, demeans both newspaper and town. At the very least, make people identify themselves. That in and of itself will tone down the rhetoric, because most normal people would be ashamed to see their names associated with some of these rants.
James Charles Roy