Cambridge bans lit candles

Cambridge Day reports on a new, unannounced Cambridge regulation that bars candle use in the People's Republic without specific permission from the Fire Department - in what might be the latest effort to get two restaurants that have dared to mention just how screwed up the city license commission has been for years.





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What's next...banning "running with scissors"?


Love It

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Candles should never be used in restaurants, though more so never by college students in dorms or apartments.
That aside candlelit restaurants are the worst.
There's nothing worse than sitting in a restaurant and squinting at the menu, wondering why the hell it is so dark in there you can't read. I would also pass a rule that has minimum lumen standards as well.



In addition to regulating the lighting levels, we need laws to dictate the decor and what the food tastes like. Heaven forbid people should be allowed to choose the restaurant that meets their own individual needs.


and dont forget the harm from loud noise...

... I think that maximum voice volume per group should be set and background music must be severely limited to protect our ears. That is obviously something people in the peoples republic can be allowed to be responsible for...

totally, romantic atmospheres suck

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literally why would anyone want to go on a date without a minimum number of lumens? actually maybe we should just install the lights they use at the dentist's office over every table.


Not just Menorahs, candles

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Not just Menorahs, candles are used in virtually every religion for various holidays and services.

W-T-F is Cambridge thinking? Legislation by regulatory fiat without any public process in tyranny.

I'd say contact Healey's office but she's pulled similar regulatory stunts without pushback from the legislature.

Maybe we need a ballot initiative to require administrative rulemaking to be subject to legislative and a public review process?


11 Bodies Fresh in the Ground

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...killed for their religion.
Show a shred of human decency, troll, and shut up with your irrelevant, idiotic "jokes" minimizing anti-semitism.


Read the Article

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This is old-time political corruption: a city regulatory body bullying a business, not some imagined liberal hobby-horse.



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Agreed, there is.......quite a bit to unpack in the attached story here.

Freedom of religion

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Are they going to ban Catholics lighting candles in churches? Love to see that court case! And Jews light candles every Friday night and for holidays and on the anniversaries of the deaths of loved ones. I'm sure other religions have candle lighting as well.


Not totally

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Walk into a City Catholic church (the ones open to the public during the day). You'll find many candles lit at prayer stations. No priest or other supervision.

Watch the multitude of wedding candle mishaps on YouTube. Supervised burnings!

Supervised or no, candles can be trouble.
- so says one who likes candles.

It is a great day when UHub

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It is a great day when UHub calls Cambridge the People’s Republic. Makes me think of a kettle and pot story.

Was it Howie Carr that came up with the knickname?


Two parts of the commission

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Two parts of the commission that decides these issues are the head of the police and fire departments, neither of which are elected positions, correct? Is it the non-elected city manager that hired these individuals?

This story would be even more interesting in exploring possible corruption if we had a better understanding of the city employees that are involved.

Yes. And all three members of

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Yes. And all three members of the commission were clearly, at minimum, wrong-headed on this issue.

The same writer in Cambridge Day has been covering this story for quite some time.

The chair of the commission "retired" a year early after various unprofessional sheningans over how liquor licenses were handled.

Use faux instead

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Lit candles cause potential for fires.

Per City of Boston:

"Candles shall require a permit for use in restaurants and function facilities. Votives & tea lights will not ordinarily require a permit in restaurants and function facilities provided they adhere to the BFD guidelines pertaining to votive use for these establishments*
*(See votive guidelines).

battery waste is terrible for

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battery waste is terrible for landfills and uses rare earth metals obtained from strip mining in countries with limited to nonexistent environmental and labor protections.


Cambridge not Boston

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This what a Cambridge Councillor Alanna Mallon sent me in response to my question about wtf was going on:

Open Air Fires Regulation
The City of Cambridge, in accordance with the Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Code 527 CMR section 1 including amendments to NFPA 1 2012 edition, enforces the following regulations:

10.11.2 The Cambridge Fire Department shall have the authority to prohibit any or all open flames, candles, and open, recreational, and cooking fires or other sources of ignition, or establish special regulations on use of any form of fire or smoking material where circumstances make such conditions hazardous. Outdoor fires shall not be built, ignited, or maintained in or upon hazardous fire areas, except by permit from the Cambridge Fire Department.


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… But the Cambridge Fire Department did not "prohibit any or all open flames [or] candles" until it put up the page I posted in the article, which, as the article says, was created without a public process and after the department and License Commission told UpperWest it couldn't have candles. The department referred UpperWest to a state statute that does not apply.

I asked the department and other city officials to show me a statute that barred candles in Cambridge, and gave them plenty of time to comply. They did not. Or, really, could not.

No one's arguing that the department lacks the authority, but that it never used that authority appropriately. Saying the department has the authority to make laws means it actually has to make laws – unless you want fire inspectors running around saying whatever they want and enforcing it as though it counts. Councillor Mallon usually does her homework better than this; in this case, it looks like she doesn't understand what's going on and has misled you.


I'm afraid that … I made a promise

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I got the video with an agreement not to share it until the owners of the video were prepared to share it. I try to honor my commitments.

Speaking of made-up rules,

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When planning our wedding in a nearby town (not Cambridge), we were told we needed a fire detail if we were using any candles.

We had no candles.

So then they told us we needed the fire detail anyway, because we were serving alcohol. So we had to pay a fireman to put on his formal uniform and wander around.

Fortunately nobody's beer caught fire, so his services weren't needed. We also had to pay for a liquor license, even though we weren't selling the drinks to our guests. Somehow we dodged having to hire a police detail.

It's like Mayor Quimby telling the movie director to pay the puffy pants tax, and when he says he doesn't wear puffy pants, the mayor says uh actually it's a not wearing puffy pants tax.

When is someone going to stand up to this corruption?

But it's not codified

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At least it's not in the municipal code.

Of course, things would go much better if the City of Cambridge Clerk would just post the stenographic record of all the meetings in City Hall. I mean, the stenographer's notes must be public record, so you'd think they'd transcribe them for us. This is an issue I've been harping on for years. In every possible forum. Even when the issue has barely been about Cambridge. Despite the fact I don't live in the city.

They often say...

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that people who lean too far to the right eventually circle around to meet the people who lean too far to the left.

It's not called the People's Republic for nothing

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I remember a time when liberals and progressives were the people opposed to banning things, now the nanny state is their calling card.

Not that extreme conservatives are any better, they aren't.

Do you think

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that the Cambridge Fire Department is a hotbed of rabid liberalism?


We need a liberal Huey Long!

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Occasionally I've heard Massachusetts described as the Louisiana of the north (although I think New York competes for the title). But I've also heard politics here is a blood sport. Not merely the politics of elected positions. But the politics everywhere.

Here, in good JP, the politics of liberal vengeance is loud and clear. A local non-profit's leaders kick out whoever meaningfully disagrees (in other words can't be brushed off), preens over their political correctness and does their best to practice noblesse oblige, so that they can be the high and mighty practicing noblesse oblige.

What is the relationship to the Cambridge example? Leadership that kicks anyone they dislike with impunity.

For all its liberalism and supposed progressive thinking Massachusetts remains a well educated, high income local government of success for anyone with plenty of money and status while mediocrity is the best for everyone else. What is worse of course is that in spite of this discordance in Massachusetts the rest of the nation is even worse off.

Something is extremely rotten in the American Denmark.