This morning, the Mayor's Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing was scheduled to hold a hearing on the seven-stabbing closing at Ups N Downs in Dorchester in February. Assuming the hearing happened as planned, two Boston Police detectives would provide an account of what happened. A lawyer for bar owner Arthur Sutliffe would explain how Sutliffe plans to close the bar and sell the liquor license to the Boston Tea Party Museum. Another lawyer for Sutliffe would lead at least one bar employee through testimony on what happened. Other employees would be on hand, just in case.
I didn't attend that hearing. I didn't really have to, because I attended the hearing the Boston Licensing Board held yesterday on the same exact incident, where the two detectives testified and the two lawyers did their thing.
Perhaps there really is a good reason, as opposed to stupid inertia in dealing with a holdover from the anti-irish days of the last century, why Boston has two separate licensing boards, one of which focuses on liquor and food licenses and the other of which focuses on entertainment licenses. I've never heard it, but maybe it's like Santa Claus - it exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.
In the meantime, though, establishments that have both food/liquor licenses and entertainment licenses (and you need an entertainment license if you have a TV wider than 42 inches) who find themselves with citations have to go through two separate hearings - which may have different outcomes. It's extra overtime for the cops who also have to go to both hearings and, of course, more billable hours for the lawyers, but it's a really stupid waste of time for everybody involved. Then again, it's probably too much to ask that these two boards hold joint hearings on identical incidents.