I am tired of all the candidates talking about homelessness, vacant storefronts, and tourism.

The problem on State Street, compared to 40 years ago, is the withdrawal or exclusion of real stores, such as the White House, selling real products to real people. It now has either vacant storefronts or a lot of “hip,” pretentious, esoteric displays where I cannot honestly figure out if the business is a boutique, a bar, a restaurant, or serves some other function.

Further, too many tourists, such as cruise-ship passengers, provide a magnet for the “aggressive panhandlers.” Maybe both the tourists and panhandlers would go somewhere else if State Street were really a local downtown once more.


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