You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Editorial

Rinks: Beware of slippery neighbors

Continue reading below

For fans of backyard ice skating, it’s discouraging enough that the winter of 2011-12 has been all but canceled. Yet when local authorities, perhaps prodded by the occasional censorious neighbor, go after owners of now-useless backyard rinks, they’re not just adding insult to would-be skaters’ injury; they’re also eroding the kind of mutual tolerance that’s needed to preserve peace and harmony in a densely settled region.

Four years ago, a man was reported to Brookline authorities by a neighbor concerned that his unfrozen rink might lead to, among other things, West Nile infection. This winter, Cambridge resident Gavin Peters put up a rink in his backyard, from a kit he ordered from the Internet, in the hope of seeing 40 or more days of skating. That hasn’t happened. And as the Globe reported Friday, Peters came home recently to learn that a city inspector had concerns “regarding your pool.’’ He was subsequently cited for six violations of building, zoning, and sanitary codes. To its credit, the city relented in the end.

Still, it’s unsettling that Peters was ever at risk of a fine, and that the presence of harmless rinks - frozen or not - in private citizens’ backyards should arouse opposition from neighbors. Even if they can’t bring themselves to root for cold weather, they should at least give each other the benefit of the doubt.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.