The removal of downtown public benches ordered by the mayor of Northampton, Massachusetts provoked strong activist opposition challenging merchant concerns that excessive loitering by panhandlers and others was detracting from downtown business activity. City councilors Bill Dwight and Maureen Carney discuss this issue and several other real estate developments: a city sale of the Florence Community School and the razing by Smith College of the Green Street Cafe building. Host Joel Saxe probes what these events suggest about income inequality and gentrification in this trendy college town. P.S. Within a week, the mayor ordered the reinstallment of the benches.
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