Three months after its inception, a project that closes some Old Town streets during peak bar times has the tenuous support of Mayor Charlie Hales. Hales made the decision last week to extend the new Old Town entertainment district for an additional two months, while he speaks with police, residents, and business owners. The street closures have worried some of Old Town's bar owners, who fear they make the neighborhood seem unwelcoming. Cops say the move has reduced crime ["Safety Dance," News, April 3]. DIRK VANDERHART


A project meant to replace and improve Portland's 911, fire dispatch, and police data computer systems is now three years behind schedule and has already gone $10 million over budget, according to a searing city audit released Thursday, April 4. All three are components of the city's Public Safety Services Revitalization Project, launched in 2005 with great fanfare only to stop and start and stall amid lax oversight. Only the 911 system, overseen by Commissioner Amanda Fritz, was a modest success. Though it had problems, the system went live on time, in 2011, and came in under budget. Which means the other two have been especially dismal boondoggles. DENIS C. THERIAULT