The Cambridge City Council's Committee on Ordinances met last night to discuss two ordinances that would regulate massage parlors and pinball machines in Cambridge, but after lengthy debate tabled both ordinances for future consideration.
The pinball ordinance presented last night would permit anyone under the age of 18 to use the machines except in establishments that servs alchoholic beverages. The original proposal would not have allowed children under 18 to use the machines.
Russel Higley, city solicitor, said he changed the language because Cambridge's license commissoner felt the age restrictions were not necessary. Higley added that such restrictions were better left for the council, rather than his office, to consider.
Several councilors objects to the change, saying they had received letters from parents complaining that their children were spending lunch money on pinball, sometimes during school hours.
Unlike the earlier proposal, the new ordinance does not specify the cost of licensing the machines. Formerly, the ordinance caled for a lincensing fee of $250 per machine. The city solictor's office realized, however, that such a few would be uncositutional, because state law permits licenses to cost a maximum of $20 per machine.
Councilor David Wylie said he thought the ordinance "could tie us up for a while."
Legislation now pending before the state legislature would permit Cambridge to set its own license fees.
The massage parlor ordinance would establish licensing procedures for all those involved in the message business. It would also require masseuses to present documentation attesting to their education in the art of massage.
Presently, Cambridge has no license requirements for massage parlors.
The goal of the ordinance is "to prevent massage parlors from becoming places for quick sex," Lawrence W. Frisoli. chair man of the Committee on Ordinances, parlors are prosecuted under prostitution lwas. The laws, however, do not provide police with easy access to massage parlors, Higley said.
The ordinance attempts to deal with this problem by requiring by requiring masseurs or masseuses to be of the same sex as their clients.
Robert Keene, attroney for a Cambridge massage parlor, said at the meeting that this stipulation would hurt his client's business, as the parlor employs eight to ten masseuses and has only male clients.
The ordinance would also prevent the parlor from being open between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. prime time in the massage business.