I have lived in Pittsboro for less than a year and don’t pretend to understand all of the problems that are resulting in complaints about and closings of local downtown businesses. We’ve established that some people have had unpleasant experiences in local restaurants. We know that downtown merchants are struggling in this economy. At least two businesses have announced closings in the past few weeks. Attractive buildings, new and old, that should be bustling with customers, stand empty. In the center of our town, our historic courthouse stands, still fenced and window-boarded, a mute witness to this sorrow.