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|San Pedro Daily||Friday,
April 6, 2012
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San Pedro Town Council Good Friday Controversy with Police
There is a standoff tonight between the San Pedro Police Department and the San Pedro Town Council over the sale of alcohol on Good Friday. The Town Council has advised business establishments that they can resume selling alcohol as of nine o’clock on Friday night. But that does not sit well with the officer commanding the San Pedro Police Formation, Assistant Superintendent Vienie Robinson, who says it’s against the law. The O.C. contends that as far as the law is concerned, Good Friday ends at midnight and there is no provision that allows for the sale of alcohol before that time. Robinson warned that the police will be conducting sting operations with spontaneous spot checks and that if any establishment is caught breaking the law, it will be shut down immediately. The business owners, according to Robinson, will also be detained for the weekend pending charges on Tuesday. San Pedro Mayor, Daniel Guerrero, says that the council got permission from Minister of Tourism and Area Representative Manuel Heredia to allow establishments to sell alcohol starting at nine p.m. The San Pedro Town Council maintains that the dry-law will hurt the income of establishments on the island. But no one, so far, is complaining about Easter being celebrated as a religious holiday.
No Alcohol to be sold
on Good Friday!
The San Pedro Police Department is reiterating that there should be no alcohol sold on Good Friday.
According to the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act Chapter 150 of the Laws of Belize section 27 states that:
” 1. (a) all licensed premises in which liquor is sold under a publican’s general license shall be closed – on Christmas Day and Good Friday;
2. (a) All licensed premises in which liquor is sold under a malt liquor and cider license shall be closed – on Christmas Day and Good Friday
3. Any person who during the times at which any licensed premises are required by this section to be closed
(a) sells or exposes for sale in such premises any liquor; or
(b) opens or keeps open such premises for the sale of liquor; or
(c) allows any liquor, although purchased before the hours of closing, to be consumed on such premises, is guilty of an offence”
Vienie Robinson, Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Formation and Assistant Superintendent of Police, has stated that the police will be in full force enforcing the law. ASP Robinson explained that there is no provision that allows for the sale of alcohol before midnight Friday. She warned that police will be conducting a special operation with spontaneous spot checks to ensure that all establishments abide by the law. ASP Robinson went on to caution that if ANY establishment is caught breaking the law will be closed immediately. In addition, those who are caught breaking the law will be arrested and detained until they appear before the court until Tuesday.
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) however, has advised establishments that they are allowed to sell alcohol after 9PM on Friday. When asked if the SPTC have asked for special provisions regarding the law, ASP Robinson said, “They want me to break the law and that will not happen.”
Mayor of San Pedro Daniel Guerrero explained that the Council got the go ahead from the Minister of Tourism Honorable Manuel Heredia to allow establishments to sell alcohol starting at 9PM on Good Friday. When questioned about this matter Heredia said that during a meeting, ASP Robinson was informed about the traditional provision for Ambergris Caye given that it is a tourism destination. While Heredia agrees that by allowing establishments to open at 9PM on Good Friday contravenes the law, he indicated that there is an economic factor that he would want to see a special provision made for San Pedro. However ASP Robinson indicated to both Mayor Guerrero and Hon. Heredia that the law of Belize is the law of the land and that it will be enforced.
In an interview with Hon. Heredia, The San Pedro Sun was told that the Minister of Police Hon. John Saldivar is aware of the situation and had promised Heredia that San Pedro would be allowed the sale of alcohol on Good Friday starting at 9PM.
Acting Commissioner of Police David Henderson said that he will be taking up the issue with the Liquor License Board and that “I will not get into any back and forth. I will look at the situation and I will take a decision by tonight.”
Since 1994, establishments on Ambergris Caye have traditionally been allowed to sell alcohol on Good Friday within an agreed time. ASP Robinson maintains that traditions do not override the law and as far as the Police are concerned, they will enforce the law.
San Pedro Sun
Road Traffic Safety
Have you noticed the large banners about traffic hanging on the main streets of San Pedro and wondered what it’s all about? Well, the San Pedro Town Council has embarked in a Road Traffic Safety Campaign promoting safe driving in the island of San Pedro.
In speaking with Mr. Chris Nuñez of the transport department he stated that they are currently placing large banners on the streets with safety tips as well as distributing safety tip flyers to all drivers. In addition, all speed bumps and street corners (no parking areas) are being given a paint job.
Councilor Kenrick Brackett whose work portfolio includes the transport department also mentioned that they will be fixing and placing traffic signs where necessary as part of the campaign. Just this week, councilor Brackett received two traffic cones which were donated to the transport department by Harmouch Center. These cones will be used for check points conducted by the San Pedro Transport Department.
On another positive note, the San Pedro Town Council has added a traffic warden to its Transport Department which will be hard at work this busy Easter weekend. The new warden is Ms. Felipa Carillo who joins Mr. Claudio Azueta and Mr. Immer Chi. Mayor Guerrero plans on having a total of ten traffic wardens to keep the streets of San Pedro safe and traffic flowing properly.
Parked golf cart
crushed by container
photo by Belican Pete
A golf cart was totaled when a container fell on it while parked in front of a store in the San Pablo Area of San Pedro Town. The incident occurred sometime between 9:30AM and 10AM, while workers were offloading cargo from the container in front of Island Pool Supply. It appears that the container tipped over and crushed the parked golf cart when part of the ground caved in.
The San Pedro Sun understands that the driver of the cart had just parked and was inside the store picking up some supplies. The incident occurred so fast that nothing could have been done to prevent the container from falling over the cart. Luckily no one was hurt in the freak incident.
According to Julie Putnam of Island Pool Supply, some merchandise was damaged, but everyone is really thankful that no one was hurt. According to the Police, the driver of the cart has visited the San Pedro Police Department where he has given a statement. While the cart was ensured, The SP Sun understands that the container, with license plate BZE A2018, was not insured. SP Police say that because the nature of the incident is slightly different than a road traffic accident, the incident would have to be settled through a civil suit in the court.
San Pedro Sun
Mass exodus to cayes and beyond
for long weekend
Belize has its unique Easter traditions. If residents don’t implement holiday plans by Thursday evening, they remain at home through Good Friday and observe the launch of the Cross Country Cycling Classic. But once the race is on the road, car radios are blazed with updates as the wheels spin inland or the boats ride the waves to the cayes. News Five’s Isani Cayetano hit the pavement and asked the masses where they intend to spend their leisure time during the Easter weekend.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
The exodus of residents currently on Easter vacation to San Pedro and Caye Caulker has already began. This morning dozens of travelers converged upon the water taxi terminals in Belize City where scheduled boat runs are ferrying them unto the islands. While Belizeans across the country are seeking a little fun in the sun, tourists from neighboring Guatemala are also getting in on the action.
“What has the journey been like, I know you’re at the halfway point right now but you still need to catch the boat to get unto the island. What has it been like so far?”
“Tiring but exciting. I like it. It’s been a very good experience.”
“It’s your first time going out to San Pedro?”
“No. It’s the second time actually.”
“Well, partying all night, clubbing there in San Pedro, [the] best place to be.”
“How are you dealing with the heat on the island and all these Belizean people leaving the city and other parts of the country to go on San Pedro?”
“Well I’m taking my breaks with my, you know, six packs everyday there by the beach. That’s what we do every day, you know, getting sunburned. That’s the thing!”
And of course there are those who prefer a weekend of excitement on the peninsula. Thousands are expected to make their way down to Placencia over the next few days.
“I gwein da Placencia go spend di Easter because money da noh di problem, I have enough.”
“What are you gonna be doing down in Placencia, are you gonna be visiting with family and friends, you’re gonna be partying? Are you going to all the events planned down there?”
“Well like how ah di ker enough money, ah gwein bathe, ah gwein eat, I gwein party and I done get mih nice suite fi stay.”
Despite the fact that many are leaving the mainland in search of sandy beaches and tropical drinks downtown Albert Street is alive with vendors who are accommodating those wanting to enjoy a traditional holiday. Easter baskets anyone?
“I think it’s moving fast. I don’t want to sell on Saturday so I’m trying to finish up today but it’s selling. They’re buying baskets.”
“How long have you set up your post out here, since the beginning of the week?”
“No. I just began today; I just set it up today. People usually buy last minute so it’s today when you sell the most.”
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