The complaints in San Pedro have mostly been about terrible conditions of streets, and dust and poor beaches and dirty areas, but lately they have been about bars. The complaints are about noise pollution in some bars that are not sound proof, late opening hours and lately also the fact that prostitution is rampant and blatant in many bars on the island.
One caller to the radio morning show lamented: “I am disgusted that I am taking my children to school in the morning and we bump into these three prostitutes, half naked and drunk making a dirty scene right in front of their bar. My children have to put up with this and I must give explanations to them.”
“But this and many other irregularities are going to stop,” said Jennie Staines, Chairperson of the San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board. She explained that the committee, which includes the Mayor, is going to make some dramatic changes to solve these problems that have been plaguing San Pedro for ages.
“People will get mad at me, but I will do what the law and the act stipulate,” she added. According to Jennie, the Liquor Licensing Board will demand that all bars with loud music systems be sound proof or they will be shut down if they do not comply. They will also see to it that not all bars repeatedly get extensions to open to very late hours. All bars must close down at midnight as is the law. Extension permits are a privilege and will be issued on special occasions, but not an automatic and constant procedure.
As to the issue of widespread prostitution, Jennie explained that the committee will need the cooperation of the community and neighborhoods where these brothels are located. They are asking for letters with neighborhood signatures be submitted to the Board. Of course, the issue must be proven and that will be a matter to be taken by the Licensing Board.
And to prove that they are dead serious, Jennie and the Board have issued a release informing all grocery stores and supermarkets that hold liquor licenses that they shall NOT be allowed to open for business on Good Friday. Restaurants may open for that day, but they shall not be allowed to serve liquor to any patrons. Failure to comply with the law and this request shall result in closure of the business license.
On Good Friday all discotheques, night clubs and liquor establishments shall remain closed and only open for business until 9p.m. Again failure to comply will carry stiff penalties. Jennie claims that already she is not a popular person with some of the business establishments, but she is determined to make things right now. The positive news is that the San Pedro citizenry is in full support of Jennie and her committee. Hopefully we will get things right this time around.