Booze board levels field for Sunday sales

| 25/04/2018 | 121 Comments

(CNS): The Liquor Licensing Board has settled what became almost a year-long debate about whether or not gas stations can sell alcohol on Sundays in the wake of an error by the previous chair. The board has now paved the way for all gas stations, as well as liquor stores, to apply for a retail licence that is limited to off-sales between the hours of 1pm and 7pm on Sundays. Noel Williams, the current board chair, confirmed that after in-depth research, the board had decided it was important to level the field for Sunday sales after a number of gas stations had applied.

Williams told CNS that the decision had not been made lightly and that he and the board had done a significant amount of work to ensure that the decisions on the latest applications from gas stations and also Tortuga Rum Company to sell liquor on Sundays would be lawful. He said that after wide legal consultation, he could find no reason to deny the gas stations that had made the applications for a licence.

LLB Deputy Chair Lynn Bodden, who is a local attorney, added that the board had done what it could within the existing framework to make things fair.

“Although we all believe there are flaws in the existing legislation, we had no alternative but to work with the current laws and do what’s just and equitable,” she said. “We had no legal reason to refuse the licences. The main reasons for the grant was to accommodate tourists arriving on Sunday.”

Williams said that the board determined that the gas stations or liquor stores interested in opening on Sundays should be able to apply for a retail licence on which the board could impose conditions and limitations. He said it was decided to restrict the hours of sale to 1pm-7pm and to permit only off-sales or take-out and not allow consumption on the premises.

He said any broader changes to Sunday sales would require amendments to the Liquor Licensing Law. But he said that this move has made the situation fair for all gas stations that already have package licences and are selling alcohol during the week.

In total, twelve gas stations and liquor stores were granted the licences during a meeting on Friday, when the board outlined the new regime and the conditions on the additional licences they were now getting for their Sunday sales. These applicants had been waiting several weeks, as the board was wary about the mistakes made by the previous chair and wanted to ensure that any new decision regarding the applications was lawful as well as just.

Last year the board erroneously granted, then retracted, then granted again a retail licence that had allowed the Peanuts Rubis gas station to sell alcohol every day, causing widespread controversy and eventually ousting the chair at the time, Woody DaCosta, from the board.

As a result of the problems that caused, subsequent applications by other gas stations and Robert Hamaty, the owner of Tortuga Rum Company, to sell booze on Sundays were placed on hold while the board sought a way to address the situation within the existing law and its powers.

Following the decision, Brown’s Esso and H&B gas stations and Tortuga have now been given the green light to sell alcohol on Sundays within the limited hours and the board is now expecting more applications over the coming weeks ahead of its meeting in June.

While there has been past opposition to amending the liquor licensing laws more fully to accommodate Sunday sales, the importance of the tourism sector to Cayman’s economy as well as the need to prevent illegal sales seems to be winning the argument.

Government has not yet set out its plans regarding Sunday liquor sales but it is understood that amended legislation will be brought to the Legislative Assembly before the end of the year.

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Category: Business, Food and Drink, Retail

Comments (121)

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  1. Adams Apple says:

    So, we can buy booze on a Sunday – however we cannot do our grocery shopping and still have to cram shopping into one day a week in a busy supermarket for those of us who work long hours all week.

    Trust me not complaining about being able to buy booze on a Sunday, I need it after my long weeks!

    • Freddy says:

      The Draconian system that Cayman has needs to be abolished , from East End to West BAY there is a church 100 yards or close approximity to a liquor establishment . I see no good reason a grocery store isn”t allowed to open on Sundays but yet liquor is sold like crazy on a Sunday. This is Hypocrital at best . Grocery stores need to be ALLOWED to open on Sundays . Alcohol is one of thr most destructive elements to a household, I seriously doubt the grocery stores are

  2. nauticalone says:

    Yah!….more akihol feh we 🙂 Just what we need….NOT!

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  3. West Bay Premier says:

    I think that If people would realize what is going on the Island , and see who and what is running the Government, and understand that the VOTERS has more POWER than them and that thing money , and can stop alot of these unnecessary decisions /Laws , like everywhere can sell alcohol everyday , but can’t buy groceries legally on sunday .

    Then what gives the Liquor Board the powers to implement such decisions on society ?
    Is there a wholesale Law that allows alcohol to sold on Sunday today ? I know there’s always been a retail Law , but wholesale and retail are two different things .

    Come on people go and tell the Government that if you can buy alcohol legally on Sunday , you have to be able to legally buy food/groceries too on Sunday. I think it’s time to show the Government the power of the people .
    This is happening all over the world, where Politicians and big money donars are pushing these kind of thing down our throats , and won’t stop unless the people rise up against it .

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  4. Anonymous says:

    “Why do we have to do as they do in Miami or London? Naples and Inverness surely don’t.”

    – Whodatis

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    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s say we are doing stuff like Dallas or Paris then. Chicago and Copenhagen surely do.

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      • Anonymous says:

        …and why must we switch from one globally accepted standard to another?

        – Who

        *Btw, “you’re welcome” for opening your eyes to the hypocritical nonsense of your ridiculous stance.

        **Our tourism figures are at maybe the best levels ever, and that includes stay-over visitors.

        Furthermore, unlike the majority of the CNS crowd, I happen to deal with our tourists face-to-face on a weekly basis.
        I can say with confidence – Cayman’s Sunday trading laws are not a problem for them.

        However, the peace and tranquility afforded our visitors on the weekend, not to mention the calmer roads as they transport their young and ageing families in an unfamiliar driving environment, are aspects of their stay much appreciated.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    This is just what Cayman needs….. More places to purchase alcohol on Sunday.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Tragic

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Tragic” really? Isn’t that a bit dramatic? You can already buy alcohol plenty of places on Sundays.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Send em to Boosies or Mcruss if theyre travelling without diapers and formula.

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  8. Steve says:

    If supermarkets open on sunday then I will go shopping on saturdays as I hate shopping on saturdays due mass shoppers go last minute.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Our Sunday heritage was a nice heritage. It taught us to discipline our time. And it was a tourist attraction to see stores closed and the the quiet sound of nature. Now it is history. It is gone to money lovers. Bye bye ??

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    • Anonymous says:

      Seeing closed stores was a “tourist attraction”???
      Whatever lies you have to tell yourself to justify the ridiculous state of Cayman’s laws
      No one is forcing you to drink on Sunday, go to church, stay in your yard, do whatever you want bobo

      “Sunday Heritage”
      Hilarious

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      • Anonymous says:

        Stop using your that sense of incredulousness to to showcase your ignorance.

      • Anonymous says:

        Come back and discuss when you’ve started to face your drinking problem.

      • Freddy says:

        Yeah BOBO that like the Saturday Heritage that shuts down from 6pm Fridays to 7pm saturdays . Dont forget those people and some are EXTREMISTS with the foolishness too. I guess the doctors , nurses , medics ambulance, police should shut down for that 24 hrs as well. What happens when emergencies arise? BTW who is doing these keepers work when they are on their 24r Hiatus ? Of course their fellow cowrkers shouldnt be entitled to those sacred times off. LOL

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know of any tourists that were excited to see everything closed on Sundays…

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      • Anonymous says:

        You get an experience everywhere you go, so if you travel anywhere without research thats your problem. Places are closed here Sundays. Theres thousands of little towns and cities in the States where its the same, Google it. So they want Gay marriage, take peaceful Sundays and what else? Atleast legalize Marijuana, we’ve been waiting in line a long time! No skipping ?

      • Anonymous says:

        I am.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can do nothing and learn self-discipline. Heritage smeritage.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Being closed on Sunday is a tourist attraction?! That’s laughable. I’ve heard of people traveling to see a giant potato before but never to not be able to buy things on a Sunday.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t think you really understand what you are saying. There truly are people that enjoy life and don’t need constant consumerism and booze to dull their feelings.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Quiet aside from the out of control motor bikes terrorising people on the roads. You are in la la land if you think Sunday’s are peaceful around here.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I blame Dart.
    Before he came to Cayman, there were no Sundays. I heard he invented them by telling Govt that he only wanted to increase Saturday hours…but once they said yes, in return for 2 minutes each Member, Dart only went and created 24 whole new hours for himself. And gave them a mysterious name, like Solaris and Paseo (Both gods of plastic vultures BTW).
    Boycott Camana Bay. It’s the only rationale solution in all of this.
    And have a referendum on something. Anything. Tunnels probably.
    Next they’ll be letting airplanes land on Sundays…end is nigh.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    ho ho ho and a bottle of rum…ol ye mates en cayman….come on guys, lets sing!!☺?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    no sunday trading in cayman… unless cruise ship come in…..then duty free shops can open…..zzzzzzzz
    cayman hypocrisy at its finest.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Why does everything have to change for change’s sake?
    Some of these comments read as if penned by rebellious, petulant teenagers.

    I am perfectly fine with every aspect of my Caymanian Sunday – and judging by the state of our economy and attractiveness to virtually every region of the planet – so are many others…for decades now.

    Less businesses are open, less cars are on the road, more people are relaxing, things are quieter, and everyone has more leisure time to spend and CATCH UP with their KIDS, relatives and friends.

    Why do we have to do as they do in Miami or London? Naples and Inverness surely don’t.

    I actually find it unfortunate (for the residents) when visiting or living in parts of the world (almost ALWAYS major cities btw) where a Sunday may as well be a Wednesday.

    Every community has a rhythm and pattern that essentially shapes its character and culture.
    Continually tinkering with the tentpoles will bring about noticeable changes – and not necessarily good ones.

    – Whodatis

    *Not that the average, regular CNS poster gives a damn about any of the above.
    As usual, they are all for the change simply because they believe the average Caymanian is against it.

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    • The Constitutional Critic says:

      “Why does everything have to change for changes sake”
      Just because something has been done in the past doesn’t mean it should continue for all time, you still have an outhouse? or do you like the modern convenience of indoor plumbing, are you betraying your “Caymanian traditions”, I think not

      “I am perfectly fine with every aspect of my Caymanian Sunday”
      No one is forcing you to change a single aspect of your Sunday, the change that occurred is related to the ability of others to make their own decisions as legal adults without unnecessary state intervention although that won’t stop you a regular CNS poster from complaining about it incessantly because your “right” to control others has been infringed

      “Less businesses are open, less cars are on the road, more people are relaxing, things are quieter”
      Are a couple liquor stores really going to ruin the ambiance of a Sunday or are you just being hyperbolic? The latter

      “Why do we have to do as they do in Miami or London?”
      People want the freedom to purchase and consume alcohol on whatever day they choose, as long as they are drinking responsibly and not endangering others why is it any of your concern? It has nothing to do with anyone else in any other area, although we can point to them as examples ( also I love the fact that you pretend a good portion of Cayman isn’t already drunk on Sundays whether it be at brunch or Rum Point or otherwise) Good on you, none so blind as those WHO refuse to see

      “Every community has a rhythm and pattern that essentially shapes its character and culture…..
      and not necessarily good ones.”
      Whovian objectivity nothing less than expected, cause at the end of the day you don’t give a damn if both sides have legitimate arguments because you are always right aren’t you?

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      • Anonymous says:

        1.) The fact that you carefully selected excerpts of my post to highlight and criticise but completely ignored others gives the verdict of “illegitimate” for your reply.

        2.) I am entitled to my opinion as you are yours.

        3.) I don’t personally know any Caymanians who are drunk on Sundays on a regular basis.

        Rest assured, such an individual is someone no one should be eager to regard a close and respected associate.

        Granted, this applies to my personal circle and I make no apologies therefor.

        – Who

        *At the end of the day even you don’t genuinely believe or support the things you are saying.
        You simply seek to agitate the status quo…for no meaningful reason.

        That is very sad.

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        • Anonymous says:

          (This is gonna be awesome…watch.)

          – Who

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        • Anonymous says:

          Who, please shut up. They just blew your ship out of the water. Bravo, The Constitutional Critic .

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          • Anonymous says:

            Why do we have to do as they do in Miami or London?
            Naples and Inverness surely don’t.

            – Who

            *I look forward to you (or anyone else) blowing that out of the water.

            Sorry, but you all have no argument.
            Limited Sunday trading is the norm all over the western world.
            It is not a “Cayman thing” or “keep the Sunday holy” thing – which is the misconceived catalyst for the change being promoted in these circles.

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            • Anonymous says:

              You sure can buy liquor, shop and dance on a Sunday in Naples and Inverness.

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              • Anonymous says:

                Both jurisdictions observe specific Sunday trading laws.

                – Who

                *Sunday liquor, shopping and dancing – let us riot without them, shall we?

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                • Anonymous says:

                  Yes, but you dodged the point that you can buy liquor, dance and go shopping for many hours in the both on a Sunday.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Those were your focused-on points – not the general point of the ongoing discussion.

                    I won’t burden myself with your specific grievances, sorry.

                    I simply want Sunday left as is. When I lived elsewhere I didn’t petition their city council to modify their hours and laws to better align with where I am from or other jurisdictions.

                    Talk about entitled little prima-donnas…

                    – Who

              • Anonymous says:

                Come back to the discussion when you’ve started dealing with your drinking problem.

            • Fred the Piemaker says:

              Actually, you can both buy groceries and alcohol from supermarkets in both Naples and Inverness on Sundays.

            • Anonymous says:

              Ummm… no… Sorry..

    • Anonymous says:

      if you want a quiet caymanian sunday you can still have it….but you will not tell other grown adults what do with their lives.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Who are you and what have you done with the real howdaftiis? That’s twice in 2 weeks I’ve had to agree with you.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

    God does not need sleep, but we do. The day of rest, known as the Sabbath, is a gift to those who will receive it and during that day, they think about the greatness of God, they go to church, they hear His word and they worship God by singing songs to Him and offering up a part of their salary to further the kingdom.
    I am not one of them. I wish I were.

    One day Toruk Makto will be tamed by the outcasts.
    To understand that last comment you need :-
    1 . To be awake.
    2. To have watched the movie, “Avatar”.
    3. In recent possession of good herb.

    Just kidding about the herb bit, but I thought it was funny.

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  15. Responsible Drivers association says:

    More drunken fools to arrest now I can tell you the Police aren’t too happy about this pure foolishness which means more accidents and dangerous drivers on the road How Sad for these islands. I guess they need to drink away the real sorriful state this place in.

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  16. West Bay Premier says:

    We should call this , the national drink , gasoline and alcohol/medications and driving on rocks or straight up

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Half the island is smacked up on booze all day Sunday anyway, so who gives a rat’s arse other than the liquor stores (pity the poor employees).

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  18. rick says:

    Oh well more Sunday DUI

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  19. Anonymous says:

    “The main reasons for the grant was to accommodate tourists arriving on Sunday.”
    That must mean the rest of us are fully stocked up on booze at all times! 🙂

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  20. Anonymous says:

    All we need is more drunks on the road. I hope the police will be out in force to protect the general public from the Sunday drunk crowd.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Please tell me how one comes to this assessment? Anyone can by booze on a Sunday at a restaurant or bar so what is the difference? Oh wait, they can go and buy the beer or wine or liquor and enjoy it at home while not having to drive home from an establishment to procure something to wet the whistle.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    And in a year from now, henny penny will notice the sky has actually not fallen

    And it’s a step in the right direction. No more of this “gods” day BS. On the 7th day he rested. Great, well where in the bible does it say the 7th day is sunday. Could be monday for all we know. Oh right……a man made rule has decided it’s sunday.

    So how about we agree that gods rest day is whatever day you choose. But don’t push it on others.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Some see Sunday as holy, others see Saturday as Holy. Would you have us not sell booze on Saturdays too to please that section of the religious crowd? As a devout Pastafarian and member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (https://www.venganza.org), selling booze on Mondays will incur his wrath and he will smite you with his noodly appendages.

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      • Anonymous says:

        don’t forget muslims view friday as prayer day. So no selling booze on friday saturday OR sunday.

        see where that slippery slope leads to?!

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        • Jotnar says:

          I think you will find Islam has an issue with selling or consuming alcohol any day of the week.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Suddenly “slippery slope” arguments are agreeable to the CNS crowd.
          Interesting.

          Doesn’t seem to apply as it concerns “discrimination” in respect to the definition of marriage.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Grocery stores and hardware outlets will NOT open on Sundays THEREFORE the laws will not change.

    The merchant class would destabilise the government if the legislation was changed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      wrong… fosters tried to open on sundays in 2005….

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    • Steve says:

      Fosters open on sundays and proof to government that it is popular with local people. In end idiot government force fosters to closed on sundays. It will get unemployment off street by open on sundays.

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  23. EYES WIDE SHUT says:

    So will Woody DaCosta be charged for abuse of Public Office as a Public Official considering that the Premier and Minister of Commerce Hew stated in the LA that his actions were deliberate, he acted in bad faith and malfeasance? Ironically, auditor general’s findings were contrary to their personal attacks against DaCosta under parliamentary privilege.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I often wonder why no charges were brought against this man for what he did. And let’s not forget the former Liquor Board Secretary who worked for nearly 30 years in Government and was literally forced to leave because she told the truth after being blamed and defamed by Woody DaCosta and the Director of DCI during the Peanuts gas station matter. I think it’s time she told her story about how poorly she was treated.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    now fix sunday trading and sunday dancing nonsense

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Jesus, what a bunch of time wasters. What real problems does selling booze on a Sunday create? I won’t except more booze hounds on the streets cause you can still get booze on sundays other ways. I’d like to get grocery’s any day too.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Greedy a$$ drunks and retailers. So looks like people should stay off the road after 1pm.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You’re an idiot. Have ever been to a Sunday brunch, and watch residents get hammered? Drunk driving on Sunday’s has always been there. At least now I can buy my little Sunday Bar B Que booze, without having to get it from a bar, and paying double.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Tortuga stores plus the gas stations will mean more idiots like you on the road.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Moron, the goal here is to pick up the liquor and go home and enjoy it with my Sunday Bar B Que, or can’t you read?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Let’s completely ignore the hundreds of drunk people that already stock up before hand and flock to Rum point every Sunday for the past few decades.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Never ever will my family spend a penny on any Tortuga product or in their stores as a result of Hamaty’s attempts in this process to dictate our own morals to us.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, and majority of their employees have bad attitudes and no training in customer service as if we need them. (Batabano Plaza and Northwest Point)

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    • Anonymous says:

      Is he forcing you to buy alcohol on a Sunday or is it just now that people who have morals different from yours have the choice?

      It’s hard to tell who’s doing the dictating with this post.

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    • Anonymous says:

      LOL. You don’t even see how ironic your statement is do you?

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is hilarious, it is you people who have been doing the dictating for years on end and now the shoe is on the other foot and you are upset with the system

      As Mitch McConnell a man I detest once said,
      “You complain about the system when you are losing”

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Now let’s let the supermarkets and other shops open on Sundays as well please.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed!! Sunday is one of the few days I actually have time to do odd jobs around the house or spend time cooking for the week ahead.

      So frustrating when you go to start a task and you’re missing a screw or run out of baking powder. I very rarely find myself losing a day’s work because I don’t have any Miller Lite.

      If you want to stand by the premise of no Sunday trading on religious grounds, why would you all of a sudden allow booze to be made available.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The baby Jesus does not want us to buy books on Sunday.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Many tourists arrive on Sunday flights with no way to buy diapers, baby formula, or other staples on Sundays. The contrived reverence for Sunday as a designated “holy day” in 2018 is a bit of a joke given the heavy and widespread boozing. We need to get real.

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      • Al Catraz says:

        That’s why Saturday is a nightmare at the airport. Anyone renting a villa, apartment, or condo cannot purchase groceries and other essentials when they arrive. This has knock-on effects on rental flexibility, since the wise one week visitor rents Saturday to Saturday, instead of Sunday to Sunday.

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL Tourist have well-packed suitcases. Especially Formula and diapers. And Duty-free Booze.

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