Que Pasa in Cabo?

January 8, 2018 Edition

New plan for new tax. Bending to push back from cruise ship lines, airlines and the local hotel association, the governor has postponed charging international tourists a $20 USD tax when coming to visit Los Cabos. Nobody wants to collect it for the government.

The cruise ship passengers got a quick exemption when the Florida-based cruise ship association stated in an open letter to our governor that, if we attempted to charge an additional tax, they would abandon Cabo. Ha ha. (They might not have said ha ha part.)

The hotel association opposed the tax from the beginning, and the airlines said they would not collect the tax. Too much paperwork and maybe a new computer program had to be developed to do so, or so they say.

Now the governor has said Mexico’s Hacienda (the equivalent of the IRS) would collect it at the San Jose airport, creating another long line for our precious pilgrims to go through. C’mon, they have enough with the immigration line, which is still understaffed.

Still, the governor has not abandoned the tax idea. He says it will help to improve infrastructure, as in fewer dirt roads, more sewage and water lines, electricity for those barrios that are still in the dark, blab la bla.

Celeb sightings Celebrities are still coming to Cabo for vacay. Jennifer Anniston & hubby Justine Theroux, and pop singer Selena Gomez and her close circle of friends, were spotted in Cabo over the New Year’s weekend.

We need more beach vendors!

Just kidding. The city is actually working hard, and showing some success, at decreasing the number of vendors roaming the beaches, trying to sell us silver that will turn our skin green and braids that break our hair off.

But, hey, they’re just trying to make a living. And, these same people were very helpful during our last storm, working on their own time to dragand jetsam off the beach.

In order to get new permits, the city is demanding that vendors show proof they live here. This will limit the number of vendors dramatically, since many are brought in from poor areas of southern Mexico, housed in terrible conditions, and dropped off at the beach every day. The city is trying to stop this.

And while we’re at it, have you noticed the decrease in child vendors downtown? That is also due to the city and the merchants working together.

Speaking of vendors The Cabo marina has 148 vendors who are approved to sell tourist activities. Like boat rides and such. They all must wear brown pants and white shirts with the API logo (API is the marina management company), and their credentials hang from their necks. They are supposed to stay inside their booths, but many walk out and stand on the malecon yelling their offers and services, which is against the law.

They get fined all the time, but they make so much money that they can afford to pay it. On top of those 148 approved vendors, there are about 100 more peddlers without permits, wandering the marina when the cruise ship passengers come down to shop, drink and eat. They are allowed on the marina because they have bought  “amparos,” or legal injunctions, that temporarily prevent them from being detained or fined.

In Mexico, the Constitution states that everyone has the right to do business. Local legislation states that OK, OK, you can do that, but you have to get a business permit, even if you are ambulatory, and pay a fixed tax. But there’s a gap in there. The Constitution is above any other law, and it does not specify that you have to get permits and get a license. So there. That’s a gray area just wide enough for those 100 marauding sellers of all sorts of stuff to squeeze through

We need more cops There have been changes at the helm of the Los Cabos police corps, which is now headed by the Mexican Navy captain Jose Zamorano. Navy sailors have been added to our police force because many of the old cops couldn’t pass the required trust, confidence and polygraph tests.

According to Capt. Zamorano, we only have 509 cops in all five areas of Los Cabos (San Jose, Cabo San Lucas, Migriño, Santiago, Miraflores and La Ribera), and we need more good ones. Oh, and out of those 509, 140 are traffic police officers, which leaves us with only 369 cops for an estimated population of 350,000.

But, don’t despair! 200 new cops will be arriving early this year, all trained in Mexico City and at Navy installations, all with clean records and who have passed all the tests. In addition, we have over 200 military, navy and federal police officers in the state, assisting the city and state governments in increasing our safety. When you see men with “marine” on their shirt, they are not like our marines, they are what we would call sailors. And that’s Mr. Sailor to you, as they are in charge of protecting us.

The Colonel is back! Colonel Sanders, that is. Kentucky Fried Chicken is staging a comeback, this time in a mall in La Paz. Many years ago we had a KFC in downtown Cabo, in the Plaza No Glorias, now called Tesoro, next to Nick San, where there is now a jewelry store. But the Colonel packed up his duffel and left more than a decade ago.

Also opening in the La Paz mall will be the Mexican department store Suburbia, and the Gringo restaurant Chilli's. Well, we were all excited when Applebee's arrived, too, and it was the real deal for about six months, thriving, even. But less than a year later the service and the food sucked and now they're gone. These rich guys buy these franchises, the franchise sends trainers, and a year later all the trained staff is gone and the place goes right into the dumpster. Who even goes to Burger King? Or McDonald's?

Attention wine lovers La Bodega de Todos Santos, which was the only wine store devoted to Baja wines in Todos Santos, has closed. But a new option has popped up. Amor D'vino opened December 20, with a wider selection of wines. It’s located on Topete Street 9, (which is the “down” street” from the main drag on the road to the Otro Lado) and the corner with del Pilar street. Be careful or you’ll miss it. It’s on your right-hand side, up a small hill and it looks like… nothing. But it’s there! Report back and let us know how the wine is. Wouldn’t kill you to bring back a bottle with your report.