Newsmaker: Mixed views on mayor’s ‘no Alice at Crab Circle’ stance Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

This week’s featured overall development as Newsmaker of the Week just ended are the reactions to the assertion by Kingston Mayor Delroy Williams that Alice Waugh, the crab vendor who faced backlash for relieving herself at the popular ‘Crab Circle’ eatery in the capital city, will not be returning to the spot when it reopens later this week, despite the woman suggesting otherwise.

In October, Waugh was captured wiping herself after having defecated inside a stall in front of which food was being sold at the eatery located at National Heroes Circle in Kingston.

As a result of that and other sanitary conditions and concerns, health authorities ordered the food spot closed.

After much-needed refurbishing work, including the establishing of a bathroom facility at the venue for both vendors and the general public, as well as training for the vendors, excluding Waugh, the popular food establishment is expected to reopen on Thursday, November 23.

Waugh, despite not being part of the HEART/NSTA Trust certification programme which her colleagues participated in, last week vowed to return to sell at the venue.

She told a newspaper in an interview that her blood pressure was high at the time of the training exercise, so she was unable to attend.

Waugh, however, said she had received a new food handler’s permit during the period of closure, as the one she previously had, expired before the viral incident. She also expressed confidence that her loyal customers will be supporting her once she returns to the venue.

But in response to the published newspaper article, Kingston Mayor, Delroy Williams, said this will not be taking place.

“Alice Waugh will NOT be returning to Crab Circle as a vendor come next week,” wrote Williams on X, formerly Twitter, last Thursday.

He said the only way Waugh will be returning to the venue is for the sole purpose of purchasing crabs.

“The vendors who are returning have met with the council (the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation), completed certification (training) by HEART, and have done the necessary food handlers’ training. She (Waugh) has not,” Williams stated.

“We wish Ms Waugh the best in her other endeavours, but she will not be permitted to return to Crab Circle as a vendor, preparing food for the public, given several public health concerns,” he added.

The mayor said while he was not able to comment on the status of her health during the training period, he said she had not been invited to do the certification training because she will not be reinstated as a vendor at the facility.

The position of the municipality on the matter relative to Waugh were communicated to the other vendors, according to the mayor.

“But in the event there is uncertainty, let me be clear; any attempt to facilitate or have Ms Alice Waugh or any other untrained and uncertified vendor at Crab Circle will result in the municipality shutting down all operations there,” declared Williams.

Waugh’s name has also been removed from the stall she previously operated from at the facility.

Amid it all, Williams stressed that the “haphazard manner” in which the vendors operated before has been “put to rest”.

He warned that clear instructions have been given to the municipal police regarding the enforcement of standards at Crab Circle once it reopens.

The reactions relative to Waugh’s dismissal from the venue has been mixed.

Interestingly, Nadine Francis, the woman who video recorded Waugh performing the unsanitary act at the venue, and who was receiving threats in the aftermath of the video being widely circulated, has reportedly said Waugh deserves a second chance.

Francis purportedly made the announcement in a newspaper article on Friday, which came a day following the mayor’s insistence that Waugh would not be returning to Crab Circle.

“Everybody deserves a second chance in life… Everybody deserves a second chance in life,” Francis was quoted as saying by a newspaper.

In admitting that she was unsure about her own return to Crab Circle due to the backlash for having recorded the incident, Francis said she had signed up to be trained and certified.

On social media, some Jamaicans expressed no sympathy for Waugh, and no difficulty with her exclusion from being among the vendors who were trained and certified to subsequently return to the eatery.

“I can’t believe how bold Alice is! She should be banned from preparing food for public consumption for the rest of her life!” declared a man on Facebook.

“She (Alice) needs to remain at her yard (and) do a little business at her home so she can pay her bills, but I wouldn’t advise her to go back because she’s going to make it worse for the others,” another man suggested.

Added another: “I don’t sorry for Alice at all because she destroyed the reputation of Crab Circle both here and abroad, so mek she stay a her yard.”

Commented a woman: “Lady, choose another profession.

“I am speaking for myself, I would not buy from you and if you were my mom, I would tell you find another profession.”

On the other hand, some social media users disagreed with those perspectives on the matter.

“People need to leave Alice alone now, and give her a second chance,” said a woman on Facebook.

She added that, “Some people a do worse than her and we don’t see, so the mayor should give her another chance to prove herself.”

Opined another woman: “Put yourself in her (Alice’s) place and tell me what would you do then and there if you have an accident like that and you had to go?

“Give Alice another chance, please mayor; nobody’s perfect, sir,” she urged.

A man posted that, “I feel sorry for Alice because everybody persecuting her, even the mayor, but she deserves support, and I would have supported her if she was there (at Crab Circle).”

Another woman joined in the renewed debate on the matter, taking a particularly interesting line of focus.

She suggested that Alice Waugh is yet to take serious responsibility for her extremely negative actions.

“I don’t think she (Alice) has yet (to) admit or take responsibility for what she did. She always say, ‘Sorry’, followed by ‘but’,” claimed the Facebook user.

“She (Alice) still don’t realise how serious what she did was. She don’t!” the woman asserted.