Houston News : Beaumont mayor defends nail salon visit after stay-at-home order

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10:05 am CDT, Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames talks about the city’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Jefferson County mayors and the five county judges held a joint press conference to introduce a new hotline phone number and talk about the virus situation in the Jefferson County Courthouse on March 19, 2020. Fran Ruchalski/The Enterprise less
Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames talks about the city’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Jefferson County mayors and the five county judges held a joint press conference to introduce a new hotline phone number … more

Photo: Fran Ruchalski/The Enterprise

Photo: Fran Ruchalski/The Enterprise

Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames talks about the city’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Jefferson County mayors and the five county judges held a joint press conference to introduce a new hotline phone number and talk about the virus situation in the Jefferson County Courthouse on March 19, 2020. Fran Ruchalski/The Enterprise less
Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames talks about the city’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Jefferson County mayors and the five county judges held a joint press conference to introduce a new hotline phone number … more

Photo: Fran Ruchalski/The Enterprise

Beaumont mayor defends nail salon visit after stay-at-home order

Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames left Tuesday’s City Council meeting to find her phone flooded with text messages and angry social media criticism after a picture surfaced of her getting service at a local nail salon.

A cropped version of the photo first appeared on a local blog, saying Ames went to have her nails done on Monday.

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Nail and hair salons are among the businesses ordered to close across Beaumont during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ames, who signed the stay-at-home orders on March 27, acknowledged that the photo could make people think she was getting a manicure.

Noting that there is no nail technician in the photograph, however, the mayor insisted that she did not violate any of the stay-at-home orders.

Violating the restriction is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000.

“I did not do anything wrong,” she told The Enterprise. “I would not be upset with anyone who I found out did this.”

Ames said she’d stopped in to pick up acetone to soak off artificial “dip” nails after they’d grown out and become painful. She said she felt she could not take them off herself.

“Six weeks ago or more, I went to get a manicure and ended up getting the powder nails for the first time. I loved it and it looked great, but as they grew out I started looking like a witch,” she said. “I tried to talk them off and texted the lady that did them, who is the owner of the salon, to ask what to do.”

Ames said the salon owner told her the shop wasn’t open, but that she would mix up some solution for pickup. The photograph was taken, she said, while Ames was soaking her nails to learn how to take them off.

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The photo shows Ames, wearing a face mask, with her fingertips in a bowl.

The mayor said she stopped by the salon Tuesday, not Monday, and was there for about 10 minutes being going straight to the Beaumont City Council meeting. She said she was able to remove half of the dip nails during that time.

She provided contact information for the salon owner, who backed up the mayor’s story.

The council meeting took place over Zoom, and the recording shows Ames wearing the same outfit as in the photo taken at the salon.

Ames said she didn’t know who took the photo or realize that a third person was there. The salon owner said it was an employee who had stopped by to pick up nail polish to use at home. She said the worker has been informed she cannot return to the shop.

Ames said she thinks the owner is making reasonable accommodations for customers.

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“The owner said she has a lot of ladies that need to get their nails off, so she’s set this out for them,” Ames said. “A lot of hairdressers have left color out for someone to come pick up. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re social distancing.”

Both Ames and the store owner said she did not pay for the solution to remove the nails.

After talking with The Enterprise, Ames sent photographs of her nails — unpainted and peeling.

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Source : chron.com