Other businesses have discussed ‘taking a stand’ like Madsen’s, LIBA president says
Following the lead of a Lincoln pool hall, several other businesses have discussed "taking a stand" against local health measures, the president of a local business association.
Following the lead of a Lincoln pool hall, several other businesses have discussed “taking a stand” against local health measures, the president of a local business association said.
Bud Synhorst, president of the Lincoln Independent Business Association, said he’s not sure exactly how many businesses have reached out to him since last Saturday. That’s when Madsen’s Bowling & Billiards defied orders from the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department and refused to close over reported violations of the county’s directed health measures.
“Probably north of 20,” Synhorst said. “I haven’t kept track but there’s a lot of them.”
Synhorst said LIBA hasn’t taken an official stance as an organization about the city’s mask mandate, but added he thought Madsen’s attorney – J.L. Spray – made some “interesting points” during a court hearing on Wednesday. Spray argued that Interim Health Director Pat Lopez has not been duly appointed to the position, and that any measure issued by her should therefor not be valid.
Synhorst said Madsen and his family have been longtime business owners and members of LIBA. He said the family has been “great members of our community.”
“I think they’re standing up for their business,” he said.
Signs were posted Friday morning by the health department on Madsen’s front door saying the business was closed. After arriving at the business shortly after, Madsen tore the signs down and opened anyway.
A steady stream of patrons arrived when the business opened at 11 a.m., including Charlie Troxel. Troxel says he goes to Madsen’s on Fridays to play pool.
“For us playing it’s not a big deal,” he said.
Troxel, who was wearing a mask while being interviewed, said he will continue to have lunch and play pool at the business with his friends. He said he’s not afraid of any potential health hazards.
“I was afraid it would be closed,” he said. “I thought if it was closed we wouldn’t be able to play pool.”