Despite receiving a Cease and Decist letter from Washington state a Pasco Gym owner still plans to have an open house type of event Saturday in Pasco.

The event will include social distancing and other COVID safety measures, but owner Shane Arnott says it's about exposing Tri-Citians to what's going on with businesses in our area due to COVID.  He hopes positive dialogue will come from it, and is encouraging anyone and everyone to stop by Saturday. He operates Akdemy Athletics in Pasco.

The event is called Mask Up Open Up, and it's tied to a Facebook page he created to urge movement and discussion about the safe re opening of our struggling businesses in Benton-Franklin Counties.

Arnott told KEPR-TV CBS in Tri-Cities he's not surprised he got the letter after being so vocal about reopening his gym Monday. He had it checkered off with six foot spaces and other safety precautions for users, but he still got the C-D letter.

However, according to several Washington State Legislators, including Senator Doug Ericksen of Ferndale, the $10K threats made by Labor and Industries would not stand up in court because they violate the State Constitution.

Ericksen and others say Gov. Inslee cannot legally give 'enforcement' and fine responsibility to L&I because their constitutional purpose is only to ensure workplace safety and handle injuries and such events on the job. Ericksen says they cannot be used in the manner Inslee is  trying to do.

But most business owners appear not to be willing to test it in court, obviously it would cost money. But according to State Constitution, the $10K fines are illegal.

Arnott's event will start at 4PM at his Akademy Athletics off of Road 68 in Pasco. Any and all are welcome to stop by.  He hopes to help bridge some of the discourse and division that's going on in our area, he told KEPR TV.

To find out more about his new Facebook page, click on the button below.

To find out more about his Akademy Athletics, click on the button below.

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