An Olympia bowling alley is under fire for a message on its reader board that says “Open season on tweekers!”
The sign went up outside Aztec Lanes on Martin Way East about two months ago but started getting more attention this week after some postings on social media.
“To see a sign like that, I don’t know, it just really bothered me,” said Sam Miller, a comedian in Olympia who has been posting on Facebook about the sign. “The idea that threatening someone as a way to deal with addiction is stupid.”
On Aztec Lanes’ Facebook page, more than 40 people had left bad reviews of the business as of Friday afternoon and referenced the sign. Many said it advocated violence, while others defended the business.
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Owner Dan Brathovd said he has had problems with theft and vandalism on his property for years and that he regularly finds needles around the building, along with trash and human feces.
The bowling alley is near at least one large homeless camp, which Brathovd said is part of the problem. Aztec Lanes has been in his family since 1972, and he has owned it for a decade.
“We wanted to be provocative. We wanted people to pay attention,” Brathovd said of the sign. “I think it’s done it’s purpose finally.”
He said the message is scheduled to be replaced next week when he will be announcing fall bowling league sign-ups.
Miller, a former drug user, said addiction should be addressed but not with threats. He plans to host a benefit comedy show featuring former drug users to raise money for organizations that help people dealing with substance abuse.
“People aren’t problems, people have problems,” he said.