Bryan Miller has been attending “The Wave” in Whitefish Montana for the past couple of years. And up until about a month ago, everything was going “swimmingly.”
Miller stated, “I’d been going to The Wave for a few months regularly and not wearing a mask as I fall under the Whitefish City Ordinance as one who cannot wear a face-covering do to medical reasons.”
Miller was referring to Section 4 of the ordinance, which provided a medical exemption.
Miller then added, “All of a sudden about a month ago, I was forced to wear one to enter The Wave. When I entered The Wave recently, the front door attendant and Fitness Manager, Geoff Gibbs, approached me to ask, “Hey, where’s your mask?”
Miller explained that he could not wear the mask becaues he cannot breathe well with one. Breathing, so far as most people are concenred, is a necessary part of living.
Gibbs then replied coldly, “We don’t accept Medical Exemptions.”
However, the Whitefish City Ordinance states:
EMERGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 21-01
a. Businesses, government offices, other persons responsible for indoor spaces open to the public, and sponsors of organized outdoor activities are not required to ensure the following individuals wear face coverings.
viii. Persons who have a medical exemption precluding the wearing of a face covering.
In Miller’s defense, keep in mind that even the CDC doesn’t recommend a face shield without wearing a mask in conjunction with it because carbon dioxide flows out of the shield in all directions without a mask in place as well.
Miller recalls, “As Gibbs got more riled up, Art Krueger (Director of The Wave) came over to smooth things out.”
Keep in mind, Miller had not worn any type of face mask since the beginning of the “pandemic,” but recently it was forced upon him.
Miller was concerned about the level of hostility Gibbs displayed (downright bullying, in fact), and Miller asked if “I needed to put my baby down.”
“I honestly didn’t know what he would do,” Miller stated. Krueger assured him nothing was going to happen. After much hassling from Gibbs and Krueger’s intervention, Miller was allowed to enter. Then Krueger commented, “Next time, just wear a little ski mask or any kind of mask.”
Such masks, of course, aren’t recommended by the CDC.
Miller said, “The Wave has a membership handbook. That handbook includes a NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY under SECTION II: CODE OF CONDUCT along with a prohibition against HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, OR BULLYING, but they don’t follow it.”
Miller shared, “I was definitely bullied.”
Fast forward to March 17th.
Miller and his family showed up for swim lessons (just as they repeatedly had over the past couple of years with their young boys ages five and three along with their baby). Miller entered the facility maskless.
It was literally only their family present and a maskless swim instructor teaching the boys in the pool area.
Again, Gibbs confronted Miller at the front door, demanding that he wear a mask. Miller didn’t want to repeat the former scenario with the Fitness Manager and stated, “If you need to call the cops, go ahead.”
Krueger then came to the pool area and asked Miller to mask up, to which he replied, “No, I can’t breathe with a mask on.” The conversation went on for some time, so Miller asked, “Hey, can’t I just buy a day pass? And go over where the workout area is on the other side of the glass? I can lift weights or something and watch my boys through the window and get to see them in their swim lessons.”
The answer was no. Of course, at this point, it was about keeping and maintaining his freedom and not giving in to the unjust actions of the management at The Wave.
Miller’s request was denied. They ignored the fact that Miller fell under the Whitefish City Ordinances in conjunction with medical exemptions stating that he was and is, in fact, genuinely exempt.
The individuals on the other side of the glass weren’t forced to wear masks even they’re heavily breathing in their workout regiments in close proximity to one another. But this isn’t about health; it’s about control.
Miller was asked to leave. The police were called, then showed up (outside the pool area) and urged Miller to wear a mask, to which he respectfully stated, “No, Sir, I’m not able to wear a mask.” He was forced by police to vacate the premises.
Miller then requested that the police “just do what you need to do.” At this point, Miller’s integrity was at stake, along with his freedoms.
Miller found out later via his wife that his frightened little children were upset and scared and were distracted in their swim lessons once daddy had to leave. Miller explained to his children that evening before they went to bed, “Sometimes good guys (good people ) go to jail, but that’s O.K.”
Miller was making a point and standing up for what he believes in, which is freedom. There’s a horrible double standard taking place at The Wave. No masks are required one day, then masks the next. Miller told Montana Daily Gazette, “The police were all over the place. They needed to do it all the way if they were gonna do it at all.”
Additionally, as we all know, money talks. “The Wave” received enormous amounts of “Covid Cash” in the last year, and as a result, they feel they must mask up their customers.
Ironically, City Manager of Whitefish, Dana Smith, (see photo of her below) was extremely nice to Miller when he met with her and another board member of The Wave in the City Hall Conference Room in Whitefish.
Miller and his friend attended maskless which was not a problem for Dana Smith or the Deputy Attorney.
Smith is also a member of the Board of Directors of The Wave, which poses a conflict of interest.
Dana Smith is sneaky; The Wave is sneaky. The City of Whitefish owns The Wave. The Whitefish City Ordinance has a medical exemption stating that “persons who have a medical condition” are not required to wear a face-covering, and yet here they are enforcing it contrary to their own ordinance.
Not surprisingly, Dana Smith, and Deputy City Attorney, Mary Leffers Barry were chatting with Miller over the incident (where he was issued a citation of $300, which he paid “for trespassing.”) Of course, in a brilliant, checkmate move, Miller stated that he was, “Considering hiring legal counsel to sue The Wave.”
Then the level of friendliness exerted by the women present escalated to an all-time high. In the meeting, Barry sounded as though she were offering to help Miller when in fact, she was the prosecuting attorney. In the conference, she didn’t want Miller to ask for a continuance. The two women then stated that The Wave was privately owned (which it is not as it is owned by the City of Whitefish.) In other words, “Don’t try suing The Wave, Miller, because you won’t get anywhere with that.”
Approximately a week later, Miller and a friend went to Municipal Court in Whitefish on March 31st under presiding Judge William Hileman Jr. Neither Miller nor his friend wore a face covering while in the courtroom, which made Judge Hileman nervous but they stood their ground.
“Please wear a mask in the courtroom,” Hileman requested.
“No, Miller stated. I cannot wear a mask. I’m exempt.” Any judge with a lick of sense should have seen that coming as the entire reason Miller was even in the courtroom was that he was maskless in The Wave.
Why was the actual citation for “trespassing?” Why would The Wave not call it a mask citation? It’s a catch-22. Because the Whitefish City Ordinance states that people such as Miller are exempt from wearing masks and that is exactly the real reason the police were called. But because the mask is, in fact, exempt, they call it “trespassing” instead.
Discrimination. Corruption. Bullying. The Wave is a master at this. And it’s not just Miller who they have treated this way.
Miller asked for an extension from Judge Hileman, and it was granted. Miller will be present virtually before the court this Wednesday, April 14th (as he was not allowed back into the courtroom because he will not wear a mask.) Miller standing up for his Constitutional rights, both under the US and Montana State Constitution, will remain unmasked and represent himself via zoom meeting.
In conclusion, Miller has a strong case. He has followed the Whitefish City Ordinance; he was bullied by a member of The Wave and discriminated against. The Whitefish City Manager is playing several sides, which poses a conflict of interest. The Wave has proved itself over many years to be corrupt, discriminatory, and bullies.