Well Done, Mayor Caldwell !

A lot of Oahu citizens do not like Kirk Caldwell, slam him in print and on the internet. Says they’ll absolutely not vote for him for governor in 2022.

They dislike him because of the train cost, the good-or-the-bad about closing B&Bs and TVUs, those Kahuku windmills so close to homes and a school, the “Sherwood Forest” plan, that Ala Moana Park playground fiasco, and his outside job as a bank director.

So yes, he deserves every shot that’s been aimed at him. He let both his Parks Department and Plans & Permitting become community jokes and really poorly run agencies with directors not up to the demands of the job.

But today, after his cogent explanation of a long-term plan to fight Covid-19 without summarily shutting down every source of employment or enjoyment,  I saw his other side — an ability to tell us what must be done, how it’s to be done, and — finally — a common sense approach to rules and regulations for business, and the enforcement of emergency-order violations. There will be citations.

That idiotic”solo at the beach or in the park” thing is gone. We go to five people, all family related. You might have to carry ID cards for police verification if you’re 6+, but how else can it be done?

He’s reopening pools for lap swimming. It had made no sense to stop that and I think he simply let Gov. Ige walk all over him on that one. He’s re-opening restaurants at 50% authorized capacity and you must wear masks during  “chat” periods before or after eating. I eat slower than my wife Denby so if she finishes she dons her mask. Only 5, family-related people at any table and with plenty of table separation. Optimum ventilation, which eliminates  gyms, which remain closed.

He’s allowing movie theater reopening with 50% occupancy. Will we run back? No. See my column here tomorrow.

Bars and nightclubs? Closed and that’s good and he did not cave to pressure from the owners on this. Thank you.

And thank you for opening hair and nail salons. Never made much sense closing them so long as they used the CDC guidelines for sanitation.

My main kudos to Caldwell are for his way of speaking today, explaining to us exactly how we’ll handle openings and closing based on “tier” metrics of infection rates and community transmission. Science, not any of the Trump-like guesswork. And so much more well explained than anything we’ve gotten so far from Gov. Ige in his frequent news conferences.

Josh Green’s would-be-governor stock has been slipping in price recently. Caldwell’s made a major up-tick today.



Published by Bob Jones

Journalist since age 19. St. Petersburg Times, Noticias y Viajes in Madrid, Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt and Paris, the Louisville Courier- Journal, the Honolulu Advertiser, KGMB-TV, NBC News foreign correspondent in Africa and Southeast Asia, and MidWeek columnist. LL.B LaSalle University Law. 3 years in the U.S. Air Force. Covered: Biafran War in Nigeria (1968) Vietnam War (1969-73), Iraq in 1991. George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished journalism for reporting in China. 2 Emmys for documentaries. Married to journalist Denby Fawcett; one daughter. Brett Jones, foreign service officer, State Department.

5 replies on “Well Done, Mayor Caldwell !”

  1. We will see how it works out. I still hope that he retires when the mayor term ends. I don’t see him as a Governor. To many bad decisions , some which you have listed.

  2. Finally, some thoughtful strategy from the Mayor. BUT..much of this mess could have been avoided a lot earlier if Caldwell and the Governor had studied and reached out to NY, NJ, and Connecticut for advice. After being devastated in March and April, huge sickness and death rates, the 3 Governors worked closely together to map out a solid, cautious, science-based approach on the close-down AND re-opening. They worked together, understanding the work and travel connections (like Inter-island)among the 3 states. And, as the numbers show, it worked. It was hard, slow, but carefully worked out with real scientists and experts. It’s still a work in progress. It is VITALLY
    important for Ige and Caldwell to seek out expert scientific advice (NOT the aptly-named “Brutus” Green) from around the US and BETTER plan BEFORE the Oct. re-opening. Ige and Caldwell would be wise to have a long talk with Cuomo. As we have seen from the sad results of one wedding in Maine and college and other mainland re-openings, if there is not a rock-solid, by-the numbers plan, it could be catastrophic for Hawai’i. Test results from other places can be faked. And that’s only ONE weakness of the Oct. plan.

  3. I agree with your thoughts on Mayor Caldwell’s explanation yesterday on the long-term plan to deal with Covid-19. In keeping with ‘Speak up!’ from a previous post, I sent an email to the Mayor thanking him and asking him to read your post on this plan. Since your September 14, 2020 post, ‘Kirk Caldwell’s Boo-boos’ was pointed out to him, seems fair to point out ‘Well done, Mayor Caldwell!’.

  4. He will make so much in the private sector as a former Mayor Developer lap dog so he does not care just to much ego and desire to stop all business. Hurt the little guy and help his wallet. No an inch of humanity.

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