Kirk Caldwell’s Final Solution: Kill the Showers at Diamond Head

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hawaii Ocean News or its staff.


Kirk Caldwell would love it if you believed that he was part of Hawaii’s surf culture — kind of a Fred Hemmings kind-a guy only on a stand-up paddle board. 

Aside from the fact that the paddle board he rides qualifies for a Hawaii vessel registration number,  there are a couple of good reasons why this might be a hard sell. 

Kirk’s Triple-Crown fail is old news so we won’t bounce that off you here. 

It’s that Diamond Head beach shower thing — could this be quintessential Caldwell passive aggression fueled by a complaint by someone living in a castle overlooking Diamond Head?

The story goes something like this: one day, an elderly lady who lives in a castle that overlooks the beaches of Diamond Head spotted a gentleman relieving himself in the bushes somewhere in the vicinity of her neighborhood . . . 

Quick disclosure here:  it’s important to understand that this lady, probably among the many of our very wealthy residents who spend a fleeting moment here before returning to their homes in Europe or Elbonia, most likely was an ‘ardent’ Caldwell supporter during the last mayoral race.  She was an ‘ardent’ Djou supporter as well. Just hedging her bet, you understand.  Fess up, we’re all control freaks, and wealthy people — even part-timer wealthy people — are no exception.  If you’ve got lots of money to burn, the quickest way to control the destiny of your own property and surrounding quality of life is simply to buy the local politicians.  This way, whenever you have a real-imagined grievance you can just pick up the phone and complain directly to the people you bought.  Ah, the privileges of money. 

So, back to the story, observing first hand the gentleman with the bladder control issue in her neighborhood, she apparently decided that this was a homeless person and, like cockroaches, if you see one there must be a whole nest back in the bushes somewhere.

When she picked up the phone and chatted with Kirk, she found herself preaching to the choir.  Kirk absolutely hates homeless people. Hates ’em.  Publicly, Caldwell talks about his “War on Homelessness.”  Privately it’s his own personal “War on the Homeless Individual.”

Be that as it may, there probably was no more than a single heartbeat that separated the end of that phone call and Kirk’s order to SHUT DOWN THE WATER AT DIAMOND HEAD BEACH SO THE HOARDS OF HOMELESS PEOPLE NOW LIVING THERE CAN NO LONGER ENJOY THE PLEASURES OF A COLD SHOWER. (there might have been some evil-sounding laughter after this)

Ah yes, “hoards”.  The surfers who actually use Diamond Head beach every day have a different tale to tell.  They say that there certainly may be some scattered few homeless there, but no, they’ve never seen homeless people actually using the showers just off the beach or the makeshift one up by the community garden. 

“Never” is a pretty strong word.  But when you listen to these surfers, their side of the story seems to have a ring of truth while the old woman in the castle’s version kind of sounds like gilded hysteria.    

So, you’re Kirk Caldwell.  Who are you going to believe?  You get a gold star if your answer included ” . . . da lady who’s giving Kirk da money . . . “.

So now, months later, as a result of the outcry from the beachgoers that can no longer access a decent shower from facilities that have been on that beach for more than fifty (that’s 50) years, Kirk, in his singularly sparkling presence of mind had a shower installed at the TOP of the beach path.  This is an area sometimes called Da Top, because of it’s remote location in relation to Da Bottom, the actual beach area. Installing a brand new shower at Da Top works well if you shower BEFORE you  walk down to the ocean.  Does anyone shower BEFORE they go into the ocean?  I didn’t think so.  Maybe Kirk the stand-up paddle surfer does.  Either way, I went there yesterday and the new shower at Da Top, we’ll call this “Uncle Kirk’s Shower”, didn’t actually work either (private note to Uncle Kirk: showers work best when water exits from their heads).  The beach-level showers, the ones that have been there for fifty years, remain off, inoperable and dismantled.

There are literally hundreds of beachgoers a week who use Diamond Head beach.  That number will no doubt taper off some as there is no longer a decent shower there.  With fewer beachgoers at that beach, it’s likely that the number of homeless in the area will grow when they have more room to spread out.  I’ve been told that Kirk’s writing a new book about strategy now.  If this is true, might I suggest  “Homeless Strategies for Those with Low IQs” as a possible title?

Question: if turning off beach showers prevents homelessness in the area, why aren’t they turning off the showers along Waikiki Beach? The homeless openly and regularly use these showers at all times of the day and night. 

Kirk, and to be fair, other Honolulu Mayors in the past have been vehemently hostile to the idea of upgrading the commons area located just Waikiki side of the look-out at Diamond Head.  This spot is the most visited landmark in the State of Hawaii, and yet the City of Honolulu, now run by Caldwell, is quite happy to let the normally dry, parched landscape go completely to seed sprinkled liberally with  plate lunch foams and jumbo Slurpee cups.  No problem for uncle Kirk, though . . . as long as Waikiki resembles something approaching First World, the city’s golden. 

Fortunately, the folks who frequent Diamond Head regularly, take pride in their community — much unlike the city’s mayors — and so formed a grass roots group to plant and care for what has become, over the years, a community garden.  Simply beautiful.

Well, this community garden business must have really bugged Uncle Kirk, so he made sure his order included shutting off the water to the community garden area as well, since this was the very same locale of the draconian make-shift shower.  Fortunately, either direct threat or rational appeal may have, at least temporarily, kept some water running to that area.  Keep in mind, the order was to shut down ALL water to the garden commons, so it will be no surprise when this temporary reprieve dries up.

Poor decision making coming out of Honolulu Hale is becoming increasingly dangerous to the born-and-raised community here.  Maybe it’s time to step up grass roots efforts to put us back on course.


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