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Lockdowns lower the bar for rule of law

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Once the owner of four very popular isle bars, Bill Comerford tells how Hawaii’s arbitrary lockdowns turned his world upside down

Rule of law or ruined by law?

That is the question prompted by the sad and upsetting case of Bill Comerford, once the owner of four popular bars in Honolulu who now is financially ruined because of Hawaii’s arbitrary and discriminatory COVID-19 lockdown rules.

Comerford was the special guest on the July 19, 2021, episode “Hawaii Together” on ThinkTech Hawaii. He was interviewed by guest host Joe Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, who was sitting in for Institute President Keli’i Akina.

Comerford said it’s been almost 18 months since the state and county lockdowns were imposed, but though many of the regulations have been eased or lifted, the official state of emergency that called them into existence continues.

Unfortunately for Hawaii bar owners who have somehow managed to stay in business since March 2020, the strictest of the remaining restrictions most affect bars — or “living communities,” as Comerford affectionately calls them.

“Quite honestly, Mayor Caldwell and [Gov.] Ige never gave us a chance to survive,” said Comerford, who also is president of the Hawaii Bar Owners Association.

Watch this heart-wrenching, exasperating interview and see if you, too, aren’t compelled to wonder why such “emergency” regulations are still with us — or at least why they don’t seem to have been more reasonably applied.

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