By Herbert A. Sample-Associated Press
KAILUA, Hawaii | Although President Obama‘s standing in Washington has dropped a notch or two in the year since he and his family last spent their holiday vacation in this beach community, the thrill is definitely not gone for many Kailuans about his return here.
“I’m very excited,” said Virginia Carnohan, owner of the Cottage gift shop about 2 1/2 miles from the trio of multimillion-dollar beachfront homes where the Obama family and friends will spend Christmas and New Year‘s.
“We have a local boy who’s president, and everybody’s very proud of that,” said Chuck Prentiss, chairman of the Kailua Neighborhood Board, a panel that advises Honolulu city officials on community concerns.
First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha arrived Saturday evening on Oahu – the island that contains the state’s largest city, where Mr. Obama was born and mostly raised. But the president is not expected to arrive until after Congress adjourns, possibly Wednesday.
Last year, delayed by deliberations on the health care reform bill, the family didn’t get to Hawaii until Christmas Eve. This will be their third consecutive holiday visit to Kailua.
The Secret Service began alerting residents of spacious homes along Kailuana Place last week that checkpoints would soon go up. Hawaiian Telecom personnel were busy repairing telephone wiring outside one of the Obama homes, which sit midway down a cul-de-sac.
Once authorities throw up a cordon around the neighborhood, simple pleasures like walking the beach or canoeing in a canal near the three houses will become difficult – if not impossible.
To read more, visit: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/20/hawaiians-to-welcome-obamas/
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