Kailua getting ready for President Obama's Christmas visit

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Nov 29 2012 10:28:02 PM HST
Updated On: Nov 30 2012 08:22:12 AM HST

Local residents react to security preparations related to the Obama family's annual stay in Kailua.

KAILUA, Hawaii -

There is already a buzz in Kailua that the Obama family will be spending Christmas in Hawaii. Residents there are getting extra visits by those in charge of protecting the President.

Resident Todd Bessinger prepared for Christmas by putting up lights, but he's also preparing for the Presidents visit soon. He lives in the same neighborhood where President Obama has stayed for the past few years.

"Even the people who are die-hard Republicans though in the neighborhood will come out and greet him and wave, so it kind of transcends parties," said Todd Bessinger.

Neighbor Candace Anglin said, "We wait with anticipation to hear if he's coming or not."

Anglin who has lived in the neighborhood for years said this visit is just as exciting as the first one.

"You feel very safe with the Secret Service at every entrance to your neighborhood," said Anglin.

Neighbors told us they were recently handed a security zone map by the Coast Guard. There are red areas on the map that are the exclusion zones, where no one is allowed in without permission.

Anglin said she's been held in traffic jams for 20 minutes before, and has had to go through extra security checks.

"We are former military, so having to show your ID to come in and out of places where you are going is kind of second nature for us," said Anglin.

But that chases some neighbors away.

"Some people just leave. Several of our neighbors are leaving just to avoid the hassle," said Bessinger.

Earlier on Thursday, the Honolulu police were also getting ready with motorcade drills down parts of the H-3 and the H-1.

"He's a local guy, and as a police officer we are very proud for this opportunity and honor, to provide this assistance in conjunction with Secret Service and other federal agencies too," said Tenari Ma'afala, President of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers.

"It's absolutely thrilling. It wouldn't be Christmas without him for us," said Anglin.

This will be the President's fifth visit since he was elected in 2008. He could arrive in the islands as early as December 17th.

On the map residents were handed, the security zone is enforced from the morning of December 17th through the night of January 6th.

Comments

The views expressed are not those of this site, this station or its affiliated companies. By posting your comments you agree to accept our terms of use.
blog comments powered by Disqus