Tags: obama | hawaii | vacation

Locals Welcome Winter White House Despite Hassles

Image: Locals Welcome Winter White House Despite Hassles

Sunday, 22 Dec 2013 07:22 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Kailua, in Honolulu County, Hawaii, has seen property values soar since President Barack Obama and his family began renting area properties for their Christmas vacations, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Local Doug Miller, a retired police officer and Obama fan said the president deserved a break. "I'm OK with him staying here despite the significant inconvenience that it does cause the neighborhood."

The president arrived on Friday night hoping to get in some sleep, sun, and golf. The family spends most of its time at home or in modest gatherings with friends, according to the Times.

Obama, who was born in Honolulu, carried Hawaii in 2012 against Mitt Romney, 71 percent to 28 percent.

Efforts by state tourism authorities to capitalize on the Obama visits to Kailua — about 40-minutes from the busy hotels and beaches of Waikiki — have met opposition from local residents.

Neighborhood board President Chuck Prentiss is concerned about the spike in rental prices in the residential neighborhood, but does not blame the president. "We like having him here," he said. "He's a local boy."

Henrick Vanryzin, who grew up in the area and now works as an animator and illustrator, finds the presidential visits "surreal" because "ninety percent of the kids I grew up with never left this island. I think it's good for the youth of Hawaii to see that you can succeed on the mainland."

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