A Kailua neighborhood prepares for the presidential family's vis - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

A Kailua neighborhood prepares for the presidential family's visit

Martha Burke Martha Burke
Paul Sullivan Paul Sullivan
Hawaiian TelCom workers add more secure phone lines to the vacation house Hawaiian TelCom workers add more secure phone lines to the vacation house
Beverly Marica Beverly Marica
Tim Sakahara at the point in the street that will be blocked off by Secret Service Tim Sakahara at the point in the street that will be blocked off by Secret Service

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email 

KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - There was a lot of talk that President Obama was going to go to Maui this Christmas and stay at Oprah's house, and that Oprah was going to be there. Now while that could still technically happen preparations are underway for a return presidential trip to Kailuana Place.

Almost like a blur, Secret Service agents have been busy going door to door, collecting a list of names of people who will be visiting each house.  So, if someone is having a Christmas party, all names must be submitted in advance in order for your guests to enter the neighborhood.  It's kind of like having the Secret Service as your bouncer.  Even the names of yard guys or contractors have to be on the list.

Martha Burke explained, "We make out a very long list because we have lots of friends and we have a lot of company and there is absolutely no problem."

Paul Sullivan conveys "Who do you have for the holidays?  I have the President of the United States come and stay, so that's a special honor, as you can imagine."

Sullivan lives right next door to the historic Castle residence.  He developed the house along with the others where the Obamas stay.

Sullivan furthers, "He rents a number of houses all right next to each other for his friends and one of them is ours.  He comes over with his best friends and a bunch of children.  And they have a heck of a time.  I think last year was really great."

So what does he charge the president to use his pad?  Well, Sullivan wouldn't exactly say.

Sullivan offered, "I would have given it away for free but I don't believe he can take that.  So we try to do the best we can and make it as low as possible."

Hawaiian TelCom crews are busy adding more secure phone lines to the property.

Last year, the White House press corps stayed in a separate house while they waited for the president to move.  Now a family lives there.

The Secret Service stayed in yet another house last year but it was torn down since then and is being rebuilt.  The construction workers involved were told they would not be working during the visit which also means they won't be getting paid over the holiday.

The beach by the president's house will be blocked off again and paddlers won't be able to use the canal, either.   However, a few paddlers this reporter encountered weren't bothered.

Beverly Marica said, "If we go out from the beach park, you can't come past ‘Castles'.  There are zodiacs around there and this is a great spot you can surf.  You can play but that's okay because this is his home…  We like him."

There is a certain spot on the street where Secret Service blocks off the neighborhood.  This means people will have to find another place to park if they want to walk to the beach.

 

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