Legislature fields day-one groupies
With free food and entertainment, the opening of Hawaii's state Legislature is one of Honolulu's annual January attractions.
"There's no one else in the country that does anything like this," said Suzette Hill, who works in the Senate Majority Office. "Other states just get right into it. Hawaii does it right."
"I'm very impressed," said Shanie Dakan, who traveled with a class from Oregon to see the Legislature's opening day. "We want to see law in action."
"I'm only expecting good politicking," Jesus Leiza said.
"I'm here for the overthrow of Liliuokalani," said La'akea del Ray, a student from the Hauula Hawaiian immersion program.
"We are supporting her, not the government. This is my first time here for the overthrow, so I don't know what will happen."
"I've heard a lot about the first day. I'm here to see (Senate President) Colleen Hanabusa in action," said Francis Choe, a Saint Louis School student.
"We flew from Maui for this," said Ray Van Wagner. "There's a real hospital and doctor crisis out there." Wagner and his wife, Laura, were among a small group who held signs calling for a second hospital on Maui. "Hoping to influence the committee," Wagner said.
Kourtney Ka'aihue, an intern at 'Olelo, said, "I'll be interviewing organization leaders, community members and representatives, asking about their priorities. It's gonna be a very hectic day."
"I would hope the gay civil rights bill will be coming up," said DC Benn while passing through the state Capitol on his way to work. "Because it's heavily Democratic this year," Benn said, he expects the bill to pass.