Locals and visitors want to impart messages, of welcome and politics


POSTED: Friday, December 25, 2009

KAILUA » Tom Caprio adorned his Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood Co. lunch wagon at Aikahi Park Shopping Center with photos of President Barack Obama giving a thumbs up and a sign promoting Obama's homemade chili.

He said he didn't know Obama was coming to Hawaii when he dreamed up the idea of selling the president's version of chili, which he found by accident online. A then-single Obama would prepare it when he went to potluck parties, Caprio said.

He started selling the $10.95 plate, which also comes with a steak sandwich, about two weeks ago.

“;We must have sold about 40 or 50 of them,”; Caprio said. “;Some people really like it. I get guys that just want the chili. This is not a chili wagon so you got to get the combination.”;

Caprio said the Obama chili has boosted business, bringing in construction workers, police and secret service agents .

He hopes Obama will stop by to try the chili. Caprio hasn't tasted it because he's a vegetarian.

“;I took a chance,”; he said. “;First of all he's the president, secondly he's from Hawaii. It kind of all fit together. Now I hope it tastes good.”;

Before Obama's motorcade arrived in Kailua, police blocked off Kalaheo Avenue near Kailuana Place. Armed with cameras, residents came out to wave at the motorcade with kids in tow, and even pets, including a dog in a Santa hat.

A police canine unit searched cars stopped along the road. Obama's motorcade arrived in Kailua at 3:33 p.m. to cheers and shaka signs.

A Hawaiian separatist group set up on the corner of Kalaheo Avenue and Mokapu Road, where they spelled out in large letters on separate boards: “;end U.S. occupation of Hawaii.”;

Lynette Cruz, a member of the Hawaiian Independence Action Alliance, said she hoped the message would reach other parts of the nation.

“;We wanted to make sure that we gave Obama something to think about,”; she said. “;Our history tells us we're not part of the United States; we never were.”;

Kekuni Blaisdell, another group member, said he opposes the Akaka Bill, which Obama has supported, because it would designate Hawaiians as native Americans, which he said they are not.

;[Preview]    Kailua anxiously awaits Obama's arrival

Hundreds of people lined the streets in Kailua this afternoon to get a glimpse of the President Obama's motorcade.

Watch ]


On the beach, about 40 people had gathered where Secret Service agents stopped public access within view of Obama's vacation house about 300 yards away.

Sam Salvatori, of Spokane, had no idea Obama would be on Hawaii until after booking her vacation in Kailua.

Salvatori, who works as a college counselor for women in transition, said her message is aligned with the president's: “;He wants to encourage people to have the best lives possible. And he believes in the power of education as I do.

“;My hope, if I can just get a glimpse—that's it, just a glimpse—then I won't go out of my way,”; she said. “;It's just kind of cool. He's the most powerful man in the world and we're just a little ways away.”;