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First family to start annual vacation in isles

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:35 a.m. HST, Dec 22, 2012

President Barack Obama and his family were to arrive in Hawaii early this morning to begin their annual Christmas vacation.

The president left Washington, D.C., bound for Hono­lulu on Friday evening.

The first family does not have any public events scheduled in Hawaii, but Oahu motorists should expect unannounced delays as the presidential motorcade travels around the island.

Punchbowl cemetery officials announced "heightened security measures" for Sunday's memorial service for U.S. Sen. Daniel Ino­uye, indicating the president might attend.

The first family is expected to stay at their usual vacation compound in Kailua.

Obama's stay here may be shorter than usual since he left Washington without a deal in place to avert the so-called fiscal cliff on Jan. 1.

Speaking to the press before he left Washington, Obama encouraged Congress "to work towards a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class Americans."

"Once this legislation is agreed to, I expect Demo­crats and Republicans to get back to Washington and have it pass both chambers. And I will immediately sign that legislation into law, before Jan. 1st of next year. It's that simple," he said.

He ended his remarks by saying, "I want to wish every American a merry Christmas. And because we didn't get this done, I will see you next week."

The Coast Guard notified the public Tuesday that it will enforce a "temporary security zone" in Kailua Bay from 6 a.m. Friday through Jan. 6.

The security zone includes a portion of Kailua Bay, beginning at Kapoho Point and extending westward to the shoreline near Kai­­l­u­ana Loop and also including the adjacent canal beginning near Kapoho Point to about 150 yards mauka of the North Kala­­heo Avenue bridge.

Oahu roads between the airport and Kailua were closed by the Hono­lulu Police Department for escort detail training at the end of November and the beginning of this month in anticipation of Obama's visit.

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