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Obama, on Midway Atoll, speaks of protecting planet

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JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

President Barack Obama arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam after a day trip to Midway Atoll tonight.

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Barack Obama speaks to media as he tours on Midway Atoll in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument today.

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

President Barack Obama bows as he greets workers and volunteers on the tarmac as he arrives on Air Force one at Henderson Field on Midway Atoll in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument today.

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

After pausing for a moment alone, President Barack Obama walks from the Battle of Midway Navy Memorial to talk to the media as he tours Midway Atoll in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, today.

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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

President Barack Obama arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Wednesday evening. Oahu commuters can expect more road closures and delays this morning as Obama travels from his Kailua rental home to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and a major international conference gets started at the Blaisdell Center.

Update 9:20 p.m.

Air Force One landed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at 8:38 p.m., following President Barack Obama’s trip to Midway Atoll.

Obama’s motorcade headed for Kailua, where he was expected to spend the night.

Update 3:30 p.m.

President Barack Obama arrived on Midway Atoll today, paying homage to the men killed in a critical World War II battle and stressing the importance of protecting the planet and all its inhabitants from the effects of climate change.

Obama emerged from Air Force One and greeted the roughly 40 inhabitants of Midway who had come out to welcome him. “We are going to have a great time,” he told them.

Later, standing on a pier by Turtle Beach, Obama spoke to reporters. “Let me start by saying that this is hallowed ground,” he said, noting that this was the site of the 1942 Battle of Midway, where “a number of young men lost their lives here … For us to be able to visit this monument and remind ourselves of the sailors and airmen and everyone involved who were able to rebuff the Japanese force, that was vastly outnumbered, is a testament to their courage and their perseverance.”

He went on to address the main themes of his short visit to Honolulu and Midway, promoting his administration’s efforts to protect the environment which includes his decision last month to greatly expand the Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument in the Northwestern Hawaii Islands.

“It is also spectacular as an ecosystem,” he said of the marine monument, “and our ability to not just designate but build on this incredible natural beauty that is home to 7,000 marine species, that sees millions of birds, many of them endangered, sea turtles, Hawaiian monk seals, black coral, all sorts of species that in many other places we no longer see, we’ll extend that 550,000 miles in ways that ensure not only that Midway itself is protected, that the entire ecosystem will be able to generate the kind of biodiversity that allows us to study it, research and understand our oceans better than we ever have before.”

“And for us to be able to protect and preserve this national monument, to extend it, and, most importantly, to interact with Native Hawaiians and other stakeholders so that the way we protect and manage this facility is consistent with ancient traditions and the best science available, this is going to be a precious resource for generations to come.

“I look forward to knowing that 20 years from now, 40 years from now, 100 years from now this is a place where people can still come to and see what a place like this looks like when it’s not overcrowded or destroyed by human populations,” Obama said.

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From media pool reports

Update 9:55 a.m.

President Obama departed Oahu aboard Air Force One from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at about 9:50 a.m. today on his way to Midway Atoll, where he will take a tour and get a briefing on Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument.

Obama started his morning with a 6 a.m. workout at a Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe gym, then returned to the Kailua home, before departing again after 9 a.m. He is expected to arrive back on Oahu tonight after 9 p.m.

Previous coverage

Oahu commuters can expect more road closures and delays this morning as President Barack Obama travels from his Kailua rental home to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and a major international conference gets started at the Blaisdell Center.

Obama, who arrived last night and gave a speech at the East-West Center, will leave Honolulu for Midway Atoll, where he is scheduled to receive a briefing from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the Papahanaumokuakea Monument. In the afternoon, the president will tour the island and then deliver a monument designation statement to the members of the press who follow him there.

In the evening Obama will return to Honolulu and remain overnight before leaving for China Friday morning, where he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and participate in his final G-20 Leaders Summit.

Honolulu police will close roads as the president’s motorcade travels to and from Hickam and Kailua this morning and tonight. The exact closures and times have not been disclosed but the president is scheduled to fly out of Hickam after 9:30 a.m. and return after 9 p.m.

On Wednesday, ahead of the president’s evening arrival, many commuters clogged Oahu’s roads by mid-afternoon.

In addition to the president, more than 9,000 delegates from 194 countries convene in Honolulu for the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 10 a.m. today at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center and will feature remarks by U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Gov. David Ige.

Commuters are advised to stay away from the Blaisdell area. After today, the meeting moves to the Hawaii Convention Center.

37 responses to “Obama, on Midway Atoll, speaks of protecting planet”

  1. Hawaii_Libertarian says:

    After all the hardship, inconvenience, and additional gas costs Obama caused Oahu drivers, his speech at the East-West Center only lasted about 10 minutes followed by his dinner in Waikiki. What a waste!

    • Corruption says:

      Pinocchio O Dumbo and tree hug-ers equals enormous WASTE at taxpayers expense!!!

    • d_bullfighter says:

      One should expect no less from a narcissist.

    • Morimoto says:

      Yeah but he dined at Morimoto. Shows he at least has good taste. That said, I can’t wait for him to get out of here. Though some may think otherwise, I don’t consider him local. He’s more Chicagoan than Hawaiian.

      • lespark says:

        He ain’t no Hawaiian.

        • Sandys says:

          No one said he was Hawaiian. He did live here quite awhile in his youth. I would rather spend money on Dems than any Repubs. His mom came here for college and his grandparents lived here until the grandmother passed away 8 years ago so yes he could be considered local. If you spend anytime at Sandys you’re local.

        • deepdiver311 says:

          you may not be “hawaiian” but if you hawaiian in the “heart”
          you hawaiian
          this pope ain’t no hawaiian
          auwe

        • kokocats says:

          all of you belly ache so much about his not being Hawaiian or not spending enough time with us and then moan when he does come.

          Time to get a life – like him or not. he is the leader of the free world, you think other world leaders even care about their people?

          I wish we did have a real leader to vote for this election, but it is what it is, be happy with what you have, soon you will have Hillary or Trump!!

    • toad103410 says:

      My thoughts exactly!

    • Sandys says:

      Spending money on Dem leaders is always more sense than spending on Repub wingnuts.

    • Allaha says:

      Best way to protest the planet is by a mandatory 2 children only policy.

  2. mijoeca says:

    What’s wrong with helicopters? He uses them in DC, why not here?

    • AhiPoke says:

      Or a police escorted motorcade. Multiple ambulances travel through Honolulu every day, even during rush hour, never creating traffic gridlock. With sirens blaring he’d get there in about the same time it took yesterday without all of the problems. BTW, this is not a political statement. I’d feel the same if he was a democrat, republican or the Pope.

  3. SanPablo says:

    Why cant that guy take a helicopter to various events–make it easy on the general public–Save the fanfare of looking presidential–yeah you are president but on you way out–act like a normal citizen and be considerate

  4. Bdpapa says:

    They can’t even give us a time frame for road closures!

  5. lespark says:

    He should get back to campaigning. His Choice is getting a rough time. He’s got to worry about being dragged into her mess.

  6. Keonigohan says:

    Did O get any rounds in?

  7. justmyview371 says:

    And again and again and again. Only in Hawaii. The Feds just kick us around with our own politicians and HPD’s help.

  8. deepdiver311 says:

    dis royal hawaiian sure knows how to make pilikea
    go home no come back!

  9. YOTARE says:

    Like I said, no matter who wins the election in November, when this wanna emperor gets his walking papers in January the real winners are the American People.

  10. kahaluu96744 says:

    Why come back to Hawaii tonight? Stay at Midway and continue on to China. A waste of resources, time, and inconveniencing everyone else!

  11. stanislous says:

    President Obama, the other politicians, along with all those “tree huggers” should feel right at home on Midway Island. So many “Goonie Birds” already there. LOL. LOL. LOL.

  12. deepdiver311 says:

    hope a sooty tern plants a big one
    on top his nappy head
    auwe!

  13. iwanaknow says:

    We live in exciting times!

  14. mcc says:

    Is that a legal vacation rental and do they pay excise and transient taxes??? I know that it is a residential neighborhood and not hotel zoned.

  15. justmyview371 says:

    Going to Midway is a waste of his time. On the other hand, it keeps him out of trouble.

  16. iwanaknow says:

    He should have taken some of our homeless and left them there…..be pioneers?

  17. BigErn says:

    Leave him on Midway

  18. willman says:

    He is no local boy that’s for sure. He should stay in Chicago his real home. .Going to Midway to give a meaningless speech shows us how useless and out of touch
    he has been. Hopefully he and his brood will make only one more trip to Hawaii.

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