Posted on January 5, 2010

Hawaii Considering New Holidays, Parks to Honor Obama

Dan Nakaso, Honolulu Advertiser, January 2, 2010

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa wants President Obama’s Aug. 4 birthday to be a state holiday, right up there with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole Day, King Kamehameha I Day and even Christmas.

State Rep. Della Au Belatti, D-25th (Tantalus, Makiki, McCully), would like the Jan. 20 date of Obama’s presidential inauguration to be forever known in the Islands as Barack Obama II Ohana Day.

And even Republican state Rep. Gene Ward, R-17th, (Kalama Valley, Queen’s Gate, Hawai’i Kai), hopes to turn 4,124 square feet of overgrown scrub land owned by the state Department of Transportation into President Barack Obama Birthplace State Park.


But it’s the state Legislature that’s considering resolutions that would bring six new changes in Obama’s honor, such as urging the state Board of Education to rename Obama’s first school–Noelani Elementary School–President Barack Hussein Obama II Elementary School, and to change the name of McKinley High School to President Barack Hussein Obama II High School.

Renaming one or two public schools in Obama’s name makes sense to Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran, D-9th, (Wailuku, Pu’unene Makawao), who introduced the resolution, because “part of his education agenda is to make sure that the next generation has as much opportunity as possible in an economy where we need to compete globally.”


Another resolution would begin the process to place the rental apartment building on Beretania Street where Obama’s grandparents lived on to the National Register of Historic Places.