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Plan to name Hawaii beach after Obama runs aground

Jolie Lee
USA TODAY Network
In this Aug. 14, 2008 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama body surfs at Sandy Beach while on vacation in Honolulu, Hawaii. Two Honolulu city councilmen have dropped plans to rename a popular beach for President Barack Obama. Two Honolulu city councilmen have dropped plans to rename Sandy Beach Park, a popular beach for President Barack Obama Sandy Beach Park. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Councilman Stanley Chang and Council Chairman Ernie Martin decided to withdraw the proposal after hearing from the public. The beach is a popular bodysurfing spot not on Oahuís east side.

Honolulu officials dropped plans to rename a beach after President Obama in response to mixed public reaction.

Some locals said if Sandy Beach Park's name was changed, it should be to a native Hawaiian name, reports KHON-TV in Honolulu.

Another concern: A President Barack Obama Sandy Beach Park would attract too many tourists, according to the station.

Obama was born in Honolulu and spent most of his childhood and teen years there. The Oahu beach is popular with body surfers, and the president has visited the beach while in office.

"It's not that the president isn't worthy of some degree of recognition, but perhaps we should look at other areas besides Sandy Beach," Honolulu Council Chairman Ernie Martin, one of two council members who proposed the change, told KHON-TV.

Martin said Obama has supported Honolulu's rail transit system, so he said a better way to honor the president might be to name a station after him, Reuters reports.

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