Obama parties hearty in Hawaii
Saturday was a financial ordeal for Skydive Hawaii owner Frank Hinshaw. President Obama and his family attended a barbecue at the oceanfront house of his Punahou School pal Bobby Titcomb on the North Shore of Oahu. That meant that Skydive Hawaii, based at Dillingham Airfield just across Farrington Highway from the shoreline villa, had to close down for the entire day. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports (subscription required):
Owner Frank Hinshaw said Saturday's weather was near-perfect for sky diving.
"We'd have 100 customers here," he said. "That's about how many we canceled yesterday when we got news of the president's trip out here."
Hinshaw estimates he lost $20,000 to $25,000 while his business was grounded. Still, he said he's fortunate because Obama stays in Kailua, on the other side of the island, and comes to Mokuleia for just one day.
This puts an Obama visit in the same category as a typhoon: one counts oneself as fortunate when it stays away.
President Obama has been spending a lot of time with Titcomb while in Hawaii. He is a regular golf companion, and when the president and Mrs. Obama attended a basketball game between Oregon State (coached by Michelle's brother) and the University of Akron, it was "with the president sitting in between his wife and friend Bobby Titcomb," according to AP.
Titcomb has an interesting recent past. According to the National Enquirer, in April 2011:
Titcomb,a high school pal of the president, was one of four men arrested in an undercover Honolulu prostitution bust. He was released on $500 bail. In May, his lawyer, who appeared in court without Titcomb, entered a no contest plea for his client.
A judge ruled that charges against Titcomb would be dismissed in six months if he had no further run-ins with the law. He kept his nose clean and in October paid a $500 fine and donated money to a criminal-injury compensation fund.
There is no sign that any financial compensation has been offwered to Hinshaw, whose business was damaged by the president's partying.
Hat tip: Peter von Buol