By Chris Cooney
Bay City News Service
President Barack Obama is scheduled to land in the Bay Area this evening, and his visit is being eagerly anticipated by big-ticket supporters, local residents, and protesters alike.
Air Force One is expected to fly in from Colorado and land at Moffett Field in Mountain View early this evening.
Obama's first fundraising stop will be a private dinner at the Atherton home of philanthropists Lisa and Doug Goldman. Tickets for the event cost $35,800 per person.
The president will then attend a sold-out rally at Redwood City's Fox Theatre, where he is scheduled to speak at about 9:25 p.m. Premium seating for the event started at $1,000 per person and went as high as $12,500.
Redwood City resident Lisa Chang walked by Fox Theater this morning said she is excited Obama is coming to town. "He's the coolest president we've ever had," Chang said.
Various groups plan to gather outside the theater to protest the president's appearance.
Terry Valen, president of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, said Wednesday that dozens of community members will be in downtown Redwood City starting at around 6 p.m. to protest the president's immigration policies and the U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
"We are concerned recently about the increased military presence in the Philippines," Valen said.
Valen said U.S. forces have been responsible for damaging the environment and causing harm to local women in island communities.
Occupy Redwood City also plans to be outside the theater to protest corporate funding of politicians and the war in Afghanistan, according to Occupy member James Lee.
Several streets in downtown Redwood City will be closed to traffic beginning at around 3 p.m., according to police.
Broadway Street will be closed to traffic at Winslow Street and Jefferson Avenue, though pedestrians will be allowed to get as close as Hamilton Street and Middlefield Road.
Updated information on street closures can be found at www.redwoodcity.org.
A group that hopes to save Moffett Field's landmark Hangar One will be vying for the president's attention as soon as he touches down.
Members of the Save Hangar One Committee, a group working to preserve and restore the 80-year-old hangar, plan to gather right outside the airfield gates with signs asking Obama to help secure funds to save the structure.
"We just want to remind him that at this point, saving the hangar might be up to him," committee spokesman Lenny Siegel said.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner is also scheduled to be in the Bay Area tonight, to attend a fundraiser for the Republican Party in Woodside.
Republican House Budget Chair Paul Ryan is scheduled to make a fundraising visit to San Francisco on Thursday.
Obama is scheduled to fly out from Moffett Field on Thursday morning.