Welcome to Inside Honolulu! The Honolulu City Council has recessed until 2011, but there’s still work to be done. There’s also a council vacancy to be filled, with less than a week until the special election. Civil Beat is reporting from the inside.

City Officials Anticipate Rain

1:59 p.m. With the possibility of more rain on the horizon, city officials are preparing to close facilities and respond to flooding and overflows.

“I hear Kauai is just getting pounded, so we’re getting ready,” said Markus Owens of the city’s Environmental Services department. “If the rain comes, the roads and everything could really be a mess again.”

Health Department officials are still cautioning residents to stay out of the water at Kaneohe Beach Park and Waikalua Ponds after heavy rains led to a sewage overflow at a Kaneohe Pre-Treatment facility.

Oahu Braces for Explosive New Year’s Eve

1:22 p.m. With the looming ban on firecrackers, sales of consumer fireworks like sparklers are expected to spike in the coming days. A permit costs $25 for adult residents who want to set off 5,000 or fewer firecrackers.

In early October, then-acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed a bill into law that amended the City Fire Code to prohibit the sale, possession and use of consumer fireworks starting Jan. 2. There will be permitted exceptions for some cultural reasons.

Tree-cycling After Christmas

9:28 a.m.
City officials are asking Honolulu residents to recycle their Christmas trees. Undecorated trees — that means no ornaments, no twinkly lights, no tinsel, no fake snow — may be left curbside with regular recycling pick-up. Residents who have green city-issued opala bins are asked to fit trees inside those closed containers. Trees can also be dropped off at city refuse centers.

“It’s just like any other green waste,” said Markus Owens, a spokesman for the city Department of Environmental Services. “They all go to the composting facilities and they are made into mulch.”

More details are available on the Honolulu trash website.

Special Election is Days Away

9:04 a.m.
City Council candidates are making their final push in the District 1 special election, which concludes on Wednesday. One week ago, just 17 percent of voters had cast ballots. As of Saturday, about 22 percent of ballots had been returned.

“So far we have 10,257,” City Clerk Bernice Mau told Civil Beat this morning. “Probably as of saturday.” The city mailed out 47,000 ballots.

The $52,446-per-year position opened in November, after former City Council Chairman Todd Apo resigned to take a job in the private sector.

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