It’s a new year, and Honolulu Hale is welcoming five new City Council members. The city’s new mayor has eight weeks to go before he has to present his first budget, and a new round of rail hearings start this week. Civil Beat is reporting from the inside.

The Meeting Before the Meeting

1:07 p.m.
Transportation Services Director Wayne Yoshioka is heading into a “pre-meeting” with City Council members in advance of next week’s Transportation and Transit Planning Committee meeting. That committee’s new director, City Council member Breene Harimoto is devoting the Jan. 12 meeting to discussion of an outside review, commissioned by former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, that called into question the city’s financial planning for rail.

Carlisle Mum on Obama Rental

11:40 a.m.
Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle isn’t weighing in on whether he believes the city should pursue a citation for the Kailua homeowner who rented his property to President Barack Obama without the required short-term rental permit.

“You’d have to ask the appropriate person about that,” Carlisle told Civil Beat.

Calls to the city’s Planning and Permitting director and that department’s compliance chief have not yet been returned.

See ya, Santa

Police directed traffic as the giant statues of Santa Claus — barefoot and throwing a shaka with his shirt unbuttoned — and Mrs. Claus were carted away from Honolulu Hale this morning. Also gone are the indoor decorations, as Honolulu Hale regains its pre-holiday look.

Mayor Peter “Hollywood” Carlisle Looks to Film Opportunities

One week from today, Mayor Peter Carlisle plans to attend the Critic’s Choice Awards at the Hollywood Paladium in Los Angeles. Carlisle said he’s hoping to hobnob with “all the major producers” who might bring their film and TV projects to Honolulu. Carlisle said the state of Hawaii got more than $400 million from the film industry last year.

“The film industry is booming,” Carlisle said this week. “We are doing wonders. It’s staggering money and it’s all staying in Hawaii.”

Carlisle also points out that former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann met Angelina Jolie when he attended the Critics Choice Awards during his mayoral tenure. He also mock-grumbled about the locally filmed television hit Hawaii Five-0.

“I’ve was taken on the set of Hawaii Five-0,” Carlisle said. “My one bitter complaint is that they haven’t asked me to do a cameo.”

Read Previous Editions of Inside Honolulu

Jan. 6, 2011: Emergency official cites threat of “huge mudslide” in Kaneohe highway closure; City eyes user fees, but in what form? Mayor tells Pacific Club crowd about inevitable cuts during “financial crisis,” calls city challenges “exciting.”

Jan. 5, 2011: Council vice chair to host hearing on IMG report; Rail division moves down permitting check list; A new year means a new website for Honolulu.

Jan. 4, 2011: Carlisle’s drinking buddies may be lonely this month; Honolulu’s first mayor inaugurated 102 years ago today; Tom Berg isn’t happy with his Council committee assignments.

Jan. 3, 2011: City Council to explore user fees as revenue generator; Nestor Garcia talks rail, APEC, city values in celebratory inaugural address.

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