There’s always something interesting going on at Honolulu Hale.

Civil Beat is reporting from the inside.

11:14 a.m. PIG Picks Bunda

The Permitted Interaction Group is recommending that former Hawaii Senator Bobby Bunda become the ninth voting member of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Board of Directors.

Ivan Lui-Kwan announced the PIG’s unanimous recommendation, which was reached after a handful of private meetings. The PIG will not release the names of other applicants, including three other finalists who were interviewed on Monday.

11:02 a.m. Carlisle’s Rail Pep Talk

Well, that was a stemwinder.

Mayor Peter Carlisle used his pulpit at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Board of Directors meeting to lay out the case for rail, transit-oriented development, affordable housing, agriculture, and pretty much everything else even peripherally related to the project.

Carlisle downplayed the lawsuit from what he called the “Gang of Four” (Where have we seen that one before?) and said the project has support at all levels of government, all the way up to President Barack Obama.

Carlisle didn’t dip his toe into board policies, and departed immediately after concluding his speech and engaging briefly with members. With the politicians now out of the room, work has resumed.

10:19 a.m. Semi-Autonomous, But Connected

One of the oft-stated benefits of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is that it’s supposed to be independent from political control and is designed to promote professional management of the rail system. Some even said it would be “separate” from the city.

But the HART Board of Directors meets just feet from Honolulu Hale, and there’s definitely some collaboration between the city’s newest agency and both the executive and legislative branches of city government. Today’s a great example of that.

This morning, Honolulu City Council Vice Chair Ikaika Anderson, who chairs the Council’s Planning and Zoning Committee, was scheduled to brief the HART Transit Oriented Development Committee. Later today, the HART Board will take the long walk and ascend the stairs to brief the Council’s Transportation Committee on some of the biggest issues facing the board.

And then there’s the Board meeting going on right now. Council Chair Ernie Martin and Mayor Peter Carlisle are both in the Memorial Mission house to share their thoughts. Martin is speaking first, and has thanked HART Board members for their service. Carlisle will talk next.

9:46 a.m. All Sewage Ideas Welcome

The agenda item sounds pretty technical: A resolution to permit improvements to Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, including construction of a fifth wet sludge storage tank and modification of the existing solids handling building.

But anytime Sand Island comes up, you know the politics are about to get started.

The Honolulu City Council Zoning and Planning Committee is using the opportunity to press Department of Design and Construction Director Collins Lam on whether the Carlisle administration is evaluating alternate technologies as the Council requested earlier this summer.

Lam said that while a consultant is reviewing new sewage technologies, the city needs to proceed with the Sand Island upgrade in the interim. Constructing a fifth storage tank won’t preclude movement on other technologies, he said.

8:24 a.m. Defining ‘Undercover’

Elsewhere on Civil Beat this morning, Sara Lin has an interesting look at how the Honolulu Police Department defines “undercover” and how that compares to other Western states like California, Nevada and Utah.

Read the full story here.

Today’s Meetings

Both the Honolulu City Council and Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation are gathering today. There will be some cross-pollination between the two bodies going forward, and today will highlight some of those overlaps.

Here are the agendas:

Where’s Carlisle?

At 5:30 p.m., Mayor Peter Carlisle delivers remarks at the Aloha Festivals Opening Ceremony at the Royal Grove, Royal Hawaiian Center.

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