Metro

City Notes

Virtual high school to open in the North

Tel Aviv bike rental station
Photo by: Ariel Jerozolimski
NORTH
Students in the north of the country will have the option of taking courses in the country’s first virtual high school starting this September.

Addressing the innovative initiative, Education Ministry Northern District director Dr. Orna Simhon said, “I made a strategic decision to advance the establishment of a virtual high school in the northern district that will open in [the coming year]. The advantage of this innovative learning framework is to enable students to integrate virtual courses with their formal learning, with technological wonders,” the Local website reported.

In the first stage of the project, virtual studies will be limited to mathematics and physics, and each virtual classroom will be limited to 20 students.

Teaching and learning will take place with a variety of tools, such as simulations, videos, presentations, virtual labs, task performance, live classroom lessons, tests, and face-to-face meetings, according to the report.

Givat Olga Beach gets facelift for summer

The Hadera Municipality is nearing the completion of a million-shekel renovation and development project along the Givat Olga Beach in the city.

The work was designed to upgrade the availability of leisure activities for visitors and to allow group and family visits ahead of the peak of the swimming season, the Local website reported.

The development work includes the construction of two soccer fields, the planting and replacement of grass along the beach, the planting of palm trees for aesthetics and to provide shade and the installation of barbecue facilities, according to the report.

The project is part of a multiyear plan undertaken by the city.

Hadera Mayor Haim Avitan said of the project, “We are investing in the beaches for the benefit of the city’s residents and for the enjoyment of swimmers.

The development work on the beach benefits sports activities and family outings, allowing residents to come to the beach in the afternoon and evening hours, to sit on the lawns and enjoy the sea breeze and amazing atmosphere,” Local reported.

Fire burns 1,500 hectares near Kibbutz Amiad

A large brush fire forced the evacuation of dozens of residents of Kibbutz Amiad in the Upper Galilee last weekend as firefighters fought to bring the blaze under control.

Twenty-four firefighting crews were assisted by police and six fire-fighting aircraft in battling the fire, which later spread toward Kadarim Junction to the south. Residents who live on the perimeter of Kibbutz Amiad were evacuated to a restaurant at Amiad Junction, although they were allowed to return to their homes after several hours. Portions of highways 85, 89 and 90 were closed due to the flames and smoke.

Firefighters managed to take control of the fire late Friday evening. Some 1,500 hectares were burned by the blaze.

CENTER
Int’l design competition comes to Tel Aviv Tel Aviv is getting ready to host an unusual competition next week: speed digital design. “Cut & Paste,” the digital design world championships, will arrive in Tel Aviv today at the city’s Block Center.

The competition has previously taken place in 15 leading cities throughout the world. Addressing one of Israel’s most serious challenges, the theme of the contest will be a lack of clean water – a challenge shared by much of the world.

Accompanied by world-class DJs, competitors will be given 20 minutes on stage to create their design as the audience watches every movement of their hand and mouse on a large overhead screen.

Competitors come from all walks of professional life in the design world, from professionals to students, who are given an opportunity to showcase their work and skills.

Winners in each category will be awarded entrance to the world championships to be held in New York in November, where designers from around the world will gather for the international portion of the competition.

TA to expand bicycle rental program D

Due to increased demand and a policy of encouraging the use of green transportation in the city, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality has begun the process of expanding its Tel-o-Fun bicycle rental program with an investment of NIS 8.3 million to expand the number of available bicycles and rental stations.

According to the city, over 18,000 people hold yearly subscriptions to the bicycle rental program. April was a record-breaking month for rentals, with residents and visitors checking out 219,171 bicycles. In 2011, over one million bicycles were rented.

In light of the increase of participation in the program, the slated expansion will see 480 bicycle spots and 200 new bicycles added. In addition, 20 new rental stations will be built and eight existing stations will be expanded. Currently, there are 1,500 bicycles available at 150 stations.

Additionally, the city said it is working with the service’s operator to fix technical problems renters have encountered with the service.

Praising the expansion, Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai said that in its first year the bicycle rental program has already become an integral part of the city. “I am proud that Tel Aviv-Jaffa has in the past few years become a bicycle city, both through the Tel-o-Fun project and the most extensive network of bicycle paths in Israel, which stretches over 120 kilometers.

“The fact that over 40 percent of the city’s residents are riding bicycles is evidence that bicycles have become a legitimate form of transportation, constituting an alternative to private cars within the city,” he added.

The decision was approved by the municipal finance committee and requires the approval of the city council.

Bat Yam youth to get paintball site this summer

As part of its projects to keep youth entertained during the summer vacation and its “city without violence” project, the Bat Yam Municipality is opening a paintball course during July and August, the Local website reported.

The city expects the site to attract hundreds of teens, giving youth a place to spend their time during the summer. The site, located at the beachside “business complex,” will be open from the afternoon hours until late at night and will be staffed by volunteers from the Scouts organization, according to the report.

The municipality assured parents that the activities meet all professional and safety standards in Israel, noting that participation in the sport is believed to contribute to teamwork, strategic planning, working under pressure and the development of self-confidence in youth.

SOUTH
Eilat steps up canine enforcement

Following enforcement campaigns on beach litter, unnecessary signs and unlicensed kiosk vendors, the Eilat Municipality set out to rid the city of another nuisance this month – dog feces. The two-pronged effort includes an increase of enforcement activities as well as the distribution of bags to encourage dog owners to pick up after their companions.

The municipality, along with the municipal veterinarian, will be increasing the monitoring and enforcement of city ordinances against leaving canine droppings on the streets and sidewalks and in the parks. In addition, fines for failing to pick up after one’s canine friend were increased.

But punishment is not the only element of the campaign.

The municipality recently purchased 2,000 plastic bag distribution devices that will be placed in public parks and distributed to dog owners at both public and private veterinary offices.

In another element of the municipality’s efforts to reduce what the city described as canine nuisances, fines for unattended dogs were increased to NIS 500 and the implantation of microchips in dogs is being widened in order to help stem the number of stray dogs in the city. More space in municipal kennels is also being built.

“This will ensure a reduction of the phenomenon, which is a nuisance, and will make more room at quarantine [facilities] for stray dogs who have no homes,” the Eilat municipal veterinarian said.

Stemming signs in the southernmost city

The Eilat Municipality last month removed 50 signs it deemed not useful from the city’s central tourist areas, following a similar effort in April that saw 50 such signs taken down.

The campaign, the intention of which is to beautify the city, is part of a larger effort to regulate the posting of signs throughout the city and particularly in commercial areas.

Most of the 38 signs removed last month were old and unused, many of which had no content or owners. A contractor performed the removal on behalf of the city at a cost of NIS 11,000.

The operation, an initiative of the Municipality’s Department of Tourism, Enforcement and Beaches, will continue to take place in all of the commercial districts of the city, in order to regulate signs, reduce their numbers to a minimum and ensure they are more aesthetic and of higher standards.


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