Planting the seeds
The first green roof was installed last week at the Ohr Torah boys’ school in Ramot. In the framework of a municipal initiative to improve the environment, a project of installing green roofs on four school buildings in the city has been launched, under the patronage of Mayor Nir Barkat and his deputy, Naomi Tsur.

The roofs are first sealed and installed with a drainage system. Then a layer of fertile soil is laid, in which seeds for flowers are planted, along with a computerized irrigation device. Excess water will be reused.

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Conflict over conflict of interest
According to a letter recently sent by the city attorney to the mayor, eight out of the 30 city council members have not yet filled out the special form aimed to see if they are involved in any conflict of interest. The chairman of the finance committee, Deputy Mayor David Hadari, is in such a situation.


Hadari, who is also the director of the religious women’s movement Emunah’s educational institutions, might have to give up this prestigious position. Since the municipality bestows the buildings for these institutions, municipal attorney Yossi Havilio asked to look into the matter and may request that Hadari renounce his title. Hadari has already given up his salary as deputy mayor and has also proposed to refrain from taking part in any discussions related to granting buildings to the Emunah network.

But Hadari is not alone. Other city council members have explained that since they are not members of any association, they didn’t think they had to fill out the forms. Elisha Peleg refused to fill out the form, arguing that it was not the city attorney’s task and that he was totally capable of seeing for himself if there was any danger of a conflict of interest.

For the record, there is already a great deal of tension between Peleg and Havilio. However, Mayor Nir Barkat, also not exactly a close friend of Havilio’s, supports the municipal attorney’s request.

When’s the next bus?
Some good news: After years of complaints, requests and even struggles, there is some light at the end of the tunnel – or, in this case, the bus stop. The Transportation Ministry has finally agreed to put up route maps and time schedules of the buses at every bus stop in the city. If all goes according to plan, soon passengers will have a map of the bus route at each stop, with a realistic time schedule.

Bus No. 7 will be the first to enjoy this new era, and within a few months all the 1,500 bus stops in the city will benefit from this great improvement. Let’s just hope that once the light rail is up and running and the bus lines are rerouted once again, passengers will not have to wait another few years to have those maps and schedules updated.

Worthy honorees
Twelve new recipients of the Worthy of Jerusalem (Yakir Yerushalayim) award were honored on the eve of Jerusalem Day last week. The ceremony took place at the Tower of David Museum near Jaffa Gate. Jerusalem-born singer Yehoram Gaon, a former city council member, sang old local and popular songs, and Dan Kanner was the speaker and master of ceremonies. 

Eastern promise
According to commercial sources in the city, the Israeli chain Hamashbir Lezarchan is considering opening a large branch of its department store in east Jerusalem. For the moment, these are only preliminary thoughts, but the directors of the large chain have already been looking for a suitable location. If all goes well, the first store might open before this fall.

It is worth noting that the chain was one of the first to hire Arab employees as salespeople in order to ultimately facilitate communication with customers who do not speak Hebrew.

Musical bridge
The Sacred Bridge, a series of concerts dedicated to establishing bridges of understanding and peace among Jews, Muslims and Christians, is featuring a concert on Thursday at Beit Hagath in Ein Kerem. An evening of the songs of the Jewish communities of Afghanistan and India, inspired by the Sufis and their music, will be performed by Yaron Pe’er and his Friends. For details, write to blankovsky@gmail.com.
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