Metro Grapevine: Long delay

News briefs from around the nation.

December 22, 2016 20:53
3 minute read.
Ron Huldai

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

IT IS highly unlikely that Ron Huldai will still be mayor of Tel Aviv- Jaffa when the Tel Aviv light rail finally becomes a reality. After all the discomforts that have been imposed on the city’s residents and people from out of town who have reason to be there, it looks as if there will be yet another long delay in getting the show on the road.

A headline in The Marker this week read: The light rail in reverse.

Cancellation of the massive tender for infrastructure.

According to the story, it will be a miracle if the light rail in the Gush Dan region becomes even partially operational before 2021. It seems that the government-controlled NTA Metropolitan Transit System miscalculated on the budget for the infrastructure, which includes the laying of rails. NTA budgeted NIS 2.4 billion for the infrastructure, but the bids received were NIS 4.3b. in one case and around NIS 6b.

in another. There’s no way that NTA can meet either sum, and the only way to get around the problem, if at all, is to cancel the existing tender and to publish a new one, perhaps quoting the highest sum that the government is willing to pay and seeing whether any competent company will be satisfied with that amount.

This process alone will incur months of delay before a final decision is made. If no one is willing to accept what the government is prepared to pay, the people in Gush Dan in general and Tel Aviv in particular will suffer many more years of discomfort.

The situation should be a lesson to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who wants to make the lives of the people in Jerusalem’s German Colony a misery.

Meanwhile, rumor has it that Huldai, like Barkat, is thinking of throwing his cap into the Knesset ring, which means that in all probability, he will not run for another term as mayor.

■ IN ISRAEL any excuse to hold a festival is a good one, and Hanukka is one of the best of all. There are so many entertainment and leisure-time options – many of which are free of charge, which is a boon to families in economic distress and to large families where the cost of paying an entrance fee for the whole brood is prohibitive.

Most shopping malls have a huge variety of entertainment for children. One such mall is G-6 in Yokne’am, where Mayor Simon Alfasi will light the first candle on Saturday night. During the week there will be magicians, story telling, candle lighting ceremonies with Chabad, who will distribute free doughnuts, workshops, and much more. Similar events are taking place all over the country.

Many people also like to go touring. The more religiously or historically minded like to tour Jerusalem to relive the story of the one day supply of oil in the Temple that lasted for eight days. Others like to go to the Ben- Shemen Forest to relive the story of the Maccabees. Those who prefer the latter can take a Hanukka Day Trip under the auspices of the Jewish National Fund on Friday December 30, leaving Tel Aviv at 7.45 a.m.

and returning at 1 p.m. The guide will be Rabbi Shlomo Chayen. The event is open only to people in their 20s and 30s. Anyone who wants to participate must register in advance at

■ COCKTAIL PARTIES are usually reserved for the evening, but Armani Exchange decided that Friday morning was a good time since so many of its clients visit its flagship store in the Ramat Aviv Mall on Fridays.

On hand with a bevy of other beautiful models was Shlomit Malka, who is the company’s International presenter. Malka, who celebrates her 23rd birthday today, has previously headed campaigns for a number of international brand name companies, among them Ralph Lauren, Maybelline, L’Oreal, Schwarzkopf, Müller Yogurt, Bebe and the Armani parent company, which created the young, dynamic, Armani Exchange.

Malka, who was born in Tel Aviv, is of Moroccan-Ukrainian parentage – the daughter of a lawyer father and PR mother. While doing her compulsory army service, she was given time off for modeling assignments, providing she made up that time on her return.

Her other claim to fame is that she is the significant other of actor and male model Yehuda Levi. The two seem set to marry, unless something totally unexpected interferes with those plans. Neither is concerned about the 14-year age difference.

At the Armani Exchange cocktail, in addition to a wide choice of high-quality alcoholic beverages, and some elegant nibbles, there was also a DJ in the person of Chen Yani.

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