And the winner is… At a press conference on Tuesday, Pepe Allalu, the head of Meretz on the city council, announced his intention to run as a Meretz candidate in the next mayoral elections. He said he was ready to “become a viable alternative to the right-wing leadership of the current mayor or to lose everything and resign from the political arena.”In the presence of Meretz MKs Tamar Zandberg and Zehava Gal-On, Allalu presented his plan – to stop the privatization of the municipal sanitation department and to invest in promoting education in both parts of the city in terms of expanding general education and interpersonal principles and not just grades and matriculation results.His first step will be to convince his colleagues in Meretz to vote him in as party leader on Sunday, and then to prepare for the municipal elections in November. Members of the local branch, as well as city councillor Laura Wharton, were also present, while city councillor Meir Margalit – a longtime friend of Allalu’s, who is also considering running for head of the party – was not.Costumes on show An exhibition showcasing the work of Françoise Coriat, former designer of the Khan Theater company’s wonderful costumes, went on display Thursday at the Espace-Dix gallery in the city’s Nahlaot neighborhood.The exhibition, titled “Shaping up Dreams,” includes many of Coriat’s drawings and sketches, including costumes she created for the stage. The exhibition runs until May 10. Espace-Dix is located at 10 Beersheba Street.Unwanted park Forty residents of Isawiya have submitted their opposition to a plan to extend the metropolitan park surrounding the city. Their opposition is due to fears that the plan will deprive them of the ability to develop the neighborhood, as a large portion of the proposed park is to be located on their land.The residents submitted their reservations about the project with the help of Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights, an NGO advocating for residents’ rights citywide. The planned park is to include some 750 acres, with a large part representing the last reserve of lands available for construction in the neighborhood. The residents requested the members of the district planning and construction committee to reject the plan, and instead of a park – which they argue would not serve them – submit a plan to develop the neighborhood for the sake of its residents.According to the findings of Bimkom’s planners, there is a lack of about 800 housing units in the neighborhood, which is projected to rise to 1,500 units by 2020.Adopt a grandparent The municipality launched a new project, specially adapted for teenage and high-school-age olim, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising at the end of this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies in the city.“Adopt a grandparent” is aimed at establishing direct contact between the young generation and the survivors. The young olim will meet survivors and learn their stories through frequent visits, including on Shabbat and holidays.A first encounter took place on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Fuchsberg center, sponsored by the Israel Forever Foundation, the Kfar Yerushalmi association, New Spirit and Nefesh B’Nefesh.Joy after sorrow On the eve of Independence Day, the Tower of David Museum is running an evening for the younger generation. The program will include a reading of the Declaration of Independence with philosophers and scholars, and then rocking the night away with the Giraffes band.The Secular Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Bina ( a secular beit midrash), and the Tower of David Museum wish to establish a young and innovative tradition for this special day: studying the Declaration of Independence and then joining in film screenings, discussions, theater, study, a campfire, a concert and a party until dawn.The event will begin with a havdala ceremony to mark the transition from Remembrance Day to Independence Day. It will be led by teachers from the Secular Yeshiva, who will also lead a discussion on the meaning of the Declaration of Independence. The attendees will then disperse to different areas of the Tower of David complex for special activities. At 11 p.m. there will be a performance by the Giraffes, followed by rock music and dancing until the early morning hours with DJ Gal Kadan. Leading the sessions are, among others, Jackie Levy, Dov Elbaum, Neri Livneh, Tomer Frasico, Dr. Ruhama Weiss, David Menachem, Sharon Majewski, Yonatan Kunda and Neta Weiner, and Ortal Ben-Dayan.Singer Shira Z. Caramel will host young Jerusalem musicians in new renditions of traditional Israeli folksongs. Other groups will tell stories around the “campfire” like in the good old days.For more information or to reserve tickets, call: *2884. Pre-purchased tickets are NIS 50, and NIS 70 at the door.Green power Within a year – if everything goes well, of course – Jerusalem will be a leader in recycling. The municipality has just launched the establishment of a recycling center for the whole city, utilizing the top modern methods.Jerusalem produces 1,200 tons of waste a day – of which, today, only 10 percent is recycled. When the new project begins operations, Jerusalem will be able to recycle up to 40% of its waste – several the largest recycling percentage in the rest of the country.The operation will turn our waste into compost that will be used in the form of energy and power. Mayor Nir Barkat signed, at an official ceremony last week at Safra Square, on the agreement with Green-Net, the company that will run the project.The center will be built at the Atarot Industrial Zone.Jerusalem and the UN Israel-United Nations relations might be better than you think, thanks to Dania Avner, a young resident of the city who won first prize at the international competition for the next UN headquarters in New York.Avner, a student at the city’s Hadassah Academic College, proposed a plan to the Imuna-Israel Model Association for a model for debate and research, and as a result was invited to fly to New York to present her project at the International Committee for the UN Culture and Education Promotion Center.Avner, who was among some 600 students from all over the world to be invited, spent a few days in New York, met students from other countries and said she was very moved and excited to win such an award.