■ IT’S TOO early into his tenure to give Mayor Moshe Lion credit for the major improvements that have taken place in recent weeks in some Jerusalem neighborhoods, where potholes and deep fissures have disappeared as streets have been paved and tarred, spaces for cars have been designated by diagrams on the road, new dumpsters have been installed along with metal frames to hold them in place. The only complaint about all this goodwill coming from City Hall is the use of inferior materials.Many of the new tiles are already cracked and broken. On the other hand, that’s one way to ensure that city workers can remain employed – because eventually such tiles will have to be replaced. Meanwhile, Lion has succeeded in forming a coalition, but is still lacking in majority support.■ AFTER CONQUERING Jerusalem, French tycoon Laurent Levy is planning to do the same in the Galilee, where he purchased several plots of land that add up to 100 dunams. Levy plans to build a vacation village for a religiously observant Jewish clientele. In Jerusalem, Levy, who made his fortune in optics, purchased the Zion Square property that once housed Bank Leumi. It is now the largest optical center in Jerusalem and has taken business away from others in the profession. Levy also purchased the property on the Aza Street triangle, which used to be known as Restobar and before that Café Moment, where a terrorist attack took place in March 2002. Eleven people, all in their 20s, were killed in the attack and 54 were injured. A memorial plaque was placed at the entrance to the restaurant with the names of the victims, and a pot-plant garden to honor their memories was subsequently maintained by Restobar.Levy refused to renew the Restobar lease unless the proprietors agreed to close on Shabbat and to keep kosher. There was actually nothing non-kosher on the menu. It was just that the place was not under rabbinic supervision. Restobar was very popular with secular people living in the neighborhood, but some of the religious people in the area complained. After Restobar came Café Paris, which was closed on Shabbat and which was kosher and enjoyed both a religious and secular clientele. But then Levy, who is also a real estate developer, decided to turn the property into something more profitable and the restaurant disappeared. He apparently purchased the apartment building next door, because the whole section has been sealed off and boarded up on all sides for months, but eventually will be the site of a luxury apartment complex. It will be interesting to see if the memorial plaque will be incorporated into the exterior wall of the new complex.Levy also opened the Jewish Music Museum in Nahalat Shiva, where he developed the square into an open-air restaurant plaza, which in good weather is packed with diners even though the restaurants are somewhat expensive. The plaza also has a stage on which musicians perform six nights a week.During the construction of the square, Levy overstepped the bounds of his permit, but construction somehow continued.He is planning to open a music hotel on Hillel Street in 2020. ■ MEANWHILE, THE Council for the Conservation of Israel Heritage Sites, is having a constant uphill battle as real-estate developers either destroy or distort historic buildings.One would think that with travesties such as the UNESCO decision that denies Jewish connections to Jerusalem and its holy sites, that every effort would be made to protect historic sites to prove that Jews lived in the land for centuries before the proclamation of the independent State of Israel.But no. The best that can happen is the retention of part of the external façade – usually the section that includes the main entrance.A report in Bonus, the business supplement of Yediot Yerushalayim, states that a dispute over preservation relates to the property by the roundabout on the corner of Marcus and Jabotinsky streets that serves as the Jerusalem headquarters of Canadian- American billionaire philanthropist Charles Bronfman, who is a co-founder of Birthright. Members of the Bronfman family have given tens of millions of dollars to Israel over the years – mainly for cultural and educational institutions and projects.Some members of the family also have substantial business investments in Israel and the Bronfmans have more than once come to the rescue when a major Israeli organization or institution found itself in dire financial straits.But now, according to the report, Bronfman wants to add two and a half floors to the building, which for decades has served his interests. Aside from changing the whole architectural concept of the building, it will serve as a precedent for a major change in the landscape of this particular part of Talbiyeh. Yitzchak Shwekey, who heads the Jerusalem branch of the Council for the Conservation of Israel Heritage Sites, is fighting against Bronfman’s plan, and will soon be joined in the battle by other interested parties. Too often in Israel, battles of this kind have been lost to the syndrome of “the man who pays the piper calls the tune.”But who knows, perhaps Bronfman may relent.