This week in Jerusalem 387089

Peggy Cidor’s round-up of city affairs.

An Egged bus driving through Jerusalem (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
An Egged bus driving through Jerusalem
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Bus pollution
The state comptroller’s last report on the neighborhood councils found high levels of air pollution in the central bus station building and close to the bus platforms. It also found that not enough was being done to prevent the pollution or reduce the harm to passengers. However, the question of who is responsible for that situation remains – the municipality and the Environmental Protection Ministry pointed the finger at the station owners and management, and the pollution is still there.
Once thing, however, has changed. Since the inspection addressed the situation on the ground during 2013, the doors to the bus platforms now remain locked until the bus arrives to take passengers, so the pollution – which is at its worst where the buses pull in – remains outside.
As for the noise inside the building, which the state comptroller didn’t mention in his report, it has remained the same. But at least smoking is prohibited, and that is enforced seriously.
Meet me at the movies
New movie theaters will open up in the city this year. In addition to Cinema City, and the Orlando cinema at Beit Shmuel, there is now the Sherover Center’s Yes Planet compound, which offers 16 halls for movie-lovers. Unlike Cinema City, which remains closed on Shabbat and holidays, Yes Planet is expected to operate on those days.
The 16-story Sherover Center, located in the Abu Tor neighborhood, will also hold shops, restaurants and coffee houses.
The movie theater will offer comfortable chairs that will enable spectators to move along with the action on the screen and to see the whole screen from any seat.
Apartments for rent
The Jerusalem Municipality approved a new plan this week to build low-cost apartments in two locations for young couples and families to rent. There will be 686 apartments in all, of which 405 will be in the “Little Hadassah” compound in Kiryat Hayovel, and 281 will be in the Allenby Compound on Hebron Road. The project in Kiryat Hayovel will have three towers of 18 stories each, and three additional buildings of six to eight stories each on the sides. In the Allenby Compound, there will be 10 buildings of six stories each.
The price of these apartments, which will be available only for rent, will be 20 percent to 30% lower than the rental prices on the market. Another advantage of this project will be the duration of the rent. Tenants will be able to sign a contract for up to five years, with the option of extending it for another five years. For the first five years, the rent will be controlled by the government; afterward, it will go up by only 1% each year, under the supervision of the Finance Ministry and the municipality.
The Third Ear
The Third Ear video library, which was facing closure less than a year ago for lack of clients, has officially moved into its new home at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.
In fact, the library has already been operating for a few weeks – unofficially, but that didn’t prevent a large number of residents and film aficionados from coming to rent videos.
“We are assisting in a real resurrection of the trend of renting videos,” said city council member Pepe Alalu, who was among the many who joined the efforts to save the library. A small ceremony on Thursday of last week on the second floor of the Cinematheque sealed the new era of the Third Ear.
In Jerusalem predicted it last week, and now it has been announced.
Deputy Mayor Rachel Azaria (Yerushalmim) is officially running in Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu Party for the 20th Knesset.
Azaria – who created the Yerushalmim list and promoted some of the significant social justice protests of summer 2011, such as the stroller protest – is leaving a party behind her that does yet have established rules. For example, it is not clear for the moment if her No. 2, city councillor Tamir Nir, will automatically replace her as deputy mayor (with a salary), or if party members should vote to replace her from within the list. In any case, Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz, the man behind the local revolution to take kashrut outside the Chief Rabbinate, is going to be a city councilman – since he is listed as No. 3.