Grapevine: The campaign trail

Does the road to Safra square start at the old train station? Aks Arkady Gaidmak.

ACCORDING TO The Marker, Arkadi Gaydamak has rented premises in Jerusalem's old railway compound to set up his mayoral campaign headquarters. He may discover that it's not the same as owning a soccer club where his refusal or inability to make a speech in Hebrew doesn't bother too many people, just so long as the money machine keeps grinding. The attitudes he encounters may be somewhat different, but now that he has the backing of veteran politician Amir Peretz, of the Left, along with that of Deputy Mayor Yigal Amedi (Likud), who knows - miracles can happen. Aside from that, his beautiful daughter Katya, 26, is on his campaign committee and may be instrumental in persuading a lot of young people to vote for him. ON THE subject of memorializing people who made important contributions, Tzipi Molchov, the most veteran and prolific writer for the Jerusalem weekly Yediot Yerushalayim, has mounted a campaign for the fulfillment of a promise by then-mayor Ehud Olmert to memorialize Ornan Yekutieli, a long-serving member of the Jerusalem city council. The leader of the Meretz party in the municipality and subsequently the head of Jerusalem Now, Yekutieli was known as the secular symbol of Jerusalem. He was also known for his vitriolic rhetoric. Yet despite what he said against them at council meetings, he was friendly with nearly all of his political rivals. Yekutieli was born with a heart defect that was aggravated by his hyperactive personality and his chain smoking. He was only 45 when he died seven years ago.At the time, Olmert wanted to establish a "Hyde Park" in his memory in a section of Gan Sacher. However, the municipal names committee has not approved the renaming. WHEN HE had to close down his premises on Jerusalem's Rehov Aza because he could no longer cope with the bureaucracy of City Hall, Uri Greenspan, the proprietor of Atara, one of the most veteran of Jerusalem coffee shops, said that he would not open up anywhere else because at 60-something he was a little too old for a new business venture. That was a year ago. But when something is in the genes, you can't fight it, and Greenspan, whose father opened the original Atara in 1938, gave in to his natural urge for playing host and recently opened up again - but this time he chose Mevaseret Zion, where the premises are larger and the hassles smaller. JOINING THE Board of Governors of the American Jewish Committee last Saturday night in Jerusalem were billionaire industrialist Stef Wertheimer, Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski, diplomat, educator, visionary and political figure Lova Eliav, historian Prof. Michael Bar-Zohar and singer Marina Maximillian-Blumin, who all came from the coastal plain to take in the beauty of the capital against the backdrop of the Old City. Wertheimer delivered an address on his favorite subject, the industrial success of Israel and the importance of developing Galilee, after which Maximillian-Blumin gave a performance that had everyone spellbound.