Grapevine: Better times ahead

Caesar Hotels CEO Avi Ela and Better Place CEO Moshe Kaplinski sign cooperation agreement.

IN PREPARATION for the time when electric cars take to the road, Caesar Hotels CEO Avi Ela and Better Place CEO Moshe Kaplinski signed a cooperation agreement whereby there will be battery-switching stations for electric cars in all the hotels in the Caesar chain, spanning from Tiberias through Jerusalem to Eilat.
• THE SKYLINE is changing all over Israel as real-estate developers vie with each other to build ever higher residential and office towers. This is particularly evident in Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan. It is less obvious in Haifa and Jerusalem because of the nature of the terrain, so that high-rises built in valleys do not necessarily stand out against the horizon. Yet even when existing structures are not torn down to make way for tall towers, there is constant change as municipalities increasingly permit additional floors to be added to old buildings.
Even picturesque Nahlat Binyamin in Tel Aviv will not remain as it was. For instance, the Chernov building at Rehov Nahlat Binyamin 25, which is among the oldest buildings in the city, dating back to 1914 and marked by the municipality for preservation, will nonetheless not retain its original façade. Currently owned by the Oreha company, whose controlling shareholders are Ran Efrat and Adi Keisman (who is married to Ofra Strauss), the building will have three additional floors. Occupants can choose whether to utilize their suites for residential or business purposes.
• AT THE ACUM (Association of Composers and Musicians) awards at ZOA House in Tel Aviv last week, recipients of lifetime achievement awards included best-selling author David Grossman and songwriters Kobi Oshrat and Amos Ettinger. Grossman announced that the fact that he had received a life achievement award did not mean he would stop achieving. There is still a lot of creativity left in him despite the fact that he has published 17 books for the wider public and 13 children's books, he said.
Among the other prizewinners were three members of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, who were selected for their positive attitude toward Israeli music and performers, their fairness and their promotion of Israeli compositions. The three are Zamira Lutzki, a classical music editor on The Voice of Music, Yoav Ginai, the multi-talented radio and television personality and culture and entertainment director at Channel 1, chosen for the support he gives to Israeli singers and musicians; and editor and presenter Avner Naim for his cordial relations with Israeli entertainers, and in recognition of the fact that he always gives credit where it’s due.
• RESIDENTS OF and visitors to Tel Aviv may have been surprised on March 27 to find the Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel & Towers almost without electricity, with much of the building in total darkness. The hotel turned off its lights in observance of Earth Hour, a worldwide event organized by the World Wildlife Fund, to send a powerful global message about environmental awareness and caring for the planet.
To underscore the dedication of its parent company Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.’s to environmental sustainability, the Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel & Towers at 8:30 p.m. turned off exterior lighting and non-essential interior lighting; using candlelight in appropriate public areas such as restaurants and bars; and used in-room voicemail messages, guest letters, and lobby electronic board signage to inform guest about Earth Hour observances.
“Earth Hour gave Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel & Towers the opportunityto take part in the biggest-ever global event in the fight againstclimate change, and to demonstrate to our associates and guests justhow important simple actions can be toward saving energy and reducingour greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jean-Louis Ripoche, general managerof Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel & Towers. “Earth Hour symbolizes that,working together, each of us at Starwood can make an impactfuldifference on the health of our planet.”