City Notes: 400 stray dogs brought to Haifa dog pound in 2014

A roundup of local stories from across the country.

'In the Eye of the Storm' art exhibition (photo credit: CARMEL TADMOR)
'In the Eye of the Storm' art exhibition
(photo credit: CARMEL TADMOR)
Enforcement activities aimed at reducing the number of stray dogs in Haifa were put into action last year, but 400 stray dogs were still brought to the municipal pound.
Dog owners are allowed to collect their dogs from the urban shelter only after paying a fine of NIS 475, a NIS 83 freight charge and NIS 36 per day that the dog was in the shelter. In addition, dozens of NIS 730 fines were charged to dog owners who were keeping dogs without a license or had not vaccinated them. With the secular new year came even harsher penalties, with fines ranging between NIS 500 and NIS 10,000, depending on the severity of the offense. The Haifa Municipality is also setting up two new dog parks, where dog owners may release their dogs in accordance with the law: one is in the Bat Galim neighborhood and the other is Kiryat Eliezer. The municipality aims to set up more parks of this kind around the city.
Deputy director of the Veterinary Services, Dr. Yair Weiss, put out a plea to dog owners not to release their dogs in public in unauthorized areas and without a muzzle and to avoid unnecessary penalties.
Suspect arrested in alleged gas station burglary in Acre
Police arrested a Kiryat Ata resident on Sunday on suspicion of robbing a gas station on Acre’s Ha’arba’a Street.
According to the Local website, the suspect was caught with a mobile phone and cash that he had allegedly stolen from the gas station. Under investigation at the police station, the man connected himself to the crimes he was accused of. The court was expected to give him a remand extension.
New art exhibition opening in Haifa
An art exhibition called “In the Eye of the Storm” has opened in Haifa. Open all month, the exhibition showcases the work of artists Carmel Tadmor and Usfiya resident Radwan Mansour. The exhibition is open every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Haifa Auditorium.
Bat Yam going greener
This week, the Environment Ministry approved a Bat Yam project for green transportation. According to the Local website, the town will receive a grant of NIS 1.5 million, of which NIS 750,000 will be allocated to operate bike rental stations and NIS 750,000 to run shuttles between the railway station and places of employment.
Within the framework of the project, Bat Yam will become part of the Tel-o-Fun bicycle system in Tel Aviv. In the first stage of the project, five bike rental stations will be installed in the town to encourage residents to get around without a car, without having to find parking, without contributing to air pollution and increasing physical fitness. In addition, the shuttle service will operate every morning and afternoon, with buses running every 10 minutes.
Winter Pride: TA holds first int’l gay winter festival
Tel Aviv, one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world, has launched the first winter Nonstop Summer gay festival. Following the success of its annual summer gay pride parade, the city decided there was no reason why it couldn’t extend it into Israel’s mild winter as well. The festival kicked off on Christmas Eve and wound down this week with parties, music, cultural activities, a Eurovision-themed event and a discourse focused on issues of gender identity. Festival goers enjoyed free tours of the city, as well as discounts at various institutions and cultural events.
Woman hit by bus in Bat Yam
A 50-year-old woman was seriously injured when she was hit by a bus in Bat Yam on Sunday night. A Magen David Adom team took her to Ichilov Hospital.
Economy Ministry holds first foreign trade conference
The Economy Ministry held its first foreign trade conference this week at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv.
The focus of the conference was Israeli export trends and opportunities, with the participation of decision- makers, business leaders and key players in the government and economy. Forty of the Israeli Foreign Trade Administration’s commercial attachés stationed around the world also presented developments in their respective markets, including China, Japan, Silicon Valley, India, Germany and Brazil. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal was invited to deliver the keynote address on the impact of local and global trends on the US and Israeli economies. Other speakers included Economy Minister Naftali Bennett; Alex Maghen, senior VP at Warner Bros. Entertainment; and Rene Awambeng from Africa’s largest bank, Ecobank.
The sessions were organized around a range of topics, such as the effects of accelerated urbanization and new opportunities in developing countries.
Undercover agent nabs 21 suspects for alleged drug and weapons dealing
An undercover agent operating in the Negev implicated 21 people belonging to criminal organizations in the South. They are suspected of involvement in the trafficking of weapons, hard drugs and property.
On Sunday morning, police arrested 16 of them. The agent disguised himself as a member of a criminal organization and worked among the suspects for the past three months. During that time, he gathered evidence against the suspects who were allegedly involved in various transactions in arms trade, drug trafficking and other offenses.
This comes just a week after another agent working in the Negev Central Unit arrested 21 suspects involved in serious crime. “We have set ourselves a target to work on all fronts against criminal organizations operating in the South that harm the daily life of the law-abiding public,” said Southern District Commander Major General Yoram Halevy.
Dimona kiosk owners caught selling alcohol to minors
The Dimona police station last week summoned four kiosk owners from the city after collecting evidence that they had sold alcohol to minors. According to the Local website, the kiosk owners received warnings at the conclusion of the hearing, since it was the first time they had been caught committing the offense. In an initiative of the youth unit of the Dimona station, officers witnessed the sale of alcohol to minors at the four kiosks last Thursday night. Dimona Station commander Ch.-Supt. Avi Cohen emphasized that the sale of alcohol to minors is a serious offense that can end in disaster. He added that in addition to police activity on the issue, it was important to cooperate with parents and schools in raising awareness about the dangers inherent in the use of alcohol.
JNF invites young leaders to participate in Negev young farmers initiative
As part of an initiative of the Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel (JNF-KKL), an offshoot organization called JNFuture Israel is organizing a day trip for 20- and 30-year-olds from Tel Aviv to Halutza.
The trip will take place next Friday, leaving Tel Aviv at 8:30 a.m. and returning at 2:30 p.m. Halutza is located in a remote corner of the Northwest Negev near the Egyptian border, founded in 2005 by a group of people evacuated from their homes in the disengagement from Gaza.
They decided to set up their new homes in areas of the desert that had never been inhabited or farmed, aiming to make the barren lands flourish. More than 400 families are now living in their newly constructed houses in Halutza’s first three towns of Naveh, Bnei Netzarim and Shlomit, with plans to increase to 15,000 families.
JNF-KKL has supported Halutza’s growth by clearing land for housing and farming, purchasing temporary prefabricated homes, laying basic infrastructure and paving roads. It is also helping residents to re-establish their social and educational institutions, construct public buildings and create beautiful green spaces.
On the trip, participants will visit the young community, volunteer in the greenhouses and learn about innovative technology that helps make the desert bloom. The trip costs NIS 25.