CITY NOTES: Australian street artist showcases work at Haifa art festival

What's been happening around the country.

Health institute in the Negev (photo credit: NEGEV INSTITUTE)
Health institute in the Negev
(photo credit: NEGEV INSTITUTE)
Haifa art and music venue Kartel is this weekend hosting Lush Sux, an international street artist from Melbourne also described as “a social justice warrior and philanthropist.” His work will be showcased as part of Kartel’s summer arts project in downtown Haifa, which has been hosting biweekly events with new outdoor murals, exhibitions and live music, and the participation of local and international artists.
Entry to the event is free; it is running until Saturday, starting at 7 p.m.
Organizers described the Australian artist’s work “like a song from a bluebird in the spring breeze, it touches hearts and minds the world over.” The work’s mission, they said, is to “change the world one spray-painted wall at a time. Beauty and metaphor leap from each painting he creates. Lives are changed and hearts are filled with joy each time Lush Sux takes a can of spray paint into his soft and caring hands.
“Poetry can be found in spray from his aerosol can. The colors are energetic, and each coat of paint symbolizes the human spirit and the chance to overcome our problems with each other on Mother Earth.”
Mosquitoes in the North carrying West Nile Fever
Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Fever were discovered in Kiryat Ata, Kiryat Bialik, Kfar Tavor and Nahal Hilazon, the Local website reported Sunday.
The carrier mosquitoes were found in routine inspections conducted by experts in the Environmental Protection Ministry’s pesticide control division.
Laboratory tests were carried out in collaboration with the Health Ministry, and when the results came out, the lab updated the Environmental Protection Ministry and relevant local authorities. The experts instructed the ministry to extend the scope of surveillance and pesticides on area mosquitoes, in order to minimize the chance of infecting residents.
West Nile virus is an arbovirus carried by mosquitoes that bite infected migrating birds and other animals. The resulting disease is mild in the vast majority of cases, but there have been serious outbreaks in which people died in various parts of the world, including Israel. Symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, muscle pain or ache, malaise, nausea, vomiting or rash.
Following the findings, the Environmental Protection Ministry urged the public to take action to reduce the number of mosquitoes by drying out water sources in their backyards, on roofs and in shelters, and informing local authorities about mosquitoes in public areas. It also advised residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites by installing window screens and applying repellents.
Last year, there were 71 reported cases, and two deaths.
Portugal film festival kicks off in Tel Aviv
Portugal Film Week launched this week in Tel Aviv. With 10 consecutive editions of the event, it features some of the most recent films in the Portuguese film industry.
Opening night was held at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, with the screening of the film Mysteries of Lisbon or What The Tourist Should See (2009) by José Fonseca e Costa, who traveled to Israel to present the film. The festival is also taking place in Jerusalem and Haifa this month.
The opening film is a documentary based on the book A Lisbon Guide – What The Tourist Should See, written by Fernando Pessoa in English in 1925. The film is a portrait of Lisbon, Pessoa’s hometown; the English version of the film, narrated by Jewish American actor Peter Coyote, will be shown in Israel.
The stated purpose of the festival is to continue exposing the Israeli public to a yearly showcase of the Portuguese film industry and, this year specifically, to promote the city of Lisbon, with films shot in the Portuguese capital – recently designated one of the world’s most beautiful cities and winner of several important awards in the international tourism industry. The city is an integral part of the scripts of the selected films.
This year’s Portugal Film Week is sponsored by Instituto Camões, the Portuguese Cultural Institute; the Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual, the Portuguese Film Institute; and Turismo de Lisboa, the Lisbon Tourism Board.
First female rhino in 20 years born in Ramat Gan Safari
A female white rhinoceros was born in Ramat Gan Safari last week, the first to be born there in 20 years.
This follows the birth of two male rhinos in recent years, both of which will be transferred to other zoos to help reproduction rates when they mature. The baby was born to a 21-year-old rhino, Tanda.
“It’s been 20 years since a female rhino was born here, and the significance is that she will also be able to stay with us in the safari after she matures, the cause for much joy,” said Rami Tam, head of the African savanna area where the rhino was born.
The white rhinoceros is a critically endangered species, and 98.8 percent of them are found in four countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
Haredi community launches first online furniture donation site
The first online forum for secondhand furniture was recently launched in the haredi community, the fruit of a unique collaboration between the community and charity organization Miyad Leyad, which works to increase charitable giving by providing a platform to easily donate spare furniture and home appliances. Instead of throwing them away or selling them at low cost, people can donate them to others.
The forum helps people who need to get furniture off their hands find a home with people seeking furniture in Bnei Brak and Modi’in Illit, outside the organization’s normal areas of operation. Zvi Cohen, one of the owners of the site (, said of the new venture: “We are delighted that via our giving forum, we will be able to increase the amount of hessed [acts of loving-kindness] ahead of Judgment Day [Yom Kippur].”
8 shelters placed in unrecognized Beduin villages
Last week, eight shelters were placed in unrecognized Beduin villages in the Dimona area and Shoket junction, at the initiative of the Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation – Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development, as part of its work to advance economy and community in Beduin society.
The project was launched after a Beduin citizen was killed by a rocket during Operation Protective Edge, and several others were injured due to a lack of shelters and emergency services in the unrecognized Beduin villages.
Ma’ariv Hashavua reported that the shelters were purchased with the help of donations, the Van Leer Foundation, the National Council of Jewish Women (USA), and the al-Kassum and Neveh Midbar Regional Councils. They were placed near nurseries operated by AJEEC – The Negev Institute in the villages of Umm Batin, Bir Hadaj, Awajan and Abu Talul; volunteers painted and decorated the nursery shelters.
The organization hopes the government will now “take up the gauntlet” and work to protect all Beduin citizens, and develop emergency services in the unrecognized villages.
Police arrest Ashkelon resident on suspicion of murder
Police on Monday arrested an Ashkelon resident on suspicion of murder earlier that morning, after the body of an Eritrean national in his 30s, bearing signs of violence, was found in the entrance of a city residential building. The suspect is an 18-year-old who lives next door to the victim.
A preliminary investigation indicated there had been a fight involving several youths, including the victim, who were seemingly under the influence of alcohol. The investigation was ongoing and police are expected to make more arrests.