City Notes: Fantasy no more — Lands Authority approves crucial agreement in Haifa seafront project

A round up of news from around the nation.

Aerial view of Haifa (photo credit: COURTESY ASHDAR)
Aerial view of Haifa
(photo credit: COURTESY ASHDAR)
The Israel Lands Authority approved last week an outline agreement signed by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav, which includes new railroad tracks in the city and flooring between the city and sea, at an investment of NIS 1.3 billion. The agreement additionally includes the construction of 7,700 housing units across the city of Haifa. It is expected to be signed soon, after which its implementation will begin. The project is in the planning phase. City engineer Ariel Waterman described the arrangement as “an important step toward the realization of the seafront program. This comes after, for many years, [the idea that] implementation of the plan was only a fantasy.”
The plan’s implementation will open the western part of Haifa’s port to the public.
Alongside the port passenger terminal, a lively entertainment center will open, which will boast cafes, restaurants, commerce and residences. The new housing units will be built along Haifa’s coast.
“We crossed another complex milestone, which shows the seriousness of the state to fund and promote the city’s seafront and western port,” remarked Yahav, adding that the realization of the project would allow the city’s residents to enjoy the public areas on the western side of the port.
Rotary Square inaugurated in Hadera
Hadera Deputy Mayor Hedva Yehezkeli was the guest of honor at the inauguration ceremony of Rotary Square last week, which marked the 60th anniversary of the Rotary Club in the city.
“As someone who helped establish Rotary Square, I am very proud that I had the privilege of lending a hand to those who have contributed to the community in Hadera for so many years,” the Local website quoted Yehezkeli as saying.
Rotary Club members from around the country attended the ceremony that took place in the Khan Museum, to mark the connection between the club’s public activity, the city and its residents. The Rotary Club in Hadera, whose president is David Solomon, has about 30 members including judges, lawyers, bankers and other professionals. The club operates a variety of community activities assisting weaker sectors and fostering professional excellence.
Activities in Hadera include support of the city’s Ethiopian community via educational centers, including donations of computers and air-conditioning units. The center’s activities also include the establishment of a shelter for battered women, a shelter for the homeless and providing scholarships to students.
Team of French doctors in Israel to learn ropes in MDA int’l unit
Some 24 French doctors were in Israel last week to receive training in Magen David Adom’s international emergency unit. The unit comprises 80 experts from around the world, who in the case of a national emergency – such as an earthquake – will come to Israel to help save lives.
The French delegation was in Israel last week to learn how to treat serious injuries and heart disease in situations where hospital equipment is not available.
During the course, the doctors accompanied MDA mobile intensive care units, observed how the teams tended to the wounded and sick and even helped save lives themselves. In addition, they were taken on a tour of the Jerusalem area to learn about the country. They learned about MDA’s organizational makeup and its emergency vehicles so that if they come to Israel they will be able to integrate into the organization’s team and work together with them.
Among the course’s participants as Dr.
Michel Zussman, a senior doctor at a hospital in Nice, who is preparing to immigrate to Israel.
At the closing ceremony Zussman said, “for many years my family and I thought about aliya... this time when I joined the MDA teams in the ambulance and helped save lives, I felt for the first time that I am already part of this country.”
Ilan Klein, deputy director of MDA’s international department who spearheaded the project, expressed pride that the three-year-old program has already garnered 80 experts from around the world.
MDA director-general Eli Bin spoke of the “great excitement [for him] to see seniors leave everything in their countries and invest their time to come to Israel and strengthen their personal relationship with the country and to join MDA’s international emergency unit.”
He added that he hopes that in two years’ time there will be 300 doctors in the unit.
TAU present new ‘pulse’ technology for skin rejuvenation
A team of Tel Aviv University and Harvard Medical School researchers has devised a noninvasive technique that harnesses pulsed electric fields to generate new skin tissue growth, TAU American Friends announced last week. According to their research, the novel noninvasive tissue stimulation technique, utilizing microsecond- pulsed, high-voltage, non-thermal electric fields, produces scarless skin rejuvenation and may revolutionize the treatment of degenerative skin diseases.
The study was led by Dr. Alexander Golberg of TAU’s Porter School of Environmental Studies and the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Shriners Burns Hospital in Boston, in collaboration with Dr. William J. Austen Jr. from the Department of Plastic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr.
Martin L. Yarmush at the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Shriners Burns Hospital in Boston, along with other prominent researchers.
“Pulsed electrical field technology has many advantages, which have already proved effective – for example, in food preservation, tumor removal and wound disinfection,” said Golberg. “Our new application may jump-start the secretion of new collagen and capillaries in problematic skin areas. Considering that, in the modern era of aging populations and climate change, degenerative skin diseases affect one in three adults over the age of 60, this has the potential to be an healthcare game changer.”
The researchers are developing a low-cost device for use in clinical trials in order to test the safety and efficacy of the technology in humans.
Teen seriously hurt in Beersheba road incident
The Negev Magen David Adom emergency center received a call on Sunday night regarding a pedestrian who was seriously injured by a vehicle in Beersheba. Paramedics provided medical treatment at the scene before evacuating the casualty to Soroka University Medical Center in the city. The 16-year-old boy was in serious condition with multisystem injury.
Beersheba man nabbed over drugs, drunk driving
Police arrested a 35-year-old resident of Beersheba on Monday for drugs possession and driving under the influence. In a search of his car police found suspicious substances and empty alcohol bottles. The suspect refused to undergo alcohol and drug tests. Police confiscated his license and vehicle and he was due to be brought for a hearing at the traffic court.
Kahlon orders extension of tax credit regulation to Gaza periphery residents
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon ordered last week the extension of assistance to Sderot and other Gaza periphery communities until the end of 2015. The regulations give these residents 20 percent tax credit on their income.
Initially, the tax regulation was to be extended until the end of 2014, but in accordance with the Knesset’s Basic Law, they were automatically extended during the election period until June 30 this year. Now the finance minister has extended them by another year and a half, subject to the approval of the Knesset Finance Committee and provided that it is justified by the security situation in the front-line area, near the Gaza Strip. Kahlon made the decision in light of the resumption of rocket attacks from Gaza in recent weeks.
Sderot Mayor Alon David thanked Kahlon for the decision, saying he places “great importance on the continuation of income tax credit to the residents of Sderot,” which he said strengthens the residents and builds trust.
Dear readers,
After nine years as editor of In Jerusalem and five years at Metro, my tenure has come to an end. During my time as editor of In Jerusalem I have endeavored to bring you a compelling mix of stories showcasing the lively, unpredictable city that is Israel’s capital.
As editor of Metro, my challenge was to cover most of the country while remaining a local supplement. Throughout this period, In Jerusalem and Metro have offered articles covering entertainment events, trends, politics, religion, culture and archeology. We have tried to profile a cross-section of the country’s residents and bring you the stories of some of the more prominent citizens. We have covered two municipal elections and three Knesset polls. In Jerusalem especially, given the colorful cultural and religious mosaic that makes up the city’s population, providing reading material with broad appeal has been quite a challenge.
We live in a volatile region and, unfortunately, much of the news here is of a less positive nature. In Jerusalem has not shied away from covering countless security stories, including terrorist attacks, riots, wars and military operations.
I have learned a lot from the readers of both papers and appreciate the feedback – both positive and negative – I have received over the years. It is time to hand over the reins to the capable and experienced Erica Schachne.
I remain yours,
Nechama Veeder
Quite simply, I was thrilled to be approached to take over for the seasoned Nechama Veeder. Making aliya five-and- a-half years ago from New York City was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Working at The Jerusalem Post over the past three-and-a-half of those years, I have gotten to know the inner workings of a paper that has faithfully documented the historic ups and downs of our collective dream – the Jewish state.
Israel is at once the ancient Holy Land brought back to splendid, messy life, in which many different religious groups and sectors have a stake; and a modern, vibrant nation-state with a flourishing culinary, music and arts scene. The country’s center is the hi-tech powerhouse of this venture, with Tel Aviv providing its youthful, hipster heart. I intend to take the lead established by my talented predecessor, with Metro stories that express both those points of view – capturing what life is like for us lucky residents of this complicated, beautiful place.
I look forward to a long relationship with you, dear readers, as I bring new energies and ideas to the table. Drop me a line to let me know your ideas, and what you’re thinking.
I’d love to hear from you!
Erica Schachne