The Acre Municipality in cooperation with the Pensioners’ Affairs Ministry kicked off a program this week to install reinforced steel doors in the residences of the city’s senior citizens. The doors, built to standards set by the ministry, are being made available to seniors whose income consists entirely of a pension and who live in privately owned residences or public housing. In addition to the new doors, eligible seniors will have panic buttons installed in their apartments.
Acre Mayor Shimon Lankry said the program was important in protecting the elderly and combating violence against them, the Local website reported. “We will do everything to raise the sense of personal security of Acre residents,” he said. The program is also taking place in 10 other municipalities throughout the country. For more information, call (04) 995-6228.
Education Prize winners announced
The Education Ministry this week announced the six winners of its Northern District Education Prize for the past school year. The winning schools were: the Kesulot Elementary School in Upper Nazareth, Elementary School Alef in Kafr Yasif, the Reut Elementary School in Tiberias, the Ziv School in Safed, the Ibn Sana Elementary School in Tamra and the Jadir Kindergarten in Deir Hanna.
Director of the Education Ministry’s Northern District Dr. Orna Simhon congratulated the winners, saying they “provided... outstanding activities, which combined individual needs and the needs of the public, while responding to [the]... learning needs of students.”
Karmiel environmental parks get green light
The Karmiel Municipality has authorized construction of six new “Green Gardens” at schools in the city, which aim to integrate environmental education and community activity. The facilities are a joint project of the Karmiel Municipality, the Environmental Ministry, the Education Ministry and the Western Galilee Association of Municipalities.
Karmiel Mayor Adi Eldar praised the program’s aim of encouraging environmental responsibility at an early age.
“Children at this age are agents of change,” he said. As those children grow up, he added, “they will become central in decision making and will [have] internalized the fact that we have no alternative but to preserve the environment for future generations.”
Gala held for TA Cinematheque reopening
The Tel Aviv Cinematheque this week celebrated the official opening of The Israeli Cinema Center, an expansion of the cinematheque housing two new theaters, the largest of which seats 420, a library and offices. The extension, which was recently completed, cost approximately NIS 17 million and was funded by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, the Tel Aviv Development Fund, the Marc Rich Foundation and the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.
The ceremony included the screening of three films: Circus, by Charlie Chaplin, the first film ever screened at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque (30 years ago), Zot Hi Ha’aretz (“This is the land”), the first film produced in the country, in 1935, and The Women from the Sixth Floor, a new Israeli film.
Ramat Gan woman dies in fire
A 20-year-old woman was killed over the weekend after being caught in an apartment fire in Ramat Gan. Two others were injured in the incident. Magen David Adom paramedics evacuated the injured to Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv for medical treatment.
A preliminary investigation indicated that the fire was the result of an oven being left unattended. Firefighters extinguished the blaze.
TA launches urban restoration campaign
The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality has kicked off a new campaign to educate the public about its conservation plan, which is set to begin operating in the near future. With financial and permit incentives available, the city will be promoting the restoration of some 1,000 buildings as part of a larger urban renewal project.
Among the incentives on offer by the municipality are interest-free loans covering up to 90 percent of the restoration costs, grants of up to 30% of the restoration cost and permits to build new parking lots. Additionally, a special municipal planning unit was created to help fast-track applications for alterations and restorations to historic buildings.
The municipality described the goal of the program as being to ensure the preservation and restoration of Tel Aviv by exposing its architectural and urban heritage and therestoration of buildings and their surroundings totheir original state. Extra building permits will be granted to owners to balance the need for conservation and the city’s modern development needs.
Residents can learn more about the program by visiting www.shimur-telaviv.co.il.
Bat Yam opens new playground
The Bat Yam Municipality inaugurated a new playground on the city’s Nordau Street across from the municipality building this week. The complex includes a large, multi-structure playground, painted in friendly colors and mounted on a safe rubber surface.
The municipality said the new complex, built by a team from its Gardens and Landscaping Division, is designed “to improve the city and to improve its environment and beauty.” In addition, four rows of olive trees were planted, the Local website reported.
Dentists volunteering for Holocaust survivors honored
Last week in Kfar Saba, the Israel Dental Association along with The Foundation of the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel held a special event dedicated to volunteer dentists who provide services to Holocaust survivors in Israel. Since 2007, some 100 dentists have been volunteering to treat Holocaust survivors in urgent need of dental care throughout the country. In the past year, there was an increase of 70 percent in the number of Holocaust survivors referred to dental clinics, indicating the growing need for the program.
Israel Dental Association director Dr. Yitzhak Chen said at the event, “I am grateful to all my colleagues, dental clinicsthroughout the country and professionals who are dedicated to Holocaust survivors and give them the best care.” He called for more dentists to join the program.
Disaster averted at Petah Tikva mall
A serious potential disaster was averted in Petah Tikva over the weekend when around 1,000 people were evacuated from the Sirkin Mall after a serious gas leak was detected. The leak was apparently caused by damage to a pipeline sustained during renovation work.
Hazardous Materials teams belonging to the Fire Service arrived on the scene and immediately detected the leak. The crews evacuated the shoppers and workers and began spraying water to reduce the gas concentration in the air. A Fire Service spokesman said it was “very lucky” that the gas levels did not reach a level that could have caused a major explosion. Police opened an investigation into the incident.
‘Israman’ Ironman contest returns to Eilat
Some 800 athletes are expected to participate in the “Israman” Ironman competition in Eilat this week. The competition sees significant growth from the previous year, in which 500 athletes competed. In 1999, only 30 athletes took part in the first “Israman Eilat” competition. Since then it has gained in popularity and today is ranked among the top 10 Ironman competitions in the world, according to the Eilat Municipality.
The competition, which takes between nine and 16 hours to complete, consists of three heats: The Ironman (a 1,900-meter swim, 180-km. bicycle race and a 42 km. marathon), Half Ironman (1,900-meters swim, 90 km. bicycle race and 21 km. or half-marathon), and a relay heat in which one competitor completes each stage of the full heat.
Ashkelon pilot program to monitor cellular radiation
The Ashkelon Municipality announced this week that it will participate in a pilot program to track the radiation emanating from cellular telephone antennas installed throughout the city. Ashkelon Mayor Yoram Shefer announced the decision at a city council meeting, during which he gave the city council jurisdiction to measure radiation throughout the city.
The program will consist of around-the-clock monitoring at cell towers throughout the city. If abnormal levels of radiation are detected, cellular companies and the Environmental Protection Ministry will be notified. Additionally, the program gives the city council the authority to order cellular towers to be moved to different locations. During the pilot program, its financial viability will be assessed.
“This is a significant achievement for supervisory activity, which was previously exercised by the cellular companies with no transparency,” Shefer said of the program, calling it “vital for the city and its residents.”