Centenarians launch Haifa Retirees’ Festival

The sixth annual Retirees Festival in Haifa was opened this week by a group of 13 local centenarians.

Elderly_521 (photo credit: Illustrative photo: MCT)
(photo credit: Illustrative photo: MCT)
The sixth annual Retirees Festival in Haifa was opened this week by a group of 13 local centenarians.
The festival was kicked off with a reception featuring wine produced by Israel Kristal, himself one of the centenarians.
The oldest of the 13 participants is 108, and the youngest is 100. Alpha Rothstein, director of counseling services for the elderly in Haifa, said that around 70 people over the age of 100 currently live in the city, the Local website reported. Ahead of the event, volunteer counselor Deborah Stone presented the centenarians with certificates.
The three-day festival attracted more than 10,000 retirees from across the country and included dozens of events and activities including entertainment, poetry, lectures, dancing, sports, bridge competitions and movies. The events were held in Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic, Russian and Amharic.
Acre invests in sports
The Acre Municipal Council has made a major investment in sports in the city, approving a budget of NIS 2.6 million at a meeting last week. The majority of the funds will go to professional sports teams Hapoel Acre and Maccabi Acre. The remainder of the funds were earmarked for wrestling, sailing, boxing and fencing teams and activities.
Man arrested over café owner slaying
Police early this week arrested a man in his 40s who they believed was involved in the murder of a Baka al-Gharbiya resident. Following a preliminary investigation, police said they believed the motive for the murder was a dispute over money. Ali Abu Mouh was stabbed to death early Sunday morning in his café in southern Baka al-Gharbiya.
‘Extinct’ frog makes a comeback Missing for half a century and listed as extinct in 1996, the Hula painted frog has been seen again in northern Israel, its only known habitat. “The species now has another chance to survive,” the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said on Thursday, reporting that one of its inspectors had come across the frog in the Hula Valley and that it had been placed in a protective facility.
Only five Hula painted frogs have ever been collected.
Four were found in 1940 and one in the 1950s, when most of the valley’s marshes were drained in efforts to eradicate malaria and make the land arable. Part of the wetlands was turned into a nature reserve, but fruitless searches for the frogs over the years led experts to conclude that the species, Discoglossus nigriventer, had not survived the blow to its habitat.
The Nature Authority said it appears that the Hula painted frog bounded back after more water was diverted to the Hula region three years ago to reverse the ecological damage caused when the marshes disappeared. The frog has a dark belly with small white spots; other colors include ocher and rust, grading into dark olive-gray and gray-black.
Career soldier arrested for celebratory gunfire
Police arrested a 27-year-old career IDF soldier from a town in the Jezreel Valley on suspicion that he fired his army-issued M16 rifle into the air during a family celebration last weekend. Police confiscated the weapon and said they would take the soldier to court for a remand extension hearing. Details of the incident and investigation will be transferred to the Military Police.
Tourist bus crashes in Galilee; driver is killed
A 58-year-old bus driver died over the weekend as a result of injuries he incurred after an accident with a truck at an intersection in the Lower Galilee.
Paramedics rushed the injured driver, who was in critical condition, to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, where he succumbed to his injuries.
At least 40 passengers on the bus, most of whom were Nigerian tourists en route to Ben-Gurion International Airport, were injured lightly but refused medical treatment. The truck driver was also lightly injured.

TA lays rabies vaccinations for foxes, jackals
The Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipal veterinarian this week began distributing lures containing rabies vaccines targeting foxes and jackals throughout the city. The decoys are the size of a matchbox and will be placed over a 10-day period in Ganei Yehoshua, in fields east of Habarzel Street, in the Neveh Sharett neighborhood, north of Tel Baruch up to Highway 5, north of the Chen neighborhood, along the length of Herzliya’s northern beaches, along Tzuk Beach, at Tel Baruch Beach, at the Sde Dov Airport and at Menachem Begin Park from the Holon Junction to Ayalon Park.
Members of the public who come across the brown lures are asked not to touch them. Anyone who does touch the lures should wash their hands well with soap and water.
Foxes and jackals tend to be found in open areas and are active from the hours after sunset until half an hour before sunrise. They are not known to approach people or domestic animals. In the event that residents encounter corpses of foxes or jackals or if such an animal is seen running around in the daytime or in residential areas, they are asked to call the municipal hotline at 106.
Jaffa Sea Scouts launch new boat
The Jaffa Sea Scouts launched a new boat named for Prof. Joseph (Joe) Yaffe last week, a gift from Mrs. Yaffe and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality. The ceremony, attended by Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai, included the traditional smashing of a champagne bottle against the hull of the ship and a small parade by scouts members and staff.
The ship, named Joe, will serve the scouts’ activities.
Prof. Yaffe was the founder of optics research at the Weizmann Institute and was a managing member of the Security and Peace Council.
Huldai, speaking at the launching ceremony, praised the new boat, saying it would serve “no fewer than 100 at-risk youths,” who participate in the Sea Scouts.
TA prepares for, responds to storm damage
Ahead of the rains that poured down on the country last week, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality conducted special assessments designed to minimize damage and disruptions during the storms.
The city formed a rapid response team that dealt with downed trees, flooding, potholes and affected traffic lights during the storm. Municipal crews inspected, cleaned and repaired drainage systems above and below ground.
The municipality noted that in recent years, massive rehabilitation projects targeting the urban drainage and sewage systems have taken place in most parts of the city in order to prevent flooding. Nonetheless, the city was forced to respond to 15 instances of flooding in businesses, kindergartens and schools, 161 cases of blocked storm drains, 10 potholes, six damaged traffic lights, 12 fallen trees, four damaged electric cables and 23 cases of sewage manholes that overflowed.
Eilat holds children’s folk-dance festival
Six hundred children from Eilat participated in a folk dance festival in the city this week, called “Camp in Movement.” The festival, which is in its third year, attracted instructors and choreographers from all over Israel and abroad. It took place on the field of the Sports Hotel.
Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevi, who attended the event, said, “It’s important for us that Eilat’s children grow up and develop with the experience of the Land of Israel and experience the love of Hebrew song, which we grew up with and another generation will now enjoy.”
The children practiced for two months with dance teachers on selected folk dances. Project director Miri Kopito said of the performance, “This morning, the Israeli spirit was captured and instilled pride in the children of Eilat.” She added that the “elation flying high in all of us was apparent.”
18-year-old killed by falling pergola in Eilat hotel A vacationing 18-year-old from Kiryat Malachi was killed at an Eilat hotel last week when he was struck in the head by part of a metal pergola. An initial investigation suggested that five friends were sitting poolside at the city’s Meridien Hotel when the metal structure collapsed on top of them from a nearby balcony.
Police said that the victim was extracted by firefighters shortly before being pronounced dead by Magen David Adom paramedics. Firefighters said they did not yet know why the structure had collapsed.
Police opened an investigation into the incident.
Mother, daughter killed in Ashkelon apartment fire
Two Ashkelon women died in a fire that broke out in their apartment, which police said was most likely caused by an electrical short. Rescue workers declared the two women – a mother in her 90s and her daughter in her 60s – dead upon discovering their bodies in their 18th-floor apartment.
Police, who were still investigating, believed the women died of smoke inhalation. They suspected that the fire was sparked when a heating stove set a blanket alight, spreading flames through the apartment.
According to the Fire and Rescue Services, neighbors did not notice the fire sooner because the apartment was well sealed, confining the signs of smoke and flames until it was too late. A short in the elevators resulting from the fire further delayed firefighters, forcing them to climb the 18 flights of stairs to the apartment.