City Notes: Plan will see Kfar Vradim double in size

The ILA recently issued a tender for 35 single-family residential units in the town, and several hundred more are planned for the second stage.

Construction worker 521 (photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)
Construction worker 521
(photo credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)
The Israel Lands Authority approved a plan last week for the expansion of Kfar Vradim that will see the construction of 1,835 new units, including single- family homes, apartment buildings and tourism-targeted guest houses, the Local website reported.
There are currently 1,700 households in the community.
The ILA recently issued a tender for 35 single-family residential units in the town, and several hundred more are planned for the second stage. At the end of the marketing process for the second stage, the municipality will begin infrastructure work to service the additional homes and housing units, according to the report.
In addition to the residential units planned, the plan contributes to tourism. Some 240 hotel rooms and 340 bed and breakfast rooms will be built as part of the expansion.
Deputy director of planning for the ILA Rafi Elmaliach described the plan as “meet[ing] the needs for housing at various levels and offer[ing] a variety of residential models ranging from rural to urban, with the goal of responding to the diverse needs of the public based on age and economic position,” according to Local. Along with the housing solutions it offers, he added, the plan includes public buildings, educational facilities and open spaces.
Jeep owners ticketed for driving on beaches With the arrival of beach weather, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority began its annual crackdown on drivers taking off-road vehicles onto Israeli beaches this week. Throughout last weekend, the authority issued 72 tickets to drivers of jeeps who drove their vehicles onto beaches in the South, especially in the Nitzanim Nature Reserve.
The enforcement operation was carried out by authority enforcement officers, police officers, long-range cameras and an airplane owned by the authority.
“In the Center of the country, specifically including the stretch of beaches along the Mediterranean Sea, there are a number of open beaches and nature reserves that we seek to preserve amid urban development,” INPA enforcement officer On Valensi told the Local website. Among the dangers of driving motorized vehicles onto sandy areas and beaches, he explained, is harming wildlife, including gazelles, wild cats, foxes, turtles, various species of reptiles and amphibians, waterfowl, birds of prey and foliage in the areas.
Enforcement of regulations regarding vehicles in nature reserves will be stepped up in the coming weeks, Valensi told Local. “The cooperation with the Israel Police is proving once again that there is a shared interest in preventing the phenomenon of driving on beaches and in nature reserves.”
Grenade thrown at parked car in Nesher Unknown attackers threw a grenade toward a parked vehicle in Nesher in the Haifa area over the weekend. No one was injured in the attack but damage was caused to the vehicle. Police said that the owner of the vehicle is a known criminal, and opened an investigation into the incident.
Dozens protest for Shabbat buses in Tel Aviv Dozens of protesters in Tel Aviv on Friday called on the municipality to advance the initiative of buses running in the city on Shabbat.
The demonstration was intended to put pressure on the municipality, which is expected to take up the measure next week – and, according to some media reports, to bury it because of various deals cut with the religious parties in the municipal council coalition.
Two months ago, Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai threw his support behind an initiative launched by activist group Free Israel, which sought public transportation on Shabbat in the city. The city subsequently requested permission from the Transportation Ministry to operate buses on Shabbat. Last month, the Meretz party began a largely symbolic bus line of its own on Saturdays to publicize the campaign for public transportation seven days a week.
TA-Jaffa officially marks start of swimming season The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality marked the official start of the swimming season this week with the opening of lifeguard stations’ extended summer hours. A ceremony is scheduled to be held on Friday and the city is this year placing ashtrays along its 13.5-kilometer stretch of beaches to help reduce littering this summer.
For the first part of the swimming season, from April 23 to May 31, lifeguard stations at the city’s recognized beaches will be open between 7:15 a.m.
and 4:45 p.m. Beginning in June, lifeguards will stay one hour later, until 5:45 p.m., and in July and August, lifeguard hours will be extended until 6:15 p.m. In September and October, lifeguard stations will close at 4:45 p.m.
The municipality estimates that on weekends in the summer months, 150,000 people visit Tel Aviv- Jaffa beaches and 25,000 people a day on weekdays.
The municipality also touted recent rankings from the Environmental Protection Ministry, which gave the city’s beaches rankings of “clean” and “very clean” in its most recent index.
‘Fireworks bloom in the winter’ to show in Ra’anana The Open University in Ra’anana will begin hosting a special and unusual art exhibition by Billy Stempel, focusing on Chinese fireworks, next week and through the summer. The show, called “Fireworks bloom in the winter,” opens on April 30 and will run through the end of July. The body of works is a tribute to the Chinese New Year holiday, which is also called the Spring Festival, although it is celebrated in the dead of winter.
The exhibition presents the works Stempel painted while in China, incorporating elements of traditional Chinese painting with artistic content representing the artist’s past. The paintings combine the classical tools of oil paints with wax and Chinese ink on paper, while creating compositions relating to the principles of movement found in traditional Chinese painting, which are described as a fusion between the West and the East.
“Fireworks create symbols of the layout of peacock feathers, a lush and luxuriant tangle of roots, branches and tree trunks, a field in the wind, waves, rainfall, rapids and waterfalls,” Stempel said of her work. “They represent a movement that comes like a prayer.”
Iris Mor to head TA’s Cultural Division The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality selected Iris Mor as the city’s next director of its Cultural Division this week. The city said in a statement that Mor has a great familiarity with the world of culture, both in Israel and globally, and has proven capabilities in the management of systems, budgets and preparing work plans.
Mor, 59, lives in Tel Aviv-Jaffa and is married with two children.
For the past four years, she has been the editor-in-chief of Keter publishing. Prior to that, she was the gallery editor for Haaretz and served in various editorial positions at other publications.
Eilat touts clean beach rankings for early 2012
Beaches in Eilat are among the cleanest in the country, the Environmental Protection Ministry said following the Passover vacation. The city’s beaches rose in the ministry’s beach cleanliness index from January to March, during which time the city implemented cleanup programs at its various beaches ahead of the Passover vacation. During the peak spring tourism season, the city performed daily patrols to ensure clean beaches, something the municipality pointed to in maintaining quality beaches.
Eli Warburg, the director of Eilat’s Maritime Pollution Prevention Station, said of the news, “From year to year, we witness a substantial improvement in the state of Eilat’s beaches.
Substantial coordinated action by all the authorities is bearing fruit.” He added praise for the environmental awareness of tourists coming to the city during the holiday.
Police arrest memorial thieves in South
Border Police arrested two suspects in the theft of some 500 candle-housings from cemeteries in Rehovot and Givat Brenner late last week. The housings hold candles placed on graves ahead of Remembrance Day.
The stolen goods were found in the car of one of the suspects, from the southern village of Kseifa. The two suspects denied any connection to the thefts. Police were expected to seek a remand extension for the two.
Sandstorm leads to deadly multi-car pileup A spring sandstorm was the likely cause of a deadly car accident in the South last week, police said. Three people died, four were severely injured and five were lightly injured in a chain-reaction of car accidents in Nitzana minutes into a sandstorm that brought down unseasonably high temperatures.
The accidents appeared to have been initially triggered by poor visibility caused by a heavy haze; one of the cars slammed into the car in front of it because the driver could not see that the car in front had stopped. The other vehicles involved in the multi-car pileup accident included a truck, a tour bus and a car.