Technion centenary celebrations

“The War of the Languages: Technikum/Technion” opened at the Haifa City Museum as part of the centenary anniversary of the Technion.

Technion University (photo credit: Courtesy)
Technion University
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Last Saturday, an exhibition called “The War of the Languages: Technikum/Technion” opened at the Haifa City Museum as part of the centenary anniversary of the Technion.
In fact, the cornerstone of the Technion’s first building, which was originally called Technikum, was laid on April 11, 1912, signaling the beginning of construction work on what was pre-state Palestine’s first university.
The new exhibition portrays the story of the construction of the Technion, which started in 1908 and was completed in 1924. The evolution of the institution also included a battle over the language of instruction there – German or Hebrew – with the latter eventually winning out.
Haifa stalactite cave at risk
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) has warned that plans to construct housing on a site near the stalactite cave in the Haifa district of Denia is putting the cave at risk. The site has been recognized as “a protected natural treasure” by the Haifa Municipality even though the area near the cave is designated as residential and, according to law, can be used to construct new housing.
The municipality’s construction permit includes the proviso that no detonations be carried out within a 100- meter radius of the cave, and that no digging be done within 30 meters of the boundaries of the cave site.
Meanwhile, SPNI Haifa district planner Inbal Koren- Reisner has warned that any construction work or explosions near the cave are liable to damage the stalactites, and that it would be preferable not to carry out any construction work there at all.
Renovation help at hand
Tirat Carmel Municipality is to set up a special foundation to help socioeconomically disadvantaged residents finance renovation work on their apartment buildings. The decision was reached following a meeting last week between Tirat Carmel Mayor Aryeh Tal and Home Betterment Association northern district director Shlomi Or.
The monies in the foundation will cover the discrepancy between grants provided by the association and the actual cost of the work. The funding applies to buildings aged 20 years and over, and will take the form of a loan of up to NIS 1,000. The loan can be repaid in easy payments, without interest or index linkage.
School’s out outside Tel Aviv
The Tel Aviv Municipality has decided not to allow local children to attend schools outside the confines of the city. The decision refers, in particular, to students who have been going to school at the Experimental Youth Village for Environmental Leadership and Excellence at Hakfar Hayarok, located in the municipal area of Ramat Hasharon.
A Tel Aviv Municipality official said that the ruling follows a decision by the Education Ministry director- general with regard to payments of external study fees. The official added that the municipality will reconsider the matter should there be a change in the director-general’s approach to the topic.
Pupils go to the wall
Children in grades 7 to 9 at the Dorot School in Rishon Lezion have been taking part in a seemingly non-educational artistic project recently – graffiti.
However, rather than taking the students to task, school principal Dalya Yeshayahu has expressed full support for the project, saying that graffiti offers the students “a meaningful channel for expressing their opinions, ambitions and dreams.”
As part of the project – which is supported by the Rishon Lezion Municipality and the Ron Vardi Center for Gifted Pupils – the children took part in a study tour in Tel Aviv. They learned about graffiti techniques and the history of the art form from artist Dror Ma’ayan.
Hospital gets new pediatric units
Laniado Hospital in Netanya has opened two new pediatric units – a surgical unit and a cardiology unit. The new units are part of the hospital’s Sanz Medical Center, which has experienced rapid growth in recent years.
A hospital official said there has been increasing demand for the center’s services and noted that the number of births is also rising sharply.
The new surgical unit provides treatment for a range of babies’ gastrointestinal conditions. The new cardiology unit is located next to the neonatal intensive care unit.
Books for kids
Kindergartens in Rehovot are taking part in an Education Ministry project as part of which each child can receive one book a month for NIS 5. Allocation of the books is preceded by a special preparatory activity with the child. The first book the children received, last week, is Rachel Goldberg’s Magic Hat.
Rehovot Municipality Pre-school Department director Esther Handler said the project provides numerous benefits, including added bonding between parents and child based on reading the books. Handler also cited increased vocabulary and expanding the children’s imagination and thought processes as added value of the book project.
Bnei Brak engages in shift work
The Bnei Brak Municipality has been planning for some years now to turn an area of garages, workshops and a variety of illegal businesses into a modern business quarter. The problem is that the garages, stalls and other small enterprises in the area have been going concerns for quite a while, despite their lack of legal status, and are proving hard to shift.
The municipality is now waging a war of attrition against the operators of the enterprises, using a range of tactics that include preventing prospective customers from stopping their cars nearby and filing lawsuits against the people running the illegal enterprises.
The municipality’s plans for the area include the construction of 15 office buildings, roads and residential buildings, as well as large green areas.
Skids under the skateboards
The Kfar Saba Municipality has decided to prohibit skateboarding in the municipal square. The ban came into effect this week, and culprits will have their skateboards impounded and a NIS 430 fine slapped on them. The move follows complaints of damage being caused to the square, in addition to injuries sustained by the skateboarders.
Meanwhile, Kfar Saba Youth Council Culture and Leisure coordinator David Baron said an alternative for skateboarding activities is being examined. A municipal skateboarding park is due to open in June, and Baron said he is looking for an interim arrangement.
Who’ll take these dogs?
Dr. Alexander Austrer of Ashkelon is seeking a new home for a pair of dogs that belonged to an elderly couple who have become infirm and been hospitalized several times in the past year.
Austrer contacted several organizations about the problem, but none could offer a solution for the dogs. He added that someone suggested he place the animals with the municipal veterinarian services, but said he was concerned that the dogs would be put down if no home was found for them within a month.
Don’t cover up the Lost City!
Last Saturday, around 150 people took part in a demonstration organized by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) against plans to establish a holiday village on the site of the Lost City, near Kibbutz Sde Boker. The site contains archeological remains from the late Byzantine-Early Islamic Era (sixthseventh centuries CE).
The Ramat Hanegev Regional Council plan calls for the construction of a vacation facility covering some 56 dunams, with 40 guest units, sports facilities, a conference center and restaurant.
Around 200 people also signed a petition on the SPNI website against the project. It notes that the construction plan, if implemented, will cause irreversible damage to the environment. The petition claims that the construction plan contravenes the local authority’s land designation.
Promenade work stopped
Construction of the promenade in Ashkelon was recently halted after several months of work. The official reason for the break is the environmental damage liable to be caused by the work, particularly to the nearby cliff area close to the Holiday Inn Hotel.
However, local contractor Ronen Tabakol, who has overseen the work to date, notes that no one in the municipality raised the subject of the cliffs before he won the tender. He added that when then prime minister Ehud Olmert approved a special government budget for the promenade, municipality members could have voiced their concern then over the possibility of damage. Tabakol says he has documents with the results of tests carried out on the proposed promenade route which indicate that the project does not represent an environmental risk.
A municipality official responded by saying that the contractor has attended a number of meetings on the matter with municipality personnel, and that the decision by municipal engineer Shlomo Cohen to stop work on the promenade was based on purely professional considerations.