City Front: Haifa drivers get real-time information

Haifa Municipality has launched a new web-based information service that provides local drivers with real-time data about traffic situation.

Raanana marathon 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Raanana marathon 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Haifa Municipality has launched a new web-based information service that provides local drivers with real-time data about the traffic situation at a number of major junctions around the city. The site, which uses QuickTime software, was developed by the municipality’s computer department and is based on advanced video streaming technology.
A local official noted that the traffic camera project is part of the Haifa Municipality’s main system, which monitors and manages traffic lights and traffic in the city. He added that the new Internet service can also be used by security and rescue personnel to efficiently and quickly access locations where an emergency situation has arisen.
Data from the new information service can be accessed via or
Ancient money instead of arms
When police from Nahariya received a tipoff about a weapons stash in a house in the village of Mazra, they didn’t exactly find what they were looking for. Instead of illegal arms, the police officers discovered a valuable collection of archeological finds, including several hundred coins from the Second Temple period and ancient vases.
They immediately impounded the coins and vases and contacted the Antiquities Authority, which placed the value of the haul at several hundred thousand shekels.
The only member of the family who was at home when the police carried out the search was the son of the house owner, who denied any connection with the ancient treasure and said it belonged to his father.
Meanwhile, an Antiquities Authority official said that this was the largest haul of archeological remains in the last decade.
Kiryat Yam sports complex draws flack
Residents of Kiryat Yam have complained that a local sports complex is not being fully and properly utilized, despite the heavy financial investment in its construction. The $5.3-million Alex and Betty Schoenbaum Science, Education, Cultural and Sports Campus state-ofthe- art hi-tech educational development was opened last October. It contains a variety of sports facilities, including basketball and volleyball courts and a running track.
One Kiryat Yam resident said that various youth come to the complex in the afternoon “to hang out, drink and trash the place.”
However, a Kiryat Yam Municipality official said that the center is currently undergoing trial use and is expected to be fully opened to the public in the coming weeks.
Hadera celebrates with centenarian
Last Friday, Hadera Mayor Haim Avitan visited the home of 100-year-old Pnina Kandrik as part of the celebrations to mark the 120th anniversary of the city’s founding. Kandrik is a descendant of the Samsonov family, which settled in Hadera in its earliest days, back in 1891, and is the granddaughter of Aryeh Leib Samsonov, one of the city’s founding fathers.
Kandrik has lived on Rehov Hagiborim for many years, close to the site on which her grandfather built the family’s first home in Hadera. It was a hub of local cultural and events.
During her working life, the centenarian was well known throughout the area as a sought-after ballet teacher.
Face-lift, at last, for bus station
Visitors to Tiberias may have noticed that the city’s bus station could do with a lick or two of paint, not to mention some repair work. Now, 66 years after it was built, the bus station is finally going to get a serious makeover.
The renovation work includes interior and exterior decorating, repair work to the building’s ceiling, widening the passenger staircase and a general upgrade of the entrance lobby.
The station currently houses 12 stores and businesses, and the bus station owners are negotiating with a number of food chains with a view to them opening branches there.
Haifa tops national overweight league
According to figures released by the Health Ministry, the residents of Haifa are the heaviest in the country. Following the report, the Clalit Health Fund installed 20 new appliances which measure the body mass index (BMI) in clinics around the city.
A Clalit official said that the gauges calculate a person’s BMI based on their height and weight, adding that a BMI reading of over 30 requires medical intervention to prevent the development of overweight-related ailments such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Central Region
Register for the Raanana Marathon
Registration for the 22nd Annual Ra’anana Marathon is now open. Runners are invited to take part in a popular sports activity in one of three heats: the 3-km popular heat, the 10 km disabled competitive heat and the 10-km competitive heat for athletes and enthusiasts. Register for the marathon, online, at the website or by phone: 1-700-700-305.
Innovative answer to parking problems in Kfar Saba
Kfar Saba resident Yaron Maya has come up with an innovative answer to the traffic congestion and parking problems on the city’s main Sheshet Hayamim thoroughfare. Maya suggests allowing cars to park diagonally to the sidewalk, thereby increasing the street’s parking capacity.
Maya noted that the strip of dry grass on the northern side of the street could be pressed into parking service, as has already happened in nearby streets.
Deputy Mayor Amiram Miller, who is responsible for the city’s transport affairs, said the matter would be looked into.
Ramat Hasharon sixth-graders talk trash
Last week, Itzik Cohen, director of the Ramat Hasharon municipal Ta’avura sanitation company, together with Iris Pinnes of the local authority’s environment section, met with local sixth-graders to talk about the environment. The youngsters raised a range of green issues with the officials, including garbage separation and recycling.
The students asked about environmental matters in the city’s Kiryat Ye’arim neighborhood, and whether the municipality’s environmental department was planning to implement garbage separation in private residences.
A municipality official said Ramat Hasharon currently recycles around 24 percent of the city’s garbage.
‘What a waste of water!’
Residents of the Sela neighborhood of Rehovot have been complaining about the poor state of infrastructures in the neighborhood for some time. They say that, due to ongoing negligence, water pipes in the area burst on a regular basis, wasting large quantities of water. Last week, for example, a pipe burst on Rehov Borochov.
Neighborhood Committee chairman Moshe Ozeri has lodged several complaints with the Rehovot Municipality asking for the pipes, which he says date from the 1950s, to be replaced.
A municipality official responded that extensive infrastructure work was under way in the neighborhood, including work on the water and sewage systems.
‘Temporary’ airport to grow
Local residents have long complained about the noise and air pollution – and safety hazard – caused by Herzliya Airport, which is located close to a residential area. However, despite the fact that its current location is supposed to be only a temporary arrangement, and despite a recommendation by a special Transport Ministry committee that the airport be moved to Ein Shemer, a new plan approved by the District Committee proposes expanding the area of the airport from 160 to 260 dunams. The plan also includes a proposal covering the reassignment of internal and external access routes in and around the airport.
According to the existing district outline plan, the airport is due to continue operating from its current location for only another five years.
Petah Tikva to decide on historic dining room
The Petah Tikva Municipality will soon have to decide the fate of the abandoned original dining hall building of Kibbutz Givat Hashlosha. For its part, the Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites has asked the municipality to confer preservation status on the structure.
The kibbutz was established in 1925, to the west of Petah Tikva. The site was eventually swallowed by the expanding city and the kibbutz was reestablished in its present location near the source of the Yarkon River, outside Petah Tikva. The abandoned dining hall is now on the site of the city’s Yad Lebanim center.
Sadly, the structure has fallen into disrepair and the chairman of the local branch of the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites, Shalom Kotler, said he will recommend instigating legal action against those who have allowed the building to decline to its current sorry state.
Meanwhile, the Petah Tikva Municipality’s site preservation department manager, Monica Cohen, said she hopes the local authority will begin renovating the building in the near future.
New body will help curb infiltrators
The Union of Local Authorities in Israel has established a new body that will tackle the problem of illegal entry into the country. Union chairman Shlomo Buchbut has set up a team of mayors, under Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevy, to formulate policy. It will be done in cooperation with a number of government ministries in order to raise public awareness of the dangers of the phenomenon and find solutions to the problem.
The new body, which also includes the mayors of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Bnei Brak, Beersheba and Arad, met for the first time earlier this week. Meanwhile, Buchbut has asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to instruct the Interior Ministry and Internal Security Ministry to step up measures for handling infiltration.