City Notes: KKL-JNF offers array of Tu Bishvat activities

Ahead of Tu Bishvat, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael–Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) has announced a series of events at various national forests and nature reserves.

Social protests yelling 521 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Social protests yelling 521
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Ahead of Tu Bishvat, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael–Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) has announced a series of events at various national forests and nature reserves. Today between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the public is invited to participate in the planting of trees in the Beit Keshet Forest in the Lower Galilee along with KKL-JNF foresters.
Tours of the forest will be offered. The event is free of charge.
Tomorrow the public is invited for an informative meeting with the KKL-JNF Forestry Division at the KKL-JNF headquarters at the entrance to Moshav Beit Nehemia near Shoham at 10 a.m. The session will include information about the KKL-JNF alpine climbers, who climb tall trees to collect the best seeds for planting in new forests, and demonstrations of the treatment and preservation of seeds from collection until planting. Activities for adults and families will be offered.
Additionally, a number of film screenings and other activities will be offered in the week leading up to Tu Bishvat. More information can be found at
‘Acre absorbed 92 immigrant families in 2011’
A program to increase the number of new immigrants arriving in Acre has paid off, year-end data suggest. In 2011, Acre absorbed 92 newimmigrant families, according to figures released by the city’s Immigrant Absorption Department.
According to the statistics, roughly half of the families are young couples with children, the Local website reported. A total of 65 children arrived in 2011. The majority of the families were from the former Soviet Union, along with two families from the United States and one from France.
Acre Mayor Shimon Lankry said of the findings that he was “happy that new immigrants are choosing to come and live in Acre, and we are doing everything to ensure they are optimally integrated into the workforce.”
Tuba-Zanghariya hit by vandalism, arson
Police arrested two suspects aged 26 and 27 Saturday morning on suspicion of vandalizing the Tuba-Zanghariya local council building overnight.
Also on Saturday morning, a Tuba-Zanghariya council member’s car was found burned. Police are investigating the incident.
TA to offer free parking to Tel-o-Fun subscribers As part of its efforts to encourage the use of bicycles and reduce the number of cars entering the city, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality is beginning a pilot program this month that will allow subscribers to its Tel-o-Fun hourly bicycle rental service to park for free in municipal parking lots.
During the first phase of the pilot, 300 parking spaces at the Sportek parking lot on Rokah Street will be allotted to the program, with additional parking spaces to be added later. The pilot will run through February, not including Fridays and Saturdays, on a first-come-first-served basis. Tel-o- Fun subscribers will be given free entrance to the municipal parking lot until 10 a.m. with no time limit.
Commenting on the program, Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai said, “We are always looking for new ways to encourage bicycle riding and widen the bicycle revolution in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. The parking arrangements for Tel-o-Fun subscribers will reduce the number of private cars entering the city center as well as the time spent looking for parking.”
The location of the pilot program, he explained, “will allow drivers to reach the outskirts of the city, and from there, continue with their business as they ride the green bicycles along the city’s 110 kilometers of paved bicycle paths.”
A yearly Tel-o-Fun subscription costs NIS 280 and for Tel Aviv-Jaffa residents NIS 240.
Following girl’s death, city installs new traffic light
Residents of south Tel Aviv-Jaffa praised the municipality for the installation and activation of new traffic lights on Kibbutz Galuyot Street, the result of a two-month lobbying effort following the death of a four-year-old girl.
The child, Malka, was killed at the intersection of Kibbutz Galuyot and Lublin streets two months ago while legally crossing the street with her caretaker and younger sister, who was lightly injured in the accident.
Following the accident, local residents organized a protest against the traffic arrangements.
Thousands of children use the intersection every day on their way to and from school, residents said, pointing to their sustained protests and lobbying as having pressured the city to act to make the intersection safer.
Shapira neighborhood resident Israel Vered, whose daughter was injured in an accident at the intersection several months ago welcomed the decision, saying that although Malka cannot be brought back, “We congratulate the Tel Aviv Municipality for understanding the plight of the residents and its swift implementation” of the new traffic arrangements. “I hope this case encourages citizens around the country to fight for their right to live with confidence,” he added.
New two-wheel parking opens at Azrieli/Hashalom
The Tel Aviv Municipality has opened a new parking facility for motorcycles, scooters and bicycles at the city’s Hashalom train station. The facility has space for 80 motorcycles and scooters, and 30 spaces for bicycles. The facility is centrally located adjacent to the train station and the Azrieli shopping mall. Additionally, a Tel-o- Fun hourly bicycle rental facility was recently opened at the location.
Nurses protest overcrowding at Sheba Medical Center
Nurses at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer walked out of four internal medicine departments on Monday to protest against the dire overcrowding at the hospital. The hospital’s internal medicine departments were at 140 percent capacity at the time. Nurses’ Union chairwoman Ilana Cohen told Israel Radio that the departments have been over capacity for several days in a row.
Eilat looks to build public nursing home
The Eilat Municipality this week began raising funds to establish the city’s first public nursing home. To raise the NIS 4 million needed for the project, Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak- Halevi turned to the National Insurance Institute, the Labor Ministry, the Welfare Ministry and the Negev and Galilee Development Ministry. The project was being planned in cooperation with Mifal Hapayis.
Yitzhak-Halevi, in appealing to Negev and Galilee Development Minister Silvan Shalom, noted that Eilat is home to some 4,000 elderly citizens, comprising roughly 8 percent of the population. When senior citizens are forced to separate from their families, he said, a public nursing home allows them to age with dignity. The new home would initially include 30 beds but is slated for expansion at a later stage.
No date has been set for the start of construction.
Thousands protest Beduin relocation plan in Negev
Hundreds of people last week protested against the Prawer Plan, which calls for the relocation of about 30,000 Beduin to recognized villages, in front of the Beersheba courthouse late last week. The protest was attended by MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad) and MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al).
“Arabs in the Negev were here, living here, we didn’t come in boats or planes,” Tibi stated at the protest. Tibi decried the demolition of Beduin homes and “arbitrary” laws.
Police bust gambling operation in Beersheba Police in Beersheba shut down an illegal gambling operation last weekend, raiding businesses that housed slot machines. Undercover police officers discovered the gaming operation and called for additional forces to carry out the raid, in which police discovered computers and monitors used for slot machines and confiscated cash.
Fifteen customers and two employees were detained by police and subsequently released on bail.
Ashkelon traps foxes living next to Barzilai Hospital Municipal veterinarians have successfully trapped two families of foxes that had been living in a park near Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. After receiving numerous complaints from residents about the foxes, municipal veterinarians requested and received permission from the Nature and Parks Authority to place special traps that caught eight foxes over the past three months.
After trapping the animals, municipal workers released them into a nature reserve south of the city, where they said they “hoped they would continue to thrive undisturbed in their natural environment,” the Local website reported.