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As Israel went off daylight saving time at the end of October, economists estimated seven months of daylight saving time boiled down to 200 M NIS ($52.6 M) in savings – part due to reduction in power demand, part from enhanced productivity and the likes.

            Yet, there was a fly in the ointment. 

            During the heat of the July-August Gaza War, countless Israelis who stuck close to home with the AC running full force jacked up power demands by eight percent – in part from the plunge in Israelis vacationing abroad. Alas, such households are now thunder-struck by inflated utility bills.  Consumer Na’ama Friendman from Lod sighed, gazing at her one thousand NIS ($263) electric bill saying: “We hardly stuck our noses out the door. We not only sat there in the air-conditioning all day.  Out of boredom we baked cakes non-stop in the oven.” (Yediot, Calcalist)



Shimon Peres – who once defended Oslo and his fantasies of a New Middle East saying “people who don’t have fantasies, don’t do fantastic things” - chose to mark his departure from the Presidency of Israel with characteristic twinkle: a humorous video clip fanaticizing about applying for a job at the labor exchange…only to be sent to pump gas, be a security guard at the entrance to Israel’s social security administration, or man a register at a supermarket check-out counter. As could be expected, the clip went viral.   

            While Peres chose to bask in the limelight of a steady stream of celebrities during his tenure as President, what was one of the first moves by the incoming president Reuven (‘Ruvi’) Rivlin? 

            Not only a longtime parliamentarian renowned for his down-to-earth nature, Rivlin – who is an avid soccer fan and former manager of the Beitar Jerusalem team – set up a soccer goal on the lawn of the President’s Residence and invite a bunch of neighborhood kids to play soccer with him and his grandkids.*

 * The President’s Residence refused to comment, saying the game was a family affair.



For those who remember the delightful film The Straight Story about the adventures of an old geezer from the Midwest who took off to visit his ailing brother in the next state on his aging ride-on lawnmower – reality sometimes beats fiction:  An 86 year-old man from Lod decided to set out for Tel-Aviv to fix a flat on the reserve tire of his four-wheel battery-powered mobility cart but ran into a snag: He not only took a wrong turn ending up on the #1 highway that runs from Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv; the motorist ended up taking the left lane fast toll lane (!) to boot.  

            Shocked drivers notified the police, who rescued the motorist stranded on the narrow shoulder of the metal divider strip after his battery went flat as well.  Loading the cart onto a pick-up truck, the cops gave the old man a lift back to Lod in a squad car – but not before stopping at a garage to fix the tire and charging up his battery, seeing the wayward motorist all the way safely home with a motorized escort.  (Yediot, Mako)



Not only the shoemaker goes barefoot. 

            Anyone from Tel Aviv or the Sharon who called the IEC call center 103 in late October to report power outages in the wake of the country’s first major rain storm were told by responders sitting in the Reading Power Station in North Tel-Aviv: “Sorry, we can’t help you at this moment.  We have a power outage” – what turned out to be a blown fuse in the building that took down computers in half the complex, leaving the telephone operators entirely in the dark.    



The price of food again has became a hot potato in public discourse, controversy kicked off by an expat ‘celebrating’ the fact that a popular Israeli chocolate pudding topped by whipped cream - Milky - was cheaper in Berlin, leading the Minister of Finance to declare he would slap down price controls on Milky.  The only smag: It turns out commodities under price control rose much faster than those that were not controlled by the government…

            So who’s to blame for high prices? 

            The owner of the Miki Deli products Miki Kauftheil fingered kashrut supervisors as the culprits behind food prices, charging over-zealous supervisors order cabbage heads be cut down to the size of tennis balls to ‘ensure’ they are bug-free, forcing him to import cabbage from colder climes where there are no bugs  - hiking up prices for consumers. 



            Some six or seven months ago the Tel Aviv Municipality ordered the Azrieli Towers Complex in Tel-Aviv to remove a bronze sculpture just outside the doors to the upscale Azrieli Mall, saying the work of art was illegally mounted on public property  – on the corner of Kaplan Street and Namir Boulevard.

            The new sculpture (which replaced a bronze casting of an aviator sitting on a bench) is called The Zionist Journey designed to commemorate the pillars who built Israel – boasting a pre-state Socialist chalutz (pioneer), a member of the pre-independence Jewish-army-in-the-making – the Palmach, a nurse, a woman businessperson, an architect and a high-tech entrepreneur, …with David Azrieli – the flamboyant entrepreneur-architect behind the iconic  square-circle-triangle triple towers at the corner of Kaplan Street and Namir Boulevard – smack dab in the middle 

            When Azrieli passed away in July 2014 at the age of 92, it appeared that the demand would be dropped by City Hall, but think again: The municipality stuck to its guns, and the Azrieli management agreed – albeit reluctantly - to move the sculpture off the street corner and into the foyer. It just didn’t say when.

            Luckily in early November the Haifa municipality stepped in, announcing they’d be glad to place the sculpture on the sidewalk outside Azrieli’s Haifa Mall. (X Net, Yediot, Yisrael HaYom)