Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has earned the praise of Monocle magazine as one of “Ten smart mayors” in its latest issue.
In an exuberant press statement, the Tel Aviv City Hall spoke of how the “luxury” global affairs magazine, “which is thought of as an opinion leader regarding everything dealing with subjects relating to the world daily agenda,” has chosen Huldai as one of its list of 10 smart mayors.
Monocle praises Huldai for making Tel Aviv a “magnet for young tech entrepreneurs,” and noted “his key words: equality and accessibility.”
Comparing Tel Aviv of the late ’90s to a hump of lead waiting to be turned into gold, the magazine said: “when Ron Huldai, a former fighter pilot, stepped into office in 1998, Tel Aviv was nearly bankrupt.
Inheriting a crumbling infrastructure with businesses packing up and moving out, Huldai’s three terms as mayor are the urban equivalent of alchemy.”
Huldai is joined on the list by Mohammed Yunus Nawandish – mayor of Kabul, whose “population has exploded” in the past decade, according to Monocle – as well as heads of other towns both large and small, including Kasim Reed of Atlanta, Georgia and Luke Strimbold of Burns Lake, a town of around 2,000 in British Columbia, Canada.
“Monocle is a supporter of mayors with big ideas and bold vision – civic leaders that put their homes on the map for all the right reasons,” the article stated.
Huldai isn’t the first Israeli mayor to be highlighted by the magazine. In August 2010, Monocle named Holon Mayor Moti Sasson one of the world’s top 10 mayors, and gave him credit for how he “miraculously put a midsize bedroom community on the world’s cultural map. The 63-year-old workaholic has brought five new museums to Holon, including Ron Arad’s groundbreaking 24 million euro Design Museum, generating an influx of youngsters while inventing a distinctive urban brand from scratch.”
A few months from now, when you decide to go see a movie, you won’t have to spend so much money on popcorn and drinks. The Knesset Finance Committee has approved a legislative amendment that will allow moviegoers to bring their own food and beverages.
This means that customers won’t have to pay concession stand prices if they want something to nibble on during the film.
The issue came under discussion two years ago, when committee chairman MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud) authored the Popcorn Law, which sought to limit the prices of snacks at movie theaters. The bill garnered international media attention and similar initiatives were adopted in parliaments of several other countries.
The Popcorn Law was passed as an amendment to the Consumer Protection Law and approved in its second and third readings. Any movie theater attempting to contravene the new legislation will be liable to a fine of up to NIS 50,000. The law specifies that closed entertainment venues – movie theaters, sports arenas, and theaters – that sell food and drinks cannot prevent customers from bringing in their own. However, venues that do not sell beverages or snacks have the right to forbid customers from bringing such items in with them.
Attorney Hannah Weinstock Tiri, legal advisor for the Israel Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority, said that “only an objective body such as the police can decide to forbid customers from bringing in drinks or other items, out of public safety considerations.”
Shama-Hacohen said that “We can see the new law as a kind of ‘Iron Dome,’ that will protect the consumer.”
The law is scheduled to take effect in January 2013.