Taipei encouraging graffiti
Seeking to promote graffiti as a street art form, the Taipei City Government is joining forces with the Taiwan Youth Rights and Welfare Advocacy Alliance to hold a graffiti festival today and tomorrow at the Taipei Cinema Park in Ximending. The festival, which runs from 2pm to 7pm each day, will feature graffiti art, musical performances and a graffiti competition. According to Taipei City's Department of Cultural Affairs, although graffiti has been seen as a violation of the environment, the department is trying to encourage creativity and plans to set aside more spaces for such artwork. The city government is in the process of opening several spaces at municipal riverside parks for graffiti, and plans to set aside more areas around parks for graffiti artists to showcase their creativity. For more information visit www.youthrights.org.tw
Lintou to host beach festival
This year's Penghu Island International Art Beach Festival will take place from Aug.18 to Aug 26 on Lintou beach, the Penghu County government announced on Thursday. County Commissioner Wang Chien-fa (王乾發) and County Council Speaker Liu Chen Chao-ling (劉陳昭玲) told a press conference that the festival will present a variety of beach activities every day from 5pm for eight consecutive days. They said the county government has invited foreign bands as well as local ensembles to entertain visitors during the festival. The final of a beauty pageant will take place on the 4km long beach with the winner helping the county to promote tourism, they said. A cooking contest will also be held, using locally produced marine and farm produce to create gourmet dishes. An exhibition at the site of the festival will showcase Penghu's agricultural and fishery produce.
With Ghost Month just around the corner, Taipei City Government is seeking to raise environmental awareness by again providing free bags for residents to collect ghost money. Smoke and ashes from the burned money contribute to air pollution, so the city government began to promote collective burning of ghost money in 2000. Residents receive free bags from local borough offices to collect ghost money, and the offices will gather the bags and burn them in a sacrificial oven at the Beitou Incinerator in an attempt to reduce pollution in downtown areas. During a promotional ceremony yesterday, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) lauded the environmentally friendly measure and said he expected the program to become a tradition.
Caracas maintains visa ban
Twenty baseball players from three top local youth teams will definitely not be able to attend the World Youth Baseball Championships in Venezuela next week as Venezuelan authorities maintained their refusal to issue visas to the players, chief coach Lin Chao-huang (林朝煌) said yesterday. Lin broke the news to the players yesterday afternoon after being informed by the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association. The teams had been scheduled to leave for Venezuela next Tuesday. Under pressure from China, Caracas stopped issuing visas to Taiwanese earlier this year, Lin said. Team captain Liu Shih-hao (劉時豪) told reporters that he was very depressed about the situation, as attending an international match has been his dream since he was in elementary school.