Sculpture Festival opens
The 2009 Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival opens today at Guandu Nature Park (關渡自然公園) in Taipei, with installations by two Taiwanese and six international artists on the theme “Land, Water and Culture.” The sculptures, all made from bamboo or reeds and other natural materials found in the park, are designed to raise awareness about environmental issues such as global warming and sustainable growth. The exhibition runs through Sept. 27, but this weekend there will be do-it-yourself workshops from 2pm to 5pm with the artists at their installation sites. The foreign artists come from the US, Norway, the Netherlands, India and South Korea and park staff will be on hand to help translate from English into Mandarin at the workshops. The park is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm and to 5:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is NT$50, though concession tickets are available for students and the elderly. More information on the festival is available on the park’s Web site (www.gd-park.org.tw).
Rummage sale at TAS today
Taipei American School’s (TAS) Orphanage Club will hold its annual end-of-the-school-year rummage sale in the school’s lobby today from 10am to 5pm, rain or shine. Items include clothing, toys, household items, electronic appliances and lots and lots of furniture. The club will use the proceeds to fund its programs for orphans and needy children in Taiwan and overseas. TAS is located at 800 Zhongshan N Road Sec 6, in Tianmu (天母).
Diabetes more prevalent
Nearly one in 10 people in Taiwan suffered from diabetes last year, a study released yesterday by the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) showed. The study found that 9.2 percent of the country’s population was affected by the disease last year, up 2.7 percentage points from 2002, when the prevalence rate was 6.5 percent. The highest prevalence was found among men aged 65 and older — 28.5 percent last year, a sharp rise from 17.6 percent in 2002 and 13.1 percent for the periord from 1993 to 1996. Chang Hsin-yi, an associate research fellow at the NHRI’s Institute of Population Health Sciences, said diabetes treatment now claims the fifth-largest share of National Health Insurance expenditure and was the fourth-most common cause of death in the country in 2007. To prevent the disease, people should adopt a diet with a high proportion of vegetables and whole grains to maintain an ideal weight, the Department of Health said.
Hakka test registration opens
Registration for this year’s Hakka proficiency tests will begin on Monday and close on July 15. The beginner level test will be held on Nov. 28, while the medium and medium-high level test will be held on Nov. 29. “The exam is not just about testing your Hakka proficiency, it’s also about establishing a Hakka cultural identity,” Council of Hakka Affairs Minister Huang Yu-chen (黃玉振) said. “We welcome anyone who loves the Hakka language and culture — regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, gender, age or occupation — to sign up for the test.” To encourage young people to take the test, the council will waive the registration fee for people under 19. The registration form can be downloaded online or purchased from designated locations across the country. For more information, visit kaga.hakka.gov.tw or dial the toll-free number at 0800-099-288.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up