Hau names deputy mayor
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday confirmed that Ministry of Transportation and Communications Administrative Deputy Minister Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁) will take over as Taipei deputy mayor. Hau praised Chen for his previous experiences addressing municipal issues as a former city official and thanked him for being willing to take up the challenging post. Chen, 62, served as the commissioner of Taipei City’s Department of Urban Development and the head of the city’s Public Works Department when President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was serving as Taipei mayor. Dubbed a member of the so-called “Ma troop,” Chen has also worked with Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) as his deputy commissioner in 2006 before moving on to his current position last year.
Donation made to UK’s WWT
The central government has donated US$5,000 to Britain’s Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) to support its wild bird conservation program in the far east of Russia. The donation was presented on Thursday by Lee Hsian-chang (李憲章), an official of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, to Baz Hughes of the WWT on behalf of Taiwan’s Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture. Hughes expressed thanks for the contributions from Taiwan that began in 2006 which support the conservation of scaly sided Mergansers, an endangered species that lives on wetlands in Russia’s far east. The donations have enabled the WWT to regularly monitor the bird’s population, as well as relevant research. Because of the work of the organization, the Merganser population has increased to 10,000 as of this year, Hughes said. The population of scaly sided Mergansers in the Russian far east dropped to 4,500 at one point because of fishing and logging activities that damaged the bird’s habitat and made it one of the rarest fowl species in the world, Hughes said.
Tsais’ purchase approved
The acquisition of Kbro, the nation’s largest cable TV operator, from US private equity firm the Carlyle Group by Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠) and his brother Richard Tsai (蔡明興), scions of one of Taiwan’s richest families, was approved by the government yesterday. The Tsai family’s acquisition of Kbro through the recently established Da-fu Media will hand them Kbro’s 80 percent stake in 12 cable television systems, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs officials. Kbro keeps the other 20 percent share in the deal worth NT$36 billion (US$1.2 billion). The Tsais firm received key approval from the National Communications Commission last month after it clearly outlined its plans for developing a platform for digital TV and providing consumers with better quality programs.
Red House reaches 102
The Red House, a historical Taipei building that will celebrate the 102nd anniversary of its establishment on Monday, has been successfully transformed into a hub for cultural and creative industries, Taipei Culture Foundation CEO Johnson Chiu (邱正生) said yesterday. Chiu said the Red House has seen positive changes since the foundation took over the operation of the octagonal brick building three years ago. From its completion in 1908, the Red House, located in Ximending (西門町), has stood through the Qing Dynasty, the Japanese occupation and the influence of Shanghai and Western cultural and fashion trends.