Bad English signs targeted
A Facebook page set up to encourage people to look for mistakes in bilingual signs in public areas has attracted more than 1,100 fans. A total of 1,168 netizens now follow the page where people can upload photos of mistakes or improper usage of English in local signs and provide corrections to win free gifts, ranging from a Wii to an iPod. The campaign, launched in September, is an attempt to correct English mistakes on signs seen in facilities or areas under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, including railway stations, airports, and national scenic areas. To date 38 photographs have been posted on the site. The campaign will run until the end of next month.
Kaohsiung air quality better
The air quality in Kao-hsiung City has shown a marked improvement, with the Pollution Standard Index (PSI) decreasing to a record low of 3.76 percent as of last month, the city’s Environmental Protection Bureau said. The average PSI in the city last year was 4.9 percent — meaning that the PSI exceeded 100, a standard for unacceptable air quality, on only 4.9 percent of the days in the year. The improvement is a result of a series of air pollution control measures that have helped reduce carbon emissions, bureau director-general Lee Mu-sheng (李穆生) said. For example, the city government has encouraged residents to use public transport and has conducted thorough inspections to prevent factories, the harbor and construction sites from emitting heavy pollutants, he said. A subsidy program to promote eco-friendly electronic vehicles was also introduced as part of these efforts, Lee added.
Assembly hall renovated
Taipei County Government will hold a ceremony tomorrow to mark the completion of renovation work on an assembly hall that dates back to the period of Japanese colonial rule more than a century ago, the county’s Cultural Affairs Bureau said yesterday. Located in Shenkeng Elementary School, the assembly hall has undergone three renovations since 1899. The hall, which has been listed as an historical site since March 2007, now has a dome, plastic-steel windows, steel doors and concrete walls. The county government said it hoped that the renovated hall and Shenkeng Huang Yung An’s Residence — another historic heritage site in Shenkeng Township (深坑) — will help to attract more tourists to the area.
Academy branches to open
Two branches of the Taiwan Academy will be inaugurated in Los Angeles and Houston next month to introduce the country’s culture to the US, Minister Without Porfolio Ovid Tzeng (曾志朗) said. The opening of the branches will coincide with the beginning of the Republic of China’s centennial celebrations next month, Tzeng said. Through a collection of digital resources, the government will show Taiwan’s vigor, beauty and diversity to the US people and allow them to really “see” Taiwan, said Tzeng, who arrived in the US on Friday to promote the 100th anniversary celebrations. In response to a question on whether the Taiwan Academy was set up to counter the influence of China’s Confucius Institutes, Tzeng said the two establishments have different purposes. The Taiwan Academy will focus mainly on spreading Taiwan’s culture overseas, while the Confucius Institute teaches Mandarin to non-native speakers, he said.