Fruit and veggies destroyed
A total of 1.5 tonnes of fruit and vegetables found to contain an illegal amount of pesticide residue have been destroyed, the Hualien County Health Bureau said yesterday. Twelve lots of fruit and vegetables containing excessive pesticide levels that were being sold in supermarkets, restaurants, warehouse stores and other shops have been destroyed, Hualien County Health Bureau Director Hsu Hsiang-ming (徐祥明) said. Hsu said inspections of fruit and vegetables were conducted between January and last month in Hualien, following complaints made by environmental and consumer protection groups that a lot of produce being sold nationwide contains high levels of pesticides. In addition to the bureau’s checks on 202 items, Hsu said the Fruit and Vegetables Cooperative Society was also assisting in efforts to enhance inspections of pesticide levels in produce being sold at wholesale markets.
Heavy rains relieve drought
The torrential rainfall over the past week has relieved the strain on reservoirs in southern Taiwan caused by a months-long drought and water supplies throughout the country will remain stable until late June, according to the Water Resources Agency. Wu Yueh-hsi (吳約西), the agency’s deputy director, said that although most of the recent downpours were concentrated on coastal areas, they helped increase the water level in the Wushantou Reservoir in Greater Tainan to 88 percent of capacity. Meanwhile, capacity at the Zengwun Reservoir in Chiayi and at the Nanhua Reservoir in Greater Tainan has reached 20.7 percent and 50 percent, respectively, he added. Water supplies will remain stable until the end of June and there will be enough water for irrigation for the year’s first rice crop, Wu said.
Punishment wrong: school
Chung Ho Junior High School officials in New Taipei City (新北市) yesterday acknowledged the improper handling of a student who farted in class. The Chinese-language Apple Daily yesterday reported that a teacher at the school last week disciplined a third-year student by making him transcribe a textbook and made public the student’s name to his classmates after he farted several times in class due to an upset stomach. To maintain order, the teacher implemented a violation-point system, in which students were made to mark down every “irregularity” committed by their peers, the report said. As the student was among the top five in points received, in particular for spinning his pen and farting, the teacher announced his name to his classmates, along with his “offenses.” School General Affairs Office director Yu Chi-jung (余啟榮) yesterday said the student was actually punished for spinning his pen and chatting in class, not farting. However, Yu said the revelation of the student’s name was improper, saying the school would demand the removal of the point system and refer the teacher to the teachers’ evaluation committee.
Illegal loggers arrested
Police in Nantou County yesterday arrested four men suspected of illegally sawing a burl from a Taiwanese red cypress tree in Jhushan Township (竹山) in November last year. The four were detained and turned over to the Nantou District Prosecutors’ Office for allegedly violating the Forestry Act (森林法). Police officers also recovered the 60cm by 100cm burl that was cut from the nearly 2,000-year-old tree. Jhushan residents noticed last November that the 1,000-year-old burl had been removed by illegal loggers and reported the case.