Taxis to set pet rates
Taiwan Taxi, the nation’s largest taxi service provider, said it plans to introduce surcharges for passengers carrying large pets. The company said the campaign, a joint effort with Taiwan Sheltered Animal Conservationist Association, is aimed at promoting pet-friendliness. Many pet owners have expressed frustration when traveling with their pets. Taxi drivers often refuse passengers carrying pets or overcharge them, the company said, adding that the pet program would establish a standardized pricing system. The company said it plans to charge an extra NT$100 per ride for pets that are too big to be put in cages. About 500 Taiwan Taxi drivers have signed up for the program. The company will ask Taipei’s Department of Transportation for approval next week, adding that if the program is not approved, the company and the animal group would try to come up with alternative pricing plans.
Nation boosting ICAO bid
The nation is increasing its efforts to participate in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly in September as an observer, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of International Organizations director-general Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵) said. Hsieh declined to elaborate on how the nation would achieve the goal. Asked whether the nation would ask its diplomatic allies to submit proposals supporting the country’s bid to become an ICAO observer, he said that this would be one option, adding that there are other possible approaches. Further details will be announced “at the opportune time,” he added. The Montreal-based ICAO is an organization under the UN that promotes the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation around the world.
Rummage sale at TAS
The Taipei American School (TAS) Orphanage Club will be hosting its annual end-of-school-year rummage sale today from 10am to 5pm. Club members have collected a huge variety of new and used clothing, shoes, household items, toys, games, furniture, electronics and other miscellaneous items. All of the proceeds will go to the club’s funds for needy children and orphans in Taiwan, as well as AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania. The school’s address is 800 Zhongshan N Rd Sec 6 in Tianmu (天母).
Green bean cakes top poll
Green bean cakes have been selected as the second-best representative souvenir of Taipei, after pineapple cakes, the city’s Department of Information and Tourism said on Thursday. The city held an online contest to find its next top souvenir. Green bean cakes won 2,882 votes of about 6,000 cast, beating other traditional Taiwanese snacks such as banana pound cakes, dried longan (龍眼) cakes and nougats. Department Commissioner Chao Hsin-ping (趙心屏) said pineapple cakes have been the city’s iconic souvenir since the city government held its first pineapple cake festival to boost bakeries’ sales of the cakes from NT$1 billion (US$33.3 million) a year to NT$25 billion. The department’s annual Taipei Pineapple Cake Festival is set to open on Friday and run to June 23 at the Taipei Flora Expo Park. There are plans for 30 booths from 102 bakeries offering discounts on pineapple cakes and other products.
Mom resumes search for son
Fryderyk (Fred) Mieszko Frontier, a naturalized US citizen, came to Taiwan a decade ago to teach English, but vanished after a hiking trip to Taroko Gorge. Frontier’s mother, Barbara Klita, traveled to the nation for the fourth time late last month in search of her son. She said last month’s rescue of three women in Cleveland, Ohio, after 10 years of captivity renewed her hopes of finding her son. Frontier moved to Taiwan in May 2003 after accepting a job at Hess Educational Organization to teach English in Kaohsiung. Before starting his job, he went on a hiking trip to Tienhsiang (天祥) in Hualien County. His family and employer have not heard from him since. During Klita’s latest visit on May 29, she again retraced Frontier’s footsteps, visiting Taroko Gorge and a Catholic hostel where he was last seen.