ICRT Weekly Central Taiwan News Report, Dec. 9–transcript

Taichung Central Park officially opens

Though open to the public since November of 2018, Taichung Central Park was officially launched on Sunday.
Occupying 67 hectares, the park is 2.58 times larger than the area of the Daan Forest Park in Taipei and has been dubbed the “lungs of the city”.
It is part of the Shuinan Economic and Trade Park, on the site of what used to be Taichung’s Shuinan Airport.
The NT$2.7 billion, 10-year project was a collaboration between local architecture firm Ricky Liu & Associates Architects+Planners, French architect Catherine Mosbach, and Swiss architect Philippe Rahm.
The unusual plan of the park includes facilities for 12 sensory experiences, smart street lamps and sensors were equipped to realize a “low-carbon, smart and innovative” concept.
They conserved 1,000 trees originally on the site, and planted additional 10,000 trees from 106 types of Taiwan native species.
There are also five ponds, 12 pavilions and various paths through the park.
An estimated 12,000 people attended the opening, which was also attended by Mayor Lu Shiow-yen and former mayors Lin Chia-lung and Jason Hu.

Two central Taiwan train stations get upgrades

Both the Taichung and Changhua train stations are getting upgrades.
On Sunday, a two floor Tielu Avenue was opened at the Taichung Train Station.
Featuring an attractive wood design, there are about forty shops and restaurants of all types, plus a food court.
Meanwhile, a new glass facade has been unveiled on the Changhua Train Station.
Constructed in 1958, the building had been showing its age.
The interior is being redesigned with a new attractive stone theme, and it should be entirely finished by the end of the month.

Fire claims historic pastry shop

A fire completely destroyed the famous Ichihuku pastry shop, which was a largely wooden structure, and spread to cause damage to six other neighboring businesses last Thursday.
Ichihuku dates back to 1928, during the Japanese era.
It is claimed they were the originator of Taichung lemon cakes and was also well known for its suncakes and pineapple cakes.
No injuries or fatalities occurred in the fire, which was reported around 11 a.m.
28 fire engines and nearly 100 firefighters were dispatched to the area, and they managed to bring the fire under control almost two hours later.

Changhua and NTU study violates law

A study carried out earlier this year by the Changhua County Public Health Bureau and National Taiwan University (NTU), which involved testing people for COVID-19 antibodies, has been found to have violated the Human Subjects Research Act.
Under the act, researchers have to submit their research plans to an Institutional Review Board (IRB) and obtain board approval before they can begin the research process.
However, officials at the Changhua health bureau and researchers at NTU’s College of Public Health began their research process before NTU’s IRB approved of their plan, making the research illegal.
The Changhua Public Health Bureau announced on June 11 that they had begun the study, which tested for neutralizing antibodies the body produces following exposure to COVID-19.
Their goal was to show how prevalent the disease was during its peak in Taiwan in February and March.
They found a positive rate of only 8.3 per 10,000 people.
The study was contentious from early on, with the Ministry of Health and Welfare raising objections.
Fines range from NT$100,000 to NT$1 million, with the decision on the fine amount to be announced in two weeks.

TCM trio indicted over poisonings

The Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office has announced that two traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and a supplier have been indicted in a case of lead and mercury poisoning that allegedly caused up to a few dozen people to fall ill in August.
Patients of the clinics who had been taking the traditional Chinese medicines prescribed by the TCM practitioners were found to have high levels of heavy metals in their blood.

Water to be cut for 25,000 households

25,095 water company clients and households will see their water cut for 16 hours next Tuesday, the 15th.
With the exception of a small portion of the Xitun District, the vast majority are in the Beitun District.
The area is roughly south of HuanZhong Rd, north of WenXin Rd, Sec 3, west of ChongDe and ChangPin Rds, and east of ZhongQing Rd.

Good samaritan saves leopard cat

A passing motorcyclist in Nantou saw what he initially thought was an injured kitten, and posted pictures online to seek help.
A netizen recognized the color pattern of the leopard cat, which is an endangered species, and suggested getting in touch with a dedicated rescue center in the Nantou town of Jiji.
The cat is safe and will be returned to the wild after making a full recovery.

Image courtesy of Lu Shiow-yen’s Facebook page

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