Local revolt against American pork
All three KMT-led central Taiwan governments have responded strongly to the party’s call to strike back against President Tsai’s decision to open the country to sales of American pork, which contains the leanness-enhancing agent ractopamine.
Taichung announced that existing local regulations have fines ranging from NT$30,000 to NT$100,000 if any ractopamine is found in pork or pork products.
The fines cover everything from manufacturing to transporting and exhibiting, selling, or giving away pork.
Changhua also already has a law on the books regarding selling pork containing ractopamine that is considerably stronger than Taichung’s, with fines ranging from NT$60,000 to NT$200 million.
Changhua County Commissioner also told residents that all schools and meals provided for the elderly will only contain local pork.
In Nantou, County Commissioner Lin Ming-chen announced that Nantou would soon be enacting a similar law.
Nantou also called on the national government to pass laws to ensure American pork doesn’t make its way into wet markets and passed off as local pork.
Local reactions to national traffic safety program vary
A month-long nationwide road safety improvement campaign kicked off yesterday, with a focus on fining motorists who fail to yield at crosswalks NT$3,600.
The campaign also focuses on fining motorists who run red lights with fines ranging from NT$1,800 to NT$5,400; as well as vehicles illegally turning right at a red light, with fines ranging from NT$1,800 to NT$5,400.
Taichung City has chosen to focus on 10 crash-prone intersections, and by 10 am had already issued 31 fines in just one precinct, with 29 for running red lights.
In Changhua County, 115 police officers had issued 415 fines by noon, including 328 for running red lights.
In Nantou, 61 fines were issued by noon, and four new speed traps were activated.
Mass testing results finally released
The testing program for COVID-19 antibodies carried out by Changhua County and National Taiwan University finally released their results, and found low rates of exposure among high-risk population groups.
According to the findings of the interim report released on Thursday, only four people out of the 4,841 tested so far have antibodies for COVID-19 in their bloodstream.
This translates into only 0.083 percent of high-risk subjects tested.
They eventually hope to test 10,000 subjects.
Major event cancelled
Taichung’s Cultural Affairs Bureau made public this week the decision to cancel this year’s annual Jazz Festival, which is one of Asia’s largest.
This year would have been the 18th annual event.
Held at Civic Square–also called People’s Park–it usually attracts up to a million fans over 10 days.
The decision was made earlier this year during the peak period of uncertainty over the coronavirus, and the difficulty of bringing in foreign artists.
The Cultural Affairs Bureau, however, emphasized to the press that they are cooperating on holding another major event at the same location on October 17 and 18.
That happens to be the Compass Food & Music Festival, which I am the co-organizer of.
The Jazz Festival is expected to return next year.
Huge pot bust
Taichung City Police Department announced Saturday that police last month busted a massive illegal marijuana growing operation, seizing a total of 1,361 cannabis plants.
It was the largest bust in Taiwan’s history.
The raid was conducted on July 27, and officers found planting equipment and 787 cannabis plants grown on a residential rooftop in Taichung’s Xitun District, but the suspect had already escaped.
The suspect had been in hiding, but later turned himself in to Taichung police on Aug. 7, when he also told authorities of another batch of 574 cannabis plants to a tea farm in Nantou that he managed to move in time prior to the July 27 raid.
Police said that using and estimated sale price of NT$800 a gram, the total haul was worth NT$320 million.
They said the investigation was only made public on Saturday as the city’s prosecutors had to first officially close the case.
Elderly woman helped by police had a surprise for them
The Taichung City Police Department’s Liming Station received reports that an elderly woman needed help, at an intersection in the Nantun District, and proceeded to the site.
The elderly woman was found pushing a wheelchair, lost and clearly in need of help.
After giving her water, police slowly escorted her back to the police station.
At the station, she told them she was born in 1905, which initially the police thought was a joke.
After checking with the police inquiry system, they were amazed that she was, in fact, 116 years old.
To provide historical context many media outlets noted she was born when the Qing Dynasty still existed, though Taiwan was then a Japanese colony.
She was returned home, which was four kilometers away from where she was found.
Image courtesy of 盧秀燕’s Facebook page