PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 August, 2008, 12:00am

What do you think of air-con levels?

When talking about air-conditioning levels in the city, employee comfort and energy waste are issues that go hand in hand.

I simply do not understand how it is possible for managers of office buildings and complexes to not realise that buildings are so cold. Sure, such temperatures might be geared towards white-collar workers wearing business suits, but offices are so cold that they have to keep wearing their jackets. That is quite alarming.

In reply to Eugene Eoyang (Talkback, July 30), reality and practicality dictate that these suits will not be swapped for traditional Asian wear any time soon.

Terri Schwartzbeck (Talkback, July 30) referred to the tendency of buildings to leave doors open. Never mind the fact that pedestrians in the searing heat welcome an occasional air-con rush; this is an incredible waste of energy. Just think how much energy the city could conserve if every office building and shop raised its air-conditioning temperature by just one degree Celsius.

Hongkongers also need to be mindful of the fact that they are the ones who should close doors behind them when they enter restaurants, shops and buildings. I see many who just open the door, enter nonchalantly and leave the door open, letting all the excessively cold air go to waste.

It is a vicious cycle; if more cold air escapes, people will adjust their air conditioners to colder temperatures.

Vincent Siu, Kowloon Tong

All of the city's people are responsible for environmental protection.

Unfortunately, air conditioners are used all over the city and people seem happy to live in this cold environment and wear jackets. Air conditioners are needed to ensure people can have a comfortable atmosphere in which to work and sleep but we need to change their settings.

According to government advertisements, we should set the level of our air conditioners to 25.5 degrees Celsius. This can provide a cool environment and reduce energy consumption. At home we should switch our air conditioner on before we go to sleep and then set it to switch itself off after two hours.

Ophelia Cheng, Kwun Tong

What did you think of this year's book fair?

It might seem as though there are an increasing number of book lovers in the city ('Bigger turnout ensures this year's book fair has a happy ending', July 30).

Because of the rising cost of paper, the price of books is increasing. However, the fair books were being sold at a discount. This meant that teenagers were there to spend some money, but they were buying textbooks, which were cheaper at the fair, not books for the pleasure of reading.

I suppose this proves that inflation is affecting everyone. It proves that the book fair does not exist for people who take pleasure from reading but is there to help people cope with rising inflation.

Also, I was unhappy to see pop singers appearing at the festival. Many youngsters camped out overnight so they could see their idols. They must have been exhausted the next day. I would like to know how many real book lovers there still are. Why have people lost interest in reading?

Lai Ka-to, Kwun Tong

On other matters...

There were reports last month of ambulances breaking down while delivering patients to hospital. This obviously results in medical treatment for patients being delayed ('Sixth ambulance since Sunday falters', July 25).

Given what has happened, it is of paramount importance that all emergency vehicles such as fire engines and police cars should be serviced more frequently. After they have been involved in the emergency services for a certain time, these vehicles should be reassigned to a non-emergency services role by the government. They should then be replaced by new vehicles.

The emergency services must be able to deal promptly with whatever is required of them. It cannot be acceptable that human life could be put at risk if a vehicle malfunctions. This is something that is preventable.

Tiffany Chan Chung-tak, Quarry Bay

The Strait Cup basketball tournament, featuring teams from Taiwan, Fujian , Macau and Hong Kong, was in many ways a big success.

The tickets for all three days were sold out within two hours. The atmosphere was festive and spectators were treated to three exciting games between Taiwan, Fujian SBS Xungxing and Hong Kong. To cap it all, the city's representative team, despite height and weight inferiority compared with Taiwan Beer and Fujian, won the championship with skill, speed, teamwork and targeting tactics. The only (but a very serious) shortcoming is that the tournament was not played on a proper wooden surface. Southorn Stadium, where the tournament was held, has a tiled, hard surface which is harmful to the players' legs. Stadiums built by the government in the last 10 years no longer have this surface.

With the Macpherson Stadium in Mong Kok (which is even more hopelessly outdated) to be demolished, Southorn Stadium will be the venue for the finals of the top local basketball league. Given that basketball is the most popular sport in the city, surely our players deserve to have a proper court.

For future events, the Basketball Association should consider using the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai instead. Apart from having the proper facilities, such as a wooden surface, a practice court and space for players to stretch out and warm up before a match - it has a larger seating capacity (about 3,000 compared with the 2,000 for Macpherson and Southorn stadiums).

This would mean that fewer disappointed people would be turned away for final games in local tournaments and during the annual Strait Cup. The association does not use this stadium more frequently because of the high rent. The government should increase its sponsorship of local and inter-city basketball tournaments by making the stadium available at remitted hire charges.

Or, if the association still wishes to use the Southorn Stadium (because of its more convenient location), the government should consider giving the Playground Association, which owns the Southorn Stadium, a subsidy so it can get a wooden floor.

This is not just a matter of local sports policy. The city's image as 'Asia's world city' is at stake.

Ng Hon-wah, Pok Fu Lam