Talkback

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 May, 2009, 12:00am
 

What do you think of the Victoria Park swimming pool plan?

Much has been said about the proposed indoor swimming pool to be built at Victoria Park.

The main concern of the public is the switch from an outdoor to an indoor facility. Most of the regular swimmers have suggested the government should build a heated outdoor pool and extend the swimming season by two months. The government intends to construct an indoor pool to allow year-round use.

However, those opposed to the plan have argued that swimming outside is a much more pleasant experience than swimming indoors.

We have to look at how we can resolve the differences.

I think one way to resolve this problem is to build a retractable roof that can convert the facility into an outdoor pool. Then it can be closed during the winter. This would be a very innovative solution, although it might cost more than the sum that has been originally included in the budget for the new pool.

I object to the planned new pool from an urban and environmental point of view. I do not think it is appropriate to build a large indoor swimming pool at Victoria Park. The park is already overcrowded.

We do not need more enormous structures like this one to fill up what is an oasis in an urban area of Hong Kong.

H. C. Bee, Kowloon Tong

Should more ice-cream-hawker licences be issued?

I think it would be a good idea to issue such licences.

Because of the economic downturn, a lot of people have lost their jobs. Their problems are made worse by the rate of inflation in Hong Kong and they really do need some help.

Ice cream is a popular snack, especially for children, and especially during the summer months.

If more ice-cream-hawker licences are issued, people who were sacked would have an opportunity to work and earn a living.

The fact of the matter is that the number of vendors in the city is gradually declining.

Therefore, it is the right time to issue more licences and allow people to take up this line of work.

It would be more convenient for Hongkongers, because at present they have to go to a store if they want to buy an ice cream.

For example, it would be really helpful for walkers if there was an ice-cream vendor at the end of a hiking trail, especially on a hot day in the summer.

I think it is fine to issue more licences so long as vendors do not cause an obstruction in the streets.

Benny Poon Chi-shing, Sha Tin

On other matters...

To neutralise the destructive wall-effect mess the lead developer, New World Development, had created with its Hanoi/Mody/Carnarvon roads project in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Urban Renewal Authority was busy planting trees and shrubs on these roads.

We local residents complained to them that the planters they had provided for this green venture were oversized and obstructive.

Such large planter boxes are not seen anywhere on Hong Kong's pavements, especially in a congested area like Tsim Sha Tsui. We felt something ought to be done to make them smaller.

The URA's written response was that because of soil erosion, as extensive underground excavation had been carried out, the planter boxes were the only option and their size met the relevant government department specifications for suitable growth of sizeable trees.

It added that these planter boxes also served as some sort of barricade between pedestrians and vehicles.

As usual the URA was in no mood to listen to us. It just gave its final verdict that its project was well thought of and we had no choice but to accept the planters as they were.

Within a fortnight of receiving this decision, we were shocked to see an army of workers marking the planter boxes on Carnarvon Road, and by evening the boxes were shorter by about 61cm.

Further, I noticed that all the planter boxes that the URA had built with such enthusiasm for preserving greenery on Hanoi and Mody roads were gone.

Residents were amazed at the rate of efficiency with which this work was carried out, most probably at the request of New World Development, as it was the only other beneficiary of such a decision.

The fung shui of the huge planter boxes was not acceptable as it prevented the vibes of its shop displays from reaching prospective customers who might be travelling in cars, taxis or vans.

All those flattened planter boxes have now improved the visibility of their shops from the other side of the street with its bars, restaurants and the Holiday Inn.

The URA was unable to budge an inch over residents' complaints but moved mountains and sacrificed its green initiative for the sake of the developer.

Nalini Daswani, Tsim Sha Tsui

I was very interested to read Paul Barrett's letter (Talkback, May 6) because I have suffered in exactly the same way in my dealings with Now TV's doorstep representatives.

In return for upgrading my TV package two months ago I was also promised that the monthly land-line rental for my telephone would be reduced. Has this happened? Readers already know the answer.

Since reading Mr Barrett's letter it has made me wonder whether this is a deliberate policy on Now TV's part and whether it is a widespread practice.

Michael Saunders, North Point

For several years a very successful McDonald's outlet has been operating in Citygate Tung Chung. It has been the norm to see long queues forming and I would have thought it was one of the most successful McDonald's outlets in Hong Kong.

It provided affordable food to a wide cross-section of the community as well as employment opportunities. In these difficult economic times this was clearly a win-win situation.

Then last month, out of the blue, the McDonald's sign disappeared with the announcement that new tenants would be opening for business at that location in the autumn. There is now a rumour that a McDonald's will be opening in August, but at a different location.

The good people of Tung Chung are being inconvenienced by this, as a source of cheap restaurant food has disappeared for four months and presumably the staff who worked there are jobless.

I would like an explanation of why this has happened from Swire Properties.

In passing, I understand that the choice of healthy food in McDonald's has greatly increased of late.

B. Hughes, Tung Chung

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