Graham Street vendors leaving next March Legislator Wong Kwok-hing and an alliance of vendors of the soon-to-be-demolished Graham Street Market say they’ve reached a happy solution with the Urban Renewal Authority: vendors will receive extra compensation from the authority, and will start packing their bags starting next March. The market will still be “conserved,” as eight wet goods stores will continue operating until they can move to the new wet market complex. Lawyer and lawmaker Kenneth Chan Ka-lok was unable to verify the URA’s promises: he went through the legal documents and found the promises still subject to further changes. Our take: Half-assed conservation at its best. Hongkongers moving to Vanuatu One year ago, a catchphrase from an immigration company’s TV spot, “Vanuatu, the place I want to live in!” went viral. It’s also become reality. In an interview with Apple Daily, Vanuatu president Moana Carcasses Kalosil says the increase in immigrants from Hong Kong and China is stretching the South Pacific country. 3,000 Chinese citizens have become permanent residents, and another 1,000 are applying for residency. Vanuatu has a population of 2,470,000. New immigrants have opened nearly 100 retail shops in the capital city of Port Vila, causing disputes within the community. Kalosil has introduced a ban prohibiting new immigrants from opening shops. Hongkongers are still very welcome, he says, but it’s better if they invest more creatively, such as in hospitals and cinemas. Our take: Vanuatu: the new Canada? Town Planning Board sucks at meetings The Town Planning Board held a meet-the-public session to hear concerns about their plan to rezone part of the Central harborfront for military use, but only allocated 10 minutes per speaker. The board explained that otherwise there would not be enough time to hear from each of the nearly 10,000 people who wrote in to oppose the plan. When only eight people turned up on the day, the board insisted on the time limit anyway, and cut short members of the Central Waterfront Concern Group. Legislator Kenneth Chan Ka-lok said the time limit was against the board’s mission to ensure a fair hearing. If passed, more than 30,000 square feet of waterfront will be handed over to the People’s Liberation Army. The department has admitted that Hong Kong will have no power or jurisdiction once Beijing owns the land. Our take: Ultimately this is most likely the PLA’s call, but the TPB could at least try harder.