Tough month for famous Busan book
Earlier this month, Dongbo book store in Seomyeon, the oldest and once
largest book store in Busan shut its doors for good. Dongbo held a
special place in the hearts of generations of Busan residents – many
Busanites have memories of buying reference books there when they were
students and it was a very common place for Busanites of all ages to
meet up. It was quite often heard that "Let's meet at Dong-bo!"
Another iconic bookstore, Moon Woo Dang book store in Nampodong which
has been around for more than 50years, will shut down on Oct 31 . Many
Busan residents remember stopping by MoonWooDang after grabbing some
tasty, cheap Deokbokgi at Meokjagolmok with their friends.
Water abstraction from Nakdong river is embroiled in controversy after
mountains of industrial waste were found near the water intake point. Busan's tap water
originates from filtration plant upstream along the Nakdong river in
Gyeong-nam province. In recent years, 4,900,000t of garbage were
unearthed during the construction of "4 River restoration project."
Experts and activists are saying "the government should reevaluate the
environmental impact of the project again."
Civic Groups held a meeting and declared that they intend hold a
citizen vote once the new evaluation results are known.
Busan Bus fares
will be increased to W1200 starting Nov 26. Civic groups are already
protesting the fare increase, claiming that this will add a heavy
financial burden for users of public transportation and that the Bus
system should instead focus on how they can reduce operating costs so
that fares can be reduced. They've also made suggestions that, like
many other cities around the world, Busan city should consider time
based passes – like weekly or monthly passes.
Following the major
highrise fire in Haeundae's Marine City on Oct. 1st, fire
officials inspected other high-ises in Haeundae. Unfortunately, 19 out
of 26 high-rise buildings inspected were found to have violated
building codes by illegally extending parts of the building or using
parts of the building for purposes they were not intended for. Fines
will be imposed, but of course a bigger concern is that these illegal
alterations can have a tragic effect on fire safety.
Local governments might
not be able to pay their public officials : Local self-governing bodies
are suffering from shortage
of revenue. Busan is divided into 15 gu's and 1 gun (for
example, Hauendae-gu, Nam-gu, and Seo-gu). According to a local
congressman, the local district governments expect big budget losses
from the loss of tax revenue from real estate transactions. So 15 out
16 ward offices' have combined 2011 budget deficit of 77.1b krw.
(that's almost 70million US$) If they can't raise that much cash soon,
they have to postpone salary payments or borrow money from the bank.
Speaking of real estate
transactions, it's getting harder and harder to find
Medium-and-small-sized apartment for lease in the Busan metropolitan
area. Jeonsae or Key money has risen so much that many apartment
seekers are choosing to buy an apartment rather than lease.
For a bit of positive economic news, the price of Chinese Cabbage has
finally stabilized. Following some bad weather in the region, prices
had soared to over 15,000krw per head which threatened to wreak havoc
in this Kimchi-loving land, but fortunately, they have now fallen back
to a more normal 2,000krw per head.
Finally, Good-bye Jerry,
hello YangSeungHo. Despite
improved performance and enthusiastic attendance, Lotte's owners have
decided not to renew the contract of manager Jerry Royster after the
team fell in the playoff semifinals for the third straight year,
They have replaced him with former Koryo University team
manager, YangSeungHo. He’s hasn’t been received very warmly
by Busan fans. He’s a bit unknown and doesn't have any Busan
connections, but he was quoted as saying, “Despite the fact the Busan
fans don’t like me, I will win them over with results”. He
also mentioned that compared to Jerry Royster, he plans to focus more
on the minute details and fundamentals of the game.