Off to Beijing
China Mobile has donated 200 tickets for events at the Beijing Olympics to the Shanghai Cancer Recovering Club. Some 160 club members are expected to attend the Games. Officials said members had been preparing for five years for their trip.--(3/31)
For the first time this year, the price of edible oil price declined this week. In the Shanghai Agricultural Products Center Wholesale Market in Pudong, first-grade bean oil wholesaled at 14.2 yuan (US$2) a kilogram, down four percent from its highest price.
Accordingly, the price of edible oil in the supermarket also decreased by about five percent.--(3/30)
Terminal aiming even higher
Pudong International Airport has been operating smoothly since the opening of the new terminal on Wednesday but authorities are now looking at ways to further improve airport services.
To help passengers find their way, the airport authority said 150 volunteers were on duty around the clock at 20 key spots in the terminal buildings and the connecting traffic center. "The volunteers have all been trained in recognizing ticket markings and airline codes, and they are familiar with routes to the check-in desks and security check points," said Su Weiwei, an official with the Shanghai Airport Authority.
Airport officials said so far, no flights had been delayed because travelers arrived at the wrong terminal building.
However, some passengers have complained that because downtown-bound airport buses stop at Terminal 1 before Terminal 2, people waiting at Terminal 2 often could not get a seat.
Airport officials said they have talked to the city transport authority about this issue, and a solution has been found where airport bus operators will post observers at Terminal 2. When necessary, empty airport buses will be called directly to Terminal 2 to pick up passengers.
The airport authority said further improvements were already underway. By the end of this year, when the project is completed, all airport buses will pick up passengers inside a traffic center located between the two terminals.
After getting public feedback since Wednesday, signs have been installed pointing to different bus stations.
The airport authority also announced the names of the stores in the new terminal, saying they will charge the same prices as downtown. Food outlets include Burger King and Ajisen Ramen, while stores include Guess, Ferragamo and Celine.--(3/29)
Road into history
The Jing'an District government is to develop a new sight-seeing route along Shaanxi Road N. before May 18 to mark World Museum Day.
Shaanxi Road N. is home to many buildings which recall the Shanghai of the 1930s and 1940s.
One of the heritage buildings, the Rong's Residence at No. 186 on Shaanxi Road N. was built in 1918. Brothers Rong Zongjing and Rong Desheng were famously known as the "flour magnate" and "cotton yarn magnate."
The garden house's structure is of Western design, with traditional Chinese style for the floor space and interior decorations.--(3/28)
Food for thought
Shanghai Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that it will promote a management method to help restaurants and cafeterias tighten their self-administration procedures. The "Six Ts" method involve six measures that staff should perform every day to ensure proper processes in kitchens and warehouses to enhance food safety.--(3/27)
A green plant "outpatient service" is available at four parks in Huangpu District every Monday morning when gardening experts will answer questions on how to care flowers and plants at home.
The experts will also check ailing plants for free, and this service will be offered in Renmin Park, Penglai Park, Gucheng Park and Jiuzi Park. --(3/26)
Easy for expats
The immigration police at Pudong International Airport are reminding expatriate travelers who hold APEC business travel card that they do not need to apply for a visa to enter the country as the APEC card is the equivalent of a three-year multiple exit-and-entry visa to China.
The immigration police said they find many travelers who have APEC business cards still applying for a visa before arriving in China, which is unnecessary.
These travelers are entitled to enjoy visa-free entry if their stay in China lasts no longer than 60 days a visit.
APEC business travel card holders also enjoy fast track access with immigration check-in.
They just need to take their passport and APEC business travel card to move through the special APEC lanes provided by the immigration authorities at the local airports. --(3/25)
Volunteers stepping forward
Shanghai's blood bank wants to get enough platelet to meet the city's demands through voluntary donations within three to five years.
For the past two years it has managed to make its whole blood collection meet the demand.
Shanghai collected 82,750 liters of blood last year, a record for the city, and 89.14 percent of the blood was received from voluntary donors, the Shanghai Blood Administration Office said.
This is the second continuous year that clinical demand has been met entirely by voluntary donations and only 10 percent was collected from businesses and governmental agencies.--(3/24)
Rhythm and beauty that has to be seen
L'arc-en-ciel, the very visual Japanese rock band, will hit Shanghai for a concert on April 19. Fans might still remember their striking performance when they toured here in 2005.
That was when 58,000 tickets sold out within four minutes.
Established in 1991, the name of the band is in French and means "The Bridge in the Sky."
The band comprises, hyde (vocals), tetsu (bass), ken (guitar) and yukihiro (drums).
Hyde, with delicate features, luxurious apparel and a high-pitched voice, is the main attraction of the band. The daring androgynous beauty of Hyde is another of the band's visual impacts.
Recently Hyde was married and has children. His style has become appropriately more mature and masculine.
The highest price for a concert ticket is in the VIP area where it will cost 3,000 yuan (US$425) a seat, a sum the organizer is confident will be met.--(3/23)
Authorities extend office hours
Local authorities have extended office hours to assist car owners applying for the car-plate auction.
The branch in 108 Fuzhou Road will receive applications between 9am and 8pm from March 21-26. On March 27, business hours will remain at 9am-4pm.
The move came in response to crowding at the six registration locations since Wednesday after the auction was delayed for nearly one month.
The Shanghai government will put 9,300 car plates up for sale to individuals and private companies in the auction, which is scheduled for March 29.--(3/22)
More to benefit
A free legal aid service is to be expanded, the Shanghai Legal Aid Center said yesterday. Officials are considering raising the qualifying monthly family income to 700 yuan (US$99) on average from the current 525 yuan.
In addition, people who want to file lawsuits to enjoy rights of habitation, employment or education will be able to apply for the service in future and the 12348 law consultation service hotline is to be upgraded. --(3/21)
Experts with the Shanghai Botanic Gardens will guide locals in recognizing and appreciating flowers at the weekend's 2008 Flower Show.
From 2pm to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday, visitors can follow the experts to learn more about the flowers on display during the flower show. --(3/20)
Xuhui selects British plan for Binjiang greenery space
The Xuhui District government will make its Binjiang greenery land the "greenest" riverside open space before World Expo 2010.
The 8.4-kilometer-long Binjiang greenery land covers an area of 163.3 hectares and will be divided into three sections according to the chosen blue print submitted by Britain-based PDR Co.
The renovation plan includes building a waterborne platform, sightseeing area and pedestrian streets while it will retain the flavor of "old Shanghai" by keeping the city's oldest ferry wharf, workshops of the country's oldest cement factory and a century-old crane.
The Xuhui government last year announced massive changes in a renovation plan for Binjiang. It included turning the dilapidated warehouses, docks and residential complexes into a modern business area and historical tourist spot.
Six rock-material docks were shut down and nine factories that are considered heavy polluters will also be closed.--(3/19)
Begging off from city's free museums
Free entry to city museums caused new problems on its first full weekend with large crowds and poor behavior.
More than 10,000 visitors went to the Shanghai Museum each day at the weekend.
Since the free entry offer officially began last Monday, the city's largest cultural museum has struggled to handle an average of more than 6,000 visitors each day.
Shanghai Museum Curator Chen Xiejun had previously said that daily visitors should be restricted to fewer than 5,000, including 1,500 advanced booking spectators.
Since the admission was waived, the museum has had to continuously adjust the number and speed at which free tickets have been handed out to ensure not too many people enter the museum each hour.--(3/17)
Crackdown on risky products
City quality authorities yesterday swooped on three establishments selling inferior or illegal products ranging from food to electronics - a timely reminder that it was World Consumers' Rights Day.
The Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision raided a premises on Changzhong Road in Zhabei District where a family was processing roast ducks. The environment there was described by inspectors as "horrible," with raw ducks placed on the ground in filthy water.
The property owner had no business license or health certificate. Officials confiscated 81 half-roasted ducks and more than 20 kilograms of flavoring. "We will investigate where the products from the 'hideout' have gone to," said bureau official Sun Yeyao.
The bureau also seized more than 1,770 cell-phone battery chargers at the Dipingxian Communication Products Market near the Shanghai Railway Station.
Officials examined 11 chargers, and eight failed crucial tests and were deemed to be likely to either catch fire or cause electric shocks.
In the Hongkou branch of supermarket chain Shiji Lianhua, bureau officers seized 53 power inverters they said were likely to short-circuit, or catch fire.
Yesterday, Xinmin Evening News, a sister newspaper of Shanghai Daily, opened a phone hotline (12365) to take calls from consumers about product quality. The hotline is operated in collaboration with the bureau.
Eighteen local specialists in various fields have also been invited to help handle calls from irate consumers.--(3/16)
Massive New Railway Station On Line
Construction will begin this year on Shanghai's biggest railway station in Changning District, according to the project headquarters.
The Hongqiao Railway Station, the terminus station of the planned Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway, will be able to handle 200,000 passengers daily, more than the combined capacity of the Shanghai Railway Station and the Shanghai South Railway Station.
It will mainly serve passenger trains on the Shanghai-Beijing, Shanghai-Nanjing and Shanghai-Hangzhou railways, officials said.
The station will also link with the west terminal building of Hongqiao Airport and three Metro lines to become the city's biggest transportation hub. Lines 2, 5 and 10 will link with the new station.
The station will be about 13.5 kilometers from People's Square. Construction has already begun on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway and it is scheduled to be completed in 2013.--(3/15)
Cultural forum to take place next week
The fourteenth cultural forum sponsored by Jiefang Daily Group and the global museum summit will be held at Shanghai International Convention Center on Tuesday.
Curators from the British Museum, Louvre Museum, New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the State Hermitage Museum of Russia, China¡¯s Palace Museum and Shanghai Museum will attend the forum to discuss the development of human civilization.
Yang Lan, a well-known anchorwoman, will chair the forum and summit. Jfdaily.com and Sina.com will have a joint live broadcast of the forum.
Jiefang Daily Group held its first cultural forum in July 2005. The forum aims to emphasize the power of culture by inviting experts to have a public discussion. --(3/14)
Adopt a tree
The Shanghai Greenery Administrative Bureau is offering 118 green lands totalling 173 hectares this year where residents can adopt trees.
They include Yanzhong green land in downtown and parks in different districts. Almost all the lands allow residents to adopt trees any time of the year, not just during the Arbor Day that falls on March 12.
A common tree costs 30 yuan (US$4.2) to 50 yuan a year while a rarer species costs 100 to 200 yuan. Companies can also adopt a zone of the green land.
All money collected is used to maintain the city's greenery.
Residents can call hotlines 6316-6666 and 8008201106.
More than 10,000 residents have adopted trees this year. --(3/13)
More than seven million people are expected to visit their ancestors' tombs this Qingming Festival, which falls on April 4.
The number was likely to be three times more than last year as the festival would be a national holiday for the first time, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said.
The Bureau said April 4 to 6 would be the peak time for Chinese people to visit the graves, with the morning of April 4 the busiest.
The Bureau's funeral management division is anticipating 520,000 vehicles will be on the roads that morning carrying pilgrims to Shanghai suburbs and surrounding cities.
Qingming, meaning clear and bright, is the Chinese day for mourning the dead. It falls in early April every year.
It corresponds with the onset of warmer weather, the start of spring plowing, and of family outings.
To minimise the anticipated traffic problems, most local cemeteries will provide half-price discounts on shuttle bus services and parking fees from April 4 to 6.
Some cemeteries, such as Fushouyuan in Qingpu District, will provide 75 percent discounts on shuttle buses at the weekends before and after the festival holiday.--(3/12)
Metro line work still causing city snarls
Road traffic congestion improved last month compared to January, but some downtown streets still suffered increased snarls due to Metro construction programs, traffic police said yesterday.
Traffic police said vehicles moved at an average speed of 22.6 kph during rush hours on the elevated roads last month, an improvement of 6.3 percent from the January record.
However, ongoing construction of new Metro lines across the city was still causing some downtown areas to suffer choked traffic.
The worst affected areas included Zhongshan Road E1, Yan'an Road, Wusong Road, Haining Road, Beijing Road E, the inner circle on the Inner Ring Road, Changning Road, Yan'an Road W, Wanhangdu Road, Huangpi Road S, Siping Road and the Jiyang Road Overpass of the Outer Ring Road.
Currently there are 93 Metro construction projects ongoing in town including 35 inside the Inner Ring Road.
The number of car accidents last month was reported at 202, which was slightly down from a month earlier, police said. --(3/10)
May Day holidays trimmed to fit
Local travel agencies are modifying their overseas tour packages to take account of the May Day holiday being shortened to three days.
Trips to Japan and South Korea are the most affected. Shortened trips to Europe and Australia are not practical as tourists would spend most of their time on the plane.
The Shanghai Airlines International Travel Service says it will select several scenic spots from present itineraries and develop new packages.--(3/10)
Eighteen of the transit buses on Route No. 109 now accept public transport cards issued by neighboring Zhejiang and Jiangsu province authorities after POS ticketing machines have been upgraded.
Shanghai transport card owners can already use their cards to pay for public transport in Wuxi, Suzhou and Hangzhou. --(3/9)
Pledge for oil and grains
Officials of the Shanghai Grains Bureau have pledged to keep sufficient supplies of grain and oil and to keep prices stable this year.
Officials told a conference the total amount of grain traded in the city this year will reach about nine million tons and the volume of grain traded in the city's wholesale markets is expected to be more than 1.7 million tons. A 350,000-ton grain depot and 200,000-ton edible oil storehouse in Waigaoqiao area will be finished by the end of this year, according to the officials. --(3/8)
City unveils plans for Disneyland in Pudong
Shanghai has applied to the central government to build a Disneyland and the best location would be Pudong New Area, Mayor Han Zheng told more than 100 reporters yesterday at an open-door meeting of the Shanghai delegation at the ongoing annual session of the National People's Congress.
It would be the third Disneyland in Asia after Japan and Hong Kong.
"We have applied to the National Development and Reform Commission but so far we haven't received notice of approval," Han said.
He added Shanghai will abide by the central government's decision and the exact location of the proposed park was not yet fixed.
"Lots of suggestions on the park's location have been put forward but the best choice would be Pudong," Han said.
Walt Disney Co signed a statement of intent to build a Disneyland on the Chinese mainland in 2002, and then set up a venture to develop it. The plan was put on hold soon afterwards because of concerns that the Hong Kong park, which opened in 2005, would suffer.
The Shanghai delegation session, which was opened to media at 3pm yesterday, attracted more than 100 reporters from about 80 media organizations. Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng and Mayor Han answered questions related to the city's development.
Han said the Maglev extension project has not been listed as one of the 67 major urban construction projects to be launched this year, as the project is still in the public-opinion hearing period and an expert panel will study and assess the project further.
"The city government will listen to the opinions of all sides," he stressed.
Shanghai planned to extend the current 30-kilometer magnetic levitation train line, which runs between Pudong International Airport and Longyang Road Metro Station on Metro Line 2, to Hongqiao Airport, including a station near the 2010 World Expo site in Pudong.
But the plan triggered opposition from some residents over the project's possible environmental effects.
"All citizens have the right to express their opinions but they have to express their opinions in accordance with the corresponding legal procedures," Han said.
Answering a question on the city's social security fund scandal, Party Secretary Yu said the cases involving city officials caught up in the scandal have all been transferred to legal departments.
The scandal brought down former Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Liangyu in September 2006 and several other high-profile city officials. Shanghai retrieved all of the embezzled social security funds, totaling 3.7 billion yuan.
"The case is being handled by the Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of and so far there's no court ruling on Chen. It is still too early to announce the ending of the pension-fund case investigation," Yu said.--(3/7)
Twenty-five leading scholars, government officials and business leaders from all over the world have confirmed they will attend the 2008 Shanghai Forum, one of the city's most important forums to be staged by Fudan University in May. --(3/6)
Dig for artifacts
Managers of the forthcoming Shanghai Urban Engineering Museum said they need more artifacts for exhibition.
So far, they have collected about 300 artifacts, including road bricks used in 1907 and German-made manhole covers used in 1937.
They are planning to collect a total of 1000 artifacts for the museum's opening.
The museum is encouraging local residents to contribute a variety of engineering-related artifacts, such as original infrastructure blueprints, road construction machinery and even old traffic signs.
The museum will open to the public when enough artifacts are collected, they said.
The purpose of the museum is to display the city's engineering history.--(3/5)
Food prices have been declining compared with prices during the Spring Festival, according to the latest investigation of the Shanghai Investigation of the National Statistics Bureau.
Oil prices have come down by 4.2 percent, a comparison between mid February figures and those earlier in the month shows.
Vegetables also have dropped in price as emergency measures were taken against the snow storm. Chinese cabbage, cabbage and spinach all had sharp price decreases of more than 10 percent. Pork prices remained stable while the price of eggs went down a little.--(3/4)
Shanghai starts production of Olympic medals
Shanghai's mint today began production of medals for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Three different types of jade have been transported to Shanghai Mint for the production of the 3,030 medals, the first Olympic medals to use non-metal materials.
More than 6,000 medals will be made for the Beijing Games, which runs from August 8 to 24, previous reports said.
Gold, silver and bronze medals will carry the same design, with a finer white jade in the gold medal, a slightly darker shade in the silver medal, and a green jade in the bronze medal. The flip side of the medal carries a design based on the origins of the Olympics in Greece.
The winning design for the gold medal centers on three components in a center circle: the Beijing Olympic logo, the five Olympic rings and the Beijing 2008 emblem.
The medals, which are 70mm in diameter and 6mm thick, also incorporate subtle detailing, as highlighted by the medal ribbons which feature interlocking dragons and a cloud pattern. --(3/3)
Body donors honored
The Shanghai Red Cross yesterday launched Life Forum, aimed at promoting body donors among the young.
The occasion was to mark the fifth anniversary of Body Donation Day in the city, an annual event to remember those who gave their corpses to science.
More than 600 body-donor volunteers, families of donors and youths took part in the activity held in Qingpu District's Fushouyuan Cemetery.
"Students can have a vivid on-site class now instead of learning from a book," said Sun Hongying of the Shanghai Red Cross. "We want to improve young people's understanding and respect for body donors."
Together with families and volunteers, students from major medical schools of the city visited the memorial hall and monument to all body donors in the cemetery.
People lit candles and put down flowers. A middle-aged man caressed one name carved on the monument repeatedly with tears in his eyes.
By the end of last year, 4,349 people in the city had given their bodies or corneas and over 25,368 residents had registered to donate bodies or corneas.--(3/2)
Construction workers keep busy near the Waibaidu Bridge yesterday as dismantlement work starts on the century-old structure to make way for a gigantic vehicle tunnel. The bridge will undergo maintenance before being restored to its original site by March next year.--(3/1)