Let's Talk Busan - October 25, 2010

Let's Talk Busan#88
Our First LIVE Monday Night Show
October 25, 2010

Host: Jeff Lebow

Busan Beat
Tough month for famous Busan book stores.
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.

Talk of the Town - Jeff Liebsch, Cindy Park, Jen Sotham

  Kim Yoon Jeong & Robert Godden


Public Studio: Public School English Teachers
조 정아, 박 현정, 박 용미, 최 여례, 김 혜윤 , 이 수현, 박성아, 정 은경, 권 미란 , 남 수린 , 유 미진

Let's Talk Busan airs every Monday at 7pm on 90.5 Busan eFM