Let's Talk Busan - November 1, 2010

Let's Talk Busan#89
November 1, 2010

Busan Profile
    Speaking with Dwayne Stores, Samantha Tucker Iacovetto, & Jon Hardy about this weekend's Busan Night Live

Busan Beat - News & Commentary

Talk of the Town
  Greg Dolezal, Johnny Jung, & Bobby McGill go to battle over
  • Lotte Giants Managerial Change
  • Halloween Festivities & Expat Nightlife Etiquette
  • AIDS Testing and Prevention
Host: Jeff Lebow

Busan Beat Stories 
Relics from the Chosun era have been found on the grounds of what used to be Camp Hialeah.  Camp Hialeah served as the U.S. military base here in Busan until it closed down a few years ago. There are plans to renovate the area into a Citizen's Park, but as workers were investigating geological features of the site, they found about 100 broken pieces of ceramic from the Chosun era which lasted from the late 14th century until the end of the 19th century.  Workers also found horseshoes, most likely from era of Japanese occupation when the area was used  a horse race track.  It is speculated that there might be more relics in the area dating back to the Three Kingdoms era of Korea.  If that turns out to be the case, the schedule for  renovation plans may need to be adjusted.
On October 12th,  seven year old Kang Hyeung Wook(강형욱),  a 1st grader, was picking up trash in the school yard when he was accidentally struck by a car driven by the school’s principal.   Five days later, the child died in the hospital.  This tragic incident has led to an uproar on a couple of fronts.  Firstly, the school’s insurance policy does not provide any compensation for the victim’s family.  The policy does not cover car accidents  because it is assumed that  drivers are covered by third party automobile insurance.
 More significantly, there has been a call to prevent this from happening again by making sure that drivers do not need to pass through any area where children might be playing as they make there way into and out of school parking areas.  According to the Education Board, in 60 out of 298 elementary schools in Busan, drivers have to pass through the playground in order to exit the school.   Parents have formed an online movement to gather signatures supporting a law that would ensure that the necessary changes are made.

The X in KTX finally comes all the way to Busan.
Today marks the opening of the new section of KTX line from Busan to Daegu. KTX, Korea's high speed rail line opened in  2004 and cut the travel time from Busan to Seoul 'almost' in half, but things weren't really 'high speed' from Busan to Daegu because the new high speed lines for that portion of the trip had not been completed. . That all changes today as that portion of the KTX line opens, cutting travel time to Seoul from 2:40 to 2:18, saving travelers 22 minutes... well, at least three times a day. Many of the daily  trains will still make stops between Busan and Daegu, pretty much nullifying any time savings. Still passengers will be paying more, regardless of how long it takes to get there as the fare from Busan to Seoul will increase W4,300 to W55,500.  The stops along the newly opened section are Busan Station, Ulsan, Shin-Gyeongju, and DongDaegu. The old section, which will remain in use by some trains,  stops in Busan-Gupo-Miryang and Dong DaeguThese kinds of high speed connections are expected to help the Southeast region of the peninsula develop economically and Busan city is expected to use this opportunity to promote other aspects of Busan Tourism including adding three more City Tour buses in 2011, a musical theater at Jagalchi market, and adding four more passenger waiting rooms and a transfer center at Busan Station.

There are some concerns that all this high speed transit may lead to 빨대 효과 or the straw effect. Basically, because it's now so fast and easy to get from these Southeast areas of the country to Seoul, that the high tech industries and cutting edge facilities near 'Capital City' will suck up talent from these smaller local economies.

Every fall, the Goni (or Tundra Swans - big pretty white birds) migrate through Busan on their way down from Siberia to their winter homes down south. This year they arrived a bit earlier than usual on October 29th.  Last year, their numbers had fallen as there was a shortage of their primary food supply - 새섬매자기 Sae-som-mae-ja-gi. It’s an annual plants native to the area. .  This year however, food supplies appear to have returned to normal and their numbers are increasing once again.
That Nakdong Estuary is the largest habitat in this area where migratory birds stop by.  Because of a dam that was built 20 years ago, several major highways in the area and nearby factories, the overall number of migratory birds that pass through this area has drastically fallen.

In Haeundae, a 19 year old woman who is HIV positive was arrested on a charge of knowingly having sexual relations with 20 men she met through an internet chat site. The court rejected the arrest warrant when it was revealed that she is mentally disabled and has the mental development of an eight year old. A prostitution victim protection organization “Sal-lim” and psychiatrist pointed out that in light of this level of development, it is not possible that can be held responsible for criminal action or for taking these actions on her own. When the arrest first took place, the woman's father had told the police that his daughter was forced to sell sex by someone else, but police officers chose to charge her with a crime.

She turned out to be HIV positive in March, not with AIDS so far. She saw a doctor and took medical checkup and  then was told she is infected. Even after that she ran away from home frequently like she did before, and then she made money by selling sex. In August her father reported to the police saying “my daughter , HIV positive , seems to be forced to have sex relations by someone.” Police is tracing the infection route and possible existence of pimp but the all efforts have been in vain.  According to the police 3 men who had intercourse with her were HIV negative.

Last week, two Wild Boar-vehicle collisions occurred within 20 minutes of each other. Around 1am on October 29, along the Busan-Ulsan highway near Geumjeong mountain, a cargo truck hit a 60kg wild boar. 20 minutes later, along the same road another car hit another boar. In both cases, drivers received significant injury and the boars were killed. There are approximately 60 wild boar living in the Geumjeong Mountain area and their numbers are expected to continue increasing. Their search for food sometimes leads to roads and residential areas. In fact, recently, an 80kg boar was shot and killed when it made its way into a house in the vicinity.

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

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

The Final Sunday Let's Talk Busan - Community Service & LTB Think Tank

Let's Talk Busan#87
Our Final Sunday Night Show
October 24, 2010
Host: Jeff Lebow

  Jessica Glaeser - ATEK Volunteer Coordinator and Community Service Organizer

  The Let's Talk Busan Think Tank -  Brian Myers, Cindy Park, Kim Seungil, & Jeff Lebow

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

KOTESOL Post-show Roundtable Discussion

Post-show Roundtable KOTESOL Discussion
following the 2010 KOTESOL National Candidates Discussion

October 3, 2010

Participants:  Peadar Callaghan, Robert Capriles, Sara Davila, Matt Doyon, Doug Huffer, Aaron Jolly,  Jeff Lebow, Stafford Lumsden, Bryan Stoakley

Topics Discussed
00:30  - Notification of Conference Session Acceptance or Rejection
06:40 - Website Status & Recording Conference Presentations
10:00  - Role of 1st VP
13:00  Korean Participation & Possibilities of a Korean Language Special Interest Group
22:30 -  Openness, Transparency, Making Organization Information Public
27:10 - More Website Update Details, Mea Culpa, & Prospects for Professional Intervention
37:35 - National Budget
40:00 - Final Words, We KOTESOL

Onsite Voting at the International Conference Oct. 16~17
More information about elections & candidates at: http://kotesol.org/?q=elections

Chat Log

Socrates Cafe - Blinded by culture?

Koreabridge Discussion - Let's Talk Busan Post-Show
Socrates Cafe Discussion
August 15, 2010

Topic: How does our own culutre blind us to understanding others?
Participants : Greg Dolezal, Jon Hardy, Jeff Lebow, David Kim, Kim Lee, Oh Jae Hee, Park WonSeop, Jason Stubbeman, &   Ashley Summers Stubbeman

Let's Talk Busan Show Recording

Socrates Cafe Facebook Page


LawnChair Philosopher (Kim's blog)

Socrates Cafe - Blinded by our own culture?

Koreabridge Discussion - Let's Talk Busan Post-Show
Socrates Cafe Discussion

August 15, 2010

Topic: How does our own culutre blind us to understanding others?
Participants : Greg Dolezal, Jon Hardy, Jeff Lebow, David Kim, Kim Lee, Oh Jae Hee, Park WonSeop, Jason Stubbeman, &     Ashley Summers Stubbeman

LawnChair Philosopher (Kim's blog)


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