Solar power photovoltaic panels have been erected on several Power Station
rooftops and were officially announced and launched today.
Managing Director of HK Electric, Mr. Tso Kai-sum (left), Secretary
for the Environment, Mr. Edward Yau and Chief Executive Officer of Du
Pont Apollo Limited, Dr. David Chu (right) officiate at the ceremony.
Press release --
PowerPoint presentation (3MB) --
(All photos, video and presentation courtesy of HK Electric.)
My own launch photos and my "Above & Inside the Lamma Power Station" photo
gallery are in progress, to follow this weekend....
These 2 quotes come courtesy of yesterday's The Standard daily
newspaper, from a story titled
Luck of the islands:
"Lamma, of all the outlying islands, is poorly formed in terms of
auspicious natural fung shui features, with a sha that is uneven and a
waterfront that lacks focus....
"Lamma is an island that has no meridian dragon point, making it
unfavorable for humans. But Lantau has one."
We Lammaites are kind of used by now to all the many lazy and ancient
clichés about our home island, but this must surely be the most...shall we
say...unfavourable description of Lamma we've seen in a long time.
Unfavourable for humans! Stay away! Unfit for any human to live on or even
visit! Just because a self-proclaimed fung shui master says so, The Standard
prints it without any comment, even adding contact info for the guy to find
more suckers, eh, clients.
Well, at least it triggered a few interesting comments from our forum
Luck of the islands
It's been rumoured for a few months, but it's now official, as I've just been
informed today. See this email from Lands Dept., forwarded to me by Sally of
Lamma's HK Dog
Rescue, living near the Quarry and walking her dogs in there almost
daily. I love to hike and bike in that area myself, similar to some of Lamma's
mountain bikers. It's a quiet, open and beautiful area now, featured
many times in the Lamma-zine over the last 8 years.
It's fully accessible by anybody right now, but will be turned into a
private area where the YMCA will have full and exclusive control. They have
been all quiet about it so far, but I've contacted them as well. This silent
takeover was announced so low-key that I know nobody personally who has ever
seen a notice or announcement of any kind, so no objections could be lodged
within the usual 14 days; except Ms Chan below, but she was too late:
KK HO -
District Lands Officer/Islands Lands Dept.:
(Photo above by Sally Andersen,
Dear Ms. Chan,
Thank you for your email of 17.4.2010
bringing our attention to your concerns about the use of
the ex-Lamma quarry site by the YMCA.
I would like to advise that the ex-Lamma
quarry site is a piece of government land which is not
intended for the use or access for the general public.
Further, the site was not formed for activities such as
hiking, walking the dogs, fishing, cycling and etc..
Hence, such activities are not encouraged.
After the submission from YMCA for the
use of the site, we have made consultations to the
locals and posted notices in the nearby areas with
respect to the use of site by YMCA. No objection was
received and the locals supported the proposal. In
principal approval was then given to YMCA.
For your information, YMCA advised that
the general public in groups or individuals would be
allowed to join the programmes organized by YMCA within
the site or apply to YMCA for use of the site for their
intended programmes (subject to charge of fees). In this
connection, the public can still have the chance to
enjoy the site.
Hope the above can provide you a better
picture of the YMCA's proposal and you would consider to
withdraw your objection.
Should you have any further enquiries,
please contact the subject Officer Mr. KK HO at 2852
Hardly anybody would
object to the YMCA using the area occasionally for their
great outdoor, sports and nature activities, but they've been granted
EXCLUSIVE USE! Nobody else will be permitted in there, except
with the YMCA's explicit permission and they could even charge you for
entering. It's a huge area of public land, much bigger than all of
Sok Kwu Wan, restored to a "natural state" over a decade from
the former cement factory with many millions of taxpayers' cash.
After restoration, it was left idle for a decade
and it's now being handed over for free for the exclusive use of
a private charity, the
Young Men's Christian Association, who is "committed to
building a civil and compassionate Hong Kong through uniting
people with the same spirit to extend the Kingdom of God."
They do great and wonderful work all over HK and in many
countries, but why do they need and get EXCLUSIVE USE of this
entire huge area?
In the Planning Dept.'s
Outline Zoning Plan for all of Lamma, it was described
as "potential for development of temporary tourism and
recreational activities." But that has all changed without
notice now. In the future, "hiking, walking the dogs,
fishing, cycling and such activities are not encouraged" and
the Lamma Quarry has suddenly become "not intended for the
use or access for the general public"?!
Sally is organising a petition and we hope to
get a clarification of the YMCA's intent and plans for this
huge, beautiful and currently almost undisturbed area with the
only local sweet water lake and large flocks of seabirds and
kites. For a personal perspective, see Sally's blog today:
Wed 21st July: Some bad news for me
Below are a two of my large collection of Lamma Quarry photos. Will I have to
pay a fee to the YMCA soon to enter and take any more photos in there?
Have you ever seen a Lamma flat in 3D, see above? As a 3D computer artist
and animator in a former life (pre-HK), I was quite intrigued when I got
access to the 3D
Floorplanner design of a
totally renovated flat for sale, by
Lamma-zine advertiser LammaFlats.com. I played around with the different 3D
angles and pasted together the little collage above in Photoshop. For the
more technically minded amongst our readers, here's the 2D drawing, so you
can check out if your furniture and stuff would fit into these 350sqft;
click to enlarge:
Carole of LammaFlats writes about this
"It would make a great investment flat if you want to buy to rent.
It would be maintenance free after all the work that has been put into the
plumbing and electrical. People often overlook this aspect, but its really
important when buying so that you don't end up with problems that are
expensive to fix.
Also the bay window is a unique feature that adds to the bright and spacious
feel of the place."
- The Libertines Pub, Hong Kong
(republished with friendly permission by Wes, photo
by Michael Wolf)
Extreme Hong Kong
daily commute is an exercise in extremes. In the
morning, I wake up in the socialist utopia of Lamma
Island. Lamma is the least commercialized place I've
ever lived: there is no advertising on Lamma, and the
only corporate chain of any kind on the island is the
tiny little branch of HSBC in Yung Shue Wan. Lamma is
also the most egalitarian place I've ever lived: all the
houses are roughly the same size, nearly all the
apartments are around 700 square feet, and people don't
advertise their wealth by the way they dress, since
everyone wears shorts, a t-shirt and sandals all day
Then I get on the ferry, and arrive in Central. I go
up an escalator, and I'm in the IFC mall. There I'm
bombarded by images designed to make me feel bad about
who I am, bad about the clothes I wear, and bad about
where I am in life. I make it through the mall, and head
to Sheung Wan on the pedestrian walkway. Once I come
down to ground level, I'm reminded how this city isn't
designed for me, it's designed to use me as a tool for
corporate profits. Taxis honk their horns at me for
getting in the way of their next fare, people on the
street don't show the slightest kindness toward
one-another, there's hardly any room to walk with all
the money-making going on. I look up at the thousands of
anonymous apartment and office windows containing the
tools of the corporatocracy. I work, I eat, I get back
on the ferry.
When I get off the ferry on the Lamma side, I
remember why I'm willing to put up with that ferry ride
everyday. Lamma is on a human scale. I feel like I fit.
I'm a person, not a consumer. Every place I've ever
lived has been designed by corporations for cars. For
the first time in my life, I live in a place designed by
people for people. And I found that place in the Hi-Tech
Village, the world's greatest capitalist theme-park. Go
After my recent experience with getting a Senior (over 60) discount offered in
a cinema - without asking for it! - I thought of checking out what my fellow
Elderlies on Lamma are up to in their ample spare time. So Lamma-Por and I
joined this tour organised and subsidised by the District Council.
Fortunately, the age limit was much lower - they consider people as
Elderlies at only 50 years old! - and it only cost $75, including "Korean
B.B.Q. lunch buffet". As Lamma-Por and I are too well-known in the local
Yung Shue Wan community we joined the only half-full Sok Kwu Wan bus kind of
incognito, keeping a low profile.
Photo gallery in progress...
A new govt. notice has appeared on some YSW noticeboards, alerting some of
our Alert Readers to alert me about another potentially huge govt.
construction project. It could affect the entire hillside behind the North
Lamma Clinic and the Playground all the way over to the second, small Tin
Hau temple below Tai Shan, affecting much of Tai Shan Village and some of
Sha Po Old Village, basically the entire forested two hills, from bottom to
the very top, see my photo above (see also detailed map).
CEDD Dept. is applying for a permit from Lands Dept. for
Investigation Works in this entire area. They'll be drilling about 10
deep holes to test the stability and potential danger of these slopes,
taking 6 months starting next month. This is in preparation for potential
further "Slope Improvement Works" later on. This is govt. speak for pouring
concrete and building walls to make slopes safer, especially in the typhoon
season. See photos (from Jill and myself) of the current, old "Slope
Improvements" behind the houses behind the Playground:
The 14-day objection period is ending next Friday, July 23, so if you
have questions or concerns about this project, File Ref. (5) in DLO/IS
04/4/2010/NL, contact Mr. CHAN Sui-lok at 2852-4261,
email Lands Dept., or, much better, write an Objection Letter on
paper to Lands Dept. with your questions and concerns about these Ground
Investigation Works to:
District Lands Office, Islands, 19/F., Harbour
Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong, quoting the File Ref. Or
fax 2850 5104.
It won't stop the useful slope investigations, but it'll hopefully make them more
aware and considerate about how to plan and execute any potentially
necessary "Landslip Prevention Measures" later on in an environmentally friendly
way, hopefully preserving almost all of the slope-stabilising forest on this
beautiful forest hillside, visible from most of Yung Shue Wan and North
For a current example of similar "Ground Investigation Works" and "Landslip
Prevention Measures" in progress, see the current CEDD works above the Tai Peng
Community Garden, accessible directly from the First Cable Route up in
Tai Peng Village:
For further info on this and other local projects, consider joining the
very active Living Lamma
group, or discuss this project in our free-speech, uncensored
Environment, Politics and Development forum,
including some sample Objection Letters already sent to govt. by
I was going for yet another 3D movie (my latest passion) in the IFC shopping
mall, vis-a-vis the Lamma ferry pier in Central. I selected my favourite
seat and was ready to fork out the excessive regular price for the 3D movie
ticket. The cashier girl took a quick glance at me and offered me the Senior
discount, without asking for my age or id and without me asking for the
discount at all!
I was so surprised that I forgot to protest, accepting it, especially after
I realised that this was a saving of $35, almost the price of a regular
movie ticket on low-price Tuesdays in the same cinema. This is the very
first time something like this has happened to me and I wonder if I now have
entered the 3rd Age of my hopefully long life? Becoming a Senior, over 60
years old, I'd become entitled to a wide range of Senior benefits and
privileges. Should I feel depressed or happy about this? Not sure.
I enjoyed the movie tremendously (3D Toy Story 3), but I might have been one
of the oldest movie-goers in the theatre. But it'll still be MANY years
before I become officially a Senior, an Elderly in govt.-speak. Well, do I
really look that old right now, after my massive weight-loss made my face
droop a bit? Do I need to consider very expensive plastic surgery,
stretching my cheeks behind my ears, to transform and Botox my face into a
perma-grin, like some celebrities? Nah!
Hey, what other discounts could I get with my newly-discovered Elderly
looks? Who's offering Elderly discounts on Lamma? Certainly not the bars, as
that would be a big drain on their business. Well, I don't really mind being
considered an Elderly in some people's eyes as long as my health and fitness
keep up so well; L-G the Elderly is hiking/biking to the top of Lamma's
hills and attending Bootcamp. Hey, a big hooray to being elderly and
healthy! Lamma's a great place for retiring!
The cinema even let me keep their Real D 3D glasses for free, probably
hoping that I'll return for another expensive 3D movie soon. They're even
offering $10 concession discounts if you return with your 3D glasses next
time. I wonder if they'll offer me a Senior discount again next time? In the
meantime, you might spot me with this big, all-black, stylish (not!) 3D
sunglasses gallivanting down Main Street, making me marvel at Lamma Life in
Dispute Engulfs Ex-Lamma Woman
Jay Scott Kanes
Court Pet Correspondent -
(Pictures by Lisa Warden, ex-Lammaite)
– Does a city that routinely batters and abuses its
street dogs, and then takes exception to criticism of
its brutish behavior, deserve international respect?
Certainly not, says former Lamma Islander
Lisa Warden, who finds
herself engulfed in controversy for staunchly defending
some of the most poorly treated among India's canines.
Since leaving Lamma in 2008
(after a 15-month stay), Lisa has lived mostly in
Ahmedabad where her husband works. It's a
six-century-old metropolis and home to six million
people in Gujarat state. One of India's leading cities,
it remains crude on animal welfare.
There, 45-year-old Lisa, a
dog-lover originally from Canada, has devoted much of
her attention to promoting canine spay-neuter procedures
and anti-rabies vaccinations. (When on Lamma, she had no
dog of her own, but constantly borrowed those of
Dumped at the landfill:
does this puppy look like he belongs amid the rubbish?
In Ahmedabad, one thing
that haunted Lisa was how the local dog-catchers
consistently used iron tongs to grip screaming animals
by their necks or torsos and manhandle them, pick them
up to load into vans or even drag along streets. (For
video evidence, see:
The pincer-like tongs crush
or pierce internal organs. Abdominal cavities tear open.
Up to half the "caught" dogs die from internal bleeding.
To worsen matters, the
dog-catchers have been dumping their captives, scores of
them each day, at a huge landfill on the city's
outskirts where the animals face thirst, starvation and
scorching heat. (See:
http://vimeo.com/11261417). As dogs collapse and
die there, others survive a little longer by gnawing on
Both the tongs and
relocations violate national laws that say street dogs
should be sterilized, vaccinated and returned to where
they were found. As animal-rights activists explain,
Ahmedabad's actions "serve no practical results. When
dogs are removed from their locations, other dogs move
into the vacated areas and fight to establish dominance.
People inevitably get bitten in the crossfire. The
practice of dislocating dogs actually puts humans at
increased risk of dog bites and rabies." Sterilizing
and immunizing would better manage the street-dog
population and prevent rabies.
Outspoken Lisa gave media
interviews and confronted city officials. Bluntly, she
told them that unless they reformed, she'd campaign
vigorously against Ahmedabad's bid for UNESCO status as
a World Heritage City.
Lisa also visited the
dog-catchers' headquarters and took away all the tongs
she could find for destruction. She insists this was
done in consultation and with agreement from the
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. The AMC says otherwise.
Despite being the daughter
of William Warden, a former Canadian high
commissioner to India, Lisa became the target of a nasty
backlash. Her brother Scott grimly explains:
"Unfortunately, Lisa is being viciously targeted by a
despotic, rogue municipal authority. She inadvertently
crossed them by exposing their illegal and
unconscionable cruelty to the city's street dogs."
As a result of challenging
the municipality, Lisa has been charged with the likes
of theft, misleading the public, obstructing public
servants and slapped with a US$2 million defamation
suit. If convicted, she may face a long prison stay.
"The same municipal
authority is trying to get her India visa revoked…,"
Scott said. "Lisa has a legal team and will fight the
charges, but it will be a long battle."
Lisa's supporters urge
people to assist her and the street dogs by signing an
signing the online petition. Facebook fans can join a group,
"In Support of Lisa Warden".
In recent days, Ahmedabad
dog-catchers have switched from using tongs (presumably
because Lisa removed them) in favor of nets. But the
Could this be a
world-heritage city? Or is it more like a
Defender of dogs Lisa Warden now faces a nasty backlash.
tries to cope. Dumped outside town, he faces thirst,
starvation and heat.
dogs: 'ruff, ruff' lives.
Dog-catchers use iron tongs on a terrified animal. The
pincer-like tongs crush organs and cause internal
handling by Ahmedabad's dog-catchers leads to dead dogs.
taken away by the canine-catchers, most dogs never
return, at least not in this lifetime.
Unrepentant Lisa emails her many friends worldwide:
"The Wall Street Journal article from two days ago
about the dog debacle in Ahmedabad and the evil tongs of
doom generated such vigorous debate that the reporter
ran another story today -- about the response. He's
asking for the public to comment on the online forum.
Chime in, folks. This is a great chance to get your say,
and to educate the public at large about compassion,
street dog ecology, and the need for large-scale
sterilization and anti-rabies vaccination."
How you feel about dog tongs?
Wall Street Journal
story: Dog tongs in Gujarat attract activist ire.
other gardening news:
Passing by the wonderful Tai Peng Community Garden frequently during
my bike-hikes, I noticed the first lily blooming in the
Jenks Memorial Pond. This group has set it
up in an old watering hole a few months back in remembrance of the late
Jenkin Hiles, a valiant, long-time defender of the former, beloved
Lily Pond in the Yung Shue Long Valley, filled
in last year with construction waste. The group even paid for the two
benches, open to anybody. Lily supplied by
Jenks the Gentleman Eco-Warrior's beloved memory and his
environmental spirit lives on in this new Lily Pond, reminding us to be more
mindful of our mostly still beautiful environment on Lamma and working on
maintaining and preserving it!
Today, it's just a mixed bag of photos I took very recently and didn't quite
know where to put them, neither a themed story nor a photo gallery.
View from inside the pavilion above the wind
View from Mt. Panorama, pavilion on the
opposite hill -- Burning dry leaves
View from First Cable Route over Yung Shue
Kayakers entering YSW harbour -- Perfect
visibility these weeks
Ferry leaving YSW; Lamma-1, Po Wah Yuen and
Lamma Winds in the background
The end of the Democracy Wall; no more
posters! -- Umbrella
INSIDE the ferry
Junk on the way to HK Island -- Woodland
Spider, missing two legs
Lamma Ferry Pier in Central -- Another
Ferry arriving at Yung Shue Wan ferry pier
Another delicious, shared dinner in
The Waterfront (Duck Breast)
Click above for details of this local fitness camp, starting this week,
run by Donna the Herbalicious, my tough-but-fun Bootcamp Sergeant.
This poster has just been emailed to the Lamma-zine by Lammadonna, one of
our District Councilors, asking to put it on this website, "to remind our
residents to pay attention to any unsafe trees." Done. Some of her local
constituents have expressed how afraid they've become of trees and branches
falling on them, after the recent, widely publicised news of a falling tree hurting people,
but fortunately not on Lamma so far.
The usual govt. over-reaction can't be far behind, so we can expect more
local trees near paths to be declared as dangerous and public notices
gazetted about felling them. This photo is all that remains of a beloved
tree just below the YSW
Catholic Kindergarten at the crossroad of the Snake Path with the path up to
Tai Ling and the windturbine, part of my own occasional hill hikes. Liz
Gower, Tree Hugger Extraordinaire, had been skillfully
negotiating with the Lands Dept. for over a year to save it, but
finally and sadly had to concede defeat recently.
If you'd like to learn more about preserving damaged trees and making them
safe, instead of felling them,
and about International Tree Care Practices in general, there'll be a
Tree Talk by expert Kevin Eckert, on
Sat, July 10, Museum of Medical Sciences, 3-5pm. This broad topic covers
everything ranging from tree selection, installation, pruning and protection
to tree risk assessment, etc. Q&A after the presentation, plus refreshments,
$150, plus another free wine tasting by
Brad the Wine Baron, who seems to be eminently astute of getting
himself mentioned again and again in this Lamma-zine since our
April Fool's story. ;-)
Register your name ASAP
e-mail or simply show up for the Tree Talk. The Museum of Medical
Sciences is just below the University of HK, easy to reach, see
more details (also about that tree poem quote in this story's title).
Today, just a few random shots from my Sunday morning hike along the
deserted Snake Trail, returning via the crowded Family Trail
and Hung Shing Yeh beach:
View over Luk Chau (Dog) Island, Lo Tik Wan
ferry pier and Luk Chau Village,
South HK Island and the East Lamma
shipping channel in the background.
Seen from the start of the Snake Trail, a few
minutes from the wind turbine in direction of the Youth Hostel, close to the
Trig Point, highest point of N. Lamma.
But who carried that chair up there? A most
thoughtful gesture for any weary hiker in dire need of a little rest stop,
while enjoying the amazing view :-)
Size comparison: the mighty Power Station and
all of our smallish Yung Shue Wan.
Sorry, another Fruit of Weaver Maid shot, but
I just can't resist these beautifully bright, scarlet seed pods, opening all
over the island right now. I still don't know if they're actually edible.
Some birds and bugs seem to love them, though.
Zooming in on YSW from the Snake Trail --
Snake Trail to Youth Hostel
BBQ area on Hung Shing Yeh Beach -- Blooming
all over the hills
Open Space Studio in Tai Ling -- Woodland
Spider web -- Ledge along Family Trail
Teenage hikers exploring the pond below the
Youth Hostel -- Splashing fun
View from Family Trail, just above Hung Shing
Yeh beach, the All-Fun-Prohibited public beach, including "No Any Ball
Black-eared Kite and helicopter playing tag
above the Power Station for hours --
Learning Scuba diving fundamentals on Hung Shing Yeh beach
Hung Shing Yeh Beach -- a relaxed lifeguard
watching the hard-working beach cleaners in full gear in the scorching
'Warning...do not enter the water', the guard
looking on while father & son are entering the water - Not everybody on the
beach is there for fun
I liked this poster so much - design, colours, students featured as "fruits" on an artsy tree,
school grounds photos - that I'm giving it some prime exposure on this home page,
hopefully attracting a few more parents to attend this ceremony on Monday
Are you considering enrolling your own children in the
local primary school?
It'll be a great opportunity to check it it all out and talk to the
principal, teachers and students on their happy day, the 60th year of
graduating students. The students graduating from P6 will be leaving our
little, happy, rural primary school to continue their education mostly in
the big town's secondary schools, a real milestone in the life of so many
Most famous alumni of this school: Chow Yun-fat! See how well he's turned
out after graduating from this school, becoming a local TV and international
movie star, billionaire, philanthropist and widely popular! Here's a little
photo gallery of my pictures from last year's graduation ceremony:
Another fine sunset was just starting to get interesting, so I grabbed my
camera and tripod and used a ladder to climb atop the little room on my
rooftop. I set up the tripod while holding myself steady on the antennas up
there. It's a long way down to the pavement and there's no enclosure up
there. Shooting a long series of photos while admiring my panoramic,
360-degree sunset view of Yung Shue Wan, I was wondering if somebody was
taking pictures of me perched precariously on the highest point of my
building, my favourite sightseeing spot.
Animating a few of the shots into the slide show below, I hope you agree it
was worth the (small) risk:
Our classifieds have become THE place to sell stuff between Lammaites and to
find a flat to rent or buy, more successful than AsiaXpat or GeoExpat for
Lamma properties, according to private landlords I've talked to who've all
found good tenants - often in record time - via our classifieds. But our
all-free classifieds do not allow property agents to advertise their
client's flats on commission basis, who'd be happily encouraged to place
paid ads or advertorials on this home page.
Let's see how long it'll take this beautiful flat to find a buyer. It's just
been fully renovated by very well-known Senior Lammaite (30 years!) Chris
the Carpenter. This advertorial is a kind of freebie as
is also advertising their several mid-term rental flats at the very top of
Another occasional freelance job of mine, trying hard to complement the very
modest income from this website, is doing property photo shoots. Here's part
of a little photo shoot I did for a Lamma-based client on a Sunday morning.
Click below for the entire photo gallery of this amazing property, an
entire, separate 2-storey house, the very top end of what's currently
available on Lamma: