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Of People, Places & Things: Hong Kong, a city under siege


Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I was driving home from work a few days ago when I heard a friend of mine being interviewed on the radio about the impact severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was having on Hong Kong.ďThere have been more than 22,000 cancelations,Ē Frank Martin told National Public Radio, referring to the impact SARS was having on Hong Kongís tourist industry. Frank is the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. I first met Frank in 1991 when I was part of a trade delegation he helped lead to Vietnam. An ex-Marine, Frank is not one to panic, but you could get the sense from what he was talking about that Hong Kong is a city under siege. Just coming out of the Asian recession, the economy of Hong Kong was finally gaining some strength when SARS hit. Since then, airlines have been reducing flights, embassies have been sending non-essential staff home, and people have been changing the way they live.Hong Kong is still the gateway to China and to southeast Asia. The re-import and re-export of goods from China through Hong Kong makes it one of the leading ports in the world. It also serves as a banking, communication and service hub for much of the Orient. Consequently, the flow of people in and out of the former British Territory is enormous.Hong Kong, now a Special Administrative Region of China, is the third densest place on earth with more than six million people living on the southern tip of China. People live close together, travel close together and work close together. It is not unusual to have 40,000 people living in one apartment complex. The public transportation system in Hong Kong is second to none, but they are crowded as millions of people travel the subway, light rail trains, sea-going ferries, and buses daily.To stop the potential spread of SARS, the Hong Kong government went so far as to quarantine a housing estate called the Amoy Gardens, which ended up having 268 confirmed cases of SARS. The disease first turned up in Hong Kong and in Guangdong Province in China, just to the north, and has since spread to other countries.As of April 8, Hong Kong had identified 928 people infected with SARS, of which 25 people had died. World-wide, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 2671 cases and 103 deaths in 19 countries.The cause of the SAR virus still has not been identified, but it is believed that the .....
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Journal Writing Project: Kyle Anderson

Sat, Apr 5th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

March has always been an exciting time of the year. Old Man Winter seems to lose his touch. New breeds of athletics mark the calendars in high schools. Baseball, Track and Field, and Golf teams gear up for the months to come. People pack away their w ..... 
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Township Roads: Spring Fever

Sat, Apr 5th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

By Wayne Pike

Another beautiful day. It is just barely spring, but todayís weather was a complete relief from winter and an introduction to what we might hope is seven straight months of comfortable weather. Although we have had ..... 
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At Home in the Woods: Rueben's house

Fri, Mar 28th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

The iron gate wasn't there when we moved to the Big Woods in 1978. The present owners installed it years ago, although it seems like only yesterday that I walked up the gateless driveway past the metal mailbox stand (still standing, but in disrepair) ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Matt Ruen

Fri, Mar 28th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Iíve been in speech since seventh grade, and I enjoy it tremendously. I have the fortune to have advanced to state last year, and Iíve competed at the Section competition in three separate years. This year is my last. For this article Iíve sketched o ..... 
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