Trash at the New Asia Hotel
To the Editor;
I am glad that you have been writing about the air
pollution problems in Chiang Mai because I also believe the air is very
polluted and unhealthy. I have called the city’s 24-hour air pollution
call center 3 times. During the first 2 calls, I reported the burning of
trash at the New Asia Hotel on a soi off Rajchawong Street (address 55
Rajchawong) in the center of Chiang Mai. The New Asia Hotel burns wood ALL
DAY in its furnace supposedly to heat water for the hotel. Once or twice a
day they burn garbage; huge black plumes of noxious, acrid smoke can be
seen. The smell of burning plastic and other things spreads over a wide area
of the center of the city (Rajchawong, Chang Moi and Sithawong streets). One
of the managers at the New Asia Hotel said that they only burned wood. But
this is a strange kind of wood that gives off black noxious smoke that
smells like burning plastic.
believe that several others have called about this black smoke. We have
contacted both the hotel and the city municipal offices. But the burning
continues. The garbage is burned daily around 5.30 – 6 a.m. when it is
still dark. But one cannot mistake the noxious odor. Occasionally they do a
second burning in the late afternoon (4-6 p.m.). The attached photo was
taken about 5.30 p.m. one afternoon and has been sent to the city offices.
This industrial pollution in the city center is unhealthy
and a major source of air pollution as it is continuous, poisonous and
voluminous. The New Asia Hotel dumps into the air large quantities of carbon
dioxide, particulates and poisonous gases from the burning of wood and
trash. If the city is serious about lowering pollutions levels in the city,
it can start by closing this furnace and making sure that the New Asia Hotel
uses the city garbage collection service to remove its trash. The city
should ‘persuade’ the New Asia Hotel to install a non-wood burning,
non-polluting system to heat the hotel water.
No religious blackmail in Chiang Mai
In response to Grant Waldman’s comments concerning the
devious Christians at Payap, I have several observations to make.
I did my B.A. at a Baptist university in the U.S. Every
student, regardless of race, religion or politics, was required to attend
chapel twice a week and had to take Old Testament and New Testament studies!
Actually, I think you would find that a typical practice at most Christian
affiliated universities. I did my doctoral studies at an American Catholic
university, and was barraged by professors and staff wearing clerical garb
and using Jesuit curriculum. But I knew that before I signed up, as every
student attending Payap knows about chapel attendance before beginning their
I have been a faculty member and an administrator of
several “Christian” institutions, as well as secular institutions,
including Payap. There is no “religious blackmail” going on at Payap.
In addition, when you look at Payap’s Institute for the
Study for Religious and Cultural Studies and the interfaith dialogues and
conferences its director, John Butt, provides the university and the whole
Chiang Mai community, the last word one would think of is “devious.”
Could you possibly help find any news on a missing friend
in Chiang Mai? I have heard he died there sometime between March 18th and
March 25. His Name is Gordon Lee Brandt and it may have been reported in a
A concerned friend,
(Editor’s note) If you know anything about the
whereabouts of Gordon Lee Brandt, please send an email, fax or letter to
[email protected] and we will forward it to Rick Gray.