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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

100 protected trees illegally felled in San Sai forest

Don’t miss! Special events for the next two weeks

SKÅL celebrates at the Imperial Mae Ping

Waste to Value

Bangkok riots hit Chiang Mai tourism

Doggy rescue, rehabilitation and adoption

100 protected trees illegally felled in San Sai forest

Saksit Meesubkwang
Residents from Ban Huay Kaew village, San Sai, prevented the removal of a large number of 200 year-old trees which had been illegally cut down in a forest reserve and were being transported to sawmills in the area.

Pictured are logs from 200 year old illegally felled golden teak and mai krayang loei trees from the Ban Huey Kaew forest reserve in San Sai district.

The villagers had been told that a landscaping company had been registered, whose work would involve the removal of a number of trees. On noticing that trees were also being cut down at night, they became suspicious and decided to investigate. On arrival at the site, they found that over 100 mature trees outside the licensed area had been destroyed. Some had already been moved, the remainder were lying on the ground awaiting transportation. Men were attempting to load a lorry; the police were called and villagers surrounded the workers, preventing them from leaving the site.
On questioning, the driver of the lorry told police that he had been hired by a group of businessmen to transport the felled trees from the area. The lorry and all equipment were confiscated, and forestry official were called in to investigate.
The Chiang Mai deputy governor has met with all district chiefs and instructed them to monitor the situation, as illegal felling and logging is becoming a serious problem in local forest reserves. He stated that police have certain information regarding the culprits, and will continue their investigations. The villagers believe that certain officials are involved in the illegal operations.

 

Don’t miss! Special events for the next two weeks

In response to many pleas for more info on upcoming events which are a bit “special” or a bit “different”, this week seemed a good time to start this column. Or it would have been if there had been anything much going on…we’re expecting an expansion of events the nearer we get to the tourist season, so, please, watch this space. For now, see below:
September 9 This is a serious “don’t miss” for ladies - the latest Citylife Ladies Night, held this time at the UN Irish Pub. Always a great evening, with lots to laugh about, old and new friends to meet - perhaps it’s a good idea not to drive!
September 10 is the Chiang Mai Friends’ Group’s meeting with the chief of the Immigration Department and a group of his officials, to be held at the Shangri-La Hotel. Tickets are 450 baht each, and include the meeting hall with projection facilities, documentation of the event, coffee, tea and cake on arrival, and the Shangri-La’s excellent buffet lunch after the meeting. Different, certainly, and a continuation of both our Mayor and CM Friends’ ongoing efforts to integrate the Thai and expat communities. Written questions can be submitted in advance through Khun Boong, and tickets can be purchased at the door. The meeting runs from 10 a.m. to noon.
September 12 is JJ’s Talent Night - another round in the long running contest for musical acts. This month it’s foreign bands - the winners will go through to the finals held December 4, the runners-up will get a second chance at the semi-finals. Some great bands have won this contest, and gone on and up - it’s well worth a night out in an area which is fast becoming the place to be seen.
September 13 For readers new to Chiang Mai, the Raintree Resource Centre is holding one of its regular orientation seminars at its premises opposite Narawat Bridge. Long-term residents will be on hand to answer questions and share their knowledge and experience with newcomers; parking is easily available behind the building. The seminar will run from 2-4 pm, and is free. Any long-term residents who would like to share their experiences are more than welcome! For more info, contact Janet Greenleaf on 087-180-8040 or 053-816-661.
September 5-13 at the Darling Wine Pub there will be an exhibition of pastel art by Surasak Suveera, and, of course, the usual good food and very good wine. Well worth a visit.
September 19 at the AUA auditorium on Rachadamnoen Road in the old city is another serious “don’t miss” - a celebrity piano recital by an accomplished and very well-known UK pianist, Andrew Wilde, who is flying in specially to give this concert and two master classes. The concert will include works by Schumann, Chopin, and Beethoven - tickets are 200 baht and available at the door. To reserve a ticket, please call 084-868-1017.
September 20 If you’re ready for another night of classical delights, this is also for you - the second in the series of Bennett Lerner concerts focusing on the great French composer Gabriel Fauré’s Nocturnes and Barcarolles. Chiang Mai’s own Bennett Lerner will be joined by Dutch Tenor Jan-Ate Stobbe, who will perform Gustav Mahler’s “Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen, (Songs of a Wayfarer) and operatic arias by Verdi and Tchaikovsky. The concert begins at 7.30, and is being held at Payap’s Saisuree Chutikul Music Hall on Mae Kan campus. Tickets are 200 baht. For more info, call Khun Nok on 081-804-3920.
If we’ve missed anything crucial, or you know of anything you’d like us to mention, please let us know by email to [email protected] com. Enjoy!


SKÅL celebrates at the Imperial Mae Ping

Members and Guests of SKÅL pose for the camera at the Imperial Mae Ping.

Last month, SKÅL members met up at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel on Sridonchai Road to for their August 28 dinner. Over 40 members and guests enjoyed a delicious 5 course meal heavy on seafood and flavour, with which the hotel’s chefs demonstrated their skills to the delight of the lucky diners.
Prior to the meal, an announcement was made about the club’s September trip to the Anantara Golden Triangle Resort and Spa on September 27-28. The club’s third annual visit to the resort promises to be an exciting weekend. A special price, including breakfast, of 3,000 baht has kindly been agreed, with an optional upgrade to a suite for an extra 2,000 baht; a visit to the Hall of Opium, an introduction to mahout training and a “welcome” cocktail on arrival are also included. The regular monthly SKÅL dinner will be held at the resort at the price of 800 Baht for members, or 1,000 baht including wine. SGA Airlines has offered a special deal on flights – 1,500 baht one-way or 2,800 baht return. However, please note that there is no return flight on Sunday 28. For further information, please visit SKÅL’s website at www.skalchiangmai.com.


Waste to Value

Carole Beauclerk presents a kratong made
from sawdust to the Mayor, Dr. Duentemduang na Chiengmai.

Chiang Mai University’s Research Institute, under the direction of Dr. Duongchan Charoenmuang Ph.D., recently began a project entitled ‘Waste to Value’, focusing on recycling waste into saleable products. Some of the project’s products were on display and for sale last weekend at Robinsons, Airport Plaza. Subsequently, at the monthly “Meet the Mayor” event held on September 2, Carole Beauclerk presented a kratong made from sawdust to Dr. Duentemduang, saying that as the Loi Kratong festival, to be held from November 10-12, shows respect for and thanks to the river for its life-giving waters, a bio-disposable kratong is most appropriate.
To find our where to buy your own sawdust kratong, (the one pictured costs 75 baht) contact 081-288-0368.


Bangkok riots hit Chiang Mai tourism

An announcement last week by the chairman of the Thai Hotels Association, Kanok Suwanvisut, confirmed that 15% of hotel bookings and tour packages in the city had been cancelled as a result of the ongoing political unrest in the kingdom.
In his statement, Kanok said that the continued escalation of the protests could result in a rise in cancellations to around 30% should a solution to the crisis not be found by October, the start of the high season. Local tour operators and hoteliers are planning to set up a meeting with government representatives to discuss means to minimise the economic impact of the Bangkok stand-off.
Governments worldwide have been advising travellers to either exercise care or avoid Thailand at present, with several publishing “do not go” notices on their websites. Korean airlines have already cancelled one twice-weekly direct flight to Chiang Mai, in spite of appeals by Thai authorities. 200 tourists already in the city who were prevented from flying to Phuket due to the closure of the airport are now planning to cut their holidays short and return home via Bangkok. The number of visitors from Japan and Korea is expected to drop as a result of last week’s violence and the ongoing political situation. It has also been reported that a number of foreign residents are leaving Chiang Mai for their home countries.


Doggy rescue, rehabilitation and adoption

Ally Taylor/Elena Edwards
A dog’s life – here in Chiang Mai, that phrase often has a devastating meaning. Fortunately, enough people care enough to bring about change, at least for individual dogs.

I’ve just wrecked my new Mum’s mat - perhaps I’d better say sorry!

Often, this starts with a simple, concerned call to one of the charity dog shelters in the city. Care for Dogs received such a call late last year, from relatives of an old lady recently hospitalised in a coma, who had been caring for 14 former street dogs in her home. Sadly, neighbours had objected strongly to the noise, and, fearing for her beloved dogs’ lives, the old lady had been forced to confine them in large boxes, covered over to prevent barking. Her relatives, being dog-lovers themselves, begged Care for Dogs to re-home them; in spite of being at full capacity, the team agreed. The 14 dogs, having been confined 24/7 for so long, were petrified of the outside world, and on arrival at the shelter, had serious problems with socialising with the other dogs and with humans, although they were in good health and the females had been sterilised. Volunteers at the shelter spent much time just sitting with them, reassuring them and helping them to adjust to each other, to humans, and, finally, to mix with the other dogs. The news is good; the younger dogs are completely socialised, happy and wagging their tails in greeting in the shelter’s main area, the rest are at least able to mix in smaller enclosures.

Depressed and lonely in his prison.
The final stage is, hopefully, adoption by owners who will ensure that their new little friend will be cared for and cherished for always. Last Sunday, Care for Dogs held one of their regular Adoption Fairs, this time at the Carrefour shopping centre on the Superhighway. Both puppies and young dogs were shown, together with a great array of furry toys, dog needs, and books. When the CM Mail’s correspondent arrived, she was greeted by the sight of crowds of people and several very happy volunteers. At that point, late on Sunday afternoon, 12 dogs, and two kittens had found loving new homes! She was also greeted by Matt, an 8 month old male who had nearly died when his former owner had injected him with insecticide in an attempt to kill fleas and parasites, and – yes, you’ve guessed it – that made the total up to 15, and her personal doggy total up to 5! By the time the volunteers drove exhaustedly back to the shelter, they had re-homed a total of 16 pets, received donations and sold a quantity of merchandise, profits from which will be used for essential medical treatments and sterilisation. A wonderful day.