Round the Island is a weekly roundup of news you can’t use from every nook, cranny, crook and granny on this beautiful rock.

PENGHU: Advanced botany

Penghu County is famous as a paradise for birds and a preserve for rare turtles. This month it also captured national headlines for its planting techniques. A few days after Arbor Day, Tree Party Chairman Sheng I-che (冼義哲) took to Facebook to ask why there were some 10 piles of dirt sitting on top of an asphalt parking lot outside a Penghu County Government building, each pile with a tree sapling stuck in it.

A county government official surnamed Tsai came forward eventually, telling Central News Agency that the law required a certain amount of “green space” on every construction project. Tsai conceded that the Penghu government had, in order to acquire a license for its new city bus and ferry management office, took the “expedient measure” of sticking trees on the parking lot. However, he said, the trees and dirt piles were cleared away after photographs were taken.

TAIPEI: Toddlers vs. democracy

Good news for those of you who are legislators and have small children. And have NT$15,000 a month to spend on child care. The Legislative Yuan is getting its own day care center to care for tots while their moms and dads are throwing temper tantrums on the floor of parliament. It will join the much-loved Legislative Yuan barbershop, dry cleaner and convenience store.

But the center looks set to do more than make life easier for folks working at the LY. The surrounding area has long been a favorite demonstration locale of the protesting class, and — even with the double-glazed airtight windows — some worry about the effect the marchers’ noisome noise may have on the little ones.

Center staff have contacted the local cop station to see about keeping raucous rallies off the Legislature’s doorstep. This isn’t sitting well with some, who balk at the notion of banning protests from one of the nation’s key seats of power. At this point, it’s unclear which camp will win. Only time will tell whether we’re about to see an end to a proud democratic tradition or the end of nap time.