TREATY TANTRUM: Russia uses 100-year anniversary of Svalbard Treaty to revive long-running list of accusations of discrimination by Norway in economic, other access

TREATY TANTRUM: Russia uses 100-year anniversary of Svalbard Treaty to revive long-running list of accusations of discrimination by Norway in economic, other access

Russia is tossing a stink bomb into this weekend’s planned celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the Svalbard Treaty by demanding a meeting with Norway’s leaders regarding a multitude of long-running accusations More »

ON ALERT – NOT ALARMED – FOR CORONAVIRUS: Svalbard officials following advice, but no special measures yet as some on northern mainland fear potential impacts

ON ALERT – NOT ALARMED – FOR CORONAVIRUS: Svalbard officials following advice, but no special measures yet as some on northern mainland fear potential impacts

“Thousands of Chinese tourists are currently in cities like Tromsø, Alta and Kirkenes,” and a case of the dreaded coronavirus case in northern Finland resulted in big headlines. But for now officials More »

AHOY! FREE NINE-DAY CRUISE-OF-THE-CENTURY NOW DEPARTING: NRK’s ‘Minute-By-Minute’ features non-stop TV/online virtual voyage around archipelago starting Friday

AHOY! FREE NINE-DAY CRUISE-OF-THE-CENTURY NOW DEPARTING: NRK’s ‘Minute-By-Minute’ features non-stop TV/online virtual voyage around archipelago starting Friday

It offers all of the scenery and none of the risk of being eaten by polar bears. Of course, it also offers none of the fresh air and thrill of actually being More »

POLAR BEAR DRUGGED, BUT DIES ON FLIGHT NORTH: Officials stun bear near Longyearbyen, investigating why it died on helicopter to northeast Svalbard

POLAR BEAR DRUGGED, BUT DIES ON FLIGHT NORTH: Officials stun bear near Longyearbyen, investigating why it died on helicopter to northeast Svalbard

A polar bear spotted near Longyearbyen on Thursday evening was tranquillized after being chased away from town with the intent of flying it by helicopter to northeast Svalbard, but the animal died More »

ALERT -– POLAR BEAR AT HOTELLNESSET: Governor sends helicopter to chase bear away from area near horse farm, warns people to stay away

ALERT -– POLAR BEAR AT HOTELLNESSET: Governor sends helicopter to chase bear away from area near horse farm, warns people to stay away

A polar bear seen near the horse farm at Hotellnesset on Thursday evening prompted The Governor of Svalbard to send a helicopter and other personnel to the area to chase it away and More »

 

TREATY TANTRUM: Russia uses 100-year anniversary of Svalbard Treaty to revive long-running list of accusations of discrimination by Norway in economic, other access

russiaprotest

Russia is tossing a stink bomb into this weekend’s planned celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the Svalbard Treaty by demanding a meeting with Norway’s leaders regarding a multitude of long-running accusations of discrimination against Russia – including economic and scientific activity, fishing right, and deportation of citizens – in violation of the treaty’s equal-access provisions.

ON ALERT – NOT ALARMED – FOR CORONAVIRUS: Svalbard officials following advice, but no special measures yet as some on northern mainland fear potential impacts

virus

“Thousands of Chinese tourists are currently in cities like Tromsø, Alta and Kirkenes,” and a case of the dreaded coronavirus case in northern Finland resulted in big headlines. But for now officials at Longyearbyen Hospital are following the recommendations of Norwegian health authorities in monitoring what’s been declared a global health emergency without taking any specific measures, although they can do so quickly if necessary.

AHOY! FREE NINE-DAY CRUISE-OF-THE-CENTURY NOW DEPARTING: NRK’s ‘Minute-By-Minute’ features non-stop TV/online virtual voyage around archipelago starting Friday

tvferry4

It offers all of the scenery and none of the risk of being eaten by polar bears. Of course, it also offers none of the fresh air and thrill of actually being on a nine-day cruise ship trip around Svalbard … but it’s free and visitors can embark, disembark and even repeat favorite parts of the voyage as often as they like.

POLAR BEAR DRUGGED, BUT DIES ON FLIGHT NORTH: Officials stun bear near Longyearbyen, investigating why it died on helicopter to northeast Svalbard

bear2dies

A polar bear spotted near Longyearbyen on Thursday evening was tranquillized after being chased away from town with the intent of flying it by helicopter to northeast Svalbard, but the animal died during the trip for reasons now under investigation, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

“We don’t know why it died,” said Morten Wedege, the governor’s chief environmental advisor, in a prepared statement. “The bear will now be autopsied to find the cause.”

ALERT -– POLAR BEAR AT HOTELLNESSET: Governor sends helicopter to chase bear away from area near horse farm, warns people to stay away

bear013019

A polar bear seen near the horse farm at Hotellnesset on Thursday evening prompted The Governor of Svalbard to send a helicopter and other personnel to the area to chase it away and warn people to avoid the area.

‘EXTREME’ JAZZ FEST HITS NEW HIGHS, LOWS: Polarjazz, a day shorter due to financial woes, offering first-ever discount student passes and ultra-premium Ny-Ålesund trip/concert

45288620_1092072950942532_4398707317592293376_o

There’s a lot to be said for experiencing a jazz gig simply in a small club verses the same musicians in a no-expenses-barred stage show in a major venue. While this year’s Polarjazz festival – shortened by a day and several concerts in order to survive after recent struggles – isn’t quite that scaled back, its longtime director is feeling a lot smoother about the vibe while making final preparations.

A TRILLION-KRONER MOTHER LODE? Massive deposit of gold, silver, zinc and other minerals found in seabed near Svalbard

trillionminerals

Another potential golden age of mining for Svalbard – literally – may be on the horizon as researchers have unveiled a massive deposit of precious minerals in the seabed near the archipelago that may be worth about one trillion kroner. But while a government proposal in 2018 would allow exploration and extraction of those minerals, there are numerous issues to resolve before companies and countries can hope to strike it rich.

FRESHLY FRUENE: Cafe reopens with more ‘airy’ feel, additional seating and upgraded kitchen with after month-long renovation

newfruene

Trygve Harald Amundsen, 73, reentered the cafe where he has drank coffee with a group of friends every morning for the past ten years and, after a look around the once-familiar space that has literally been turned sideways after a month-long renovation, picked out after a momentary glance a long table near the new counter where they’ll gather from now on.

“It’s nice,” he said while paying for his coffee while nodding an inquisitive colleague toward their new table. “We have our special space back.”

ROUGH JUSTICE: Monica Mæland presided over the shutdown of most of Svalbard’s mining; she’s now the archipelago’s new ‘ruler’ after the collapse of Norway’s government last week

protestmtg

Since her most notable Svalbard moment is a horde of emotionally-charged torch-wielding citizens cornering her in a dark parking lot, Monica Mæland is at the very least well-qualified to cope with tumultuous times after being named “ruler” of the archipelago in the wake of the collapse of Norway’s government last week.

‘YOUR PLANE TRAVEL DESTROYS POLAR BEAR HABITAT’: Flying to/from Svalbard melts about 3 sq. m. of ice, study suggests

polarbearcensusresults

Folks who criticize as hypocritical all those scientists and tourists flying to Svalbard to see the pristine environment and effects of climate change have a new scientific number of their own to cite – each round-trip flight emits enough CO2 to melt about three square meters of the sea ice that is vital for polar bears and other Arctic wildlife.