High price of failure: Government recommends additional 749M kroner in aid, loans for Store Norske over four years

High price of failure: Government recommends additional 749M kroner in aid, loans for Store Norske over four years

The price of keeping Store Norske barely alive keeps increasing, with the government now asking Parliament for 749 million kroner during the next four years to support operations at Mine 7 and More »

Random weirdness for the week of Feb. 2, 2016

Random weirdness for the week of Feb. 2, 2016

We have seen the future of coal mining in Svalbard and, to paraphrase a certain idiot dominating politics in the U.S., there’s just going to be so much winning we’re all going More »

Uncover story: Hundreds of locals taking an interest in avalanche safety presentations, training in wake of tragedy

Uncover story: Hundreds of locals taking an interest in avalanche safety presentations, training in wake of tragedy

There’s not likely to be any laughter or casual chatter if they’re doing it for real in the future, but hopefully the habits they learned on a calm day with calm conditions More »

Defining moments: Polarjazz not bringing in many namesake musicians, but locals will provide plenty of cool vibes

Defining moments: Polarjazz not bringing in many namesake musicians, but locals will provide plenty of cool vibes

Jazz (\jaz\) phrasal verb.: To make something more lively or cheerful. Who says this year’s Polarjazz festival doesn’t live up to its name? Well, the festival’s director – sort of.  Lasse Hansen More »

Wreckage removal begins: Demolition of 11 homes crushed by avalanche likely to take three weeks; area off-limits for months

Wreckage removal begins: Demolition of 11 homes crushed by avalanche likely to take three weeks; area off-limits for months

Demolition of the 11 homes destroyed by the Dec. 19 avalanche started Tuesday, but while removal of the homes is expected to take about three weeks the area will likely not be More »

 

High price of failure: Government recommends additional 749M kroner in aid, loans for Store Norske over four years

anotherbailout

The price of keeping Store Norske barely alive keeps increasing, with the government now asking Parliament for 749 million kroner during the next four years to support operations at Mine 7 and maintenance of two larger mines in the hope coal prices recover.

Random weirdness for the week of Feb. 2, 2016

nkoreasvalbard

We have seen the future of coal mining in Svalbard and, to paraphrase a certain idiot dominating politics in the U.S., there’s just going to be so much winning we’re all going to get tired of it. How can it be otherwise, now that North Korea has signed the Svalbard Treaty since, as their official news agency never ceases reminding us, they’re super productive and efficient in ways the evil warmongers in the West will never be.

Uncover story: Hundreds of locals taking an interest in avalanche safety presentations, training in wake of tragedy

avalanchetrain2web

There’s not likely to be any laughter or casual chatter if they’re doing it for real in the future, but hopefully the habits they learned on a calm day with calm conditions will stick with them if another worst-case scenario hits.

Defining moments: Polarjazz not bringing in many namesake musicians, but locals will provide plenty of cool vibes

polarjazzpreview

Jazz (\jaz\) phrasal verb.: To make something more lively or cheerful.

Who says this year’s Polarjazz festival doesn’t live up to its name?

Well, the festival’s director – sort of.  Lasse Hansen admits there aren’t any visiting bands likely to play “pure” jazz – and the headliners are rock and pop artists – but groups focusing on the namesake genre won’t be totally absent.

Wreckage removal begins: Demolition of 11 homes crushed by avalanche likely to take three weeks; area off-limits for months

demolishhome

Demolition of the 11 homes destroyed by the Dec. 19 avalanche started Tuesday, but while removal of the homes is expected to take about three weeks the area will likely not be fully cleared and accessible until summer.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 2, 2016

svalbardresearchcites

Norwegian researchers say Svalbard not cited enough
Norway is maintaining its position as the world’s fifth-largest polar nation and third largest in the Arctic, in terms of publishing volume, but is cited less than the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia and Denmark, according to The Research Council of Norway.

Spill drill: Large-scale oil spill cleanup exercise planned in Svalbard this fall as Arctic sees more ships, oil rigs

spilldrill

Lots of folks are eager to send ships and oil rigs toward Svalbard’s warming waters, but few are prepared to deal with what happens when mishaps result in fuel and oil spills in the still-harsh Arctic environment.

Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 26, 2016

ufoplaceinsvalbard

With all the other effects of climate change taking place, it’s understandable people may have missed noticing a burgeoning “northern paradise” in a giant subterranean cave between Svalbard and the North Pole.

Glowing tourism: Overnight visits increase 60 percent since 2009, including 11 percent in ’15, led by foreigners up most

purplesky

About 60,000 tourists spent a record 131,154 nights in Svalbard in 2015, a 60 percent increase since a recession-fueled slump in 2009, due in part to some being lured by extraordinary events.

But while many in the industry are celebrating an 11 percent increase in lodging and camping stays during the luck-filled past year, there is a formidable mountain to scale as a doubling of local tourism is sought during the next several years to help replace lost coal mining jobs.

Flats-out faith: City expects 15M insurance for five lost employee homes, buys replacements before settlement

newapartments

It may take most of the year to determine how many of Longyearbyen’s homes are too risky to live in, but city leaders are don’t see much point in waiting for the paperwork to clear before buying new ones for employees living in those destroyed by the avalanche.