POLAR BEAR PEEPER PUNISHED: Man fined 15K for driving onto sea ice to get close look at animals this spring

POLAR BEAR PEEPER PUNISHED: Man fined 15K for driving onto sea ice to get close look at animals this spring

A man has been fined 15,000 kroner for driving onto the sea ice within about 70 meters of polar bears he observed this spring, violating a law prohibiting the disturbance of wildlife, according More »

SHIPWRECK REMAINS FOR ANOTHER WINTER: Efforts to remove Northguider trawler delayed until next summer due to adverse conditions, worse-than-expected damage

SHIPWRECK REMAINS FOR ANOTHER WINTER: Efforts to remove Northguider trawler delayed until next summer due to adverse conditions, worse-than-expected damage

A trawler stranded in north Svalbard since last December will be forced to spend another winter there because attempts to remove it this summer and fall have been unsuccessful due to adverse More »

Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 15, 2019

Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 15, 2019

Which of these is fake news: 1) A luxury “igloo” hotel at the North Pole for $105,000 a night, 2) a luxury “blimp” hotel at the North Pole for $80,000 a night More »

LABOR OUTMANEUVERS LIBERALS: Incumbents keep council majority by luring Conservative and Progressive parties

LABOR OUTMANEUVERS LIBERALS: Incumbents keep council majority by luring Conservative and Progressive parties

The Labor Party is set to extend its 16-year leadership of the Longyearbyen Community Council for another four years by forming a majority with the Conservative and Progress parties, who say they didn’t More »

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Oct. 8, 2019

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Oct. 8, 2019

Court: ‘Hidden defects’ mean owners of condemned Gamle Sykehuset flat can get refund The owners of an apartment at Gamle Sykehuset, which city officials condemned in 2016 due to massive damage caused by More »

 

POLAR BEAR PEEPER PUNISHED: Man fined 15K for driving onto sea ice to get close look at animals this spring

bearwarning

A man has been fined 15,000 kroner for driving onto the sea ice within about 70 meters of polar bears he observed this spring, violating a law prohibiting the disturbance of wildlife, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

SHIPWRECK REMAINS FOR ANOTHER WINTER: Efforts to remove Northguider trawler delayed until next summer due to adverse conditions, worse-than-expected damage

northguideranotherwinter

A trawler stranded in north Svalbard since last December will be forced to spend another winter there because attempts to remove it this summer and fall have been unsuccessful due to adverse conditions and the vessel suffering more damage than realized, the Norwegian Coastal Administration announced this week.

Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 15, 2019

blimp1

Which of these is fake news: 1) A luxury “igloo” hotel at the North Pole for $105,000 a night, 2) a luxury “blimp” hotel at the North Pole for $80,000 a night or 3) a luxury portable hotel on a Svalbard glacier for a considerably lower price yet to be determined? Bang the box below to find the answer and many more misadventures from yet another wacky week.

LABOR OUTMANEUVERS LIBERALS: Incumbents keep council majority by luring Conservative and Progressive parties

newmajority

The Labor Party is set to extend its 16-year leadership of the Longyearbyen Community Council for another four years by forming a majority with the Conservative and Progress parties, who say they didn’t form a coalition with the strong-finishing Liberal Party because its offer focused on appointments to positions but not policy concessions.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Oct. 8, 2019

gamlefront

Court: ‘Hidden defects’ mean owners of condemned Gamle Sykehuset flat can get refund

The owners of an apartment at Gamle Sykehuset, which city officials condemned in 2016 due to massive damage caused by thawing permafrost, are entitled to cancel their purchase and receive a refund of the 1.5 million kroner purchase price due to “substantial hidden defects,” according to an appeals court ruling.

WHEN BALLOTS GO BONKERS: How did Liberals narrow the vote gap with Labor, yet lose a council seat? Say hello to the Webster/Sainte-Laguë method

formula

The simple version is Labor Party supporters were more inclined to be straight-ticket voters, while those inclined toward the Liberal Party spread more of their votes among other parties.

That’s how the Labor and Liberal parties went from five seats each on the Longyearbyen Community Council, when there was a nine-vote difference immediately after the election, to Liberals losing a seat a day later in the official count, even though they narrowed the vote margin to a mere five ballots.

Beyond that, trying to explain the formula used to allocate seats or ponder “what-if” scenarios if a person (or three) had voted differently is easy to explain only (and then only maybe) if you’ve got a PhD in mathematics (and then only maybe). Or if you actually are familiar with something called the Webster/Sainte-Laguë method.

MASSIVE ‘DOOMSDAY’ IMPACT: Svalbard seed vault named 10th most-influential project of past 50 years, topping Google, Harry Potter, Disney World and the International Space Station

seeddeposit

The decade-old “Doomsday Vault,” despite its infamous leakage due to major design flaws and “use only in case of Armageddon” intent, has had more global impact than far better-known breakthroughs such as Google, Star Wars, the iPod, Paris Fashion Week, Boeing 747 and the International Space Station, according to a group ranking the 50 most influential projects of the past 50 years.

ELECTION 2019: Labor get big boost from a few final votes, gaining one council seat advantage over Liberals in official tally

final2019

A few uncounted votes significantly and strangely shook up the Longyearbyen Community Council on Tuesday evening, as the Labor Party’s lead over the Liberal Party shrank to five votes (from nine in the preliminary count), yet the 350-345 tally was enough to give Labor a one-seat advantage on the 15-member council with five members compared to four for Liberals.

Both parties got five seats in the preliminary count announced Monday, but the seat Liberals lost a day later was given to the Conservative Party which finished with 190 votes and three council seats. The Progress Party with 130 votes retained its two seats and the Green Party with 97 votes retained one.

The question now is how much, if at all, the official count affects negotiations to form a majority coalition on the council. 

ELECTION 2019: Labor barely wins most votes (for now), but Liberals poised to take over leadership of local council

Labor barely won the most votes as of now, but Liberals are the ones who may be claiming victory for the next four years.

Who will lead Longyearbyen during the next four years remains very much in doubt following the local council election, as a preliminary vote count Monday night shows Labor edging Liberals 342 to 333. Both parties will get five of the 15 council seats with those totals and, while Labor has presided over the majority for the past 16 years, Liberals may have the advantage in forming a majority coalition during discussions in the coming days with the three other parties on the ballot.

ELECTION LIVEBLOG: Results, reactions and rants about the 2019 Longyearbyen Community Council vote from Stationen

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(BREAKING – “FINAL” MONDAY RESULTS: Labor (342 votes) and Liberal (333) parties finish in virtual tie, win five seats each; Conservative (184) and Progressive (126) parties each win two seats, Green Party (98) wins one seat. Makeup of next majority is murky. Official results to be released Tuesday. See details after jump)

Welcome to Stationen, where candidates and politicos are gathered for the results of the 2019 Longyearbyen Community Council vote. This liveblog began when the polls closed at 8 p.m. and will post happenings as they happen, so to speak, in reverse chronological order (in other words, those just wanting to skim the top of this for the latest numbers can do so without wading through the mad wordiage further down).

Emphasis: Tonight’s tally is likely to be preliminary, with full official results released tomorrow. But barring tight margins and unexpected alliances (both of which happened last time), tonight’s results should indicate who the leaders of Longyearbyen will be for the next four years.

Bang the box below for all of this evening’s updates…