Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Oct. 6, 2015


Visitors facing charges for illegal fire at Grumantbyen
At least two people who lit a bonfire in the abandoned Russian mining settlement of Grumantbyen are facing charges for violating the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act, according to The Governor of Svalbard. The crew of the Langøysund alerted the governor’s office about the fire at about 6 p.m. Saturday. “We went out with two men in guard boat and they were instructed to extinguish the fire,” said Police Chief Lt. Vidar Arnesen, adding the suspects are not local residents. The environmental protection act prohibits fires within a protection zone of 100 meters around monuments. A bonfire at a cultural heritage site in  Colesbukta smoldered for weeks, forcing officials to visit the site multiple times to extinguish it.

Reindeer killed by woman after her dog attacks it  
A reindeer had to be killed Sunday morning after it was attacked and injured by a dog at Tenoren in Adventdalen, according to The Governor of Svalbard. “The dog broke away from the woman looking after it, ran after the reindeer and and bit it in the hindquarters,” said Police Chief Lt. Christian Svarstad. Woman reported the incident to the governor’s office and was told to kill the reindeer with the rifle she was carrying for polar bear protection. “The reindeer was so injured that she was told to kill it on the spot, which she did,” said Svarstad, adding officials will investigate the circumstances of the incident. “Based on the described damage there was nothing to wonder about. It was best to let the animal not suffer.”

Svalbardposten reports 296M kroner before-tax loss in 2014
Svalbardposten suffered a before-tax loss of  296,000 million in 2014 due primarily to  increased costs related to printing and distribution, plus lower advertising revenues. The loss is less severe than in 2013, when the deficit was 538,000 kroner. The newspaper receives a state subsidy in line with mainland newspapers of similar size, but does not get a subsidy for distribution as in Finnmark.