Category Archives: Svalbard

Controversial French explorer convicted fined 40K for illegal boat voyage in Svalbard; he says he will appeal

boatdesk

A French explorer waging a war of accusations against Norway’s government since being detained in northeast Svalbard during a boat trip last fall was convicted Tuesday and ordered to pay 40,000 kroner for violating several environmental and access laws.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of March 21, 2017

newsnhomes

Store Norske hoping to build 21 new housing complexes
Store Norske is hoping to ease Longyearbyen’s sudden housing shortage by building new apartment buildings in Gruvedalen in an accelerated process beginning this spring, according to company officials.

Burning up: Local environmentalists tell Norway’s government not to bring Arctic oil to a firefight

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They were forced to give ground to Mother Nature’s Arctic persona before making their objections heard. Their hope is those targeted by the protests will make similar concessions – or be forced to do so through legal action.

About 20 people gathered around a “warning fire” on the beach at Sjøområdet on Saturday as part of nationwide protest against oil drilling in Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja. The protest occurred two days before Norway’s government proposed opening a record 93 blocks in the Barents Sea to drilling, including  ten in the so-called “Svalbard zone.”

Guess who’s in the house? Workers aren’t sure where they can live after latest avalanches redefines ‘community in transition’

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Eighteen months ago there were scary headlines about Longyearbyen losing 30 percent of its population and panicky questions about who would fill all those empty homes where laid off coal miners recently lived.

Now the panic is how to squeeze a non-declining population into a suddenly alarming shortage of housing being sold and rented at skyrocketing prices.

Doggonit, what’s that plane doing here? Air Force craft lingers in Longyearbyen after bringing dogs for police training

militaryplane

Yes, that’s a Royal Norwegian Air Force plane that’s been parked at Svalbard Airport since Sunday and, yes, the police are taking a serious interest in the matter – but not because it’s not violating the Svalbard Treaty, according to the governor’s office.

The plane is being used to transport dogs that are receiving police training to and from Svalbard, said Police Chief Lt. Trond Olsen. He said there’s nothing illegal or particularly unusual about the use of the plane.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Gruvelageret evacuated, Huset closed until at least Sunday due to potential avalanche danger

stormy

The evacuation of Gruvelageret and closing of Huset (except for presold groups at the restaurant Friday) until at least Sunday was ordered Friday afternoon by The Governor of Svalbard due to a storm that dumped several inches of snow and strong winds that are causing sizable drifts.

Random Weirdness for the week of March 7, 2017

realitybear

Maybe it’s because things are shaping up as a rerun of last year (devastating avalanche, dozens of people hastily forced to abandon their homes for good, Wiggo’s latest tourism scheme, etc.), but the BBC is bailing on a previously announced second season of “Svalbard; Life on the Edge.”

Breaking dawn: National NRK morning program goes from chilly to hot in Longyearbyen hours before sun returns

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3… 2… 1… ON AIR. It’s 6 a.m. at Svalbard Museum as the streaming of NRK’s “P3Morgen” starts Wednesday, energetically hosted by Ronny Aase, Silje Nordnes and Markus Neby.

At the beginning the cold audience surprises the hosts but, after asking if the locals if they are cold as the permafrost, the ice is broken.

Mass enlightenment: Sun listens to warm crowd instead of drab experts in shinning return to Longyearbyen

solback

Elliot Vale has been wearing sunglasses every day since he arrived in Longyearbyen two months ago, but on the one day they actually would have served their purpose he inadvertently left them in his dorm.

“It was a bit dumb,” the University Centre in Svalbard student admitted.

Not completely, since the “experts” were predicting heavy cloudy cover and possible snow flurries at 12:50 p.m. Wednesday, the so-called “unofficial” moment of the sun’s official returns – or maybe it’s the other way around.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of March 7, 2017

datavault

Alternative ‘doomsday vault’ to store data on film in Mine 3
Sometime in the future, when the amount of “fake news” has become so large and complex the truth is unclear, one may be able to enter a new type of “doomsday vault’ in Mine 3 and check the facts.”