Category Archives: Svalbard

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 5, 2018

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Dead fox found on roadside sent to mainland for rabies test
A polar fox that children found dead by the side of the road to Svalbard Airport during the Spitsbergen Marathon on Saturday has been sent to the mainland to determine if it has rabies, according The Governor of Svalbard.

90 degrees north: Longyearbyen nearing century mark of above-average monthly temps; May six degrees above norm

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Aside from the fact 90 is a nice round number, arguably it’s hardly news Longyearbyen has now had seven-and-a-half years of above-average temperatures.

Triumph of twos: Spitsbergen Marathon gets twin second-time winners; woman winner’s boyfriend tops half marathon

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Mari Kråkemo Finnerud felt like she was struggling compared to last year’s dominating victory, but once again she was only a few minutes behind the fastest man halfway through the race. By the end she was part of a winning couple with two different men.

Bear is back: Polar bear returns to Isfjord Radio hours after being scared off; officials consider new options

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A polar bear that ransacked a food storage room at Isfjord Radio on Sunday morning returned to the station during the evening, prompting officials to return to the area with a helicopter as they pondered options to remove the predator.

Isbjørn at Isfjord: Polar bear ransacks food storage room at Isfjord Radio before governor’s helicopter scares it off

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A polar bear broke into a food storage room at Isfjord Radio on Sunday morning and spent a couple of hours eating chocolates, shredding bags of food waste, crushing wine bottles and shattering windows before it was finally scared off by a rescue helicopter, according to officials and observers.

DOG DAZE: Longyearbyen’s only veterinarian may be forced to leave due to housing shortage, prompting howler of a debate

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A critical housing shortage that is forcing people to leave Longyearbyen despite having jobs is threatening the shutdown of the town’s only veterinarian by next month, triggering an intense debate about the necessity of local animal care and what role government should play in supporting it.

DOING THE WAVE: Locals and passengers up early to greet each other from far and near as first large cruise ship of year arrives

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Carsten Wuenscher, 41, knew nothing about Svalbard before arriving Wednesday morning, but clearly was eager to start learning as he was the first to disembark from the 2,100-passenger AIDAluna after it became the first large cruise ship to dock here this year. 

NEW CALLING: Svalbard Church Priest Leif Magne Helgesen departing after 12 years; leaving a storied legacy as community counselor, ambassador and controversial crusader

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Svalbard Church Priest Leif Magne Helgesen, who during the past 12 years has been one of Svalbard’s most prominent persons for his many roles ranging from lighthearted entertainer to controversial global political activist, is departing in October to become an ambulant seaman’s minister in Asia.

Random bits of weirdness for the week of May 22, 2018

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“Trapped underground in the Svalbard Seed Vault, Mavin Cedarstrom is rescued by a band of strange women dressed in furs.  The Peregrine scout Simone Kita was sent to recover seeds from the top of the world and bring them south to the floating gardens of Kashphera.”

SUMMER SHELTER: Evacuation order for homes in avalanche-prone area of Lia lifted – but will new snow barriers be finished before winter returns?

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An evacuation order for dozens of residences in a high-risk avalanche zone that’s been in effect since Dec. 22 has been lifted, but will likely be reinstated when significant snowfall returns to Longyearbyen unless snow barriers currently under construction are securely in place, The Governor of Svalbard announced Thursday.