Category Archives: Svalbard

Fill of Filipinos: Rapidly growing community of residents from Philippines host first evening to celebrate food, culture

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Louie Sangalang, 40, arrived in Longyearbyen from the Philippines on Aug. 4 intending to travel much further north a few days later to run the North Pole Marathon, only to get a huge and expensive setback when the race was delayed at least a week, leaving him stuck in town. But during his first day here he visited the local supermarket where he was certain one of the women working there was from his homeland.

‘Gotten scary’: Profits from tourism’s huge rise comes w/ huge pains in housing shortages, work conditions and disruptions

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Complaints of disruptive behavior by tour companies and individual tourists at all hours and during all months. Workers being forced to leave because the proliferation of AirBnb rentals means they can’t find housing. Guides considering unionizing due to what they call abusive take-it-or-leave it contracts.

The rapid rise of mass tourism is a problem being felt across Europe and beyond, with the deluge of visitors appreciative of an area’s beauty stirring up a rapid and ugly rise of hostile feelings among people living there. But as with many things, the situation in Longyearbyen is occurring in unique and extreme ways due to a staggeringly rapid change that has seen several hundred coal mining jobs replaced by tourism workers during the past few years.

10 years of mush: Lots of howling as landmark Trappers Trail race is the largest ever

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It’s come a long way from the small cluster of amateur dog lovers doing something of an anything-goes race ten years ago, but one thing remains consistent: the world’s northernmost dogsledding race attracts an amazing eclectic mix of participants far more into the revelry than the rivalry.

HIGH ANXIETY: Highest hopes collide with cold reality as North Pole base camp facing at least a week of delays due to logistics problems

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It’s shaping up as another season of amazing dreams and stories for those hoping to reach the North Pole – and another potentially disastrous shattering of many of them since the opening of the base camp for expeditions has been delayed at least a week.

88 MPH!!! (Months of Peculiar Heat, that is); streak of above-average temps continue with March madness

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Only one place in Norway had above-average temperatures in March. The same place where they’ve been above normal for more than seven years.

The average temperature at Svalbard Airport in March was minus 12.7 degrees Celsius, three degrees warmer than normal. The relative heat is also being blamed for causing a frigid month on the mainland.

Wara is the boss: Tor Mikkel Wara, out of politics for 25 years, is Norway’s third justice minister in three weeks

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Svalbard has its third boss in as many weeks and, unlike his vehemently anti-immigration predecessors, so far the most controversial thing is the fact he’s not in Norway’s national population registry.

Random weirdness for the week of April 3, 2017

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Egad, how shameful is it our Local Paper of Record resorted to clickhits by playing up this YouTube video that’s as natural to Svalbard’s best-known wildlife as it is to its humans living the wild life? Um, well it’d be the rest of Norway’s media, including our supposedly non-conforming deviant selves, following in their, um, tracks.

Weekend walkout? Dozens of workers at Mine 7, Svea may join nationwide strike starting Sunday

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Fifty-three Store Norske employees working at Mine 7 and Svea may go on strike starting Sunday as part of a nationwide labor walkout involving at least 35,000 workers, a local mining manager told Svalbardposten on Wednesday.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of April 3, 2018

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Controversial apartment complex with reduced parking approved by council
The construction of a controversial 60-apartment subdivision with a less-than-standard number of parking spaces was approved by the Longyearbyen Community Council, but with harsh criticism from some members who accused some city officials and the builder of trying to force the project through without proper debate.

‘Fight against evil’: Svalbard Church priest’s Easter serman denounces anti-immigrant minister, Israeli attacks in Gaza

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Never one to shy from controversy, Svalbard Church Priest Leif Magne Helgesen used his Easter Mass to denounce deadly Israeli attacks against Palestinian protesters and a Norwegian minister stirring up fears of foreigners and the mass murders by Anders Behring Breivik in a narrative about fear and the need to not submit to hopelessness against fighting it.