‘What the bloody hell is happening?’ Workers start doing noisy foundation repairs at 11 p.m.; police shut them down immediately

‘What the bloody hell is happening?’ Workers start doing noisy foundation repairs at 11 p.m.; police shut them down immediately

The construction machinery sat quietly outside the Ingeniør G. Paulsen building all day, but at 11 p.m. Wednesday those living near the sports and tourism center got an Earth (and ear) shattering wake-up call.  More »

Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 16, 2018

Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 16, 2018

Mathematical fact*: If there’s a photography contest there’s a 99.9 percent chance a photo of Svalbard will be submitted and a 99.6 percent chance it will be among the winners. More »

Stuck on Sarkofagen: Two hikers rescued by helicopter after getting trapped on peak

Stuck on Sarkofagen: Two hikers rescued by helicopter after getting trapped on peak

Two hikers trapped at the top of Sarkofagen just to the south of Longyearbyen were rescued by helicopter Tuesday afternoon, according to The Governor of Svalbard. More »

Booted from boathouses: Six people living illegally in buildings at Sjøområdet evicted by fire and city officials

Booted from boathouses: Six people living illegally in buildings at Sjøområdet evicted by fire and city officials

Six people in four buildings were evicted this week from the spaces at Sjøområdet by city and fire officials who say residing in them is a fire hazard. More »

Local takeaway from new major ‘climate catastrophe’ report: Svalbard now warming up to three times as fast as elsewhere

Local takeaway from new major ‘climate catastrophe’ report: Svalbard now warming up to three times as fast as elsewhere

Today’s top story worldwide is a landmark U.N. report declaring global emissions need to be cut in half in 12 years to avoid catastrophic fires, food shortages, storms and other disasters. But More »

 

Spooky: Norway’s first modern-era arrest of alleged Russian spy could lead to increased presence in Svalbard, experts say

russianspy

The arrest of a Russian man in Oslo on suspicion of spying, the first such arrest by Norway in the modern era, could trigger a wave of hostile reactions by Russia including increasing its presence in Svalbard, according to experts.

Boozer banned: Drunk and disruptive man banned for a year from all Longyearbyen establishments serving alcohol

livkarlsberger

An intoxicated Norwegian man has been banned from all nighttime establishments in Longyearbyen that serve alcohol for a year due to confrontational behavior Sunday night at Karlsberger Pub that ended with police ordering him from the premises.

The man’s employer said Monday he has been fired and is scheduled to return to the mainland Wednesday.

Rapid relief: Longyearbyen off to another fast start in annual telethon; this year’s funds to benefit homeless, addicts, others struggling in Norway

auctionrace

The race to help people who are a step behind got off to its usual fast start in Longyearbyen, with 36,000 kroner raised during a relay race Saturday that set a new speed record and kicked off a month of local fundraising activities leading up to the annual NRK telethon.

WARGAME WEIRDNESS: U.S. bomber flies around Svalbard and Franz Josef Land; Russian bombers, possibly in response, simulate attack on Norway

militaryflight

A U.S. bomber jet flew a loop around Svalbard and Franz Josef Land last week as part of a series of NATO training exercises in the Norwegian Arctic, which was followed by two Russian bombers conducting a simulated attack along the Norwegian coast on Thursday, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency and the military news website AldriMer.

Security alert: Svalbardbutikken warns about e-mails, messages seeking personal data for fake contests, surveys

coopfraud

Customers at Svalbardbutikken and other members of the Coop supermarket chain are being targeted by a scheme involving e-mails and text messages claiming to be surveys or contest-winner announcements that request personal data.

“These fraud reports often ask you to give credit card and account information,” a message posted on Svalbardbutikken’s Facebook page notes.

“Coop will never request such information by e-mail or SMS. If you have received such a message, we ask you to delete the message and not to tap any of the links in the message.
If you have provided information after receiving a fraudulent notice and are experiencing withdrawal of funds from an account and/or getting credit/personal information, we recommend that you block your bank card and report the matter.”

Drastic diversity: Population of Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund hits record high of 2,310; most of the newcomers are foreigners

firstsnowchurch

A record 2,310 residents were living in Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund as of July 1, an increase of 96 since the beginning of the year, according to Statistics Norway. Foreigners accounted for 70 percent of the increase and now represent 32 percent of the population – and in some age groups they now outnumber Norwegians.

Moronic motorist: Man faces charges for driving truck near polar bears on sea ice near Pyramiden

bearwarning

A man in his 50s who in April drove a pickup truck onto the sea ice in Billefjorden where two polar bears were nearby is facing criminal charges, prosecutors said this week.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Nov. 18, 2018

russiansclean

Norway’s justice minister says the “government is working on a solution” for private homeowners in avalanche-prone areas, 72 applicants seek 39.1 million kroner  from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund and seven Russians help Store Norske workers clean up debris at the aging Mine 2B.

CATASTROPHIC COSTS: 250 homes in Longyearbyen to be demolished, 220M kr. for new housing and safeguards due to climate change

climatecosts

Forget the “alarmist” predictions about climate change impacts. During a year of actual catastrophes globally, here is Longyearbyen’s: 1) There are currently about 1,100 households in Longyearbyen. 2) about 250 residences are scheduled for demolition due to avalanche exposure, softening permafrost and other climate change factors.

Wasteful summer: Horror stories of massive trash on Svalbard’s beaches make being a garbageman the new cool thing

sealnet

Wondering what the odds are of finding the match for a well-sneaker on this beach (and since that’s basically nil, where its mate is). Where the surgical mask came from (it’s not nearly black enough, even after an ocean journey, to belong to a local coal miner). If the amber fluid in a 1.5-liter bottle is soda/juice or pee from someone’s night in a tent (perhaps mercifully the cap was too stuck to open, necessitating lugging the extra liquid weight).