Blown away: Biggest cruise ship ever in Longyearbyen makes huge waves for stores, tours – but strong winds nearly kept it from docking

Blown away: Biggest cruise ship ever in Longyearbyen makes huge waves for stores, tours – but strong winds nearly kept it from docking

As expected, the biggest cruise ship to ever dock in Longyearbyen meant a day of big crowds, big sales and big discussions. But another big – the wind – nearly made things very small. More »

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 12, 2018

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 12, 2018

New folk high school may mean 150 more Longyearbyen residents Students enrolling at a new folk high school scheduled to open in Longyearbyen in the fall of 2019 will be able to More »

Hunting ‘Unicorn’: Svalbarði hoping participants on reality TV investment show pull trigger on 800-kroner iceberg water

Hunting ‘Unicorn’: Svalbarði hoping participants on reality TV investment show pull trigger on 800-kroner iceberg water

In the first-ever episode of “The Apprentice” a guy tried to win a lemonade stand challenge by charging $1,000 a glass in the hope of making a single sale (he failed and was fired soon afterward). More »

Friday night frights: Polar bear heading toward Longyearbyen chased away by helicopter; attempted return forces locals to abandon beach bonfire; alert still in effect

Friday night frights: Polar bear heading toward Longyearbyen chased away by helicopter; attempted return forces locals to abandon beach bonfire; alert still in effect

A polar bear approaching Longyearbyen from Adventdalen was scared away from town Friday night with a rescue helicopter, but an attempt by the bear to swim back toward town resulted in police ordering More »

Biggest fish tale ever: This week’s Icepeople is a record 28 pages and very personal; incredible people and incredible happenings capture everything awesome about Svalbard

Biggest fish tale ever: This week’s Icepeople is a record 28 pages and very personal; incredible people and incredible happenings capture everything awesome about Svalbard

It’s a bit late, but that’s because we just kept adding pages while muttering “I can’t believe this is happening.” What started as an ordinary 12-page fishwrapper is a record-size 28 pages More »

 

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.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 22, 2018

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Polar bear spotted near Longyearbyen wanders off, but officials keeping watch
A polar bear spotted near Longyearbyen late Tuesday night wandered away from town a few hours later, but officials are continuing to monitor the area in case the animal returns, police said Wednesday.

Cultural champions: Musician/teacher Liv Mari Schei and longtime student Amalie Henriksen share latest of many harmonic moments w/ Longyearbyen’s top citizen awards

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They’ve spent years together bringing their musical mastery to the community, first as teacher/student and now with the student also being a teacher. Both were shocked at winning Longyearbyen’s top citizen/youth awards within minutes of each other. And locals might do well to enjoy the talents of both during the next year since they may depart after that time.

Sound safety: Helicopter begins placing supports for avalanche barriers on mountainside above at-risk homes in Lia

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To a casual observer the helicopter activity a short distance above the rows of quaint homes might have seemed like a noisy neighborhood nuisance, but the loads it was lifting came from the exact spot where a massive avalanche swept away 11 of those homes and killed two people – and the goal is to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.

Hopen to get lucky: Polar bear couple ‘delight’ voyeuristic meteorological station staff as well as each other

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“This was not ordinary bunny rabbit sex. Here they kept going for a good hour, to the delight of the Hopen residents’ Peeping Tom mentality.”

Not much more needs to be said. But of course we will because, well, sex.