A million little pieces: Svalbard again by far biggest per-person donor with 1.1M kr. raised for annual TV auction charity event

A million little pieces: Svalbard again by far biggest per-person donor with 1.1M kr. raised for annual TV auction charity event

It’s as reliable as the sun coming up in the morning (actually far more so since the polar night starts Friday): Every year Svalbard residents donate by far the most per-person to More »

‘Total collapse’: Russia steamrolls over Svalbard in training exercise, website claims; Norway denied it happened

‘Total collapse’: Russia steamrolls over Svalbard in training exercise, website claims; Norway denied it happened

A report Russia staged a full-scale invasion of Svalbard during military training exercises caused Norway’s media to blow up Wednesday, so to speak, with reports of NATO participating in “crisis meetings after Norway’s More »

Asian taken out: Sushi KITA, Taste of Thai being forced to close to make room for mall remodel, new restaurant

Asian taken out: Sushi KITA, Taste of Thai being forced to close to make room for mall remodel, new restaurant

The irony was delicious – and not. A sushi making class at a first-ever Longyearbyen food festival to celebrate the town’s growing culinary culture this month was one of the final moments for More »

Lock ’em up, take away the key: Governor tells motorists to stop leaving keys in vehicles after recent thefts

Lock ’em up, take away the key: Governor tells motorists to stop leaving keys in vehicles after recent thefts

For decades it’s been a tradition for Longyearbyen residents to leave their keys in vehicles because there was virtually no change they’d be stolen. The Governor of Svalbard says those days are More »

In the month of madness: Catching up on the many ways Svalbard was weird during our ‘mysterious absence’

In the month of madness: Catching up on the many ways Svalbard was weird during our ‘mysterious absence’

Editor’s note: Ever since we learned the world is ending this weekend we simply decided there was no point in publishing anymore – although, yeah, it’d be a hell of a final More »

 

Svalbard declared one of Russia’s top war threats due to Norway’s goal of ‘absolute national jurisdiction’

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Norway’s attitude about Svalbard is among the top four geopolitical challenges – on par with NATO and the Baltic States – that puts Russia at risk of war, according to a Russian Defense Ministry report about national security threats.

A minefield of uncertainty: Store Norske Administrative Director Wenche Ravlo resigns just before government announces future intentions for coal company

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In nine days Store Norske will learn if Norway’s government wants to resume or end large-scale coal mining in Svalbard. But now local workers must cope with another huge uncertainty – who will be in charge of which transition the company takes in the future.

Administrative Director Wenche Ravlo announced publicly Tuesday she is resigning as of March 1 next year. The resignation officially presented to the company late last week comes just before the government releases its proposed budget for next year, which is expected to include a recommendation on whether to resume operations at the Svea and Lunckefjell.

Fire forces 12 to move out of apartments early Monday morning; second early-morning incident in two days

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A fire in an apartment building on Vei 232 shortly before 4 a.m. Monday forced 12 residents to evacuate the building for about 12 hours while officials investigated the incident. The cause remains undetermined and the National Criminal Investigation Service is scheduled to investigate the matter Tuesday.

“All residents were told that the building is evacuated and no one has been injured,” Police Chief Lt. Vidar Arnesen told Svalbardposten shortly after the fire was extinguished. “There were flames in a storage room in the building, but the fire was quickly extinguished by the fire department.”

Fright night frights: Persistent polar bear family makes another visit near Longyearbyen, governor issues travel warning

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A mother polar bear and two cubs who have visited the vicinity of Longyearbyen repeatedly during the past month was sighted in Hiorthhamn moving toward Adventdalen late Friday afternoon, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

“The governor encourages everyone to exercise caution when entering the terrain and to take precautionary measures with regard to polar bears,” a prepared statement notes.

Random weirdness for the week of Sept. 26, 2017

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Hmmm…this week we’ve got the military strutting its stuff in our non-militarized haven, the mayor worrying tourism will soon be as unpopular as mining (at a time when many local pols are rooting for boom times in both industries) and outrage in Hong Kong about the exorbitant prices of our local “super premium” Svalbarði bottled glacier water. So which to lead off with? Well, since a real newspaper would go with the item most likely to significantly affect the most people reading this (and in this case the plural reference may be overly optimistic), we’re obviously starting with the water weirdness…

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Sept. 26, 2017

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Final fate of Svea and Lunckefjell mines may be determined Oct. 12
The few employees left at Svea will learn if the government supports resuming operations at the coal mine, as well as the one nearby at Lunckefjell, when the proposed national budget for 2018 is submitted Oct. 12.

A cool childhood: Popsicles on a freezing boat perfectly normal, fresh milk and mangled mushrooms are bizarre as a typical small-town youth in Barentsburg

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Diana Kurtyak, 8, has been living in Barentsburg since about the time her hometown in the Ukraine was overrun by rebels three years ago. But while she says she enjoys being with friends at her tiny school and misses relatives back home, the strangest part about her new life has to do with birds.

“It’s very strange I’ve seen some sparrows flying here because it’s very cold and it’s strange they’re flying here,” she said via an interpreter.

Polar bear ransacks cabins at Kapp Laila; officials tranquilize it and fly it far north

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A polar bear that ransacked several cabins at Kapp Laila was tranquilized and flown by helicopter to Nordaustlandet on Friday, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

ALERT: SAS strike cancelled at last moment, extra Svalbard flight scheduled to help cancer patient

strikeover

A full-scale strike by Scandinavian Airlines pilots in Norway was averted as the last moment, but that was still too late for Jørn Dybdahl, a Longyearbyen resident whose Thursday flight to Oslo to receive cancer treatment was cancelled. So Dybdahl, never one to shy from expressing his views, expressed his frustration to one of Norway’s biggest newspapers – and helped 112 other travelers stranded here by doing so.

BREAKING: SAS pilots threaten to strike starting Thursday; local concert cancelled, weekend events face uncertainty

sasstrikewed

A threat by Scandinavian Airlines pilots to escalate a strike starting Thursday has resulted in the cancellation of a tour-opening concert by a Norwegian band that evening and may disrupt other events scheduled this weekend – plus, of course, travelers and businesses.