FISH PROCESSING PLANS ON HOLD: Proposed facility in Barentsburg delayed due to cost concerns; Norwegian scientists studying future potential for industry

FISH PROCESSING PLANS ON HOLD: Proposed facility in Barentsburg delayed due to cost concerns; Norwegian scientists studying future potential for industry

Illustration of proposed fish processing plant in Barentsburg by Arctic Resource Norway Hopes the fish processing industry can replace some of the lost coal mining jobs in Svalbard are on hold as More »

DARK SEASON IS NO TIME FOR ‘BLACKOUT’: Governor says local youths reportedly attempting dangerous TikTok suffocation challenge; parents and school warned

DARK SEASON IS NO TIME FOR ‘BLACKOUT’: Governor says local youths reportedly attempting dangerous TikTok suffocation challenge; parents and school warned

The light may be vanishing from Svalbard this week, but the governor would prefer it not be forever for local youths who’ve discovered a new form of “blackout” involving self-suffocation. More »

SVALBARD’S FIRST ‘REAL’ COVID-19 CASE CONFIRMED: Longyearbyen resident in isolation after likely being infected on mainland; case is second in Svalbard, first involving a resident

SVALBARD’S FIRST ‘REAL’ COVID-19 CASE CONFIRMED: Longyearbyen resident in isolation after likely being infected on mainland; case is second in Svalbard, first involving a resident

Photo by Longyearbyen Lokalstyre The first Svalbard resident diagnosed with COVID-19 in the archipelago was confirmed Tuesday by Longyearbyen Hospital, with a doctor stating the patient was likely infected on the mainland More »

BOURNE AGAIN: New Svalbard Spitsbergen Kunstnersenteret/ Artists Center debuts opening event Monday as artist Elizabeth Bourne takes over former Galleri Svalbard building

BOURNE AGAIN: New Svalbard Spitsbergen Kunstnersenteret/ Artists Center debuts opening event Monday as artist Elizabeth Bourne takes over former Galleri Svalbard building

“Running an art gallery in the high Arctic is not a job for most people,” Elizabeth Bourne wrote three years ago in a lengthy feature about Galleri Svalbard when she traveled from More »

DISASTER EXERCISE SHOWS SVALBARD STILL NOT ENTIRELY SHIP-SHAPE: Area’s second-largest simulated cruise ship rescue shows lessons learned and persisting shortcomings

DISASTER EXERCISE SHOWS SVALBARD STILL NOT ENTIRELY SHIP-SHAPE: Area’s second-largest simulated cruise ship rescue shows lessons learned and persisting shortcomings

Photo by Anders Røegge / Barentswatch Simulated News Service – At least four people were killed and dozens injured by a fire aboard a cruise ship about 60 kilometers northwest of Longyearbyen on Friday More »

 

TWO FOR TUESDAY: After four months without a sunset, Longyearbyen sees it happen twice in one day; in only two months the sun will rise for the last time in 2021

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Photo of Tuesday’s first sunset since April 18 by Michelle van Dijk / Longyearbyen Camping

So for all the first-timers here’s the riddle again: since we don’t live on Tatooine, how is it possible the sun set twice in Longyearbyen on Tuesday?

A helpful (or not) hint: sunset also occurred before sunrise.

A WHALE OF A PRIDE CELEBRATION: Mother Nature among those sending signs of blessings (again) as hundreds gather for Longyearbyen’s second LGBQT+ festival

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Photo by Longyearbyen Mayor Arild Olsen before his speech Saturday at the town’s second Pride Festival

Say what you will about how “natural” the LGBQT+ presence is, but the world’s northernmost Pride Festival has seen Mother Nature offer what might be seen as her blessings during both of the gatherings to date.

A ‘SUPER’ ADDITION TO THE MARKET: Expanded Svalbardbutikken officially opens after 17 months of upgrades, earning raves even from those who miss the ‘old times’

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Photo of Anne Lise Klungseth Sandvik speaking at official opening courtesy of Svalbardbutikken

This time the expanded version of the world’s northernmost supermarket really, really is officially open.

AN UNEXPECTED RUSSIAN SUMMER WARSHIP ‘CRUISE’: Norway monitoring vessels that suddenly approach southern tip of Spitsbergen and Isfjorden during exercises at sea

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As if foreign cruise ships weren’t enough cause for concern during this second COVID-19 summer,  are still under, Norway is now keeping an alert eye on a group of Russian warships that suddenly departed from an exercise at Franz Josef Land to the east and passing within 20 kilometers of coastlines in Svalbard, according to military officials and media reports.

YOUTHFUL AND SPIRITUAL PRIDE: World’ northernmost LGBTQ+ festival returns to Longyearbyen this weekend with hopes local diversity spreads wider message of inclusion

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Photo courtesy of Longyearbyen Pride

A “rainbow” party for hormonal teens, storytime for little kids, cartoons for slightly older kids and a fair at the church – surely the stuff of chilling “wokeism” for some people/places, but for those in Longyearbyen participating this weekend they will be just among a few of the reasons to take Pride.

Random Bits Of Weirdness for the week of Aug. 10, 2021

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As the Great Pandemic Hoax that we personally set in motion* continues to put everyone’s hopes of normalcy on ice, there are locals like Wally the Walrus making famous tours of forbidden places and famous tourists like Colin Farrell doing seemingly forbidden things locally.

POLAR PERMACULTURE FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY: Owners say COVID-19, lack of assistance for foreigner-owned companies force end to eight-year-old ‘local food’ and tourism project

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Photo of Polar Permaculture’s greenhouse in Nybyen courtesy of Polar Permaculture

Polar Permaculture – which started in 2013 with one man’s dream of a greenhouse producing local food in Longyearbyen, and blossomed into a full-blown produce and tourism company – announced Friday it is filing for bankruptcy due the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of available assistance for companies owned by foreigners.

RELAPSE: Norway postpones final ‘reopening’ stage yet again due to Delta COVID-19 variant as French cruise company cancels its scheduled Svalbard voyages for the rest of the year

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The final stage of the “reopening” of Norway – and further relaxation of restrictions on travelling to Svalbard – is again being postponed due to concerns about the Delta strain of COVID-19, with the Aug. 1 target date now pushed until at least mid-August, officials said Wednesday.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of July 27, 2021

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Photo of delegation visit to Ny-Ålesund courtesy of Kings Bay AS

The number of research days in Ny-Ålesund is cut by more than half in 2020 due to Covid, winter alcohol sales stave off a sobering year for Korkpenger grants and city technicians save the local government’s computers from a data attack.

10 YEARS AFTER UTØYA: Five Longyearbyen youths were at the youth camp where 69 people were killed July 22, 2011 – here’s how it affected what they and/or their families are doing now

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Photo of Longyearbyen’s 10-year anniversary memorial of July 22 attacks by Eira Egner / Svalbardposten.

Einar Buø says “we have seen surprisingly little anger and cursing” during the 10 years since his son, Johannes, 14, was among the youngest of the 69 people killed during the July 22 attack by a lone gunman at Utøya. But he wonders if that’s an entirely good thing.

Buø, while like other survivors affected by that day emphasizes focusing on the present and future, also shares with them a “never forgot” mentality and like many is seeking to counter the hateful mentality triggering Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack that killed at total of 77 people when the shooting followed a bombing by the same man in Oslo.