‘We were hoping for something better’: Trym Aunevik returns to Longyearbyen, but not to school due to Down’s Syndrome; parents still trying to work out an alternative plan

‘We were hoping for something better’: Trym Aunevik returns to Longyearbyen, but not to school due to Down’s Syndrome; parents still trying to work out an alternative plan

Like his peers, Trym Aunevik spent Monday greeting friends after a long summer holiday and learning new things on the first day of the new school year. Only he wasn’t at school – More »

Hot off the press: As Longyearbyen hits 90 months of above-average temps, here’s the story of the “Hell on Earth” summer told in headlines

Hot off the press: As Longyearbyen hits 90 months of above-average temps, here’s the story of the “Hell on Earth” summer told in headlines

Hitting 90 straight months of above average temperatures in Longyearbyen certainly makes for a hot headline. But it’s nothing compared to the heat felt by locals spending their summer holidays scattered elsewhere More »

Soggy Saturday: Nearly 25mm of rain possible during weekend storm; road between Huset and Museumsveien closed due to landslide danger

Soggy Saturday: Nearly 25mm of rain possible during weekend storm; road between Huset and Museumsveien closed due to landslide danger

There’s a couple of great outdoor events this weekend in the form of a 24-hour mountaineering marathon and a three-day beach cleanup/camping trip – but a major rainstorm between Friday night and More »

Going shooting? Get shot first: Reindeer hunters urged to get rabies vaccinations, take precautions after two animals diagnosed with disease

Going shooting? Get shot first: Reindeer hunters urged to get rabies vaccinations, take precautions after two animals diagnosed with disease

Reindeer hunters are being advised to get rabies vaccinations and take extra precautions in the field this year after a reindeer and a fox tested positive for the disease in recent months. More »

SVALBARD SOVEREIGNTY: Norway’s royal family sees polar bears, picks up beach trash, visits museums and does other “typical” stuff during weeklong vacation

SVALBARD SOVEREIGNTY: Norway’s royal family sees polar bears, picks up beach trash, visits museums and does other “typical” stuff during weeklong vacation

They were just another family taking a weeklong holiday in Svalbard. They got a reprieve from the mainland heat while gazing at the fjords and wildlife during sometimes chilly boat trips. They removed ocean More »

 

Access of evil: Polar bears in eastern Barents Sea have highest toxin levels on Earth; Russia, China, climate change blamed

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Polar bears who spend most of their time on the sea ice east of Svalbard have one-third more toxic pollutants in their blood than bears elsewhere in the Arctic, according to a 15-year study.

Among the primary reasons are high levels of industrial pollution from China and Russia, plus the fact polar bears in the east Barents Sea are being forced to exert more energy hunting and swimming – and therefore eat more – due to the rapid loss of Arctic ice caused by climate change.

Random weirdness for the week of July 10, 2018

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Being the Official Source© for UFO sightings in Svalbard we of course are rushing to report that the above photo of the “Northern Lights” in Svalbard, shot from the International Space Station, is proof of spaceships are still finding the archipelago an attractive visiting spot.

Leaving a foul taste: Photo of polar bear cubs chewing on plastic sets off latest round of righteous outrage

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It’s a sad portrait of polar bear cubs toying with a big piece of plastic while their mother rests nearby – and just another viral instance of oh-so-many recent tragic pictures of bears, seals, reindeer, birds and other wildlife affected by the wasteful habits of humans. Then again, like the others, it conveys just one of the oh-so-many ways trash, pollution and climate change is screwing things up for the native inhabitants.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of July 3, 2018

Svalbard Auto to begin by-the-hour car-sharing this fall
A car-sharing program allowing people to use cars at locations in the center of Longyearbyen for an hourly fee is scheduled to start this fall. “We are looking to start the our car-sharing service with four to six cars, and we’ll see how this works,” said Roger Eriksen, general manager of Svalbard Auto. The cars will be located between Svalbardbutikken and The University Centre in Svalbard, and can be booked using a smartphone app. There are more than 1,000 registered cars in Longyearbyen, including many who have access to vehicles through an employer, but “here are also many who do not have a car,” Eriksen said. “They may need to borrow a car to shop for food, take a driving tour and have greater freedom when they get visitors from the mainland.” The dealership received a grant from Innovation Norway to implement the project.

Fossil fiend: Tourist detained at Svalbard Airport for trying to smuggle bones from marine mammal

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A man in his 50s is facing criminal charges and a fine after officials found skeleton parts from a marine mammal during a luggage check at Svalbard Airport, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

Was it good for them? 6,000-person cruise ship might be tight fit for locals, but visitors say they had a peak experience

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Eric Pireyn said his family arrived without pre-booking a tour, but managed to rent a car and take a full driving tour that included spotting a polar fox near the campsite (which his eight-year-old daughter Anna called the day’s high point). She and her sister Nina, 5, were wearing “husky head” fur hats they bought during the day as they headed back to a cruise ship towering above the buildings in town around dinnertime.

Svalbard’s newest eatery gets big rollout, menu – does it live up to locals’ hope of not being ‘just another restaurant’

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It’s a historically significant space in Longyearbyen’s dining scene and longtime locals were vocal about not wanting “just another restaurant” similar to the overlapping menus of nearby comfort-food pubs. The managers eschewed a barrage of advice in favor of listening to their chefs and, while the result is arguably a menu that’s more large than unique, it’s clear locals are largely ready to fiercely defend the results.

Feast for the (distant) eyes: Polar bear eating whale carcass on beach near Longyearbyen; governor warns against approaching

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A polar bear seen eating a whale carcass at Deltaneset, just around the corner of the cape northwest of Longyearbyen, means hoards of summer tourists and others passing the area are getting a visual feast as well – but The Governor of Svalbard is warning against illegally approaching the bear as parties have done with other animals near town during the past month.

Dead again: Store Norske, after getting ministry to say maybe, gives up on extracting coal at Svea while mines are dismantled

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OK, this time the hope of doing any more mining at Svea is truly dead. Honest.

Store Norske says it is giving up on the hoping of extracting coal from the mine while carrying out a government-ordered dismantling of the nearby Lunckefjell mine during the next few years. The decision is oddly timed, occurring shortly after the company finally persuaded skeptical government officials to be open to the possibility after months of effort.

But Administrative Director Jan Morten Ertsaas said the board of directors determined at its most recent meeting the economics and logistics simply weren’t going to work out.

‘How does a mom explain?’: Trym Aunevik, 16, lifelong Longyearbyen resident and champion swimmer, told he must finish school on mainland because he has Down’s Syndrome

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Trym Aunevik, 16, is a national champion swimmer who a month ago proved fit enough to be one of four teens representing Norway in next year’s Special Olympic World Games. But the government has decided he is not fit to continue attending school in his lifelong hometown of Longyearbyen because he has Down’s Syndrome and the school lacks a special education program.