Tag Archives: liveblog

ELECTION LIVEBLOG: Results, reactions and rants about the 2019 Longyearbyen Community Council vote from Stationen


(BREAKING – “FINAL” MONDAY RESULTS: Labor (342 votes) and Liberal (333) parties finish in virtual tie, win five seats each; Conservative (184) and Progressive (126) parties each win two seats, Green Party (98) wins one seat. Makeup of next majority is murky. Official results to be released Tuesday. See details after jump)

Welcome to Stationen, where candidates and politicos are gathered for the results of the 2019 Longyearbyen Community Council vote. This liveblog began when the polls closed at 8 p.m. and will post happenings as they happen, so to speak, in reverse chronological order (in other words, those just wanting to skim the top of this for the latest numbers can do so without wading through the mad wordiage further down).

Emphasis: Tonight’s tally is likely to be preliminary, with full official results released tomorrow. But barring tight margins and unexpected alliances (both of which happened last time), tonight’s results should indicate who the leaders of Longyearbyen will be for the next four years.

Bang the box below for all of this evening’s updates…

LIVEBLOGGING POLARJAZZ 2019 (DAY 5): Svalbard’s version of ‘Footprints’ takes on a totally new blue hue in Mine 3


4:58 p.m.: I’m wrong about a lot of things. At the moment that includes the advice that folks coming up here should get a great twilight view before heading into Mine 3 for the finale of Polarjazz. It’s pitch black out, so any tourists feeling cheated out of photos should make their displeasure loud and clear to…well, I’d rather not have it be me. Maybe yell at you dog – I’m sure it’s done something to deserve it.

Hopefully I’m not wrong about my hopes this will be the most intriguing concert of the festival, due to the rustic location and the performance of a Svalbard-specific suite composed just for Polarjazz. Titled “SPOR” (“footprints”), it featured Norwegian actress Juni Dahr reciting verse, acclaimed Norwegian musicians Tore Brunborg and Per Oddvar Johansen on a variety of instruments, and the Store Norske Men’s Choir as accompaniment.

LIVEBLOGGING POLARJAZZ 2019 (DAY FOUR): From kids and koffee at noon to crashing during a circus past midnight


Noon: Marathon day at Polarjazz, with stuff happening in various parts of town now, at 1 p.m., 5 p.m., 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight Sunday into the wee hours. Just the thing when you’re reaching that state of being fried that comes after three days of getting a few hours a sleep a night at most covering music and other things in real life. But since next year’s festival may not be long enough to induce burnout, I’m making sure I get the full experience (OK, be warned now I may cut out early on the midnight show because I almost always do).

12:11 p.m.: Even the kids’ concert starts fashionably late – and like the grown-ups there seems to be something of a sparse crowd here compared to previous festivals. As with so much else, the loss of families lately due to mining layoffs is having a huge community impact – and reverses one of the main goals the government’s supposedly had for Svalbard for a few decades.

LIVEBLOGGING POLARJAZZ 2019 (DAY THREE): Boyz and Gurls embrace lounge lizards, teen spirit and catz with horseskins


5:12 p.m.: It’s the second of two free early-evening Polarjazz concerts by local musicians at Svalbard Hotell and, just to make one thing clear after the “it’s not jazz” ramblings I’ve voiced this week and over the years, longtime coal miner and resident J.G. Hansen is doing a solo acoustic folk set and he’s kicking ass. So I have no problems venturing outside the genre, especially when what’s being played captures the best elements of what jazz has to offer.

LIVEBLOGGING POLARJAZZ 2019 (DAY TWO): A rare mostly-jazz night w/ a local’s slinky red dress, a returning visitor stripped down and an icon all steamed up


5:30 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 31): Tonight’s rant opens at the close – although nobody’s about to die since it’s just the end of the first set for the first gig. Real life meant arriving a bit late to the free concert by SvaJazz at Svalbard Hotell, the first of two early evening shows by local musicians today and Friday. While passes for local festivals can be pricy for those on a budget (1,650 kroner for this year’s Polarjazz), there’s almost always an effort to include free events letting anyone get a taste of the action. For this gig, it’s a truly priceless opportunity to hear one of the very few pure straighthead jazz performances heard in Svalbard during the year.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode Ten from Mary-Ann’s Polarrigg


9:30 p.m.: And this is it. Welcome the gripping finale of this very spooky show on a dark Halloween evening, where all sorts of strange creatures will be gathering to cackle at the sight of their spirits wandering the Earth. OK, I think that’s enough obligatory Halloween references so, unless someone shows up in costume or anything else pertinent happens. The creature reference is the expectation that a majority of the “stars” in the show will be here tonight as sort of a “wrap party.” So far Benjamin V., Wiggo and Claudia, Chris the avalanche guy, Lara from Green Dog Svalbard, and of course Mary-Ann should be here.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode Nine from Coal Miners Cabins


9:30 p.m.: Two episodes to go and, based on the number of characters in this one, I wonder if they’ll do sort of a reverse of the opening two episodes, where they cram half the characters into each show. Best I can tell Chris will be doing the Svalbard Skimaraton (yes, that’s the proper spelling…and nice to have him doing something besides avalanche stuff), Wiggo (and maybe Claudia) will be doing something, Alex will be doing more outdoor recreation, Mary Ann is doing some kind of outdoor project for her lodge and Martin (the doctor who visited last week) will be doing more hospital stuff. So maybe the “theme,” if one exists, will largely be outdoor life/recreation? Which would be really, really repetitive and chiche given that it’s been a dominent thing in every episode so far. But since my guesses are usually at least partially off…

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,” Episode Eight, from Mary-Ann’s Polarrigg


9:30 p.m.: Three episodes to go and it seems I’m not the only one who feels monotony has been setting in the past few episodes. Tonight’s episode looks like it might break from some of the usual, thanks to a doctor who’s appearing as a guest star (and going on an emergency rescue drill at sea), and finally the return of Wiggo AND Claudia for the first time since Episode Two. They were a huge hit then and it’s baffling the show hasn’t been featuring more of the character (Wiggo) who’s literally the show’s poster boy. Also, Christine will be doing the two-day Trappers’ Trail and, while a dogsledding trip is one of those things that now seems to be obligatory every episode, this is a continuation of a storyline from a few episodes ago when she did the qualifying race.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode Seven from Coal Miners Cabins


9:30 p.m.: I walk into the restaurant/pub at Coal Miners Cabins and experience a moment of panic since it looks like the show’s already in progress on the big-screen TV, rather than the usual weekly show about villages near the Arctic Circle that precedes the series. A couple of minutes pass and I realize it’s actually a long infomercial for the company that owns this place and lots of other tourism businesses in town (the audio is muted and I realize there’s no subtitles). The fact it’s hard to tell the difference due to the similar editing styles (a few minutes each of dogsledding/snowmobiling, a scene in a restaurant/pub, a special event, etc.) highlights something I emphasized in last week’s coverage: a lack of overall focus and direction.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode Six from Polar Permaculture


10 p.m.: No long preamble. Ben, founder of Polar Permaculture, is not here yet, but I’m guessing we’ll have a lot to say about our appearances this week. As always, I’ll fix typos and add details after the show’s over.

10:03 p.m.: Woo-hoo! Ben walks in just as show starts. He was one of the nain characters last week and this episode will definitely feature a follow-up of a tragic situation he was in. I’m guessing my stuff will consist mostly of interviewing him.

10:04 p.m.: Title: “On Thin Ice.” Not quite sure if there’s a theme to this one, given the previews, although I’m guessing there might be some kind of breakthrough involving a snowmobile as the main drama.