Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Sept. 6, 2016

santamailboxopening

This massive mailbox is considered a deplorable presence by Longyearbyen's liberal-led local council (war on Christmas?) and so the momument was removed. But the big red of MTNGA motto is now lit just a short distance away. Photo by Mark Sabbatini / Icepeople.

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City: Giant Santa’s mailbox must be removed by Sept. 30
A 9.3-meter-high red mailbox set up at Sjøområdet by Po Lin Lee just before Christmas in 2013 must be removed because a temporary permit allowing it will not be renewed, according to Longyearbyen city officials. The landmark, which the Hong Kong native paid 500,000 kroner to build had a two-year permit, with the city stating she would need to notify neighbors before an extension of the permit would be considered, which she failed to do. The removal of the giant box is being welcomed by local post office officials, who said many tourists deposited mail in it despite it not being an “official” mailbox, and it often took a long time for them to be removed and mailed to their intended recipients. Lee could not be reached for comment.

Missing man on sailboat found safe, faces questions
A man in his 20s who was reported missing while attempting a sailboat voyage from Tromsø to Svalbard was discovered safe Tuesday northwest of Sørøya in Finnmark, according to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre of Northern Norway. He departed Aug. 25 and was expected reach Longyearbyen by Aug. 31. A widespread search was conducted until he was located 11 days after his departure. Although officials said the man is not currently facing criminal charges, police are investigating the incidents. “We want to find out what happened during the voyage,” said Eirin Hansen Abuukar, operations leader for the West Finnmark police district. “It used a large amount public resources.”

 

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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