Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of July 4, 2017


Will late appearance of  Operafjellet ‘champaign glass’ mean late break date? 
It took a long time for the “champaign glass” of snow appeared on Operafjellet this year – will that mean a late date when the “stem” of the glass breaks?

That question will need pondering by those entering the annual contest to guess the date the “stems” is severed by melting. The winner receives, naturally, a bottle of champagne. In the case of more than one correct guess the person submitting earliest will be the winner. Guesses must be sent to by July 7. The stem has previously been broken as early as 28 June (2005) and as late as Aug. 31 (2012), but most often goes between July 12-28.

Researchers hope ‘Cora Balls’ reduce microfiber pollution


Cora Balls designed to capture microfibers from clothes in washing machines are scheduled to be tested in Longyearbyen this fall. Photo courtesy of Rozalia Project.

Two researchers are hoping Longyearbyen residents will be willing to test a “ball” intended to reduce microfiber discharges from washing machines. Dorte Herzke of the Norwegian Institute at the Norwegian Institute of Aeronautics Research (NILU) and Jan H. Sundet at the Institute of Marine Research in Tromsø plan to analyze the results of the devices known as Cora Balls, developed in the U.S. with Kickstarter campaign, by comparing current samples of sewage discharge water in Adventfjorden to those this fall when the device is in use.

City looks to buy larger housing for employees at Blåmyra
The city is planning to purchase 20 apartments at Blåmyra for its employees by offering money to those currently living in them. The three-bedroom apartments of up to 80 square meters are larger than much of what the city now provides, and therefore seen as more attractive for luring and retaining employees. The city plans to spend up to 55 million kroner on the acquisitions. The decision comes as the town is undergoing a large-scale change in housing due to recent avalanches.