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Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Jan. 16, 2018

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Organized fireworks celebration proposed for next New Year’s
A communal New Year’s fireworks show next year is being proposed by a Longyearbyen resident who says it will be safer and more environmentally friendly. “There is no risk of eye damage, we don’t allow the spread of trash and reduce the fire hazard,” said Ola Kristian Hjelløkken. “It’s important here where we have dry wood houses.” He said a designated location and scheduled time for the fireworks also would make things easier on dogs who often are disturbed by celebrations that go on much of the night. Longyearbyen Mayor Arild Olsen said he supports the idea and believes it can be done as soon as next year, although some residents said they want private entities rather than the government to pay for the fireworks. Olsen said he does not favor prohibiting private purchasing and launching of fireworks apart from a communal celebration.

Gold mining in St. Jonsfjorden sought by former Store Norske manager 
The possibility of gold mining in St. Jonsfjorden beginning next year is being explored by a company led by a former resource manager for Store Norske. Morten Often, head of Cold Gold, said he and other experts have made several visits to the area to conduct tests, and it appears there may be significant gold deposits in the area. “We know there’s a lot of gold there, but it’s first and foremost a mapping job that needs to be done,” he said. “We know it’s gold eight to ten kilometers along the south side of St. Jonsfjord, but the north side is significantly less mapped, so we do not know the extent there at present.” He said the company is in discussions with both Norwegian and foreign investors. Store Norske owns the mining rights to the area, but does not have the money to do so, so the company has been looking for someone interested in a partnership.

Longyearbyen Hospital to have two surgeons instead of one permanently
A change in September that placed two surgeons and two general practitioners, instead of one surgeon and three practitioners, at Longyearbyen Hospital will be implemented on a permanent basis. The University of Northern Norway (UNN), the administrator for the hospital, added a second surgeon during the fall on a trial basis due to recent major events involving multiple people needing medical attention. “We believe it is important always to have surgical availability and decided at the end of December that there should be two surgeons at the hospital,” said Lars Røslie, UNN’s acting director.

 

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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