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Posts published in June 2021

ANY VOTES IN FAVOR OF NOT VOTING? Everyone seems to hate a proposal preventing foreign residents from participating in Longyearbyen’s elections; here’s a few who support it

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Read Time:3 Minute, 50 Second

You know those elections where the leader of Turkmenistan, North Korea, etc. wins with 99 percent of the vote – and ever wonder who the “one-percenters” are?

A similarly lopsided tally is surfacing on social media in response to a proposal to essentially ban foreigners from local elections in Longyearbyen – but a few souls are speaking out in favor of the surprising suggestion made by Norway’s government this week.

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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STRIPPING VOTING RIGHTS FROM FOREIGNERS? Longyearbyen residents must reside on mainland for at least three years to vote and run for local office under Justice Ministry proposal

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Read Time:4 Minute, 46 Second

Foreign residents in Longyearbyen will lose their right to vote and run for office in local elections if a proposal by Norway’s Ministry of Justice and Emergency Preparedness published Wednesday is enacted.

Numerous residents and Longyearbyen’s mayor immediately expressed dismay at what the latter called an unexpected proposal released without notifying local officials in advance.

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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WOW…WALRUSES! BUT, PLEASE, BE WARY: Rare appearance by eight of the gregarious creatures at Hotelnesset draws crowd, but governor says some too close for comfort (and safety)

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Read Time:1 Minute, 56 Second

Photo by Elizabeth Bourne

Visiting cruise ship passengers are still absent from the harbor area of Longyearbyen this summer, but a different group of visitors Tuesday evening got almost certainly a more cherished welcome from locals as eight walruses made a rare disembarkation onto the shore at the edge of town.

But, as happens with cruise ship passengers, it turns out officials needed to issue a warning about proper interaction between humans and the environment as some of the former got too close to the latter.

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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STREAMING SONGS FOR SOLSTICE: ‘Under The Midnight Sun’ concert by a dozen performers, many working as guides in Svalbard, makes summer debut Sunday live on Facebook

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Read Time:2 Minute, 13 Second

Screenshot of Marty Garwood, a performer at the “Under The Midnight Sun” concert, from video by Antarctic Ambassadors

Unlike many recent past summers there’s no organized weekend beach party to celebrate the summer solstice, or the usual swarm of cruise ship passengers and crew wandering around town. But a celebration by a group of guides, photographers and others who often spend their summers working in Svalbard is scheduled in the form of an “Under The Midnight Sun” concert from 7-9 p.m. Sunday that will be streamed live on Facebook.

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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A BLESSED SUNDAY FOR TRAVELERS AS COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS EASED: No virus test for vaccinated people going to Svalbard; coastal cruises and charter flights allowed

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Read Time:2 Minute, 22 Second

Sunday will be a blessed day for those traveling to Svalbard as several COVID-19 restrictions, including a mandatory negative test for the virus within 24 hours of departure, will be eased that day, Norway’s government announced Friday. People who can show proof they are fully vaccinated will be exempt from the test.

In addition, coastal cruises will be allowed “on certain conditions” – including up to 2,000 people on large ships if all are vaccinated – and charter flights from the mainland will be able to land in Svalbard.

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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40M KR. TO HELP 27 COMPANIES, 300 EMPLOYEES: Nearly all eligible applicants share newest round of emergency grants for local tourism businesses hurt by COVID-19 pandemic

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Read Time:3 Minute, 1 Second

Photo by Visit Svalbard

A total of 27 companies are receiving a total of about 40 million kroner that will ensure employment of about 300 people from the most recent emergency aid package intended to help tourism companies in Svalbard affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Longyearbyen’s Community Council, which evaluated applications and approved the allocations.

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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LAST SNOWSTORM BEFORE SUMMER? Of course it might snow then as well (although it’s increasingly rare), but no more is forecast in Longyearbyen during the last week of spring

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Read Time:1 Minute, 16 Second

Freakish early- and mid-June heat waves are being felt across the globe – including 50°C (122°F) in the Middle East and record temperatures near that the southwest United States – but locals in Longyearbyen found themselves brushing snow off their windshields Monday during what might be the last snowstorm before summer.

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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JOYLESS JOYRIDE: ATV stolen from Polar X near beach Sunday morning turns up at Svalbardbutikken; police seeking tips

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Read Time:1 Minute, 25 Second

Legally speaking, a rare vehicle theft in Longyearbyen when a multi-passenger ATV was reported missing early Sunday morning from Polar X at Sjøområdet. But the reason such thefts are rare is because it’s hard to actually steal and possess a vehicle since there’s no roads out of town to flee on, so police are seeking tips about the culprit after the ATV showed up a while later in the Svalbardbutikken parking lot.

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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POPULAR POLAR PIONEERS PURGE POSSESSIONS: Two women globally famous for their two ‘Hearts In The Ice’ winterovers share historic and intimate gear w/ locals at rummage sale

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Read Time:3 Minute, 42 Second

After gaining worldwide fame and hundreds of thousands of followers by being the first women to winterover in a remote cabin in Svalbard – twice, in fact – it seems like and Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Fålun Strøm could cash in big-time by selling their pioneering possessions on eBay after returning to civilization a week ago.

But instead locals in Longyearbyen got to explore a bunch of bargains on polar-worthy gear – along with some titivating freebies such as sports bras – as the “Hearts In The Ice” women hosted a rummage sale Monday at, somewhat ironically, a conference room at the luxury Funken hotel.

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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DARKNESS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT: This is how the “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse looked at 78° north in Longyearbyen, blocking an extra-high 71% of the sun now up 24 hours a day

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Read Time:2 Minute, 21 Second

Photos by Sophie Condon

To the naked eye, especially for those unaware, the mostly clear skies in Longyearbyen at midday Thursday looked pretty much the same as they do 24 hours a day during the three-and-a-half-month long polar summer.

But those with the right filters got to see most of the sun blotted out (about 71 percent) in the world’s northernmost town at 78 degrees latitude north during four-hour “Ring of Fire” annular eclipse.

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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