AltWeeklies Wire

Stinky on stage: Year in revue follows Longyearbyen's tragicomic shift from a sooty town to a smelly onenew

Given all the fishy business in Longyearbyen during the past year, locals are ready to shake the coal dust from their boots and put their faith in cod. Local chums did a whale of a job baiting their fellow townsfolk during the annual revue showing just how flaky the past year was.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  03-10-2016  |  Performance

Leaping year: One-day delay results in dazzling "return of the sun" celebrationnew

The year 2016 will be remembered as the perfect time to be bissextile. Several hundred people experienced one of Longyearbyen’s most spectacular “return of the sun” celebrations ever, thanks to leap year delaying the ceremony from a cloudy Monday to a cloudless Tuesday.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  03-10-2016  |  Culture

Trump Changenew

Americans are pondering fleeing their homeland in record numbers if Donald Trump’s hairpiece ends up hanging in the White House master bedroom after November’s election and word is getting out Svalbard may be the easiest to emigrate to and provide a Definitely Not Donald lifestyle.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  03-09-2016  |  Politics

'One man every year': Old-timers reunion recalls Svalbard's deadly, roguish daysnew

To an ordinary tourist it’s a rusting mine cart with an odd driver’s “seat” at the rear. But for Terje Nūbdal, 59, it marks the spot where a colleague was killed in an accident 34 years ago.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  02-26-2016  |  History

'You may want to go home' – for the last time evernew

I’m throwing clothing, books, electronics and everything else wildly about in my apartment, not caring where any of it lands except for what I most treasure. Minutes ago the building was declared uninhabitable due to climate change damage and we have two hours to evacuate.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  02-19-2016  |  Disasters

Frenemy alert: Svalbard still a hot target for foreign spiesnew

Russian troops all around us, Chinese hackers trolling our climate-monitoring satellite equipment, foreigners from dozens of other countries living here under lax residency laws. The frigid Svalbard archipelago is once again a hot spots for spies and other troublemakers in Norway's annual threat assessment report.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  02-18-2016  |  Policy Issues

‘Fortitude’ Folliesnew

Everything the cult-hit show gets wrong about Svalbard.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  02-18-2016  |  TV

Random weirdness for the week of Feb. 9, 2016new

A drive-in movie theater for snowmobiles and kicksleds, ammosexuals target birdbrains who all own guns of their own if they live here, and Longyearbyen remains in the dark as the nearly four-month-long polar night ends.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  02-18-2016  |  Commentary

Full of scat: Locals extra expressive at this year's Polarjazznew

The music is mostly rock and folk, but the world's northernmost jazz festival is still an art of improvisation where dogsledding and destruction of gear in -25C twilight happens. This year's lineup had locals extra verbose on-stage and off – not always a good thing.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  02-15-2016  |  Music

High price of failure: another government bailout for coal mining in Svalbardnew

The price of keeping Store Norske barely alive keeps increasing, with the government now asking Parliament for 749 million kroner during the next four years to support operations at Mine 7 and maintenance of two larger mines in the hope coal prices recover.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  02-05-2016  |  Business & Labor

Large-scale rehearsal planned for 'inevitable' oil spil in Svalbardnew

Lots of folks are eager to send ships and oil rigs toward Svalbard’s warming waters, but few are prepared to deal with what happens when mishaps result in fuel and oil spills in the still-harsh Arctic environment.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  02-03-2016  |  Environment

Tourists Flocking to Avalanche Wreckage Leaves Some Residents Coldnew

Espen Rotevatn is grateful he can still go to his undamaged home, just below 11 others destroyed by last month’s avalanche, at the end of the day. He just wishes visitors weren’t there with cameras expecting him to play the role of tour guide.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  02-01-2016  |  Disasters

Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 26, 2016new

As climate change takes hold, it turns out the warming waters just north of Svalbard are home to a lush UFO paradise. Alas, in Svalbard itself we're being denied the chance to see David Bowie take his place among the stars.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  02-01-2016  |  Commentary

Is someone to blame? Longyearbyen ignores two decades of warnings before devastating avalanchenew

The catastrophe that permanently scarred Longyearbyen occurred within seconds. But there was at least 23 years to heed warnings and take actions that might have prevented the tragedy. Many are now asking why almost nothing was done.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  01-20-2016  |  Disasters

Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 19, 2016new

It's not as cool as the animated Lego horror show of an oil spill Greenpeace did in 2014, but it's still entertaining figuring out why that guy in the bow of a ship sinking in oil-drenched Arctic waters is having such a great day.
Icepeople  |  Mark Sabbatini  |  01-19-2016  |  Commentary

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