Island Life: News From The Countryside - West Iceland Edition - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Island Life: News From The Countryside – West Iceland Edition

Island Life: News From The Countryside – West Iceland Edition

Published May 18, 2017

As temperatures warm and the sun shows its face more often now, it’s that time of year again: time for spontaneous grass fires. Farmers conduct controlled grass fires on their property at times, but they can also happen out of the blue, as was the case in the shires of Eyja and Miklaholt recently. There, grass fires sprouted and quickly spread over the course of an afternoon, getting dangerously close to human habitation. Firefighters and farmers alike were quick to respond, though, and the fire was contained in a matter of hours.

Residents of Borgarbyggð will finally get to vote on a possible outdoor shooting range in the area. Opinions are divided on the subject, with forestry services and horse riding companies opposed, but a good number of locals supporting it. There is already an indoor shooting range in the area, which you can read about here.

In a story that easily reflects everything that is wrong with Iceland, the latest issue of the West Iceland newspaper Íbúinn featured its own editor on the cover. Not because of anything related to the paper itself, though; rather, Olgeir Helgi Ragnarsson appeared on the cover because he is a tenor who will be singing at a music concert hosted by a local school. Oh, and the director of the school is his wife. When questioned on the possible journalistic ethics violations of this decision by a Reykjavík-based reporter, Olgeir dismissed these concerns, saying that the concert was “indisputably the biggest event happening [in the area] this week,” and that the decision to put him on the cover came not from him, but the school. The school his wife runs.

In less amusing news, fishing giant HB Grandi fired 86 employees in one fell swoop. Is it because the company is struggling? On the contrary: Grandi reaped reported profits of some 3.5 billion ISK last year, and over 15 billion ISK over the past three years. Rather, the company took this decision in order “to avoid financial losses.” So instead of taking a pay cut, the management in their infinite wisdom decided instead to dismiss 86 low-wage workers. Their union rep is less than pleased, but when Icelanders will finally storm the offices of HB Grandi and seize the means of production remains to be seen.

For more “Island Life” articles, read here.

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