Marviken Nuclear Plant to become hotel?
The failed nuclear plant Marviken (built as Sweden’s first reactor, though it was never loaded) might become a hotel. According to Dagens Industri, Vattenfall (the Swedish power company) is trying to sell it. “It is without doubt an odd piece,” says Per Ljung, responsible for the sale, to DI. When Marviken never took off as a nuclear plant, it instead became used as an oil-fired power station, until the first oil crisis during the 1970s. During the plant’s 40-year history, not many hours have been spent actively, and DI calls it “Swedish industry’s biggest fiasco.” Its location is beautiful at Bråviken’s inlet outside Norrköping, and Ljung believes it would be suited to become a hotel. “There’s space here for a harbor for smaller boats and an area for recreation,” he says. But if you want to buy it, you better have a fat wallet. According to DI, Vattenfall estimates it would cost several hundred million SEK to turn it into a hotel. “The most important thing for us is that it’s a good solution for the municipality and the nearby area. There’s great potential here when it comes to tourism and leisure time,” Ljung says.

No book by Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan?
A book by Mo Yan was recently removed from a library in Sweden. Until recently, you had most probably never heard his name, but now you know who he is—this year’s Nobel Prize recipient in literature. But even Swedish librarians hadn’t heard of him, or didn’t think much of him. At the main library in Sollefteå, the one book by Mo Yan was put away only last week. “I told my colleagues when I heard the news that I recognize that book,” says librarian Carin Collén. “But when I looked it up in the catalogue it wasn’t there. Well, we all make mistakes.” Only three of Mo Yan’s books have been translated into Swedish. In about one minute all his books sold out of Hamrelius Book Store in Malmö, following the news that he had won the Nobel Prize. However, there were only two titles and four books available at the store, so no surprise there. There was also a small table decked out with other possible prize recipients, but the table was quickly cleared after the news broke, and more of Mo Yan’s books became available and sold out just as quickly. “I’ve never read anything by him,” says Gudmund Hamrelius, owner of the bookstore. “But the permanent secretary (Peter Englund) says he’s accessible, which I like as a book seller.”

No Bamse in Annedal
Well-known characters from children’s books are giving their names to the streets in the new neighborhood of Annedal in Stockholm. But popular figure Bamse (created by Rune Andréasson) is not one of them. Frankly, he’s not welcome. “If we say yes to comic book characters,” says commissioner Regina Kevius to daily DN, “then soon we’ll have a Scrooge McDuck park.” When discussing the street names of Annedal, there was a proposal for a Bamsetorg (Bamse Square), but the right-wing majority said no, with the motivation that Bamse simply is too commercial, though Pippi Longstocking, Nils Holgersson and Krakel Spektakel were given green lights. “There’s a bit of a difference between Bamse and Pippi when it comes to quality,” says Kevius. It’s the second time this year that a comic book character creates such strong emotions in Stockholm. Earlier this fall, Tintin (created by Belgian artist Georges Remi) was deemed too racist, and therefore thrown out from the youth department at the Kulturhuset’s library.

No moose hunting for the Swedish king?
The Swedish king won’t go hunting for the king of the forest this year. The monarch’s annual moose hunt has been cancelled. “We’ll have to hunt for deer instead,” says Jimmie Pettersson, hunting leader for the king’s hunts. The traditional moose hunt at Halle- och Hunneberg is one of the year’s highlights for the Swedish king, but it's cancelled as there are far too few moose. “We’ve simply had too bad a year when it comes to the number of moose. I doubt there’s even 75 of them,” continues Pettersson. The problem is due to poor food for the moose, especially in the winter, so the Swedish king has to make do hunting for deer instead. “Halle- och Hunneberg is well known for the moose. But we’ll try to aim for deer instead, which we think will benefit the moose. But yes, I do think the king is disappointed.” Last year, the king canceled the general press meetings usually arranged in conjunction with the moose hunt, and only invited expert media. By doing so he broke a long tradition, where mass media has had access to meet with him and ask him questions about his hunting. It remains to be seen whether he'll do that this year. We'll know in November.

Hasse Tellemar has died
Popular Swedish radio host and musician (accordion and double bass) Hasse Tellemar has died. Tellemar was born in Södertälje on November 7, 1923. He began playing the accordion when he was 12 and started touring as a musician when he was 18. In 1943, he was accepted at Musikaliska Akademien (The Royal Swedish Academy of Music) and a few years later became a member of Thore Ehrling’s orchestra, in which he played the accordion. He remained with Ehrling until 1957, when he was offered a temporary job at the Swedish Radio’s entertainment department. Tellemar produced the program “Refrängen” (the Refrain) with musical potpourri until 1968, and was also responsible for a lot of other programs. Between 1969 and 1988, he was the host for the immensely popular radio show “Ring så spelar vi” (Call us and we’ll play), where listeners from all over Sweden could call in, answer a question, win a prize and ask to hear a song played. Tellemar was a well-known profile in Swedish-American circles as well. We recently came across a concert with Swedish-Finnish-American accordion player Walter Eriksson at Vasa Park in Budd Lake, NJ. He was 88 years old.