Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska - Juneau
Ed Schoenfeld is at CoastAlaska in Juneau
Canadian environmental officials just gave provisional approval to a controversial mine planned for an area northeast of Ketchikan. Their counterparts in British Columbia have done the same.
Canadian investors are putting millions of new dollars into mining projects near the Southeast Alaska border. They include the KSM and Tulsequah Chief prospects, which critics say could damage regional fisheries.
Southeast Alaska entrepreneurs are getting a second chance to win $40,000 to develop regional businesses. It’s part of a partnership involving a Native corporation and a conservation group that made its first awards last year.
The regional Native corporation for Southeast Alaska has a new CEO, a new board chairman and a new board member. Leaders of Juneau-headquartered Sealaska are following a direction set by their predecessors. But they promise some changes, following a recent board election.
Sealaska holds its annual shareholders’ meeting Saturday near Seattle. A new CEO will take over, as will a new board chairman or woman. And, at least one new board member will be seated.
All will face the challenges of a new economic reality. The Juneau-based regional Native corporation has been losing money and plans for recovery are uncertain.
Plans for mines in northwest British Columbia, just across Alaska’s border, are being blasted by tribal, fishing and environmental groups in Southeast Alaska. Critics say they’ll pollute rivers that cross the border, damaging or destroying salmon and other fish runs. But what do we hear from the mining side of the story?
We’ve heard a lot about mines planned for northwest British Columbia, just across Alaska’s border. Southeast tribal, fishing and environmental groups have blasted those plans. Critics say they’ll pollute rivers that cross the border, damaging or destroying salmon and other fish runs. But we haven’t heard a lot from mine advocates. Now, we have.
Dozens of paddlers from Yakutat to Metlakatla and places in between landed their canoes on a Juneau beach on their way to the Southeast Native cultural festival Celebration 2014. More than 500 people waded into the water or watched from the shore as the paddlers ended their journey Wednesday afternoon. Hundreds of others lined a nearby causeway or cheered from parks and bridges along the route. We spoke with some of the paddlers and recorded some of the songs and filed this audio post card.
Four Sealaska board of directors candidates say the regional Native corporation’s balloting process violates a recent court ruling. Sealaska says it’s not a problem. The Alaska Supreme Court decision came in a case involving CIRI, the regional Native corporation for the Cook Inlet area.
Alaskans have had some big anniversaries this year: The ‘64 earthquake and the Exxon Valdez oil spill among them. Acoustic musicians celebrated their own anniversary last month in Juneau: the Alaska Folk Festival’s 40th. The week of concerts attracts hundreds of singers, pickers and strummers and thousands of fans from around the state.
A second generation of Mallotts is taking over the helm at Sealaska. The regional Native corporation’s board of directors named Anthony Mallott as president and CEO during a shareholders’ meeting Tuesday night in Anchorage. He’s the son of former CEO and long-time board member Byron Mallott, who’s running for governor as a Democrat.
A measure before Sealaska shareholders could alter the way board elections are held. And that could bring leadership changes.
The measure comes as 13 shareholders compete for four board seats in the Southeast Alaska regional Native corporation’s annual election.
Southeast Alaska’s regional Native corporation says it had a net loss of $35 million last year. Sealaska’s 2013 annual report says three-quarters of the loss came from its construction subsidiary. It badly underestimated the cost of two building projects in Hawaii.
The risk of fires in Southeast’s Tongass National Forest has dropped. A warning was issued last week as warm, sunny weather dried out grass and underbrush.
Bryon Mallott will leave Sealaska’s board of directors next month to spend more time campaigning for governor. He’s served on the Juneau-based regional Native corporation’s governing body – or been its CEO – since 1972.
Sealaska Corp. does not appear to be making much – if any – money. The regional Native corporation’s spring distribution to shareholders, which is basically a dividend, includes no corporate revenues.
The spring dividend for most Sealaska shareholders will be $721, but some will receive less than a tenth of that amount.
Two Southeast Alaska mines could get close to $300 million in state support under a bill moving through the Legislature.