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Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska - Juneau

Ed Schoenfeld is at CoastAlaska in Juneau

Clear-cuts and old-growth forests are part of the view of Indian Valley on Prince of Wales Island. The Forest Service just announced three more timber sales in the Island’s Big Thorne area. (Creative Commons photo by Nick Bonzey)

More Big Thorne Timber Sales Announced

The Forest Service plans three more timber sales in a part of Prince of Wales Island conservationists say needs to be protected. They’re much smaller than a recent sale in the same area.

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October 14, 2014
A glacier reflects in a naturally occurring pool of rusty, acidic water at the site of one of the KSM Prospect’s planned open-pit mines. The British Columbia project, northeast of Ketchikan, was just granted permits for roads and camps. (Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News)

KSM Mine Project Wins Key Permits

A controversial British Columbia mine northeast of Ketchikan has gained some key permits needed for construction.

But the KSM project still needs other government approvals – and large investments – before mining can begin. Also, a company with nearby claims says it must also grant approval.

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October 9, 2014

Southeast Ballot Issues Cover Taxes, Infrastructure and More

Communities across Alaska are voting in municipal elections today. They are electing city council and assembly members and weighing in on local ballot measures. Some Southeast Alaska voters will consider how to raise revenues and what to spend them on.

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October 7, 2014

Conservation Group Sues to Block Controversial Timber Sale

The Forest Service awarded a contract this last week to log two-thirds of a controversial Southeast Alaska timber sale. Officials say it’s the first of several contracts for what’s called the Big Thorne timber sale.

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October 6, 2014
Tourists off the Norwegian Sun book a Mendenhall Glacier tour near Juneau’s waterfront on one of the last days of 2014′s tourism season, as a waterfront worker watches. Passenger numbers were similar to last year’s. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

Cruise Traffic Level, But Could Grow Soon

Alaska’s cruise ship season ended last week. It, and other types of tourism, attracted a similar number of visitors as in 2013. But the next few years could be different.

October 1, 2014
Petersburg voters face seven ballot measures in the Oct. 7 municipal election. Four propose changes to the senior citizen sales tax exemption. (Photo illustration, CoastAlaska News)

Petersburg Considers Changes to Senior Sales Tax Exemption

If you’re 65 or older, you don’t have to pay Petersburg’s 6 percent sales tax. Municipal Finance Director Jody Tow says that means local government is losing out on a lot of money.

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September 24, 2014
Art is Big Business in Southeast

Art is Big Business in Southeast

What are the arts worth to Southeast Alaska? A new economic study says painting, carving, theater, music and other creative pursuits generate at least $60 million a year in business.

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September 23, 2014
Cheaper Turboprops Lower Some AK Jet Fares

Cheaper Turboprops Lower Some AK Jet Fares

Cost-cutting on an Alaska Airlines Railbelt route is lowering fares in Southeast. The airline began flying smaller, turboprop planes between Anchorage and Fairbanks earlier this year. They also flew summer routes between Anchorage and Kodiak.

September 15, 2014
The ferry LeConte docks in Skagway in 2009. (J Webber/Creative Commons)

Ferry System Plans For New Route In Southeast

The state ferry system is planning a new route in Southeast Alaska. It’s being done in conjunction with a new, privately run ferry.

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September 10, 2014
Tribal Groups Disagree on the Stakes of B.C. Mine Projects

Tribal Groups Disagree on the Stakes of B.C. Mine Projects

Some Alaska tribal organizations say last week’s (Aug. 4th’s) dam break at a British Columbia mine shows what could happen closer to home. The groups say similar dams planned for several near-border mines could damage or destroy fish runs in both countries.

August 12, 2014
Early Tests Show B.C. Tailings Spill Water ‘Safe’

Early Tests Show B.C. Tailings Spill Water ‘Safe’

British Columbia’s Environment Ministrysays water that poured out of a massive mine-tailings pond Aug. 4 appears to be safe. But local emergency officials continue to warn area residents against drinking, bathing or swimming in affected water.

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August 8, 2014
Muddy water from the breached Mount Polley Mine tailings dam floods a downstream creek and road Monday. Fishing and environmental groups say the same could happen at new B.C. mines near the Southeast border. (Photo courtesy Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre)

Is the Mine Tailings Dam Failure in B.C. a Warning for Alaska?

Monday’s tailings-dam break at a British Columbia copper and gold mine could threaten Southeast Alaska salmon fisheries. That’s according to critics, who say similar dams closer to the border could suffer the same fate, polluting Alaska waters.

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August 5, 2014

KSM Mine Wins Environmental Approval From British Columbia Government

A controversial mine planned for an area northeast of Ketchikan just won environmental approval from the British Columbia government.

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July 30, 2014

Meetings To Highlight Southeast Transportation Projects

Southeast Alaskans can learn more about regional transportation projects at a series of meetings starting next week.

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July 30, 2014

Canadian Environmental Officials Give OK to Mine NE of Ketchikan

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.

July 23, 2014

Critics Say Canadian Mining Projects Could Damage Regional Fisheries

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.

July 22, 2014

Entrepreneurs Get Second Chance for Awards

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.

July 14, 2014
Soboleff Wins Sealaska Board Seat, Nelson Becomes Chairman

Soboleff Wins Sealaska Board Seat, Nelson Becomes Chairman

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.

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July 2, 2014
How will Sealaska Solve its Money Problems?

How will Sealaska Solve its Money Problems?

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.

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June 26, 2014
B.C. Developers Defend Near-Border Mines

B.C. Developers Defend Near-Border Mines

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?

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June 18, 2014