Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska - Juneau

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Ed Schoenfeld is at CoastAlaska in Juneau

Weather may have been a factor in April 8th's plane crash on Admiralty Island. The crash killed the pilot and two passengers and badly injured another person on board. Download Audio

Wrangell residents are mourning the loss of three members of their community in Friday’s plane crash on Admiralty Island. Download Audio
A passenger on the deck of an Alaska Marine Highway ferry. (Flickr Creative Commons – supafly)

A Southeast lawmaker wants communities to be able to contribute directly to the Alaska Marine Highway System. Download Audio

The U.S. Supreme Court will not take up a case that could have expanded logging in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. It’s the final step in a legal battle against what’s called the Roadless Rule, which bans logging and road-building in most undeveloped national forest areas. Download Audio

The Alaska Folk Festival runs April 4th through 10th in Juneau. It’s a sure sign of spring for the hundreds of musicians from all over the state who come to play, jam and listen. CoastAlaska’s Ed Schoenfeld caught up with a Juneau singer-songwriter. He’s one of many performers who are serious about their music, but don’t leave their day jobs. Download Audio

Alaska shellfish farmers hope a new state mariculture initiative will help boost their businesses. But they warn it’s not an easy industry to expand. Download Audio

Southeast Alaska’s largest tribal government is pressing for an intensive environmental analysis of the region’s health. It’s part of a larger push for protection of transboundary rivers, which flow from British Columbia into the region. Download Audio

Southeast Alaska’s largest tribal government is pressing for an intensive environmental analysis of the region’s health. It’s part of a larger push for protection of transboundary rivers, which flow from British Columbia into the region.

Southeast Alaska is growing older faster than any other region in the state. This so-called “Silver Tsunami” is expanding the need for housing, transportation, healthcare and social services. CoastAlaska public radio stations are presenting a series of reports talking to our older community members – and those they work with – about many of the issues they face.

The largest tribal government in Southeast Alaska now has authority over foster care and other services for Native children facing abuse or neglect. An agreement signed Wednesday this week transfers state management, as well as funding, to the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. Download Audio

An Alaska Airlines flight on its way to Ketchikan and Juneau was struck by lightning Sunday night. No one was hurt, but it shook people up.
Rep. Sam Kito lll addresses the Alaska House of Representatives on April 7, 2014. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

The Alaska Marine Highway System made it through one step in the legislative budget process without further cuts. But those could come later.

A longtime critic of Sealaska management is campaigning to limit the terms of the regional Native corporation’s board of directors. Previous efforts have failed.

An independent southern Southeast Alaska ferry system contributes about $50 million a year to the region’s economy. The Inter-Island Ferry Authority just released a report showing its impacts on tourism, seafood, health-care and other industries. The Inter-Island Ferry Authority, or IFA, has been sailing for about 15 years It runs between Hollis, on Prince of Wales Island, and Ketchikan. And it’s separate from the much larger Alaska Marine Highway System.

Many people think the Alaska Marine Highway System only serves port communities in the Southeast and Southwest parts of the state, plus Prince William Sound. It turns out the Railbelt benefits, too. Download Audio

Petersburg’s nonprofit cold storage plant is serving a wider group of customers than it did when it began about 10 years ago. It’s still mostly freezing fish for big processors but it’s also taking in groceries and sport anglers’ catches. Download Audio

Ferry fares went up 5 percent for most routes Jan. 1. The hike comes on the heels of a 4.5 percent increase that began in May. The increase is for new reservations. Those made before January will not change.

The Alaska Marine Highway System is not changing its rules for children traveling solo anytime soon. About a year ago, officials announced plans to require most children and teenagers to be accompanied by an adult. They said it was unsafe for those under 18 to be on their own on a moving ship. Ferry users disagreed and protested the decision.

It’s been a hard year for some Alaskans. Salvation Army branches around the state report significantly more requests for holiday assistance than last year. Here’s how the Southeast fishing community of Petersburg is responding to the need. Petersburg’s Salvation Army Community Center is collecting toys for 70 children this Christmas season. That’s up from 50 last year. About 85 families including around 230 people will get boxes of food. Those numbers are up too.

Budget cuts have already dramatically reduced Alaska Marine Highway sailings. And the recently-released spending plan for the next fiscal year calls for more. So, how does the ferry system fare in the governor’s budget? And will the Legislature make further cuts? Download Audio