Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska - Juneau

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska - Juneau
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Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues. He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.
Passengers disembark the ferry Malaspina in Skagway during its 50th anniversary sailing. Most ferry fares went up Jan. 1. (Photo by Mikko Wilson/360 North)

Should the Alaska Marine Highway System be managed differently? That’s a question being asked by ferry advocates as they cope with smaller budgets and reduced schedules.

Sealaska, Southeast’s regional Native corporation, continues its financial recovery. But its operational side is still losing money and even its investments are in the red. Sealaska just released its 2015 annual report, which illustrates its financial ups and downs.

Southeast Alaska's largest tribal organization wants to expand its service programs. Part of the effort could be funded by profits from a business it's about to purchase.

Beginning in May, it will cost 14 percent more to take the ferry to and from the Lower 48. The fare boost is part of another round of Alaska Marine Highway System tariff increases. Officials said they’ll increase income and help equalize rates across all routes.
Alaska News Nightly by Alaska Public Media

As lawmakers finish off their spending plan for state operations, a wide variety of programs are considering the impacts of budget cuts. One is the state public health center system, where reductions could leave communities without some types of care. Download Audio

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