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.

The ferry Aurora is out of service a week earlier than expected. A small crack was found last week in its hull. The Coast Guard ordered repairs be made before it resumes passenger service on its Prince William Sound route. Download Audio

Seven major cruise lines face penalties for polluting the air while sailing Alaska waters. Download Audio

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott says Alaskans need a unified voice to push the federal government to question mines across the border in British Columbia. Download Audio

State government will formally involve tribal groups in its transboundary mining work. Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott made that commitment Wednesday while meeting in Juneau with Southeast Native leaders.

Construction of another British Columbia mine near a river that flows into Alaska could begin within a month. But it’s a small operation sparking fewer concerns on this side of the border than some other projects. Download Audio

Federal officials are asking cruise ships, tour boats and kayaks to stay far away from harbor seals in Alaska’s glacial fjords. The marine mammals rest, sleep and birth their pups on floating ice. NOAA Fisheries says new research shows the marine mammals are much more likely to dive into the water when vessels approach the current legal limit.

Developers of a mine on a Taku River tributary have stopped work after an on-site protest by a British Columbia tribal government. The Taku enters the ocean near Juneau. Download Audio

Alaska critics of British Columbia mines probably won’t get any help from a cross-boundary panel they’ve asked to take on their concerns. Download Audio

Southeast Alaska community leaders hope to restore or adjust some parts of the proposed ferry schedule for this fall, winter and spring. That’s the word from most of those testifying Wednesday morning during a teleconferenced Alaska Marine Highway System public hearing. Download Audio

British Columbia officials are delaying permits for an open-pit mine near a river that flows into the ocean south of Ketchikan. They say Pacific Booker Minerals has not proved it can keep toxic water out of nearby waterways. The developer says it has. Download Audio

The large barge picking up marine debris from the Gulf of Alaska coast is skipping Southeast. A month-long helicopter-and-barge operation will remove stored trash, much from 2011’s Japanese tsunami. Download Audio

A British Columbia mine that’s become a symbol of mineral extraction’s environmental threats will reopen next month. Provincial officials on Thursday granted the Mount Polley Mine conditional approval to resume limited operations. Download Audio

The Alaska Marine Highway System has cancelled this summer’s sailings between Petersburg and northern Prince of Wales Island. But they’ll happen next year. Download Audio:

The Alaska Marine Highway System plans to lay up three of its 11 ferries for most of the next budget year. A draft schedule released Friday shows the Taku out for all of fiscal year 2016, which begins in July. The fast ferries Chenega and Fairweather will be tied up starting in the early fall. Download Audio

Sealaska shareholders meet Saturday in Juneau for their annual meeting. The regional Native corporation has about 22,000 shareholders with roots in Southeast Alaska. Many live outside the region.

Haines residents are being told to boil their drinking water after E. coli was found in the municipal water system. Download Audio

A Canadian mining company says it’s found richer deposits of gold and copper ore at its controversial KSM project. It’s spending $16 million to continue to explore for more at its site, upriver from Ketchikan, this summer. Download Audio

Did you know some cruise ships are allowed to discharge wastewater while anchored or tied up in port? State officials and industry representatives say it’s safe. But critics fear it’s fouling local harbors.

A bill creating corporations for Native residents of five “landless” Southeast Alaska communities had its first hearing in Congress today. Haines, Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan and Tenakee were left out of 1971’s Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. That bill gave land, money and corporate status to those in many other Alaska communities.
Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo addresses the Juneau Chamber of Commerce in 2011. He’ll soon head up the cruise industry’s trade group. (KTOO file photo)

Alaska’s former top U.S. Coast Guard official will soon head up the world’s largest cruise-industry trade group. Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo takes over July 6 as CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association.