The Alaska Marine Highway System has begun taking reservations for fall, winter and spring sailings.
Spokeswoman Aurah Landau said the newly released ferry schedule covers travel from October through April.
“The service schedule is nearly identical to last year. The same with the operating budget. We’ve shifted some boats around, but the service itself is basically the same,” she said.
The shifting will allow the 54-year-old ferry Matanuska to undergo significant upgrades.
Capt. John Falvey is the marine highway’s general manager.
“We’re going to have new engines, new auxiliary equipment, basically a new engine room. And it doesn’t just stop at the engines. It’ll go from the reduction gear all the way out to the shaft and the props and rudders,” he said.
He said the work will cost about $36 million, using mostly federal funding.
The schedule was released Aug. 10, after a shorter-than-usual public-comment period. That’s because the Legislature made its budget decisions in late June, months beyond the usual deadline.
- The U.S. Interior Department announced Alaska’s share of a gun tax revenue: $33 million. That's more than double what the state got just six years ago.
- A $2.5 million expansion of Bartlett Regional Hospital would go toward a 4,000-square-foot addition to house the Rainforest Recovery Center. It would take pressure off of the emergency room.
- Richard Parmelee warms his house with vegetable oil, donated by a local Chinese restaurant and McDonalds.
- Rep. Sam Kito III is not running for re-election in the fall. Kito told the Juneau Empire he made his decision Friday due to financial concerns.