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Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage

ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori

Land Into Trust And The Future Of Tribal Sovereignty In Alaska

Alaska tribes can now ask the Interior Secretary to take land into trust, a legal designation called Indian Country. What would this mean for the future of tribal sovereignty? How would Indian Country status affect Alaska Native Corporations and the relationship between tribes and the state?

APRN: Tuesday, 4/21 at 10:00am

April 17, 2015

Army Corps Of Engineers Preps For Summer Season

The Army Corp of Engineers are gearing up for the summer season of projects around the state.

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March 30, 2015

Prolific Glacial Melt Is 10% Of Annual Fresh Water In The Gulf Of Alaska

A kayak trip in Glacier Bay in 2006 inspired an engineer to research the impact of glacial run off in the Gulf of Alaska. David Hill is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Oregon State University. For the study, he used decades of state and USGS stream flow data, combined with calculations on land characteristics and watershed size to create an analysis for the entire area. He found glacier melt makes up about 10% of the overall precipitation added to the Gulf. The annual amount is measured in multiple feet of water. Hill says he worked to model how quickly rain and snow melt started to flow.

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March 26, 2015

Medicaid Expansion And The State Budget

State leaders need to cut the budget without hurting the economy and find new sources of revenue. In a time of fiscal deficit, what do lawmakers think of Medicaid expansion and other ideas that impact the budget? What will it take to stabilize Alaska’s financial future?

APRN: Tuesday, 3/24 at 10:00am

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March 20, 2015
Lecture Addresses Food, Conflict, and Culture

Lecture Addresses Food, Conflict, and Culture

Is food a source of comfort–or division? How can it be used to spark conversations about global conflicts? Those are the questions Anita Mannur is asking in her upcoming talk called “Kitchens in Crisis” at UAA.

March 18, 2015

Women’s Hall of Fame Inducts New Members

The annual spring ritual of honoring women who have helped shaped Alaska, took place last weekend in Anchorage. The Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame holds their induction ceremony in the Wilda Marston theater at the Loussac Library. Every year, women, some well known and others not, are honored for their contributions to the state. This year’s 13 inductees ranged from one of the first female USGS geologists, who at one point worked on a top secret federal program– to women who had achievements in musical artistry and activism and others who championed conservation and science education.

March 13, 2015
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker speaks to reporters during a press conference Jan. 27, 2015. He was discussing a draft plan released earlier in the day by the U.S. Department of Interior that would block oil development in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

Governor Bill Walker And The Alaska State Budget

Governor Bill Walker and legislators need to work together to bring down state spending and raise new revenue. The Governor wants to expand Medicaid, beef up the instate gasline proposal and halt spending on several large infrastructure projects. Some Lawmakers are pushing back. How will they compromise?

APRN: Tuesday, 3/17 at 10:00am

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March 13, 2015
Steve Heimel and Historical Context for APRN

Steve Heimel and Historical Context for APRN

Steve Heimel has been a fixture of the APRN system since its inception. After more than three decades of dedicated service to news, Steve is leaving the network for other challenges. From covering the Exxon Valdez oil spill to helping Alaskans understand the breaking news on September 11th, Steve has been a steadfast, credible and authoritative voice. Steve Heimel
is our guest on the next Talk of Alaska.

APRN: Tuesday, March 10, at 10:00 a.m.

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March 6, 2015

How Will Retreating Glaciers Affect Whales, Seals?

Glaciologist Erin Pettit was on a kayaking trip in Glacier Bay in 2006 when she first wondered what kind of noise the glaciers were making under the water. Her new research shows the answer to that question is a lot – and not just when the glaciers are calving. Here’s the sound of a glacier pressurized bubbles being released from a glacier.

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March 5, 2015

‘Iditarod Adventures, Tales from Mushers Along the Trail’ Documents Race Stories

A new book, out just in time for this year’s race, documents stories of the Iditarod. Lew Freedman, a former Anchorage Daily News reporter and author of numerous other books on Iditarod legends, gets people who race or love and support the race, to tell their own stories. The book is called Iditarod Adventures, Tales from Mushers Along the Trail. Freedman starts with Martin Buser. He says he’s had a question he’s wanted to ask Buser since 1991.

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March 4, 2015

National Geographic Photographer Reflects On Three Decades Of Work

National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths will be speaking tonight in Anchorage about her more than three decades of work capturing the lives and cultures of people across the planet. Griffiths has worked in more than 150 countries. She raised her children on the road and says they loved the Middle East where they rode camels, milked goats and were warmly welcomed by people who prioritized family.

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March 3, 2015
Holly Brooks atop the Birkebeiner podium. (Photo courtesy Holly Brooks)

Holly Brooks Wins American Birkebeiner Ski Race

Holly Brooks won the 51 kilometer American Birkebeiner ski race in Hayward, Wisconsin this Saturday. Brooks is leading the International Ski Federation – or FIS – Marathon Cup – competing in long distance races in Europe, the U.S and later this spring- Russia. She gave up her spot on the U.S. Ski team to pursue an overall win on the Marathon Cup this season.

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February 23, 2015

Anchorage Man Indicted On Sex Trafficking, Sexual Assault, Weapons Misconduct Charges

Xavier Lanell Cook Benson is facing 12 counts related to what law enforcement officials allege in a written release, was a brutal and exploitative sex trafficking and prostitution operation in Anchorage, Juneau, Kenai and Fairbanks.

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February 20, 2015

Seward Highway Reopened After Rock Slide

Alaska Department of Transportation and Anchorage police report the Seward highway is open again. It was closed this morning due to a rock slide near the scales south of Potter Marsh. Both lanes of the highway were closed.

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February 19, 2015

Anchorage YWCA Works for Gender Pay Equity

The Anchorage YWCA has taken on the topic of pay inequity for women. Nationally women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, but in Alaska, the rate is 67 cents, placing Alaska at 48th for women’s pay in the nation. Hilary Morgan is the CEO of Anchorage YWCA, she says when she researched the pay disparity, she thought it may be skewed due to jobs in the resource development industry that required more physical strength, so she examined industries that didn’t require brawn.

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February 18, 2015
Practitioner of Traditional Medicine Stresses Personal Responsibility

Practitioner of Traditional Medicine Stresses Personal Responsibility

Ted Mala grew up in a family that covered a broad career spectrum; from medicine people to movie stars. Dr Mala is the son of Alaska Native movie star Ray Mala and before he became the first Alaska Native to attend medical school and return to Alaska to practice, he learned about traditional medicine from relatives in the region of his childhood home in Buckland.
He believes deeply in the power of traditional healing, but he also makes a clear distinction between it and shamanism.

February 16, 2015
(USGS Photo)

Seabird Decline Could Signal Drop In Ocean Productivity

Seabirds are on the decline in the North Pacific, from the Western Aleutians to Vancouver Island. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey compiled and filtered the data of hundreds of thousands of surveys of different species conducted in the last 40 years to document the decline. They say the decline could signal a drop in the overall productivity of the ocean.

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February 10, 2015

What Do Wilderness Designation Proposals Mean For Arctic Development?

The Obama Administration has proposed designating more than 20 million acres of both on and offshore federal areas be made off limits to development such as oil and gas exploration. The announcement was described as a gut punch by Senator Lisa Murkowski and had the entire delegation and the governor so steamed, they said it was a “war on Alaska.”

KSKA: Friday, 1/30 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, 1/31 at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, 1/30 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, 1/31 at 4:30 p.m.

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January 30, 2015

Sugar Creates Genetic Trouble For Coastal Alaska Natives

The idea that traditional diets are best for coastal Alaska Native people is being further confirmed by the discovery of a gene deficiency that doesn’t allow their systems to process sugar. Dr Matthew Hirschfeld is the director of maternal/child health services at the Alaska Native Medical Center. The intolerant gene causes a condition know as as C-Sid.

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January 28, 2015

Leaner Times In Store For Alaska’s Budget

Governor Bill Walker’s State of the Budget speech made clear that leaner times are ahead for Alaska. His address was a somber departure from the optimistic state of the state address. He noted almost right away that managing the state’s finances into better standing will not be easy.

KSKA: Friday, 1/23 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, 1/24 at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, 1/23 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, 1/24 at 4:30 p.m.

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January 23, 2015