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Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage

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

In Kotzebue, excitement is high as the president ventures north

In Kotzebue, excitement is high as the president ventures north

Air Force One landed in Kotzebue just before 5 p.m. President Obama is now the first sitting president to visit the U.S. Arctic.

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September 2, 2015
Obama on Exit Glacier: ‘We want to make sure our grandkids see this’

Obama on Exit Glacier: ‘We want to make sure our grandkids see this’

President Obama is in Seward today. He landed early this afternoon in his helicopter, called Marine One and then hiked to Exit Glacier to highlight how much the rivers of ice in the state are retreating because of global climate change.

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September 1, 2015
Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat Nixon stand with CEO of Northern Consolidated Airlines Ray Peterson in front of Northern Consolidated Airlines Fairchild U.S. Mail prop plane (later christened by Pat Nixon) during their visit to Alaska. Printed on airplane: "U.S. Mail AAM241." Dec. 17, 1958. Photographer: Ward W. Wells. When Nixon returned to Alaska as president, he famously welcomed Japanese Emperor Hirohito, the first Japanese emperor to set foot on foreign soil. Photo: Alaska Digital Archives.

Presidential Visits to The Last Frontier

The president is visiting Alaska, and it’s more than just a fuel stop this time. On the next Talk of Alaska, we’re taking a trip into the annals of presidential history in the Last Frontier. FDR and Jimmy Carter went fishing during their visits here. Reagan hosted the pope. And Clinton popped downtown for a sandwich. What will Obama’s visit be remembered for?

APRN: Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 10:00 a.m.

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August 28, 2015
Keeping a president safe on the road: the devil’s in the details

Keeping a president safe on the road: the devil’s in the details

The White House released more details today on President Obama’s visit to Alaska next week. The President will spend Monday in Anchorage, Tuesday in the Seward area and Wednesday in Dillingham and Kotzebue. Planning the security for Obama’s visit isn’t easy, according to retired Federal Marshall Marc Otte. For 22 years, the Eagle River resident helped protect foreign dignitaries and federal judges.

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August 24, 2015
Alaska Music Greats ‘Portugal. The Man’ To Rock AK State Fair

Alaska Music Greats ‘Portugal. The Man’ To Rock AK State Fair

Getting an internationally successful rock band to play in Alaska is tough, but when the Alaska State Fair gets underway later this month, one of the performing groups will be playing for a home town crowd.

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August 11, 2015
Wild food and its role in Alaska culture

Wild food and its role in Alaska culture

Berry picking, salmon fishing and preparations for fall hunting are in full swing and Alaskans are putting up food for winter. Whether canned, dried, fermented or smoked – wild foods go hand in hand with the culture and traditions of the north.

APRN: Tuesday, 8/11 at 10:00am

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August 7, 2015

The future of Alaska’s megaprojects

The six so called megaprojects that Governor Walker put on hold soon after taking office have already received millions in state and federal funds but would take billions to actually complete. Where would the money come from? If the state stops them completely will the federal money have to be repaid?

APRN: Tuesday, 8/4 at 10:00am

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July 31, 2015
Kivalina's new store, owned by ANICA, celebrated its opener with hot dogs and hamburgers for all. Photo: Janet Mitchell.

As Subsistence Foods Become Scarce, Kivalina Celebrates A New Store

It’s been a festive day in the northwest Arctic community of Kivalina today as residents celebrate the grand opening of a new store. It’s an end to eight months of struggle with limited supplies after Kivalina’s store burned to the ground last December.

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July 28, 2015

Alaska’s budget woes and the effects on public safety

Budget cuts are creating stress for communities trying to keep their citizens safe with fewer dollars for law enforcement. In a state with staggering statistics for violence and sexual assault, how can municipalities, cities, and villages keep the peace amid jail closures, fewer troopers and local police.

APRN: Tuesday, 7/28 at 10:00am

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July 24, 2015

Alaska News Nightly: Friday, July 17, 2015

Wings of Alaska Flight From Juneau to Hoonah Goes Down, Survivors Confirmed; President Obama Will Attend Glacier Conference In Anchorage in August; Shell Rigs Leave Dutch Harbor For Chukchi, To Wait; Former Permanent Fund CEO Dies; Mississippi Flag To Be Removed From Downtown Juneau; Aniak Fire Base Battles Stubborn Fires: Fatal Plane Crash Wreckage Awaits Removal; AK: Nimbus Sculpture and 49 voices visits Chuck Sassara

July 17, 2015
Variability of Alaska’s salmon runs

Variability of Alaska’s salmon runs

Salmon runs in Alaska have been defying expectations this season, in both good and bad ways. Why has it been so difficult to meet escapement for some runs while seeing bounty in others? From closures on the Kuskokwim to a puny run on the Yukon, salmon fishing in Alaska is changing and the reasons why remain elusive.

APRN: Tuesday, July 21 at 10:00am

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July 17, 2015

Bethel Democrat to Lead PNWER Arctic Caucus

Representative Bob Herron, a Democrat from Bethel was elected the chairman of the Arctic Caucus during the 25th summer summit of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, or PNWER.

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July 16, 2015

Chuck Sassara on Propellers, Politics and People

Chuck Sassara first arrived in Alaska in a VW bus in 1955. He and his wife Ann built a life that encompassed a career in aviation, government and business. Sassara witnessed the beginnings of statehood and the growth of the Alaskan community. His new book is “Chuck Sassara’s Alaska – Propellers, Politics and People.”

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APRN: Tuesday, July 14, at 10:00 a.m.

July 10, 2015
Alaska Ablaze: Fires Activity Puts State On Track For A Record-Setting Year

Alaska Ablaze: Fires Activity Puts State On Track For A Record-Setting Year

More than 300 wildfires are burning across Alaska right now- mostly in a wide swath of the interior and Southwest part of the state. More than 3 million acres of the state have burned so far this summer, which is on pace to beat the record setting 2004 season.

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July 7, 2015

Alaska News Nightly: Friday, July 3, 2015

Wade Hampton Census Area Gets A New Name; Coast Guard Cutter Sherman Returns To Port To Address Engine Trouble; Computers Aid Firefighting Efforts; State Fish And Game Officials Warn Of ‘Rabbit Fever’ Outbreak; Haines Assembly Approves Lower Cruise Ship Moorage Fees; UAF Addresses Water Quality Concerns; AK: Seward’s Mount Marathon Race Hits The Century Mark

July 3, 2015
Polar Bear Recovery Plan

Polar Bear Recovery Plan

New reports are painting a grim picture for the future of polar bears. Studies looking at climate change impacts clarify that without ice, polar bears will have difficulty surviving. Polar bears in Alaska are particularly vulnerable and at risk of disappearing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have just released a polar bear conservation management plan that identifies arctic warming as the largest threat to the bear’s survival.

KSKA: Tuesday, July 7, at 10:00 a.m.
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July 3, 2015
This oblique aerial photograph from 2006 shows the Barter Island long-range radar station landfill threatened by coastal erosion. The landfill was subsequently relocated further inland, however, the coastal bluffs continue to retreat. Photo by Bruce Richmond/Ann Gibbs, USGS.

Alaska’s shoreline erosion rate among highest worldwide

Alaska has some of the most aggressive rates of shoreline erosion in the world. These findings are part of a new study released Wednesday by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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July 2, 2015
Study: Climate Change Is A Chief Threat to Polar Bears

Study: Climate Change Is A Chief Threat to Polar Bears

A new federal study shows Alaska’s two polar bear populations could be greatly decreased in a decade. The research also shows global warming is by far the biggest threat to polar bear populations across the arctic compared to other stressors like hunting and pollutants.

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June 30, 2015

Alaska: On the Cusp of Recession?

With oil prices stuck in the gutter, Alaska is staring down the possibility of economic recession. Combine that with declining federal dollars and jobs, military reductions and a weakened fishing industry and it all adds up to a perfect storm. It’s an uncomfortable question: what will our economy look like without a booming oil sector?

APRN: Tuesday, 6/30 at 10:00am

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June 26, 2015

Economic Report Assesses Potential for A Recession in Alaska

The state released a report last week with the ominous title, “The Great Alaska Recession.” It’s written by Juneau economist Greg Erickson, who was commissioned by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority to produce a report on the economic impact of Medicaid Expansion.

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June 22, 2015