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Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage

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

Host Lori Townsend (left) with Republican gubernatorial candidate incumbent Sean Parnell (right). (Photo by Monica Gokey, KSKA - Anchorage)

Gubernatorial Candidate Sean Parnell

Sean Parnell is in a close race to keep his position as Alaska’s top executive. The state is facing tough issues. Revenue shortfalls mean hard budget questions in the future, and reform is needed in the troubled National Guard. But gasline development may also be on the horizon.

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

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October 17, 2014
Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Walker

Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Walker

Bill Walker wants to be the next Governor of Alaska. Whoever wins will take the job in a tough fiscal environment. Walker is running in a tight race without a party after running as a Republican in the past.

APRN: Wednesday, 10/22 at 10:00am

October 17, 2014
Michael Brubaker (left), discusses climate change's effects on public health with Lori Townsend (middle) and Zachariah Hughes (right). (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN - Anchorage)

How Does Climate Change Affect Public Health?

A series of reports that seek to define the potential changes to public health in rural Alaska communities based on the impacts of Alaska’s rapidly changing climate. But, why are the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the North Slope Borough looking at the issue through the lens of climate change?

KSKA: Friday, October 17 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 18 at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, October 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 18 at 4:30 p.m.

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October 17, 2014
Sen. Mark Begich addresses the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 3, 2014. (Skip Gray/ Gavel Alaska)

U.S. Senate Race: Mark Begich

Six years ago, Mark Begich narrowly won his position as a U.S. Senator for Alaska. Now Senator Begich is in a fight to keep that seat with a strong challenge from former Attorney General and DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan.

APRN: Tuesday, 10/14 at 10:00am

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October 10, 2014
(Photo by Josh Edge, APRN - Anchorage)

Alaska’s Fiscal Future

Alaska has had an interesting fiscal ride through the decades. From a time when the purchase of the territory from Russia was called “Seward’s Folly” to the discovery of the rich oil resources of Prudhoe Bay — which made the state very cashy, fairly quickly. Alaskans have enjoyed the benefits of oil revenues for decades, but production is in decline and that means the state must ramp up production or slow down expenses. We’re in deficit spending now but the population and demand for services continues to ramp up. What should be done to help Alaska get out of deficit mode.

KSKA: Friday, October 10 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 11 at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 11 at 4:30 p.m.

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October 10, 2014

Alaska National Guard Officer Recommended For ‘Other Than Honorable’ Discharge

A Lieutenant Colonel in the Alaska National Guard was recommended for an “other than honorable” discharge earlier this year, according to a story in this week’s Anchorage Press. Joseph Lawendowski is the guard’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Training.

Reporter David Holthouse says he started looking into Lawendowski after reading the National Guard Bureau’s Office of Complex Investigations report that came out last month.

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October 9, 2014

Retired Colonel Implicated In Guard Scandal

A recent federal investigation documented a whole host of abuses in the Alaska National Guard, ranging from mishandling of sexual assault to embezzlement. While the report largely focused on structural problems and took a broad look at the crisis of confidence in Guard leadership, it made a few references to some particularly egregious examples. Now, some of the alleged perpetrators of those abuses are being called out.

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October 8, 2014
National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen takes audiences to the vast polar regions of our planet. Paul Nicklen and leopard seal, Antarctica. (Image credit: Ehlme Goran)

National Geographic Live – Paul Nicklen

National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen has traveled to some of the most remote regions of the globe to document the effects of climate change. He has plunged into icy water and floated on sea ice to photograph sea mammals that rarely encounter humans.

Nicklen worked as a biologist in Alaska before becoming a professional photographer. He says his love of the Arctic developed as a kid, growing up in a tiny arctic village on Baffin Island in Canada.

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October 7, 2014
Alaska author Seth Kantner publishes his first children's book, "Pup & Pokey."

Alaska Book Week: ‘Pup & Pokey’ and A Journey Into Kid Lit

Author Seth Kantner has published his first children’s book. Pup & Pokey tells the story of a wolf pup and a young porcupine that strike up an unusual friendship. Kantner chose first time illustrator Beth Hill to bring the characters to life. Hill worked out of her home in the village of Kokhanok on a tight deadline, producing oil paintings that took two weeks to dry for each illustration.

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October 6, 2014

Book Chronicles Young Man’s Commercial Fishing Experiences

Being a deckhand can be tough, especially if you work for a boat owner who acts like a tyrant. In his new book Dead Reckoning, blank based author Dave Atcheson has written about his experience as a young man with no commercial fishing knowledge, trying to learn the business. His first job was really tough.

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October 3, 2014
Infectious Disease

Infectious Disease

What do Alaskans need to know about the first case of Ebola in America and the risk to children from Enterovirus 68? Neither disease is in Alaska, but public health officials are preparing just in case.

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

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October 3, 2014
Alaska Edition: October 3, 2014

Alaska Edition: October 3, 2014

An Alaska Supreme Court ruling in a tribal adoption case goes against the tribe’s position; what are the broader implications for ICWA cases? Governor Sean Parnell defends his response to the National Guard sexual assault issue. Alaska voters will decide on a number of ballot propositions on November 4, including: marijuana legalization, increasing the minimum wage, and an initiative that would effectively prohibit the Pebble Mine.

KSKA: Friday, August 15 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, August 16 at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, August 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 16 at 4:30 p.m.

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October 3, 2014

Health Policy Innovators Gather In Anchorage

A group of health policy innovators gathered at the Dena’ina center in Anchorage this morning to talk about how Alaska’s health care systems have evolved. The event is part of the Alaska Health Care Commission’s initiative to look at how Alaskans health status has improved in the last 60 years. A lot has changed in that time, including the development of an independent tribal health system.

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October 1, 2014

Arctic Researcher: Social Changes Are As Drastic as Climate Changes

Academics and researchers have been meeting in Anchorage to bring together studies looking at what sustainability means in the arctic. Andrey Petrov is lead investigator and director of Arctic Frost. He has studied the arctic in Russia, Canada and Alaska for 15 years. He says there is a lot of discussion about environmental changes, but social changes in arctic communities can be even more dramatic. His work looks at human capital and community innovators.

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September 22, 2014
What Should Alaska’s Fiscal Plan Be?

What Should Alaska’s Fiscal Plan Be?

The level of spending by Alaska’s state government cannot be sustained. In the coming years as reserves are spent down, what are the choices that will have to be made? And when will they have to be made? Early next month, there will be a public forum to try to get some clarity about the state’s fiscal future.

APRN: Tuesday, 9/23 at 10:00am

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September 19, 2014

Researchers, Academics Convene On Arctic Development Issues

Researchers and academics from multiple nations are gathering at the University of Alaska Anchorage this week to aggregate research on Arctic development. There are two efforts underway. The first is the initial meeting of Arctic Frost or Arctic Frontiers of Sustainability, looking at resources and development in a changing north. The idea is to bring together existing international research, clarify the new knowledge and get the information out to the public and schools. Dr Diane Hirshberg is the Professor of Education Policy and director of UAA’s Center for Alaska Education Policy Research. She says in addition to Arctic Frost, the second Arctic Human Development report will be released. The base line study was conducted 10 years ago.

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September 18, 2014

Energy Development Proponents Meet In Anchorage

Proponents of energy development are in Anchorage for the 10th annual Alaska Oil and Gas Congress. Canada’s Northwest Territories Premiere Bob McCloud says Alaska and the Territories have a lot in common – great resources that are stranded in remote locations.

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September 17, 2014

Alaska Democrats Vote To Support Independent Candidate for Governor

The Central Committee of the Alaska Democratic Party voted Monday evening to support an Independent party ticket for Governor and Lieutenant Governor comprised of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott. Mallot has been the Democratic nominee for Governor but would run as Lieutenant Governor with Walker on the Independent ticket. The vote was 89 to 2.

September 1, 2014

One Company Bids In Sealed Bid Lease Sale

Only one company bid for a single exploration lease this morning at a state division of oil and gas sale. Bill Barron, division director said the exploration area is on state land on the Iniskin Peninsula area of southwest Cook Inlet near Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. He said the first exploration of the area started in 1902 near Oil Bay and continued through the 1950s.

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August 6, 2014

Business leaders and Politicians Meet in Whistler BC for Economic Summit

The Pacific Northwest Economic Region, or PNWER, summit is happening right now in Whistler British Columbia.

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July 24, 2014