Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage
ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8452 | About Lori
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Pacific Northwest Economic Region, or PNWER, summit is happening right now in Whistler British Columbia.
The Alaska Supreme Court issued a decision today in a long running tribal court jurisdiction case. The case stems from a Minto tribal court decision that terminated parental rights.
A program airing this Sunday on the Smithsonian Channel tries to capture the majesty of the 49th state. Toby Beach is the producer and director of Aerial America. The show features all 50 states, but only Alaska was given a two hour treatment rather than one. Beach says the program cuts through the distorted view of Alaska that people may get from the flood of so-called reality TV shows about the state.
Even by Alaska standards, there has been a lot of seismic activity recently. Alaska is located in the Ring of Fire, so it’s not unusual for there to be frequent earthquakes and volcanoes kicking up occasionally, but starting in April, there has been some unusual seismic activity in the Brooks Range. An area near Noatak has, since April, seen a spike in earthquakes after a 30-year quiet period.
KSKA: Friday, June 27 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, June 28 at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, June 28 at 4:30 p.m.