Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 18 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director. In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications with veteran Alaskan broadcasters Nellie Moore, D’Anne Hamilton, Len Anderson, Sharon McConnell and Veronica Iya. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley. She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests. ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori

Lawmakers are in the final days of the regular legislative session and there is still a lot of daylight between the budget plans of the House and Senate and the Governor. Where do the fiscal plans stand currently and what are the potential impacts to the state's economy? APRN: Tuesday, April 12 at 10:00am

Self-contained two-way about tonight's Anchorage election. You can follow on the live blog, too! Download Audio
Gov. Bill Walker’s plan to fund state operations with Permanent Fund earnings is up for public comment before the Senate State Affairs Committee. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Governor Bill Walker's plan to solve the state's 4 billion dollar budget deficit has it all- budget cuts, new taxes and lower Permanent Fund Dividend payments in the years ahead. But his approach has plenty of critics in the legislature. What do you think? Join host Lori Townsend for a discussion on the state budget on the next Talk of Alaska statewide. Download Audio

Alaskans are getting involved in the state budget process in big and small ways. On the next Talk of Alaska our guests are representatives of three groups who are offering ideas for how they want state leaders to handle the fiscal crisis. APRN: Tuesday, 3/29 at 10:00am

Cuts to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson's 4-2-5 infantry brigade combat team in Anchorage have officially been put on hold. Alaska's congressional delegation is celebrating today's announcement by the army. Download Audio

Once little discussed, the Arctic and its future is becoming a popular topic for debate among those who live in it and those who are attracted to its resources. The U.S.-led Arctic Council will meet in Fairbanks during Arctic science summit week. What are the priorities? APRN: Tuesday, 3/15 at 10:00am

Alaska Republicans are holding district conventions around the state this month. Last week, Ted Cruz won 12 Alaska delegates in the state GOP Preference Poll, followed by Donald Trump with 11 and Marco Rubio with 5. The state republican party will choose 28 delegates to represent those votes at the state convention in Fairbanks at the end of April. The national convention takes place in Cleveland in July. Download Audio

Public safety and crime prevention will be more challenging for the state's department of law as budget cuts force closure of district attorney offices in some areas of Alaska. I'm Lori Townsend. How will prosecutors handle increased caseloads and long distance court proceedings? APRN: Tuesday, March 8 at 10:00am Download Audio

February rain in Fairbanks, breaking a no snow record in Anchorage and off the charts warmth in the Arctic. Alaska is blowing its reputation as the land of ice and snow. APRN: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 10:00am Download Audio

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock grew up in Alaska but she says she could never have written her debut novel if she hadn't moved out of state. Her young adult book, published February 23rd, is called The Smell of Other People's Houses. Set in 1970's Alaska, the book tells the story of four teenagers who live very different lives in different parts of the state, but end up coming together in surprising ways. Download Audio
(Photo by Josh Edge/APRN)

What does it mean to have equity? Is it a simple measure of equal access to employment, housing and education, or something much deeper? APRN: Tuesday, 2/23 at 10:00am

How safe is your drinking water? Most communities can be confident that their supply is fine, but Flint Michigan showed the nation that bad things can happen. APRN: Tuesday, 2/16 at 10:00am Listen now

Anchorage resident Teresa Gray just returned from volunteering in a refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece. Gray is a retired paramedic who was moved to volunteer for three weeks in January with a relief organization based in Ireland, after she saw the tragic and widely circulated photograph of a small refugee boy who died and washed up on a beach. Gray had never assisted with an international relief effort before. She says the refugees who are fleeing Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq pay Turkish Smugglers 1500 dollars a person to get to Lesvos.

Literature helps us understand our world, ourselves and each other and Alaska is full of great authors. Tlingit author Ernestine Hayes will discuss her book Blonde Indian and the deeper understanding that can come from reading about lives that are different from our own. APRN: Tuesday, 2/9 at 10:00am Listen now
(Via Alaska Earthquake Center)

Scientists have been waiting for a decade for a large earthquake in Southcentral to test an array of seismic sensors in Anchorage. What did seismologists learn from the 7.1 temblor that struck Cook Inlet, rattling the Kenai and Alaska's largest city and how might that inform building codes in the future? APRN: Tuesday, 2/2 at 10:00am Download Audio
Sandy Harper of Cyrano’s.

The annual Governor's Awards for the Arts and Humanities takes place tonight in the capital city. Awards will be given to outstanding Alaskans for their work in advancing art and humanities. One of tonight's recipients is Cyrano's theater company in Anchorage. Download Audio

  A lot of Alaskans may know Inupiaq artist Holly Nordlum as a graphic designer, jewelry maker and creator of art that provokes conversations about the painful history of organized religion's impacts on Native people. Born in Kotzebue, Nordlum is a powerhouse of ideas and creative energy. Recently her desire to get a traditional Inupiaq chin tattoo led her on a journey of searching for tattooists who could teach the ancient, cultural art of tattooing with ink and thread or skin poking. Download Audio

Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner introduced legislation yesterday to create a permanent Ways and Means committee in the Senate. It's a companion to a bill introduced by Rep. Sam Kito, a Democrat from Juneau, in the House earlier this week. Download Audio

The Majority Caucus in the State Senate has one priority this year: restoring fiscal stability to Alaska. And Senate President Kevin Meyer, of Anchorage, says Permanent Fund earnings will have to be part of that mix. Download Audio

Anchorage Rep. Chris Tuck is the minority leader in the state House. He questions whether the Governor’s budget proposal is fair for average Alaskans. Download Audio