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Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage

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

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

Alaska Supreme Court Affirms Tribal Court Jurisdiction

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.

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July 18, 2014

Smithsonian Channel Program Attempts To Encapsulate 49th State

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.

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July 4, 2014

ANTHC Wins $153 Million Settlement

153 million dollars is the huge new settlement for back contract support costs due the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium from the Indian Health Service. The settlement clears up a 15-year backlog of underpayments and was announced on Friday.

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June 30, 2014
Alaska Edition: Earthquakes

Alaska Edition: Earthquakes

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.

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June 27, 2014
(Graphic from Marine Exchange of Alaska)

Shipping Safety Advocate Criticizes Arctic Preparedness Plans

As the summer arctic shipping season gets underway, a member of a group that formed after the Selendang Ayu ran aground a decade ago, is calling for more rescue tugs, monitoring and risk management measures in the Bering Strait and Unimak Pass.

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June 24, 2014
(Photo by Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage)

Urban Yeti Improv Group Enters Second Season

How can you tell when a town has matured into a city? You could use sheer population numbers, but that’s boring. How about entertainment offerings? Anchorage can now boast two comedy Improv groups. Scared Scriptless has been around for several years, and newcomer Urban Yeti Improv is starting its second season.

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June 12, 2014
NCAI president Brian Cladoosby. (Photo by Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage)

Land Trust For Alaska Tribes Is A Popular Concept

At a wide ranging press conference during day three of the NCAI gathering in Anchorage today, BIA Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn said the concept of taking land into trust for Alaska tribes is a popular one.

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June 10, 2014
Justice Department To Work With Tribes To Enhance Voting Access

Justice Department To Work With Tribes To Enhance Voting Access

The National Congress of American Indians is holding their mid-year conference in Anchorage this week. Titled-Claiming our Rights and Strengthening our Governance, the conference started yesterday and runs through Wednesday.

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June 9, 2014
(Photo by Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage)

Graduation Marks 10th Anniversary Of Dental Health Aide Therapist Program

A group of six dental health aide therapists graduated from training Friday in Anchorage. The ceremony also marked the 10th anniversary of the innovative program that places mid-level dental practitioners in under-served rural communities across Alaska. 81 villages in the state now have therapists.

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June 9, 2014