Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage
ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8452 | About Lori
The Division of Elections will continue counting ballots today – Friday – 8 business days after the November 4th election. As Alaskans wait for final counts in especially the Governor and U.S. Senate race, the presumptive winners, Bill Walker and Dan Sullivan, are planning their way forward. However, it’s important to note that as of today, Friday—neither Governor Sean Parnell or Senator Mark Begich have yet conceded, that of course could change later today based on ballot counting that will take place later today.
KSKA: Friday, November 14 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 15 at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, November 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 15 at 4:30 p.m.
Tonight in Anchorage the YWCA will present the 25th annual Women of Achievement award to 10 Alaskan women who have helped others. Some as well known news makers and others, who have quietly gone about the tasks of improving the lives of those around them, without much attention. Hilary Morgan is the YWCA’s CEO. She says the women’s advocacy organization has a theme for this year’s event of honoring the past, inspiring the future.
Local filmmaker Mary Katzke of Affinity Films, has taken on the subject of family members caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s Disease. Katzke says she started out documenting friends in the sandwich generation: Those with careers, children at home and also caring for aging parents but she focused in on five families dealing with Alzheimer’s because of the emotional toll of caring for a family member who may not recognize you. One of those caregivers is Janet Burts, who has been caring for her mother since her father passed away in 2010. Katzke says in a state with the fastest growing elder population per capita of any other, exploring the individual decisions that each family has to make is timely.
The elections are finally over, although in Alaska, there is still uncertainty over the U.S. Senate and Gubernatorial race outcomes. Those race results will not be clear until more than 20,000 early, absentee and questioned ballots are counted next week.
KSKA: Friday, November 7 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 8 at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 8 at 4:30 p.m.
A novel by first time author Archana Mishra focuses on the need to make education more readily available to women. The Anchorage resident is a Native of India and lived and worked in Australia before moving to Alaska. She says for rural women in India, indigenous people in Australia and rural women in Alaska, the need is the same. Education creates equal societies. Mishra is an attorney and says all of the women in her family are highly educated. Her book, The Fortunate Child follows a girl who dreams of changing the world through helping others. She says women can’t be part of a thriving economy if they are not educational equals.
Voters approved ballot measure two last night. The measure makes legal the production, sale and use of marijuana for Alaskans over 21 years old. Washington DC and Oregon approved similar measures.
The Alaska Attorney General’s office released a fourth set of documents concerning the Alaska National Guard on Saturday. The 171-page packet contained mostly press releases and official photographs.
One of your duties as a voter is to select judges for retention. Toward the back of your voter guide, you will find considerable information about those judges. Their basic biography-everything from their age to what communities in the state that they have been residents of. Their education, the political and government positions they have held, their interests and a statement from the judges themselves.
KSKA: Friday, October 31 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 1 at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, October 31 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 1 at 4:30 p.m.
The Alaska Federation of Natives wrapped up their annual convention with the usual process of amending and voting on resolutions. The resolutions process was similar to past conventions except for the notable difference this year of candidate endorsements.
Libertarians believe citizens should be free to engage in any activity that does not violate the rights of others. Their party wants government out of the way so people can pursue liberty and freedom. How would this translate to elected positions?
APRN: Tuesday, 10/28 at 10:00am
Lifelong Alaskan and political newcomer Forrest Dunbar is young and determined. This Yale Law grad wants to be Alaska’s next Congressman. Dunbar is running as a Democrat. His social policy fits with that party, but he says he is more in line with Republicans on resource development.
APRN: Wednesday, 10/29 at 10:00am
From Southeast to the Northwest Alaska and many places in between, some interesting races and ballot issues top voter concerns. Also, the annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention is happening in Anchorage, covering a variety of rural issues.
KSKA: Friday, October 24 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 25 at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, October 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 25 at 4:30 p.m.
Bill Sherwonit knows a thing or two about Alaska wildlife. The Anchorage based writer has spent decades traipsing through swamps, forging rivers and hiking mountains studying and writing about Alaska’s critters. From the superstars like grizzly bears, moose and caribou to the lowly wood frog. Even shrews and spiders have been given respectful literary treatment. Sherwonit has a simple philosophy about his relationship with wild animals.
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
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
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.
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
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.