Opioid abuse and addiction is a national crisis and Alaska is suffering the impacts of prescription and illegal drug problems right along with the rest of the country. An upcoming summit on opioid abuse will take place in Palmer next week and the nation’s top Health and Veterans officials will be here for it. Listen Now

Governor Walker’s plans for overhauling the system of funding state government has met with resistance from lawmakers and the public. Lawmakers are unhappy with his vetoes and cuts to the PFD but they haven’t mustered an override and they haven’t passed a fiscal plan. What can possibly break the divide between the Governor’s plans and the desires of lawmakers and the public? Listen Now

In the wake of more police shootings of black men, the attacks in Dallas, and subsequent protests nationwide, including in Alaska, the time is ripe to have an open conversation about race and law enforcement in Alaska. Though we’ll be talking specifically about the Black Lives Matter movement, you can’t talk about these topics without touching on the disproportionate number of Alaska Native men who are incarcerated and why that happens. Download Audio

From hydroponic basil grown in an Anchorage café basement, to high-tunnel green houses in Homer, to hot-springs heated tomato farms in Fairbanks to local produce at the base of Brooks Range, climate change, technology, government grants and a greater interest in local food are changing agriculture in Alaska. Download Audio

The loss of high paying oil industry jobs has economic impacts that ripple throughout the state’s economy. From industry support service jobs to engineering firms and even the local coffee shop, further job losses are not only possible, but likely. How are Alaskans dealing with these cuts and how much might industry job loss affect the broader economy? Download Audio

Words have power. Recently the federal government quit using certain words to describe ethnic groups. Words like Eskimo and Aleut. Young Alaska Native people are increasingly using their Native names on social media and professionally. There's also a push by some to return to the original Native descriptors for places and landmarks.

Alaska Pridefest week runs from June 18th to the 25th and is an opportunity to celebrate and support diversity in the broadest sense, mixing fun with education about the triumphs and ongoing struggles for equality for LGBTQ citizens. This year's event will also be a time of somber reflection after the Orlando massacre. We'll discuss pride week, respect and safety on the next Talk of Alaska. Download Audio

Engineers 97th Regiment assigned to build the Alaska section of the Alcan Highway were composed of African American soldiers. Talk of Alaska has gone into Alaska's hidden military history a number of times, discussing the secret fire balloons launched by Japan, for instance, and the Aleutian battlefield debris, Cold War spying, and other things. Both of our panelists have researched these issues and written on them

The world's bear researchers meet every 18 months. Past meetings have been in Greece, the Georgian Republic, etc. This one's in Alaska, starting June 12. This is a big deal. Among other events, there are evening lectures open to the public, one by mauling survivor Dan Bigley, the guy who had the top of his face removed by a bear in Alaska, another by well-known public broadcaster Richard Nelson. But our guests will be biologists. Our panel will delve into the science of a subject that is always of acute interest to Alaskans, from Polar Bear tundra to Brown Bear stream to Black Bear rainforest. Bear biology, status and bear/human behavior will be on the agenda. Download Audio

How much do you pay for electricity? If you live in rural Alaska- the answer is likely a lot. Most rural Alaskans pay at least three times more for their electric bill than residents in Anchorage

Lawmakers couldn't pass a budget plan during 121 days of regular session and will now try to break the gridlock in a special session. All current proposals include using permanent fund earnings to fill the deficit. But the idea of the permanent fund is that it will be...permanent and some Alaskans say, don't touch it.

What happens when a ship runs aground or sinks in Alaska and the owner abandons it? The state is potentially on the hook for what can be a huge expense. Derelict vessels are a big problem in Alaska. State, federal and environmental organizations work together to try to get these hazards out of our waterways but it's difficult and dangerous.

Alaskans have strong, wide-ranging opinions on just about any topic, but one thing most agree on is a love of the state’s most iconic fish - salmon! A new book brings the stories of 50 Alaska writers together to celebrate what many will be doing this summer-casting nets and lines, hoping for a good story and a great meal.

Fire season has already started. The mild winter and lack of snow in Southcentral Alaska has firefighters nervous about the tinder dry conditions in and around the state's largest urban center. Interior Alaska is also an area of high fire danger this spring. Green up is early, but how much would new growth slow a big burn?

Foster care doesn't just impact kids. It changes the lives of entire families -- and foster families. So how do we support both those who lose their children and those who take them in? We'll talk about supporting the foster care system on the next Talk of Alaska statewide. Download Audio
Chris Hanna, of Soldotna, skis on the Harding Icefield on Friday, April 8, 2016, with the Kenai Fjords and mountains surrounding Seward, on the Kenai Peninsula, in the background. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Neyman)

Alaska is a state known for extremes: Both beauty and risk. The dramatic rescue of two skiers from a glacier this month highlights the need to be prepared for the what ifs of fast-changing weather that could leave you stranded in a storm We’re talking with the adventurers who were huddled in a snow cave for five days and the Air National Guard who rescued them on the next Talk of Alaska. APRN: Tuesday, 4/19 at 10:00am Download Audio

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
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
Entrance to Anchorage's Providence Hospital emergency room. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN - Anchorage)

Alaska has some of the highest health care costs in the world. In the state's Medicaid program- one solution is reducing unnecessary trips to the Emergency Room. We'll discuss a collaborative plan to help patients get the care they need in a less expensive setting than an emergency room. APRN: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 10 a.m.