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 24 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. 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

The marijuana industry in Alaska

Marijuana has been legal in Alaska since a voter initiative passed in 2014. Retail businesses and commercial growers are operating and paying millions in taxes to the state, but one of only three testing facilities recently shut down and there's still no decision regarding on-site consumption. LISTEN HERE

How are Alaska State Troopers coping with lower staffing?

The Alaska State Troopers face a dilemma. They take on some of Alaska's toughest cases and are seeing increased demand. But even as state budget shortfalls have forced  cuts, the agency is struggling to keep the troopers it already has. How are the troopers coping with staffing issues? Will public safety suffer? LISTEN HERE

New documentary highlights mismanagement of Native trust money by feds

100 Years: One Woman's Fight for Justice is the story of Blackfeet tribal member, the late Eloise Cobell. Cobell took on the Interior department over missing funds in trust accounts that were supposed to be paid to Native landowners. Listen now

Governor Walker pushes for fiscal solution: “The worst plan is no plan”

Governor Bill Walker said today he's heard from legislative staff that committee hearings are moving appropriately on budget discussions. but he says he's disappointed that the House and Senate are still struggling to find consensus. Listen now

Jeff King on PETA and past Iditarod protests

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA plans to protest the start of the race in Anchorage tomorrow morning. Former Iditarod champion Jeff King sat down with Lori Townsend recently to talk about the race, his career and his feelings about the animal rights activists who are against racing sled dogs. Listen now

A Closer Look: 40 Years of Public Radio in Anchorage

This program is all about long serving Alaska Public Media Program Director Bede Trantina, as well as memories of the early days of KSKA. We sat down with Bede and Alex Hills, the founding general manager of KSKA who hired Bede 39 years ago to find out more about how the station got started and how Bede began her tenure here. LISTEN HERE

‘Flutters From Side Street – Volume One’ showcases Anchorage coffeehouse musings

George is an artist who started drawing on a white board that featured daily drink specials to give customers something interesting to look at. Those drawings are inspired by his inner social and political contemplations and are now collected in a new book - Flutters From Side Street - Volume One. Listen now

Tsunami warning DOWNGRADED to an advisory

The National Weather Service has lifted the tsunami warning for coastal Alaska. It has been downgraded to a tsunami advisory. That means that while a wave *has* been recorded in the Gulf of Alaska, it’s not big enough to require evacuations.

Anchorage author chronicles 8-year friendship with Dizzy Gillespie

A new book by Anchorage author David Brown, chronicles an eight-year friendship with Dizzy Gillespie, united people around music and through his spiritual beliefs. Listen now

Memoir details emigration from Ireland to New York to Alaska

A recent memoir chronicles the adventures of a young man as he emigrated from Ireland to New York and Alaska. Listen now

The potential for future energy development

Walker administration officials say the future is bright for resource development with new oil discoveries on the North Slope, potential mining opportunities and the prospect of opening ANWR. They also say the long awaited gas line deal is coming together. How much of this message is an economic wish list and how much is reality? Listen Here

Power and Empire: New Alaskan-helmed Tom Clancy novel launches

The author Tom Clancy died in 2013, but Tom Clancy the fiction series powerhouse is very much alive and well. The continuation of Clancy's thrillers are now in the capable hands of an Alaskan author-Eagle River resident Marc Cameron, a best selling author in his own right, Cameron has just released his first Clancy book -- Power and Empire features Clancy characters President Jack Ryan and his son, Jack Ryan Jr., who works for a secret intelligence agency.
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UAA forum to discuss education in democracy

A forum discussing the value of education in a democracy takes place at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus Tuesday evening. The panel features former Alaska Supreme Court justices, doctors, education and immigration experts and others. Listen now

Lessons learned from the legacy of military toxins

During the Vietnam war, the use of a defoliate known as agent orange was supposed to affect vegetation not soldiers, but it made them sick and serious health conditions resulted in a long fight for recognition and compensation. Gulf War vets also had to fight the military over health problems linked to military toxins. What's changed since these illnesses came to light? Listen Here

A Closer Look: Tides – The Science and Spirit of the Ocean

Today's program features a discussion with mariner, surfer and author, Jonathan White about his book Tides-The Science and Spirit of the Ocean. White spent ten years researching tides and the global effects of tidal action after his boat nearly sank in Alaska. Listen now

Trump’s pick for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention deemed problematic by Anchorage nonprofit

A nominee for a top position at the EPA is drawing both praise and criticism, including concerns from a non profit in Anchorage that works to raise awareness about the health affects of hazardous chemicals. Listen now

Ending patterns of abuse

For too long Alaska has been near or at the top in the nation for violence against women and sexual assault. Recent harassment and rape allegations against powerful people in Hollywood and in media have elevated the problem. But will that attention help change behavior? Listen Here

The future of resource development

Alaska's economy has been driven by resource extraction from the land and water for decades. What will and should that look like in the future? What's the outlook for oil, mining, fisheries and renewable energy such as hydro and geothermal? Listen Here

Alaska open enrollment period for individual health insurance opens

The open enrollment period for the individual health insurance market opened today. Listen now

The protesters of the Vietnam war

For many Americans, the PBS documentary on the Vietnam war brings up memories of past divisions between those who supported sending U.S. military and those who did not. It was an emotional topic for families and as the number of war casualties grew, so did the protests across the country. Listen Here