Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media

Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media
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Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her news tips and program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at ltownsend@alaskapublic.org or call 907-550-8452.

Mental health resources for veterans | Talk of Alaska

Paths to healing and happiness for veterans is our discussion on this Talk of Alaska.
A trail covered in snow. The foreground is darkened while lights illuminate the trail further ahead.

Dealing with the dark | Talk of Alaska

We discuss darkness, and finding ways to enjoy the short days of winter, on this Talk of Alaska.
canned food

Addressing the SNAP backlog | Talk of Alaska

How is the food stamp backlog being addressed and what are potential answers for long term stability?
an FBI handout

Talk of Alaska: How cybercrimes are changing in Alaska

How can you protect yourself and your family? Online security experts join us to answer your questions on this Talk of Alaska.
a podium that says AFN on it

Talk of Alaska: AFN’s 2023 convention

Lori Townsend speaks with Alaska Federation of Natives leadership about their 2023 convention.
Homer Library books

Talk of Alaska: The rise in book challenges

The rise in challenges to books in school and public libraries has grown rapidly in recent years. Efforts to censor certain topics in reading material is not new. Attempts have appeared periodically throughout history, but the American Library Association saw a 70% increase in book ban requests in 2022. We discuss what’s driving the latest spike in demands for book removals and who should decide on this Talk of Alaska.
A lawn with an elevated pedestrian walkway over it.

Talk of Alaska: AI in academia

Computer technology aids us daily in our work and personal lives. Banking,online ordering, education, even monitoring your blood sugar and other health conditions is now routine. These systems also track our online habits, learning about our preferences and using that data to offer similar types of products or other content. That’s a simple example of Artificial Intelligence, but A.I.’s use is growing fast and understanding the risks that come with the convenience is important. We’ll learn more about these cyber concerns on this Talk of Alaska

Walking through the Port of Alaska’s modernization plans

https://youtu.be/U7W2I6lrVs8 The Port of Alaska escaped the devastating 1964 earthquake relatively unscathed, which left it poised to take up much of the state’s cargo traffic as other communities rebuilt. Sixty years later, nearly 90 percent...
big waves on an overcast day

Talk of Alaska: Preparing for Fall storms and other disasters

It has been a year of global extremes, with record breaking heat, severe drought, and unprecedented flooding. The switch to the weather pattern known as El Niño generally signals a turn toward more warming and NOAA reports that warmer than average sea surface temperatures will likely continue and may strengthen by mid winter. What might this mean for Alaska’s fall and winter storm season? We discuss the outlook and preparations on this Talk of Alaska.
the upper floor exterior of a hotel. Doors and doormats line the corridor.

Talk of Alaska: Alaska’s chronic housing shortage

Across Alaska, an insufficient housing supply and historically high rental and mortgage rates are pushing Alaskans into urban centers, causing them to leave the state, or forcing them into homelessness. Affordable housing is critical for health and wellbeing, and leads to better employment and education outcomes. What are the solutions to Alaska's chronic housing shortage? We talk with Alaskans focused on answers on this Talk of Alaska.
A sign says tsunami hazard zone

Talk of Alaska: Understanding tsunami warnings and danger

Alaska is one of the most seismically active places in the world. Located on the Pacific ring of fire, earthquakes and tsunami alerts are not uncommon in our state, but information about the level of concern for coastal areas can sometimes be confusing, creating more anxiety at an already stressful time. We talk with Alaska earthquake and tsunami experts to help clarify how to keep yourself safe when minutes count on this Talk of Alaska.
A nasal injector for Naloxone

Talk of Alaska: Fighting the opioid epidemic

The CDC reports nearly 110,000 Americans died in 2022 from overdoses. The highly lethal drug Fentanyl was the cause for the majority of the overdose deaths and is the top illicit opioid of concern. What’s the latest information on addiction prevention, treatment and the efforts of law enforcement to stop the flow of these dangerous drugs to Alaska? We discuss combating overdose deaths and addiction on this Talk of Alaska.
Large cranes and stacks of shipping containers

Talk of Alaska: Port of Alaska Modernization

You can get toasters, new blankets, specialty dog food and a range of other household goods through the U.S. mail from companies such as Amazon, but if you want lumber, concrete, a new dishwasher, or any of the household items found in local stores, it’s most likely entering the state and coming to your community through the Port of Alaska, where the vast majority of all incoming Alaska supplies are received. The port is undertaking a massive modernization project. We discuss what it will mean for the future of shipping to Alaska on this Talk of Alaska
Three people smile at the camera in a radio studio.

Talk of Alaska: Raising Awareness about FASD

Babies who were exposed to alcohol during pregnancy can develop lifelong developmental disabilities known collectively as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or FASD. The effects can be subtle to severe and every person is affected differently, making diagnosis challenging but critical for better life outcomes. A new documentary features the stories of Alaskans living with FASD and their journey toward learning skills for a happy life. We learn more about the tools for coping with FASD on this Talk of Alaska.
a cabin in the woods, near mountains

Talk of Alaska: Upcoming trail and cabin maintenance

New cabins? Extended trails? Maybe better access to hot fishing spots? Amid the flurry of spending from federal pots of infrastructure funds is a lot of money aimed at improving park services for public enjoyment. How is this and other money being deployed, what will it mean for Alaska parks and who’s keeping an eye on the spending? We discuss investments in improved wilderness access on this Talk of Alaska.
A train goes over a creek in a mountainous area

Talk of Alaska: The Alaska Railroad turns 100

In July of 1923 the last spike signaling the completion of the railroad from Seward to Fairbanks was pounded into place in Nenana by President Warren G Harding. 100 years later, the Alaska railroad is unique in the nation as the only remaining rail service to carry both passengers and freight. We discuss the history and future plans for the Alaska Railroad and its centennial celebration on this Talk of Alaska.

Talk of Alaska: Neal Fried and the history of Alaska’s economy

After nearly 45 years at the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, state economist Neal Fried is retiring. Over his long career in the state, Fried has built up an in-depth understanding of the booms and busts of Alaska’s economy. What stands out to him from his decades of looking at the unique economy of Alaska and what does he think about the future? We ask Neal Fried those questions and more on this Talk of Alaska.

Talk of Alaska: Broadband in Rural Alaska

No online banking, no Amazon orders, no internet classes. A broken fiber optic cable buried far below the Beaufort Sea ice, north of Oliktok Point has brought internet service for a wide swath of Arctic communities to dial up speed or a complete halt. Repairs are still weeks away. How are schools, local governments and businesses coping with the lack of reliable online commerce? How much redundancy is there in the system now and will federal funds make it more robust and reliable? We discuss the need for modern communication connections in the far north, on this Talk of Alaska
two women sit at a desk

Talk of Alaska: Celebrating Juneteenth and looking ahead

Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of Black Americans from more than 400 years of slavery. The magnitude of those centuries of imprisonment, forced labor and brutal treatment continue to affect all Americans today. However, there has been tremendous growth and progress for Black people in our country and state. We discuss the great strides made, despite resistance, and the work yet to be done on this Talk of Alaska.
Unalaska's library

Talk of Alaska: Summer reading with Alaskan authors

Alaskans like to pack in as much fun as possible during our gloriously long summer days and extended bouts of backyard, beach, boat and campsite time is made all the better when you have a great book to relax with. Readers know how books create magical doorways into other worlds and other worldviews that enhance your imagination in ways that scrolling online will never match. If you want to stick to home grown books, Alaska has many great authors and a wide range of selections from thrillers to romance to science. We’ll talk with Alaska writers and librarians to hear about their book recommendations on this Talk of Alaska.