Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media

Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media
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.

Talk of Alaska: After the Sullivan

People without an idea of where they would sleep, stay safe, cook or have access to bathroom facilities or running water, were made to leave the Sullivan Arena. Many of them will have no choice but to camp in area parks in the city. Why did the Sullivan close and what is the plan to address the needs of those who are without housing before next winter? We’ll talk with city leaders to find out on this Talk of Alaska.

Talk of Alaska: The budget, PFD, and new revenue ideas

Will legislators find consensus on a budget by mid-May that the Governor will also agree to? We discuss the ideas for Alaska’s fiscal future on this Talk of Alaska.
Jesse Kiehl and clean water advocates

Talk of Alaska: New proposed PFAS regulations

We discuss the way forward for eradicating PFAS contamination from Alaska’s water and soil on this Talk of Alaska

Talk of Alaska: Representative Mary Peltola

Mary Peltola has been Alaska’s sole U.S. Congresswoman since last September when she won a special election, and although the legislative work that gets done in Congress may at times feel distant and far removed from the daily lives of Alaskans, the decisions made in Washington DC directly affect Alaska’s future. Some recent measures regarding energy, roads and the debate over which projects to prioritize has once again put a spotlight on Alaskan issues. What are the current legislative priorities of Alaska’s single representative? Congresswoman Mary Peltola joins us on this Talk of Alaska.

Talk of Alaska: Tips for Spring Gardening

Across the state, even in the snowiest places, the signs of spring are starting to appear. Crocus and tulips are already emerging in some areas and gardeners are poring over seed catalogs, dreaming of growing their own food and beautifying their yards with flowers and other plants. It’s an exciting time for people who like to dig in the dirt. We discuss what’s new for growing and harvesting in your backyard, on this Talk of Alaska.

Talk of Alaska: The Southeast troll fishery lawsuit

Alaska’s Southeast commercial salmon troll fleet is the target of a federal lawsuit that alleges the fishery threatens the chinook salmon food stock of endangered orca whales off the coast of Washington. The suit was brought against the federal government but seeks to shut down the 30 million dollar fishery this summer. Critics say it will decimate the livelihoods of Southeast troll fishermen and suggest other causes are depleting the whale’s food supply. We discuss the fight over fish and who has the right to them on this Talk of Alaska.
A map of the Willow development on Alaska's North Slope

Talk of Alaska: The Willow Project

The Biden administration has approved ConocoPhillips Willow project in the National Petroleum Reserve. Oil drilling proponents see it as a win for domestic energy production but some climate and indigenous activists call it a climate bomb that runs counter to President Biden’s commitment to addressing climate change. We’ll discuss the Willow decision on this Talk of Alaska.
People create an aisle for a passing dog team.

Talk of Alaska: The Future of Mushing

The Iditarod. Alaska’s iconic race is more than 50 years old. Fewer teams took off for Nome in 2023 than in any other year. Are the number of competitors down because of the added expense of inflation or is there something else at play? What does the future hold for long distance racing and sled dog racing overall? Race veterans discuss what’s on the horizon for dog drivers and their teams on this Talk of Alaska.
a Juneau land lot

Talk of Alaska: Lawsuits challenging tribal sovereignty

Lawsuits challenging tribal sovereignty at both the state and federal level could have big implications for the future ability of tribes to exercise authority over tribal citizens and land. The state is suing over a land into trust application and The U.S. Supreme court is reviewing challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act or ICWA that claim the law is discriminatory. What could these decisions mean for the future of tribal autonomy? We’ll discuss it on this Talk of Alaska.
A tan and redish building under a gray sky

Talk of Alaska: Updates to Alaska’s Sexual Assault Laws

Alaska has long ranked at or near the top in the nation for rates of violence and sexual assault. Over the summer of 2022, lawmakers updated Alaska’s sexual assault laws, including a new definition of what defines consent. The law went into effect on January 1st, 2023. Why did it take decades to update the statutes and how might the changes affect prosecutions? Better legal tools to prevent assaults and help survivors is our discussion on this Talk of Alaska.
a woman poses for a photo, in a blue jacket

Talk of Alaska: Senator Lisa Murkowski

At the very end of 2022, Congress passed the massive $1.7 trillion spending package. The bill includes language to fund new projects around the state, transfer land to the University of Alaska and much more.
A large truck drives through a heavy snowfall.

Talk of Alaska: Preparing for Extreme Weather

How will more intense storms affect Alaska in the next decade and how can state and local governments use data to plan and budget for keeping people safe? We discuss adapting for an extreme weather future on this Talk of Alaska.
A maroon building with blue lettering that says "North Star Residential Treatment Center"

Too many Alaska children are unnecessarily institutionalized, says U.S. Department of Justice

A federal investigation found that Alaska children were forced to endure unnecessary and unduly long institutionalization in locked facilities because no alternatives exist.
a boat with buoys on the side

Alaska News Nightly: Monday, December 26, 2022

A new nursing program in Alaska pays students as they learn a profession. Also, combining solar farms with agriculture for better crops.

Alaska News Nightly: Friday, December 23, 2022

State officials say it could take months to clear a backlog of food stamps applications. Also, concerns over the high number of Alaska Natives who have died in Department of Corrections custody this year.
a polar bear cub

Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, December 22, 2022

State officials say it could take months to clear a backlog of food stamps applications. Also, concerns over the high number of Alaska Natives who have died in Department of Corrections custody this year.
Rows of cots are organized on the floor of an arena.

Talk of Alaska: How Homelessness is a Statewide Issue

As we head into the toughest part of the winter season, how well are services aimed at those experiencing homelessness keeping up with demand across the state and how can Alaskans help? We discuss extending a hand to those in need on Talk of Alaska.

Talk of Alaska: Protecting Yourself Online During the Holidays

We’ll speak with cybersecurity experts about how to keep yourself and your loved ones digitally protected this holiday season on the next Talk of Alaska.

Talk of Alaska: How Inflation is Impacting Food Security

What is the current state of food insecurity in Alaska, and what resources are available. We’ll talk with folks working to get food to those who need it, on the next Talk of Alaska.
a ballot box in Juneau

Watch our election night coverage

Alaska Public Media was live from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on election night.