Talk of Alaska

Tuesdays at 10 a.m. (LIVE) repeating at 8 p.m. Alaska’s only statewide call-in forum for discussing the issues impacting life on the Last Frontier. Politics, science, culture and current events are covered by hosts from the Alaska Public Media news team along with guests and callers. Call 550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcast.

students sitting at desks

Talk of Alaska: Now back in the classroom, Alaska’s students are falling behind

Now that they're back in the classroom, the long term impacts of virtual learning and social isolation are making themselves known. Teachers are reporting issues with learning loss, with students falling behind where they should be academically, and behavior.
A crane lifts a conex

Talk of Alaska: Supply line delay impacts in Alaska

International and national shipping delays are rippling down the supply line to Alaska. What’s causing the issues, and what does it mean for consumers and businesses in our state?
A man in a vest speaks into a microphone.

ANCSA at 50 on Talk of Alaska: Behind the history of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act is 50 years old in December and the economic effect of the Native Corporations ripples across the state, representing an increasingly larger piece of the state’s economy and jobs.
People stand in line, inside, where a sign reads: Permanent Fund Dividend.

What’s in store for the PFD?

Permanent Fund Dividends will arrive soon, but the plan to pay for them going forward hasn’t materialized. Legislators have yet to agree on a solution, despite starting a fourth special session and a list of recommendations made by a bipartisan working group this summer.

Cold Mountain Path and the stories behind one of Alaska’s most scenic ghost towns

In his newest book, longtime Alaska writer Tom Kizzia explores the history of McCarthy, digging into the bygone days of the tiny community nestled into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Cold Mountain Path explores forgotten stories of mining, homesteading and loss.

LISTEN: What do low chum returns mean for Yukon River subsistence?

Chum salmon numbers collapsed this fall on the Yukon River and all subsistence and commercial salmon fishing was shut down. That left fishermen and families without a vital source of income and food for the coming winter.
A mostly empty hospital hallway

LISTEN: Hospitals are filling up thanks to COVID-19

Alaska hospitals are in crisis. The state is setting new records for COVID case numbers and hospitalizations, overwhelming medical facilities and forcing providers to make difficult decisions about who gets an ICU bed and who has to wait. What needs to happen to bring things back to a manageable level?
a person holds a tray of food on a restaurant deck

LISTEN: Labor, supply lines and economic outlook

With no more federal relief coming, what do economists see on the horizon for Alaska’s labor shortage? How much did tourism’s return over the summer make up for the last year of deep loss? Was it enough to help businesses survive the winter? How does the pandemic continue to affect supply lines and commerce?

LISTEN: There will be shrooms

For many Alaskans, fall’s cooler temperatures and wet weather signal the peak of mushroom season. Two regional fungus festivals are happening this month, and whether you're a veteran forager or a budding mycologist, there’s so much to learn about and discover in the woods and your own backyard.
A group of children play in puddles.

LISTEN: Kids and COVID-19 — what do parents need to know?

Students are back in school amid rising COVID-19 cases and community divisions over how to keep them safe.

LISTEN: Housing concerns persist as another pandemic winter approaches

For Alaskans who experience homelessness, the looming colder weather creates additional stress. What are the plans in Anchorage and across Alaska to ensure that residents without stable housing have help?
Gov. Mike Dunleavy

LISTEN: Gov. Dunleavy makes his case for constitutional amendments

As the third special legislative session gets underway to work on stabilizing the state budget, Gov. Dunleavy describes why he believes his proposals are the best way forward.

LISTEN: The challenge of child care

With a new surge in COVID cases, how are child care providers balancing the need for safety with parents’ needs to work? 
A sign taped in a window that says "Free COVID-19 vaccinations/No Appintment Needed)

LISTEN: Addressing the COVID delta variant spike in Alaska

The rapid spike in COVID cases in Alaska has prompted the state health department to recommend that ALL Alaskans, vaccinated or not, should again consider wearing a mask indoors to reduce transmission of the virus. But elected leaders have been hesitant to reinstate lapsed pandemic protocols. What do health officials think the next several weeks will look like and what should Alaskans do to prepare?
A hearing room with a bunch of people

LISTEN: Alaska’s fiscal future

In August, legislators will meet yet again in Juneau to discuss lingering questions about this year’s permanent fund dividends and other budget issues. Will a bipartisan working group find a path forward?

LISTEN: Celebrating Disability Pride in Alaska

It’s been 31 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed, and today accommodations for people with cognitive and physical disabilities are a normal part of life. To mark the anniversary of the ADA, July is Disability Pride month -- a time to celebrate progress and raise awareness.
Goose Creek Prison. Photo by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage.

LISTEN: Why are Alaska’s parole numbers so low, and what awaits those who get out?

In the last five years, the rate of Alaskans granted parole dropped by 50%. The reasons are complicated. With fewer people being granted parole, we discuss the ripple effect on lives and the legal system.
people hold up signs that spell out "VOTE"

LISTEN: Bridging the political divide

Most people want the same basic things for their families and communities. So how can we better communicate across different political beliefs to help solve the problems that face our nation?

LISTEN: The future of Native education

Stories of trauma, lost lives and erased connections to culture from the era of Native boarding schools have rippled out globally in recent weeks....
A white building with a black roof in front of some steamy mountains

‘I thought my name was my number’: Survivors recount Alaska boarding school experience

The recent discovery of the remains of more than 200 Indigenous children at a residential school in Canada has prompted discussion, grief and memories of past trauma here in Alaska, where thousands of Native children were sent to boarding schools in and outside the state.