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Talk of Alaska

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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 host Lori Townsend and members of the Alaska Public Media news team along with guests and callers.


Anchorage, AK


Alaska PR


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 host Lori Townsend and members of the Alaska Public Media news team along with guests and callers.






Alaska Public Radio Network 3877 University Dr Anchorage AK 99508 907-550-8422


Education funding and outcomes | Talk of Alaska

What is the best way to support students, teachers and schools for Alaska’s future? There are many competing ideas for how to get the most impact out of education funding and how that funding should be prioritized. What do education leaders say is most needed and how can Alaskan families support their local schools when budgets are tight? We discuss best practices for educational outcomes on this Talk of Alaska. NOTE: Due to technical issue, this episode of Talk of Alaska is shorter than a typical program.


Snow loads and roof collapses | Talk of Alaska

It’s been an especially snowy winter in many Alaska communities, and with heavy snowfall comes the yearly question, should I shovel my roof? And the follow-up question, how do I do that without getting injured or breaking the bank? We talk with engineers about what to look at when considering those questions, and whether you should do it yourself or hire someone else on this Talk of Alaska.


Community supports for people leaving incarceration

Rejoining the community after incarceration can be challenging. People have to rebuild connections, earn people’s trust, and secure basic needs, like housing and employment. They also have to be mentally ready for life outside of prison. On this Talk of Alaska, we’ll discuss how organizations and individuals can best support people as they reenter the community.


The Future of the military in Alaska | Talk of Alaska

These are tense times for the U.S. military, with Middle East conflicts threatening to erupt in a regional war and Russia stepping up its assault on Ukraine. What could this mean for Alaska-based troops and defense installations? U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and retired Maj. Gen. Randy Kee, from the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies discuss rising global tensions, on this Talk of Alaska.


Previewing Alaska Forum on the Environment 2024 | Talk of Alaska

The Alaska Forum on the Environment has worked to get contaminants out of Alaska’s land, water and air for more than 30 years. Once a year, they bring representatives from the military, state, federal and tribal governments together with industry leaders to discuss new methods for removing marine debris, responding to oil spills, tackling legacy pollution, and addressing climate change. We talk with presenters about the latest ways to protect the health of Alaska’s ecosystem on this Talk of Alaska.


Caribou Management in Alaska | Talk of Alaska

Alaska’s caribou are a vital source of food and are deeply connected to communities and culture, especially in rural parts of the state. But as climate change, resource development and other challenges affect herd numbers and migration patterns, what should be done to ensure the iconic animals are healthy and plentiful for future generations, and who should have a say in how management plans take shape? We discuss the future of Alaska’s caribou herds on this Talk of Alaska.


Talk of Alaska: Holiday Greetings Across the State 2023

Are you stuck at home under a mountain of snow and chilly temperatures? Is Winter weather affecting your travel plans? Well you can connect with loved ones all over Alaska from the comfort of your own home during Talk of Alaska’s Holiday Greetings from Across the State! The yearly program returns again to connect Alaskans from Utqiagvik to Juneau, hear festive greetings, well wishes, and sentiments from those who call Alaska home.. Join hosts Steve Heimel and Wesley Early for this annual two-hour tradition of season’s greetings statewide.


Resources for startup businesses | Talk of Alaska

It’s not easy starting a business in Alaska. The distance from lower 48 supply chains, customers, and investors can create barriers to growth that stop prospective companies from fully realizing their vision, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Alaska has been the birthplace of several successful startups, and experts say the state offers unique opportunities for funding, networking, research, and more. We discuss what it takes to launch a successful startup, and how to keep it growing, on this Talk of Alaska.


The Science of landslide risk | Talk of Alaska

Natural disasters are frequent in Alaska. But is a changing climate increasing the number and severity of these events? What’s the latest science on monitoring mountain slopes to better calculate risk and provide early warning? We discuss the science of understanding landslide risk on this Talk of Alaska.


The legacy of Ted Stevens | Talk of Alaska

Few people have shaped Alaska as much as the late Senator Ted Stevens. He helped push through landmark laws to settle Native land claims, develop the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and establish federal fishing policy. He also sent billions of federal dollars to Alaska to build infrastructure. Stevens would have been 100 years old this month. We’ll discuss his legacy, how he worked across the aisle and his fall from politics on this Talk of Alaska.


Mental health resources for veterans | Alaska Insight

Alaska has more military veterans per capita than any other state in the union. Alaska Native veterans were early defenders and have served in high numbers since territorial days. Many other Alaskans first came to the state with the military and decided to stay after they left active duty service. It adds up to a lot of veterans. That service can be rewarding but can also create trauma. Connection with other vets and professional therapy can help. Paths to healing and happiness for veterans is our discussion on this Talk of Alaska.


Dealing with the darkness | Talk of Alaska

To enjoy winter in the North, or at least to get by with your faculties intact, you have to have a strategy for the darkness of winter. Some of us see it as a chance to nest; to spend more time reading on the couch or tackling indoor projects. For others, winter sports and bright snow provide seasonal thrills unavailable to much of the world. For some of us, it’s a time to drag out the therapeutic lamps to keep the gloom at bay. We discuss darkness, and finding ways to enjoy the short days of winter, on this Talk of Alaska.


Talk of Alaska: Addressing the SNAP Backlog

Beginning last fall, thousands of Alaskans waited months to receive assistance from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, run by the Alaska Division of Public Assistance. Some families are finally getting the help they need, but the problem isn’t solved. Getting through the old backlog created a new one with thousands of families who need help buying the most basic necessity: food. How is this current backlog being addressed and what are potential answers for long term stability for Alaskans who are food insecure? We’ll hear from people working on answers on this Talk of Alaska.


Talk of Alaska: How cybercrimes are changing in Alaska

Online fundraising scams, fake billing and ransom demands for the return of stolen data, the cybersecurity threats keep coming. Americans have lost billions of dollars, and last year alone, cybertheft cost Alaskans more than $16 million. The attempts to take your money or ransom your data have become more sophisticated. How can you protect yourself and your family? Online security experts join us to answer your questions on this Talk of Alaska.


Talk of Alaska: AFN's 2023 convention

Every year, the Alaska Federation of Natives brings thousands of Alaska Native and other indigenous people together for the largest gathering of its kind in North America. It’s a mix of business, education, policy, culture, festive dancing and an exhibit hall that features a stunning array of incredible art. Whether you are Alaska Native or not, you are welcome to attend. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the First people of Alaska and how they have not only survived rapid change, but have thrived within that change. We learn more about the areas of discussion this year and ask about a federal lawsuit that AFN joined against the State of Alaska on this Talk of Alaska.


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.


Line One: Addiction and recovery in men

The CDC estimates that 13% of men in the US meet the criteria for having a substance use disorder and that men account for more than three quarters of deaths from excessive drinking. Excessive alcohol and drug use in men also leads to increases in domestic violence, sexual assault, and an increased risk of suicide. On this Line One, Host Prentiss Pemberton and his guest discuss the ways addiction affects men and what can be done to overcome 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.


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.


Talk of Alaska: The statewide 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.