JUNEAU . . . By the time you read this, they may have adjourned. We can only hope. Word is a bunch of our boys and girls are camping out in their Capitol offices. Hey, the per diem reportedly went up on May 1 to $282 a day, so what's the rush?
INSEVERABILITY BLUES . . . Word is Rep. Bob Miller, D-Fairbanks, entertained a group at dinner at Beth Kerttula's last week by performing a "cover" version of the Led Zeppelin classic ballad, "Stairway to Heaven," highlighting the governor's embarrassing lack of juice in the capital budget dispute. It's called "Stairway to Stedman." To get the joke, you need to know that Parnell's office is on the third floor and Sen. Bert Stedman's is on the fifth. Stedman, of course, is co-chair of Senate Finance, where capital budgets live and die:
Now our Governor's sure
Power's on the fifth floor
So he's climbing the stairway to Stedman.
When he gets there he knows
If he'll drop his ‘vetoes'
With some work he can get what he came for.
Oooooooo, and he's climbing the stairway to Stedman.
JAILHOUSE BLUES . . . Have you seen Ivan Moore's column in this week's Anchorage Press? It's about the plea bargain in the creepy sexual groping of employees charges against bar owner John Pattee. Ivan is persuasively outraged at what happened. According to online court records, Pattee was originally charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors against four women. The prosecutors dismissed the felonies and let him plead to the two misdos; he got 30 days in jail - not sure how much actual Graybar Hotel time that translates to.
Ivan goes after Gov. Yawn for being all talk and no walk on sex crimes, although it would be unusual for a case like this to go to the governor for review, or even to the A.G. But who knows? Gov. Yawn may have time on his hands, trying to outwait the Legislature.
FISH ON! . . . North Slope Borough Mayor Edward Itta was in Juneau two weeks ago, joking about how his whaling crew seemed to have good luck landing whales whenever he left camp. But his luck turned. Itta was back home Thursday when he and the crew landed a 28-footer off Barrow, according to an assistant.
ON THE MOVE . . . Longtime Daily News photo editor Richard Murphy is retiring. Sort of. Trading the grit of daily photojournalism for the stylin' life of high-tone photography. Or something like that. A genuine high plains drifter, Murphy moseyed his handsome self to the ADN from a teepee in Wyoming and stayed 26 years -- so long no one remembers who was photo editor before him. He will be missed.
KUDOS . . . Retired Col. Tom Anderson (that's senior, d'Ears) was just voted in as president of the Fraternal Order of the Alaska State Troopers. The colonel helped found the Trooper Museum downtown. This is his fourth time as president.
Earwigs who read the front page will have noticed that Tom Sr., who has an unblemished reputation as a straight shooter, has branched out from law enforcement to, of all things, public relations. He's a partner in a start-up agency, largely, Ear suspects, to create a job for Tom Jr. when he gets out of prison later this summer. Now that's a good dad.
WAIT, WAIT . . . Do tell. Public radio's popular "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" show is coming live to Fairbanks on Aug. 11. The show will tape at Davis Concert Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday for airing later. If you want to tune in, the show airs at 1 p.m. on Saturdays on KSKA in Anchorage and 10 a.m. Saturdays on KUAC in Fairbanks. Tom Bodett, the former sage of Homer, and comedienne Paula Poundstone are two of the scheduled panelists. Earwigs think it's sold out, but check with the Summer Session office at UAF.
PATHETIC . . . Homer and Seward both made it into the finals of the World Fishing Network's "Ultimate Fishing Town USA" competition mentioned here a few weeks ago. So now they're among 20 towns vying for the title and $25,000 plus lots of tourist-attracting publicity.
But here's the deal: Some godforsaken place in New York called Waddington got more than 30,000 votes to Homer's 5,700 and Seward's 4,900. How sad is that? Waddington bills itself as "Carp Capital of the World." Carp? They must be joking. Are carp even real fish? Grilled carp? Smoked carp? Yeech.
Darlings, we must stop this outrage. Anyone with e-mail can vote through 6 p.m. May 31. You can vote four times a day --- once every five hours - from as many e-mail address as you have.
The Website for voting is www.wfnfishingtown.com/home.php
BUMPER SNICKER . . . Spotted on a car in Anchorage, one of the best bumper stickers ever:
"Honk if you love Jesus. Text if you want to meet him."