Alaska Ear

The divine appendage

October 15, 2011 

Bill Thomas

CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT . . . It's not up on the Division of Elections website yet, but people who should know say Rep. Anna Fairclough has pulled the trigger and filed to run for the state Senate. New district lines pit the popular Eagle River Republican against longtime Anchorage Democrat Bettye Davis. People who pay attention will remember that Fairclough won her House seat in 2006 by beating Pete Kott -- who just announced he'll plead guilty to bribery -- before he was indicted.

Word is Rep. Bill Stoltze is considering running for the Senate which, if true, appears to pit him against Sen. Fred Dyson in the Republican primary, assuming Fred isn't ready to hang it up after all these years. Stoltze is one of those interesting politicians: Those who like him really like him, and those who don't really don't. Hardly any neutrals.

With district lines all higgledy-piggledy, Southeast Dems forced to write in Lisa Murkowski's name last November to save Alaska from you-know-who wonder if they'll be able to regain their balance by voting for Scott McAdams next November. Earwigs who actually have checked the new districts say McAdams' hometown of Sitka is joined with Haines. That would presumably give him a choice of Republican opponents between Bert Stedman (Senate) and Bill Thomas (House). But no one seems to know if he's really interested.

A QUESTION . . . Is the state GOP really recruiting candidates to run against its own legislators in next year's primaries to punish incumbents who joined the Senate majority coalition? They say no. We'll see.

THE NAME GAME . . . It's always satisfying when someone really worthy is honored by politicians, right? Well, hold your breath: The Alaska Courthouse Naming Committee (guess what its job is) has recommended that the Anchorage federal courthouse (currently named The Anchorage Federal Courthouse) be re-named for Judge James Fitzgerald, who died this year after a life in Alaska law enforcement that stretched back to territorial days. Among other things, he was the state's first commissioner of public safety and did a stint on the state Supreme Court before moving to the federal bench.

Fitz was the last of the neat old-time judges -- really smart, approachable, sensible and a great yarn spinner. Very Alaskan.

Admiral (Sink That Rat-Infested Pirate Ship!) Begich appointed the committee. According to earwigs, someone now has to get a bill through Congress to make it so. Given that Congress is currently run by characters from H.M.S. Pinafore, that's probably not the given it should be.

THE FAME GAME . . . This is really a question: Is there anyone left in Anchorage who hasn't auditioned for a bit part in "The Frozen Ground," the movie based on serial killer Bob Hansen's murders? All over town people are waiting to find out who got what. Earwigs say the script is still in flux with smaller roles being rearranged and possibly eliminated, so no firm decisions yet. Stay tuned.

BTW, wannabes who stopped by the movie production offices on Northway Drive last week report being greeted by a couple of moldering corpses lying around. (Ear is pretty sure they weren't real.)

If you're looking for some "real" movie stuff, cruise by Ear's favorite Saturday brunch-lunch place, The Paris Cafe on Muldoon. Uh-oh. It seems to be gone. Oh, no! There's a new sign where "Paris Cafe" used to be. It says "Hansen's Bakery."

Yes, d'Ears, the cafe is now a set for "The Frozen Ground" -- temporarily, Ear was assured. They're going to shoot exteriors and interiors at the site during times when the restaurant is normally closed, according to one earwig who may or may not know. Actually, Bad Bob the Baker's place was downtown back in the early 1980s, and no way did it offer carbs as luscious as Paris Cafe's custard fruit tarts.

MIDTOWN MUNCHIES . . . The White Spot Cafe, operating downtown for more than 50 years in several locations under a couple of different owners, is branching into Midtown. Owner Tom Doerner says he's taken over the food operation at Chilkoot Charlie's. In addition to the White Spot's trademark burgers and fresh halibut, they'll be offering bar customers pizza. Official grand opening is Monday. The Fourth Avenue cafe will remain as is.

WRITE HARD . . . A book lots of us have been waiting for finally has a publication date: "Write Hard, Die Free" by Howard Weaver is due from Epicenter Press in April.

Subtitle is "Dispatches From the Battlefields & Barrooms of the Great Alaska Newspaper War."

RIDE HARD . . . Another former ADN writer is publishing some new work: George Bryson is taking America's temperature on a 10-week motorcycle trip in the spirit of John Steinbeck and "Travels With Charlie." George's blog is called "Travels With Harley," Harley being a 2005 883cc custom Sportster Harley Davidson he bought off Craigslist. When Ear last checked, he was in Wyoming (travelswithharley.com).

COMING EVENT . . . The AFN convention starts this week at the Egan Center. Once again it will be broadcast -- and webcast -- live statewide by Blueberry Productions with Sharon McConnell and Anna Sattler hosting.

IN HIS WORDS . . . We're all awesome and cool so we knew what he meant, but Mayor Sullivan's announcement Tuesday might have puzzled a few people: "This week I submitted an ordinance to criminalize compounds currently being marketed and sold as bath salts, plant food, incense or dietary supplements to the Anchorage Assembly."

The announcement didn't say if any of the Assembly members were buying.


Compiled by Sheila Toomey. Message Sheila at 257-4341 or ear@adn.com. Find Ear online at www.adn.com/ear.

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