SAY IT AIN'T SO ... Alas and alack, Ear's favorite legislator has decided to call it quits. Rep. Mike Doogan, D-Spenard et al., says he won't run for re-election in 2012.
Several factors led to the decision, Mike said. Thanks to the new Republican-drawn lines that put him and Chris Tuck in the same district, he'd have to take out another Democrat to hold on to the seat, a task that doesn't hold much appeal. He's also less than a year out of serious brain surgery and the legwork involved in getting to know all his new constituents is also not that appealing.
But most of all, Mike reminded Ear, he said going in he wasn't going stay very long and six years seems about right.
Ear begged. After all, Doogan is the political patron saint of columnists, proof that we can actually occasionally do something and not just bloviate. But no dice. "I've had as much fun as a human being could," he said. "I thought it was time to let someone else have the fun."
Yes, d'Ears, the Omniscient Orifice detected just a suggestion of sarcasm in his voice.
TROUPERS AND TROOPERS ... So what are the fun facts this week about "The Frozen Ground," the John Cusack-Nicolas Cage movie about rapist/killer Robert Hansen currently being shot around town? Well, for one thing, the head of FEMA's Alaska office has landed a supporting role in the film. Robert Forgit, who earwigs will remember once did the weather on Channel 2, is playing an Alaska State Trooper who helped put together the case against Bad Bob back in the 1980s.
Ear first encountered Forgit when he was a U.S. Coast Guard officer assigned to Anchorage -- he's still a captain in the reserves. He left the service in the mid-1980s and took a swing at acting, including doing a bunch of "Magnum P.I.s" He got a small part in the whale movie -- oh, all right, "The Big Miracle" -- and now a real part in "The Frozen Ground." His new role is one of the troopers who, along with Glenn Flothe, ran the big confrontation interrogation of Hansen when they finally got a warrant, searched his house and then arrested him.
And, on the other side of the drama, Ron Holmstrom, the voice of all things theater in Anchorage, has been cast as Hansen's defense attorney. In the movie, the character is called Mike Rule but in real life, his lawyer was Fred Dewey.
Not sure why the name change but, if memory serves, Hansen was a lost cause as far as any defense was concerned back then -- good evidence in a couple of cases, his horror of publicity, plea and sentencing at one short hearing, a no-nonsense judge, a quick trip out of state to a federal prison. But Ron says there're lots of juicy scenes before it all gets settled. Earwigs will recall that Ron actually played Hansen in readings at Cyrano's and the Valdez theater conference of Mary Katzke's play "Dancing for the Hunter."
BTW, we (the media) keep calling "The Frozen Ground" a movie about Hansen. Actually, as Ear understands it, the movie is more about Hansen's final victim, Cindy Paulson, who escaped and helped investigators nail him.
PAPER FIRE ... What in the world is going on at the Anchorage Press? Editor Brendan Joel Kelley is gone, fired in a blowup over either a) editorial high-handedness, or b) over-the-top outrage by Brendan in response to editorial high-handedness. The publisher apparently pulled a lukewarm restaurant review about a Press advertiser over Brendan's objections.
It's too bad. Ear has been a Press fan for years. Even dousing Brendan's inflamed rhetoric with fire retardant, it still looks like the Press bosses have managed to tarnish their credibility and lose a talented editor in one swelled swoop. Check out Assemblyman Patrick Flynn's blog for comment.
GET WELL ... Friends of Southeast radio veteran Pete Carran say he's recovering from heart valve replacement surgery Wednesday at Virginia Mason. The betting is he doesn't wait the recommended eight weeks before showing up back at KINY for work.
REALLY HIGH ... Last Sunday marked the unveiling of something all Alaskans can celebrate -- a new vodka, made here of 95 percent Delta barley and 5 percent Chugiak honey, plus Alaska water. It's called Truuli Vodka, after a high point on the Kenai Peninsula. No, not that kind of high -- 6,612 feet high in the Kenai Mountains, about 35 miles from Mount Marathon.
The party at Seven Glaciers featured lots of tuxedos and little black dresses. There were a bunch of "drink stations" where guests could sample creations made with Truuli: vodka and guava juice with elderberry flowers floating in it; vodka in a tall glass with ice cubes and frosted blueberries on a rosemary twig; and regular martinis too.
Earwigs say the guys behind Truuli learned entrepreneurial moves at the UAA business school and are aiming for the international premium market.
Ear will drink to that.