ANOTHER OPENING ... Another show! Curtain goes up in Juneau on Tuesday and the troops have begun to gather, although traditionally nothing happens for the first month or so. Oh, Ear forgot: The governor is scheduled to deliver the State of the State message to a joint session Wednesday night. Earwigs are so excited.
OK, maybe not so much.
Cheap talk in local taverns suggests the governor can expect rough sledding in the Senate for his proposal to slash taxes on the oil companies. Some senators seem a little irritated about that lunch with the Big Three CEOs here last week -- invitation only, business attire, blah blah blah. They expected something substantive to come out of the hoopla but the Big Guys just kissed them on the mouth and left no money on the dresser.
And of course, Bill Allen's not around to fix things. So we'll see.
MEANWHILE ... The parade of pre-filed bills is already producing fodder for the Legislative Skits. For example, HR262, from Rep. Sharon Cissna, forbids requiring people seeking access to public buildings to consent to "physical contact by any person touching directly or through clothing the genitals, buttocks, or female breast of the person seeking access."
Noted one wag: There goes the interview process for hiring Capitol pages and secretaries.
Earwigs will remember Sharon got excessively inspected by TSA at the airport last year.
And in other legislative news: Michelle Scannell, Cissna's former chief of staff, has decided to run against Rep. Mia Costello, a Republican, in November. Michelle, a Democrat, found herself in Mia's district when the reapportionment dust settled and figured, hey, I can do that job.
Former Speaker of the House John Harris has been out of office for a year so, guess what, earwigs report he'll be back in town as a lobbyist. What a surprise.
PASSES FOR FUN ... Destiny has caught up with our late legendary power-mayor, George Sullivan. Boss George's personal effects -- those his family didn't want to keep -- will go on the block at the Denali Auction Co. on East 56th Avenue. Wife Margaret's stuff too.
But wait. It gets better. Bored with staring out the window at falling snow? Sick of shoveling? You can go online right now, see what's up for auction and bid to your heart's content. This is fun because Ear can actually afford this stuff. There are no certifiable treasures here. Almost everything is less than $25 at the moment. This is the kind of stuff your heirs are going to curse you for not getting rid of while you were alive.
But one earwig's junk is another's treasure: There's a ukulele, a large glass boot and bow tie, an electric typewriter, lots of Japanese souvenirs including a samurai warrior doll, a million posters and a zillion Frankoma Christmas plates, religious items, bags of political and commemorative lapel pins, lots of pongee -- look it up; Ear had to -- and (presumably Margaret's) costume jewelry.
Ear was most excited by the "wine crock that can be used as an asparagus cooker." It's all at www.aksurplus.com.
QUESTIONS ... Do the editors at American Legion Magazine think Sen. Mark Begich represents Arkansas, or do they just not know our abbreviation is AK? The subject of their article is the Law of the Sea Treaty. Would landlocked Arkansas care about that?
ON THE MOVE ... Libby Casey, Alaska Public Radio Network's Washington, D.C., reporter for more than three years, is leaving at the end of January to take a job with C-Span, where she's expected to do campaign coverage. (Earwigs may remember there's an election this year.)
It's been an eventful three years for Libby on the D.C. beat. The press release says Sen. Ted was indicted her second day on the job. And there was all that Sarah stuff. (Remember Sarah? Trying not to?) Hope the new job isn't too boring. No word from APRN on her replacement.
WHOOPS ... Looks like Alaska's "Black Triangle," that mysterious phenom that "claims thousands of missing persons every single year," has claimed another victim. The TV show scheduled to expose the Truth has vanished. The publicist says it has been postponed to an unspecified date. Aha! No doubt the government is trying to cover up the Truth!
NO MATCH ... Did you see the flap over a long-running office pool -- as in betting -- in the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee? Turns out the staff -- mostly the Republicans, according to The Washington Post -- has run a pool for years on how many acres of forest get burned up each year across the country. It's not a money thing -- the prize was some kind of hat. But an organization representing thousands of firefighters found it at least distasteful that the people who control their budget were betting on fires getting out of control. (The outraged mother of a firefighter who died in a fire alerted the Post to the pool's existence.) Apparently there's some history of hostility between the committee and the U.S. Forest Service.
What Ear noticed is that the two staffers quoted both have Alaska connections. McKie Campbell, the committee staff director, said appropriate things, including that the contest had been stopped. He's a former commissioner of Fish and Game here. Robert Dillon, who defended the pool as just a fun way to educate people about forest fires, is a Murkowski staffer.
ART OF THE STATE ... Users of the Department of Natural Resources website were pleasantly surprised last week to find unwanted information delivered in a charming way. Hit the wrong keys looking for coastal zone management info and this appeared:
"We can't find the web page you requested but it isn't a natural disaster!"
Followed by several verses of haiku:
"The Web site you seek
Cannot be located but
Endless others exist."
"You step in the river
But the water has moved on
That page is not here."
There was talk of deleting the haiku. Let's hope not.