AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE . . . The legislative session reached the one-third mark this past week, which means it was overdue for a scandal. (Wasting our money on junkets doesn't count anymore so all those pointless trips to D.C. didn't qualify.)
Alas, scandals just aren't what they used to be: The OMG in the halls Wednesday was about a Senate staffer allegedly rescuing an unidentified woman from unwanted sexual groping by a male legislator. And how did everyone find out about the "incident?" The staffer posted it on Facebook of course -- without names but guess how long it took hallway professionals to figure out who the lawmaker was.
In his posting, the staffer expressed concerns that he might lose his job over the matter so the Luscious Lobe was happily poised to throw gas on the expected fire. But pooh, the senator in question told Ear her staffer's job was never in jeopardy -- yes, Ear broke with tradition and actually called to check.
Which means we're left with the following: no official complaint from an alleged victim; an unmarried legislator so no hope of a wife standing bravely by his side; and an incident that apparently happened off-hours -- if at all -- and not in the Capitol. It barely qualifies as scandal and leaves Ear nostalgic for the good old days of booze bottles flying out the windows, sex on office desks and a boozy Bill Allen offering bribes.
GOOD NEWS! . . . Darling Don Young, Congressman for All Alaskans Who Voted for Him, filed Thursday week to run for re-election. OK, it's not exactly news. He's filed 21 times before and has served for 40 years (Yes, the math is correct. He lost his first race to a dead man). Anyhow, as always, Ear was relieved. What would we do without Don, even the recently improved, almost gaffe-free Don? Unthinkable.
An earwig reports Don offered a hint of things to come during a declaration day interview during which the reporter brought up Don's history of missing votes. Ear didn't hear it, but Don reportedly scoffed, "You can teach a monkey to vote," or words to that effect. The earwig claims he later asked Don's office for the monkey's phone number so he could work on his campaign, but that sounds more like fun than fact.
In the interests of fairness (just kidding), Don mentioned he's had more legislation passed than any congressman except Orrin Hatch. (Hmmm. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?) He also told Channel 11 reporter Sean Doogan that Alaskans should politely refuse directives from Forest Service "predators" to obey federal laws they believe conflict with the Alaska Constitution.
Oh d'Ear, let the good times roll!
KUDOS . . . The Sparck triplets of Chevak, entrepreneurs who have turned traditional knowledge and practice into a natural cosmetics business, were the "front page" feature Thursday on Huffington Post's Small Business page. The company is called ArXotica and is 7 years old.
ON THE MOVE . . . Max Croes, the name on press releases from Sen. Mark Begich's office for the past three years, is leaving, moving to "a new adventure in Montana." That's it. No other info.
Earwigs report Channel 2 is losing reporter Jackie Bartz to Solstice Advertising. She came here from Montana and has been covering fish and game issues for KTUU. Hmmm. Could all those mind-numbing Board of Game meetings have driven her out of journalism?
OUT AND ABOUT . . . Spotted at Maxine's, the new restaurant on Fireweed Lane, at the same time Thursday but not together: New federal Judge Morgan Christen, Ms. Republican Myrna Maynard and architect husband Ken Maynard. Maxine's is where The Greek Corner used to be.
DOGGED QUESTION . . . Are there plans for a bunch of third-, fourth- and fifth-graders from Northwood Elementary School to pretend to be sled dogs and mush both Carol Comeau and Jackie Purcell through Spenard on sleds? Round trips are reportedly set for Thursday and Friday, from the school to Iditarod headquarters at the Millennium Hotel and back. There will be singing. There may be a brief traffic issue or two. No whining please. The kids will be having fun.
AN ANSWER . . . An East Coaster who visits Alaska every summer and keeps an eye on us when she's not here sent the following for consideration. It's obviously one of those clever Internet spam things that Ear ignores, except when they're actually funny. Decide for yourself:
"A lot of folks can't understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in our country. Well, there's a very simple answer: Nobody bothered to check the oil. We just didn't know we were getting low.
"The reason for that is purely geographical: Our oil is located in Alaska, California, Coastal Florida, Coastal Louisiana, Coastal Alabama, Coastal Mississippi, Coastal Texas, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas.
"Our dipsticks are located in Washington, D.C."