POTTY MOUTHS ... Maybe you've seen the pictures? They've gone viral out of Glennallen.
Yes, darlings, Glennallen has the Internet.
A group of folk who wanted to testify remotely to a House Finance Committee hearing taking place in Juneau gathered at the Glennallen LIO Wednesday for some long-distance participation in their government. Up for discussion was HB9, a bill that wants to substitute incredibly expensive North Slope gas for reasonably priced Cook Inlet gas. (OK, that's kind of simplified, but Ear tends to be simplistic. Get over it.)
Anyhow, the House hearing was set to follow a Senate budget hearing on the state audio teleconference system. Alas, the Senate hearing went long, like so long the Glennallen people (who hate HB9) were in danger of losing their opportunity to diss it. But Emilie Frisbie, the LIO manager, figured out how to jury-rig a connection to the Juneau hearing room using a portable speaker phone, and everyone was happy.
One problem -- the only public room in the log building was being used by the locals still testifying on the budget to the Senate committee. Which is why the HB9 guys ended up performing their civic duty jammed into the LIO bathroom.
We're not talking about a large public restroom here. Think toilet, sink and waste basket. And they had to close the door.
Said one of the potty mouths, Alan LeMaster (In the picture, he's the one on the toilet.): "I can't think of a better place to testify against HB9 ... I'd like to flush this bill."
SPRING ALERT ... Julie Riley, a horticulturist with the Cooperative Extension Service, reports crocuses are blooming at Providence Medical Park.
THE NAME GAME ... Remember when Don Young, Congressman for All Alaskans Except Ear and a Few Others, christened candidate Sean Parnell "Captain. Zero?" Sean dared to run against Don in the Republican primary for Congress two years ago. But that's an old story. The news is the moniker surfaced at a press conference in Juneau this past week in an exchange between ADN reporter Rich Mauer and now-Gov. Parnell over name-calling exchanges between him and Sen. Bert Stedman. No darlings, not mano-a-mano insults. Strictly long distance, in letters -- safe. The snits are about oil taxes so no doubt the exchange had serious policy and journalistic implications. Ear liked it because it was funny:
Mauer: Do you think calling the Senate Finance Committee a bunch of hens is a way to advance the discussion?
Parnell: You know you are referring to a letter I wrote to Senator Stedman. And that letter was in response to remarks he made at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce in which he laid out his arguments for what was happening in the Senate. It was a proportional response to what he used. But I think the focus -- this is what I spoke to Sen. Stedman about -- as a precursor, the focus needs to be on how do we incentivize production? But I cannot allow only one side of the story to be published without putting out the other side of the story. Alaskans deserve to have all of the information, not just one side.
Mauer: But it's just the name calling that I found curious. I just wondered if you are trying to, like, shed (the) Captain Zero image? Is that something that is part of this as well?
The gov got annoyed at Mauer but not enough to earn a promotion to "Captain One."
WHAT'S IN A NAME ... The muni clerk's office is apparently confused about which of Starr Marsett's names is her first name. Looks like it guessed, and got it wrong -- at least on the ballot Ear got: Marsett is a candidate for School Board. Candidates are normally listed last name first, then a comma and first name. All the other school board candidates are listed this way. But the ballot lists her as "Starr, Marsett."
This ballot was marked "Ballot B," so maybe there's a Ballot A where it's done correctly?
WHAT'S IN A NUMBER ... Quick: What's wrong with this? It's an excerpt from an Armstrong oil letter to the state, promising "nine billion dollars ($9,000,000.00)" in investment here if it gets that sweet tax break being debated.
When Dan Fiorucci from Channel 2 did a story on the letter, he blew it up about a zillion times so TV viewers could read it, only to discover the error. He was so incredulous that such a mistake would be made in such an important document that he asked the rest of the press room to check it just to make sure he wasn't misreading it himself.
Hey, Ear understands. Your finger could get tired typing all those zeros.
THE LADY INSISTS ... People are still talking about the Paula Poundstone show last weekend. The audience was of a certain age, and Paula was tuned in exactly to what they thought was funny. She talked for two hours, alone on the stage, and was hilarious. She had help from Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski, who became a reluctant co-star from his front row seat. He tried to escape the audience exchanges that are a normal part of her shows by first not answering, then by saying he preferred to just listen. Big mistake. He ended up her favorite straight man for the night, so much a part of the show that a couple of earwigs wondered if he was auditioning for a new post-judicial career. (He's due to retire in a few weeks.)
NO COMMENT ... The Governor's Award in the World Ice Carving Championships in Fairbanks last week went to "Olde #7 On the Bridge to Nowhere!" by Bud Lies, Alfredo Arroyo, John Crumpacker and Greg Beachey.
Alas, the governor didn't pick the winner. Volunteers in the popular winter event did.