Alaska Ear

The divine appendage

April 7, 2012 

WRONGED RIGHT . . . What's left to say about Tuesday's election? Who thinks there's the slightest chance the city attorney (who owes his job to the mayor) will conclude after his "review" that the election was fatally flawed? Might he perhaps take a cue from the mayor's laughing pronouncement on the 10 p.m. news that "if it wasn't for the shortage, we would have won by more"?

Hey, earwigs understand. The right to vote is no big deal. Especially when everyone knows who's going to win. It's not like anyone ever fought or died for the right to vote. Wonder how amused the mayor would be if a couple hundred people were denied the right to own a gun. Or the right to buy booze. You know, important rights.

RIGHT GUARD . . . Did we ever figure out who paid for the uniformed security guard standing in the narrow hallway to the voting room at Chapel by the Sea? Earwigs report various answers to informal queries, i.e. a parishioner worried about "threats," the city, etc. An earwig who called the city to complain that such a presence might intimidate some potential voters was assured the elections office knew nothing about it -- so no problem.

ON THE OTHER HAND . . . It is possible to overreact to the election mess. An earwig who can write fast swears KTUU reporter Jason Lamb actually said on the air:

"This election night is unlike anything Anchorage has ever seen. April 3, 2012. The day democracy devolved into chaos."

Oh, please.

GOING, GOING . . . Earwigs report Mr. Whitekeys, our favorite homegrown humorist, has been fired from his columnist gig at Alaska magazine.

Hey, it happens, but check out the reason for the pink slip, according to an email from an editor to Keys: "Subject: We won't be able to run your June column. ... We are here to promote Alaska but everything about your piece trashes the state we love. Alaska magazine's mission is to encourage people to come see Alaska."

OMG! Whitekeys getting laughs by making fun of Alaska? Stop the presses!

Who are these people? Making fun of Alaskans and the foibles of the state we love is Keys' thing, has been for like 30 years. So, what, they just noticed?

In a break with tradition, Ear decided to actually check this out. Whitekeys confirmed that he had been fired after five years of writing for the magazine. He didn't sound too distraught. The offensive column made fun of how much sport fishermen spend to catch a fish, he said. Keys declined to discuss the matter further but said he got a letter attributing his forced exit to "a corporate decision based on the company's new vision."

Pardon Ear for not being too upset. Appendages don't read Alaska magazine. Whitekeys will present his signature Fly By Night Revue this summer at his old Spenard club, now TapRoot. The Whale Fat Follies opens June 11.

OUT AND ABOUT . . . Don Decker, an earwig with an artful eye and good taste in late-night television, spotted David Letterman at Alyeska Thursday. We Letterman devotees know how he dislikes fawning fans or photo requests so Don, displaying more nerve than Ear would have had, said, "Is Regis here too?"

Without missing a beat, Letterman replied, "Yes, Regis IS here. We're sharing a room. He asked about you."

David was here to ski with his wife, Regina, and son, Harry.

A QUESTION . . . Has Levi Johnston really impregnated another Valley girl? TMZ says it's so and published the alleged lucky girl's name. Check it out -- if you don't actually have a life.

AN ANSWER . . . Have you heard? The Susitna Dam project is back. As Ear has always suspected, the Cylons are right: What is now has been before and will be again.

CRIME WAVE . . . Ear trolled the souls trapped in the Capitol this past week to get a feel for what was going on as the legislative session winds down. Here's the best response:

"It's like an al-Qaida training camp here. Bills are being hijacked, killed, kidnapped and knifed."

NEW SKILL REQUIRED . . . What television reporter asked the ink-stained print reporters in the Capitol pressroom, "How many m's are there in committee?"

After the laughter died, said TV reporter was heard to mutter, "Hey, I have to write for the web now."

FOOD TIE . . . In the eternal search to find a new way to get people to give money to a noble cause, the Eagle River/Chugiak Food Pantry will be the beneficiary of a dinner theater show. Get it? Dinner theater, food bank?

The show, "Murder on the Love Boat," will be performed next weekend and the one after at the Bear Mountain Grill in Eagle River. Ticket and other info at, on Facebook and whatever. You know the drill.

THE BIG STORY . . . People sometimes have odd ideas about how investigative reporters should spend their time. Reporters in Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage got an email request for action last week from a guy in California. His father, he said, shot a 2,000-plus-pound moose here in 1968 and the field warden refused to certify it for a world record. A mistake, or a cover-up, he claimed. An investigation is needed to "set the record straight."

At last check, the story was still up for grabs.

Compiled by Sheila Toomey ( The Ear column is posted at on Sunday night. It is available beginning early Sunday morning to our print and electronic subscribers."

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