ONE OF US ... Well, darlings, the best show in town is pretty much over. The Fairbanks militia trial was like a blast from a past that never was -- wild, rebellious, anti-government Alaska. As students of our actual history know, that's a big NOT. But a psycho end-of-the roader with no dead bodies is something we can all enjoy -- as long as they're not running for the U.S. Senate.
The real star of the show at the Anchorage federal courthouse, according to earwigs in attendance, was visiting U.S. District Court Judge Robert Bryan from Tacoma, who came up to run the case since our judges might be a little biased, given they were reportedly targets of the alleged plot. A Sitka commercial fisherman in another life, Bryan proved to be more "Alaskan" than our usual guys -- issuing rulings in plain English, trading his robe for shirtsleeves, chatting with people during recesses, and actually talking to local reporters. Federal stiffs never do that, not since Judge Fitz died, anyhow. (There's a reason why lawyers call federales "the imperial judiciary.")
When one of the defense lawyers argued that his client should be allowed to use Ruby Ridge as an example of how he'd been let down by his government, the judge noted that everyone feels let down by their government once in a while. Ask me when I last got a raise, he said. And when local court staff reportedly bristled at suggestions they call a pool reporter to let the media know when jurors had questions or a verdict, the judge made the call himself.
Do these guys ever get to transfer? We can't promise a raise, but how about a PFD after a year?
BAD DREAM? ... Levi Johnston and Dr. Phil together on the same television screen? A conversation about Bristol's lost virginity? Agghhhh. It was just a bad dream, right?
A QUESTION ... Why are so many candidates asking wannabe governor Bill Walker to endorse them? Could it be that, despite past bad-mouthing, they realize he was right about a lot of that oil and gas stuff? Or maybe they just think "endorsement" means "money."
FOLLOW THE MONEY ... Hope the fundraisers who ran that glitzy gala for Alaska Pacific University this past week hired some armed guards: Earwigs say the auction event, held in a hangar and underwritten by zillionaire Bob Gillam, raised almost $600,000 for the school. And they're still counting. Wow!
HIT THEM WITH STICKS ... In case you haven't noticed, it's the fundraising season. They're happening everywhere, all the time. For instance, the Morris Thompson scholarship fund, run by Doyon, hosted a fundraising golf tournament at Fort Wainwright on Thursday and Friday. Among the guests spotted by earwigs: Don Young, Joe Usebelli Jr., ACS boss Anand Vadapalli, Key Bank Prez Brian Nerland, etc., etc. No cash-count report yet.
KUDOS ... to gardening writer Jeff Lowenfels. The Alaska Botanical Garden presented him with a legislative citation at its Gala spring party Thursday for, among other things, writing the longest-running gardening -- or as he puts it, "yardening" -- column in the country: 30 years.
Rep. Berta Gardner read the citation. Artist Ayse Gilbert, president of the Botanical Garden board, presided.
ON THE MOVE ... Ron Holmstrom, actor and show biz blogger, has signed up for a weekly television gig with the local ABC and FOX affiliates, channels 4 and 13. He'll do weekly (Thursdays) news reports on the arts and entertainment community. Starts June 21. Ron is currently among the cognoscenti at the annual Last Frontier Theater Conference in Valdez.
RULE No. 1 ... OK, here's the first thing to remember when you're landing a plane: Put the #*%^ landing gear down!
The following NTSB report was issued this week:
NTSB Identification: ANC12CA040 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation Accident occurred Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Whittier, AK Aircraft: CESSNA T210L, registration: N732BE Injuries: 4 Uninjured.
The pilot was concentrating on landing on a short gravel runway, and did not consult the prelanding checklist or extend the retractable landing gear prior to landing. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage during the gear-up landing.
Compiled by Sheila Toomey. Message Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4341. Find Ear online Sunday night at www.adn.com/ear.