Alaska Ear

OUR GUY ... Did you see photos of retired U.S. Army Sgt. Latseen Benson last Sunday at the 100th Indy 500? He was in the Honda pilot car driven by racing legend Mario Andretti. Was there something familiar about him? You betcha. Benson is an Alaskan. He lost his right leg and half his left to an IED during his second deployment to Iraq. His mother, Diane Benson, has run for political office here several times, including for Lite Gov.

A QUESTION ... So how does Our Sarah like the way The Nation, the leading American leftist weekly, is using her photograph to sell subscriptions? Earwigs report getting promotional material in the mail this week with a picture of a winking Sarah, adorned with a drawn-on crown, next to the address. "Welcome to Sarah Palin's America," says the come-on. "If you're a 'Tea-Bagger,' do not open this envelope!"

DO SEND A SPELL CHECK APP ... to the state Department of Transportation. Earwigs were philosophical when they noted a lighted road sign at the Potter Marsh construction site that warned of road issues on "Teusday." After all, everyone makes a mistake now and then.

Alas, another sign -- at the O'Malley construction site -- warned of more road issues, this time on "Wendsday."

HE'S BAAAACK .... Radiomouth Dan Fagan is back on the air starting Monday. He was silenced for three months or so after a split with his old station. Fagan's new show will be a first here -- a local call-in talk show simulcast on radio and television, KBYR 700 AM and Channel 4, the local FOX station. It airs from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday. In addition to calling in by phone, people will be able to Skype into the show.

Hmmmmm. Is this a good thing? As they say, Dan has a face for radio, and do we really want to see the people who call him at 6 a.m.?

AS THE DIAL TURNS ... That's not the only change on the local radio horizon. Remember the old liberal (oh, sorry, "progressive") IBEW station, KUDO? It's been off the air since December but is officially coming back Monday as a sports station. The call letters are the same but the new name is "Sports AM 1080 The Ticket" -- and no, Ear doesn't know who makes up these radio theme names.

Anyhow, the new station will air the full FOX Sports Radio lineup, plus college football, the Dallas Cowboys and Anchorage Bucs baseball. KUDO's political format moved to KOAN a while ago. That's also a FOX station, offering Lars Larson, Alan Colmes, Shannyn Moore, etc.

DINO CHAT ... Stories last fall that a local production outfit planned to co-produce a 3D film based on the mechanical dinosaur show at the Sully in August may be true. Cretaceous Films put out a call for applicants interested in crew positions for an upcoming feature film called "Walking with Dinosaurs." It says shooting begins in August.

ON THE MOVE ... Wendy King, vice president of external affairs at Conoco Phillips here, is being transferred to a new job with the company in Brisbane, Australia. Her husband, Warwick King, who managed North Slope development for Conoco, also has a new assignment with the company in Brisbane.

Our Favorite Good Morning Newspaper announced Friday that Anne Raup will be the new photo editor, replacing long-timer Richard Murphy, who just retired. Raup has been with the paper since 1994.

UNALASKA POLICE BLOTTER ... "05/29/11 Sun. 00:23 Suspicious Person/Activity - Officer observed a shirtless, bruised and bloody man walking with a woman on the roadside. When questioned, the man explained that he was attempting to consummate an illicit relationship with the already spoken-for woman, but had instead been jumped by several unidentified persons who apparently wished otherwise. The woman refused to provide any information. An officer provided the man with courtesy transport to a hotel."

Compiled by Sheila Toomey. Message Sheila at or 257-4341. Find Ear online at