Alaska Ear

Rosemary Shinohara

AND THE DOG ATE HIS HOMEWORK ... Did you catch the Daily News story about Sen. Bert Stedman spending more than $900 a night for a luxury hotel room in Hawaii? Oh d'Ear, the Divine Appendage is so shocked. Legislators junketing in Hawaii on state money? Can you say Jan Faiks?

Anyhow, the event did produce a notable new low for this sort of behavior: When questioned about his government subsidized self-indulgence, Stedman whined and weaseled, blaming it all on his staff.

Yeah, that's real classy, Senator. Blame the help.

YES, WE CAN ALL GET ALONG ... So, whose fundraiser managed to get both Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Democratic Sen. Mark Begich to Bill Sheffield's Turnagain home Tuesday evening? It was a money-raiser for former Democratic legislator Mike Navarre, who is running again for the Kenai Borough mayor job he once held. All kinds of R's and D's showed up in an unusual bipartisan show of support. Among the notables: former Gov. Tony Knowles; Gail Phillips, a Republican speaker of the House who, as earwigs recall, fought prolonged battles with Navarre back in the day; former House Speaker Sam Cotten; Jerry Mackie, who served in the Legislature as both a Democrat and a Republican (don't ask); and Republican Arliss Sturgulewski.

FLYING FACTOID ... Since you asked, an organization that keeps track of legislative trivia allegedly lists Jerry Mackie as the only legislator in the U.S. ever to serve as party leader in both state houses but for different parties. Mackie was Democratic minority leader in the House and Republican majority leader in the Senate.

No, d'Ears, not at the same time.

HUH? ... The court record says former Anchorage School Board President Jake Metcalfe was charged Aug. 22 in Juneau with "AS04.16.040 Drunk Person on Licensed Premises." Wonder what that story is. Aren't bars the one place where you're supposed to be drunk?

Jake is more recently executive director of the Alaska Public Safety Employees Association.

A QUESTION ... Speaking of Alaska's playground, did Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral candidate Fred Sturman really assert his strong support for protection of "monogamous streams" during a chat on public radio? Hmmm. Elections down there sometimes have odd issues but is one of his competitors promoting "polygamous streams?"

Ear assumes he meant "anadromous," or maybe earwigs just misheard.

ANOTHER QUESTION ... Is former Trooper Col./Public Safety Commissioner Glenn Godfrey's widow Patti writing a book about her horrific experiences the day her husband was murdered in their home? That's what folks are saying. Can you believe it's been nine years since it all happened?

WELCOME TO THE WORLD ... as we know it, Leo Anthony O'Malley Boario, son of ADN columnist Julia O'Malley and partner Sara Boario. Leo arrived Thursday night at Providence, right on schedule. He's former Assemblywoman Sheila Selkregg's first grandchild. Actually, he's everyone in both families' first grandchild. Is this kid going to be spoiled or what!

ON THE MOVE ... Jason Evans is leaving his post at Alaska Growth Capital for a big change of career: Jason, who lives in Anchorage, is exiting the money game for life as a newspaper entrepreneur, running the three papers he recently bought from Calista Corp. -- the ones serving Kotzebue, Dutch Harbor and Dillingham.

Good luck with that.

SORT OF REAL ... Nothing ever happens in Haines, right? Wrong. Ear hears the "reality" television show about amateur gold panners, called "Gold Rush Alaska," plans to air a new adventure this fall starring 17-year-old Parker Schnabel, who is soon to take over the Big Nugget Mine from his 91-year-old grandfather, John Schnabel, a longtime Haines businessman. (That's assuming everyone gets past a little fuss with the feds over training and safety issues.)

TV's interest is apparently spurred by the mind-blowing price of gold these days -- about $1,800 an ounce. Zounds!

Ear learned about the show from Debra Schnabel, John's daughter and a candidate for the Haines City Council. She was spotted in Anchorage Monday night, scarfing down food at Larry's Cocoon, the cool new Asian fusion restaurant on 36th Avenue.

IT BEGINS ... Hopefuls have begun signing up for races in the newly redrawn House districts. Andy Josephson, an Anchorage attorney, has filed for the new District 15.

MAYBE IT'S THE COLD ... The website is running a campaign to shame Virginia (the state) into abandoning its famous motto, "Virginia Is for Lovers" on the grounds that other states have a better claim to it.

They say they've measured the birthrate, marriage rate, wine consumption, cut flower sales, number of bed and breakfasts and Marvin Gaye "listens" in all the states and subjected the results to some statistical mojo. It looks like we scored first in only one category, the bed and breakfast rate, but somehow they've concluded we're cumulatively on top. So, it's official: Alaska is for lovers.

Hey, we even have a Love Caucus, right?

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