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Alaska Ear

DARLING DON . . . Nevermind the propeller-head hat he wore to a committee meeting with the Energy Secretary last week, Don Young, Congressman for All Alaskans Who Voted for Him, is continuing his endearing practice of giving federal laws amusing names. Remember when he named a huge transportation bill after his wife?

Now he's on a tear to get rid of zillions of no longer relevant, unnecessary, bureaucratic and obstructionist federal regulations that have been created over the last 20 years by the executive branch to implement laws passed by the legislative branch. His bill, HB 3181 is amusingly named "The STRIP bill."

That's fun but what tickled Ear is the word he added to the bill's name to make the acronym work: The official legal name of the bill is "Stop The Regulation Invasion Please."

FLYING FACTOID . . . Justice Dana Fabe, the first woman named to the Alaska Supreme Court, collected another honor recently. She was named "Cowgirl of the Year" by the Rainbow Connection, a nonprofit program that offers therapeutic horseback riding for handicapped children and adults.

Ear did not make this up. There's a "Cowgirl Creed" and everything. It includes: "I will steadfastly and forever more, in the deepest heart of hearts, be a true Alaskan Cowgirl and live by the 'Code of the West.' "

In addition to the Alaska Legal Code, Ear assumes.

BLOW 'EM ALL UP . . . Yes! Do it baby! Remember last month when Sen. Mark "Blow 'em Up" Begich urged the Coast Guard to blast that rat-infested pirate ship that was seized off the coast of Unalaska? It didn't happen. The feds came up with weenie excuses for not doing it, like safety, the threat of environmental disaster, etc.

Well, Mark has now introduced a law that gives NOAA and the Coast Guard official "options" for disposing of future pirate ships including "sinking them in live-fire training exercises."

In other words, blowing 'em up!

The legislation is so damn-the-torpedoes, so weirdly Alaskan that Don Young signed on as co-sponsor. (He's of a different political persuasion, you know.)

"Even though it is the 21st century, pirates are still a threat to our way of life," a press release quotes Don saying.

A threat to our way of life? Who knew?

The press release continues: "With this legislation we are letting these thieves know that their ships will be blown into oblivion if they try and steal our fish."

Pirates, blown into oblivion. That's an Alaskan solution.

ANCHORWOOD . . . Alaska answered the prayers of our visiting movie moguls (what exactly is a mogul?) with a early big dump of snow. A lot of the script calls for winter exterior scenes, which means snow. (Let's face it, the movie is called "The Frozen Ground.") It looks like they'll wrap up the Alaska part of the production next week. It's been fun, hasn't it? Lots of earwigs got to play movie star -- OK, movie bit player, or movie extra if you must be literal. A couple of local professionals got to work with real stars like John Cusack and Nicolas Cage.

So did Julie Hasquet, Begich's mouthpiece in Alaska, and Lauren Maxwell, Channel 11 news star. They did a scene with Cage on Tuesday. Hasquet got to be pushy and sarcastic, asking Cage when he was going to admit there was a serial killer loose. Earwigs report she loved it.

ACTING OUT . . . As long as we're on the subject of Hollywood in Alaska, did you catch Kyle Hopkins' story Thursday on the fight between two factions in the local filmmaking community? It's basically the people who got jobs vs. those who didn't. Talk about eating your young, and in public. This might be all lawmakers who don't like the film incentive program need to push it over the edge when renewal comes up for a vote.

ON THE MOVE . . . There's a new boss over at the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Shannon Daut takes over from Charlotte Fox in January. Daut is from Denver.

OUT AND ABOUT . . . A fundraising gala for the Jewish Museum, which has been on the drawing board for several years, attracted a notable crowd last Saturday: Tony and Susan Knowles, Mayor Dan and Lynette, ConocoPhillips President Trond-Erik Johansen, Vic Fischer, Diane Kaplan and Mel Sather, "Frozen Ground" producer Mark Ordesky and Perry Green. Did Perry really pay 20 grand for a John Van Zyle painting at the auction? That's what earwigs say.

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