Alaska Ear

DEAR MAYOR DAN . . . Want a fast 50 grand to help balance the city budget? The one you're crying the blues over?

All you have to do is go online and write a little essay for Reader's Digest about what makes Anchorage special and what you need to make it even better. And voila, we could be one of 110 cities to win money to pay for some municipal project.

Ear isn't sure exactly how the whole thing works. For instance, does the city ever do anything that only costs $50,000? Plus, people have to go online and vote for you. Whatever, it's worth checking out. (This is an election where even Ear would gladly vote for you.)

Ear found the website at

HE WROTE IT . . . Earwigs report jaws dropped Wednesday evening at the Taproot in Spenard during the taping of Shannyn Moore's show when Vic Fischer opined that Governor God had so violated his constitutional oath of office that he could be impeached. It was apparently about the governor's desire to cut oil company taxes and arose as a result of a question from the audience.

Earwigs will recall that Vic is one of the few people still alive who helped write the Alaska Constitution. You can see his comments for yourself when the show airs -- today at 3 p.m. on KYUR, Channel 13.

ANCHORWOOD . . . Well, they've finished shooting "The Frozen Ground." The famous actors are all gone. Some of the production types will stick around for a couple of weeks to wrap things up. Earwigs say the crew ended its visit here with a genuine Alaska experience. As the story goes, there's a scene where a moose menaces the teenage hooker-heroine who helps nail Hansen. So they rounded up a regular street moose that promptly got spooked and charged for real. Wonder if the scene will make it into the finished product.

Anyhow, Ear enjoyed their presence here and wishes them well.

ON THE MOVE . . . Dani Carlson, a former aide to several Republican legislators, has joined the Channel 11 news team in Anchorage where she'll be news producer for the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts. Dani worked for Lesil McGuire and Jay Ramras, then ran Lite Gov. Mead Treadwell's campaign in Fairbanks. But before all that she was the political reporter and weekend anchor for KTVF, also in Fairbanks.

Dani says she left journalism for a while because she wanted to find out how politics really worked. Hmmm, McGuire, Ramras and Treadwell? Guess she found out all right. And it looks like she's going to have special challenges at the new job:

Channel 11 seems to have become a safe haven for bad boys. Former Palin mouthpiece Bill McAllister landed there after his public run-in with that wacko Kentucky professor over whether Sarah was really Trig's mother, and after very public written comments about his now-ex-wife. Everyone -- well, not everyone -- thought his journalism career had contracted rigor mortis when Channel 11 surprised the doomsters by signing him up to report. So far he seems to be staying out of trouble there.

The newest bad boy to join Channel 11 is Brendan Joel Kelly, recently separated from his job as editor of The Anchorage Press. Brendan is a good writer with interesting ideas but considered -- perhaps wrongly -- hard to handle. We'll see. Remember the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead? She was either very good or very bad but always interesting.

SO SORRY. . . Dermot Cole, an excellent columnist for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, is all stoked up over the top of an ADN weather story Wednesday:

"Cold weather fouling your holiday mood this week? Here's something to be thankful for," said the story. "At least you're not in Fairbanks."

So what's the problem? It was like 40 below in Fairbanks. Who wouldn't be thankful? But Dermot says expressing this simple truth is rude, that ADN doesn't send reporters to the hinterlands anymore, so they don't know the wonders of places like Ear's favorite City on the Edge of Nowhere.

For heaven's sake, the story has a Mike Dunham byline. Mike has probably been to more places in Alaska over the years than even Dermot. Nevertheless, Ear doesn't want Fairbanksans to feel dissed so, sorry darling northern neighbors, sorry it was 40 below and Anchorage earwigs were lucky not to be there.

All better?

OOPS . . . If you want to knock Ear's Favorite Good Morning Newspaper for its weather coverage, check out the Wasilla temperatures reported in Tuesday's paper.

PROOF . . . Do you still doubt that Anchorage is a superior city? Business Week has published a list of America's 50 "best" cities, and Anchorage is 10th. (Maybe Fairbanks is on the list between 11 and 49, but Ear got bored and didn't finish reading.) Cleveland is last.

Tenth best city in America? Ha! Fooled 'em again.

YES, GLORIOUS. . . Hurricane Dave and Matt Hammer are scheduled to play a benefit Dec. 3 at the Town Square Grill on West Sixth, near F Street. The concert is to benefit the Marines Toys for Tots, and the Mat-Su Santa program. Ear is delighted to report that Dave has written a new Sarah song for the occasion:

"There's no drama these days in Alaska.

All is calm and all is bright.

It's Christmas without Sarah

What a glorious silent night."

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