Alaska Ear

Sheila Toomey

OOPS ... Kokayi Nosakhere, the Juneau guy who thinks the Legislature cares even a little bit about his weeks-long hunger strike, could wind up with serious brain freeze when he finds out he's supposed to bring doughnuts to the next House Finance Committee meeting.

Earwigs report his cell phone went off during a committee meeting Thursday. The unofficial rule: Your cell phone rings, you owe the room doughnuts.

Nosakhere is trying to jolt loose a bill -- currently bottled up in the committee -- that would expand school breakfast and lunch programs. He looks like he's lost a bunch of weight during his strike. Would it be rude for Ear to suggest a few Capitol regulars might benefit by joining him?

NO, PLEASE ... The national obsession with Sarah Palin has pretty much faded and Joe Miller is mercifully out of sight, which means there's an opening for an embarrassing Alaska weirdo who can maintain our reputation with Outside media as Psycho Central. Ear's favorite candidate so far is Gordon Epperly of Juneau, who was featured on the Huffington Post and elsewhere for a complaint filed with the Alaska Division of Elections.

The complaint claims that President Obama is ineligible to be on our ballot as a presidential candidate. Epperly explains that the U.S. Constitution says you have to be a "natural born citizen" to be president and Obama isn't.

You think you know where this is going, don't you? No, you don't.

Epperly's case isn't based on the usual birther nonsense. He says it doesn't matter where he was born. What matters is that Obama is "of the mulatto race," says Epperly. ("Mulatto" is a race?) When the U.S. Constitution was written, "mulattos" couldn't be citizens, therefore the president can't run for president. (Apparently constitutional amendments, including the famous 14th, don't count.) So goes the argument of one more home-schooled constitutional scholar.

And aren't we all proud! An Alaskan has raised the birther movement to new heights of racism and is no doubt being scouted at this very moment for a "fair and balanced" news analyst position.

Word is DOE has an answer for Epperly. Ear will share next week.

PLEASE, NO ... interest in some Palins remains. The Daily Beast reports that Lifetime has picked up Bristol's new show, titled "Life's a Tripp." (Tripp, you'll recall, is her son with Levi.) It's allegedly a 10-episode "docu-series" chronicling "life as a young single mom living in the spotlight of being Sarah Palin's daughter."

Ear can hardly wait.

SUPER TUESDAY NORTH . . . Alaska's Republican Party chooses its favorite presidential candidate on Tuesday. You didn't know? No surprise. There's been a lot of no-news about the "presidential preference" vote. This has traditionally been a ho-hum affair because we have so few delegates and no one Outside really cares about us.

But not this time! Someone cares! Mitt Romney's son visited. Rick Santorum promised a "tele-town hall" Saturday. Ear's personal favorite,Ron Paul, is actually due here Sunday in the flesh, after a drop-in to the City on the Edge of Nowhere. And Ear hears Newt called.

Isn't it all so, uh, super?

CODED MESSAGE? .... Did you read the AP story about the bazillion pages of stuff released by the Pebble mine people to prove they've committed "one of the most exhaustive environmental study programs in the history of U.S. mineral development"?

In the story, Ken Taylor, identified as "Pebble Vice President for Environment," is quoted as saying he'd be "gone in a heartbeat" if anything came up showing the project couldn't be developed in an environmentally responsible way."

So what message should earwigs get from the fact that Pebble is currently advertising for a new vice president of environment?

Applications close March 15.

DO SEND A FONDU ... to Taylor Bickford, executive director of the beleaguered Reapportionment Board, and fiancee Dani Carlson, who currently produces television news. She's from a university family; he's lobbyist Frank Bickford's son. They met when he was managing Bill Walker's campaign and she was Fairbanks field director for Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell's campaign. The ring is from Tiffany's. The wedding is planned for later this year.

Did Ear mention the ring is from Tiffany's?

BLAST/PAST ... Former Alaskan Lisa Kemmerer, who kayaked a lot and taught at UAA for a while, checked in this week. Maybe she misses the long, dark, cold winters? Then again, she's now an associate professor of philosophy and religion at Montana State University in Billings, so maybe not.

Earwigs remember her -- although maybe not her name -- from a winter in the late 1990s, when she and some friends paraded naked through downtown Anchorage in an anti-fur protest. (OK, they wore underpants and booties, so technically not naked.) Witnesses were mostly amused as the ladies turned blue.

Anyhow, she's apparently traded in her goose bumps for the written word and has published a bunch of books over the years, including "Animals and World Religions" (Oxford 2011). What, you expected a bodice ripper?

CAN'T BE TRUE ... Hard to believe, darlings, but it's time to think about growing stuff. Proof is, ADN garden columnist Jeff Lowenfels' radio show resumes on Saturday, March 10, on KBYR from 10 a.m. to noon. He recommends a portable radio so you can listen while gardening. (He's kidding, right?)

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

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