Alaska Ear

Sheila Toomey

FEDERAL FUN ... On Wednesday, accused killer Israel Keyes broke his leg irons and made a break for freedom in a federal courtroom full of people who really hate him -- one shouted, "Kill him, kill him" -- and guards with Tasers. Ear mentions this in order to share the complete official minutes of the hearing where all this happened:

"At 1:48 p.m. court convened. Court and counsel heard re trial dates and trial estimated for 4 weeks. At 1:59 p.m. court adjourned. OFF RECORD NOTE: Hearing To Declare Case Complex and To Set A Trial Date set for Friday, May 25, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.; Ms. Walsh and Mr. Larranaga to appear telephonically for this proceeding."

This may be why we need news reporters.

A QUESTION ... Speaking of federal court, is someone named "Captain Eros" really prosecuting (on behalf of USA) someone named Inam V. Ahmed? That's what the calendar for Tuesday said.

BLAST FROM THE PAST ... Well, shame on Ear for dismissing the new Labor commissioner, Dianne Blumer, as a no-name bureaucrat. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. Some of Ear's best friends are no-name bureaucrats.)

Thanks to a story by Pat Forgey in the Juneau Empire Monday, we now recognize her as the former Dianne Kiesel, one of the Palin aides who thumbed their noses at the Alaska Senate and refused to testify about Troopergate when subpoenaed to do so. Ear can only hope, when Blumer comes before the Senate next year for confirmation, she'll be asked to explain her view of the Legislature's investigative authority.

She won't be able to use the Nuremberg defense, i.e., "I was just following orders." Palin officials at the time were clear and specific: No one was ordered not to testify. Everyone who refused to honor the Senate subpoena made an "individual" decision.

Don'tcha love chickens coming home to roost?

But let's not kid ourselves that this will make any real difference. Then-Lite Gov. Sean Parnell responded to the near-unanimous contempt vote by attacking the Senate for "having effectively smeared reputations" of people merely exercising their rights. "Inexcusable," he thundered. (Well, not thundered, of course. It's Parnell.)

Plus, if the Senate reverts to Republican rule after the November elections, everyone will be too busy signing loyalty oaths to worry about stuff like this.

HI, MA ... No doubt you saw the news that Bristol Palin's 14-episode "reality" show is set to air on the Lifetime network starting June 19. Which reminded Ear to check out what Dad's doing these days. Levi Johnston's "reality" show didn't sell but, thank heavens, the N.Y. Daily News is keeping an eye on him. In a story this week, they claim Levi is broke and has moved back to Wasilla to live with "his dear old mom."

Hmmm. Hard to imagine her as "dear old mom," given the drug conviction and all, but maybe. The best part of the story is the claim that Levi and his current girlfriend are expecting a girl child and plan to name her "Breeze Beretta, "after the Italian gun company."

Ear doesn't believe it but, let's face it, it's not impossible, given the players.

MUSICAL CHAIRS ... This earwig report is from a longtime Juneau observer: "Reggie Joule's departure from the Legislature has touched off the ancient rivalry between Kotzebue and Barrow. That legislative seat has seesawed back and forth between those two communities since statehood. Andy Baker from Kotzebue is making noise that he will run, so now we're just waiting to see who files from Barrow. It's a district that has given us Al Adams, Eileen MacLean, Frank Ferguson, Willie Hensley, Eben Hopson and now Reggie Joule."

ON THE MOVE ... The governor's deputy legislative liaison, Sonia Christensen, has accepted a job with Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The new gig is based in Ketchikan, where she'll be Southeast region outreach coordinator. Sounds like she'll be doing constituent work, always a good thing. The new job starts July 16.

AND HEEERE'S RONNIE ... Anchorage actor and showbiz blogger Ron Holmstrom says he's putting together an hour-long, weekly talk show "patterned after 'The Tonight Show,' with a distinctly Alaskan flavor," to air on KYUR-Channel 13. He's looking for help naming it. The focus will be the state entertainment scene. Some of the names being considered, says Ron, include "Alaska's Lively Arts" and "Ronnie's Place." So you see why it's very important for earwigs to help him come up with a usable name.

Really, d'Ears. It's your duty.

DIDN'T GET THE MEMO ... On "Wheel of Fortune" Monday, a young winner currently living in Oregon said she was born in Sitka but then identified Anchorage as the capital of Alaska. Luckily for her, she wasn't on "Jeopardy."

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

Anchorage Daily News