Alaska Ear

ELECTIVE OFFICE . . . Pollster Dave Dittman is celebrating the one-year anniversary of selling his research company by prepping for a two-year mission on behalf of the Mormon church.

What? You didn't know he sold Alaska's best-known polling outfit, the one he ran for, like, 40 years? "I was planning to make an announcement," he said, but never got around to it. Oh, well.

Dave was probably best known for his creative (Republican) political ads, though most of his business was actually nonpolitical, he explained. The new owner of Dittman Research is Matt Larkin, a former officer at Wells Fargo.

As for Dave, he and wife Terry have signed up to serve the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for two years, maybe in Africa. They don't yet know where they'll be sent.

Talk about a mid-life crisis. Couldn't he have just bought a red Corvette?

PERKING UP . . . Ear actually pities our new school superintendent, Jim Browder. Trying to fill Carol Comeau's shoes is an impossible task. She had a rare quality that allowed her to remain one of "us" while holding one of the most powerful positions in the city. Now everyone's watching Jimmy to see how he negotiates the transition, which is why one of his first moves is disappointing: He's carved out special parking for himself.

Earwigs report he's taken to parking in a "Visitors Only" space, one right next to the entrance to the ASD building. And a "Reserved Parking Only" sign has appeared next to the back door. That ruby red Ford Explorer with the Florida tags is his, right?

You're correct, darlings, it's no big deal but still ... Carol always took her chances finding a space in the staff parking lot and walked like everyone else.

And no, the plates aren't illegal yet. He has 90 days to get his Alaska tags. Ear feels certain he's already applied.

If not, he can consider this a helpful reminder.

QUESTION . . . Darlings, is it wrong of Ear to ask the following?

You read that they're trying to name the next new Navy ship for Ted Stevens? Hmmm. Wonder if it'll have its own brig.

A better question is probably: Why do some Alaskans insist that the reversal of Ted's convictions because of bad behavior by prosecutors means he was innocent? It doesn't. Why can't we just say he may have been guilty but we don't care, we still like him.

You know, like they do in New York and Louisiana.

REAL ALASKANS . . . Spotted in Muldoon, a garage sale sign, painted in big, red letters on plywood:


NO COMMENT . . . A news bulletin from UPI Tuesday: "2:00 p.m., CNN apologizes after playing "Stupid Girls" ahead of a segment about Sarah Palin."

OF COURSE SHE DID . . . Our Sarah tweeted a photograph of herself and Todd, the newest reality TV star in the Palin family, eating at a Chick-fil-A, giving a thumbs up.

ON THE MOVE . . . Deborah Williams, former head of Alaska Dems and top Interior Department official in Alaska during the Clinton administration, is the new executive director of the Anchorage Youth Development Coalition. She's busy this week moving into their new offices in the little CIRI building next to Charlie's Bakery on C Street.

REAL LOVE . . . Patti Higgins and Patrick Higgins will celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary on Aug. 7, probably by going door-to-door as she campaigns for the House seat currently held by Love Caucus member Charisse Millett.

"We met in high school," said Patti of her husband, who's weathered some bad publicity about having an out-of-state job while serving on the School Board. "He's the first guy who beat me at chess; I had to marry him."

Patti is the most recent former head of Alaska Dems.

OOPS . . . Ear just noticed page 55 of the 2012 ADN travel special section, featuring beautiful Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and including a photo of the nearby town of Wrangell.

Huh? As one earwig noted: "When I'm in the middle of the Wrangell St. Elias park and I want to head into (its) namesake town, I drive 5 hours and then take a jet for 5 hours and then I'm in Wrangell."

Yikes. This is the kind of goof Ear usual pummels Outsiders for. Brings back fond memories, like the old phone book with a picture of the Alaska Railroad running at the foot of Mount McKinley.

Compiled by Sheila Toomey Message Sheila Find Ear online Sunday night at