Alaska Ear: That field of blue

THAT FIELD OF BLUE ... Darlings, this is really too much. They're messing with Polaris, better known as the North Star, which, as everyone knows, Alaska owns.

Astronomers announced last week that Polaris is not 434 light years away. It's only 323. To that, the Astronomical Appendage says, "Well, you know, who cares?"

But they also claim "the great North Star with its steady light" is false. The North Star is actually three stars, they say, with fluctuating light.

"Polaris presents certain anomalies that have so far defied a straightforward interpretation," whines one star-gazer.

Phooey on that. "O'er land and sea a beacon bright" is pretty clear to Ear and all Alaskans who vote for Don Young.

Hey, science guys, you mess with our flag song, you got trouble. Cut it out or we'll send BP down there to spill oil on your telescope.


JUDGING SPENARD ... Was that really a Superior Court judge on stage at the "Christmas in Spenard" performance Wednesday night, wearing a bright red Bozo fright wig and reading a naughty script?

Earwigs say 'tis so.

It was strictly for charity -- the Brother Francis homeless shelter -- and a traditional part of Mr. Whitekeys' holiday show. First he gets someone to pay $100 for the honor(?) of joining the pros, costuming up and cold-reading a scripted line or two.

The bit is a takeoff on the posh Neiman Marcus holiday catalog, which this year is selling a 30-second walk-on part in the Broadway play "Annie" for $30,000.

So here's what Whitekeys had the unsuspecting, bewigged judge say: "I can sing. I can dance. I'm not wearing underpants."

Was the judge embarrassed at being suckered into the sleaze? She didn't say so but Ear bets she was thinking it.

Whitekeys might want to make sure he never ends up standing in front of a bench with that judge on it. Ear can just imagine Her Honor looking down and saying, "Oh, nice to see you again."

Alas, the show is sold out for this season.

OH SHUT UP ... With the 2014 U.S. Senate race already engaged -- Begich vs. Treadwell so far -- it was inevitable that failed Senate candidate Honor Code Joe (Miller) would have to involve himself. Actually, the screed posted on his website is attributed to someone else and, of course, attacks the Republican.


DEMOCRATS DREAM ... "The state where Barack Obama most improved his performance from 2008 was Alaska," announced Nate Silver, star poll analyst for The New York Times.

The president lost Alaska by 14 percent this year, compared to 22 percent in 2008, according to Silver's Wednesday column. Silver assumes some of it was a Sarah effect. But change is afoot, he said. We had the third-largest population growth rate in the country between 2010 and 2011.

A lot of the cheechakos are migrating here from "liberal states on the West Coast" -- California, Washington and Oregon -- outpacing the 2,700 a year who move here from Texas.

"(T)he right sort of Democrat ... can be competitive there, and indeed some Democrats (like Alaska's Democratic senator, Mark Begich) can win statewide office there under the right conditions."

Hmmmm. The right conditions. Like when the incumbent gets convicted of seven counts of corruption right before the election? Sure. That could happen.


SPEAKING OF ... Our Sarah, CNN offered the following insight after Sen. Jim DeMint announced his resignation Thursday:

"A GOP establishment source tells CNN's Dana Bash that DeMint 'follows the trail blazed by Sarah Palin: leave in the middle of the term to make a lot of money.' "


QUESTIONS ... With the new session soon upon us, curious Ear wants to know: Are Peggy Wilson and Gabrielle LeDoux really unique?

Gabrielle has now been elected to the state House of Representatives from two completely different cities. First Kodiak, now Anchorage. Has that been done before?

And is Peggy the only lawmaker who was once a legislator in another state -- North Carolina, in her case?

These aren't rhetorical questions, darlings. Ear really wants to know.


ON THE MOVE ... Heather Hudson is leaving her university job as director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the end of the month to write a book about the history of telecommunications in Alaska. Fisheries guru Gunnar Knapp will step in as interim director.


SAFE SHOPPING ... Was that a new "security presence" (uniformed but unarmed) at Seward's annual holiday bazaar at the cruise ship terminal last weekend? Alors, have Sewardians suddenly developed a penchant for out-of-control shopping?

Earwigs suggest it was perhaps the proximity of Shell's drill rig, which was parked next door. Can't have people tossing garlands at the gear.


KUDOS ... Hickel Investment Co. has given the property at 619 E. Fifth Ave. to AWAIC so they can build a donation/drop-off center at a different location than the women's shelter. Good for Hickel. The company also agreed to demolish the current building on the site as part of the donation.


Compiled by Sheila Toomey. Message Sheila at