Alaska Ear (12/23/12): Saying goodbye

By Sheila Toomey

SAYING GOODBYE ... Wigs with their ears firmly frozen to the ground report School Board President Jeannie Mackie won't run for re- election in April. After two terms, during which she discovered being a School Board member is actually a full-time job, friends say Jeannie wants to take a year off just to re-energize and to tend to her own schoolchildren, three sons ages 7, 12 and 15.

This is not good news. Mackie gets uniformly positive reviews from people who slog their way to ASD offices on Monday nights. Jeannie reportedly really likes the job but the past year has been exhausting -- getting school bonds passed, losing Carol Comeau and hiring a new superintendent, etc. All this on top of the usual endless run of issues, problems, fights and decisions.


SAYING HELLO? ... No doubt it's just a coincidence that former legislator Eric Croft has filed a letter of intent to run for an unnamed municipal office in April. Or maybe not.

Of course, it could be for an Assembly seat but earwigs say he has his eye on the School Board, and wouldn't that be nice: an experienced, competent replacement for Mackie. We'll see.

AND ANOTHER ... It's not carved in stone but word is Bettye Davis is considering running against Don Smith. Fresh from her losing legislative re-election bid last month, Davis has filed an intent to run for the School Board but hasn't said which seat she'll target. Bettye vs. Don. Now, that could be a fun contest.


GOODBYE AND HELLO ... Harriet Drummond said goodbye to the Anchorage Assembly Tuesday. She's off soon to claim her new legislative seat. For her years of service, the panel gave her an umbrella -- presumably to protect her from Juneau rain. Ear thinks a set of Wonder Woman's bracelets would have been more useful.


OUT AND ABOUT ... But not in Alaska. Washington, D.C., earwigs claim to have spotted Honor Code Joe Miller in the U.S. Senate Hart Office Building Thursday. Is he still lobbying for that Midwest tea party group, or was he in D.C. to thank Sen. Lisa Murkowski for officially recommending his son for admission to West Point?

Earwigs who reported the recommendation seemed surprised. Not Ear. How cool is it to do a favor for the guy who called you bad names and tried to take you out. Besides, Joe graduated from the Point so the kid's got it in his blood. Lisa's office said she's all about kids getting a break and is focused on the future, not the past.

She recommended a total of 10 Alaskans.


FINAL EXAM ... In the spirit of term-ending nail biting, here's a historical quiz: Who is the last surviving pre-statehood governor in the entire United States? He's 93 and was recently spotted in Spokane at a huge celebration of Gonzaga University's 125th anniversary.


WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS? ... A fake crab recipe won this year's "wild Alaska seafood" competition -- it happened in October but was announced this past week.

It was announced by the office of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's marketing director, who is based in Seattle.

ASMI protests that the surimi was made from Alaska pollock and flavored with other wild Alaska sea critters. Yeah, yeah. Still doesn't seem right, somehow.


ON THE MOVE ... Oh, no! The bug man is leaving. Michael Rasy is leaving. Michael has been the go-to guy in Anchorage for the Cooperative Extension's Integrated Pest Management Program for more than 10 years. Friends say it's not the weather, nor Alaska gardeners' unfriendly attitude toward the wondrous aphid. Word is he's relocating to Connecticut to be near family.


IT'S WAR ... Well, d'Ears, he's finally done it. Wayne Anthony Ross has written a book -- his memoirs. It's called "Courtrooms, Cartridges and Campfires" and is mostly an outdoors adventure story. There's some courtroom stuff -- Ear loves the case where Wayne's expert witness turned out to be a bank robber from Hawaii, but man-in-the-woods is the theme. Ear hopes there's a sequel coming, maybe called "Politicians, Prosecutors and Phonies"?

You can get a copy for a last- minute Christmas present by calling Wayne's office.


CHEAT SHEET ... The answer to the holiday quiz is Mike Stepovich but you knew that, right?


Compiled by Sheila Toomey Message Sheila at



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