Alaska Ear: Meet and greet (1/20/13)

MEET AND GREET ... Everyone (meaning Ear) was hoping for some legislative fireworks but, alas, everyone was disappointed.

The occasion was Thursday's meeting of the House Finance Committee, when newly Republicanized Rep. Lindsey Holmes showed up to claim the committee seat that was supposed to belong to Fairbanks Democrat Rep. Scott Kawasaki, and Scott showed up to fill in temporarily for committee member Dave Guttenberg, who is missing the early session due to his wife's illness.

Awkward much?

To make matters worse, earlier in the week Lindsey evicted Scott from his office, the one he was entitled to before she became the 30th member of the House majority, reducing by one the number of seats Democrats are entitled to on Finance, thus costing Kawasaki both his seat and his office.

Earwitnesses report the two had to sit next to each other but didn't look at each other and didn't talk.

You could have cut the tension with a knife. Fortunately, no one had a knife.


SILENT COMMENT ... Ear Googled "Images of Lindsey Holmes Alaska" on Friday and guess what popped up?

Four photos of Lindsey and two pictures of Benedict Arnold.


If you're wondering how many Democrats who gave money to Lindsey's re-election campaign plan to ask for their money back, Ear knows of only one so far. The contribution was $500.


OUT AND ABOUT ... Spotted more than once around town, ex-newsie and current ad agency mogul Debbie Reinwand, with her new sweetie, Paul McGuire. He's the manager of Fletcher's, an auctioneer, emcee and, yes, Lesil's uncle. (Yes, that Lesil. Are there other Lesils?)

Spotted in Juneau settling in as the session got under way, recently coupled-up lobbyist Ashley Reed and former Alaska Dispatch co-owner Amanda Coyne.


GREAT MOMENTS ... from the GOP dustup on Fireweed Lane Thursday night:

First, earwigs can only marvel at the clarity of the executive committee's ruling, after several hours of contentious dispute, on the status of incoming chairman Russ Millette: The GOP elders decided they can't remove him from the job because he doesn't actually have it yet. His term is supposed to begin Feb. 1.

Second, there was a debate over whether Wayne Anthony Ross is really a lawyer. Hmmm. He was acting state attorney general for a while, so Ear guesses this isn't much of an issue. Plus, Everybody Knows He's a Lawyer!


For facts about Part One of the Republican Rave, see Rich Mauer's account at


SLOGANS ... being batted around Capitol hallways opening week.

Real: "A Voice for Reason." The campaign slogan for the House race of convicted Fairbanks militia leader Schaeffer Cox.

Not real: New Exxon slogan -- "Hey, at least we're not Shell."


ON THE MOVE ... Earwigs report ex-newsie Jason Moore, formerly of MSI Communications, starts Monday as director of corporate communication for Native regional corp behemoth CIRI.


ACTION CENTRAL ... GCI is being a little coy about its plans for the three television stations it's buying but the cable and telecommunications company has announced some staffing for Denali Media, the subsidiary that will run the "new media platform."

Gary Donovan, formerly of Clear Channel Communications in Anchorage and president of the Alaska Broadcasters Association, has been named CEO, which may include being general manager of Channel 11 once the sale is final.

Two other hires are Trent McNelly and David Degraffenreid, both formerly of KTUU, which makes sense since former KTUU news director John Tracy reportedly has a three-year contract to help get Denali Media going. (Informally, the new guys are being referred to as Tracy's Team.)


WELCOME TO THE WORLD ... as we know it, Michael Thomas He Zhen Stapleton Steenburgh, new son of former Palin press aide Meg Stapleton and hubby Eric Steenburgh.

Michael (and the rest of his names) joins two sisters: 3-year-old Ji Ji and 5-year-old Isabella. Friends report he, mom and dad made the trip from Hunan Province in time for Christmas.


NO FOOLIN' ... Earwigs say the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce is replacing its long-time News & Views with a high-gloss magazine tentatively titled Anchorage Magazine. First edition is reportedly due out April 1.

Uh-oh. Debuting something on April 1 is never a good idea.


WHERE ARE WE ... Ear loves Outsiders' geographical confusion when it comes to Our Beloved State. A Palmer earwig shared the following account of a phone call last week with customer service:

"I called to return some Carhartts my 27-year-old daughter gave me for Christmas that would've fit me around the time of her conception. ...

"The customer service agent (a young fellow located in the Caribbean -- I asked) said UPS doesn't ship to Antarctica.

"I said, No, no, Alaska.

"Oh, Alaska, he says; do you get mail there?

"No, I said, of course not, and we don't have phone service, either.

"Jeez, he said, I wouldn't want to live there."


Compiled by Sheila Toomey. Message Sheila at