Alaska Ear: Happy D-Day (3/10/13)

Sheila Toomey

HAPPY D-DAY . . . It's the Appendage's most divine holiday: the anniversary of Darling Don Young's swearing-in as Congressman for All Alaskans Except Ear and a Few Others.

He's been Our Guy for 40 years, as of last Wednesday -- 40 years of the mind-bending wit and wisdom we so love. Who can forget "Pribilof's dog," "bladderdash" and the "money we get is a piddlance of the total bill." Well we remember his claim that he convinced his wife to get a "monogram" (you know, to prevent breast cancer). And he once reported replacing copper piping in his home with inexpensive "PCP pipe" (Ear is pretty sure he meant PVC pipe; if not, hallucinations may have been involved.).

And there's Ear's most recent favorite, in which Don explains seemingly contradictory comments to a TV reporter: "I don't agree with what I said."

So, d'Ear Don, congratulations and happy anniversary from all of Eardom.

P.S. Are you wondering why Don took the oath in March 1973, rather than in January with everyone else? Old-timers know the answer: He had to run twice. He lost the regular 1972 election to Nick Begich, who was already dead in a plane crash. Don had to win in a special election a few months later against Emil Notti.

NO COMMENT . . . Eight-month Anchorage School Superintendent Jim Browder speaking to the Des Moines school board during his job interview there Wednesday: "I'm willing to commit and stay for the long haul."

(A video of the interview and Browder's talk at a reception are on the Des Moines school district website).

COMMENT . . . At about 2:40 p.m. Wednesday, during a legislative committee meeting, former Anchorage Assemblyman Don Smith, "Father of the Tax Cap," urged that school boards be allowed to bust the cap.

Ear was stunned and actually checked this out.

Said Don, currently an Anchorage School Board member: "The tax cap was designed 30 years ago to try and slow the growth of municipal government -- NOT cut!"

Replied Ear: "Who are you and what have you done with the real Don Smith?"

BUT WHO'S COUNTING . . . The invitation to a joint Cheryl Frasca-Jennifer Johnson fundraiser last week featured an impressively long list of women co-sponsors. Well, impressive until earwigs noticed that most names were listed twice. And don't get Ear started on the design that transformed the city's anchor logo into a cross.

HINT, HINT . . . Some supporters of the mayor's attack on city unions are really irritated at Assemblyman Paul Honeman for an email he sent to people planning to testify last week against the proposed ordinance -- public safety employees in particular. (He's a retired Anchorage cop.) The email was a primer, coaching would-be speakers on the best points to make. For example:

"If this Ordinance ... is making you consider employment elsewhere, (p)lease share that thought." Remind Assembly members that you are a taxpayer and a "voter who just wants your voice heard," that you're concerned "for the future of services and their delivery." Stuff like that.

Ear isn't sure why anyone would be surprised that Paul encouraged anti-ordinance people to testify, since he's plainly anti-ordinance himself. A promise that a friendly assemblyman will "help you out" if you need more than the allotted three minutes seems to have particularly irked one letter writer, who called it all "criminal ... colluding."

Honeman said he often sends advice to people who want to testify but are nervous and a bit intimidated by the prospect of getting up in front of a crowd, TV cameras, etc. He said he thinks his constituents appreciate it.

Perhaps not all of them?

IT'S A DATE . . . The Alaska Libertarian Party has announced the featured speakers for its convention next Saturday at the Golden Lion Hotel: failed U.S. Senate candidate Honor Code Joe Miller and successful town crier for all things theatrical Ron Holmstrom.

Compiled by Sheila Toomey Message Sheila at 257-4341 or