Alaska Ear: Done deal (3/24/13)

Sheila Toomey

DONE DEAL . . . So many words were spilled over the Senate's oil tax bill, there's nothing much left to say. Assuming eventual House passage, the only remaining question is: Who were the oilies being honest with -- the Legislature and the rest of us, or their stockholders? The companies told stockholders their profits would remain fat regardless of whether Alaska cut their taxes -- or words to that effect. When they talked to us? Nothing but gloom and doom.

The most fun part for Ear was when Sens. Kevin Meyer and Peter Micciche -- both ConocoPhillips employees -- piously declared they couldn't vote because of their obvious conflicts of interest. Of course, without their yes votes, the bill likely would have failed 9-9. So their "conflict" was waved aside. Remember the Alaska Legislature's motto: "Your conflict is my interest."

To change the subject, did you see the jacket Fairbanks Sen. Click Bishop wore for the debate? Unless fashionistas are way off, it was a Filson "Alaska Tuxedo," formally known as a Forestry Cloth Cruiser No. 16.

Earwigs want to know, was it an authentic old one, reeking of Alaska history, or one of the new faux limited edition? The jackets were last sold 30 years ago, but Filson says they're now offering 1,897 of them for sale. (Yes, the company was founded in 1897).

They sell for $335.

BTW, we need to remember Click when we start getting all that additional oil revenue to build schools and roads. He cast the deciding vote for the big oil tax cut. Yeah, be sure to remember Click when the time comes.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK . . . Sen. Lesil McGuire, during Wednesday remarks in support of the oil tax cut, as reported by ADN columnist Shannyn Moore:

"Many of the tools are ones that we've seen here in this body before."

Really, d'Ears, who can argue with that?

SPEAKING OF . . . Lesil, she brought her and Tom Anderson's son, Grayson, to work Thursday, where he celebrated his seventh birthday as an honorary Senate page. Plus he got a gun -- reportedly a .22 Rossi -- as a birthday present. How delightful.

HAVE WE MET? . . . A floor exchange between Senate President Charlie Huggins and Sen. Donny Olson, when Olson sought recognition to speak:

Huggins: Yes? Sen. Hoffman, sorry. Excuse me.

Olson: Sen. Olson.

Huggins: Say again?

Olson: Sen. Olson.

Huggins: Oh, I'm sorry. Sen. Olson.

Really darlings, they don't all look alike.

FLYING FACTOID . . . A couple dressed as zombie Gov. Sarah Palin and zombie Lite Gov. Sean Parnell won third place in the 28th annual Sham Jam, a charity event hosted by the Young Democrats in Juneau last Saturday. Zombie Sarah wore a T-shirt that said, "I can see Russia from my crypt."

FLATLINED . . . Long-time KTUU anchor Mike Ross is officially dead. Really.

Mike says he learned a few days ago the federal government declared him dead in 2010. Now he has to prove he's alive.

Did you ever try to prove to the government that it's wrong about something? Good luck with that.

Apparently a Facebook status of "alive" isn't enough. Neither is being able to tune into the news and see Mike all animated and un-dead.

He needs to make a personal visit to the feds and bring a letter from his boss vouching for his aliveness.

Oh-oh. Does this mean they'll have to correct the census?

Mike seems mostly amused by the whole thing. "If the Zombie Apocalypse begins, I will have a tough time choosing sides," he wrote on Facebook, "since I am, after all, literally a member of the 'living dead' already."

DO SEND A FONDU . . . to former City Clerk Barbara Gruenstein and Chicago federal appeals court Judge Frank Easterbrook. Friends say the two plan a romantic late afternoon wedding in Girdwood on May 12.

Federal Judge Morgan Christen will do the honors. The rings are by Anchorage artist Susan Serna.

This is one of those separated-for-40-years love stories: Barbara and Frank met in second grade in Kenmore, N.Y., and were in classes together through high school. Barbara learned at their 40th high school reunion that Frank owned a place in Girdwood and, voila!

CHEERS . . . Former Gov. Frank Murkowski celebrated his 80th birthday at a St. Patrick's Day party in Palm Springs -- his actual birthday is March 28. According to a report on Amanda Coyne's new website,, about 50 people showed up, including former Washington Gov. Dan Evans, Fran Rose, Dan Coffey, Perry and Gloria Green, Carl Brady -- well, you get the idea. Frank is reportedly having a lot more fun in retirement than he had as governor.

As for Amanda's site, it appears to be a political blog. There's an intriguing piece about what former APOC employees are saying in court papers about agency management.

TRUTH IS STRANGER . . . Ear had trouble believing this, but a chef originally from Fairbanks has won Food and Wine magazine's People's Best New Chef competition for 2013. Brendan McGill, who owns Hitchcock's restaurant on Bainbridge Island, is a graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle. He beat out 100 competitors, the magazine says.

NEVER PICK UP HITCHHIKERS . . . A police blotter item offered by Scott Christiansen in the Anchorage Press:

"February 24 -- A state trooper was walking down Main Street in Sleetmute when a man, reeking of alcohol and with bloodshot eyes, pulled up on a Honda four-wheeler and offered the trooper a ride. His generosity ... was rewarded with a trip to jail in Bethel."

Compiled by Sheila Toomey Message Sheila at 257-4341 or

Compiled by Sheila Toomey