Alaska Ear: It's on ... (5/4/13)

Sheila Toomey

IT'S ON . . . Well, darlings, Bill Walker's announcement that he's running in the Republican primary for governor accomplished one purpose: It forced coy pols to announce their intentions -- so they can get in on the early money and not leave the field to him.

As we learned Friday, Capt. Zero's not going after Mark Begich's U.S. Senate seat, which means our recently right-winged Lite Gov. Tread Meanswell will go for it.

So, let's take a look at the current Republican field for U.S. Senate: Treadwell, Joe Miller and maybe Sarah Palin. Yes, Our Sarah. Personalized emails went out to supporters last week soliciting petition signatures to "draft Sarah Palin for Alaska's U.S. Senate seat" -- presumably sent by non-Alaskans. (We are so over her.)

The letters began, "Do the words 'Senator Sarah Palin' excite you?"

To which Ear replied: Depends on your definition of "excite."

The Divine Appendage can hardly wait for Election Day. And with the scent of Begich blood in the water, there are sure to be more contenders circling.

FLYING FACTOID . . . In even more exciting news about elections, Talking Points Memo is reporting that 74 percent of Mississippi Republicans who think interracial marriage should be outlawed have a "favorable" opinion of Sarah Palin for president.

Which prompts you to ask: How many Republicans in Mississippi think interracial marriage should be illegal? TPM says 46 percent.

Sarah's busy schmoozing her base at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend, so no word on what she thinks (although Ear does note that her husband is part Alaska Native).

A QUESTION . . . Is Ear's favorite congressman toking up and chilling out in his old age? Word is Darling Don has signed on as co-sponsor of a bill to stop federal prosecution of marijuana users and businesses in states where use is more legal than under federal law. The prime sponsor is Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.

TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE? . . . We all rejoice when someone who's been out of work for awhile gets a job. The Open Secrets blog is reporting that Arne Fuglvog, who lost his job as assistant to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, has found work as a registered lobbyist in D.C.

So what's the big deal? The path from congressional staff to lobbyist is well worn.

True, but it's still a little unusual for the two to be separated by a stretch in prison. Earwigs will recall that Fuglvog, Lisa's fishing adviser, was convicted of harvesting illegal catches of sablefish here, including while working for Murkowski. He did about five months in a federal pen.

So who would hire him to intercede for them with the people who make the laws he violated?

Apparently, four different commercial fisheries companies.

GOOD TIMING . . . Earwigs report a Mat-Su college student with clogged arteries was really smart about picking the time for his full cardiac arrest: during class in a paramedic certification program.

The class was full of EMTs upgrading their credentials and they knew exactly what to do. They even had the equipment to do that shocky thing they do on TV.

Word is the 57-year-old patient is alive and doing pretty well at Mat-Su Regional Hospital.

Talk about hands-on class work.

FLYING FACTOID II . . . Yukon legislators want the Discovery Channel to change the name of its show "Yukon Men." They say the show portrays hunting practices that are both illegal and "rather horrific" to Canadians.

"We don't club lynx to death when they're caught in a leg-hold trap," said one lawmaker. "We don't shoot wolverines when they're caught in a leg-hold trap ... and we surely do not feed chinook salmon to our dog teams. That's not our Yukon."

Well, darlings, you know the punch line here. Producers defended the show by saying it's about the Yukon River in Alaska, so all that stuff is OK.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD . . . as we know it, Sophia Zahara Buchholdt, born May 1 at Providence. Sophia comes to us from the joining of two well-known Anchorage political families:

Mom is Tara Higgins Buchholdt, daughter of Patrick and Patti Higgins -- he's on the School Board and she ran against Charisse Millett last year.

Dad is Ryan Buchholdt, grandson of the late Thelma Buchholdt, a legislator and long-time community leader.

Sophia's dad is a business manager at UAA. Mom works for Merrill Lynch.

KUDOS . . . Ear loves it when Alaska writers do well.

Word is former ADNer Debbie McKinney's book, "Beyond the Bear," sold out its first printing in two weeks.

Former ADNer Stan Jones' mysteries, set in Northwest Alaska, are being translated into French and published there. Stan works for the federal gas line office here.

And coming in mid-July: A book on the infamous Pilgrim family by former ADN writer Tom Kizzia. (Watch for an excerpt in your Good Morning newspaper/website/tablet/smartphone app.)

ON THE MOVE . . . Bruce Woods, longtime spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service here, is calling it quits after 13 years. His retirement plans? To spend a lot of time on "bike trails, riverbanks and hillsides."

IT WILL BE . . . Finally, proof that, despite May snow and continued cold, summer will appear sometime soon: Tickets for the "Whale Fat Follies" have gone on sale at The summer-only production will be at the TapRoot in Spenard, three nights a week, from June 17 to Aug. 21.

Compiled by Sheila Toomey Message sheila at or 2157-4341.