Alaska Ear: OMG (7/28/2013)

Sheila Toomey

OMG . . . Ear rarely congratulates political machines, but we all must stand in awe of the brilliant maneuver to burnish The Other Dan Sullivan's political persona by dressing him in a uniform and sending off him to war in Afghanistan.

Voila! A competent but wonky bureaucrat one day, returning warrior the next.

True it's only six weeks and he is a U.S. Marine Reserve officer who has been activated before but, wow, what timing. Now let's hope they keep him out of the line of fire -- literally.

A QUESTION . . . If the Republicans rigged the new election district map, how come they drew the lines so that incumbent Republicans have to run against each other in three districts?

THE QUESTION . . . Paul McGuire, the popular Fletcher's manager, hits the big 60 mark this week and decided what he wanted for his birthday was for Debbie Reinwand to marry him. (Debbie co-owns the Bradley-Reid advertising agency.)

But giving her a ring and making a tasteful announcement just didn't cut it with Paul. He's an emcee/auctioneer for local charity events and plays saxophone with John Tracy's band. He had something a little more elaborate in mind.

First, he flew to Juneau to get the OK from Debbie's father, lobbyist Jerry Reinwand. This was a good idea. You don't want to mess with Jerry.

Then, the plan: On Saturday night at his party for 90 or so -- a Mardi Gras theme at the Captain Cook -- accompanied by a pianist, he planned to take the mic and sing "For Once in my Life" to Debbie (the Tony Bennett version), then present her with a family heirloom engagement ring.

By the time you read this, it will have happened. Even a Divine Appendage can't be positive, but Ear is pretty sure Debbie will say yes.

And yes, Paul is one of those McGuires -- Lesil's uncle, etc.

Hmmm. So that means Sen. McGuire has to call Reinwand "Aunt Debbie"?

FLYING FACTOID . . . Former UAA Chancellor Elaine Maimon has just been named one of the "100 Women of Influence" in Chicago. She's currently president of Governor's State University there.

IF YOU MUST . . . The invitation to former Assemblywoman Heather Flynn's big 70th birthday party -- also Saturday -- specifies "No gifts."

"If you're so compulsive you can't possibly resist, please make a contribution to your favorite charity in mom's name," ordered Assemblyman son Patrick.

WARMLY WELCOMED? . . . Former Vice President Al Gore was reportedly in Juneau last week. It's an inconvenient truth that Ear couldn't find anyone who actually saw him, just lots of people who heard he was there.

ON THE MOVE . . . Larry Campbell, former ADN reporter and Associated Press bureau chief in Alaska, is the new executive editor of The World, the daily newspaper that covers Oregon's south coast.

Larry also worked at The Peninsula Clarion and for First Alaskans Magazine.

ANOTHER HONOR . . . Darlings, guess what? We're No. 9.

So says another of those lists of best and worst, this one compiled by Kiplinger's, rating mid-sized cities that are great to live in.

The good news is, we're better than Dubuque, Iowa.

The bad news is, we're worse than Ithaca, N.Y. (Get real).

Little Rock and Burlington are Nos. 1 and 2.

OUT AND ABOUT . . . Who was that tanned, white-haired former Alaskan hobnobbing at writer Tom Kizzia's book-signing party Monday? No, not the two retired judges and other aging literati. It was NPR foreign correspondent Peter Kenyon, who's been reporting from the Middle East for years.

And speaking of Kizzia's book, "Pilgrim's Wilderness," it made a N.Y. Times best sellers list this week -- No. 21 on the nonfiction combined e-book and print list.

And what is No. 20, you ask? Former Daily News columnist Heather Lende's "If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name."

Go, Alaska!

QUESTION ANSWERED . . . Iditarod Race aristocracy gathered last Saturday at the fabulous Lighthouse Gardens in Eagle River to see former race executive director Raine Hall get married. She left Alaska years ago to become a Hollywood location scout and now lives in Georgia. But she never cut her Alaska ties and wanted to get married here.

The groom is Alan Rawlins, a key grip in the movie industry. (Admit it. You've never known what that means when you see it in the movie credits -- it means head electrician.)

Former Alaska Rep. Gail Phillips and Susan Brusehaber were matrons of honor, Rob Stapleton and Frank Flavin took pictures, the King Island Dancers performed and the bride wore a Vera Wang dress with cowboy boots.

Raine, Gail and Frank are part of a group currently working on a book about the first 10 years of the Last Great Race.

Compiled by Sheila Toomey Message Sheila at 257-4341 or

By Sheila Toomey