Alaska Ear: A family affair (8/25/13)

A FAMILY AFFAIR . . . Premiering a movie about a creepy pipeline-era killer on a rainy evening in Wasilla was so right.

It was a full house and a friendly crowd in the "over 21" theater at Valley Cinema Friday for a screening of "The Frozen Ground." (Over 21 means booze available). Earwigs said a second theater (no booze) was also nearly full.

Lots of Anchortowners braved a rush-hour/state fair drive to the Valley for the thrill of seeing themselves and friends on the big screen. Even spotting all those familiar names in the production and "special thanks to" credits at the end of the movie was fun.

More than 700 Alaskans reportedly worked on the film; 30 had speaking parts. The audience broke into hoots and applause whenever local "stars" appeared, including Ron Holmstrom as bad guy Robert Hansen's lawyer, Julie Hasquet as a reporter from that era named Sheila, and retired U.S. Coast Guard officer (plus KTUU weather guy) Robert Forgit, who had a real part as one of the troopers who nailed Hansen.

All three were at the show. Also spotted, Diane Benson, Jackie Purcell and a contingent from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs -- Commish Maj. Gen. Tom Katkus, Deputy Commish McHugh Pierre and the state Homeland Security boss, John Madden.

Is it a good movie? Who cares. It was shot in downtown Anchorage, It's all about us. The popcorn was great with white wine. (Read the reviews if you have to know serious stuff).

Valley Cinema management provided VIP seats for cast and crew who showed up and raffled off a couple of posters. BTW, who knew the Mad Zoo Valley had a big, classy multiplex? With a beer and wine license, no less.

Ear really has to get out more.

ET: PHONE MIKE . . . Earwigs who remember the '70s and the Pentagon Papers will be proud to know former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel is back on center stage.

OK, Ear is kidding.

Nothing Mike has done lately is pride-making -- amusing, yes, but slightly embarrassing. After all, we elected him to the U.S. Senate.

Anyway, Mike showed up Wednesday on the SyFy show "Joe Rogan Questions Everything." The subject: human contact with extraterrestrials. And yes, Mike thinks the government has had proof of alien life for a long time.

In May he participated in a "Citizen Hearing on Disclosure" at the National Press Club in D.C., where he and five other former U.S. lawmakers (reportedly paid $20,000 each to show up) heard a bunch of witnesses testify about UFOs and government cover-ups of crashed spacecraft.

In an interview, Mike told Rogan, "I personally believe now that as a result of the hearings we've had, there is no question that there is extraterrestrial presence that's monitoring our planet."

Could be.

Hey Mike, where did you say you were born?

DON'T SHOOT . . . Trigger-happy rumor mongers say Sen. Click Bishop and Mike Nizich are going moose hunting together. Hmm. Politicians. Guns in the woods. But it seems OK -- the 11th vote in favor of the oil tax cut is probably very safe with Parnell's chief of staff.

BLAST . . . from the past, in town to visit children and grandchildren, Mano Frey, president of the Alaska AFL-CIO for nearly 20 years.

Mano moved Outside about 10 years ago and became regional vice president of the Laborers International Union of North America. When he retired last year, Don Young, Congressman for All Alaskans Except Ear and a Few Others, entered a laudatory speech about him into the Congressional Record.

A QUESTION . . . Is exiting AHFC boss Dan Fauske really touring his agency's offices around the state so they all can give him going-away parties? He wouldn't do that, would he?

OUT AND ABOUT . . . That really mean bald judge from "The Next Iron Chef" was spotted at the Crow's Nest Thursday night. Food Network star Simon Majumdar got weathered out of a fishing/bear viewing trip so viewed the local food scene instead.

Southcentral Foundation's Terry Simpson, who arranged the chef's visit to Alaska, said he wanted to come because it was the only state he hadn't ever visited. Majumdar is allegedly checking us out for his next book.

Oh oh.

THE NEWS IN UNALASKA . . . The following enticement appeared this week in a press release to reporters from the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission offices in Dutch Harbor:

"Also meeting in Unalaska next week are the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and the Alaska State Legislators who will attend the City of Unalaska's Legislative Fly-In; all of which are spectacular news coverage opportunities."

KUDOS . . . Former ADN photographer Jim Lavrakas got to celebrate his first week as head of the Homer Chamber of Commerce by announcing that Google has named our favorite hippie enclave Alaska's 2013 eCity.

What does that actually mean? Apparently Google taps in some algorithm that spits out the "strongest" city in each state for the online presence of local small businesses.

No, Ear still doesn't really understand, but Homer is the best in Alaska this year. You can Google it.

Compiled by Sheila Toomey. Message Sheila at or 257-4341.

By Sheila Toomey |