Alaska Ear: Options? (9/8/13)

OPTIONS? ... A political fundraiser this time of year is hardly news but the sponsors' list for Bill Walker's contribution-fest this coming Tuesday is Ear-worthy.

Walker, a Republican who says he'll run for governor as an independent, has attracted a couple of notable old-line Democrats to his cause: Named sponsors include former Lite Gov. Steve McAlpine and former Sen. Mike Szymanski, among a gaggle of other notables of varying political persuasions.

As you can imagine, this added fuel to the rumor that Walker will sign up a Democrat as his running mate, giving an option to Democrats with faltering faith in their party's ability to deliver a win over Capt. Zero. Curious Ear broke with tradition and actually called Bill to check his intentions.

He reminded Ear that Szymanski is his brother-in-law, and McAlpine is an old friend from Valdez. It's more personal relationships than politics, he said, although they're not the only Dems on the list. Which begs the question: Is he going to run with a Democrat?

Walker said he's aware of the rumors about Sen. Bill Wielechowski as a possible running mate: "Bill and I became a couple without ever dating," he joked. But, he said, he just hasn't made a decision yet about approaching anyone specific -- party or person.


ON THE MOVE ... And this one surprised earwigs: Grace Jang, the face of Channel 11's main newscast for several years, has defected to Channel 2. Or so says Mike Ross on Facebook. (Grace was still listed as lead anchor on the KTVA Web page when Ear last checked).

The competition between the two newsrooms is fierce as KTVA prepares for the big merger with GCI (if the FCC ever gets off the dime and approves it), and KTUU bulks up in an effort to hold on to its No. 1 place in the ratings.

A QUESTION ... Did a couple of clowns really get caught having sex in a bathroom at the Atwood building -- better known as the home of state offices in Anchorage? So says Amanda Coyne in her blog -- neither was a state worker, according to Amanda.

Earwigs worried that the governor might have inadvertently stumbled on such a shocking scene can relax. He's had a private bathroom built in his office.

Thank goodness.

BUT WHO'S COUNTING ... According to Solstice Advertising, a local firm that figured out how to get some free publicity, Alaskans spend a total of $1,062,030 every hour. We drink 13,448 pints of beer per hour and file nine applications for gun-sale background checks.

Hmmm. Nine out of how many actual purchases?

Just asking.

WHO KNEW? ... If you want to know where to find good food for a reasonable price, ask an airline pilot. That's the advice of the Air Line Pilots Association. The August issue of the association magazine makes recommendations for several airport cities around the country. In Anchorage, it says, the place to go is the humble White Spot Cafe.

NO COMMENT ... An earwig who now lives "in the South" confirms that our favorite former squawk radio mouth Dan Fagan is actually on the air in New Orleans on WGSO 990 AM and

WGSO also runs the following ad:

"Do you have the talent and voice for radio? Are you interested in your own program! If so, contact us and we'll give you more information on how to revive your radio career or start a new one."

NOT AGAIN ... A Business Insider columnist on Tuesday resurrected that old debate over the crookedest state in the Union -- don't fret, it's not us.

However, citing 2000-2010 Department of Justice stats, he claims we're the fifth most corrupt. Louisiana, the Dakotas and Kentucky are worse.

Notable contenders like Mississippi, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Texas are allegedly more honest than we are.

Ear was prepared to cry foul -- then realized: The ranking is based on charges and convictions. Not who's actually doing dirty. We actually charge someone once in a while.

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

By Sheila Toomey |