Alaska Ear: Say it isn't so (11/10/13)

SAY IT ISN'T SO . . . Ear can hardly believe the news: Buddy Bailey is leaving the family furniture business.

How can that be? Buddy's been pitching Bailey's Furniture from our TV screens since he was like eight years old and The Divine Appendage was a mere lobelet.

Friends say he just wants a change and is going to be an agent for New York Life Insurance Co.

Ear says, "Huh?"

WELL BEINGS. . . Passengers on Don Young's flight up from Wrangell Friday couldn't avoid knowing how annoyed he was at his appointment for a cardiac stress test Saturday following "moderate symptoms" of something or other. He was ranting about it on the phone.

His office told Ear the test is no big deal but desirable because the congressman had a heart attack about 20 years ago.

Meanwhile, in unrelated health news, Earwigs report former Gov. Tony Knowles is doing well after knee replacement surgery at Providence.

READY, SET . . . Rumors that Lesil McGuire might be reconsidering her run for Lite Gov are -- surprise -- totally incorrect. Earwigs report the senator has hired Lee Clune to coordinate her Republican primary campaign against Mayor Dan Sullivan.

Clune seems to have what Anchorage candidates seeking statewide office need -- connections outside city limits. Once superintendent of several rural school districts, Clune was an adjunct prof at UAF for 11 years and remains active in a bunch of education stuff.

WOW! . . . Amazon editors published their "10 Best Books of 2013" list this week, and guess what's No. 5: "Pilgrim's Wilderness," Tom Kizzia's story of creepy Papa Pilgrim and his beleaguered family. That puts Tom in the company of Donna Tartt, Khaled Hosseini and Kate Atkinson.

Way to go!

GO GET 'EM . . . Check out Mary Beth Hammerstrom, a social studies teacher at Dimond High, when she competes for fame and fortune Tuesday on the quiz show "Jeopardy." It's the annual Teachers Tournament game. KYUR-Channel 13 at 6 p.m.

A QUESTION . . . Is it possible the feds have finally put up signs announcing the naming of the U.S. Courthouse here for the late, great Judge James Fitzgerald? Hey, it only took a year -- or more. Fitz was a wonderful character of early statehood -- a commissioner and justice of the Alaska Supreme Court before moving to the federal bench.

There are rumors of a dedication event. Stay tuned.

THE ONE . . . Northwest Arctic Borough Mayor Reggie Joule is the only Alaskan appointed by President Obama to his Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness.

THE MANY . . . The Alaska Community Foundation and Chanlyut, a post-prison-release support group, teamed up for a fund-raiser Thursday night at Jon Rubini's Turnagain home and every politician on earth showed up (OK, slight exaggeration). Spotted by earwigs: Mead Treadwell, Hollis French, all the Dan Sullivans, Chris Birch, Jennifer Johnston, Matt Claman -- you get the idea.

OUT AND ABOUT . . . Spotted looking as appealing as ever, waiting on line Wednesday at Fire Island Bakery, U. S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Morgan Christen. Really darlings, she has to be the best looking federal judge in America.

HE'S BAAACK . . . Remember Eddie Burke? He's been gone from the public arena for years, but radioheads report he'll be back with a morning show on KOAN-Fox News from 6 to 9 a.m.

Hmmm, that means we'll have a 6-9 a.m. choice of Rick Rydell on KENI, Glen Biegel on KBYR and Eddie on KOAN.

Pick your Tea Party.

And there's more: Mad Zoo Valley listeners report Mike Robbins, who runs Alaska Integrated Media, is starting a Valley talk radio station effective Nov. 14.

ON THE MOVE . . . Brendan Kelley, former editor of the Anchorage Press and most recently KTVA's online guy, is making the move we all dream of: absconding to Hawaii. Maui, to be precise. Says he's trading security for happiness and buying a one-way ticket.

OH PLEASE. . . This week's save-us-from-Outsiders tale involves a recommendation by Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, that the feds close all Alaska parks because they're -- wait for it -- hard to get to.

You know, like really really far from the Beltway. Plus, hardly anyone visits that funny-named wilderness place up near the North Pole.

(Hey Tommy -- what part of "wilderness" don't you get?)

Despite their remoteness, earwigs who go outdoors say more than 2 million people visited our parks in 2012.

WE'RE SO HONORED . . . Several on-line organizations of dubious importance honored Alaska in the past couple of weeks, citing the Ketchikan Airport as one of the 10 scariest in the world and the Seward Highway as one of the 10 most scenic drives in America.

Hmmm. That works both ways, doesn't it? Ketchikan: scenic, Seward Highway: scary.

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