Alaska Ear: High maintenance (Nov. 24, 2013)

HIGH MAINTENANCE . . . Sen. Ted Stevens' infamous Girdwood home is up for sale -- or was this past week. List price is $569,000. This is the house central to those federal corruption charges that alleged Veco's Bill Allen paid to renovate the place and Uncle Ted failed to report the gifts.

The best part of the ad was the proud claim "very well maintained."

FOOD FIGHT . . . Doncha love it when the guys in power start lobbing spitballs at each other in public? Ear does. That said, Rep. Bill Stoltze gets serious points with earwigs for blowing the whistle on Mayor Dan and Rep. Lindsey Holmes over -- how shall we put this -- an alleged disinformation encounter about the tennis court money.

"Deceptive practices" was the phrase Stoltze used.

We know why the mayor is willing to go to the wall for tennis -- it's his sport and he's used to getting what he wants. But why Holmes?

Turns out she was a big tennis player in high school. And, according to newspaper stories at the time, she had a reputation for switching teams: West to Dimond, then back to West.

What a shock.

WRITE YOUR OWN JOKE . . . For this headline in Thursday's Fairbanks News-Miner:

"Manley man named to advisory board"

ON THE MOVE . . . Earwigs report Darlene Simono, long-time executive director of the Alaska Broadcasters Association, has "upgraded to a new life" on the Big Island.

No, not Kodiak.

She's reportedly writing a children's book and enjoying the free W-Fi at a cafe in downtown Pahoa, Hawaii (pop. 945).

A QUESTION . . . Who thinks bureaucrats would have dared issue last week's threatening reminder about the ban on non-service animals in state buildings if Ramona was still alive? If Tony was still governor? If Jan was still a senator with juice?

Did Rep. Barnes ever go to work without Muffin, the dog she once told Ear she loved better than any man? Gov. Knowles brought Shadow the Lab to his office most days. And Sen. Faiks showed up now and then with hair-shedding chinchillas -- their hair screwed up the computers -- plus a llama or two.

Let's face it, darlings, animals can only improve state government.

NO SURPRISE . . . Earwigs are ho-hum about the New York Times story revealing that the "Alaska woman" in those right wing (Americans for Prosperity PAC) ads against Mark Begich is actually an actress from Maryland.

Seriously, did any of us think she was an Alaskan? Classy looking, great makeup, tasteful hair, bare neck in winter, clean kitchen -- nah, definitely not one of us.

UPDATE. . . Rick Gorka, campaign aide to Lite Gov Mead Treadwell, reports he can now read the twits issued by The Other Dan Sullivan's campaign. He said his blocked Twitter status changed this week with no comment or explanation.

Wow, isn't he lucky.

STILL OURS . . . Earwigs who don't care for Our Sarah are taking heart from the fact she didn't apply for a Permanent Fund dividend this year, presumably because she was out of the state longer than is allowed. They seem to think this means she can't run for the U.S. Senate in Alaska.

Sorry. Not so.

Ear checked with Elections Goddess Gail Fenumiai, who said federal rules require only that one be 30 years old and an "inhabitant" of the state. Which is why that wacko from Brooklyn who was in Zaz Hollander's ADN story Friday can probably show up here and run in the primary.

Just what we need. Are there no shelters for the weird in Brooklyn?

Anyhow, while serious lobes were thinking politics, Ear was noticing that Todd, Trig and Piper did apply. So apparently, they don't spend as much time Outside as Mom.

OUTSIDERS WE LIKE . . . The collective IQ of Anchorage darted upward this past week -- only temporarily, alas. The four hotshot economists chosen over the years as UAA Rasmuson professors gathered here to celebrate the 10th anniversary of that honorary chair. They were led by Nobel Prize winner Vernon Smith, with Jim Murphy, Robert Kurzban and the current star, Todd Cherry.

A couple of them visited with kids at Steller. A delegation from Nankai University in China flew in to meet them and talk partnership with the UAA biz college.

Earwigs spotted the group Wednesday night playing economic games and chowing down at Fat Ptarmigan, the new downtown pizza place.

OUT AND ABOUT . . . Camp Fire, the unsung hero of working parents, attracted a blue ribbon group to its annual fundraising breakfast last week, including Sens. Bill Wielechowski, Kevin Meyer and Hollis French, the donation people from the big three oil companies, Parnell Deputy Chief of Staff Cindy Simms, Andrew Halcro, Lynette Sullivan, Sandy Parnell, Patrick Flynn -- you get the idea.

Earwigs report they raised more than $200,000, a new record.

LOW SELF-ESTEEM?. . . You think you've got problems, consider the poor pinto abalone. The Center for Biological Diversity issued a plaintive press release this week about the need to put pinto on the endangered species list. Why? Their numbers have apparently declined to the point where they "are simply too far apart from one another to reproduce."

Really? Maybe there's another reason they have trouble getting it on. To quote from elsewhere in the release: Pinto "may have a face only a mother could love."

Compiled by Sheila Toomey Message Sheila at 257-4341 or