Alaska Ear: Coming distractions (Dec. 1, 2013)


COMING DISTRACTIONS . . . The movie about Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird is set to open March 21 at 260 theaters around the U.S.

The film is called "50 to 1," which were the odds against Mine That Bird winning the 2009 Derby. Earwigs will recall the wonderful little horse is co-owned by former Alaskan Mark Allen.

Mine That Bird was sired by Mary Lou Whitney's Birdstone. Mark Allen was sired by Veco's Bill Allen.

The movie is produced and directed by Jim Wilson, whose credits include "Dances with Wolves," "The Bodyguard" and "Wyatt Earp." It stars Christian Kane and William Devane, among others. Winning jockey Calvin Borel plays himself.

OUT AND ABOUT . . . The In Party of the week (not counting Thanksgiving at Bill Sheffield's) was last Saturday's black-tie fundraiser at the Captain Cook for the First Alaskans Institute. You know it was important because three major candidates showed up: Bill Walker, Lite Gov. Mead Treadwell and The Other Dan Sullivan, whose wife was there to accept an award for her mother, Mary Jane Fate. Food was by Rob Kinneen.

The do raised more than $50,000 on the auction alone.

THE PRICE OF PRAYER . . . Philanthropist David Rubenstein, husband of Alaska Dispatch publisher Alice Rogoff, bought a copy of the 1640 "Bay Psalm Book" Tuesday at a Sotheby's auction for $14.2 million. The Psalm is allegedly the first book ever published in America, and is now apparently the most expensive U.S. book ever auctioned.

In the past, Rubenstein has bought copies of the Magna Carta, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Declaration of Independence and given them to the U.S. government on permanent loan.

He's the multibillionaire co-owner of the Carlyle Group, a "private equity firm."

ON THE MOVE . . . Friends report Special Agent Eric Gonzalez, long-time public face of the FBI in Alaska, is retiring and heading to a new job in Minnesota.

TEEING OFF ON THE FEDS . . . Looks like Capt. Zero plans to milk that Chicken smackdown by the feds for all it's worth, and who can blame him. It's almost an election year. (The feds were armed agents of the EPA's Environmental Crimes Task Force looking for -- what -- dirty water?)

Parnell has hired attorney Brent Cole to lead the charge. Brent is a nephew of former Attorney General Charlie Cole and was assistant attorney general in the unsuccessful prosecution of the Exxon Valdez's Capt. Joe Hazelwood. Rumor is former super-Trooper Jim McCann might also be taking the case.

Curious Ear wonders how one goes about investigating the feds. Can you make them answer your questions? Ear's attorney, Barney Disbarr, thinks not. So, basically, you talk to the complaining placer miners and write down what they say?

Sounds about right for a campaign ad.

FLYING FACTOID . . . One of the fans at Mead Treadwell's annual Harvard-Yale football party last Saturday was a certified genius: immigration attorney Margaret Stock, 2013 winner of a MacArthur genius award -- the third for Alaska (earlier winners are Katherine Gottlieb and Sven Haakanson). It's unknown whether she was the person who insisted Mead sing the Yale fight song when his alma mater scored its pathetic lone touchdown. It might have been former Assemblyman and current legislative candidate Matt Claman.

Isn't that the song that goes "Bulldog! Bulldog! Bow wow wow?"

Compiled by Sheila Toomey Message Sheila at 257-4341 or

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Anchorage Daily NewsBy SHEILA TOOMEY