It turns out that this weekend's pre-eminent Alaska investigative journalist was Sheila Toomey, the Anchorage Daily News gossip columnist who has written the Ear since, well - since a long time ago. It isn't too late to nominate her in the investigative category for the 2007 Alaska Press Club awards, folks!
I mentioned Sheila's coverage of UAA Prof. Rick Steiner's confrontation with the State of Alaska over access to information on how the state is dealing with information on the status of Polar bears in the column directly below. But Toomey today also mentioned three of my favorite people together in the same episode:
Ear stopped laughing long enough to check in with Mat-Su guru Myrl Thompson, who told the following story:
Myrl was at the Cook on Wednesday with a friend when Ray Metcalfe showed up. Ray's been torqued at Lyda ever since she was quoted saying she saw no evidence of corruption by Ben Stevens when he was in the Senate.
Ray had a copy of his APOC complaint against Ben and was looking to "serve" it so Lyda could no longer claim ignorance, he said later.
You're in luck, said Myrl to Ray, delighted to pour gas on the fire. "My friend here just happens to be a licensed process server."
So the three headed across the street to the Corsair, where Lyda and aide Portia Babcock were greeting well-wishers at the bottom of the stairs. Hi, said Myrl's friend, handing Lyda the papers. "You've been served.
"Thank you," said Lyda.
Figuring she was on automatic pilot from greeting well-wishers, Ray said something like, "No, Lyda. This isn't a good thing."
But it takes more than Ray and a process server to crack a veteran politician's public aplomb.
"Thank you," she said firmly.
Myrl Thompson is one of my favorites because he afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted so well in the Frontiersman. Ray Metcalfe is a great Alaskan ethics crusader. And Lyda is my Senator.
I've covered Ray's efforts here in the past, and will be doing so again, soon. I've also groused about how little attention Sheila's employer has devoted to asking politicians who have received Metcalfe's information over the years what they did with that information.
You've got to hand it to Myrl and Ray for showing up like they did at what might be one of the last events Sen. Green presides over as coalition chairman.