State Briefs

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2002

'Sourdough' Mike dies at 50

ANCHORAGE - "Sourdough" Mike McDonald, a musician known for his deep baritone voice, comic performances at the Fly By Night Club and love of children died Wednesday of pancreatic cancer at age 50.

"He's like a cat, he has so many lives," his friend Lynette Harple said. "A dad, hockey coach, gig musician, music teacher."

One of his most memorable roles was as a portly, hirsute and liberally tattooed ballerina in Fly By Night shows.

"There never has been anyone in Anchorage who looked as good in a lace tutu as Sourdough Mike," said Fly By Night proprietor Mr. Whitekeys. "I think that just sort of says it all."

Thanks to Whitekeys, McDonald became well-known as Sourdough Mike.

In addition to his work with Whitekeys and local blues musicians, McDonald performed in local opera productions.

McDonald was also a father of three, an advocate for children and a music teacher at Abbott Loop Elementary School.

An avid hockey fan who coached youth teams, McDonald found an audience among sports fans, who often heard his version of the national anthem before hockey and baseball games.

A public memorial service is planned for next week.

"Hockey players will be sitting next to blues players who will be sitting next to little kids," blues bass player Patti Greene said. "We were blessed. He changed the world. How many of us can say that?"

Ulmer's Juneau funds top Murkowski's

JUNEAU - Juneau residents donated more than twice the amount expected to U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski, lead GOP candidate for governor, according to a spokesman. But it was less than what locals gave the front-running Democrat, state Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer.

Preliminary figures through Dec. 31 show that about 250 Juneau residents contributed more than $62,000 in 2001 to Murkowski, said Andy Warwick, Murkowski's campaign treasurer.

"We were simply overwhelmed," said Warwick in a press release. "The contributions averaged about $2 per Juneau resident the highest average so far of any community in the state."

The number was lower than the amount collected by gubernatorial hopeful Ulmer of Juneau, according to her campaign manager.

Preliminary numbers show 440 Juneau residents donated more than $99,000 to Ulmer in 2001, said Deborah Bonito.

"We were thrilled," Bonito said.

Warwick said Juneau donors contributed about 15 percent of $400,000 raised statewide by Murkowski in 2001. Bonito said Juneau donors accounted for 27 percent of $368,000 pledged to Ulmer last year.

Cookies on the way

JUNEAU - Running out of Thin Mint cookies? Help is at hand.

The Tongass Alaska Girl Scout Council's cookie sale began Friday. Last year 37,000 boxes of cookies were sold in Juneau, while 87,000 were sold in all of Southeast.

"We have 26 troops selling in Juneau," said Executive Director Lesley Thompson. "There should be close to 400 girls selling cookies."

Customers can try two new brands of cookies this year. Aloha Chips combine macadamia nuts and white fudge chips, while the Ole' Ole' s offer a powdered sugar-covered vanilla cookie with pecan chips and coconut. They replace the lemon drop and apple-cinnamon cookies of the year before.

"They drop the cookies that sell the least and they add new cookies with different flavors," Thompson said. "They're always trying new products."

Cookies arrive should reach town in early March.

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