Inside out

Posted: Sunday, April 30, 2000

Democratic Republicans

A cruise ship association put out a fax to Alaska tour operators last week urging them to push for a no vote on the $50 head tax proposal. Along with ``unfair'' and ``terrible,'' the North West CruiseShip Association described the bill by Republican Senate President Drue Pearce as ``anti-democratic.'' Asked to explain the charge that an elected, representative body was subverting democracy, association spokesman John Hansen, based in British Columbia and representing some foreign-owned cruise lines, said: ``The proposal really hasn't had enough discussion.'' Oh. That explains it.

Paper management

The stalled rush to an early Legislature adjournment inspired innovation at the Capitol. After nearly a week's worth of cancellations of postponed meetings of the conference committee working on the state's operating budget, Mindy Rowland noted the trend. Rather than wasting paper printing new notices when regular delays turned terminal, the Senate Finance Committee secretary innovated. Now, when she prints out the ``The Conference Committee has been postponed'' notices, the word ``canceled'' is printed on the reverse side of the paper. That way, all that's needed is a strategic fold and a piece of tape to change the message to ``The Conference Committee has been canceled.'' That'll save a few trees.

Literary fun

Yellow posters are turning up around town -- including the library bulletin board in the foyer of the downtown parking garage -- saying, for ``A good time with Emily, call Hearthside Books.'' Of course, the catch is that the 8- by 11-inch posters are covered with photos of a very spinsterish Emily Dickinson, the noted Amherst, Mass., recluse poet of few words.

It's all relative

Although Alaska Congressman Don Young is in favor of more domestic energy exploration, he had a little fun recently with the idea that gas prices are especially high now. During a speech in Juneau, he cited some other per-gallon prices that aren't under attack nationally: Milk, $6.32; brake fluid, $33; Scope, $84. And the punch line: Evian water, $21.19. ``For water,'' he emphasized. ``Made in France, by the way. ... And we complain about gas.''

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