Posted: Sunday, September 03, 2000

Just Had to Ask...

It probably wasn't a question the administration of Gov. Tony Knowles was anticipating. At a recent news conference on the appointment of former Juneau Sen. Jim Duncan as administration commissioner, our reporter got in a friendly jab at the "capital creep" phenomenon, in which commissioners have been relocating to Anchorage even without a formal capital move. "I take it you won't be moving to Anchorage," the reporter said to Duncan, who represented Juneau in the Legislature for 24 years until 1998.

Even Knowles laughed. "I actually don't have to get back to you on that one," Duncan said.

All in a name

We're used to tourists confusing Tlingits with Eskimos. But the Observatory bookstore downtown heard a new one the other day. "I want a book about the Klondike Indians," asked the confused customer, we're told. Among the discoverers of the first Klondike gold were members of the Tagish Band, distant relatives of Alaska and Yukon Tlingits. But we don't think they were ever called Klondikes.

Onboard edibles

Changing tastes are chilling the traditional midnight buffet onboard cruise ships. For decades, the buffet stood as an icon of cruising, scorned by some as a symbol of conspicuous gluttony, beloved by others as an epitome of gastronomic glory. But now, as Americans pay more heed to health concerns, the midnight buffet is on its way out. Too much, too heavy and too late, many passengers say. Besides, with many ships now offering around-the-clock dining, guests know they can get a late-night food fix any time they want. Royal Caribbean, for example, has "the Midnight Delight." "We serve midnight snack food instead of a midnight buffet. We bring the food to guests - in the bars, the casino, the lounges, wherever people are having fun," says Rudy Sodamin, director of corporate food operations for the floating firm.

Institutional takeout

Tanana is putting a whole new spin on distance delivery. The Interior city has contracted with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District to deliver up to 80 school lunches by plane. Tanana closed its school kitchen this year after falling enrollment made it financially impossible to keep it open. Meals will be frozen and shipped 135 miles to Tanana weekly. The district isn't making money off the venture, said Fairbanks food service supervisor Lynn Tompkins. "It is just helping out, it is not for revenue," she said.

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