FAIRBANKS — The King of Jordan and his entourage checked out the trans-Alaska pipeline, surprised to discover they were unimpeded by security.
King Abdullah even joked about it later with the head of the CIA, according to a recent story in the Atlantic magazine.
“I don’t know who’s the head of Homeland Security, but I have some real concerns for you,” the king told David Petraeus, who was then the CIA boss. “There was a whole bunch of Arabs (which he pronounced Ay-rabs) running around your pipeline and no one stopped us,” Abdullah said. “Nobody asked us any questions at all. Who’s protecting your border?”
The king makes a unannounced motorcycle trip like this every summer in the U.S., accompanied by a group of friends and bodyguards, writer Jeffrey Goldberg said. They made the Alaska tour last summer.
HELP THE ARMY: The Salvation Army is far more than a set of statistics, but here goes.
Last year its forces provided: $87,160 in rental assistance to 247 individuals; $19,107 in utility assistance to 142 individuals; $206,090 in food assistance; $71,029 in Thanksgiving and Christmas seasonal food, toys, and clothing; $12,145 in school supplies and shoes to 372 children; $29,296 in furniture, household goods, clothing, and personal hygiene items.
To help continue its battle, the Salvation Army will hold its annual dinner and auction at 6:30 p.m. April 25 in the Binkley Room at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge. Tickets are $45 each. All the money stays in the community to offer a helping hand.
There will be a silent auction and outcry auction. You can donate an auction item or purchase a ticket for the event by calling the Salvation Army office at 452-3103.
EMPTY BOWLS: The annual Empty Bowls sale to benefit the Fairbanks Community Food Bank is from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Upwards of 2,000 bowls are expected to be available for sale. The Fairbanks Potter’s Guild sponsors the sale to benefit the food bank.
SPRING INSPECTIONS: Salcha Marine wants boat owners to know that the annual Coast Guard inspection Saturday will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27 at the store, which is 40 miles outside Fairbanks on the Richardson Highway.
This spring tradition goes back for decades, with free inspections for boats of all types that are bound for rivers, lakes and oceans.
MUSEUM DAY: The Museum Without Walls is holding a Discovery Day from noon to 4 p.m. April 21 at the UAF Student Recreation Center. The cost is $5 per child or up to $15 per family.
The exhibits are geared to children ages 1 through 8.
SUMMER FAIR: About 50 local organizations plan to take part in the 2013 Fairbanks Summer Kid Fair April 20 at the Watershed School, at 4975 Decathlon St.
The organizers say it will be a one-stop shop for Fairbanks families who are looking for ways to keep kids occupied this summer.
ROLL CALL: The Pioneers of Alaska Women’s Igloo No. 8 are holding the “Muck-a-Muck Smoker,” their annual roll call dinner, April 22 at the civic center at Pioneer Park. The social hour starts at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $23 and available from JoAnne Oehring at the Pioneer Museum or from Opal Baldwin until April 17. Tickets will not be available at the door.
Dermot Cole can be reached at email@example.com or 459-7530. Follow him on Twitter at @FDNMdermot.