- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 12, 2003

When in Nome

Way up north in Alaska, the Nome Chamber of Commerce was hosting a social event Tuesday night for the Alaska Municipal League’s mayoral conference when a concerned party stepped forward and asked whether security should be alerted to an unidentified person who had entered a closed section of the building.

It turned out there was no problem and no extra security was called. The person in question was simply one of Washington’s finest, ensuring the safety of the conference’s keynote speaker — D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams.

“Although mayoral security escorts are almost unheard of in Alaska, let alone Nome, Mayor Williams and his security detail are great ambassadors for D.C. and we are happy to host them in the Gold Rush City,” Graham G. Storey, executive director of the Nome Chamber of Commerce, told Inside the Beltway yesterday.

Job frontiers

Where are the best places to work in federal government?

According to 100,000 federal employees who answered an Office of Personnel Management survey, here are the top 10 federal agencies of 28 Cabinet departments and nearly 200 subagencies:

1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration

2. National Science Foundation

3. Office of Management and Budget

4. General Services Administration

5. Environmental Protection Agency

6. Office of Personnel Management

7. Air Force

8. Department of Interior

9. Department of Commerce

10. Department of the Army

This “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” ranking is developed by the Partnership for Public Service and American University.

Mum’s the word

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican, took to the floor yesterday to reflect on the role of the speaker in the modern House of Representatives.

He cited principles of previous speakers such as Joseph Cannon, who led the House with “iron power”; Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, who negotiated with “Irish charm”; and Sam Rayburn, who “ruled for a generation.”

“Each used their principles to guide them in times of great challenge,” Mr. Hastert noted. As for the current speaker’s principles?

“I learned that keeping your word is the most important part of this job. You are better off not saying anything than making a promise that you cannot keep,” he said.

Identify and hobble

Terrorists should have no problem identifying thousands of Americans working in the homeland security field.

Marketer Edith Roman Associates has introduced a new file, “Homeland Security Executives,” which lists 335,844 names, telephone numbers and business addresses. The list includes officials in the public and private sectors who play a role in responding to emergencies and disseminating information, from government and school personnel to medical workers and biologists.

Career minded

Only a few months ago, legendary newspaperman and syndicated columnist Irv Kupcinet invited Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, to a luncheon he’d hosted every Saturday at the Drake Hotel in Chicago.

“Kup,” as the senator calls him, was in a wheelchair, yet there were a dozen silver-haired gentleman crowded around the table — “friends of Kup for a lifetime.”

“I was the youngest at the table by at least 20 years. I listened as they regaled me with stories of America and Chicago, of sports, of horse racing, entertainment — everything that had made Kup’s life.”

The Chicago Sun-Times columnist died this week at age 91, but not before experiencing almost everything life had to offer.

He said he knew as a child he’d become a newspaperman, but waited until a shoulder injury ended his first professional football season with the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent more than 55 years with the Chicago Sun-Times, his column appearing in more than 100 newspapers nationwide.

Kup also hosted a syndicated television show, his interviews with the likes of Robert F. Kennedy, Malcolm X and Richard Nixon garnering a dozen Emmy awards. He broadcast countless Chicago Bears football games — that is when he wasn’t officiating for the NFL. And when not busy with all that he appeared in Hollywood films, two being “Advise and Consent” and “Anatomy of a Murder.”

No wonder they renamed the Wabash Avenue bridge over the Chicago River in his honor.

John McCaslin, a nationally syndicated columnist, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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