Ted Stevens might be a pariah in Washington, but he got a hero's reception returning to Alaska yesterday: Bush praised him by name, a group of thirty veterans riding Harleys tenderly welcomed him to his campaign office in Anchorage, and he got to wake up this morning to this letter of support in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, lovingly titled "Thinking of Ted":

Last night, I drove out to the dike behind the airport to watch the Tanana River. The river was raging and was about two-thirds of the way up the banks of the dike. Reportedly it was the highest it has been since the 1967 flood. Without a doubt, if it weren’t for the dike, much of Fairbanks would be flooded.

As I stood in awe watching the raging torrent, I thought how fortunate we are to have the protection of this flood control project. There were many people responsible for this project, but the person who comes to mind who pushed the funding through Congress was Sen. Ted Stevens.

So before we throw him under the bus and discard him like an old newspaper, let’s remember what he has done for this community and for our state. We owe him more than most of us will ever realize.

If Stevens weren't an accused criminal, that would be kind of sweet.

Photo: Brendan Joel Kelley/Anchorage Press.

--Eve Fairbanks