In yet another sign of spring — the Betster has a long list, by the way — Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner Joseph Masters extended the studded tire deadline for all roads to May 1. Oh, sure, if you live north of latitude 60 degrees somewhere near Happy Valley, that has always been the deadline. Down here at the end of the road, the genius who wrote Alaska Statute 28.35.155 didn’t realize, or didn’t care, that a little hunk of the Kenai Peninsula was south of 60. Brilliant.
That means that every year, usually after the The Final Gasp of Winter Blizzard, the DPS commissioner makes an emergency order extending the studded tire deadline. This is probably a trick question for every potential DPS commissioner appointed to the job. “Will you issue an emergency order every April extending the studded tire deadline for south of 60?” If the candidate goes, “Why?”, pfft, he or she doesn’t get confirmed. The correct answer is, “Of course. What idiot wrote that stupid law anyway?” Bingo. You’ve got the job.
In the Betster’s 33-years of Alaska residency, rare has been an April where a snowstorm didn’t sneak in about this time of year to remind us that winter will not give up her grasp until the last snowflake has melted from that big snow dump by the stoplight. Live with it. If you want to reside in a land where it doesn’t snow in April, just sign over your PFD to the Betster and move south. The Betster admits to having been lulled into a false sense of spring fever last weekend when while walking on the beach it felt like July. OK, late August. All right, September. We knew it couldn’t last, didn’t we?
Fear not, though. Spring is a matter of thermodynamics, when the heat absorbed by the northern hemisphere’s slow tilt toward the sun inevitably reaches that point where temperatures do not drop below freezing and it’s impossible for snow to form. Then you’ll have rain, but it will be warm, or warmer, the snow will melt, and pretty soon instead of cursing the weather, you can curse a lousy salmon run, slow moving motorhome drivers and the return of sales tax on nonprepared food.
And meanwhile, we’ll always have these Best Bets:
BEST HIDDEN WAR BET: OK, sexual assault in the military isn’t exactly a cheery subject. But like the New York Times said of “The Invisible War,” “This is not a movie that can be ignored.” Part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the film shows at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre. A suggested donation of $8 helps support South Peninsula Haven House.
BEST GOOD QUESTION BET: With all the talk of Pebble Mine, not everyone knows of another huge mining project, the Donlin Mine in southwest Alaska. Homer filmmakers Bjorn Olson and Kim McNett look at that mine in “Where the Heck is Donlin?” It shows at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Also showing is a PBS documentary, “Alaska Gold.”
BEST FEEL THE BURN BET: If you need to warm up, put on your dancin’ shoes and rock out to Elders on Fire, playing at 8 p.m. Saturday at AJ’s Steakhouse and Tavern. The group of seasoned rockers show that just because you’re on Medicare doesn’t mean you’ve slowed down.
BEST ANOTHER CLASSIC BET: That’s classic as in classical music. We’re talking strings, here: violins, violas and cellos. Relax, sit back and enjoy the awesome music of the Homer Youth String Orchestra Club Spring Concert. They play at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Homer Council on the Arts. Admission is free, and there’s a dessert auction and reception following.
BEST NEVER FORGOTTEN BET: Kevin Bell’s legacy as a hockey coach and booster endures not just in the ice rink bearing his name, but in the generations of skaters he inspired. Celebrate his memory with Kevin Bell Day, starting at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena, of course. From 2 to 3:30 p.m. is a free public skate, followed by a tribute to Bell and lots of great hockey and broom ball action.
BEST FRILLY TUX BET: Hmm, if you’re now a parent of a teenager, that would mean you went to high school in the 1970s or 1980s. We’re talking the days of big hair, mohawks, tube tops and, of course, those hideous frilly Liberace shirts and tuxedoes boys worn to the prom. Dig out the old duds or dress up in something new for the Parent Prom, starting at 6 p.m. Sunday at Land’s End Resort. A fundraiser for the Homer High School junior class, tickets are $12 a single or $20 a couple. There’s a no-host bar.
BEST DON’T FEAR THE CHANGE BET: Ah, one of the joys of middle age — menopause. Dealing with a body that’s just as confusing as when you went through adolescence? Get some advice, information and ideas at “Menopause Information Night,” held 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Bidarka Inn. Dr. Hillary Seger presents information, and yoga instructor Ramona Pierce presents some poses to remove symptoms.
Can’t make the talk? Check out a menopause information table with community health educator and nurse Meredith Morphew from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. today at Safeway.