Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 4:09 PM on Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Homer's Best Bets


Photo by Michael Armstrong

Cleaning up

A worker runs a snow blower over the Lake Street bike and pedestrian path over Beluga Slough early Wednesday morning after this week's big winter storm.

Suppose before bed the weatherperson forecast a raging blizzard that would dump tons of snow on our quaint little seaside town, shutting down major streets and closing cafes from the Spit to Old Town. A smart person might think, "Hey, I live at the end of a 500-foot driveway — it might be a good idea to park the Subaru snout out toward the road."

Right. Like anyone ever does the sensible thing in Alaska. What would be the fun in that?

Holy snowshoes, Betsteroids! Did we ever get some snow or what? Tuesday morning the Betster discovered that it might have been a good idea to listen to that inner voice. Oh well. Consider this a new kind of journalism, where humble reporters, uh, get humbled, and learn empathy for their subjects.

Monday you were probably thinking, "Oh, poor Cordova and Valdez. How could anyone live in a coastal community where wet, sloppy weather systems roll in off the ocean, dumping precipitation as snow upon hitting cold, mountainous land masses?" You probably regretted that thought Tuesday, didn't ya?

This is Reverse Magical Thinking 101. Get all smug about the misfortune of others and a taste of that misfortune will bounce off on you. Even if you were a tad sympathetic — hey, after all, Cordova called in the National Guard — that sympathy rolls back on you. You can't win. Alaska wants to be an equal opportunity mischief maker.

Well, as usual we dug out. Brave, intrepid snow plow drivers worked late into the night clearing our driveways. Nurses and doctors made it to work. Cops, firefighters and essential city workers did their job. The Betsteroid heard even a jury trial started as schedule, or tried to, although some jurors stuck out beyond Ohlson Mountain were alleged to have said, "Oh, dream on, judge."

Welcome to Wacky Winter. We're just going to have to tough it out this season, Betsteroids, because there's no telling what will come next. And while you're guessing, and after you've taken a good long soak for those tired muscles, get out and about with some of these Best Bets:

BEST GOOD EATING BET: Oh, sure, you could get some fancy high-tech medicine with lots of expensive pills and surgery and stuff, extending your life well into the 90s. That might work. Or you could change your diet and eat healthier. That's the idea of "Forks Over Knives," a film showing at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre. Sponsored by the CHIP health information class, admission is a donation of a heart-healthy snack. A discussion follows.

BEST BIG INSIDE BET: While you're waiting for the weather to settle down, head indoors for a bit for a little inside exercise. Oh, and celebrate National Mentoring Month with free ice skating from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena on the Spit. Also enjoy free skate rentals. Kids, bring an adult type human, please.

BEST TOO RANDOM BET: If you're like the Betster with a gazillion songs on your iPod, sometimes you just resort to shuffle in hopes your favorite song will pop up. Well, heck, Steve Jobs designed these things so even middle-aged boomers can figure 'em out. Get some tips at Managing Music, offered from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Friday at the Homer Public Library.

BEST DANCE INSIDE BET: OK, if the weather is still crummy Saturday, but the roads are clear enough to get to town, check out the monthly Square and Contra Dance from 7:30-10 p.m. at West Homer Elementary School. Rich Kleinleder and David Stutzer call to music by the Spit City Slickers. Wear those clean, soft-soled shoes. Beginners welcome. Admission is $6.

BEST RIGHT ON BET: Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Day with a talk at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Kachemak Bay Campus. History professor Michael Hawfield speaks on "The Significance of ANSCA and the Native American Civil Rights Movement" and watch episode 5 of the PBS series, "We Shall Remain – Wounded Knee."

BEST FLASHING NEEDLES BET: OK, if you really need to calm down after a week of wild weather, what better way than with the weekly knitting Wednesdays? Join the Knitty Friends and knit in their cozy, warm yurt at the Yurt Village from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Beginners are welcome.