Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 6:50 PM on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Homer's Best Bets

Now's the time when shops and restaurants close for the month while worker drones recover from the holidays. Some people go outside to trade shows to meet new artists and stock up on cool stuff — other than the great things our local artists produce, of course. Heck, even the artists lay low this month. Only the toughest fishermen go out, crabbers and cod fishermen and such, but since when did a little ice in the harbor scare them?


Photo by Michael Armstrong

Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, right, speaks while Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, left, listens at a constituents meeting last Friday at Captain's Coffee. About 45 people attended.

If you haven't seen your neighbors in a while, no, they're not lying low with a bad case of cabin fever or the Kachemak crud. Most likely they've taken off to Hawaii, Mexico or Arizona. You know, someplace insufferably warm. Those of us who shot our travel budgets two years ago and are still paying off credit cards have to settle for whatever excitement we can grab here.

As if. With a snow drought, so much for skiing or snowmachining. Coming down Baycrest Hill the other day, the Betster was shocked to see bare grass. That is like so April. Didn't we have some good snow before Christmas? And now what. Potholes that trip moose, that's what, and rabbit tracks like it's the LA freeway. The owls and hawks are getting fat and the padded foot crowd has been rumored to be moving into the neighborhood — lynx, that is, not mountain lions.

So what's a Homer bound citizen to do? We just haven't had any good controversies to get riled up about, not like the Club Bar incident or annexation. Maybe we've matured beyond a controversy for a controversy's sake. Huh. There's an idea.

It's time to get creative, do something shocking to get out of the January slump that always comes. The tried and true solutions will work: read a good book, tackle that 1,000-piece puzzle, brush up on your Sudoku, take up knitting and eat your way through "A Hundred Good Halibut Recipes." The Betster made that title up, by the way — if such a book exists, hey, send it our way.

Or, you could get really punchy. Wear an aloha shirt to work, even if you have to wear a turtleneck under it. Go around all day in sunglasses. Put some highlights in your hair so it looks like you spent a month in Maui and not $10 on a bottle of peroxide. Wear funny hats. Paint your toenails purple. Paddle a stand-up surfboard across the bay — wait, Scott Dickerson actually did that.

Fortunately, the daylight hours are getting longer, so if we just hang in there another six weeks, we'll have crested the top of winter and will be coasting toward spring. Our friends will return and all will be well, but as always, there's still fun, like these Best Bets:

BEST BACK AT YA BET: If you missed "Whiffle Knights," the action adventure fantasy thriller by local filmmakers Marc Oliver and Theben Dean, it's back in a second showing at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre.

BEST GALA AFFAIR: Looking for an excuse to put on a tux and a flashy ball gown? Head up the road and wish Gov. Sean Parnell well for the Kenai Peninsula inaugural ball. Sponsored by the Kenai Peninsula Republican Women, the affair starts at 8 p.m. Friday at the Peninsula Center Mall. Tickets are $75. Call (907) 260-8443 or (907) 262-5891.

BEST GET JAZZED BET: Here's a double treat: Listen to jazz musician Dan McElrath perform in a gallery concert at 7 p.m. Friday at the Homer Council on the Arts, and then go to workshop 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at HCOA. Tickets for the concert are $5 to $15. The workshop is $25 for HCOA members and $30 for nonmembers.

BEST ART AND ABOUT: Hey, not all the artists have left town. Join fellow artists and create art with a statement for a 350 Earth Create Together workshop from noon-5 p.m. Saturday at Bunnell Street Arts Center. A $10 fee covers the cost of paints and canvas. Contribute a piece for a show addressing climate change.

BEST GALA AFFAIR II: Can't make the Governor's Ball? Head out to a gala dinner and auction at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Halls' barn. Carrie Thurmond of Two Sisters Bakery prepares an amazing dinner with hearty seafood stew or crab-stuffed flank steak roulade. You had the Betster at "crab stuffed." Yum. The dinner supports the Homer Mariners ski team. Tickets are $80. Call 235-7130 for more information.

BEST SO RANDOM BET: Who knows what wild skits and sketches the Drama Debate and Forensics crew will come up with? Find out at 7 p.m. Saturday when they perform at the Homer Mariner Theatre. See related story, page 8.

BEST WE'LL OVERCOME BET: In the U.S. Civil Rights movement, Alaska was so progressive that southern state tried to keep us from getting statehood. Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and learn about our role in gaining equality for all Americans when Terrence Cole of the University of Alaska Fairbanks speaks at 7 p.m. Monday on "The Far North Against the Deep South" at Kachemak Bay Campus.

BEST BIG IDEA BET: Big ideas start with small groups of citizens getting together and saying, "Hey — why not?" Explore the idea of repurposing the Pratt Museum building as a Homer Arts and Culture Center at a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Homer Council on the Arts. Refreshments will be served.