Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 9:05 PM on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Homer's Best Bets


Photo by Michael Armstrong

Can you hear me now?

A group of people sitting on the bench in front of Tom Reed's mural on Pioneer Avenue, "Tribute to Performing Artists," wait for the Homer Winter Carnival parade.

If you've been to the beach lately, you might have noticed that the surf seems to have frozen on the shore. That's a big "if," by the way. Mariner Park has frozen and thawed into a parking lot full of craters just a bit smaller than the one in front of WKFL Park. The last time the Betster went to Bishop's Beach, the Betsterbaru hit a snow drift that had blown in while walking the Betster Canine Companion.

Anyway, should you happen to be driving an M-1 tank and make it down to the beach, there it is. Out on the tidal flats it looks like our usual beach, with endless yards of nice, serene gray sand. At the edge of the parking lot these big honking pressure ridges have piled up into raw teeth defending the Spit from Seldovian invaders. Don't walk too close to the edge, because recent super-high tides have scooped out the ice from underneath. Cowabunga! Sooner or later those are bound to collapse, and would that hurt.

The Betster thought to try going down the easy way and just jumping Geronimo style over the side. Don't try this at home, kids. Hidden under some of that sand lie sneaky ice patches, which is why the Betster now sports a spanky butt bruise.

Well, that's typical of the weather conditions we've been coping with this month. First it snowed like heck. Then it got bitter cold. Then it thawed. Now it's a bit colder again, although that was like so Tuesday morning, there's no telling what Friday will bring. Our sidewalks, should you so dare, are so smooth they'll slide you right straight to the ER, broken wrists and all. Now that's emergency service. Where else in Homer can you wear snowshoes and ice cleats in one week — and that's just to check the mail box.

But hey, we're sliding into the fourth week of February, and sooner than you can say "a daylight gain of 6 minutes," we'll be in March. The Betster makes no promises about breaking the back of winter, but you can rely on those sunset-sunrise tables. Whatever comes our way, we're bound to get more photons, just as sure as these Best Bets:

BEST AWESOME ACTS BET: If you saw last year's Out of the Woodwork variety show, you were probably amazed at the cool talent you saw — and who performed. Once again, the Homer Council on the Arts has put out the call and lured some amazing talent up on the Mariner Theatre stage. From poetry to tap dancing, it's a night of fast-paced acts. Tickets are $15 nonmembers and $10 HCOA members. See story, page 12.

BEST SO NOT THERE BET: Tired of dressing up for gala dinners and auctions? Have you come home with something you really didn't need? Has the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies got a deal for you. Be sure not to attend this first ever Non-event, not being held on Feb. 18. Stay home. Rent a movie. Snuggle with your honey. Pop a pizza in the oven. Contribute to a good cause by visiting the CACS website at www.akcoastalstudies.org and buying non-tickets. Want to support other great causes? Remember to Pick. Click. Give. when applying for your Alaska Permanent Fund dividend online.

BEST GET BACK BET: Well, yeah, doing the Denali Traverse is kinda like the Sea to Ski, except that there's a river trip thrown in. Check out this awesome adventure film at the Seventh Annual Backcountry Film Festival, showing at 7 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre. Sponsored by The Kachemak Nordic Ski Club and the Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition, the evening includes nine short films celebrating human powered adventures.

BEST HOT TIPS BET: Want to know how the really cool artists paint those marvelous plates for Bunnell Street Arts Center's annual Plate Project? Learn from artist Michelle LaFriniere when she offers a plate-painting workshop 4 to 8 p.m. today at Bunnell. It's open to all artists and is free. Bring design ideas, pencils and brushes. All other materials are provided.

BEST OLD SCHOOL BET: Enough of this fancy Zamboni stuff. Why, back in the day, when you wanted to play hockey, you grabbed a shovel and scraped off the local pond. Come out and watch hockey as it's meant to be with the Pond Hockey Tournament this weekend. Hockey teams battle the elements for the Golden Shovel award. Open drop-in boot hockey is 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and open skate hockey is 1-5 p.m. Saturday on Beluga Lake.