Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 7:26 PM on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Homer's Best Bets

All over the Middle East, people who endured decades of rule by evil autocratic dictators almost spontaneously have decided "Enough." First Tunisia, then Egypt, now Bahrain and Libya, and who knows where next, peaceful demonstrators assembling with no more power than the force of their convictions have toppled governments, or at least made autocratic dictators look nervous. Many have died. Mohandas Gandhi called this satyagraha, or soul force.

The Jasmine Revolution sweeps across the world, and where it lands and what dictator next topples, who knows? Like a wildfire burning across a dry forest, it feeds on oppression. Here in a land where women in black can stand on street corners every Tuesday for years on end, peaceful dissent is treasured, respected and honored. Anyone can stand on street corners, stand in parks and march in parades for any purpose whatsoever, including just to make joyful noise. Especially that.

Could the Jasmine Revolution roar across America? It seems to have found a footing in Madison, Wis., among disgruntled union workers. On the other hand, the last time the Betster was in Mad City there were pink flamingoes all over the place, so maybe the ground is fertile for mischief there, or at least a really good grump.


Photographer: Lindsay Johnson, Homer News

Fun in the sun — and snow Skiers and snowboarders take advantage of new snow, intermittent sunshine and free admission at the Ohlson Mountain Rope Tow last Sunday, thanks to a donation from Homer Electric Association.

A really good grump is something lacking here in Homer this February, and boy howdy is it about time. Not for a grump — for the lack of it. In times past we could stir up a good February controversy just for the heck of it, especially if it involved paintings of naked people on bars. Here we are in the second decade of the third millennium, four days left of February and counting, and we can't get worked over anything. City council meetings used to run past midnight with highly opinionated citizens burning up the clock on public hearings. These days you're lucky if a dozen seats get filled at meetings.

Jasmine Revolution? As if. We're lucky if we get an off-white revolution with a slight tinge of pink. Count your stars that you live in a free land. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Legislature is in session with all sorts of potential shenanigans afoot, so there's always hope for something to get stirred up. Maybe the Legislature will designate another official animal. The Betster has high hopes for the wolverine, the secret mammal of the wilderness, although what it could be an official animal for, the Betster hasn't a clue. Maybe the Official Sharp Toothed Critter You Don't Want to Mess With.

Meanwhile, as the world transforms, we try best as we can to continue with our mundane lives, with no armies shooting at us, no fires in the streets, no Al Jazeera reporters sticking cameras in our faces. Thank goodness. It's never boring, though, not with all these cool things to do, like some of these Best Bets:

BEST BIG APPLE BET: That's apple as in "AP" — ya know, Anchor Point. Anchortown might do its big city Fur Rendezvous, but here on the lower Kenai Peninsula, it's Snow Rondi, period. Check out all the big events starting Thursday. See more, page 14.

BEST BIG LIGHTS BIG CITY: They'll be walking the red carpet in furs, showing off their Hollywood finest at the showing of Brian George Smith's "Puffin Bay," filmed right here in Homer town. Catch the film at 6 and 8 p.m. Thursday at the Kachemak Bay Campus east. Admission is $8 and free to cast and crew. Copies of the film are available for sale.

BEST TO THE DUMP TO THE DUMP DUMP BET: Hauling trash is about as basic as it comes for local government. Learn how the Kenai Peninsula Borough plans to deal with our trash at a meeting from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday at city hall. Solid Waste Director Jack Maryott gives an update and takes suggestions.

BEST BIG CHEESE BET: Hankering for a good brie? Sample fine European and British cheeses at 6 p.m. Friday at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Maura's Deli serves; a $10 donation benefits Bunnells Artists in Schools program.

BEST BIG BEE BET: If English had a sensible spelling system like the Finns, spelling bees would be simple. Not us: we like to make it hard. Watch the finest spellers go vowel to consonant for the grand prize at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Homer Public Library.

BEST UP IN THE AIR BET: The Air Force's Band of the Pacific returns to Homer again with another great free performance. Catch them at 7 pm. Friday at the Mariner Theatre. See story, page 12.

BEST TOP TALENT BET: Whew. Not only is Top Cover playing on Friday, but it's the McNeil Canyon Elementary School talent show at 6:30 p.m. and the All-Ages Talent Show at 7 p.m. at Chapman Elementary School. Choices, choices.

BEST HEAVY MENTAL BET: Most listeners know Scott Cossu as a new age artist, but you can't pin the pianist down. His music can be described as everything from jazz to world music. Catch his workshop from 3:30-5 p.m. Sunday and his concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, both at the Homer Council on the Arts. See story, page 12.