Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 8:47 PM on Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Homer's Best Bets

Now that the spring equinox has come and gone, the Betster will quit being coy. It's spring. Sure, there's fine skiing remaining in the hills, and snow berms crowd the edges of parking lots. A big mother of a blizzard could be slouching its way toward us with "Destination: Homer" written all over it. Don't get too cocky: Winter has a few penultimate gasps left.

The Betster plays a months-long game this time of year, The Signs of Spring Scavenger hunt. The goal each day is to notice one new harbinger of warmer days coming. Last week the Betster heard one of the Top 10 signs, that of the varied thrush. If you listen closely you might hear that familiar telephone trill of the thrush. Kids, this is the ringing of an old fashioned phone, by the way, not the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida ring tone you have on your iPhone. Brrring, brrring, you betcha.

This game goes on until Memorial Day. Watch for the first motorhome of the season, the first sandpiper, the first robin, the first swelling of birch trees, the first leaves, the first blade of grass, the first Spit Rat tent and the first out-of-state plate from someplace far, far away, like Maine. We've already seen cammo dudes with big expensive lenses, but they're off photographing eagles at the dump, which doesn't count.


Photo by Lindsay Johnson, Homer News

Feeling lucky Team Lucky B waits for judges to evaluate their table of goods at the finish of the 27th annual scavenger hunt and auction for charity at the Alibi Bar last Sunday. Seven teams participated in the event, which is organized by local bars, and raised $6,200 for local charities.

We're not quite to summer yet, not for months, but we're over the hump. That's what the equinox means. From here on our days will be longer than our nights, and we in the north can lord it over our friends in the tropics. Don't get all cocky now, and don't put away the jackets, hats and gloves. You might need them still in chilly weather to come — you know, like the Shorebird Festival weekend. You might just keep the sunglasses handy, though, for like the song says, the future is so bright you might as well wear shades. You'll be needing shades for all the exciting events coming up, like these Best Bets:

BEST WONDERFUL WOMEN BET: Growing up with three older sisters, the Betster learned long ago that all women are wonderful. These three women are distinctive, though. Come honor them at South Peninsula Haven House's annual Women of Distinction awards dinner at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Land's End Resort. Admission is $35 a plate or $350 for a table of eight, available at the Homer Bookstore. There's also an auction benefit. Proceeds benefit Haven House.

BEST REALLY LOST IN SPACE BET: Poor John Smith. Lost, alone, he's an alien on the run from the evil Mogadorians, a poor kid trying to pass as a normal high school kid in Paradise, Ohio. Huh — that sort of sounds like the Betster's teen years. Catch the hot new movie in a special benefit showing at 6 p.m. Friday at the Homer Theatre for the Kenai Peninsula Housing Initiative homeless prevention program.

BEST SEVEN-THOUSAND TWO-HUNDRED SECONDS BET: After a year's hiatus, the Homer High School Concert Choir returns with another dynamic Broadway musical. This year, they're doing "Rent," the 1994 musical that riffed on Puccini's La Boheme. Don't get your knickers in a snit, though: although it deals with heavy themes like AIDS, drug abuse, homelessness and how to get really good hair when you can't pay the rent, this is the tamer, high school edition. "Rent" plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Mariner Theatre. Tickets are $12 general admission and available at Etude Studio and the Homer Bookstore.

BEST WORD UP BET: You think Scrabble is just another board game you play on a rainy day at your Halibut Cove cabin? Not for the wordheads who take it seriously. Go vowel-to-vowel up against the finest Scrabble players on the peninsula at Homer's sixth annual tournament from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and starting at 10 a.m. Sunday at Land's End Resort. Not as ruthless? There are divisions for those newer to the game.

BEST CATCH THE WAVE BET: That's the great thing about tubing — the water doesn't move so you don't have to do all that paddling stuff like in surfing. If you haven't gotten your taste of downhill zippery, check out Extreme Tubing from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday up on Ohlson Mountain. The fee is $15 for ages 7-14 and $17 over 14 and benefits Relay for Life of Homer.

BEST GRANNY GEAR BET: That's the thing about the Sea to Ski Triathlon. See, the ocean is at, well, sea level, and the good skiing at the Baycrest Hill Ski Trails is, well, somewhat above sea level. And no, the race doesn't start at the top and go downhill. You'll be grinding those low gears in the classic spring event. The race starts with a 5-km run at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mariner Park. Register from 10 a.m. to noon. After running, it's a 7-km bike ride and a 5-km ski.

BEST BAG O' LEGOS BET: Nothing says spring like a big garage sale. Start upcycling those treasures with West Homer Elementary School's sale from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the school. Don't worry — it's indoors.