Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 4:43 PM on Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Homer's Best Bets

That the Betster writes Best Bets this week and has not mysteriously disappeared to a tropical island suggests the obvious. The Betster did not win the $655 million Mega Millions lottery. Not that the Betster expected to win, what with odds of 1 in 176 million. Anyway, the Betster has been saving good luck for the Nenana Ice Classic. Winning that is far more probable.


Photo by Michael Armstrong

They've got your back Judicial Services Officer Charles Walsworth and Trooper Richard Chambers hold a South Peninsula Haven House sign during a Choose Respect rally against domestic violence last Thursday at WKFL Park. Homer was one of more than 120 Alaska towns to participate in statewide demonstrations in support of efforts to reduce domestic violence.

Besides, what if you won $655 million? How would you spend it all? Easy, you say? Sure, an extravagant spender with a taste for fast cars, big houses and beautiful vacations could put a dent in it. Think about it, though. If you had 60 years to spend $655 million, that's $10.9 million a year. At 8,760 hours in a year, you'd have to spend $1,244 an hour around the clock. Not even with gas going at $4.65 a gallon could you fill up your Cadillac Escalade fast enough to burn through that kind of moola.

We live in Homer, where the cost of living can be high but a lot of us live really cheap. Yes, the price of fuel oil, gasoline, electricity and utilities can be shocking, but we don't have big city stores with overpriced designer goods to blow bucks on. The most expensive thing in this town that moves or can be carried is a boat, like a 59-foot longliner for $700,000. Face it. If you won the lottery, what would you do?

Pay off your credit cards and mortgage, buy a new Subaru, get some new XtraTufs, get that colonoscopy you've been putting off, buy a new computer, get a massage and a new hair style. Throw a big party. Maybe you'd get generous and throw some bucks toward Share the Spirit and the food pantry. And then what? To really spend some money you'd have to move Outside to New York or Los Angeles, where just walking down the street is like having a septic pump truck suck money out of your wallet.

That's the thing. By living in Homer, you've already won the lottery. People who win the lottery should want to move here. We already know we live in the most fantastic place on the planet. It doesn't get any better than a fine spring day with the sun shining and the snow melting. See? Those poor suckers with their mega millions now have to figure out what to do with it all. Meanwhile, we're the luckiest people around, living in a beautiful place with cool things to do, like some of these Best Bets:

BEST LEARN ON BET: There are so many wicked smart people in Homer it's a wonder the Friends of the Homer Public Library could make a decision at all. Well, when it comes to lifelong learning, Carmen Field has broken the mold. As anyone who has taken her nature walks can tell you, she can make grass exciting. Seriously. Join the FHPL folks at 7 p.m. Friday at the Homer Public Library when it honors Field and Youth! Learning Award winner Mallory Drover at its annual Celebration of Lifelong Learning. Artist Ray Troll is the keynote speaker. Tickets are $25 at the library. Make it a weekend and attend Ray Troll and the Ratfish Wranglers when they perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Alice's Champagne Palace. Tickets are $15 or $10 if you show your stub from the Friday event.

BEST TIDE OF DEATH BET: If you've ever seen a red tide wash through the seas, it's pretty awful, like a big toxic biological spill. Learn about how scientists monitor for harmful algal blooms in Alaska when phytoplankton expert Jeff Paternoster gives an overview of what happened with harmful algal blooms last year. Bring your lunch and listen at noon Friday at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.

BEST BEST BEER BET: Give your taste buds a workout and support some awesome hockey with the Diva Beer Brewing Contest from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at AJ's OldTown Steakhouse. That's the Homer Hockey Divas, of course. Enter your brew for $10 or pay $25 to be a beer judge.

BEST TIME BE TIME BET: Here's a cool idea. Rather than pay for stuff with lottery bucks, pay for it with your time. Do a service, bank it in the Time Bank, and get another service. Learn how it all works at orientations from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Monday at Kachemak Bay Campus. For more information, see Business, page 2, or visit aha.timebanks.org.

BEST BACK OF BEYOND BET: Cinch up that LazyBoy seat belt and get ready to take another Armchair Traveler trip when Kim Terpening presents "Myrtos to Mendoza," a trip she and husband Gordon took to Crete and then across the ocean to Argentina and Patagonia. The talk is 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Homer Public Library.