Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 7:51 PM on Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Homer's Best Bets

A crisis is afoot in Washington, D.C. If President Obama goes mano-a-mano with the House Republicans over the funding of the government, it could get nasty. Already officials have drawn up contingency plans if a budget does not pass. We're talking drastic measures, Betsteroids. Some senior federal officials have been told to turn off their Blackberrys lest they do unfunded work. Holy electrons! The assistant secretary to the deputy director of the Department of State, Division of Small Dictatorships Too Trivial to Bother About might have to enjoy a quiet evening with his family.


Photographer: McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

Fish on! Kazden Stineff, left, and his sister, Kaiah, right, practice their catch-and-release skills with the help of Emily Smith, a volunteer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, during the Kids' Fishing Fair held at Homer Middle School on Saturday.

National Parks would close. The Smithsonian would lock its doors. The IRS would stop issuing refund checks. Wait — no refund checks? This could get serious.

Not that the long arm of the feds reaches deep into Homer. Maybe the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitors Center would shut down, but it's not like a gate would go up at the entrance to the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Even if it did, you could probably sneak in the back way around Yukon Island. The U.S. Coast Guard would continue to keep our seas safe. The FBI and Homeland Security will keep working. Whew.

When you live at the end of the road and any service takes a bit of work to get here, you become self reliant. We kinda take care of ourselves, thank you very much. Our firewood is stacked, our pantry still full of canned salmon and though those potatoes in the root cellar might be getting a bit dry, they'll do.

It won't be the first time common citizens get caught in a mud wrestling match between politicians. The usual advice applies: lay low, head to the exits and sneak out the back door. Eventually the politicians will figure out the essential stuff of running a government, which is ... well, that's the problem. Good luck with that. We've got bigger problems, like how to pay for the commute between Fritz Creek and town on $4.35 a gallon gas.

Hang in there, Betsteroids. Spring really is coming, and sooner than you can say "Hudsonian godwit," the peeps will be here, the Spit will come alive and there will be even more fun things to do, like these Best Bets:

BEST GEAR UP BET: Don't pay any attention to that six inches of snow we got on Tuesday. By the time you read this, the roads will be clear and dry. You know what that means, right? Get out your bikes. If you haven't been riding on studs or fat tires, as long as you avoid those sneaky ice patches, it's time to ride. Hang with fellow bicyclists from 6:30-8 p.m. today at the Homer Cycling Club meeting in room B103 of Homer High School. Plan for the bike rodeo and Safe Kids Fair.

BEST GIMMME FIVE BET: Sure, the crust skiing is fabulous, but once that snow warms up, it's slush city. Need a little evening exercise? Join Friday Night Fives from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Friday for an informal 5 km run starting a Two Sisters Bakery on Bunnell Avenue.

BEST BARD BET: People who have seen Anchorage poet, playwright and performance artist Brian Hutton's work know he does some way-cool stuff. He and a gang of thespians grace our fair burg Friday and Saturday with his short plays, "20th Century Man" and "In Their Own Words." The shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Bunnell Street Arts Center. "20th Century Man" travels through time and reflects on the past, present and future. "In Their Own Words" uses the writings of anarchists Adolph Fischer and Emma Goldman to tell their stories.

BEST BIG BELL BET: Kevin Bell left a legacy as Mr. Homer Hockey, the guy who helped build hockey programs in town. Celebrate his spirit with Kevin Bell Day 10 a.m. -4 p.m. Friday at the ice arena named after him. Enjoy games on ice with teams from Barrow, skills contests and food.

BEST CHICAGO STYLE BET: Have a few spare moments on the computer this weekend? Vote early and vote often in the big Ultimate Fishing Town USA online contest. Uh, duh — you're voting for Homer, of course. Sponsored by the World Fishing Network, the regional winner gets $25,000 to spend on fishing programs in our community, like stocking the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. You can vote every six hours. Nominations are due Friday and voting starts April 12. See the Homer Chamber of Commerce's website at www.homeralaska.org for details.

BEST LEARN LONG AND PROSPER BET: It's logical, Betsteroids. Learning doesn't end with high school or college, but goes on and on. Honor a guy who's been keepin' on keepin' on, Norm Griffin, 93, this year's recipient of the 2011 Lifelong Learner Award, at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Public Libary. Also honored is Youth! Learner AdiJo Davis. Tickets are $25 and support the Friends of the Homer Public Library. Clem Tillion of Halibut Cove is the keynote speaker.

BEST BIG MOUTH BET: A mad bride. A doomed groom. Spooky Scotland. No, it's not "Revenge of Bridezilla," but Gaetono Donizetti's opera, "Lucia di Lammermoor." The tale of love, betrayal and feuding families shows from noon-3 p.m. Sunday at the Homer Theatre, part of its Metropolitan Opera "Live at the Met" high definition video series. Admission is $15 adults, $10 seniors and $5 for children.

BEST WHAT'S YOUR SIGN? BET: Confused about Homer's sign ordinances? Want to do the right thing? Learn about effective signs and the various rules with "Signs of a Thriving Community" from noon-12:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Homer Chamber of Commerce.