Story last updated at 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, 2002

It was sad circumstances that found the Betster taking a weed burner to the snow drifts earlier this week, but when a week of barely melt-worthy temperatures was followed by a couple inches of fresh, white stuff, undoing any progress, the ol' Betster just lost it. Luckily, there's enough evidence of spring's progress at the lower elevations to keep the Betster's sanity level somewhat stable. If that isn't quite enough, go check out some of these best bets.

Best writers' wealth bet: The Betster sure enjoys a good read, and this week, several activities around town give like-minded folks a chance to soak up the written word. At the Homer Council on the Arts, winners of the 2002 Kenai Peninsula Writers' Contest will orate their works with adults reading Friday at 7 p.m. and student winners reading at 1 p.m. Sunday. On Saturday, a writing workshop titled "Capturing Character: Nonfiction Profile Writing" with author Dan Coyle will be featured at the council building from 1-4 p.m. Also on Saturday, adventure writer Jill Fredston will give a slide presentation on the rowing adventures that spawned her latest book, "Rowing to Latitude," at the Homer Council on the Arts building at 7 p.m. On Monday, historical fiction writer Miriam Grace Monfredo will be in town for a reception at the Homer Public Library at noon followed by a discussion of her writing at the Homer Bookstore at 4 p.m. For more information on these visiting authors, see Page 18-19.

Best swim in science bet: Homer may be best known to many for art stores and Hobo Jim concerts, but there's more to this amazing place than meets the naked eye. This weekend, researchers from California to Alaska will present talks on a multitude of marine, freshwater, terrestrial and environmental sciences. The Kachemak Bay Science Conference starts at the Homer High School on Friday at 6 p.m. and continues through Saturday. Registration is $15 with discounts. Check out Page 3 and Town Crier for more information.

Best rummage around bet: If spring cleaning fever has hit your house, there might be a bit of free space on your shelves and counters. Luckily, the Faith Lutheran Church is holding a rummage and bake sale to fill both. The sale runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday at 3634 Soundview Ave. at the corner of Soundview Avenue and the Sterling Highway. Call 235-7600.

Best high tales bet: If your kids are quizzing you about where all the birds have been all winter, the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies comes to your rescue with a preschool story hour at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the center on Lake Street. This week's theme is "How Birds Fly and Migrate." For more info, call 235-6667.