Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 8:52 PM on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Homer's Best Bets


Photo by Michael Armstrong

Aloha and mahalo Student dancers welcome and thank parent volunteers at an appreciation lunch last Thursday at McNeil Canyon Elementary School. From left to right are Jenna Lapp, Eryn Field, Bristol Johnson, Hannah Stonorov and Merrik Yeoman, all in kindergarten. Students and staff wore Hawaiian theme clothes for Hawaii Day.

It's been a topsy turvy spring. With Easter late and the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival early, the markers of time have gone catty wumpus. Shouldn't the Legislature be over by now? Uh-uh. The House, Senate and gov still seem to be in a smack down over who's in charge.

But don't go by arbitrary dates to gauge spring, Betsteroids. Just look to nature. Yours truly has already spoken of varied thrushes. This week the sandhill cranes came back along with their Beluga Lake buddies the trumpeter swans. Dunlins and other peeps have been spotted on the Spit. The ice thaws a hockey rink or two a day on the lakes. Even our poor snowbound hillbilly friends up there on the ridge have been rumored to see their driveways.

If you doubt spring has come, look no further than your neighbor's feet. Yup, it's mud season, when not just fishermen wear XtraTufs. People have put away down jackets and dug out fleece and raincoats. Heck, on some days ya don't even need a jacket. A heavyweight cotton hoody will do.

On the other hand, yesterday morning it snowed about a half-inch in the hills. You remember snow: sort of white, fluffy and cold. What? Did you think winter had truly ended just because Passover passed? Check your GPS coordinates, citizens. You're about 59 degrees north, and no Gulf Stream passes by to warm us. You can let go of winter when you pry its cold, dead claws from the snow shovel.

This will pretty much be the narrative until about Memorial Day, loyal readers: Stupid jokes and wise observations of the passing season tempered with cautionary tales of winter not yet ended. Get used to it.

Meanwhile, we return to our regularly scheduled coverage of The Royal Wedding of the Century, when one of Betty Windsor's grandsons gets hitched. For some reason Americans who overthrew the monarchy 235 years ago think this is a big deal. If you can steal yourself away from All Wedding All The Time on Friday, really, more interesting things are rumored to be happening, like these Best Bets:

BEST THE LAST WILL BE FIRST BET: First Friday starts early with an art opening from 5-8 p.m. at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Uh, that would be Last Friday, right? There's also an art opening from 5-7 p.m. Friday at Pioneer Hall at the Kachemak Bay Campus with new student art. "Secrets Under the Sun," a multidisciplinary show, opens at Bunnell.

BEST RISING STARS BET: You might be seeing them on American Idol a few years from now, so say you saw them when at the annual Youth Jubilee Variety Show from 7-9 p.m. Friday at the Mariner Theatre. Tickets are $5 youth age 18 and under, $10 Homer Council on the Arts members and $12 general admission at the Homer Bookstore or the HCOA office. Proceeds benefit the HCOA youth scholarship program.

BEST BURN IT BET: Celebrate a month of sober Fridays with a bonfire party from 9-11 p.m. Friday at Bishop's Beach. It's the end of One Love One Day, a month promoting safe, healthy activities and living.

BEST BAG IT BET: Hit the streets and beaches and sweep up winter's trash. Yup, it's the annual clean up day on Saturday. Pick up bags at the Homer Chamber of Commerce, Homer High School, Fritz Creek General Store, the Fire Hall and the Homer Brewing Company. Drop off trash at the chamber and enter to win prizes for the most bags collected.

BEST BIKE IT BET: Ride hard, ride free, but ride safe. Learn about safe biking habits and how to prevent childhood injury at the annual Safe Kids Fair/Bike Rodeo from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Homer High School. Bike helmets will be for sale.

BEST ROLLING DOWN THE RIVER BET: Learn about our favorite lower Kenai Peninsula river with "Celebrating the Anchor River Through Stories and Science," a multimedia overview of recent research projects running 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday at Chapman Elementary School. People who know a lot more about fish than the Betster will be on hand to talk about salmon life cycles and other way cool stuff. See story, page 1.

BEST HOMER HEALING BET: Some day someone will do a study on how loving communities help people get through life crises. Here's another person who could use our help, longtime commercial fisherman Pat McBride. Pat's recovering from a car crash back east. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, his friends hold a benefit brunch at Homer United Methodist Church.