Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 2:54 PM on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Homer's Best Bets


Photo by Michael Armstrong

Upcycling Flowers planted in rubber boots at Kathee Kiefer's booth are some of the many plants and starts for sale at the Homer Farmers' Market every Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The Anchor Point Farmers' Market opens Monday at Anchor Point Greenhouse off the Sterling Highway. Hours are 4-8 p.m.

Oh, it was a pitiful sight Wednesday morning when the first cruise ship of the season docked. No, no, the cruise ship itself, the M/S Silver Shadow, wasn't pitiful — far from it. Among the rugged working boats of Homer, that big white beauty stood out like a belle in a wedding dress. The Betster's heart went out to those poor visitors who have sailed hundreds of miles and spent thousands of dollars to shiver on the Deep Water Dock.

Honest, the city got some cruise ship passenger tax money to spiff up the dock. Eventually we'll have a paved parking lot, a heated waiting area, restrooms and best of all, some sort of system for discouraging those squawking and pooping kittiwake gulls from raising families on the docks.

Meanwhile, visitors expecting, say, rows of quaint jewelry shops get the real deal, a working harbor with all the crab pots, boat parts and grizzled mariners your heart desires. We do grizzled mariners pretty dang well here in Homer, thank you.

Capital improvements can't do much about the weather, though. That's the real deal, too, from Ketchikan to Anchorage. You were expecting maybe tropical weather? Honey, you got on the wrong boat at the wrong time in the wrong state. Even though the weather seems positively tropical for those of us coming out of a winter with 10-foot drifts and $1,200 fuel oil fill-ups, the Betster can understand how someone from Texas might think 45 degree temperatures in late May counts as chilly. The Betster thought that, too, upon the first summer after arriving in Alaska, but 33 years later that wimpy Floridian circulatory system has been upgraded with salmon-oil infused blood.

As we like to tease tourists, folks, ya should have been here Monday. After a topsy-turvy weekend that rained just when rowdy campers needed calming down, and got sunny when playground project people needed to paint, on Monday we had a solid day of sunshine. Sure, there was a chill breeze, but all the better to keep those skeeters calm.

So, yeah, we apologize to our cruisers. Bad weather happens. Rain, sun, cold, warm, that's the way we roll up here at Latitude 59 degrees and some change. No matter the weather, though, you'll be rolling your way to good times every week, like with some of these Best Bets:

BEST ON RELAY BET: Heading toward Relay for Life next weekend, there are a few events happening this week. Today at 6 p.m., join the 2k Fun Run for Relay of Life starting at Alice's Champagne Palace. For details, see pages 12 and 13. On Friday from noon to 1 p.m., help paint the town purple as volunteers put purple ribbons and balloons around town to raise awareness for the American Cancer Society fundraiser coming up.

BEST BIKES IN THE SKY BET: Phone home and take your alien buddy for a ride with a showing of the science fiction classic, "E.T." at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre. Kids with school ID get in free. Donations benefit Midtown Café.

BEST FAB FRIDAY BET: First Friday is always fabulous, particularly with this month's line up of art openings. You'll have to zip through those canapés, though, because there's art all over from 5 to 7 p.m. See list, page 14.

BEST BIRD ON BET: If you saw "The Big Year" at the shorebird festival and are secretly working on a superduper bird list, you might join the Kachemak Bay Birders for its First Saturday trip. This month, they explore Diamond Creek, a walk that goes from forest to seashore. See the usuals like ravens and eagles and maybe some surprises like wandering tattlers. Meet at 8 a.m. at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center to car pool or 8:30 a.m. at the trail head across from Diamond Ridge Road on the Sterling Highway.

BEST PLANTS AND TRAILS BET: This is going to take some timing, but Betsteroids, you can do it. At 9 a.m., head over to the Pratt Museum to work on its forest trail. Take a break about 10 a.m. or so and head to the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center for the Homer Garden Club's annual plant sale. Coffee and treats are served before the plants go on sale at 11 a.m. The popular sale won't take long, so you should have time to go back to the Pratt and help out.

BEST GO NORTH BET: Can't get enough of Homer's Saturday Farmers' Market? Check out the selection from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Anchor Point's own Farmers' Market at Anchor Point Greenhouse off the Sterling Highway.

BEST NEW FRIENDS BET: The Downtown Homer Rotary Club calls its big do at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Bidarka Inn a "friendraiser." Make new buddies and raise a few funds, too, for the club. The fun includes desserts, door prizes, a no-host bar, an auction and music by the Homer Ukelele Society and Burnt Down House.