Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 4:03 PM on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Homer's Best Bets


Photo by Michael Armstrong

Artist Don Henry stands next to "Transformer," a sculpture made from the Homer Theatre's old Ballantine film projector. The theater commissioned Henry to make the sculpture using the projector after it converted to digital projection last year. Henry also used parts, such as a film spooling platform, stored in the projection booth. Henry unveiled the art last Thursday at the theater.

You might have missed it on Wednesday, but June 20 was the solstice. Yeah, yeah, it gets confusing — June 20 or June 21? Blame it on the leap year. People like to say the solstice is the longest day of the year, but astronomy geeks get more precise. The solstice is that moment when the sun shines directly overhead at latitude 23.5 degrees. Here at latitude 59 degrees and some change, we spread our longest days out. If you missed watching the sun set at its latest, fear not. From June 19 through today, the sun rises at 4:46 a.m. and sets at 11:30 p.m., for 18 hours and 44 minutes of daylight.

If you left town last weekend, you might have missed summer, too. For a whopping four days Homer thumbed its nose at the weather dudes, who had predicted fog and rain. Holy Sunscreen! The Betster rocked the raccoon look after wearing sunglasses around town last Saturday. Mature, sensible adults even wore shorts. According to our page 2 weather update, for the first time this year our town hit 60 degrees.

Sixty degrees! That might be what Southerners call "winter," but in Alaska, anything above 55 degrees we consider hot. As long as the day breeze calms down, you can wear short sleeves at 55 degrees. At 60 degrees Alaskans start panting and draw cold baths. At 65 degrees we turn into reptiles and lapse into a stupor. You don't want to see us at 70 degrees. You wouldn't like us at 70 degrees.

Fortunately, this doesn't happen often in Homer. Facebook's servers can take only so many profile photos of Homerites showing off their halibut white legs in shorts — at least, those Homerites of the melanin deprived persuasion. We're bound to have a few more glorious sunny days. After last winter, though, we'll take anything that doesn't involve shoveling snow.

So burst into summer with all sorts of fun stuff to do, like these Best Bets:

BEST ROW BY ROW BET: School might be out for summer, but at Paul Banks Elementary School, young life keeps growing every day — in the greenhouse. Swing by an open house from 1 to 2 p.m. today and see how peas, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and other vegetables are coming on. Visitors have the opportunity to plant something in the greenhouse or maybe even take a plant home.

BEST CLICK CLICK BET: Today's youth theater campers could be tomorrow's stage stars, so if you want to check out future Tony Award winners — hey, you never know — see "Channel Surfing," showing this week. A collection of short scenes featuring actors in the Pier One Youth Theatre Skills Conservatory, the play shows at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Saturday at Pier One Theatre on the Homer Spit. Casey Parrett and Alder Fletcher direct. Admission is $10 at the Homer Bookstore or at the door.

BEST GO LONG BET: Thinking of participating in the July 7 Homer Scottish Highland Games? Get a jump on the competition when Highland Games champion Bret McDonald visits for a throwing clinic at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Cottonwood Horse Park on East End Road. Learn proper throwing techniques for events like the stone and hammer throw.

BEST GO ALL THE WAY BET: If you're training for the kilted mile, you can skip the throwing clinic and go straight to this weekend's big show, the annual 10k to the Bay Homer Spit Run. One of Alaska's biggest running races, it's a fundraiser for the Homer High School running programs. The Spit Run starts at the high school and ends at Land's End. It's too late for online registration, but you can sign up from noon-8 p.m. today and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday at the Community Recreation office at the high school. Check in at race day starting at 8:30 a.m. The race starts at 10 a.m. The fee is a suggested $10 donation. A shuttle runs until noon to take people back to the start. Land's End Resort offers a special lunch on the deck, too.