Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 3:36 PM on Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Homer's Best Bets

Last Thursday cruise ship passengers didn't have to stand in the rain to catch buses into town. On the Fourth of July not one parade in Seldovia, Anchor Point and Homer got rained out. Since Sunday we've had a four-day string of sunshine, which, if you were here last summer, counts as a dang miracle.

Holy Heliopolis! It's a good thing it rained on Saturday or we'd be getting all cocky about the weather. Loyal readers of Best Bets know the Betster's philosophy about weather. Get cocky, and quicker than you can say "Easter blizzard," Ma Nature will deliver her comeuppance, usually with a side dish of humility in the form of 11-foot snow drifts. The official policy here is "There is no bad weather, just bad gear."


Photo by 2nd Lt. Bernie Kale

Making the cut An Alaska Air National Guard HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter approaches the bow of the F/V Kittiwake to lower a pararescueman during a training exercise June 30 in Kachemak Bay. Discovery Channel film crews visited Homer for an episode of "Surviving the Cut," a series about training military elite forces. The Alaska episodes feature the Alaska Air National Guard's 210th, 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons. "Surviving the Cut" premieres July 11.

Unofficially, and if the B. may be so bold, "Yee-hah!" Gosh dern it, this sunshine just rocks. Admirers of the human form in its less-clothed drapery have had sufficient eye candy. Euro Americans sun starved and looking like the underside of a barn door halibut shocked their skin with exposure to rays. We didn't laugh at Lower 48 public service television commercials advising us to slip, slap and slop, or however that goes. "Huh," we've been thinking. "It might not be a bad idea to put on some sunscreen." You could actually wear shorts because it's hot and not because you're a punk teenager trying to look tough in December with your Mount Everest-size goose pimples.

With sunshine comes great personal risk. Otherwise hard-working, dedicated employees make excuses to leave the office. Sometimes they don't return. Sometimes medics find them wandering on the beach halfway to Anchor Point, dazed and sunburned. Even if people stay indoors, sometimes you find them catatonic at their desks, staring out the window.

Enjoy this bliss while it lasts, Betsteroids. If we're lucky, it will be sunny into the weekend. Work through that punch list, get your chores done and take time to enjoy this marvelous summer, maybe with some of these Best Bets:

BEST ART AND ABOUT: If it does you-know-what and you're forced indoors, take an art class or two. Homer Art & Frame offers Teach Me Thursdays classes for kids. This week Shanley Kerl teaches how to use watercolor and colored pencils from 1-3 p.m. For children age 8 and older, the class is $25. On Friday, Marali Sargeant-Smith uses her show at Homer Council on the Arts to encourage emotional expressionism in children in grades 5-8. The class is 1-3 p.m. at HCOA and costs $5.

BEST HEAR HEAR BET: That's short for "hear him, hear him," what stuffy ministers of Parliament say when someone makes a particularly eloquent point. Try out your debating skills in the S.O.A.P. — Speak Out and Persuade — event from 2-4 p.m. Friday at the R.E.C. Room off Ben Walters Lane near the Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic. Speak out, challenge opinions and get all rhetorical.

BEST BIG, REALLY BIG BET: Ponder the like awesomeness of the universe, dude, when Dr. Travis Rector of the University of Alaska Anchorage speaks on the Big Bang, cosmology and the age of the universe at 7 pm. Friday at the Seldovia Public Library. It's part of the Seldovia Summer Science Lecture Series.

BEST BIG VOICES BET: You've heard them at Concert on the Lawn, in local bars and maybe on the road. Catch some of Alaska's finest singer songwriters when Shawn Zuke, Melissa Mitchell and Michelle McAfee perform at 7 p.m. Friday at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Admission is $5 to $20 on a "pay as you can" scale.

BEST KEEP IT SAFE BET: With all these marvelous fruits, vegetables and fish coming in, it's time to start thinking about putting up some vittles for the winter. But wait — is your pressure canner dial gauge working right? Get your gauges checked from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Farmers' Market. While there, see what new crops have come in from our incredible local food producers.