Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 2:39 PM on Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homer's Best Bets


Photo by Michael Armstrong

A paddle board surfer looks for the perfect wave off the Homer Spit last Thursday.

Periodically the Homer News gets a press release from a media flack in the Lower 48 asking us if we'd like to do a story about some cool news in Anchorage. Holy Captain Cook! Yo, cheechakos. Here's a basic Alaska geography lesson. Alaska is a big state — really big.

Although Homer might seem close to Anchorage if you look at those stupid United States maps that stick Alaska over there in the corner, Homer is 225 miles and a 4-hour drive from the big city up there on Knik Arm. Thinking that Homer is in the greater Los Anchorage urban area is like calling Boston a suburb of New York. Say that in Bean Town and you'll cause an uprising by Red Sox Nation. The Big Apple, on the other hand, thinks that the world ends at the Bronx, so don't bother with them.

Just the other day, we got a press release from a national magazine saying "your beloved city" was included in some Best Cities list. The press release meant "Anchorage." This happens so often the Betster wonders if the Lower 48 just assumes Anchorage is Alaska. One would have thought former Gov. Sarah Palin had at least taught the world that there are a few towns beyond Anchorage — for example, Wasilla. Palin's vice-presidential candidacy offered many teaching moments for geography challenged Outside journalists.

This is all right. Unsolicited media pitches provide a little entertainment here at the paper. These happen so often the Betster wonders if maybe there's a vast conspiracy of flacks trying to brighten the lives of northern reporters.

Not that the Betster is free of mistakes. An alert reader emailed the Betster pointing out that a recent reference to "low gas prices" in Homer was bone stupid. The Betster, of course, meant lower gas prices, as in, "Gee, the price of gas sure has dropped a lot this summer." We know that compared to the price of gas in Spartanburg, S.C., ($3.09 a gallon), our $4.31 a gallon is a tad expensive. On the other hand, compared to Norway's gas at $9.69 a gallon, we can't complain — except that the average daily income in Norway is $270 a day. Yowsah! That's $33 an hour.

Even though Homer is not Anchorage, we do share something with the big city: There's always lots to do, like some of these Best Bets:

BEST BIG BAY BET: How did nature make Kachemak Bay? How do the currents and tides swirl around and connect us to the big wide world? Learn all about it from noon to 1 p.m. today with Brown Bag Lunch lectures by Alex Johnson and Kris Holdereid at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.

BEST BIG IDEA BET: Artist Jason Shiga has written the book on interactive comics with his "Meanwhile," a tale that has many story lines. If there's still room, young artists ages 10 to 17 can sign up and learn from the master in Shiga's Interactive Comic Workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. today at the Homer Public Library. Register at the library.

BEST BIG MESS BET: Anyone who walks the beaches of the bay has seen the trash that washes up here — some of it from the Japanese tsunami. Learn how to turn trash into art with Washed Ashore workshops from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. today and Monday at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies Washed Ashore project headquarters on East End Road near Kachemak Drive.

BEST BIG FAMILY BET: The Kilcher family has become legendary back in their native country of Switzerland. Recently, filmmakers filmed the Kilchers and their homestead as part of a documentary on Swiss nature philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau. See the Homer premiere of "Rousseau's Children" at noon Saturday at the Homer Theatre. Admission is free. See story, page 9.

BEST BIG FEST BET: Rain or shine — and we're hoping for sunshine — it's once again Homer's big music festival, the KBBI Concert on the Lawn. Support public radio and hear some great music from noon-10 p.m. Saturday and noon-9 p.m. Sunday at Karen Hornaday Park. Admission is $22 a day, $11 for youth under 18 or free with parents.

BEST BIG TUNES BET: As part of the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra Summer Music Festival, musicians entertain in free concerts around town for Noon Tunes. Catch acts Monday through Friday. See locations in the Calendar, page 16.