Story last updated at 11:29 a.m. Friday, August 2, 2002

Homer's Best Bets
The hounds of August have arrived, fresh on the trail of a July that seemed to come and go almost overnight. After a few soggy spells, Homer seems to have settled into summer, just in time to bid it adieu. The fireweed is a blush spreading through the meadows, sockeye are losing their shine, and the Spit's slimeliners and salmon sherpas are hanging up their Grundens and heading back to college. The Betster recommends getting out and enjoying what's left of summer while you can, with a few indoor exceptions.

BEST CULTURE-MEETS-HORTICULTURE BET: Though it may be getting too dark to garden at midnight, there's still plenty of daylight, and gardens across the lower peninsula are bearing fruit -- and blossoms. You'll have a chance to see one of the better examples on Saturday with a tour of the Fritz Creek Gardens, part of the Homer Homes Tour. The work of about 20 local artists will be on display in the gardens, ranging from glasswork to metalwork and everything in between. Available at the Homer Bookstore or the Homer Council on the Arts' office, tickets cost $20 each, or two for $30, and are good for the entire Homes Tour. Which leads the Betster to:

BEST SATE-YOUR-CURIOSITY BET: Have you ever driven by a home and wondered what the inside looks like? The Betster discourages putting stepladder to window to find out for yourself, but this weekend you'll get the chance to see, thanks to the second annual Homer Homes Tour. Sponsored by the Homer Council on the Arts, the tour visits five homes whose owners were gracious enough to show off their homes' dEcor. Many of the homes also boast lush gardens and beautiful artwork. Participants get a map of the homes with their tickets, and can tour the homes from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 235-4288.

BEST SATE-YOUR-CURIOSITY BET, PART TWO: Do you know who's running for the House District 35 seat in the Aug. 27 primary election? Candidate Paul Seaton and incumbent Drew Scalzi, both Republicans, have posted signs across town letting their names be known. But do you know where they stand on the issues? You can find out, thanks to tonight's public candidate forum. Seaton and Scalzi, and Homer's new senator, Alan Austerman, R-Kodiak, will be on hand to answer an hour's worth of questions from a panel of local media representatives. In the second hour, members of the audience will have their chance to pin the candidates down on those issues held near and dear to their hearts. The forum, which will be broadcast on both KBBI AM 890 and K-WAVE FM 105, begins at 7 p.m. in city council chambers. It is free and open to the public.

BEST DRAMA-BASED-ON-REAL-LIFE BET: The Pier One Theatre will throw back the curtains on its second full-scale production of the season. "The Laramie Project," which revisits the hate-crime death of a Wyoming college student named Matthew Shepard, has been performed around the country to strong reviews. Homer's own Spit-based theater cast and crew will bring their interpretations to the production, which deals with some heady themes. The theater recommends that anyone under 17 be accompanied by an adult. Tickets cost $12, and are available at the Homer Bookstore and at Etude Studios. For information or reservations, call 235-7333.