Story last updated at 1:20 p.m. Thursday, August 22, 2002

Homer's Best Bets
Well, now folks, try to hold back your enthusiasm. But truly, the days of frantic, around-the-clock activity are coming to a close. Sure, the Betster bemoans the end of summer with the best of them, but deep inside, there's a part of each of us that secretly longs for the twinkle of stars on a crisp night, the quiet that comes at dusk, and a chance to actually witness a sunrise or two without rising so early even your dogs think you're truly out of your gourd. So when the Betster took a late-evening stroll, and caught a glimpse of the lights dancing in the sky, it made up for the fact that days of lawn croquet in shorts are all but over. And since there's usually only one of those a year anyway, if lucky, the Betster doesn't mind. So take a breath, and catch some of these best bets.

BEST IMPROVED IMPROV: So the Betster had a little senioritis last week and got the schedules a tad mashed, but really, folks, Homer's own improv trio is puttin' on a show this weekend, and it's bound to be a winner. Fresh Produce fellows gather once a summer, it seems, after a season off perfecting their craft in various ways, and when they put on a show, it's full of fun and wonder. Shows run today, Friday and Saturday at the Art Barn located at 1060 East End Road. Tickets are available at 7:15 p.m. before the show and are $8 for adults, $6 for students.

BEST RETURN OF DA BALL BET: The Betster knows football. Sure. There's a ball, see, and some poor person winds up with it, and then gets pummeled, right? OK, so the Betster's not a whiz at the sport, but there's more to the game than knowing the subtleties of the nation's supersport. There's cheering on the home team on a crisp day. There's watching young men fly through the air, crash to the ground, and miraculously, get up and do it all over again. There's hot dogs slathered with French's mustard. There's a good excuse for perfectly mature people to slather themselves with body paint and scream. It all starts in Homer on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the Homer High School field when the boys in blue (and gold) take on the reigning champion Nikiski Bulldogs. To be sure, these young folks could use a cheer or two, so get out and cheer 'em on.

BEST NOTE YOUR VOTE: So even if you're not like the Betster, who goes through newspapers like they're treasure maps and at this point is a bit too well informed for anyone's good, a quick read of the Homer News this week can put you well on your way to choosing the best Republican candidate for next year's legislative season. The two fishermen duke it out for your vote on page 1A and 5A, and the polls open on Tuesday at 7 a.m. at locations around town, which are listed on page 5A. It's all here folks. All you got to do is move the pen.

BEST SLAMMIN' GOOD TIME BET: It ain't too often you see word nerds getting into a knock-down, drag-out competition, aside from the annual winter carnival spelling bee. But this Saturday, the Homer Poetry Slam takes the stage at 7 p.m. at Alice's Champagne Palace for the fourth year, and if past years are any indication, it's going to be a doozy. This is poetry in its element, in front of an audience, where reactions come instantly and words flow fast and furious. Bring your words, or your hands with which to clap, and $5 for noncompetitors.

BEST V-BALL, V-BALL, V-BALL BET: It's a while yet before the Homer Mariner volleyball crew hits the court, but this weekend, Homer hosts a Jamboree tournament with tons of teams competing from all over Alaska. The games begin Friday night at 4 p.m., with the varsity team playing at Homer High School and the junior varsity games happening at the Homer Middle School. Competition continues Saturday starting at 9 a.m. and continues through the day.

BEST WHAT'S 'W;T' BET: The Betster likes a good laugh as much as the next folk, but once in a while, a little drama is called for, and for that reason, and about a gazillion others, Pier One Theatre is putting on "W&T," a story of a woman with ovarian cancer in the final stages. The play touches on issues everyone faces at one time or another, but few contemplate as they might. The show opens at the Homer Spit theater on Friday and runs through Sept. 1 with shows Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $12 with discounts. Call 235-7333