Story last updated at 2:53 p.m. Thursday, September 12, 2002

Though the mood was somber this past week across much of the nation and the world, it's important that America continues to go about its business. We remember those who have fallen, and pay tribute to them by living our lives undeterred by fears or threats of terrorism. A cartoon that appeared in The New Yorker magazine following the Sept. 11 attacks showed a man at a bar saying to the bartender, "If I don't have a third martini, the terrorists will have won." It's tongue-in-cheek, but it's not untrue. The Betster recommends a moment of proud silence, and then a weekend of fun <> it's the American way. And while you're at it, check out these Best Bets.

Best Facemasks and Helmets Bet: With just three in-conference games remaining in the regular season, the Homer Mariners are plowing ahead as if the fields were greased and the opponents made of paper. The Mariners will challenge the No. 1 ranked Soldotna Stars football team on the gridiron this weekend in a battle of 4-1 teams. As Homer News Sports Editor Sepp Jannotta put it, come Saturday morning, someone will be 4-2. Show some local pride to go along with those healthy measures of national patriotism, and help cheer your team to victory. Kickoff is 6 p.m. Friday at Homer High School.

Best Facemasks and Helmets II Bet: For those of you having no luck on the rivers of late, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is here to help. Fish and Game will open the Fishing Hole on the Homer Spit to snagging beginning at noon Friday, and running through Dec. 31. That opportunity will give anglers <> or anyone with a weighted treble hook <> a chance to fill their smokers before the season goes to the dogs. The six-fish limit remains in effect. Be kind to your fellow fishermen and look over your shoulder before you cast, hey?

Best Take Me To Your Leader Bet: From snakehead fish in Maryland to Atlantic Salmon in Alaska, species are popping up where they don't belong. Then the problem came to Homer with recent capture of a snapping turtle in a Greer Road backyard. Is our ecosystem under siege by alien species? Tuck Hines, of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, will speak to that during a presentation entitled "Invasive Species in the Marine Ecosystem: Perspective from Alaska of a National Problem," from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve office on Kachemak Drive.

Best On Your Toes Bet: Auditions for the Homer Council on the Arts "Nutcracker Suite" will be held Tuesday at the Mariner Theatre. The schedule and application can be found at the council, Community School and the Homer Public Library. Speaking of the Council, last month it became the sole owner of the Homer Center for the Arts building, and to celebrate, it will play host to a party Sept. 20. It's more than a week away, but this will give you time to make a dessert or a salad to share.

Best Tickle The Ivories Bet: Homer's own star, Starr Ruzicka, will play works from Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Bartok on the piano at the Bunnell Street Gallery Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. Ruzicka will be joined by guest soloists Matt O'Connor on double bass and Brian Van Kirk on alto saxophone.