Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 4:36 PM on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Homer's Best Bets

Rumors of frost on the windshield have rippled around town like an asteroid plunging into the Pacific Ocean. "OMG! Frost!" goes a typical Facebook missive. That's what the Betster loves about social media — it encourages simple, poetic discourse. Or, you might get a blurry Instagram photo of what could be frost or could be someone's pinky on the lens.


Photo by Michael Armstrong

Vicki Sarber of Homer, Mrs. Alaska and Mrs. America, smiles as Mayor James Hornaday gives her the key to the city at the Homer City Council meeting on Monday night.

That's the other great thing about social media —all those nicely composed, sharp photographs. You might as well use a Kodak Brownie camera. Uh, that's an ancient little brown box with a plastic lens that takes blurry, muted photos. The more things change, the more they stay the same and all that.

If you want a sign of advancing coldness, just look to the skies. The sandhill cranes know. They're the ultimate snowbird, timing their arrival with early April and leaving in mid-September. It won't qualify you for a Permanent Fund dividend, but it does get you to Alaska before the tourists. The Betster knows a guy who leaves after Halloween and returns after Tax Day. Keep it simple.

Anyway, last Sunday a flock of cranes flew over Chez Betster looking like they seriously were ready to head south, although they actually flew northeast. They had that tight, broad V formation, flapping more or less in unison, honking with their big velicoraptor throats. Somewhere over Crossman Ridge they broke up and scattered into a sloppy mess of a migration. Just testing, it seems. If that's how the cranes migrate, maybe they need to brush up on Simple Flight Formations for Birds.

It must be kinda weird to be a crane colt. There you are, born in Alaska, raised to teendom by vigilant parents, protected from predators like eagles, foxes, coyotes and dogs. Alaska and Kachemak Bay are all you've known. It's not a bad place to grow up, but all of a sudden it gets chilly and the 'rents tell you to pack up, we're going to California and you're going to have to fly all the way there. No wonder they've been pushing the grubs all summer.

Here's the drill, too. They'll show you the way south. They'll show you how to forage next winter. They'll show you how to come back north next spring. After that, kid, you're on your own. Come April 2013 and nesting time, you get the boot. Talk about ruthless. Parents, don't try this at home — or maybe you should.

It's a cold, hard world out there in animal land, and it's only going to get colder. The Burning Basket is almost done. Football season is well underway. That last wind storm blew all the fireweed petals into oblivion. It's all the more reason to shrink into denial and hope for one last glorious summer weekend. It could happen, and if it does, get out and about and have fun, like with these Best Bets:

BEST OK NOW YOU'RE A DAISY BET: Improvisational theater. That's the art where you get tossed a scenario and riff from there. Part writing, part acting and a way lot of creativity, it can be a hoot. Learn from Mr. Improv himself, Martty Zeller, in a series of classes starting today at 5:30 p.m. See Town Crier, page 22, for all the details.

BEST PLAY THAT FUNKY RHYTHM BEACH BOY BET: Cobble together percussion instruments made from marine debris and then play them at today's Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies CoastWalk kick off. It's all part of the theme "Make Some Noise About Marine Debris." The event starts at 4:30 p.m. at the CACS headquarters on Smokey Bay Way. At 5:30 p.m. it's a potluck and then at 6 p.m. a talk about how to participate in the fall event. See story, page 2.

BEST SHOP LIKE CRAZY BET: Those Mariner volleyball girls play like crazy, and you can help them out by going a little overboard at their yard sale fundraiser at 10 a.m. Saturday at Homer High School.

BEST ZUMBA, BABY, ZUMBA BET: Tone up, work out and help out this Saturday with a day of awesome Zumba workouts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bay Club. A suggested $10 donation is asked; proceeds benefit South Peninsula Haven House.

BEST GET INSPIRED BET: Oh, and speaking of transitions, don't forget what's become an annual fall tradition — the 9th annual Burning Basket at Mariner Park. Artist Mavis Muller and her gang of community artists have braved rain and wind this week to make the basket. Give them some last-minute help through Sunday. Visit the basket and labyrinth starting at 1 p.m. Sunday and share thoughts and write them down and put them on the basket. Join the potluck at 6 p.m. and then release the basket as it is transformed into fire.

BEST '52 MODEL BET: A lot of 1952 models have been celebrating their 60th birthdays this year. Why not? They're classics. Help another classic enterprise celebrate 60 years with Spenard Builders Supply's 60th anniversary bash all day Sunday at its store on Lake Street.

BEST TALK-TALK BET: Listen to Homer City Council candidates debate at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kachemak Community Center, part of a series of debates held by the Homer Chamber of Commerce.