Story last updated at 3:58 p.m. Thursday, October 24, 2002

Homer's Best Bets
Halloween: witches and goblins, monsters and ghosts, oh my. What's with all this spooky stuff? With snipers running amuck and terrorists loose in the world, not to mention the daily horror many suffer by accident of birth or circumstance, why would we create our own fear? Why go out on a gloomy, rainy night dressed as our darkest (or lightest) fantasy? Maybe because we can take off the makeup in the morning, and by playing at being scared we can control our fear. Hey, the Betster only took a few psych courses in college, so what do I know? If you want spooky stuff, the next week offers plenty. Late October is also time to celebrate the fall harvest and the turning of the season, too. So if you're looking for fun and not-so-scary, check out the many events listed below or in the paper.

BEST UNDER CAPRICORN BET: Below the Tropic of Capricorn, our Kiwi friends celebrate not gloomy fall, but the coming of spring. If you're pining for summer already, listen to Brent Fagan's talk and see his slides on New Zealand natural history at 7:30 p.m. today at the Kachemak Bay Conservation Society meeting, in the new Kachemak Bay Conservation Center, 3734 Ben Walters Lane. A potluck starts at 6:30 p.m.; bring your own plate, cup and utensils.

BEST SAFE COMMUNITY BET: You want scary? For some women, men and children, home can be the most dangerous place. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in honor of the victims and survivors of domestic violence, South Peninsula Women's Services holds an informal gathering at 5:30 p.m. tonight at 3776 Lake Street. Refreshments will be served. Alas, our town also has been threatened by violence in schools. A community forum on creating and preserving a safe and healthy community starts at 7 p.m. tonight at Homer City Hall. Held in response to recent incidents of violence among school age children, the forum is sponsored by Homer Youth Court, the Division of Juvenile Justice, Family Solutions, Vessels of Hope, Kachemak Bay Family Planning and other organizations.

BEST HEALTHY HEALING BET: Jodi Miller and the Peace Feather present "The Heart of Healing," a slide show and talk on her experiences using holistic healing in Peru and the high Andes with the Quechua people, 7 p.m. at the Homer Council on the Arts. Refreshments will be served; donations appreciated.

BEST ROLLING, ROLLING, ROLLING BET: There are some events that speak for themselves. And the Betster believes the Special Olympics fall into this category. So get ye to the Kachemak Bowl for the Special Olympics Bowling Local Games, which run today and Friday beginning at 2:30 p.m., and Saturday starting at 9:30 a.m.

BEST FALL FESTIVALS BET: On Saturday, you have a choice of three fall festivals. McNeil Canyon Elementary School holds its annual Fall Carnival noon-4 p.m. at the school, Mile 12 East End Road. The carnival includes food, games, craft booths, prizes, a cupcake walk and a haunted house, and is a fund-raiser for the school. In town, the Homer Emblem and Elks Club hold their annual Halloween Party for kids newborn to 12 starting at 1 p.m. at the Elks Club, and over at Homer Christian School, the annual Harvest Dinner and Auction starts at 4:30 p.m. at the school.

BEST SHRIVELED UP GRAPES BET: The Betster doesn't quite get this "Raisin' Awareness" name for this thing going on at the college. The Kachemak Bay Campus Student Association at our little college on Pioneer Avenue presents an evening of information and entertainment to promote support for Proposition C, the school bond issue. The program runs from 5-9 p.m. Saturday at the East Campus. Marimba band Tamba performs along with fire-juggler Alex Griffing. Eva Saulitis and Deland Anderson read poetry and parables. Refreshments will be served and a drawing will be held for tuition and a flight-seeing trip. Oh, wait --raising awareness. Never mind.

BEST SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL WATER TAXI DRIVER BET: You may know Mako Haggerty as that big tall guy in the orange boat who has been taxiing visitors and Homerites hither and yon across the bay for what seems like forever. He recently lost everything but the clothes on his back in a fire at a house he rented. His friends hold a benefit auction and potluck starting at 3 p.m. Sunday at Alice's. Too Fat to Fly rocks the house, and Johnny B auctions off lots of way-cool items.

BEST LAST CHANCE AT A HOMER TRADITION: Next Halloween, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sedge will be patrolling Africa as part of the Nigerian navy. She's been a good ship and served Homer well, and every Halloween generations of kids have been spooked when touring the Haunted Sedge. Wednesday, the crew holds the last haunting from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Sedge's berth at the Pioneer Dock. Donations of nonperishable food items are appreciated and will be given to the Homer Food Bank.