Story last updated at 3:26 p.m. Thursday, October 31, 2002

Homer's Best Bets
Holy Deluge, Betster Fans! This has been one heck of a week, n'est ce pas? Like the 1964 earthquake, the Mount Augustine eruption or the avalanches of a few years ago, we've survived yet another attempt by Ma Nature to turn the lower peninsula into an island. The Betster hopes you've been able to clean up and dry out. You've proven that you're Alaskans, by gum, and that it takes a lot more than a 30-year flood to knock you down. After the hard work of cleaning up, why not celebrate the new month? Here's to hopes that as we ease into the holiday season, the worst we have to contend with is enough snow for winter sports, and no more high winds, overflowing rivers or constant power outages.

BEST SPOOKTACULAR BET: Tonight downtown Homer turns into one big blob of costumed children oozing around like a monstrous vacuum cleaner and sucking up candy. One favorite stop on the traditional trick-or-treat route is Friendship Terrace Assisted Living, over by the Senior Center. The elders there love to see kids swing by, and invite children in costume to visit 5-8 p.m. tonight.

BEST AU CINEMA BET: Le Betster est tres continental with all this French stuff, non? You too can learn French, Russian, Italian and other languages the way the Betster did: watching foreign films. The Kachemak Bay Campus Foreign Film series starts up again this semester, and this week's flick is "Genghis Blues," starting at 7 p.m. Friday at the East Campus.

BEST MARINER GIRLZ RULE BET: Sure, a lot of sports involve muscle and brute force, but when it comes to solid teamwork, discipline and strategy, it doesn't come any better than girls volleyball. The Mariner girls play their last two home games of the season at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Wasilla and 1:30 p.m. Saturday against SoHi, so come cheer them on.

BEST PAY FORWARD BET: Maybe over the last week someone did a good deed for you. You can never pay someone back for helping you out, but you can pay forward, and here's an opportunity. Alaska Bible Institute students collect nonperishable food donations for the Homer Food Pantry from 2-7 p.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church, East End Road.

BEST CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET BET: Soon, soon that white stuff will start falling, so get your ski gear ready. Need some new boots or want to get rid of those old hickory boards? The Kachemak Nordic Ski Club holds its annual Ski Swap from 1-5 p.m. Saturday at the High School Commons. While you're there, go to the general membership meeting at 2:30 p.m. and join or renew your membership.

BEST BOM-BOM BOM, BOM-BOM BOM-BA-BUH BET: Yeah, yeah "puttin' on the Ritz." OK, so the Betster isn't Irving Berlin, but you could look like something out of one of those big fancy New York hotels if you bop on over to the Pratt Museum at 7 p.m. Saturday for its big fancy annual do. Tickets are $40 a person, $75 a couple and get you all the fixin's.

BEST BOOM-BOOM BOOM-BOOM-BOOM BOOM BET: From marimba to SNAG drumming circles, Homer has its share of percussionists. Ethos, a gang of New Yorkers who don't bang the drum slowly, plays in Homer Monday and Tuesday. Monday at 7 p.m. they offer a drumming workshop at the Homer Council on the Arts ($15 fee), and then Tuesday at 7 p.m. they perform with the Homer High School choir at the Mariner Theatre. Tickets are $14 general admission, $12 for Bunnell Street Gallery members, $10 for students.

BEST THIS IS IT, THE BIG SHOW BET: No, not the World Series -- that was so October. Tuesday it's the Big Day, Last Call, your final chance in 2002 to participate in the glory of democracy. Visit the polls, thank the good underpaid workers for doing a good job, then listen in on KBBI 890 AM for its election coverage from 8-11 p.m.