Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 4:49 PM on Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Homer's Best Bets


Photographer: Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Purple waves A whale ice sculpture by the Anchor Point Firth family is lit up at the Soldotna Professional Pharmacy on Binkley Street. The Firths carved several sculptures for the Peninsula Winter Games.

As the Betster writes this a big sloppy wet gale blows out of the south, so it's unknown if on Thursday your friendly local marmot will see its shadow. Like it matters. Does anyone doubt that we're in for six more weeks of winter — especially this winter?

Happy Marmot Day, Betsteroids, Alaska's version of Groundhog Day. Other cultures call it Imholc, Candlemas and St. Brighid's Day. It all means the same thing. As our earth revolves around the sun, we're halfway between the solstice and the equinox. Here at Latitude 59 degrees and some change, our daylight hours have increased to 8 hours and 8 minutes. Yee-hah!

In Betster World, that means if you drive into work at 9:16 a.m. and drive home at 5:24 p.m., you're in daylight. No, you can't see stars, but your mileage may vary when it comes to seeing Poot Peak from the Spit. The Spit these days also appears bloated, with an expanding waste of ice pack around Mud Bay that's crawling up the beaches.

Holy Operation Overlord, Betsteroids! Have you strolled on the beach lately? If the Allies had tried to storm Normandy with an ice pack like this, the Marines might have needed blowtorches. Every time a tide comes in, it crams up another pile of icebergs. Our coast looks all crinkly, which plays heck with faithful hominid companions trying to walk their four-footed friends. We're socked in by air and sea.

So, yeah, OK, it's no wonder we're in for six more weeks of winter. At least. We'll probably still be seeing snowberms at the shorebird festival. People will probably still be skiing at Easter. Mother's Day. Heck, Memorial Day. This winter will go down with That Winter Where the Snow Plow Ate Becky's Subaru. You can tell it's bad because here it is February and we haven't even gotten started on our annual Cabin Fever Controversy, probably because we're so dang tired.

Ah, buck up. Get out and about this weekend, because First Friday is back, along with lots of other cool things to do, like some of these Best Bets:

BEST BIG WILD OCEAN BET: The sea might be a little icy, but on the silver screen it's wet and wild. Catch some more adventure and environmental films with the annual Alaska Ocean Film Festival, playing today starting at 6 p.m. at the Homer Theatre. Films include "Team Clark Goes Canoeing," about a family's six-week trip from Valdez to Whittier, and "Monsterboards," about the legendary surfing off the coast of, uh, Holland. Admission is $10.

BEST SUPER DUPER BET: Looking for a family-friendly place to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday? Head over to the Homer Theatre and watch the game on the biggest flat screen in town. It's a no-alcohol event with an image so large you can count the stitches on the pigskin. Don Jose's provides appetizers along with the usual popcorn stuff. The theatre opens at 2 p.m. Admission is $20 general, $15 for children and seniors, and $50 for a family of four, and includes refreshments.

BEST QUICK SKI BET: But wait — before you settle in for an afternoon of couch surfing, get that heart pumping with a quick ski Sunday around the Doug Schwiesow Stadium at Lookout Mountain for another fabulous annual event, the Ski for Women. A fundraiser for South Peninsula Haven House, registration starts at 11:30 a.m. and the race is at 1 p.m. A donation of $15 is requested.

BEST FIRST FINALLY BET: It just didn't seem right last month not to have an art crawl on First Friday. Fortunately, our local galleries aren't discouraged by the bad weather and most of them have openings and receptions. Cruise Old Town to Pioneer Avenue to the Pratt for some great art. See page 12 for details.