Best Bets

We haven’t quite figured out what to call last Friday’s big earthquake. For the 1964 9.2 quake that happened on Good Friday, that was obvious: A lot of Alaskans call it “the Good Friday Earthquake” or, since it was like really, really big, “the Great Alaska Earthquake.”

If the quake had happened this Friday, Dec. 7, we could have called it “the Pearl Harbor Day Quake,” but of course it didn’t. That’s probably OK. Dec. 7 has enough trauma, particularly if you are part of the Greatest Generation. Speaking of which, honor the day tomorrow that transformed this world and led to a long war, great sacrifice and ultimately the defeat of fascism.

As it turns out — which you would know if you came from the auld country — Nov. 30 is St. Andrew’s Day, celebrated nationally in Scotland. Andrew is the patron saint of both Scotland and fishermen. How a fisherman from Galilee wound up the saint of Scotland is one of those long stories that involves saintly relics and visions of crosses in the sky. The Betster knows a Scot or two, aye, and advocates for calling the quake “the St. Andrews’ Day Earthquake” or, if you want to be informal, “Andy.”

Holy Outlander! Andy turned out to be a shaker, eh? We’ve had some good rollers these past few years, none of which had the decency to happen at reasonable hours. They also haven’t happened in the summer, which is probably a good thing. Could you imagine 1,000 campers and fishermen on the Spit trying to evacuate? Throw in a cruise ship and you’re talking full-throttle panic.

We learned a lesson or two from that 7.9-magnitude quake in January and evacuated smoothly. Here in the tsunami zone on Beluga Lake, we Newsies had the presence of mind to grab our laptops and head for the hills.

You did well, Betsteroids. No one got hurt. No one got in a crash getting off the Spit. Everyone waited out the tsunami warning. Our friends in Anchorage had it worse, and we know they’ll rebuild. Now’s the time to rethink your emergency plan and get your bug-out bag in order.

Celebrate another earthquake survived with fun stuff to do, like these Best Bets:

BEST BARLEY BET: Looking for something, free, fun and educational? Look no further than the next installment of Barley and OATs (Outdoor Adventure Talks) being held from 5:30-6 p.m. tonight at Grace Ridge Brewery. Listen to Drew Hamilton, president of Friends of McNeil River, present on how to get to the beautiful McNeil River Bear Sanctuary, what to pack, and what to expect when in the area.

BEST BETTER HEALTH BET: Head on over to the Homer High School commons from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 8 for a free flu shot. This is a one day only, free walk-in clinic with preservative-free flu shots for children 6 months and older, adults and pregnant women, with high-dose formula for seniors. Please wear clothing that allows easy access to your upper arms. This is a community-wide emergency preparedness exercise coordinated by the Alaska Section of Public Health Nursing in cooperation with numerous local emergency preparedness partners. For more information, visit or call 907-235-0397.

BEST BENEVOLENT BET: Help out your friendly neighborhood Alaska Islands and Oceans Center while having fun at the same time. Get ready for the holidays by making nature-themed ornaments for the center’s holiday tree from 2-3:30 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 8. All ages are welcome.

BEST GET TO KNOW YOUR REPS BET: The holiday season can be a nice respite after the stressful midterm election. However, it’s still just as important to know what’s going on in your region and state, and to know exactly who is representing you in state government. If that’s something you’d like to know, head to a meet and greet with Sen. Gary Stevens and Rep.-elect Sarah Vance at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center. Enjoy refreshments and discuss the legislative priorities for the upcoming session.

The halibut hook at the Homer Harbor has been wrapped in lights for the dark winter on Nov. 17 in Homer. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

The halibut hook at the Homer Harbor has been wrapped in lights for the dark winter on Nov. 17 in Homer. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)