Fireworks explode in the sky above Mariner Park on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Fireworks explode in the sky above Mariner Park on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Best Bets

Editor’s note: The spelling of self-defense teacher Ken Domela’s name has been corrected.

Whew! We made it, folks. We’re through that ambiguous week between Christmas and the New Year when responsibilities are scarce, leftover food is plentiful and no one really knows what day it is.

That means, however, that it’s time to wake up, change out of our pajama bottoms, strap on our XtraTufs and get back on the grind. Work is starting back up (except for some federal employees), so it’s time to head back into our calendars and check in with the rest of the world.

We’ve got an entire year stretched out before us, and what a wonderful prospect that is. It’s the time of setting goals (and hopefully sticking to them), of clearing out clutter and starting with a fresh face and attitude.

Looking for something to do now that we’re out of the holiday season? Take a gander at these Best Bets:

BEST DEFENSE BET: For this week’s Thriving Thursday, you can learn a few new moves that could serve you well while out and about in the dark Alaska winter. Instructor Ken Domela with over 50 years of martial arts experience will teach a self defense course at 6 p.m. tonight at SVT Health and Wellness. This course is designed to introduce practical self-defense techniques that are easy to learn in a safe, fun and non-competitive environment. Domela will also teach a Women’s Self Defense four-week series class from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from Jan. 8-29 for $40. Call Patty at (907) 435-3215 to sign up.

BEST BOW WOW BET: The fourth annual Bow Wow Film Festival shows at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre. An innovative, traveling dog themed film fest, it celebrates the human-canine bond and the marvelous ways these beloved creatures inspire us, care for us and bring us joy. The Bow Wow 2018-19 Tour launched in Telluride, Colorado, in July 2018 and from Telluride, Bow Wow went nationwide, bringing the funloving and lively show to dozens of locations around the country.

The film festival includes “Ask Frank – Advice for Dogs,” the story of Stacy’s cute rescue dog, set in Alaska, and the story of how a Montana based organization is helping to catch poachers in Africa.

Tickets are $12 general admission and $8 for children ages 14 and under. Ticket proceeds will benefit the Homer Animal Friend’s Spay & Neuter Fund. For a trailer, see

BEST WALKING BET: Join South Peninsula Hospital and Peninsula Radiation Oncology Medical Director John Halligan, MD, for the next Walk with a Doc event from 9-10 a.m. this Saturday at SPARC (600 Sterling Hwy next to Homer Middle School). All are welcome for Halligan’s brief open mic on cancer and to spend the rest of the hour walking at their own pace, chatting and asking any questions. This is a free event, open to all ages and abilities. There will be free blood pressure screenings, prizes and refreshments. Please bring clean indoor walking shoes. Email, or call the Health & Wellness Department at 907 235-0970 with questions or for more information.

BEST BOOGIE BET: If you didn’t quite get all your dancing out of your system on New Year’s Eve, keep the party going at 9 p.m. this Saturday with Big Chimney Barn Dance at Alice’s Champagne Palace. Big Chimney Barn Dance is a band made up of dear friends who love to play traditional American Stringband music. The band consists of many prominent members of Alaska’s vibrant acoustic music scene. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. They are available online at

More in Community

The Homer Police Station as seen Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Cops and Courts

Information about fire, police and troopers is taken from public records consisting… Continue reading

Arts briefs

‘Summer of Soul’ wins Audience Favorite for Homer DocFest The Homer Documentary… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes I wonder, who needs who

Dog whispers we are not. Suckers for unconditional love, you bet.

Willie (Photo courtesy of Alaska Mindful Paws)
Pet of the week: Willie

This big boy is full of love and spunk. Willie is a… Continue reading

Cabbage, potatoes, salmon and an assortment of pantry staples make for a culinary challenge. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Take a culinary pop quiz

Get creative with what’s in your pantry

Homer High School. (Homer News file photo)
School announcements

School district risk level update and upcoming events

For Carly Garay's "The Art of Ancestor Veneration," visitors are invited to include images, letters or prayers honoring ancestors at a central display. The exhibit shows through Oct. 30, 2021, at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Garay lifts the veil between living and dead with “Art of Ancestor Veneration”

HCOA show invites people to submit own images of ancestors at central altar.

Sara and Ed Berg retracing their daughter’s, Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, last known steps before disappearing two years ago on Oct. 17. The memorial walk is a way for the parents to keep her with them. “We don’t have anything left. This is one of the few things we have,” Sara Berg said. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Homer’s Best Bets

If a sudden influx of visitors shows up this month, credit yet… Continue reading

Town Crier

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities holds a virtual open… Continue reading

Most Read