Poet and writer Diane Ackerman delivers the keynote address on June 14, 2019, at the opening of the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference at Land’s End Resort, Homer, Alaska. Ackerman spoke about the historical background for her book, “The Zookeeper’s Wife.” (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Poet and writer Diane Ackerman delivers the keynote address on June 14, 2019, at the opening of the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference at Land’s End Resort, Homer, Alaska. Ackerman spoke about the historical background for her book, “The Zookeeper’s Wife.” (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Well, it’s finally upon us — that most sunny and loopy of times, the Summer Solstice.

If any of you Homerites are anything like the Betster, this constant Midnight Sun has been getting to you just a bit (thank the deity of your choice for blackout curtains, amiright?).

For weeks upon weeks now, the sun has been creeping steadily into every waking hour of our lives, for better or worse. On Friday, the longest day of the year, Homer itself will only see about 18 hours and 44 minutes of straight daylight. No 24 hour brightness for us down here at the bottom of the Southcentral region.

Still, all this sustained exposure to UV rays is probably enough to make visitors and the less experienced Alaskan pretty light loony.

Can it be that, starting on Saturday, we’ll already be heading back in the other direction? Marching steadily onward toward the dark abyss that is winter?

Let’s not think about that for now. Let’s enjoy this Summer Solstice, however you celebrate it, and focus on the rest of summer stretching out before us.

While you’re at it, think about these Best Bets:

BEST BARLEY BET: Head on over to “Beers and Bears” at 5:30 p.m. tonight at Grace Ridge Brewery to learn about the “Economic Contribution of Bear Viewing to South Central Alaska” and, of course, have a beer.

BEST BOOKISH BET: A Homer resident since 1998, Sandy Mazen is well known locally for the years he taught the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s safe-boating classes. Mazen will read from his recent memoir, “Kiyonuk-An Arctic Alaska boyhood,” at 6 p.m. tonight at the Homer Public Library. A discussion will follow. The book begins with Sandy’s parents’ arrival in Alaska in 1926 as teachers assigned to the Seward Peninsula villages of Selawik and Wales. The memoir shares his adventurous boyhood, which included fishing through Bering Sea ice for king crab, hunting the Nome countryside for ptarmigan, and the fear of invasion that gripped Nome during World War II and turned the small community into a city of thousands with the arrival of U.S. military personnel. Since its publication in March, Mazen has been featured at book events in Washington and has been invited to venues across Alaska.

BEST RAINBOW BET: Homer’s second Pride Walk kicks off at 11:30 a.m. this Saturday at WKFL Park, where participants can enjoy face painting, music and speeches before the actual walk starts at noon. Reunite in solidarity and support the Homer LGBTQ+ community’s right to life, love and liberty. A family-friendly celebration will follow the walk when it ends on Ocean Drive. At 3 p.m., a bonfire and potluck starts at Bishop’s Beach.

BEST BELLY LAUGH BET: Powerplant Productions Presents: “No Laughing Matter – A Night Of Stand Up Comedy” at 7 p.m. this Sunday at Alice’s Champagne Palace. The event will feature Anji Stubbs, Fred Koski and Mat Plant. Tickets are $15, on sale at Alice’s or by calling Terry at 299-1693.

BEST BUNNELL BET: Bunnell Street Arts Center is pleased to feature six local artists in 2019 the Community Supported Art (CSA) box. Join to meet and celebrate the artists who were selected from 5-6 p.m. this Sunday at Bunnell Street Arts Center or a public reception. Artists were commissioned to create 30 handmade multiples of their unique designs.

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