Best Bets

Phew. The Betster can’t remember a time when rain and cool temperatures were more welcome. Bring on the downpours, the frost and the mist. Away with the hot days and high winds.

With the alerts for the Sterling and Cooper Landing areas being reduced and the fire ban being lifted on the Kenai Peninsula on Wednesday, one can’t help but feel that things are starting to get back to normal.

Of course, it is completely normal for wildfires to clear out sections of land every few years — it’s all part of the natural ecology of the peninsula. Plus, fires create great moose habitat. What’s not so normal is the threat to public safety in Cooper Landing and our local grocery store shelves missing certain items due to delays on the Sterling Highway.

Go ahead, Homerites — have a nice big sigh of relief. All together now.

With fall officially showing its colors, we can look ahead with confidence and anticipation to all it has to offer. Apple picking, fires in the hearth, scarecrows in the fields and pumpkin spiced lattes in hand.

The Betster was reminded during a recent trip up the road to Anchorage that retail stores indeed have their Halloween decorations out already and that it’s never too early to start spooking up one’s house. Cobwebs, witches, skeletons, spiders, crows, eyeballs — whatever your fancy, you can probably find it in Homer. Such is the beauty of capitalism at this time of year.

So remember to bundle up your youngsters as you send them out the door in the mornings, and take a look at these Best Bets:

BEST BETTER COAST BET: The CoastWalk Kick Off Reception and Zone Sign-up is this evening from 5:30-7 p.m. at Grace Ridge Brewing. The reception is an opportunity to sign up for the CoastWalk, which promotes cleaning of as much coastline in the area as possible. Volunteers will be able to sign up to clean up and monitor one of 32 zones in Kachemak Bay or to participate in community cleanups on both sides of the bay, which will happen every weekend from Sept. 14 to Oct. 5. Those unable to attend Thursday’s reception can sign up for CoastWalk activities at the center’s office on Smokey Bay Way.

BEST BACK IN THE DAY BET: It’s First Friday time again. Head on down to the Kachemak Bay Campus for the opening of an exhibit called Art Over Time in Halibut Cove. The opening reception is from 4-8 p.m. on Friday at the campus and is presented in conjunction with the Alaska World Arts Festival. Curated by Marian Beck and Tony Maury, this collection of many artists’ work reflects the history of art in Halibut Cove as greatly influenced by Diana Tillion and Alex Combs.

BEST BUNNELL BET: Join the Bunnell Street Arts Center in welcoming pianist/composer Jeffrey Lee Mills. His repertoire includes classical, jazz, lounge, funk and reggae. Mills will play from 8-10 p.m. at Bunnell Street Arts Center on Friday. Tickets cost $15-$20 and can be purchased at

BEST BETTER HEALTH BET: It’s the news you walk-a-holics have been waiting for! South Peninsula Hospital’s Walk with a Doc program is back for the season this Saturday at 9 a.m. at SPARC. Walk with a Doc Homer is on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 9-10 a.m. Walk with a Doc returns with a different local health care provider leading each walk. They will tell attendees briefly about a current health topic, and then people spend the rest of the hour walking, asking questions, getting free blood pressure screenings and more. Please bring your clean, indoor walking shoes to change into.

BEST BUTT BET: The Kachemak Bay Running Club will host the Halibut Hustle 5k Run at 10 a.m. this Sunday at Land’s End Resort. This is an easy, out and back 5k run or walk starting at Lands End, going around the Homer Boat Harbor on the bike path, past the Halibut Hook, with a turnaround near the Harbormaster’s Office. It celebrates Homer’s halibut fishery and showcases our iconic halibut hook statue. All participants receive a T-shirt or KBRC buff and top male and female finishers get a stash of some frozen halibut as well. All event registration will take place the day of the race, beginning at 9 a.m. It costs $20 for adults and kids 11 years or older, and $10 for kids 10 years and younger.