Best Bets

Holy San Clemente! Is politics getting wild back east in our nation’s capital. Ever since that incident at the Waterfront Bar decades ago when the Betster got in a kerfuffle over who was the best Alaska governor ever, your humble scribe has learned to avoid political discussion.

Thus, we will not venture an opinion on the trials and tribulations of Trump. Nope, nope, nopeity nope. As the Betster was reminded last week while talking to a nice visitor from Wyoming, “What ever happened to the rule that you don’t talk politics and religion in polite company?” Good advice, ma’am.

Well, you can talk politics if you keep it clean and under 300 words or 3 minutes. That’s why we have our opinion page and the Homer City Council has its public comment period. Reasoned, intelligent discourse on important civic matters has its place. Your elected officials want to hear from you so they can make smart decisions. We want to fill pages A4 and A5.

And religion? Well praise be to the deity (or not) of your choice, that’s why we have more churches than coffee shops in Homer. Want to explore spirituality among people who might have wisdom to share? Check out our worship directory. Along with freedom of the press, religion is the Big Number One of our Bill of Rights. Even our own Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly has decided it should invoke, well, whatever at the start of its meetings. OK, don’t go there, either.

What we can talk about openly, of course, is the weather. Also, dogs and cats. Also also, go Mariners! These are mostly safe subjects. Homer being Homer, and what with how easy people sometimes take offense, nothing is safe.

The Betster will say this, though: Even though we’re in the midst of that annual shift from summer to winter and we don’t know if this weekend will bring a sudden snowfall or a resurgence of sunshine, the weather can be pretty dang spectacular. You can be walking through a heavy drizzle on the beach, pondering your decision to work on your 10,000 steps, when briefly the storm will break and the Kenai Mountains will be bathed in somber, serene light. Maybe one of our genius artists can capture the moment, but we mortals with an outdated smart phone can only snap the rough outline.

We walk in beauty daily. In not every instant can you “do it for the ‘gram,” as the digital generation calls taking a photo and posting it to Instagram. Sometimes you want to preserve those flashes of awesomeness the old fashioned way, saved to the memory of that blob of gray matter behind your eye balls.

So get out, enjoy the transition happening and what it will bring. You didn’t move to or stay in Alaska to experience the world like someone in a high rise in Brooklyn, did you? Experience the world. Contemplate it. Treasure it. Embrace it, and while you’re at it, enjoy this amazing little town, perhaps with these Best Bets:

BEST BEARS BET: The 2019 Annual Meeting of the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies is from 6-8 p.m. tonight at the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center and includes a special presentation on Alaska Peninsula bears. This meeting is about sharing highlights of the past year. Finger food and beverages will be provided. Get updates on spring and summer programs and meet staff and new board members. Cash raffle tickets will be available for purchase.

BEST BOOKISH BET: Head on over to the Homer Public Library for an Author Reading with Cassondra Windwalker from 6-7 p.m. tonight. Celebrate Alaska Book Week with Walker while she reads from her latest releases, novel “Preacher Sam” and the Portage Series inaugural collection, “The Almost-Children,” a book of poetry from Cornerstone Press. The reading will be followed by a book signing.

BEST GOOD FOOD BET: Want to help support local youth and get a belly full of good food at the same time? Then what you’re looking for is the Paul Banks Preludes Spaghetti Dinner and Dessert Auction. From 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday at Paul Banks, it will treat you to great food while you’re entertained by the Paul Banks Preludes and the Homer Youth String Orchestra Club. This is a fundraiser to support violin instruction for all students at Paul Banks Elementary School.

BEST WILD PLACES BET: It’s that time of year again — time for the Open Spaces Wild Places Gala to support the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust. It will be from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday at Wasabi’s Bistro on East End Road. The gala and the Land at Heart Award presentation make for a fun evening with live music by the Spit City Slickers, fabulous food, live and silent auctions, and raffles. For event sponsor or more information call (907) 235-5263 or email

BEST ANCHOR POINT BET: There will be an NRA Date Night at 4 p.m. on Saturday a the VFW Post 10221 in Anhor Point. Tickets will get you rime rib dinner, beverage and entry into Round #1 of the Wall of Guns. There will also be silent and live auction items. Call 907-235-5582 or 907-299-1996 to reserve tickets, or pick tickets up at Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware in Homer or the VFW in Anchor Point.

It’s like a Zen garden except it’s the beach Boulders lie on the Diamond Creek beach on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

It’s like a Zen garden except it’s the beach Boulders lie on the Diamond Creek beach on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)