Ice pans cover the shore on Jan. 7, 2020, at a Kachemak Drive beach near Miller’s Landing in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Ice pans cover the shore on Jan. 7, 2020, at a Kachemak Drive beach near Miller’s Landing in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Ice, snow, ice, cold.

OK, Homerites: When did the Banana Belt slip north to Nome? Yes, Fairbanksians are probably laughing at our discomfort, but there’s a reason we live by the balmy bay. We’re not used to below zero.

We’re not used to the scary uh-whir, uh-whir when trying to start cars in the morning. We’re not used to pans of ice pushing up on the beach.

We’re not used to air that sucks the moisture out of your skin. We’re not used to wearing boots heavier than XtraTufs and jackets thicker than two hoodies.

We can barely handle feeding wood stoves constantly. We can’t deal with truck seats that freeze into hard plastic. And most especially we really, really don’t want to hike out to the outhouse and sit our bare bottoms on iced over seats.

Well, buck up, citizens. Look on the bright side. We have sunshine. The ski and snowmachine trails are set up. You get to wear that big fluffy parka you got for Christmas. Best of all, you can brag to your Lower 48 friends about being a real Alaskan.

So put on your longings and get out and enjoy a real winter with these Best Bets:

BEST AHA BET: Need an after-school activity for the kiddos? Join the Aha! Club meeting 5:30-7 p.m. Thursdays at the Homer Public Library. For children ages 4-6 and their grown-ups, it’s based on the new show by WGBH, the play-based program helps with early literacy, early math and other skills through tech play. Register online at www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/library or call 235-3180 with questions.

BEST LIFELONG LEARNING: And hey, it’s not just the kids who can learn. If you’ve been wanting to get back to college, learn about the Alaska Adult Education program with a tour of the Kachemak Bay Campus Center from 6-8 p.m. today for SVT’s Thriving Thursday.

BEST THAT MEANS BIG BET: “Bolshoi” in Russian means big, and in ballet it doesn’t come any bigger than the Bolshoi Ballet. You don’t have to hop on an Aeroflot jet to Moscow. Just head to the Homer Theatre at 6 p.m. tonight and see the ballet on the big screen.

BEST YUCK IT UP BET: Yeah, things aren’t so funny these days what with tension in the Middle East and all that. Get some comic relief with “New Year – New Laughs,” a night of stand up comedy at 8 p.m. Friday at Alice’s Champagne Palace. John Laplante, Mat Plant and Fred Koski perform. Tickets or on sale at Alice’s or by calling Terry at 299-1693.

BEST ENCHANTED EVENING BET: Yep, the new year is just getting better with another great night of music in the Salmonfest Music Series. At 9 p.m. Saturday at Alice’s, Todd Grebe & Cold Country perform.

Of the band, Dave Stallard of the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion writes: “I don’t know where the bluegrass country is in Alaska, but Todd Grebe sure as hell does. This North Country guitar player took some time off from his duties with Alaskan bluegrass outfit Bearfoot to put together this equally grassy and old country offering. It isn’t hard to see Grebe pickin’ and singin’ in front of a single mic in the heyday of the Grand Ole Opry — his music rings with vintage country soul.”

Tickets are $10 at the door.

BEST WHAT’S THAT BUZZ? BET: The bees are all snuggled up in their hives for the winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be getting ready for next spring. Want to learn about the challenge and fun of keeping bees in Alaska? Check out the Homer Area Beekeepers Association January meeting from 3-5 p.m. Sunday at Homer United Methodist Church. HABA hold its first meeting of 2020 and welcomes all past, current and aspiring beekeepers to join, as well as anyone curious about what might be involved in becoming a beekeeper.

This month’s meeting will include a discussion of allergy issues as they relate to beekeeping, and a local expert will give a demonstration on correct use of the Epi-pen. Call Linda at 399-9211 for more information.

BEST BUDGET BET: Have some ideas about balancing the state budget? Do you have a genius solution that doesn’t involve betting on the price of oil going up? Meet with Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, before she heads off to Juneau and share your ideas and concerns. She meets at noon today at the Ninilchik Community Center, 7 p.m. today at the Funny River Community Center, 7 p.m. Friday at McNeil Canyon Elementary School and 1 p.m. Saturday at the Kachemak Bay Campus.

BEST WHAT’S YOUR SUPERPOWER? BET: Who are the superheroes and villains in the conservation world? Find out with the Conservation Superheroes and Villains Discovery Lab from 1-5 p.m. next Wednesday at the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center. Sponsored by the Kachemak Bay Environmental Education Alliance, the event features hands-on activities presented by organizations including the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, The Pratt Museum, Kachemak Bay Research Reserve, Nature Rocks Homer, and other KBEEA partners.

BEST SWING LOW BET: Support the Homer OPUS youth ensemble music program with the Low and Lower Community Concert at 7 p.m. next Wednesday at the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center. The classical cabaret duo on cello and bass performs. Tickets are $20 at the door. Admission for kids is free.

A City of Homer worker operates a snowblower on Friday morning, Jan. 3, 2020, to clear snow piles a the snow dump near the Lake Street and Sterling Highway intersection in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armsrong/Homer News)

A City of Homer worker operates a snowblower on Friday morning, Jan. 3, 2020, to clear snow piles a the snow dump near the Lake Street and Sterling Highway intersection in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armsrong/Homer News)

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