Best Bets

We’re in a lull between seasons right now. Bright sunny days with not a whisper of termination dust on the mountains? Vegetation still green and just starting to turn to all the golden colors of Autumn? Local politicians chumming for votes? That is, like, so September.

True, we still have all the colors of Fall, at least those that we get on the lower Kenai Peninsula. New Englanders might scoff at our monochromatic scenery, but hey, you have to admit that from cottonwoods to birch, Homer nails the yellows. There’s this one cottonwood tree at the Homer News that stands out among a bunch of spruce trees. When the afternoon light catches it just right, the leaves glow like light bulbs — the old timey incandescent kind, and not that cool-blue LED stuff.

Throw in a late blooming rose or rose hips, and yes, you Yankees, we do get some red in our view. We get purples, too. Bonus: No one clogs the highways of our state peeping at leaves, so we can enjoy the majesty unhindered and without dodging people who drive SUVs for status and not for actually driving through 6-foot snow drifts.

Alas, it’s been a bit soggy these past few weeks, and too often on weekends. The Betster is conflicted here. On the one hand, the punch list keeps growing longer and yet who wants to cut up firewood in the rain? On the other hand, if it rains on a day off, well, all the more reason to sleep in, snuggle up in a warm blanket and catch up on some good novels.

Who knows? We might have a burst of Surprise Summer and get that sunshine back, just like we had on Tuesday for Election Day. Oh yeah: That’s the other season coming — the big state and general election on Nov. 3, less than a month away. Did you notice how civil were the Kenai Peninsula Borough and Homer elections? Well, forget about that. Based on the avalanche of political fliers the Betster has been receiving, things are getting real. If only the candidates printed their pleas on rice paper, we could eat until next spring.

It’s going to be some dramarama, citizens. Expect some serious interesting times ahead, with maybe a mild sprinkling of snow and big storm tides. We’re tough Alaskans and can handle it, and if things get too weird, we’ll just retreat to some fun, like these Best Bets:

BEST WOMEN AND MEN IN BLACK BET: No, those aren’t alien-busting science fiction movie characters. We’re talking about our local cops who keep our streets safe. They finally have a new home, and you can help them celebrate at 11 a.m. today with a formal ribbon cutting at the new Homer Police Station at the corner of Heath Street and Grubstake Avenue. The COVID-19 conscious event will be held outside. Participants are asked to wear face coverings and keep a 6-foot distance from others not in your family bubble. The lobby will be open for brief visits in small groups. A virtual tour will go up on the city website soon at

BEST YAHOO BET: The Homer Council on the Arts honors the movers and shakers in our awesome arts community with its annual Art Awards. The awards will be presented in a Zoom meeting at 6 p.m. tonight. It’s also the arts council’s annual meeting, so stick around and hear what they have in store for the future. The winner of the quilt raffle is drawn at 6:30 p.m. Register in advance at for the Zoom credentials.

BEST FROM THE PROS BET: Homer has some world-class writers, but how often can you learn straight from wordsmiths who don’t just have fancy degrees, but have published books? Pick up some tips and techniques you can only get from those who have worn out a few computer keyboards. From 2-4 p.m. Oct. 10 and 24, Miranda Weiss teaches a two-day writers workshop on memoir writing. The class is $52 for Homer Council on the Arts members and $60 for nonmembers. Sign up at

Then from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, nature writer Nancy Lord presents “About Place.” It’s a place-based writing workshop for writers at any experience level that will offer examples and prompts to inspire and seed your writing practice. Examine our special places in memory and the world and share joyfully in the spirit of place. The class is $20 for arts council members and $22 for nonmembers. Both classes have limited space, so sign up fast.

BEST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES BET: The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies annual CoastWalk continues. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Anchor Point Beach, come out and help clean up the area that’s home to returning salmon, migrating shorebirds and also just an awesome place to take a sunset stroll. The clean up is limited to 15 people. Sign up by calling 907-235-7767. Can’t make the clean up? Do like the guy the Betster saw on the beach the other day. Take a trash bag with you whenever you’re out and about and pick marine debris.