Homer’s Best Bets

Recently in the newsroom we got talking about an issue once not a problem in Homer: traffic. OK, we might have had some traffic back when all those horse teams tried to round Bluff Point on an incoming tide. We’re talking modern traffic, like this week, and the ordeals we must endure trying to drive from downtown to the Spit.

Let’s suppose you want to take a left turn onto Lake Street heading toward the Bypass. That could take, oh, 3 minutes when normally you might make the turn in 10 seconds. Then there’s the light at the bottom of the hill. Time it wrong and you’re stuck maybe 5 minutes waiting for the left green arrow to change. One of the bald eagles at the nest there could fly out to the Fishing Hole, snag a salmon and get back in that time.

And then, oh dear, another left turn off Ocean Drive to Douglas Street? That can be tricky. The other morning a nice guy from California actually stopped to let the Betster turn left. No one in Homer ever does that. We’re like Boston drivers. Give no quarter, except if you wind up in the ditch, we’ll pull you out.

It’s easy to grump about traffic, but put it in context. The good news is people are visiting Homer. And bad news? How can there be bad news when you’ve come from far away expecting to see an amazing land and find it? Heck, maybe you’ll even stay. So enjoy your time here, however long, with some of these Best Bets:


BEST HEAL AWAY BET: Being a lover of literature, the Betster totally gets how stories can help us deal with tough stuff. Learn how stories can heal with epic storyteller Skywalker Payne’s weekly workshop, “The Healing Power of Story,” at 6 p.m. Thursdays at the SVT Health and Wellness Center.


BEST HURRAH BET: Sure, we’re a bit biased here, since longtime reporter McKibben Jackinsky once graced our fine newspaper. She retired a year ago, and now we know what she’s been up to: she wrote a book, “Too Close to Home: Living with ‘Drill, baby,’ on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.” Meet her for a booksigning from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Bookstore. For more, see story, page 8.


BEST THANKS FOR ALL THE BANDAGES BET: Speaking of healing, South Peninsula Hospital celebrates its big Six-Zero from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the hospital. If you were born there, went to the ER there, visited family there or, whew, only had to visit to donate blood, swing by for music, food, a look at a LifeMed helicopter and other cool stuff. There might even be cake.


BEST NOT DEAD YET BET: Our spruce trees are looking a bit puny with the spruce aphid invasion, but wait — there might be life in the old evergreens yet. Hans Rinke, area forester, shares information on the life cycle and biology of those darn bests and what to do to save your trees. The talk is 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies.