Homer’s Best Bets

The Iniskin quake so shook up the Betster last week that yours truly totally forgot about one of the most important Alaska holidays ever — Marmot Day, of course. Thanks to the bold vision of former Gov. Sarah Palin, Alaska declared Feb. 2 as Marmot Day in celebration of our own big furry rodent, known in Inupiaq as “siksrikpuk.”

The same climate divination rules apply for Marmot Day as Groundhog Day. If a marmot saw its shadow on Feb. 2, we’re in for six more weeks of winter. The Betster does not know if any Alaska zoos performed formal Marmot Day ceremonies. Yours truly celebrated Marmot Day with a walk on a beach. The Betster’s canine companion saw her shadow, but only briefly when a sucker hole opened up over Kachemak Bay.

Only, hello! This is Alaska. Even with global weirding, where we get hardly any snow and it’s become ever more common to see temperatures above 40 degrees in January, does anyone here think winter will not last past March 8? Sure, crocuses might burst forth in south-facing flower beds, but spring as in no temperatures below freezing and short-sleeve weather? Dream on, Betsteroids.

Nope, we’re stuck with winter, even in its mild form, so you might as well hang in there. The good news with Marmot Day is this: We’re halfway to the equinox. So get out the sunscreen and put on some shades, because the future looks bright. Celebrate with some cool things to do, like these Best Bets:


BEST SNIP SNIP BET: It won’t be hard to spot Desiree Hagen at the opening of her art installation, “Seven Years.” She’s the ones with calluses on her hands from cutting paper the past month. Hagen has been working with community artists to create her big cut-paper art show. The opening is 5 p.m. Friday at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Don’t miss other First Friday openings with Work = Art at the Homer Council on the Arts, photographer Joe Kashi’s show at Kachemak Bay Campus, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy theme show at Ptarmigan Arts. Photographer Joshua Veldstra also shows his work at 7 p.m. at Alice’s Champagne Palace.


BEST TALKING ’BOUT BET: That would be “My Degeneration: A Journey Through Parkinson’s,” Peter Dunlap-Shohl’s new graphic memoir about his adventure with Parkinson’s Disease. A former Anchorage Daily News cartoonist, Dunlap-Shohl speaks about his book at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Public Library. Books will be on sale for him to sign. He also talks with the Homer Parkinson’s Support Group at 1 p.m. Friday at the Homer Senior Center.


BEST ROLL ’EM BET: Here’s a special treat — a rare showing of the indy film “A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness,” showing at 8 p.m. Friday at Bunnell. The Betster isn’t quite sure if this is weird post-modern Dadaist cinema or what, so check it out for yourself.


BEST PB & J BET: Bring your own sack lunch and meet two of your local council members, David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds, from noon-1 p.m. Monday at the Homer Public Library. It’s part of the library’s new Lunch with a Council member program, held monthly. Share ideas, ask questions and get to know your city representatives.