Homer’s Best Bets

If you drove out to the Spit  this week and happened to see a cluster of people huddled against the wind and staring into spotting scopes, no, you didn’t  time travel forward two weeks. We won’t get the big influx of shorebirds until the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival on May 12-15, but the advance wave of shorebirds has arrived.

The Betster admits to being a bird nerd, and even has the sweatshirt to prove it, which is how yours truly wound up doing a bit of peeping at peeps after work on Tuesday. “They’re here!” one bird watcher said with glee.

Every spring the Betster has to reboot whatever neurons have been charged with obscure bird knowledge. Whir, chugga chugga, OK, bird with the black belly, no, the big one. Ka-ching! Black bellied plover. The little bird with the black belly? Dunlin. The reddish brown one that feeds like a sewing machine, its head going up and down? Dowitcher. Whew.  It all comes back.

Yup, it’s a mighty spring here in Homer. When the sun shines at your back, the tide rolls in and the shorebirds feed on the beach at Mud Bay … Oh my. We live in an absolutely amazing place. In a few weeks people will spend thousands of dollars to come here. It’s like living in Paris, except for baquettes you get bagels and for the Eiffel Tower you get Poot Peak. C’est magnifique, indeed.

So embrace the last weekend in April and get ready, perhaps with these Best Bets:


BEST THE KIDS! THE KIDS! BET: It’s the Week of the Young Child, a time to celebrate our youngest community members and the role all of us play in helping them grow up to be smart, resilient and way cool citizens. Check out Week of the Young Child events like the Sprout Block Party at 10 a.m. today in Anchor Point at Chapman School, the Parent Tot Swim at 10 a.m. today at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center and Kid Art at 3 p.m. today at the Homer Bookstore.


BEST IT’S JUST TWO DAYS BET: Celebrate the awesome contributions of KBBI Public Radio 890 AM by throwing a few Harriet Tubmans or maybe a Ben Franklin at ’em for the station’s spring membership drive Friday and Saturday. Call 235-7721, visit kbbi.org or stop in at the station on Kachemak Way.


BEST TEEN SPIRIT BET: Blow those teen stereotypes out the water and honor the good things teenagers do with the kick-off event at 6 p.m. Friday for “I Am a Teenager.” It’s part of an effort to show that if you think you know teens, you don’t know teens. See story, page 12.


BEST ROUND ’EM UP BET: The big bike rodeo is always a fun event for the annual Safe and Healthy Kids Fair from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Homer High School. New for this year the theme of the fair has been expanded to include not just keeping kids safe, but healthy. There were will be some serious discussions about drug use, but also fun stuff like a visit from Smokey the Bear and Safety Seal.


BEST HIT THE TRAILS BET: We love our trails here in Homer. Want to make them better? Learn about current projects and help plan for future routes at the  Second Annual Trail Symposium from 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.