Homer’s Best Bets

Just when you think the world might be getting back to normal, shazam, things have to go all topsy turvy on us. Not that the Betster has found a thorough definition of “normal,” and certainly not in Alaska. Your actual mileage may differ. How’s this: Normal in Alaska means that at least for one week things more or less remain the same.

So, when our winter turned weird and we had 45-degree days in January and no snow, we accepted that. When our spring became the winter we never had, we went with that, too. Now the very earth beneath our feet has moved, or would have if you had been standing on Kachemak Drive on Sunday about 8 a.m., and yeah, I suppose we’ll have to go with the flow on that.

This time, we can’t blame the usual suspect, a classic Alaska earthquake. Southcentral Alaska had a few rollers on Sunday, but not in the morning. Nope: the experts think the roadbed there got supersaturated with water, probably from a sneaky underground spring. Call it collapse by a billion drops. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. Eventually all that water adds up to thousands of pounds of pressure, pushing soil toward Kachemak Bay. You know how gravity works. Stuff flows downhill.

Fortunately, no one got hurt in that Kachemak Drive slide. If it had happened six hours earlier, there might have been a few people heading home from the bars. If it had happened on Saturday afternoon, mariners heading to the boat yards, people taking an air taxi and fitness buffs going to the Bay Club might have had a little surprise. If a road is going to collapse in Homer, early Sunday morning is a pretty good time. Whew.

April blizzards. Mudslides. Storm waves crashing on the Spit. What’s next? A meteorite crashing into the bay? A lost tribe of wooly mammoths appearing in the Caribou Hills? The Alaska Legislature passing a balanced budget by Friday? Things could get really weird, but that’s just how we roll here on the lower Kenai Peninsula, where there’s always something fun to do, like these Best Bets:


BEST GET YOUR ART ON BET: Here’s another chance to visit a Homer business, meet other people in the business community and even get some tasty treats. Homer Art and Frame is this month’s venue for the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center’s Business After Hours event. The bash starts at 5 p.m. today. Hopped Up Espresso provides refreshments.


BEST AND MORE ART BET: If you want to find out why Homer has so many talented artists, look no further than Kachemak Bay Campus, where the yearly art classes challenge artists of all ages to create. See what they’ve done in a reception of student work from 5-6:30 p.m. Friday in Pioneer Hall.


BEST FIND YOUR PLACE BET: Dr. Tony Burgess is yet another one of those genius retired professors who has come to live in Homer. Among other things, he helped design Biosphere II, the big artificial, self-contained environment that tried to duplicate a living ecosystem. Burgess speaks at 6 p.m. today at the Pratt Museum on “Creating a Sense of Place.”


BEST LINE BY LINE BET: Speaking of creativity, how come Homer has so many fine poets, too? Celebrate another great writer when Linda Martin reads from her first collection, “I follow in the dust she raises,” at 7 p.m. Friday at the Homer Public Library. Her books will be on sale, too, and she’ll be happy to sign a copy. Other Homer poets read, too.