Kite surfers, stand-up paddleboarders and body surfers play in the waves off the Spit last month.-photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Kite surfers, stand-up paddleboarders and body surfers play in the waves off the Spit last month.-photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Homer’s Best Bets

Now that Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has ordered Mt. McKinley be renamed Denali, will other prominent Alaska geographic features be next? The renaming of a mountain with a dead guy’s moniker on it to an indigenous name does raise the question of other appellations.

Ahem, like Homer.

As every school kid knows, the town of Homer gots its name in 1896 when Homer Pennock and the Alaska Gold Mining Company landed on the Homer Spit and had to come up with something to call their settlement. They chose “Homer.” Mr. Pennock, by all accounts a shyster and a con man, later lit out for the Yukon, but at least he visited here.

No one asked the Dena’ina people what Homer should be called. They have two perfectly good names, Tuggeght, for the bench, meaning “at the water,” and Uzintun, for the Spit, meaning  “extends out into water.” 

Well, the Betster admits to being fond of Homer as a name, and would like to think of the original Homer, the poet. You could do worse than name a town after a poet. There’s a certain poetry to the name, too. At its heart, Homer is always home. We hope so, anyway, because it’s a dang fine place to be, with lots to do like these Best Bets:

 

BEST NOT OVER UNTIL THE PAINT DRIES BET: Whew. Even with school started, Homer gets one last big blowout First Friday, including another Paint In at the Homer Elks Lodge. This time, three artists paint on the back porch. For all the openings, see Arts, page 7.

 

BEST POUND THOSE NAILS BET: If you’re looking for the Kachemak Bay Wooden Boat Festival, just listen for kids pounding nails under the big tent by Pier One Theatre. See boats, meet boatbuilders and enjoy a maritime tradition. The festival starts with Sea Chanteys and Tall Tales at 7 p.m. today at the Salty Dawg, and continues with High Seas Movie Night from 6-9 p.m. Friday at the Alaska Islands and Ocean and Visitor Center, the boat show from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on the Spit, and the dinner and dance at 6 p.m. Saturday at Alice’s Champagne Palace.

 

BEST GET KICKIN’ BET: Thirty years? Has it been that long? If you’re like the Betster, you’ve put in some miles over the years monitoring local beaches for the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies’ CoastWalk. The kick-off starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Homer Harbomaster’s Office on the Spit. Don’t miss the rubber boot art show from 5-7 p.m. Friday at CACS headquarters on Smokey Bay Way.

More in Community

Town Crier

Sandhill cranes will be migrating through any day now. Our local cranes… Continue reading

Anni and Aggi. (Photo courtesy of Homer Animal Shelter)
Pets of the week: Anni and Aggi

What a sweet bonded pair these gals are. It’s hard to believe… Continue reading

David Andress
Duane (Gus) Floyd AndressMay 16, 1943-March 31, 2021

Duane (Gus) Floyd Andress May 16, 1943-March 31, 2021 Longtime Alaskan and… Continue reading

The Homer Police Station as seen Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Cops and Courts

Information about fire, police and troopers is taken from public records consisting… Continue reading

Gathering ingredients for Thai-inspired curry, an easy one-pan, weeknight meal, on April, 13, 2021, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kalifornsky Kitchen: The building blocks of Thai

Curry can be anything you want it to be

Roasting eggplant slices for a versatile meal, photographed on March 10, 2021, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kalifornsky Kitchen: Eggplant for every occasion

Eggplants are surprisingly versatile.

A trumpeter swan feeds in Beluga Slough on Monday, April 12, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. According to local birders, both tundra and trumpeter swans have been seen in the area the past week. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Best Bets

Congratulations, citizen! You have diligently fulfilled your duties as a tax-paying, law-abiding… Continue reading

The Jubilee youth art show opened on Friday, April 2, 2021, at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Arts in brief

April is ‘youth in the arts’ month at HCOA The creativity of… Continue reading

Koby Etzwiler is a two-time Ptarmigan Arts scholarship recipient. His stickers can be found locally, in Juneau and online. (Photo courtesy of Ptarmigan Arts)
Ptarmigan Arts allery, community boost young artists’ dreams

For almost 25 years, Ptarmigan Arts Scholarship has been helping artists’ careers

Most Read