Homer High School Nordic ski team members gather together at the finish line at a recent meet. Kenai Peninsula schools compete in the Homer Invitational Ski Meet starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Ohlson Mountain Lookout Ski Trails. Recent rainy weather didn’t ruin the trails in the Homer hills.-photo by Alan Parks

Homer High School Nordic ski team members gather together at the finish line at a recent meet. Kenai Peninsula schools compete in the Homer Invitational Ski Meet starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Ohlson Mountain Lookout Ski Trails. Recent rainy weather didn’t ruin the trails in the Homer hills.-photo by Alan Parks

Homer’s Best Bets

Seven days into the new year, and already it’s shaping up to be a doozy. To recap the news so far:

• A big, sloppy winter storm roared in, causing ice jams on the Anchor River, knocking over street lamps on the Spit and blowing off roofs. 

• In a desolate corner of Oregon, a bunch of guys with guns took over buildings at a wildlife refuge known for its amazing bird watching. In response, the feds cut off electric power to the area. The Guardian newspaper reported the occupiers had about two weeks of provisions, including one granola bar.

• North Korea claimed to have detonated a hydrogen bomb.

This year, by the way, is the Chinese year of the monkey, starting on Feb. 8. In the 60-year Chinese zodiac cycle, it’s the year of the fire monkey. That would explain North Korea.

People born in fire monkey years are said to be ambitious and adventurous, but irritable. Apparently Alaska is a good place to be in the year of the monkey, since lucky colors are white, blue and gold, and lucky directions are west, northwest and north.

Now that we’ve gotten all that exciting stuff out of the way, perhaps January can settle down to being its normal, boring self. A lot doesn’t happen this month. Many stores and galleries shut down for remodeling and cleaning. The Pratt Museum is closed. It takes a while for students and teachers to get back in the groove after the winter break.

Maybe it’s not a bad idea to start the new year on the lunar calendar and in February. Given this year’s start, can we reboot? The tried-and-trued plan might be to just hang on tight. There’s lots of fun stuff to do, like these Best Bets:

 

BEST HOT JETS BET: It’s Jupiter January at the Makerspace, the cool hangout on Bunnell Avenue. Kids in grades 4-8 can attend for free from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday. This month they’ll be designing rockets and printing them on 3D printers. Makers of all ages — including adults — can learn from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, but call Daniel Zatz at 299-1885 to register.

 

BEST NATURAL ART BET: With First Friday also New Year’s Day, Homer skipped the usual gallery openings. The Homer Council on the Arts holds a Second Friday opening from 5-7 p.m. Friday, another reception for Gundega Snepste’s amazing Latvian art. She strings together straw and other fibers into amazing sculptures. There will be a silent auction of her art as well.

 

BEST ALREADY 90 BET: Longtime Homer resident and retired nurse Gail Sorensen was the first woman member of the Homer Volunteer Fire Department. When she retired, she took up the drums for Homer’s community band. Like a lot of longtime Homer residents, she’s lived an amazing life. Help her celebrate her 90th birthday with a potluck bash at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Homer Elks Lodge.

 

BEST OUT OF THE RAIN BET: It can get damp waiting for a water taxi at the Homer Harbor, which is why the Boat House Committee wants to build a pavilion at the site of the old harbormaster’s office. Hear about the plans and share ideas in a meeting from 5-7 p.m. next Wednesday at Land’s End Resort.

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