Homer’s Best Bets

The Betster would like to call back last week’s Best Bets in which yours truly said it appeared parts of Alaska had drifted down into Washington and Oregon. That now seems not to be the case. What actually has happened is that Alaska has swapped places with the Pacific Northwest. Not only did we drift south, but many of the Lower 48 states have drifted north.

How else to explain the topsy-turvy temperatures America saw last week? Homer hit a high of 55 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday and again on Monday. Not once did it fall below freezing. It was warmer in Homer than Portland, Ore., Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Ga. Heck, on Sunday it was warmer in Homer than anyplace in the Lower 48 states except for southern California and Florida. The Homer News put up on Facebook a photo of the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union sign reading 45 degrees on Friday, and it got shared 60 times. “Sigh,” one woman from Dallas, Texas, wrote in response to the photo. 

Not that anyone in Homer minded. OK, maybe a few diehard skiers. Everyone else seemed to hit the beach. The Betster took the Betster Canine Companion for a walk at Mariner Park on Saturday, and there were more cars parked there than on Shorebird Festival weekend. A couple of people had bonfires, not that you really needed one. One couple walked their horses. There were so many dogs it looked like the starting line of the Tustumena 200 — which, by the way, got canceled for Saturday. 

If this keeps up, we can start renting out cabins to freezing Georgians. Our congressional delegation might have to come home for a fact-finding trip just to get away from that awful weather in D.C. So much for Seward’s Icebox. Someone go back in time and tell him that it’s really Seward’s Sauna.

Can this last? Probably not. You know Alaska. If you don’t like the weather, wait a few weeks. That polar vortex is bound to flip on us any day now, and it will be situation normal, all frozen up. We could use some snow for Winter Carnival, just a week away.

So get out the tanning butter, put on the shades and roll up your sleeves, because it’s time for some good times, like these Best Bets:


BEST SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH BET: Alice’s Champagne Palace closing? Say it ain’t so. Apparently, that’s the plan. It’s closed before, and got rebuilt after its previous incarnation, the Club Bar, burned down, so don’t give up on the old girl yet, but this may be it. Enjoy a whole weekend of end-of-an-era events starting with the Good Friday Last Supper at 5 p.m. Friday. Bring a dish to share. At 8 p.m. Saturday it’s a Luau Beach Party, followed by the End of the Palace as We Know It at 9 p.m., with music by DJCJ7. For Super Bowl Sunday it will be one big blow out starting at noon until closing. 


BEST A GOOD EGG BET: You know a dance performance will be way cool when a central stage prop is a big egg built — and now rebuilt — by Leo Vait 30 years ago. Jazzline returns at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Mariner Theatre. Once again, director Jocelyn Shiro has put together an evening of dance and dancers of all ages. Tickets are $15 general, with discounts for youth, seniors and Bunnell Street Arts Center members.


BEST DIT-DOT BET: That’s one new thing about ham, or amateur radio: You don’t need to know Morse code to get a license. See what else is changed, and how you can get a ham radio license, at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Homer Public Library conference room. The SPARC, the South Peninsula Amateur Radio Club, is getting back together, with meetings 10 a.m.-noon the first and third Saturdays of each month. Come to the first session to learn more.


BEST O.C. BET: No, that’s not Orange County, but “original creation,” LEGO slang for something built from scratch using LEGO blocks. Build with friends at LEGOs at the Library, 3-5 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Public Library. There will be timed challenges to work in times and create group designs, with lots of free building and some O.C. making as well. For ages 7-12, it’s part of National Take Your Child to the Library Day.


BEST OH NO BET: This warm weather has messed with one traditional event: the Super Bowl Sunday Ski for Women. Because of bad trail conditions, the ski part won’t happen, and it’s now a run or walk. Meet at noon Sunday at the Homer High School track. As always, costumes are encouraged. A donation of $15 is requested to benefit South Peninsula Haven House. The event is sponsored by the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club.