Homer’s Best Bets

See that photo of Kachemak Bay above? Notice how compared to last month around the winter solstice the sun appears much higher over the Kenai Mountains?

Yahoo, Betster persons. We’re gaining daylight. In just a few weeks it will be Marmot Day, Feb. 2, halfway to the equinox. Heck yeah we still have snow and we still might have to wear our big puffy coat to brave the elements. The weather forecast this weekend calls for r-a-i-n, which might muck up our trails. On the other hand, that also means it’s getting warmer.

Maybe all that ice in the harbor will go away. Maybe the ice on the beaches will melt so we at least have someplace we can walk without wearing crampons.

It’s a delicate balance in mid-winter. On the one hand, we want to keep playing in the snow. On the other hand, we don’t want to run our Subarus for 15 minutes just to defrost the windshield and be able to drive without our hands freezing to the steering wheel. On the third hand (if you’re an extraterrestrial), it would be nice if we could see the sun.

Let’s hope we don’t have any more tsunami advisories or volcanic shockwaves to wake us out of bed. Take a moment to think of our Pacific Rim neighbors in Tonga, too. Get out and have fun with these best bets:

BEST MARINERS SPIRIT BET: Show off your Mariners spirit by supporting the Homer High hockey team this weekend! The Mariners hockey team competes at home Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. against Palmer and Houston high schools. So don your blue and yellow winter gear and go cheer on the high school teams! The Homer Cross Country Ski Invite at Look Out trail has been postponed due to inclement weather.

BEST SPARC GLOW PARTY BET: Want your kids to have a fun way to celebrate the early release day on Friday? The SPARC is hosting a glow party from 1:30 – 5 p.m. with games, face painting, music and more! Admission is $5 and goes to support the eighth graders participating in the AK2DC trip. Baked treats and glowing things will be available for purchase during the event. Masks are required at SPARC.

BEST HOMELESS RESOURCES BET: Project Homeless Connect Homer is hosting a free supplies and resources event for people who are homeless or who are at risk of being homeless from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26 , at the Homer United Methodist Church and the Anchor Point Food Pantry. People will be able to pick up supplies such as backpacks, food boxes, snack bags, personal hygiene kits, comfort care packs, feminine hygiene products, diapers and baby wipes, condoms, pet food, sleeping bags, blankets, tents, utensils, overdose response kits, medication disposal bags, winter gear, laundry vouchers and home COVID-19 tests, among other things. A chance to connect with housing agencies, food resources, employment opportunities and health care information will be available during the event. COVID-19 and flu vaccinations will also be offered. For more information, visit the Project Homeless Connect Homer Facebook page.

BEST CLIMATE CHANGE BET: Homer Drawdown is hosting climate change solution meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday to discuss solutions to combatting climate change, such as community composting, affordable heating pumps, non-motorized transportation and more. To register for the meeting, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0sdu-uqz8sG9QEfi0wBkP6N9rcpyOmPkaM?fbclid=IwAR37WzvRzTN2_U8rr0vVdut93ucDA9sM2WYb-rXsG5etGmRyeJvnSPXcCXU. Homer Drawdown is a collaboration which assess, votes on, and implements climate solutions. All Homer area community members are invited to participate.

BEST PANDEMIC ART BET: If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Homer Council on the Arts to see Dr. Sami Ali’s “The Mind of A Healthcare Worker During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” you have until Jan. 31 to see it before it moves to South Peninsula Hospital. The exhibit features Ali’s experience as an emergency room physician and an artist, moving through the stages of the pandemic over the last two years.

BEST SPEAK UP BET: The Alaska Legislature has convened, and as sure as the shorebirds return in May, you can bet they’ll still be debating away come Mother’s Day. Have something you want to let Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, and Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, know? Do you have a brilliant solution to Alaska’s fiscal crisis that doesn’t depend on $150 /barrel oil? The Homer Legislative Information Office is now open for the second session of the 32nd State Legislature which started Jan. 18. They’re here to help keep you informed. Stop by at 270 W. Pioneer Ave. Their doors are open with masks required and provided. The LIO also is a distribution site for Alaska Permanent Fund dividend forms which can be picked up from a document holder located outside at the entrance or inside the office.

To learn more about how you can participate in the legislative process or to obtain more information on issues of interest facing the Alaska State Legislature, call them at 235-7878 or email us at lio.homer@akleg.gov.