Homer’s Best Bets

As the days get lighter earlier and darker later, the Betster can feel the serotonin rising inside of them, bringing a fresh perspective from the cold darkness of this winter. While the Betster stills finds themselves complaining about the cold weather and snow that never seems to stop falling, the longer days that are approaching are bringing out a better attitude and an excitement for what each day will bring in them.

The sun will rise at 9:12 a.m. today. How wonderful is that?! It doesn’t set until almost 5:30 p.m., meaning it will still be light outside when the Homer News office closes tonight, and the reporters won’t have to walk out into the dark, feeling frustrated because they forgot to start their car earlier.

It truly is the little things, like an extra 15 minutes of sunlight, for Alaskans, isn’t it? With the sun leaving us so early these past few months, the Betster hasn’t wanted to leave the house for anything. Now a walk on the beach or a drive around town sounds like the perfect way to spend the evenings after work. With all of this snow and ice, however, the ice cleats will be necessary if the Betster plans to take on any outdoor adventures.

Hopefully the extra daylight will inspire everyone to get out and enjoy these best bets:

BEST FIRST FRIDAY BET: Want to get out this weekend and appreciate beautiful, locally-created artwork? Check out February’s First Friday art exhibits at Bunnell Street Arts Center, the Dean Gallery and Homer Council on the Arts for uniquely made artwork that features the best Alaska has to offer. Bunnell Street Arts Center will feature Don Decker’s exhibit “Thin Ice” from 5-7 p.m. with an in-person artist talk with guests at 6 p.m. Decker has taught and displayed his artwork in Alaska for 53 years, with more than 40 solo exhibitions at notable venues across the state.

The Dean Gallery will have new work by Jeff, Ranja and M’fanwy. Artwork will include original carvings and prints by M’fanwy, Jeff’s large heat-colored steel engravings and Ranja’s bronzes and giclee prints.

Homer Council on the Arts features a truly unique exhibit, which uses coffee to create beautiful landscape and nature scenes. Julianne Tomich’s “COFFEE MI AMORE!” uses coffee as a medium to paint, sculpt and model. She uses a variety of techniques and manipulations to explore the possibilities of using the drink to create art.

BEST MARINERS SPIRIT BET: This weekend, the Mariners Basketball varsity and c-teams take on Grace Christian and Kenai high schools at home, so head on over to the court and cheer on Homer High!

The boys C-Team kicks off the games Friday at 4 p.m. against Grace Christian, with the varsity girls following at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity boys at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the boys C-Team starts against Kenai at 1:30 p.m., with the varsity girls playing at 3 p.m. and the varsity boys playing at 4:30 p.m.

BEST HOMER BUBBLES BET: Homer Bubbles is hosting a craft day this Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to make DIY refrigerator magnets! The event is fun for all ages and can be done by all ages. Homer Bubbles is offering 30-minute time slots for a prepaid fee of $15 plus tax. Six people can participate in one time slot.

There will be 48 different stencils to pick from and four different magnet surfaces. Homer Bubbles provides the stencils, chalk paste, and tools to apply it all, along with guided instructions. Each participant will leave with two handmade magnets. Stencils stay at Homer Bubbles for everyone to use and will be properly cleaned between uses. For more information, contact Tara at Homer Bubbles to reserve the time that works best for you!

BEST SKI FESTIVAL BET: Join the Chapman Biathlon and Ski team at Fireweed Golf Course in Anchor Point for the Candle Light Ski Festival this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. There will be games, food, skiing, a bonfire and snowshoeing! All proceeds go to the Chapman Biathlon and Ski team.

BEST 100TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION BET: Mr. Toras Fisk, a World War II veteran from Homer, turns 100 on Feb. 15! His family is trying to help make his birthday even more special by getting 100 people to mail him a birthday card to shower him with love and good wishes. Feel free to participate and make this veteran’s 100th birthday the best one yet! All cards can be mailed to Toras Fisk 58775 East End Road Homer, AK 99603.

BEST RAPID RESULT BET: If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and need a rapid result, a free rapid COVID-19 clinic will offer testing today and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Homer Public Health Center on East Bunnell Avenue.

The clinic is hosted by Capstone Clinic, a certified contractor of Alaska DHSS, which will use Cue COVID-19 molecular tests to provide rapid results within 30 minutes to an hour of testing. Results will be available at COVIDsecureapp.com. Participants must register with COVID Secure App before arriving.

No appointments are necessary for the drive-up testing event. Upon arrival, everyone is asked to stay in their vehicle and a test administrator will come to the car. The Homer Public Health Center is located at 195 East Bunnell Ave., across from Two Sisters Bakery.