Fireweed is in full bloom on Diamond Ridge.

Fireweed is in full bloom on Diamond Ridge.

Homer’s Best Bets

For the past two weeks as the Republicans and Democrats have selected their presidential candidates, it has been nonstop political commentary. Hey, it’s a good living if you have a thick skin, a tough stomach and get excited by things like how many superdelegates can dance on the head of a pin. The debate has gotten fierce, too. You’re a poopy pants. No, you’re a big doody head. Your momma wears combat boots. Your papa wears spike heels.

The Betster long ago learned not to crack too wise about politics. It’s far safer to joke about the weather and stupid tourists. Even then, well, let’s not go too far on account of most visitors are quite pleasant and charming. Huh. Just like us when we leave Alaska. Also, they spend money. No one has really done anything idiotic lately, at least not anything deadly. Some fishermen forgot to buy derby tickets and hauled in some really big fish. That’s embarrassing, but not dangerous.

It’s a good thing we have this marvelous state to keep our minds off national politics. The Betster understands how we’re supposed to get worked up over stuff like presidential candidate hairdos and the latest shocking emails. Picking the leader of the United States is a serious thing. But hey, we have three more months to get in a tizzy. Why rush? You’ll have plenty of time to get in Facebook feuds, Twitter tantrums and Instagram outrage.

All the Betster can think of is the time yours truly spent seven weeks one summer in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge without radio, TV, the internet, and regular mail. It didn’t matter and yours truly could pay attention to important stuff like not getting mauled by grizzly bears or freezing in an early-August snowfall.

Focus. We have this glorious summer to enjoy still, with weeks to come of pretty decent weather. Buck up and forget national politics, if only until the next scandal, with some of these Best Bets:


BEST OWN REWARD BET: In Norway on the May 14 national holiday, they have a tradition: kids can eat as much ice cream as they want. If you’ve been a good reader all summer for the Homer Public Library’s summer reading program, at 1 p.m. Saturday at Homer High School you get your reward. Yup, ice cream. Of course, we serious readers know the love of books is reward enough, but it’s nice to get a bonus. Enjoy games and fun, too.


BEST THE REAL DIRT BET: Hurrah! It looks like a little sun, but rain or shine, it’s the big 10th Anniversary Gardeners Weekend. On Satudday, gardening expert and triathalon athlete Tracy DiSabato-Aust gives two talks. At 4 p.m. at the Kachemak Bay Campuse she presents “The Well-Designed Mixed Garden” and at 5:45 p.m. “The Art of Pruning Perennials – Revisited.” Tickets are $10 for both talks.

Then on Sunday, it’s the big tour of local gardens. The tours run 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. with a reception and music at Bear Creek Winery. Bonus: an ensemble with the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra kicks off KPO’s Summer Music Festival at the reception. Tickets are $15 a person and free to those age 80 and older. All tickets are on sale at the Homer Bookstore or at the City Hall parking lot from 10 a.m.-noon Sunday.


BEST AND BEST IT’S FREE BET: Speaking of KPO, way-talented musicians will be out and about on the Kenai Peninsula presenting free noontime-tunes concerts. Catch concerts Monday at Sourdough Express, Tuesday at K-Bay Caffe and Wednesday at Two Sisters Bakery. See story, page 11, for full schedule.


BEST GET CLEAN BET: If you’re struggling with opiod addiction, hey, the good folks at The Exchange have your back. From 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the South Peninsula Hospital Training Center, 203. W. Pioneer Ave., you can safely dispose of used syringes and needles and get safer injection kits, free HIV and hepatitis C testing and treatment and information.

It’s confidential and anonymous. You also can get Narcan kits, the life-saving drug to prevent overdoses that has already saved lives in Homer.


BEST GET HELP BET: And, if you have family struggling with opiod addiction, The Freedom Group offers support for family members and friends of those addicted to narcotics. It meets at noon every Wednesday at the HomerUnited Methodist Church.


BEST SO LONG BET: This actually is a nonevent, but the Betster wanted to let people know it got cancelled. A farewell party was planned Friday at the Pratt Museum for Diane Converse, who’s stepping down as museum director. Alas, she had to cancel and won’t be able to show up. Watch the calendar for a rescheduling of the event.

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