A Steller's jay fledgling sits on a deck railing on Diamond Ridge.

A Steller's jay fledgling sits on a deck railing on Diamond Ridge.

Homer’s Best Bets

Why is it that just when you get into the groove of summer it starts to end? The signs are plenty. Look at the month at the top of the page. That’s right: A-u-g-u-s-t. The Kachemak Bay Campus course catalog arrived recently in the mail, too, with reminders of cool stuff to learn. Kids, we won’t even discuss an event looming like a shark. Whatever you do, don’t look at page 6.

So why does winter hang in so long? Don’t give the Betster a logical explanation having to do with axial tilts and northern latitudes. That would be too logical and sciencey. The reason winter lasts so long and summer so short is to test Alaskans. If we had pleasant summers that went on forever, would we live here? Would here even be Alaska? No, it would be someplace like New Zealand.

We have short bursts of perfect weather to reward Alaskans for enduring winter, but the weather cannot be too long because then everyone would want to move here. See? There’s a method to this weather madness. Besides, some people just love winter and cannot wait for it to come, and could it be with a lot of snow this year, too?

So seize the day, even if it’s just for a passing moment. Summer hasn’t ended, not just yet, and there’s lots to do, like these Best Bets:


BEST SALMON CHANTING EVENING: If you hear the salmon singing to you, head up the road to Ninilchik for the annual Salmonfest, three days of awesome music and fun. The gate opens at 11 a.m. Friday and goes until about 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Kenai Peninsula Fair Grounds. Tickets are on sale at Salmonfest.org or the gate.


BEST ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE BET: If you’ve been getting a lot of mailers and phone calls lately, yep, it’s campaign season. Read our election coverage starting on page 1 for the big Republican Party District 31 race and then see the candidates yourselves at debates this week. The Friends of the Homer Public Library holds a debate at 6 p.m. Friday at the Homer Public Library. Next week, the Homer Chamber of Commerce holds a debate at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Homer Elks Lodge.


BEST READ ON MACDUFF BET: Not everyone can attend the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, but that’s OK. Pier One Theatre brings some of the fun to Homer with readings of conference plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Tickets are $12 general admission with discounts, on sale at the Homer Bookstore or at the door.


BEST ARTGAGEOUS BET: Here’s another sign of summer ending: First Friday art openings at some galleries end after this month. Make sure you catch them all from 5-7 p.m. in Old Town and along Pioneer Avenue and Bartlett Street. See the full list on page 10.


BEST NOON SWOON BET: We’re not sure if this will be romantic music, but you never know with the NoonTime Tunes running this week. Part of the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra Summer Music Festival, musicians entertain every day at noon today-Friday and Monday-Wednesday. See the Calendar, page 7, for details.

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