Homer’s Best Bets

Today, history will be made. Today, a northern region rich with oil and populated by cantankerous individuals votes on its independence. Aye or nay? Freedom or union?

No, no, that’s not the Alaska Independence Party’s dream come true, but the Scottish independence referendum, when Scots decide if they want to end their 307-year-old union with England or continue to be British. The polls look close, with “yes” ahead by a few points but within the margin of error.

Holy Braveheart! And you thought Alaska politics could get feisty. Money has been pouring in on either side, with the “yes” campaign funded by Scottish lottery money and the “no” campaign getting a boost from J.K. Rowling.

Years ago the Betster went to Scotland. Like a lot of foreigners, the Scots were a bit confused about Alaska’s political status. Once a nice Scot named Ted asked where the Betster was from, and yours truly proudly said, “Alaska,” of course.

“Oh, is that in America or Canada?” Ted asked, to which the Betster replied, “America. But you know your relationship with the United Kingdom? That’s kind of how Alaskans feel.” Ted then smiled, clapped me on the shoulder and said, “Oh, aye!” and we became fast friends.

We’ll see what happens today. Meanwhile, here in Homer, life goes on. It might be a bit soggy, but if people can dance to drums in the rain at the Burning Basket, no weather can stop us. Get out and enjoy this great fall with these Best Bets:


BEST DANG IT ALL BET: Dams fueled the American Industrial Revolution and later the Northwest aerospace boom, but also messed up salmon streams. What’s the history of dams in the Lower 48? Check out DamNation at 7 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre. Sponsored by Cook Inletkeeper and the Susitna River Coalition, the film is free but donations are accepted.


BEST SHAKIN’ BET: Fifty years ago the Great Alaska Quake transformed our state. To commemorate the event, the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive has put together a traveling exhibit, “Communities, Disaster and Change.” It opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Pratt Museum. The show features work from 28 Alaska artists, including locals Ron Senungetuk and Marjorie Scholl.


BEST BURP BET: We have so many awesome restaurants in town it’s hard to hit them all in a busy summer. Here’s your chance to sample most of them with the annual Taste of Homer from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Wasabi’s on East End Road. Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door. Avoid the muddy drive through road construction by catching a Homer Tours bus starting at 4 p.m. at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center parking lot. You’ll still have to wait, but at least you can hang with friends.