Homer’s Best Bets

Once again it’s time for the annual Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report that ranks the 200 largest cities in terms of car-collision frequency. The rankings also factor in things like precipitation. The rankings don’t include the southern Kenai Peninsula area, but it does include Anchorage. Since many of us find ourselves driving in Anchor Town, we might want to know what to expect.

Holy fender bender! Guess how Anchorage ranked? Number 131. Anchorage also ranked 193rd for precipitation, which means there are seven major cities in America that get more rain and snow. People who have ever driven in Bean Town won’t be surprised to see it ranked 199th. Yes, the Betster is shocked, too, that there are worse drivers in the world than Bostonians. That honor goes to Worchester, Mass. 

Anchorage’s ranking means that if you drive there, you have a chance of getting in a car crash every 8.5 years. The report doesn’t say if that’s a little slushy-snow bumper-bounce or a full-on rollover. Let’s hope most of those crashes won’t hurt people, but it’s a good reminder to buckle up and quit texting. 

Eventually we’ll have snow and ice — but not yet. It will get dark. People new to the north will be trying out their winter driving skills. So take it easy, drive safe and absolutely do not drive drunk. It’s the Labor Day weekend, the last stretch of summer, with lots of fun stuff to do, like these Best Bets:


BEST BAD TIDE BET: Sometimes algae can go bad and bloom out of control. What causes that to happen? Learn more in a brown bag lunch talk at noon today at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center when scientist Steve Kibler present “Harmful Algal Blooms: Better Tools for Detection and Quantification.”


BEST CLOSING SOON BET: If you haven’t seen the “Dena’inaq Huch’ulyeshu: The Dena’ina Way of Living” exhibit at the Pratt Museum, don’t wait. The show ends Monday. On Friday, attend closing ceremonies starting at 6 p.m. when anthropologist Karen Evanoff presents “What We Live on From the Outdoors” and followed at 7 p.m. by a party with band Yada Di.

Evanoff also presents a noon talk, “Traditional Knowledge Projects at Lake Clark” on Friday at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.


BEST NO RUST HERE BET: The iron men and women in the 14th annual Homer Iron Man Triathlon won’t be move slow enough to rust, that’s for sure. Cheer them on or participate starting at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center. See story, page 19.


BEST BORN FREE BET: Periodically the Alaska SeaLife Center comes to Homer to release one of its rehabilitated seals. It’s always a fun and cheery event to see a seal that got in a bad way healthy enough to return to the ocean. Watch a seal release at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bishop’s Beach. Leave dogs at home, please.