Homer’s Best Bets

The other night while driving home from the word mines, the Betster stopped by Beluga Lake to gaze at the rising full moon. With a new sheen of ice, the moon shimmered on the lake in one of those only-in-Alaska moments.

While the B. stood there watching the moon, a guy pulled up in a pickup truck with his son, got out, tromped on the ice, and said, “Three inches! We can skate!”

Holy Thermodynamics! Sure enough, Beluga Lake has frozen a few inches. Tuesday afternoon, people skated, and according to the Police Blotter, one concerned citizen even called the police to make sure it was safe. “No open water,” the cops said.

Apparently, when we weren’t looking it turned to winter. Last week the Betster got the tires changed on the Betsermobile with hardly a wait. When the Betster asked the tire guy why the wait was so short, he said, “It’s still warm. No one believes it’s winter yet.”

That was so last Thursday. A week later, we’re pushing below-zero temperatures. This is how winter works in Alaska. As the writer Grace Paley said, “Expect enormous changes at the last minute.” You can plan a few things, though, like these Best Bets:


BEST HAPPY BIRTHDAY BET: It was 45-years ago Friday The Beatles released their first double album, “The Beatles,” more commonly known as “The White Album.” Fourteen musicians — Tyler Munns, Steve Collins, John Bushell, Dylan Smith, Jeff Szarzi, Megan Murphy, Nancy Chambers, Catherine Stingley, Gabriela Husman, Laura Norton, Rick Foster, Jon Sharp, Peter Norton and Dave Aplin — performing as The Mothers Superior play the entire album, all 30 songs. Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Alice’s Champagne Palace. Tickets are $10 at the door.


BEST OH BRAVE NEW WORDS BET: Brave New Alaskan Voices, a youth slam poetry group from Anchorage, holds several workshops and a performance this weekend. The R.E.C. Room, the youth Resource and Enrichment Co-op, sponsors the event. Workshops are from 3-6 p.m. today and 3:30-6 p.m. Friday at the R.E.C. Room, 3967 Nielsen Circle, with a slam poetry performance from 6:30-8 p.m. Saturday at K-Bay Café. Donations are accepted. Youth ages 13-19 are encouraged to participate in either or both workshops. Workshops are free with no registration required. For more information, call the R.E.C. Room at 235-6736.

BEST ALL TOGETHER NOW BET: How can Cook Inlet salmon be fished sustainably for everyone’s future? That’s the topic from 6-8:30 p.m. Friday in a facilitated discussion by the Alaska Salmon Alliance at the Homer Elks Lodge. Discuss issues like low king-salmon runs and a ballot initiative proposal to restrict setnetting in Cook Inlet.