Peonies used at Alaska Perfect Peony Farm to create bouquets for the tour group on July 9. Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News
The second annual Homer Peony Celebration continues through July 24 with peony farm tours, art workshops, parties and peony bouquet sales! The Rotary Club of Homer-Kachemak Bay and Alaska Beauty Peony Co-op are also extending the peony bouquet sale at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center for an additional weekend, including July 29-31. The bouquets are $20 and can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 22-24 and 29-31. For more information or to view the full schedule events, visit www.homeralaska.org/homer-peony-celebration/.

Best Bets

Admit it, Betster persons. You’re kinda glad it rained this week. We Alaskans just can’t take hot temperatures. Last week left many of us gasping… Continue reading

 

The Yale University Whiffenpoofs perform in a concert Thursday, July 8, 2021, at the Boathouse Pavillion in Homer, Alaska. The group also did a workshop Thursday at the Homer Council on the Arts. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Up at Chez Betster in the hinterlands of Homer, it’s been cold dark 30 the best week — so chilly that the heater kicks in… Continue reading

 

The Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center hosted a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Homer Spit Visitor Information Center July 1. The office, located near Ramp 4 on the Homer Spit, will be open Thursdays through Sundays, July 1-Sept. 5 to offer information about Homer to visitors. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)

Homer’s Best Bets

The weather may be scattered with some rain this weekend, but the sun should come out on Sunday, bringing fun outings and exploration for all.… Continue reading

 

People line up at food trucks and trailers on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena parking lot on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. Part of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center's Food Fest last week, the two-day food truck event drew a steady crowd. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Homer’s Best Bets

The Solstice might be over, but we still have 18 hours and 42 minutes of daylight, which ought to be enough to get out and… Continue reading

People line up at food trucks and trailers on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena parking lot on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. Part of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center's Food Fest last week, the two-day food truck event drew a steady crowd. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Children help create art with the projectile painting booth on Saturday, June 5, 2021, for Mary Epperson Day at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News0

Best Bets

Holy ultraviolet, has this been an awesome June or what? Any time you can get at least one weekend day of solid sunshine is a… Continue reading

Children help create art with the projectile painting booth on Saturday, June 5, 2021, for Mary Epperson Day at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News0
Poot Peak looms over visitors to the Homer Spit on Saturday, May 29, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Now we’re talking summer, Betster persons. There’s so much to do that yours truly will shut up and cut to the chase with these Best… Continue reading

Poot Peak looms over visitors to the Homer Spit on Saturday, May 29, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
The Homer Spit and the Kenai Mountains catch the afternoon sunshine of Monday, May 17, 2021, as seen from West Hill in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bet

The awesome weather we’ve been having this past week has done wonders to ease a lot of the anxiety and stress of the past winter.… Continue reading

The Homer Spit and the Kenai Mountains catch the afternoon sunshine of Monday, May 17, 2021, as seen from West Hill in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
An atmoshpheric phenomena called STEVE — for "Sudden Thermal Emission from Velocity Enhancement" — is seen in the southern sky early on Saturday, April 17, 2021, from Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. The STEVE appeared the same night as a strong display of auroras to the north. Don Hampton, a research associate and faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, said STEVEs are not auroras, but a stream of charged particles or sub-aurora polarization streams.
"It's actually primarily a different phenomena or mechanism that is creating light," Hampton said of STEVEs.
A STEVE is more of a broadband emission than an aurora and can be distinguished by its color of light. Auroras tend to be green or vivid red, while a STEVE appears white to the human eye and may have tinges of red. Hampton said scientists knew about streams of charged particles that are not auroras, but hadn't thought to look if there's an optical phenomena associated with.
Aurora chasers in Canada first noticed the optical phenomena in 2014, and it was named by Chris Ratzlaff as a joke reference to the film "Over the Hedge," where the animals called the hedge "Steve." NASA scientist Elizabeth Macdonald came up with the description.
"It's pretty cool," Hampton said. "The whole history of the STEVE is that it's a citizen scientist discovery."
(Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

In the long haul toward spring, even though winter might be hanging on with all its might, light and warmth persevere. It’s a matter of… Continue reading

An atmoshpheric phenomena called STEVE — for "Sudden Thermal Emission from Velocity Enhancement" — is seen in the southern sky early on Saturday, April 17, 2021, from Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. The STEVE appeared the same night as a strong display of auroras to the north. Don Hampton, a research associate and faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, said STEVEs are not auroras, but a stream of charged particles or sub-aurora polarization streams.
"It's actually primarily a different phenomena or mechanism that is creating light," Hampton said of STEVEs.
A STEVE is more of a broadband emission than an aurora and can be distinguished by its color of light. Auroras tend to be green or vivid red, while a STEVE appears white to the human eye and may have tinges of red. Hampton said scientists knew about streams of charged particles that are not auroras, but hadn't thought to look if there's an optical phenomena associated with.
Aurora chasers in Canada first noticed the optical phenomena in 2014, and it was named by Chris Ratzlaff as a joke reference to the film "Over the Hedge," where the animals called the hedge "Steve." NASA scientist Elizabeth Macdonald came up with the description.
"It's pretty cool," Hampton said. "The whole history of the STEVE is that it's a citizen scientist discovery."
(Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
A trumpeter swan feeds in Beluga Slough on Monday, April 12, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. According to local birders, both tundra and trumpeter swans have been seen in the area the past week. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Congratulations, citizen! You have diligently fulfilled your duties as a tax-paying, law-abiding resident of the United States of America and Alaska. Today you no doubt… Continue reading

A trumpeter swan feeds in Beluga Slough on Monday, April 12, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. According to local birders, both tundra and trumpeter swans have been seen in the area the past week. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Crews work on a boat on Monday, April 5, 2021, at the large-vessel haul out beach on the Homer Spit near the Pier 1 Theatre in Homer, Alaska. In the off season boats are hauled onshore for repair at the beach near the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

As part of the Betster’s annual expedition to document signs of spring, yours truly went on a photo safari to tag the usual seasonal markers.… Continue reading

Crews work on a boat on Monday, April 5, 2021, at the large-vessel haul out beach on the Homer Spit near the Pier 1 Theatre in Homer, Alaska. In the off season boats are hauled onshore for repair at the beach near the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Workers with Psenak Construction return with an empty load after dumping armor rock at the Ocean Drive seawall on Monday, March 22, 2021, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Everyone loves a good joke, especially today, when pranks are taken to an art form. Perhaps because we live in a state of perpetual adversity,… Continue reading

Workers with Psenak Construction return with an empty load after dumping armor rock at the Ocean Drive seawall on Monday, March 22, 2021, at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
A cow moose and calf stand by spruce trees on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, near the Homer News in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Last week the Betster got so busy yammering away about Salty Dawg hoodies that yours truly totally forgot about the biggest news of the week.… Continue reading

A cow moose and calf stand by spruce trees on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, near the Homer News in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
A bald eagle perches in a spruce tree near the Lake Street stoplight on Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. Since 2010, a pair of bald eagles has nested in the area near Beluga Slough south of the Lake Street and Sterling Highway intersection. The first nest was destroyed when the tree fell down in a winter storm in 2011. In 2012 the eagles built a new nest across from the Homer Post Office by the motorhome dump station. In 2014 they built another nest in a new tree closer to the slough. This year’s eagles have returned to a nest built in 2016 just east of the 2014-2015 nest.

Best Bets

Social media is all aflutter with the news that an Alaska man the FBI arrested on charges that he participated in the Jan. 6 U.S.… Continue reading

A bald eagle perches in a spruce tree near the Lake Street stoplight on Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. Since 2010, a pair of bald eagles has nested in the area near Beluga Slough south of the Lake Street and Sterling Highway intersection. The first nest was destroyed when the tree fell down in a winter storm in 2011. In 2012 the eagles built a new nest across from the Homer Post Office by the motorhome dump station. In 2014 they built another nest in a new tree closer to the slough. This year’s eagles have returned to a nest built in 2016 just east of the 2014-2015 nest.
Snow covers the historic Harrington cabin and outhouse on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, at the Pratt Museum in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

For the past few months the Betster has been working at home at the Fortress of Solitude in an undisclosed location. Like many of you… Continue reading

Snow covers the historic Harrington cabin and outhouse on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, at the Pratt Museum in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Waves during an extreme high tide and big seas pound the Homer Spit on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 28, 2021, on the Homer Spit, as seen through photographer Malia Anderson's windshield. (Photo by Malia Anderson / Homer News)

Best Bets

All those social media photos of arms being poked as Alaskans get vaccinated are getting a little cliche — and that’s a good thing. Yeah,… Continue reading

Waves during an extreme high tide and big seas pound the Homer Spit on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 28, 2021, on the Homer Spit, as seen through photographer Malia Anderson's windshield. (Photo by Malia Anderson / Homer News)
The Alaska and U.S. flags fly at half staff on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Vistor Center. President Joe Biden on Monday ordered flags to be flown at half staff at federal facilities for five days to honor the 500,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

It’s hard to believe we’re already two months into 2021, but here we are. After Sunday, February will be all over except for the snow… Continue reading

The Alaska and U.S. flags fly at half staff on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Vistor Center. President Joe Biden on Monday ordered flags to be flown at half staff at federal facilities for five days to honor the 500,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
A sea gull grabs a sea star on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Last Thursday the Betster rediscovered why we live in Homer. After a busy day in town, yours truly rounded the corner into the Chez Betster… Continue reading

A sea gull grabs a sea star on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
A fishing boat passes in front of Poot Peak on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

On Sunday a big game happened down in Tampa where some older guy threw a bunch of touchdown passes and then the GOAT’s (that’s “Greatest… Continue reading

A fishing boat passes in front of Poot Peak on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
The Stormbird comes into the Homer Harbor on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s hard to pinpoint the actual anniversary date. Is it from Dec. 31, 2019, the day the novel coronavirus… Continue reading

The Stormbird comes into the Homer Harbor on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Mt. Redoubt can be seen across Cook Inlet from Diamond Ridge on the Marathon Ski Trail on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. About 4 feet of snow has fallen on Diamond Ridge and Kachemak Nordic Ski Club groomers have begun setting the trail from Lookout Mountain to Diamond Ridge Road. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

For all the years the Betster has lived in Homer, we’re still amazed at how much difference a little bit of altitude can make. That’s… Continue reading

Mt. Redoubt can be seen across Cook Inlet from Diamond Ridge on the Marathon Ski Trail on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, near Homer, Alaska. About 4 feet of snow has fallen on Diamond Ridge and Kachemak Nordic Ski Club groomers have begun setting the trail from Lookout Mountain to Diamond Ridge Road. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
[flipp]