With a town hall meeting with Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, last Saturday, a spirited Homer City Council meeting on Monday where citizens spoke at a public hearing for an hour, and the Alaska Legislature starting Jan. 21, you might think Homer’s annual political season has begun. Uh, you thought right. Alaskans in general and Homerites in particular take political involvement seriously.
As students of this cosmic hamlet well know, we sometimes take politics a bit too far, as happens in with our annual Winter Controversy. Some pranksters have even been known to stir up trouble just for the fun of it. Throw in presidential primaries, a march or two, and long, cold nights, and sooner than you can say Franklin Delano Roosevelt, sparks will fly.
But here’s the thing, Betster persons. While we might take our politics seriously and have strong opinions, we’re also civic minded. We volunteer. We join clubs and churches. We keep informed about current events. We care about our community. We roll up our sleeves and work to make this a better town, and set aside political differences in the process.
So if you find your blood boiling and getting angry about some big issue, step back, take a deep breath and think about what you can do to leave this planet better than when you entered it. Better yet, think about how you can work with someone outside your social and political bubble and what strengths and skills you can share — or fun, like these Best Bets:
BEST BE DIPLOMATIC BET: As recent events in Iraq and Iran show, the world is a wee bit complicated. Want to learn more about global issues facing us today? Check out “Great Decisions Homer 2020.” the Foreign Policy Association Study Group, meeting 4-6 p.m. today in the Homer Public Library. the association’s goal is to help citizens learn about the complex international issues facing us. The group meets monthly. Using an FPA briefing book, citizens meet monthly to discuss the readings for that month’s topic. Topics include the Red Sea region, the Northern Triangle, India and Pakistan, Artificial Intelligence and Data, and China in Latin America, among others. No previous knowledge is required, and no readings are assigned for this meeting. This is a nonpartisan event.
BEST YOU HAD US AT CHOCOLATE BET: Want to learn healthy ways to eat chocolate? Alisa Mahoney presents “Well Beyond Healthy Chocolate” from 6-8 p.m. today at SVT Health and Wellness for its Thriving Thursday series. Join her for an opportunity to taste healthy chocolates and shakes. The chocolate is made with cold processed cacao and berries to retain the health benefits that are normally destroyed in the heating process.
BEST WALKABOUT BET: Yes, it’s time once again for Walk With A Doc Homer. At 9 a.m. Saturday at SPARC: South Peninsula Athletic & Recreation Center you can learn about a current health topic and then stroll with a medical professional, ask questions and knock off a few thousand steps. There will be free blood pressure screenings, too. Bring your clean, indoor walking shoes to change into.
BEST SUFFRAGETTE CITY BET: This year marks the 100th anniversary of when women got the right to vote. Starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at the HERC parking lot, the 2020 Women’s Mach on Homer starts with the theme “Women Rising.” Organizers encourage participants to dress up in Suffragette costume of the 1920s — ya know, big white hats, white sashes and white dresses. Speeches start at 11:30 a.m. and at noon the march proceeds to WKFL Park. From 1-3 p.m. there’s an after-party at Kachemak Bay Campus.
BEST GRAVITY IS YOUR FRIEND BET: Woohoo! All that snow and cold was good for something, because at 11 a.m. Sunday the Homer Rope Tow opens up on Ohlson Mountain Road. Run by the Kachemak Ski Club, the rope tow is way cheaper than a drive to Alyeska, and lift tickets won’t break the bank. Yearly memberships start at $50. For snow conditions, call 235-SNOW or visit Homerropetow.org.
BEST BIRD ON BET: The Kachemak Bay Birders don’t spend all their time out in the cold with frosty binoculars. Every month they hold a meeting to talk shop and listen to a presentation on birding. They meet from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Monday at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. This month Michelle Michaud will share her recent birding trip and adventures to South Africa and Namibia. For more information call Lani Raymond at 399-9477 or email email@example.com.
BEST UNDERCOVER BET: The other day the Betster had a tragedy: Yours truly finished library books without having a spare on hand. Well, fortunately the Homer Public Library came to the rescue. If you love books and want to talk books with other book lovers, join the HPL Book Club at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Homer Public Library, of course. Read a different book each month, which means you had better read fast for this month’s book, “Gathering Moss ,” by Robin Kimmerer.
BEST GIVE THEM SHELTER BET: If you know someone homeless or nearly homeless, tell them about Project Homeless Connect, meeting 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at Homer United Methodist Church. This is a one-day event for homeless or nearly homeless individuals and families to connect with resources, assistance and supplies to help them on their journey to stability. Free transportation, free haircuts, free food, free childcare and free winter supplies are just a few of the things available that day. Please check sphosp.org, or check the hotline at 907-399-3158. for more details. Want to volunteer? Email Cinda at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 435-0855. Want to donate money or supplies? Email Lisa at email@example.com.
BEST CALL IT BET: With all that romping around the snow, you deserve some fun time indoors where it’s warm. What better winter event than the weekly Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Homer Elks Lodge. Open to the public. All proceeds benefit Homer Scholarships. Sponsored by the Homer Emblem Club #350.