A sea otter swims in the harbor near the load-and-launch ramp on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A sea otter swims in the harbor near the load-and-launch ramp on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Arise, you dedicated workers. Lift up your heads high for jobs well done. Here in America we don’t hold big parades on Labor Day. Instead, you get one of the best bonuses ever: A paid holiday.

Other holidays honor presidents and events, but Labor Day is your day. On Monday we celebrate the people who keep this country running.

Thank you health care workers, all of you, from the janitors who keep our hospitals clean to the doctors who heal us. Thank you for risking your lives daily, especially in this time of a pandemic.

Thank you retail workers and all who face the public. You don’t earn enough, especially when someone rages in your face after you’ve politely asked them to mask up. Thank you for ringing up our purchases of food and medicine and the things we need to stay alive or that make us more comfortable.

Thank you farmers, fishermen, slime line workers, bakers and cooks for growing, catching, processing and making our food. From high tunnels to farmers markets, from boats to canneries, in kitchens large and small, you keep us fed and healthy.

Thank you cab drivers, truckers, postal carriers and mariners, you who head onto the roads or out to sea. Thank you for getting old people safely to and from the store. Thank you for delivering groceries and supplies day in and day out, in weather foul and fair. Thank you for running our water taxis, ships and ferries. Thank you for delivering our mail, especially our ballots, because democracy matters and has to work.

Thank you to all the civil servants, the secretaries, harbor officers, biologists and road maintenance crews. You do your jobs keeping government humming smoothly. You keep the roads plowed, the potholes fixed and the streetlights on. You check the lines on our boats and keep the bathrooms clean.

Thank you to the cops, firefighters and medics. You work long hours, and when we need you, you come, without hesitation and sometimes into danger.

Thank you to the members of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. You serve in uniform at not the best pay, and sometimes pay the highest price.

Thank you to our elected officials, those crazy enough to run for office and work to make government better. May you disagree amicably and debate with respect.

Thank you to all the carpenters, the mechanics, the plumbers, the artists, the authors, the well drillers, the electricians — everyone. By the sweat of your brow and the strain of your brain, you do the jobs that need to get done.

Happy Labor Day, America. Go forth and celebrate, perhaps with these Best Bets:

BEST FAREWELL BET: What? Here it’s September and you haven’t been to the Homer Spit to check out all the cool shops and restaurants? A lot of the businesses close after Monday, so now’s the last chance to enjoy the marvelous treats of the Spit. Bonus: You might find a parking space. Extra bonus: After this challenging economic downturn from the pandemic, our Spit neighbors could probably used any boost they can.

BEST MULTISPACE BET: You can enjoy First Friday in both the virtual and real world. Some galleries have receptions or events in the material world — but be COVID safe — while others hold virtual events. Get all the information in the First Friday listing on page B1.

BEST BE AWARE BET: Even here in Alaska we’re not immune from the scourge of human trafficking. Whether it’s labor trafficking or sex trafficking, vulnerable people are being exploited. Learn more in a Human Trafficking Awareness Event from 6-8 p.m. Friday at Regent Life Church, 672 East End Road. Rep. Sarah Vance (R-Homer) is co-host with the church. Speaking is Lt. Joseph Gamache, a member of the Alaska Human Trafficking Task Force. This is a free, in-person event. Attendance is by registration only. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/human-trafficking-awareness-event-tickets-116799736155. Vance will also speak at the event.

BEST SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH BET: Bid summer a fond farewell with a Goodbye Summer fundraising event for the VFW Post 10221 in Anchor Point on Saturday, Sept. 5. A barbecue will be served from 3-5 p.m. and the silent and live auction starts at 5 p.m. There are lots of auction items open to the public, the proceeds from which will go to support the VFW’s programs and projects.

A black turnstone walks on the beach on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2020, at Anchor Point, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A black turnstone walks on the beach on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2020, at Anchor Point, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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