Although snow has fallen on Poot Peak, the image of the iconic bear’s eyes and nose of the mountain remains faint, as seen here on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. The mountain is named after Henry Poot, also known as “China” Poot, an Alaska Native man who hunted and fished in the area in the early 1900s. According to Marilyn Sigman’s “Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay,” Poot was the son of a Native woman and a Chinese cannery worker. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Although snow has fallen on Poot Peak, the image of the iconic bear’s eyes and nose of the mountain remains faint, as seen here on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. The mountain is named after Henry Poot, also known as “China” Poot, an Alaska Native man who hunted and fished in the area in the early 1900s. According to Marilyn Sigman’s “Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay,” Poot was the son of a Native woman and a Chinese cannery worker. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

Best Bets

Watching the snow fall gently, softly and quietly out the window is giving the Betster a much needed sense of peace.

It was much needed because, earlier this week, Mother Nature was not so gentle. Talk about winter weather whiplash. From a nice white layer of snow — perfect for skiing in — to treacherously slick roads that derailed many a vehicle and morning schedule on Monday, to a calming blanketing of Homer once more, it’s been a week.

The Betster is now firmly entrenched in the winter mindset. Dark beers over IPAs. Cross-country skis swapped for hiking boots. Soup — all the soup.

As annoying as the constant rotation of slush, snowfall, rain and ice can be, just a glance out the window on a day like today is enough to make the chest tighten and to remind one of magic that comes with living in a northern climate.

As trying as the winter season can be to live and work in, the Betster just can’t imagine living in a place without all four seasons. How mundane, how utterly devoid of variety and color. The changing of the seasons, though we may grumble and drag our feet at the approach of one or the other of them, propel us forward. They mark the shifting of chores and activities. Essentially, they force us to switch things up, to adapt.

Perhaps this is why people who live where there are all four seasons have always been the most interesting to the Betster. Can we prove that there’s a direct correlation between being kept on your toes or caught off guard and having a good sense of humor? No. But the Betster can believe it anyway.

As you grin, or grumble, as the circumstance would have it, at our present bout of winter weather, consider these best bets:

BEST YOUR VOICE BET: Sometimes government action can be like watching paint dry — and not that modern stuff that dries almost as soon as you put it on. We’re talking the glossy classic stuff you have to clean up with turpentine.

The Kachemak Bay State Park and State Wilderness Park Management Plan has been working its way through the system with meetings, work sessions, and, in the Before Times, presentations with maps and charts and glossy photos and people gathering around tables asking questions and making suggestions.

Well, whew, the draft plan is now out an in the Intent-to-Adopt stage. To view the Intent-to-Adopt version, visit http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/plans/kbay/kbayplan.htm.

Weigh in again with a public meeting online at noon or 5 p.m. Monday. To participate, download the Microsoft Teams app, (available at: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/download-app) and visit http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/plans/kbay/final/2021meetingflyer.pdf . Click on one of the meeting buttons at that link. Meetings also will be held in January.

BEST MORE DEMOCRACY BET: Curious as to what the Homer City Council is up to? One blessing of the pandemic is you can watch in the comfort of your home and maybe even state your opinion. Homer City Council meetings continue via Zoom.

This week’s agenda includes discussions on if the city should hire a lobbyist, spending money on LED lights at the water and sewer plants, adopting a resolution encouraging people to wear face masks in public, and the always popular revisions to the Homer Sewer and Water Policy Manual.

Check in at 6 p.m. Monday night for what the council is up to. To participate, visit the council agenda at https://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/sites/default/files/fileattachments/city_council/meeting/68301/agenda_dec_14.pdf. All the secret codes are there.

BEST DEADLINE BET: The deadline for the Kenai Peninsula Writers Contest is fast approaching, so buckle down and finish that brilliant poem, short story or essay by 5 p.m. Dec. 20. Yes, that’s 10 days away, but if you’re a skilled procrastinator like the Betster, that’s almost tomorrow. Beat the rush and have a little time to do one final revision. Get cracking, writers. Winners receive prizes and publication in the Homer News. The contest is open for literary artists from kindergarten to adults. The contest is sponsored by the Homer Council on the Arts. Submit entries online at www. HomerArt.org. For questions and technical assistance, call 907-235-4288.

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