Homer’s Best Bets

“Always getting ready” goes a saying of the Yu’pik people of coastal western Alaska. That’s an ancient lesson we Alaskans can take to heart. Think of it as the seasonally consistent punch list of things to be done as summer turns to fall, fall turns to winter, winter turns to spring and spring turns to summer. Repeat annually.

If you’re like the Betster, you’ve been madly trying to finish all those projects that stacked up over the summer. Plant that birch tree. Put up the white lights along the path. Cut back the alder that will block the driveway in a big snowstorm. Put away the clothesline. Split kindling.

Oops — about that one. Be careful Betster persons, and don’t do like yours truly and slice your finger with a splitting maul. Getting your finger stitched up at the ER on a Sunday is not fun. Instead, be safe, and try these best bets:

BEST PREVENTATIVE BET: South Peninsula Hospital is offering a free COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine booster and influenza vaccine clinic Friday, Oct. 15 at Homer High School. The clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and no appointments are necessary. Masks and COVID-19 screening will be required at the door. Individuals can get the Pfizer vaccine if they were fully vaccinated with Pfizer at least six months earlier and fall into one of the following categories: people 65 years or older, residents in long term care settings and people 50-64 years of age with underlying medical conditions. Additional groups may receive the booster based on individual benefits and risks. Flu vaccines will be offered to anyone six months of age and older, and senior doses will be available. Individuals 18 years old and younger require parental or guardian consent for a flu shot that day.

BEST ROCK ON BET: Take an adventure back in time with “The Rock Doc” Taz Tally this Saturday as he takes a Kachemak Bay Campus class to Diamond Trail Creek and along the shoreline to reveal the forces of nature that have shaped Kachemak Bay. The class will be from 2-6 p.m. and will cost $59. Call 907-235-1674 or visit kbcnoncredit.asapconnected.com/ to register.

BEST RESCUE BET: There are so many animals at Alaska Mindful Paws who need safe and loving homes, including this week’s featured pets Myrna, Marcel, Paxson and Delta. Give the shelter a call to see if any of these sweet animals are a match for your home. The animal shelter is located across from the Public Works Department off the Sterling Highway. The shelter’s business hours are noon-7 p.m. Tuesday, noon-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Closed Mondays. For more information, call 907-235-3141.

BEST SERVICE BET: Have you ever wanted to serve as a firefighter and help protect your community? Here’s your chance! The Homer Volunteer Fire Department is recruiting new volunteers for the 2021 Firefighter I Class, which begins Oct. 18. No prior experience or certifications are required to sign up for the class. Recruits will attend classes every Monday and Wednesday from 6-10 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Feb. 5, 2022, with breaks for Christmas and Thanksgiving. The course will be taught by fire professionals and will include lectures, hands-on training, as well as a live burn day at a training trailer.

The class is a joint operation with neighboring departments Kachemak Emergency Services and Western Emergency Services. For more information, contact the fire department at 907-235-3155 or stop by for an application packet. The application is also available online at www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/fire/training-opportunities.

BEST SNEAK PEEK BET: The late Alaska and Homer artist Ron Senungetuk transformed Indigenous art, showing that Native artists could create contemporary art that didn’t have to be tourist art and retain the power of our state’s many cultures. Starting Friday, the Pratt Museum & Park presents a retrospective exhibit of his work. The show includes work from private Homer collections and builds on a traveling exhibition organized by the Museum of the North and the Anchorage Museum. Next Friday an opening reception will be held from 4-6 p.m. The museum is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.