Homer’s Best Bets

On Monday the Homer City Council passed the budget for 2016, thus showing that unlike the Alaska Legislature they can do the one job they have to do on time and without a lot of drama. OK, a little drama, but still. They didn’t go into extra sessions and even saved the city some money by not meeting twice this month.

Yep, just like you the council has a punch list they have to get done before the end of the year. We’re not talking shopping for the holiday. We’re talking the things you must get done before 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31 ticks into 2016.

End-of-the-year tax charitable contributions? Now’s the time to lower your tax rate by helping out all sorts of worthy nonprofits. Blood tests? If you missed the Rotary Health Fair, visit your favorite phlebotomist so your doc can lecture you about eating less and exercising more. If you’re lucky enough to have health insurance, hey, get that annual physical.

Many of you probably have your own personal to-do lists you’ve been trying to check off: lose 10 pounds, get a new job, finish that novel, find a job, look up that old girlfriend, tape the drywall and dig a new outhouse hole. OK, that last one might be too late unless you have a friend with a backhoe.

It’s not too late for some things. In this season of compassion, maybe it’s time to forgive. Maybe it’s time to reconcile. Maybe it’s time to tell someone you love them — OK, it’s always time for that.

It’s time, too, to tick off some items on the endless Alaska bucket list. Big adventures or small, there’s always something marvelous to do, like these Best Bets:


BEST MORE ART BET: The Homer Council on the Arts got so busy last weekend with the Nutcracker Faire it didn’t do First Friday. They’re catching up this week with a Second Friday show, Puzuri, a display of Latvian Christmas decorations by artist Gundega Snepste. Also enjoy live music and refreshments.


BEST WAY TO GO BET: We all know we get awesome health care in Homer, and some of the best comes from the women and men who do the heavy lifting, our local nurses. Welcome the latest batch in a pinning ceremony of new graduating nurses at 6 p.m. Friday at Kachemak Bay Campus.


BEST HOLIDAY CHEER BET: Growing up in Florida, the Betster remembers that family in Tampa who had so many Christmas decorations UFOs could use the house as a landing beacon. The Bear Creek Winery’s display is a bit more tasteful, but it will light up the dark winter night. Enjoy an outdoor fire, refreshments and the ambience of the season from 5-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the winery on Bear Creek Drive.


BEST LIGHT THE CANDLES BET: Bunnell Street Arts Center celebrates its 24th birthday with a concert by singer-songwriter Marian Call at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $18 general, $15 members, and the event includes cake.


BEST AND THE WINNER IS BET: It’s raffle season when all the year-long ticket sales come to fruition. See who won the big Pratt Museum quilt at 1 p.m. Sunday at the museum. The drawing follows a holiday recital.