Best Bets

Sharpen those pencils. Get out the shoebox of receipts. Gather togther your W-2s, your 1099s and your Schedule Ks. The time has come, brave citizens, for all working schmoes to do what must be done to keep our military mighty, our roads running and our social safety-net taut. Yup. It’s tax time.

Filed your taxes on Valentine’s Day and you already got your refund? The Betster does not want to hear it. The Betster wants to know how to recover that Schedule C from last year that yours truly quickly deleted. The Betster wants to know why the tax program keeps asking if I got health insurance last year, even though I told the dang thing yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

Years ago after standing in line for unemployment benefits, the Betster had the idea that if every citizen in one week had to file for unemployment, renew their driver’s licenses and file income taxes, there would be a revolution. We would take to the streets, march on banks and city hall and demand justice. We would reach our limits. We would say … Well, something. Grr.

But no, like good citizens we fill out those forms. We pay more if we owe it. We try to figure out one more deduction. We dutifully render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, because when it comes to government might, you may think you want to go up against the IRS, but you don’t. Not really.

Well, taxes keep the country running, sort of. They enoble us as citizens and give us a stake in this great representative democracy we call America. Nobody gets a sticker that says “I paid my taxes,” but on April 15, maybe we should. Maybe it would get us a 25 percent discount on a nice shot of Scotch. And when you’ve filed your taxes and done your duty, take that $45.68 refund and have some fun with it, like these Best Bets:

Best if everyone lit just one little ‘sparc’ bet: Turn Homer residents loose and what do you get? A brand new South Peninsula Athletic and Recreation Center, better known as SPARC. Thanks to the vision and hard work of the Homer Soccer Association and a host of committed volunteers, the brand new SPARC facility is ready for the community to take a peak inside from 1-3 p.m. this Saturday next to Homer Middle School. (See related story, page 1.)

Best quick like a bunny bet: It’s that time of year when the Easter Bunny appears. Brightly colored eggs suddenly appear in the snow or mud or whatever patch of ground is available, and youngsters race to fill their baskets. Mr. EB makes a helicopter-arrival at the Homer Elks Lodge, 215 Jenny Lane, at 1:15 p.m. Sunday and an Easter hunt follows. A second egg hunt takes place at Anchor Point VFW, 72551 Milo Fritz Road, at 2 p.m.

Best new life chapter bet: Long-time Homer of Hospice Executive Director Darlene Hilderbrand is closing the page on that chapter of her life and launching into one under the heading “retirement.” Raise a glass and wish her well at Alice’s Champagne Palace, 5-8 p.m., Wednesday. (See related story, on page 1 of our Real Estate &Business section.)

Best growing season is upon us bet: Eager to get plants into the ground? Can’t wait to see tender green shoots reaching up for the sun? Sure, flowers and vegetables are nice, but how about starting with something hardy and long-living, like a tree? Pick up tips at a tree planting and tree care workshop at Kachemak Bay Campus, 6-8 p.m., Wednesday.

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