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It’s no secret that salmon runs in the the Gulf of Alaska have been hitting new lows this year, with most salmon returns being down from last year, and there even being a request for a disaster declaration on the issue. With commercial fishing being such a huge way of life for many Alaskans, this raises the question of how this year affected commercial fishing in the Gulf Alaska.

With this past decade being far below average in salmon counts in Cook Inlet, Kodiak and Prince William Sound fisheries. Jake Nelson, a fisherman in the Prince William Sound area, confirmed it was a below average year with there being a lot of down time, and fewer openings. With less salmon however, there was a higher demand for it driving the prices up, evening it out according to Jake. “It was definitely a down year but we still made a season out of it.”

In Cook Inlet however, it was a different story, Tad Russell, a commercial fisherman of the area for 8 years says it was the worst season he has ever seen. Earlier this year, Tad and a group of other commercial fishermen from cook inlet met with Alaska Governor Bill Walker and  Commissioner of Fish and Game Ted Cotton, to see what could be done about their situation. With the only help being a reprieve for their loans on their boats for the year, and there is a possibility of a disaster declaration going into effect for commercial fishing in cook inlet, similar to others in affect around the Gulf of Alaska, but nothing is for certain. As far as the fishing season goes, Tad thinks there needs to be many changes in policy regarding the fishing season, like lowering the escapement, by allowing fewer fish to spawn, or possibly extending the season.

One of the more controversial issues involving the salmon run is how commercial and sport recreational fishermen are regulated during the season. Numerous times during the season the commercial fishermen of cook inlet were shut down until there was enough escapement up the Kenai River but recreational fishing was still allowed to continue, giving them the priority. Tad said its a political issue: the idea to appeal to the majority of voters even if they are just as much of the problem.“Everyone needs to share the burden, if one group can’t fish, then no one should fish”

The future for commercial salmon fishing in South Central Alaska appears uncertain,  but if this year anything, it’s that something needs to be done in regards to commercial fishing, according to those who out on the water.


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Autumn Daigle Reflects On Cross Country Team Success

Posted by: Owen Glasman | October 8, 2018 | No Comment |

With the 2018 Homer Mariner Cross Country season ending at the state championship meet September 29 and 30, both the girls and the boys team returned with 3rd place overall team finishes. Luciano Fasulo lead the boys, placing 7th overall, and Autumn Daigle lead the girls team, placing 2nd overall out of 20 teams.

For Autumn Daigle, the team’s positive attitude, desire to improve and great leadership have encourage the team success. Autumn described how the coaches have implemented “the science of running” into their practices to increase everyone’s ability to perform.

Daigle also said, “my teammates all encouraged each other to be healthy, such as drinking lots of water.” The team uses a group chat to remind each other to drink water and to communicate about upcoming events.

Daigle attributes past years success to former coach Bill Steyer.

What lessons Daigle can take away from her time on the cross country team is learning how to work hard, show up and how to deal with adversity.

Both teams are looking forward to continued success in the future. Given the teams expected low turnover rate, Daigle says that a goal for next year would be second at a state.

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Homer High Students on ALICE Drills

Posted by: Henry Russell | October 8, 2018 | No Comment |

School shootings have become one of the most important topics over the past few years. In response, schools have started to incorporate active shooter drills, dubbed ALICE drills, at Homer High, as a way to prepare the staff and students.

On Thursday, October 5th, Homer High underwent such a drill. Throughout the school, teachers showed students a video titled “Lockdown,” by ALICE Training Institute. The seven minute video covered the basics of what to do during the situation: alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. The teachers then went over different scenarios and how their individual classroom would respond, taking suggestions or questions from students. Since the school has been using the same ways to address the issue for a few years, Homer High students shared their perspective on the effectiveness of the drill.  

“I think it was effective to a point, like it allows us to know our options in that situation,” says senior Solstice Kraszeski. “But we’ve heard the same speech for four years, no one’s really listening at this point.” For a possible solution, Solstice suggested “to be most effective, I would actually have someone play the part of the shooter and we actually barracked or evacuate depending on where we are in the school.”

Ali McCarron, another senior, thought the idea was decent, but the execution was the downfall of the drill. “I think the idea of it could have been effective, but personally, in the classroom we were in, it wasn’t really that effective.” She explains “we didn’t really discuss the scenarios in depth, if at all.”

Owen Glasman, a sophomore that hasn’t experienced as many Alice drills, stated “to me, it didn’t seem like a drill, more of like an educational moment.” He added  “we learned the steps, but we didn’t practice them. Like for a fire drill, we practice leaving the school. But we didn’t practice anything with this.”

One anonymous student said bluntly “I have no idea how to prepare for a shooting, and I have no idea if Alice drills are helping at all.”

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Homer High School Students Struggle to Find Computers

Posted by: Walker Samuel | October 3, 2018 | No Comment |

The library looks a little fuller this year. Despite extreme budget cuts and the loss of several teachers, Homer High School received new computers in the library and room B102. Chad Felice, a teacher in the computer lab, seemed equally astounded at the new acquisition. “All these computers are new,” he says, gesturing at the screens all around him. “I don’t know where the old ones went.”

The change comes after a bleak reveal of the new KPBSD budget, with several teachers being laid off to account for the deficit. The school lost 7 teachers last year, according to Doug Waclawski, the principal of Homer High School. Although the school library got new computers, it also lost the laptop cart that many students cherished for its accessibility and flexibility for use in free and online periods. As the school replaces older computers, the loss of the old ones has severely impacted many students. “To keep my grades up in online government, I need a laptop,” says HHS senior Nina Ellington. “I have no choice but to bring my own.” Homer High scholars struggle for easy access to computers for use in online classes, a quickly growing concern as online classes become more prevalent.

As 63 students have at least one online class at the school, the need for consistent access to computers has expanded. In some instances, students have turned to each other to ask where they could find a laptop when the library is closed with a class inside and the computers in the lab are all occupied. One common “last resort” for students who need to work on their online periods has been to borrow Mr. Stineff’s laptops or those designated to other teacher’s rooms. The search for internet access in the school has taken away from time that students could be utilizing to get ahead in their classes- for the first week of the school year after the changes had been made, some students were even unable to find a place to work or computers since the library was then being occupied by classes and off limits at times.

Although some grapple with the new situation, others claim that it hasn’t been an issue for them. Clayton Arndt, a senior and a journalist who needs computer access to write articles in time to publish them on the school blog, claimed that “I’ve still been able to get my work done.” Clayton, among others, says “It’s not so bad once you learn to track down the laptops or find one in a classroom to use.” Although new computers may not have fixed the problem of too few computers, Homer High School students are finding ways to get work done.

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How Free is Your Education?

Posted by: Clayton Arndt | October 3, 2018 | No Comment |

Many classes are free to students at Homer High School. “Electives have a ranging cost from $5-$100 but only cadcam is free in the electives,” says HHS bookkeeper Kristen Metz.

On the lower end of the spectrum of cost is Nutrition and Foods, which has a cost of just $15 per student. This is a contrast to the most expensive elective: choir costs $25 for the first year and an additional $80 dollars for a fitted uniform, a total of $105 for the first year. Each subsequent year costs $50. Jake Nelson, a student who has done choir through his senior year, says,” I don’t know where the money goes. If people were more informed of where it went maybe it wouldn’t seem so monumental of a price. Also the 80 dollars for a uniform isn’t too bad since you need it for all concerts and you can sell it after you are done with it.”

Metz goes on to say, “Most of the classes that require money, the student is using something consumable or personal. People probably will not want to share some personal stuff like glasses or some food.”

Theodore Castellani, a student who has done choir his whole high school career, states, “In order for there to be a cost for these electives, the school needs to have a wide enough range of electives available that the student feels justified in paying for these required electives.”

Every student is required to take 7.5 electives in high school in order to graduate, so breaking that up into each semester being .5 of a credit, by the end of a student’s senior year, they must take fifteen electives of their choice.

Is the fact that required classes cost money regardless of who is taking them? There are waivers for certain cases but the majority of students must pay the cost of the required classes, but many of them don’t even think about this fact. Chad Felice, Student Liaison, said,” I never thought about that. I feel if you are required to take electives you should not have to pay unlike with athletics where it is your choice to participate and pay.”

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The Difference A Year And 9 Seniors Make

Posted by: Finn Heimbold | October 2, 2018 | No Comment |

The HHS football program has transformed quite a lot in the past few years, and perhaps its most significant change is the team of 2017 versus the one of 2018. The 2017 team dropped a game to start the season, but then went on a tear for the rest of the year, utterly dominating their conference with a 4-0 record without allowing a single point scored against them in conference play. They developed an overall 8-2 record with several landslide victories, with their only other loss in the state championship game. Both games they lost were only one score games, showing how even in a loss they were competing in each game they played. This is a far cry from the 2018 Mariners, who currently hold a 1-6 record with their lone victory coming against the regular punching bag of the conference, the Seward Seahawks.

“It’s definitely tough.” said senior captain Jadin Mann when asked on the difference between the two years, “Going from being on top of the world last year to barely getting a win against somebody like Seward is really upsetting. Losing all those seniors last year really hurt us.”

The Mariners graduated nine seniors last year, with eight of those starting on almost all aspects of the field (offense, defense, and special teams). Three of those eight went on to play football at the collegiate level, but perhaps the thing that hurt the current team the most was graduating that much leadership and fraternity.

“We’ve all been playing together for at least a year before the state run.” said former senior starter and now linebacker coach Sean Love on what made last year’s team successful. “We were all friends and had a lot of unspoken communication, a lot of chemistry on the field. We all made each other better players.”

Walter Love, head coach of the team, also knows how much those seniors meant to the team. “Those boys were the heart and soul of this team,” he said. “Losing that much passion in one year is very hard to make up for.”

The leadership of the team has fallen to the now diminished upperclassmen, with only five seniors and three juniors on the team with a surplus of sophomores and freshmen. However the future looks brighter for this team.

“Obviously it didn’t go well for us this year. But honestly I could see this team being pretty good next year and even better the year after that if these same guys keep playing together and build that skill and chemistry we had last year,” Jadin said on the the future of the team.

With limited senior starters leaving and more and more younger players showing up to play, learn and grow with each other, the Mariner’s fortune could be changing very soon.


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The New Police Deartment

Posted by: Lexi Dawson | September 24, 2018 | No Comment |

Recently the community voted to build a new police department in Homer. Its new home is on Smoky Bay Street, right in the center of town. The building at this new location costs approximately 7.5 million dollars and is causing a .35% sales tax increase for all of Homer, according to official city of Homer site.

The present Homer police department  was initially built in 1979, containing four jail cells, housing seven staff members, and spanning approximately 2,610 square feet according to the official city of Homer site. Being currently 2018, the police department is being relocated. Its new home will be on Grubstake Street. But this calls to question whether it will impact the feel of safety at the high school? Perhaps maybe even completely alter it? There are many benefits to having the police department be a two minute walk from the high school.

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Fellow student Breck Clifford expresses, “I like the new location of the department. It makes the road its on feel safer if I were to walk on it since it always felt sketchy to walk on. I don’t know how they chose the new location.” Furthermore she included, “I do believe that there is a chance it will impact the feel of safety at the high school because the PD has always been just below the school. If something were to happen, they could respond immediately to the threat. But at the new location it will take a bit more time to reach the high school if something ever does happen.”  

Breck continued,  “A positive outcome to the new location of the PD makes the road feel a lot more safe. But a negative drawback is the building of the location costs money that Homer probably doesn’t have.” Breck quickly added, “I can’t really think of how it would benefit the community with the move that will only cost money.”

“Is 7.5 million dollars really worth it?” Breck  states her final statement, drawing the interview to an end. “No. I don’t think it’s worth the move when the money could be used for something better and more beneficial.”

under: News


Posted by: s056970 | September 19, 2018 | No Comment |

As many of the students in Homer High know, there has been an influx of new arrivals at the school, teachers and students alike. One of the new teachers is Ms. Ciccarone, a language arts teacher. Students in her creative writing class are exploring literature through a different point of view than they have previously, the literal deconstruction of novels. They are cutting, burning, and ripping apart the books. Then they use the words and pages to create new art of their own.

Ms. Ciccarone did the same to her career. Her position in the education system in Gilbert, Arizona was very poor. She informed me, “They don’t pay teachers well. Classrooms are not fully funded… Senators own charter schools and write laws to help charter schools and not public schools.”

It is “Charter school mania” as she puts it. So, when she found Homer High School, she was very excited to apply. “I found Homer High School on Facebook, and I emailed the principal. He said there wasn’t any openings at the time.” A few months later, in May of last school year, Mr. Waclawski contacted her again, offering an interview for a new opening.

She deconstructed what she had established at her old teaching position, but she is in the process of “rebuilding the relationships with kids and teachers, and staying for the long haul.” She is using the 30 years of living and 12 years of teaching in Arizona to bring new art to Homer. A large part of the art that she brings is a “family atmosphere, letting people know that I’m pretty nice, pretty fun. You learn a lot, you laugh a lot.”

Now that she has begun the next chapter of her career she is bringing her actual family to Alaska to enjoy the great state with her. She is prepared to finish her novel in Homer. She finished her interview by saying, “I want to spend the rest of my teaching career here.”

under: News, Uncategorized


Posted by: Mark Putney | May 5, 2014 | No Comment |


Photos taken on the iPod Touch 4th gen or Canon 30-300 ALEXA

In my family, the day that the first float plane takes off from Beluga Lake is the first day of spring. And spring is here! Pilots have cleaned up their float planes and inspected them for leaks, and off they go!




In my family, the day that the first float plane takes off from Beluga Lake is the first day of spring. And spring is here! Pilots have cleaned up their float planes and inspected them for leaks, and off they go!



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Floatplanes require an ice-free lake to take off from. Usually they would not be able to take off this early in the year, but the weather’s been warm enough to melt the lake almost completely. Pilots have taken advantage of the early start, it seems.

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My dad and his best friend are both pilots, and like to make use of the good weather. With how lovely it’s been, I’m sure they’ll be out flying in no time! Though watch out—the leeches have thawed out, and they have a tendency to chase people in the water. Beware the attack of the leeches!


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Enjoy our lovely weather by watching floatplanes take off from the lake, or even riding one yourself! Bear viewing expeditions are available soon. You will take off from Beluga lake, circle the area looking for bears, then land safely back on the waters of Homer.


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Float planes are a sure sign of spring in Homer. As Beluga Lake thaws out, expect to see more of our mechanical water birds in the sky. Maybe the Beaver will even make an appearance! Either way, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the sounds of spring—splashing water and engines.









under: Features

Beach Day

Posted by: Mark Putney | May 5, 2014 | No Comment |


All photos taken on an iPhone 5

AM 1

In the spring a very relaxing activity to do is go for a walk on the beach. The breeze from the water is calming, and you get to smell the salt water and the winds around you. The sand softens under your feet as you walk closer to the water.

AM 2

At the Anchor Point Beach there are beautiful sunsets and a low tide to walk along. Take off your shoes and take a walk on the cool, damp sand. View the birds in the distance while you are taking pictures with your friends or family. Walk through the shallow puddles that outline the sand down by the shore.

AM 3

The photo above is a picture I took at the Land’s End beach. I love going down to the end of the spit to watch the boats zoom or sail by. Another enjoyable part of this beach would be watching the people fish near the edge of the water. Occasionally you will see sea otters and whales passing through.  Watching the otters eat is one of the cutest photographs you can take.

AM 4

If you go down to the beach at the right time you will see a view of the whole sun. The sun reflecting of the ocean is a beautiful view. The water below the sun glistens and shines towards the sky. Watching the clouds above the beach is delightful. While the tide is low make designs in the sand and take pictures of them so you will always have a memory of your sand art.

AM 5

Even on a snowy spring day the beach is a place to go and walk your dogs. The snow is hardly there and it gives you a place for your dogs to clean off the mud. Snow on the beach is nice because you have the option of walking on  rocks, sand, and snow. Enjoy the snow while enjoying the ocean it is a win.



under: Features

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