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Totes m’Goats

Posted by: Mark Putney | April 24, 2014 | No Comment |


Homer High’s Natural Resources class is one the least conventional classes. Instead of writing essays and taking quizzes, the students taking this class learn how to raise crops and care for animals. In past years this class, taught by Francie Roberts, has built a hydroponic system to grow lettuce, raised several chickens (the eggs are sold to teachers), and even cared for several rabbits. This year, however, the natural resources class has taken on an especially large project. The natural resources class has taken on two goats.

Donovan and Harley, both of whom are males, have been the responsibility and often the antagonists of the natural resources students for several months now.

The two goats live in a 30 foot by 15 foot enclosure/shed which students built during the fall semester. Students are responsible for feeding and watering the animals, as wells as cleaning out their enclosure. Additionally, students must make sure the goats get their exercise by walking them on a leash for about 20 minutes. When asked what it was like to walk goats, natural resources student Sam Nielson said, “They get moody sometimes.”

All things considered, the net cost of the enterprise is quite low. According to Mrs. Roberts, who teaches the natural resources class, feeding the goats costs around $100 for the semester, while their enclosure was about $200 in raw materials.

Donovan and Harley’s popularity among the students is decidedly mixed. Some, like Sam Neilsen, see the goats as a constant source of entertainment. “ I think their wonderful,” he said as Donovan (or was it Harley?) chewed on Sam’s fingers. There are others however, who could care less about the goats. “I think they’re gross, and they smell,” said Myra Smith, “ I mean, I don’t not like them, but I don’t like them either.”

As might be imagined the goats have gotten themselves into quite a bit of mischief. Several months back, one of the goats managed to get his horns stuck in a fish net suspended above the chickens’ enclosure, and nearly suffocated as a result. More recently Donovan and Harley took advantage of an opportunity to escape their pen. Luckily, the two did not stray far before becoming distracted by a group of pool goers.

Interestingly enough, this is not the first time that Homer High’s natural resources class has cared for livestock. Back in the 80s students cared for a cows and even a reindeer.


under: News

College Considerations

Posted by: Mark Putney | April 17, 2014 | No Comment |


With graduation on the horizon, many seniors are stressing about their final decisions for college. By now, most have applied to colleges, been evaluated by college counselors, and hopefully received letters of acceptance.  Before all of this though, there came a less formal process. Prospective college students have poured over U.S. News reports and visited campuses, evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of this or that campus. But in the end, a decision needs to be made.

For many, deciding on where to go to college is a simple question of cost. For others, a school’s location a crucial factor. Whether the intent is to staying close to home or get as far away as possible, often people won’t even consider going to college on the east coast.  Others have a preference for smaller schools where students feel a greater sense of community. Additionally, small schools tend to have smaller class sizes, which can translate to more one-on-one time with professors. On the other side of the coin, larger schools provide a wider range of classes.

These are by no means the only factors that high school seniors consider when looking at colleges. They are however some of the more important ones. And when swamped in the  intricacies of dorm fees and alternative majors, these general details become a life-line for practicality.

under: News

Plates Full of Emotion

Posted by: Mark Putney | April 17, 2014 | No Comment |


Food… We all eat it whether we eat it with a fork, spoon, straw or chopsticks. But do we really know what is put into it. Who makes it is also important. Cooking is like an art, the chef’s feeling and emotion will ultimately define the quality and outcome of how the food is cooked and prepared.

Fast food. Why do we eat it? Is it because it is good? Or is it because it is filled with addicting chemical hormones that keep us coming back for more? We do not get that sensation we get when we wait for a prepared meal that feeling that makes all the waiting worth it.  The smells are magical as you watch your food arrive at the table. They can be so consuming that is almost unbearable to wait any longer.

What I am getting at is that when you have a meal prepared for you there is a feeling like no other. You can get a glowy warm feeling that people spent their time to bring to you a delicious meal. With fast food you do not get this, most people that are working at fast food chains do not really take pride in their work and mainly do it for the money. When they do this that sensation is lost and blurred perhaps completely destroyed.  The food will be bland and sad. But hey at least it will be filled with fattening and sometimes harmful addictive taste chemicals.

Food that has taken a deal of time to prepare is so much better than food that takes about 5 maybe 10 minutes to prepare.  Take Top Ramen for example. It takes just minutes to prepare and all you have to do is add hot water. Now how much emotion do you give in preparing and pouring hot water in to a bowl of noodles?

Emotion is everything when it comes to cooking. How you are feeling is mixed into the food. When I asked a fellow student on how they felt on if emotion was a part of food they stared at me with their mouth wide open and said. “YES.”

So the next time you go a high quality restaurant or have a home cooked meal, just think for a second and take in all the emotions that the food is giving off. All the feelings and hard work that was put into this delicious meal for you to consume.


under: Opinion

Broadway Babies

Posted by: Mark Putney | April 17, 2014 | No Comment |


With the musical over and Colors of Homer tied up for the year, students may be wondering what kinds of upcoming arts events they can immerse themselves in. Fear not, art lovers: there is a production happening at Wasabi’s in just two weeks, starring three phenomenal Homer High girls.

“Broadway Babies,” a cabaret starring Homer High ladies Sabina Karwowski, Sydney Paulino, and Shenandoah Lush, will be debuting at Wasabi’s April 18 and 19. The event, comprised of cool homer women singing classic musical numbers, is not only an entertaining show for the eyes, but a tasty treat for the tongue. Wasabi’s will be catering delicious sushi for attendees, making tickets a bit pricy at $35. (Premium seating is even more expensive.)

“It’s been a lot more casual and laid-back than the musical, and I’ve really enjoyed all the awesome women I’m performing with,” said junior Sabina Karwowski, who is part of the chorus in the production. “Also I get to sing ABBA. And I used to listen to that all the time when I was a kid.”

“I’m part of the chorus, who sings along with the soloists,” said sophomore Shenandoah Lush. “It has been a lot of fun, and has allowed me to learn new musical and theatre habits, as well as meet some pretty rad folks. People should definitely check it out, as it is an interactive show containing trendy Broadway and musical movie numbers. There is also going to be delightful foods and really good vibes.”

If prom wasn’t enough for you, and you’re looking for something fun and fancy the weekend after, grab a ticket for “Broadway Babies,” and have yourself a night full of sushi and entertainment.

under: Arts & Entertainment

Frozen Wasteland

Posted by: Mark Putney | April 17, 2014 | No Comment |



Disney’s Frozen captured the hearts of millions in November of 2013, and continues to hold a slot as the most talked about movie of 2014. The icy humor and underlying tale of two sisters continues to be the talk of America, and has even been nominated and won awards for the best soundtrack and best animated feature. But does it deserve the praise it has received?

Upon asking the student body why they loved Frozen, I received one answer: “Because it’s funny.” Just what is funny about a relationship of two sisters that was torn apart both by necessity and the death of their parents? Absolutely nothing. This leaves only Olaf, a novelty secondary character, to fill in the humor. In fact, even on the official posters for Frozen it was either Olaf or Sven in the spotlight—Anna and Elsa’s story was merely a means of delivering poorly timed humor. Disney had every possibility for an amazing story of sibling bonding, rivalry, unrequited love, or even delivering a message about broken families, and instead they chose to gloss over the true story with unnecessary characters and songs.

The soundtrack and animation, as well, was amateur at best. Very few of the songs correlate to the plot or the development of a character, with the exception of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Let It Go”. The introductory song, “Frozen Heart”, was a lie. It set up the film to be more serious, and warrant more of the praise it was given, but in the end this fantastic song was wasted, seeing as it was unnecessary and helped the plot exactly none.

The animation, though mostly well done, had some flaws as well. Anyone that has experience with snow knows that its physical properties are quite strange. I will admit that taking on the challenge of realistic snow would have been intimidating, but either way it was executed poorly. This goes for the ice as well—a toy-like testament to the lack of research that went into the film. The “ice” in Frozen looked more like plastic or blown glass than anything real.

Though by the commercials Frozen looked to live up to its expectations, the reality is that it was for nothing but profit. The scattered plot is intended for the short attention span of small children, and holds no particular topic for more than a few measly minutes. The poorly written and excessive music as well as the unrealistic and ill researched animation left the movie in its own personal wasteland with the other misnomers of Disney history.


under: Arts & Entertainment

Recent Clothing Trends

Posted by: Mark Putney | April 17, 2014 | No Comment |


The following products are what are trending here in Homer. My friend helped me pick through what girls are wearing and decide what ones are the most popular trends.  There are many more trends out there, but these are the ones that stood out to my friend and I as the cutest.

Loose sweaters are very comfortable and cute. Sweaters can be casual or formal. They can be worn anywhere. There are all different kinds of sweaters that you can purchase. All designs can be created and worn. Wear sweaters in any weather and still look adorable. Stylish long pull over knit sweaters are what everyone wants to be wearing—perfect clothing choice for the cool spring weather.

Ugg boots have been around since 2004. These boots are warm, fuzzy, and fashionable. They come in all different colors and are worn with almost anything. Uggs are made from sheepskin and lined with fleece. Even with their cost being so large ranging from $150-300 these boots are purchased daily. Ugg boots are one of the top items that are searched for on black Friday. According to huffingtonpost.com, uggs are still one of the most popular foot wear in the United States.

Yoga pants are moving to the head of the line for fashion. Yoga pants are the new jeans. They are no longer for just working out they are now commonly worn to show a girl’s figure. Along with that they are also very comfortable and flexible to move in. Girls don’t just go anywhere to purchase their yoga pants. Often they choose to get them from aerie, Lucy, and Victoria secrets. Yoga pants are the new sweatpants also; the only difference is that yoga pants look nicer than sweatpants. Yoga pants can be worn with anything from a shirt to a dress. They also happen to be very flattering on most people.

Patagonia vests are comfy and warm. They aren’t the cheap knockoff ones that you purchase at a Fred Meyers or a Walmart. These vests are down and are made with material that is durable. Patagonia vests are lightweight and are easy to pack away. These vests are top quality. Patagonia vests can be purchased at only $175. This may look like that is a big amount of money for a vest but knockoffs are not the same and aren’t of good quality. They make people look amazing. These vests are worn with everything, sweatshirts, tee-shirts, jeans, dresses, skirts, shorts etc.

While you were reading this I hope you noticed that these 4 clothing items put together would make a very cute trendy outfit. I didn’t mean to make them sound as one outfit but they do and if put together it could make a popular worn outfit.




under: Features


Posted by: Mark Putney | April 17, 2014 | No Comment |


Rising temperatures, melting snow, and brownish grass can mean only one thing – spring sports at Homer High. But forget about soccer, track, or softball – it’s baseball season.

The boys of summer are back with a new captain at the helm. Replacing the incumbent coach, Lary Kuhns, as head coach is none other than Homer High’s very own, Mr. Putney.

“I think its been a lot more rewarding to be head coach,” Putney said, “I feel more involved in practice. I think we have really solid 10 -12 guys who will be competing for varsity…I think that will be a real strength.”

Rich Sonnen and Steve Fuson will round out the coaching staff for the Mariners this year.

The excitement for the upcoming season is also seen with the players. Senior Tommy Bowe has high expectations for this year’s team.

“We usually start off strong, and fade away later in the season,” Bowe said, “but this year I really do feel like we have the potential to go all the way.”

The Mariners will kick of the 2014 season in Kodiak as they take on the Bears the 25 and 26 of April. The following weekend will include their home opener against the Colony Knights on May 2 and 3.

Be sure to head over the ballfield this season and support your Homer Mariners!

under: Sports

The Madness of March

Posted by: Mark Putney | March 26, 2014 | No Comment |


In lieu of the March Madness tournament, and Warren Buffett’s billion dollar offer for a perfect bracket, let’s take a look at some of Homer High’s student and staff predictions.

Paul Trowbridge (junior)

Final Four: Syracuse, Villanova, Wisconsin, Wichita

National Champion: Syracuse

What would you do with $1 billion? – “I would fund my team so that I could win a billion dollars every year.”

Mrs. Borland (Psychology/History/Government)

Final Four: University of Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, Gonzaga

National Champion: Gonzaga

What would you do with $1 billion? – “Invest it wisely.”

Tommy Bowe (senior)

Final Four: Florida, Villanova, Wisconsin, Creighton

National Champion: Creighton

What would you do with $1 billion? – “Whatever I wanted.”

Ms. Childers (Science)

Final Four: Arizona, Kansas, Villanova, Wichita

National Champion: Arizona

What would you do with $1 billion? – “Donate a lot of it, and buy myself a home.”

Filip Reutov (junior)

Final Four: Syracuse, Creighton, Michigan St., Duke

National Champion: Syracuse

What would you do with $1 billion? – “Spread out my money through my lifetime.”

Mr. Putney (LA, History, Journalism)

Final Four: Florida, Wichita, SD State, Michigan St.

National Champion: Florida

What would you do with $1 billion?: “GIve some of it away to charity, and invest for the future of my family.”

Mr. Akers (Math)

Final Four: Florida, Virginia, Wichita, Wisconsin

National Champion: Virginia

What would you do with $1 billion? – “Invest it and turn it into $10 billion…quickly.”


Update 3/24/14 @ 2:47pm – A surplus of upsets have resulted in the elimination of all brackets. Good luck next year!

under: Sports

25th Annual Peninsula Borough Art Show

Posted by: Mark Putney | March 26, 2014 | No Comment |

DELOACH—Homer is chock-full of artistic talent, but teenagers specifically have fewer outlets and options than adults. Still, they seek opportunities where available. On April 3, a gallery for Kenai Peninsula students’ art will open. Among the displays will be both ceramic inventions, and the art class’s works. Work from students between grades 7 and 12 throughout the entire borough will be on display.

This week leading up to final product call is hectic—Maygen Janetta has already spent much of the week frantically glazing and firing pots to get them ready to be shipped by Tuesday. She encouraged all of her students to spend the week glazing to get more of the bisque-ware off the shelves they’ve been stationed at since last quarter. The bisque kiln has also been under stress, in its near constant use all week. “I’ve never rushed the bisque this much,” Janetta said, holding a large coil pot that was still steaming as she helped a student glaze it.

Both Janetta and art teacher Alayne Tetor have been sorting through work and discussing the show with students, picking what they deem as the most prolific pieces to fill their 18 slots at the show in Kenai. The show, intended to advocate and support art classes in school systems, will be presenting the chosen pieces in a professional gallery setting. All the submitted pieces will be on display for the full month of April.

Competition is also involved with the show—the two categories, middle and high school, will have a first, second, and third place winner, as well as honorable mentions. Prizes include a package of markers, drawing pencils, and a hard-bound sketchbook to the first place winner. High School Best of Show will receive a $50 gift certificate to Beemuns, and Middle School, $25. Judging will be done during the second week of display.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Art Show has provided an outlet for teens to display their works in a professional environment. Exposure to this atmosphere will introduce students to the world of a professional artist, as well as support art classes in all the schools on the peninsula. The incentive of a prize aside, this is a wonderful opportunity for a wide spectrum of teens.


under: News

Teenagers, Sex, and Consequences

Posted by: Mark Putney | March 24, 2014 | No Comment |


On March 18, I met a middle aged woman named Jenny*. She became pregnant when she was 15 in 1976. Jenny’s pregnancy was a planned pregnancy because her boyfriend and her wanted to be married, but neither of their parents would agree to let them be married at such young ages. Her boyfriend Chris* was 18. He came up with the idea that if she got pregnant that they would be able to get married. Jenny thought that his idea was reasonable and so, they began to have sex.

If she was to change her mind she wouldn’t be able to go through with an abortion. Jenny was scared; abortion was not going to be an option because she and her family were against it. This was around the time when abortions became legal in Kansas.

When she got pregnant she knew right away because she had been timing her periods and would record the right time for her and her boyfriend to have intercourse. Jenny was too afraid to tell her mother and father, so her boyfriend Chris talked to them and told them that they were expecting a baby. Her parents were sad, but they liked her boyfriend, and were happy that Chris was the father.

Jenny gave birth to her first baby boy two weeks before she turned sixteen. It was springtime; she and her boyfriend had bought a small house on the outskirts of their town. Their relationship at the beginning might have been strong, but as time went by their bond strengthened due to the rough patches they had to overcome as a couple, such as the difficulties of raising a child, providing for a family at such a young age, and couldn’t finish high school.

Despite all of these difficult situations they had to overcome, they are now living happily together thirty-eight years later. When she was eighteen she acquired her GED. Not only did they successfully raise three children from such an early start, they also managed to do so while maintaining their sanity. Additionally, they and their children ended up getting successful jobs that they enjoy.

Today she is now happily living with her husband here in Homer, Alaska. She is a teacher’s aide at Homer High, and her husband is currently working for the federal government. Their children are all married and have good steady jobs. Her first son works on the North Slope, her middle child she is working as a landscaper, and her youngest girl just received her associate’s degree in medical billing. Each year her family gathers together and enjoys a couple weeks of each other’s great company.

under: Features

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