Anna Frost

Snow makes for fun, successful Nordic ski marathon Saturday

Sixteen-year-old Sadi Oswald blew past skiers to win first place for women in the Kachemak Nordic Ski Marathon 20-kilometer race on Saturday, March 12. Sadie, who had never skied in Homer before came down from Anchorage with her father, Peter, for the event. 

“It was unexpected because I thought I was going really slow, but apparently not,” Sadie said.

With a lot of Alaska lacking snow during this warmer winter, Homer currently beats out Anchorage for quality ski conditions. Sadie said she enjoyed skiing a different terrain as well.

Weekend events help economy

Wintertime events that bring high numbers of tourists to Homer equal revenue spikes in local businesses for more than just a weekend. 

Events attracting one-time visitors provide the opportunity to showcase the town’s recreational sporting events and activities such as fishing and skiing, which often inspires people to return for more. 

However, Homer’s small town charm may not be able to take all the credit for recent year’s revenue spikes, as warm temperatures also push more people to go out and about during winter months.

New SBS design center eases remodeling stress

The new design center at Spenard Builders Supply on Lake Street is a result of practical thinking and artistry, brought together by design center project manager Geoff Murphy. 

After deciding it was time to update the displays in the design center, Murphy came up with a plan to make the space easy to walk through and view models of cabinetry, lighting and other home furnishings as if they were in a home. 

Fireweed Structures Expo 2016

Students in fourth through sixth grades at Fireweed Academy showed off models of famous buildings at the Structures Expo on March 4. 

The students spent time in school and at home to create structures out of a variety of materials — cardboard, plastic foam, paint, hot glue and even Rice Krispies treats. The children chose buildings that were interesting to them. Fourth-grader Poppy Smith picked the Arc de Triomphe, which is located at the western end of the Champs-Élysées in Paris, to share the unfamiliar with her peers.

It pays to register early for March 19 winter king tourney

Both those who go out to sea in search of a big catch and those who choose to stay on dry land have chances to win big at the 23rd annual Winter King Salmon Tournament on Saturday, March 19. The all-day event will give away cash and merchandise prizes in the form of bets, raffles, drawings and, of course, the anglers with the biggest fish. 

Kodiak teacher accepts West Homer Elementary principal position

Eric Waltenbaugh verbally accepted the principal position for West Homer Elementary, said Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Communications Liaison Pegge Erkeneff. Waltenbaugh is currently serving as a middle-high school teacher and curriculum specialist in Kodiak School District, and has been there since 2000.

Waltenbaugh is no stranger to Homer. His wife is a Homer native and they have a house where they spend summers in town with their three kids, said Waltenbaugh during his interview on Feb. 25.

Mariner girls Nordic ski team wins division championship

Homer High’s girls Nordic ski team blew past the competition last week to take first place overall out of two teams for 2A-3A division at the Nordic Ski State Championships in Anchorage. 

The 2A-3A division includes schools like Homer, Valdez and Grace Christian that have 450 kids or less, said assistant coach Alison O’Hara. 

Valdez girls ski team came in second in the division.

Mariners win, lose on Senior Night

Senior night for varsity basketball last Friday was a night of reflection, celebration and bittersweet tears for the players moving on to college after the season and the teammates and coaches they are leaving here in Homer. The Friday night games were the Mariners’ basketball teams last home games of the season.

The JV and varsity teams will travel to play Grace Christian School, Houston and Anchorage Christian School for three days of play that begin today.

Homer High students place 4th in science competition

Homer High school students attended the Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl competition in Seward on Feb. 26-28, taking home six awards in their events. The Ocean Bowl consists of eight events, of which Homer competed in five. 

The competition focuses on topics related to the study of the oceans and allows the winner to continue on to compete against other regional teams from all over the United States.

District, school board to decide on West Homer Elementary principal

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Sean Dusek interviewed five candidates for the open West Homer Elementary School principal position in a public meeting on Thursday, Feb. 25. The district expects to announce the person filling the position on Tuesday, March 1, Dusek said.

The principal position was announced as available in late January after current principal Raymond Marshall informed the district of his resignation. Marshall will complete the current school year and the new principal will start in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Mariner ski team heading to state meet

Homer High’s Nordic ski team will take 12 skiers to Anchorage for the state competition today through Saturday, following up last weekend when JV and varsity teams competed at regions in Valdez on Feb. 19 and 20.

The Valdez meet gave the Homer team a taste of a trail different from the sloping Lookout Mountain trails. 

“The majority of the race was on the flats which was of course not what Homer skiers are used to,” said Homer High Nordic ski assistant coach Alison O’Hara.

Mariner girls undefeated in conference play; boys pick up first conference win

Homer High’s girls varsity basketball finished a three-game series of conference games with a 6-0 conference record and a 17-1 overall record after winning all of their games on Feb. 18-20. 

The girls team attributes their success to their strong teamwork and defensive skills.

Student art imitates high schooler’s life

Homer High School is taking an artistic approach to difficulties faced by students. Several pieces of installation art can be seen around the school — from a white board where students wrote their aspirations to a slew of insults covering the walls of a stairwell. 

Art teacher Alayne Tetor assigned students to create artwork that would resonate with their peers. Two groups of students tackled issues that are being discussed on a national scale — bullying and mental health — by creating thought-provoking visuals.

3 Homer students earn high academic ranking

Three Homer High School students sit on a peak of academic achievement as part of the top 10 percentile of students in the country.

Each year, about 50,000 students are picked out of the 1.5 million students who enter the National Merit Scholarship Program as semifinalists or commended students. From there, the number is narrowed down again to the finalists — a group of students that comprise about one-third of the semifinalists.

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