Issue 4 holiday spirit

Land acknowledgment

Eugene School District 4j, South Eugene High School, and your Axe Magazine online would like to acknowledge that our institution sits on the homelands of the Kalapuya people.

In the Treaties of 1851 and 1854-1855, and the subsequent forced removals of many Indian people from western Oregon, some of the Kalapuya were moved to the Grand Ronde Reservation and some were moved to the Siletz Reservation. It is important to note that all of Lane County was an important trading and gathering area for camas and other resources.

During the Restoration Era, from 1977-1989, Lane County was designated at the Service Area for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Indians, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Coquille Indian Tribe, and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians.

Eugene 4J District and South wish to acknowledge that descendants of the original and Service Area inhabitants of this land are still here today. They are thriving members of our schools and our communities. Countless members of other Tribes now also call our community and schools their home.

We wish to thank those original stewards of this land. We as outsiders on this land wish to remember that we need to take good care of this land and take good care of all members of our school district and community. Thank you for joining us.

Land acknowledgement courtesy of Brenda Brainard.

mission statement

The Axe is dedicated to the goals and ethics of journalism. As a student-run publication, our mission is to both inform the student body and spark discussion among the student body about the news within South Eugene High School and the wider community. We function under an open forum policy. We accept and may use in our publication the feedback and commentary of our readers. Email all inquiries:

Editors Note

Welcome to our very first online issue of trimester two! In this issue, we have briefs ranging from the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics to the upcoming American Dog movie. Additionally, check out staff briefs on science, holiday activities, and the economy. Interested in an holiday opinion piece? Take a look at May Lafer-Kirtner's story on Hanukkah and Christmas.

Axe staff is always looking for feedback, art and recommendations/news tips. Message us on Instagram @theaxemag!

Be sure to check out the QR Code Flyers in the hallways for an easy way to reach our site.

We are excited to for a new Trimester of physical and online issues, and we hope that you are all excited, as well. – Elita Kutateli, Lina Nakagome & Naomi Saenger, editors

Staff Protest against Racism

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Last week, the Biden administration announced that they were issuing a diplomatic boycott against the Beijing Olympics in an attempt to protest against China’s human rights violations in the Xinjiang region. This means that although U.S. athletes can compete as usual, the United States will not be sending any official or diplomatic representatives to attend the Games. Historically, this has been an event where nations set politics aside and compete in peace. So far, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia have also announced diplomatic boycotts, and it is possible that more nations will follow suit. – By Bettina Wu

Photo courtesy of Keith Johnston on

American Underdog to release Friday

American Underdog, a film following the true story of Kurt Warner, a former NFL quarterback from 1994 to 2009, is releasing this Friday in theaters only. In American Underdog, the two-time MVP is portrayed by Zachary Levi, who is mainly known for starring in Shazam! It depicts Warner’s unlikely rise from an unpopular, 28 year old backup quarterback to a leading force on the St. Louis Rams. Come back soon for a review! By Nico Scharn

Photo courtesy of brightstars on

supermassive blackholes may merge

This month, astronomers reported two black holes that are the closest ever seen. While they are 89 million light years away from the Earth, they are only 1,600 light years away from each other and are constantly moving closer. Both are larger than our sun, one being 6.3 million times larger and the other a whopping 154 million times larger. This merger will not have any effect on Earth, but it is still a fascinating phenomenon that could provide a greater depth to our limited knowledge of black holes. – By Marston Scher

Photo courtesy of quavondo on

The Grinch in Oakland

OAKLAND, Ore. – Just after midnight last Thursday, the star from the top of the community Christmas tree was stolen. This tree and its bright and cheery decorations have been an important part of Christmas traditions in Oakland for at least 50 years with the star being the centerpiece. Police have released video footage of the suspects climbing the 20-foot tree and stealing the sizable light-up star, then driving away. They are asking for any new information regarding the suspects and have set a reward for anyone able to help. – By Marston Scher

Photo courtesy of Anna Spratt on

5 fun and festive holiday activities

1.) Lights and Snow at 5th Street Market Every Friday and Saturday night from 6-6:30 p.m. until Dec. 19.

2.) Portland Zoo holiday lights features more than 1.5 million lights every day (except Dec. 25) through Jan. 5, from 5-9 p.m.

3). Pastega Light Display in Corvallis The display ends December 31st. It is between 5-10 pm, and admission is a can of food for donation. This is at the Benton County Fairgrounds.

4.) Covered Bridge Lights in Lowell, every evening at dark until Jan. 4 at Dexter Lake.

5.) Heceta Head Lighthouse Holiday Lights The bed and breakfast across from the lighthouse is gleaming with holiday cheer.

– By Sophia Telaroli

December 2020 national gas price average was $2.57, current prices are closer to four dollars. Photo by Sarah Dione.

inflation in the u.s.

Many people have noticed Costco shoppers stocking up more than usual recently, and it’s not just because of the holidays. On Dec. 10, the U.S federal government released the results of an inflation rate assessment. Goods being stuck in the supply chain in various countries, due in large part to lack of transportation workers, has resulted in inflation rates rising by 6.8 percent – the highest jump since 1982. The past year has been filled with a gradual increase in prices of staple items, such as beef and gas. Expect inflation to significantly intensify this winter, before evening out in the beginning of 2022. – By Sarah Dione

Photo courtesy of Jose Pablo Domingues on

f1 race controversy in abu dhabi

A finale Sunday in Abu Dhabi officially makes Dutch F1 driver Max Verstappen the 2021 Formula 1 World Champion. Going into the season’s final Grand Prix, which determined the World Champion, British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton – the former World Champion – and Max Verstappen both had 369.5 points. Hamilton led the race into the final lap until Verstappen passed him to secure the race and the championship. Hamilton and the Mercedes team were livid, Mercedes argued that the Racing Director Michael Masi had broken the rules in the final lap by speeding up the safety car, which had been on the track since lap 52. When the safety car was deployed during the race, no cars were allowed to overtake Hamilton, giving him free rein to win the race. However, when the race directors sped up the safety car they gave Verstappen one last lap to overtake Hamilton easily with fresh tires compared to Hamilton's tires that had already been through 43 laps. The Race Director defended his claim by referring to a rule that gives him overruling power over the rules impacting the safety car. – By Logan Williamson

Photo courtesy of Jake Weirick on

Who's The future of Oregon Football

Now that University of Oregon Football head coach Mario Cristobal’s gone off to Miami on an eight-year, $80-million contract, there’s a wide open spot for a new head coach at Oregon. Turns out, that spot will be filled by former UGA defensive coordinator Dan Lanning. Lanning will need to bring the team together quickly – in time for the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl, in fact – so the future recruiting classes don't fall flat. There’s already been multiple talented ESPN players to decommit from Oregon after the news of Cristobal leaving. Getting a strong coaching staff back will be crucial to the recruiting pool and the success of the program. – By Dylan Stevens

Photo courtesy of Eugene Saturday Market

Holiday Market

Among all the festivities this time of year, Eugene holds its very own Holiday Market at the Lane County Fairgrounds every weekend throughout December. The market is indoors and is filled with vendors showcasing people’s handmade arts. Live music is playing and the aroma coming from the delicious food court hangs in the air. Although this year, due to COVID protocol, there aren't quite as many vendors, the Holiday Market still ignites the same holiday cheer it has since the 1980s. The Holiday Market is open from the 23-24 (Thurs.- Fri.), right before Christmas for all last minute shoppers. Find unique gifts while supporting local businesses. – Mira Cicarello


Gingerbread and Menorahs

By May Lafer-Kirtner

Photo of the first night of Hannukah celebrations. Photo by May Lafer-Kirtner.

Christmas season: the time of year that starts on Nov. 1, and leads to every house being covered in lights and smelling like gingerbread. Every year, people venture out in fuzzy jackets and new snow boots to get a tree that they can set up in their living room. They wish for snow, go on family vacations where everyone gathers around the fireplace to watch movies and fail at making gingerbread houses. And every year, without fail, I get asked why I don’t celebrate Christmas, and what the heck I do instead.

My “instead” is called Hannukah (Ha-noo-kah), and this year, it begins at the end of November. The holiday is a lot more than just the Jewish Christmas. It lasts eight nights and is a celebration of an old tale about a time we surely should have died, but didn’t. The story goes that after a great Jewish temple was destroyed, the Jews ran away. They had one single oil lamp, just enough oil to burn for one or maybe two nights. A few people were sent to get oil from the nearest town, but it would take eight days to complete a round trip. Somehow, when the people returned with new supplies, the oil in the lamp had managed to dwindle slowly enough that it lasted exactly long enough to see the others coming. Every night of Hannukah, candles are lit in something called a menorah, which has nine places to hold candles, with one of the holders somehow elevated or different from the others. Each night, we light one more candle than the last night, until all nine are lit. The first night two candles are lit – the taller one, called a leader, and a regular one.

Not to worry, people still give and get presents all throughout Hannukah, just as they would for Christmas. We sing songs about our history and have big family gatherings to celebrate this time of the year. Hannukah is no lesser than Christmas or any other holiday just because it’s celebrated by a minority.

Still, do not misinterpret my annoyance at being unseen as hatred of Christmas. In fact, I probably love the Christmas season more than a lot of my friends who do celebrate. I am obsessed with candy canes and insist on Secret Santa every winter. Give me a chance to go to a tree farm and I will literally jump with joy. Give me all the Christmas rom-coms — I will devour every movie within a week (and cry at the sad parts while doing so). The only part of Christmas that I have never participated in and have never truly fallen in love with is all of the traditions revolving around the nativity scene (story, plays, clay set ups, etc.).

However, in more recent years, I’ve begun to see the world around me a little differently. I have realized that there are no rom-coms about Jewish holidays, no friends of mine are trying to get me a Hannukah present instead of a Christmas present.

For years, I have catered my presents for friends, my cards and “happy holidays” to the holiday that almost everyone around me celebrates. And for years, none of my friends have ever bothered to ask when Hannukah is.

This season is often hailed as the most generous and celebratory time of the year. So this year, I would encourage everyone to look at their interactions with friends; and ask questions. To extend that spirit of inclusivity and generosity to the people who don’t fit into their lens of the world. To truly try to learn.

South Theatre

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Infographic by Natasha Dracobly