Editorials and columns

Measure twice, cut once

This weekend, while working on some rental house renovations, I had my daughter help me measure a length of cabinet space so I could get a 2-by-4 cut to the exact length. It was cold. We have the heat off, so we are not paying extra for heating an empty house. The cabinet was almost out of ...

Dear parents, kids: Stick it out

We are happy to see — if for no other reason than to give schools and families some finality —that the Legislature has passed and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a bill forgiving schools for snow days called during a state-declared winter emergency in late January-early February. We ...

Congress must step up on on plane safety

Federal Aviation Administration acting chief Daniel Elwell was on the Capitol Hill hot seat this week — and members of Congress were right to grill him harshly. Elwell was called before the aviation subcommittee in the House of Representatives to answer questions about the Boeing 737 Max ...

Celebrate your century-old state park system

Michigan state parks are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, and I believe we are blessed to have those wonderful facilities in our state. Preserving such parks took risk-takers with vision, who, I am guessing, many times faced questions and criticism about their leadership. ...

Good times, bad times in the Big Easy

I always imagined I’d be the Indiana Jones of journalism, a globetrotting adventurer covering conflicts and mysteries on the edges of the map. Until I took my first plane ride years ago and realized I am deathly afraid of flying. To deal with that fear, I force myself every time I get ...

No place for bullying in Northeast Michigan

Like it or not, most of us are going to be exposed to a bully in our lives. Bullying has been going on since the dawn of time, although what makes it particularly dangerous today is that social media inadvertently gives bullies more power and victims less self-worth. The false picture ...

Rural communities deserve better roads plan

Here in Michigan, we value hard work, fairness and responsible spending. The governor’s proposed 45-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase — which she continues to tour the state discussing — does not reflect any of these values. Her proposed increase was a rushed solution to a nuanced ...

Mother’s Day needs to be every day

Last week was one I hadn’t been looking forward to. It was six months in the making and, as May 12 approached, so did my apprehension. May 12 was Mother’s Day. Now, who can possibly be afraid of Mother’s Day? Six month’s ago, on Nov. 13, my world shook with the full force of God ...

Emergency scenes are not for spectators

Why are most people “adrenaline junkies”? Last Sunday, as local law enforcement were trying to cordon off a section of the north side and evaluate exactly what they were facing after shots had been fired in the neighborhood close to the Decorative Panels International plant, the ...

Minimum age to ride a motorcycle?

A reader asked if young children are allowed to ride on a motorcycle. Is there a minimum age for passengers? The reader also asked if a child is permitted to ride in front of the motorcycle operator. You may be surprised to know that Michigan law does not specify a minimum age to ride as a ...

Tell Harrisville how you feel about pot

Harrisville made Northeast Michigan history earlier this year by becoming the first local government in the region to affirmatively allow recreational marijuana businesses after Michigan voters legalized the drug in November. The new law allows Michiganders 21 or older to buy and consume ...

Using Kids Count to turn data into action

The Michigan League for Public Policy has produced the Kids Count in Michigan Data Book since 1992. And, while child well-being in Michigan has fluctuated during the last 27 years, a few things have been constant: the integrity of our data, the goal to generate policy change, and the intent to ...

Thank you, law enforcement officers

Each day this week, criminal justice reporter Julie Riddle is profiling a law enforcement officer from various Northeast Michigan agencies in honor of National Police Week. On Monday, we met Patrolman Adam David, of the Alpena Police Department, who was inspired into police work by his ...

Many cooks in the no-fault kitchen

The irony of the moment was not lost on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. There she was, taking a victory lap on a bipartisan plan to block law enforcement from keeping confiscated property from suspected drug dealers who were never convicted of a crime. Standing about six feet in back of her was the ...

Compassion, courage more common than evil

Two armed teenagers bent on carrying out a massacre invaded STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado on Tuesday. Life-saving courage enough was shown by a school security guard who ran toward the sound of gunfire and apprehended one of the assailants. At least the guard, a Marine veteran, ...

She’s right: Graduation is not a solo adventure

Alpena Community College kicked off the 2019 graduation season on Thursday as about 150 of their 337 graduates turned their tassels in the college’s commencement ceremonies. The photo taken by News reporter Crystal Nelson showed the joy, excitement and nervousness in students’ faces as ...

Tuesday’s APS defeat was a statement from voters

Pundits and prognosticators much smarter than I now have the task in front of them to try and decipher the meaning of the vote this week regarding Alpena Public Schools’ bond request. For what it’s worth, however, as I have sat and analyzed the lopsided results Tuesday, I trace the roots ...

All hail the mighty newspaper carrier

EDITOR’S NOTE: Before we begin this column, a note of correction. Last week, I wrote about the importance of thinking and reading critically. In that column, I wrote about a University of Connecticut study in which researchers directed students to a website detailing the fictional tree ...

Is smoking ban more gov’t intrusion?

Where is the line in the sand drawn regarding government’s regulations of rights people have enjoyed for years? In Alpena, that line could be drawn at city beaches this summer. The Municipal Council approved moving forward with an ordinance this week that would prohibit smoking of ...

DDA’s pot vote shows changing times

The times, they are a changin’. So was the title of Bob Dylan’s 1964 classic. We were reminded of that song this week after reading of the Alpena Downtown Development Authority’s recommendation to the Alpena Municipal Council that the city allow “up to two medical marijuana ...