Editorials and columns

Fall harvest, an ode to the local farmer

It was dark. The cold fall wind hit my face as I sat next to my dad on the tractor. The bumps in the field knocked me from side to side. My main concerns were a firm hand grip on the back of the seat, and bracing my legs against the tractor fender. Some of the details are fuzzy. Was I ...

Find a way to hear Christine Ford

Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate have an obligation — one of fairness as well as self-defense politics — to do all in their power to hear Christine Blasey Ford’s story about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. If that means shuffling their schedule, so be it. Until a few days ...

Is GOP nod a good thing for Whitmer? 

If you’re running for a statewide office, the last thing you want is members of your own party coalescing to defeat you. GOP candidate for governor Bill Schuette is 10 points behind Democrat Gretchen Whitmer — he’s 21 points behind her with the all important independent female vote — ...

Time for city, township to get together

Judge Michael Mack issued a ruling this week on the legal dispute between Alpena City and Alpena Township officials over water rates. His ruling ended one aspect of a years-long debate over the rates between the two entities. And while it was important — indeed significant — just as ...

Newspapers are the kings of capitalism

Newspapers have for years been called liberal, communist rags, but they are in fact the kings of capitalism. To many people, the newspaper is just something that shows up on their doorsteps or at the gas station every morning, full of a lot of news that sometimes makes them uncomfortable or ...

Bring on the bots

Alpena knows how to roll out the red carpet for guests. Based on positive experiences last year, when Alpena High School hosted a For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics district competition, this year, the school will host two. Being able to host two on ...

Fast internet key for ag success

The agricultural industry is highly competitive, has global influence and is constantly evolving. To keep pace, Michigan’s agribusinesses and farm operations need access to the best tools and technology — including high-speed internet. Unfortunately, rural areas in Michigan are hampered ...

Budget shortfall a sign of deeper troubles in Alpena

A disturbing “sign of the times” was shared Wednesday with the public at the Alpena County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee meeting. There, Family Division Juvenile and Financial Officer Janelle Mott told members that the $980,000 budgeted for child care this year was going to be ...

Left turn lane not for merging in traffic

I honestly cannot count the number of times I have been asked about left-turn lanes being used as merge lanes. I have had people complain about others using the left-turn lane to merge into traffic. I have had others complain about how difficult it is to get out into traffic without using the ...

At age 75, tailoring the passage of time

I’ve been thinking about time and it’s about time — I’m 75 years old. When my mother turned 75, she announced to the family: “I’m 75 years old now — I’m an old lady.” Maybe she was. I never thought of her as old, but then, she was my mother. I don’t think of myself as old, ...

Lawmakers need to make tough decisions

It was not an easy decision in 2010 to shift School Aid Fund money away from K-12 schools to fund community colleges. I know. I was there. And I voted for it, albeit reluctantly. The School Aid Fund was first established in 1955 and, in its 54-year history, it had never been used for anything ...

Chamber looks back to the future

Sometimes the best ideas to tackle an issue can be found in the past. Such might be the case out of Alcona County, where Mark Miller, a consultant from Miller and Associates in Oscoda, met with members of the Alcona County Chamber of Commerce last week. Miller is helping chamber members ...

Are we repeating the past?

This is for old-timers who are reading this because the younger generation has no idea what a newspaper is. So for you folks who are watching this race for governor you may feel as though you've seen this movie before. And your feelings are well placed because you have. It's 1982 and ...

No more need for blood donors

No Virginia, there isn’t a Santa Claus. That’s what it feels like with the tentative decision by the American Red Cross to end blood drives in outstate Michigan beginning in November. Starting that month, blood only will be collected at Red Cross locations in Lansing, Flint and the ...

Season changed with the ‘blink of an eye’

It’s begun. As one season transitions to the next, in this instance summer to autumn, there is a noticeable crispness in the air. The hours of daylight grow shorter and the early morning darkness lasts longer. For me that can be an added bonus as it allows me to head to the water — to ...

Miss Michigan reps our state well

Miss Michigan didn’t win the Miss America pageant last week, but she did win a bigger prize, I figure. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. You probably didn’t see the pageant. Relatively few did. The ratings said about 4 million TVs were tuned to it, down about 20 percent from the previous year, which was ...

What a mess

I started a new job recently. To earn an income while I’m working on launching a freelancing business, I signed up to clean rooms at a local motel. (It’s actually a pretty funny choice of jobs. My family and our pet dust bunnies will attest that, at home, I’m not exactly the world’s ...

Make sure you’re ready for disaster

As Hurricane Florence unleashes her fury on the East Coast, it is a good time to ask yourself, “If a natural disaster struck Northeast Michigan, would I be prepared?” None of us likes to consider a disaster occurring here. Yet, none of us are immune from that possibility. With September ...

NY Times was wrong to run unnamed op-ed

It is a rare day, indeed, that I disagree with the Gray Lady, but the venerable New York Times was wrong to run an anonymous opinion piece earlier this month. For those who missed it, the Times on Sept. 5 ran on its opinion pages an editorial penned by someone identified only as a “senior ...

We urge you to unite with the United Way

Last week, the 2018 campaign by the United Way for Northeast Michigan got underway, and the goal for the campaign is impressive — $217,000. The 2017 goal was $215,000 and, ultimately, $219,348 was raised to assist local public service agencies associated with United Way. This year’s ...