Editorials and columns

Trump needs to have a better relationship with vice president

Several presidents have treated their vice presidents notoriously and sometimes irresponsibly badly. The late President Harry Truman knew all about that. When he took office upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, he had to be told about the atomic bomb. Roosevelt had kept him in the ...

Searching for what was Tony’s

A group of us were in Tony’s when folks from away came in. Back then automobile license plates were county coded. Alpena County’s code was “SX,” theirs wasn’t. The couple entered tentatively but stayed — ordered burgers and a Coke. The hamburgers arrived wrapped in wax paper, ...

Yellen says right things about regulatory burden

Apparently Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen feels more at liberty now to do the right thing. No wonder. She has a conservative Congress to back her up — and a president unlikely to veto its actions. On Tuesday, Yellen testified before the Senate Banking Committee. One of her key ...

Troopers’ union yells ‘foul’ on Snyder

Former President Jimmy Carter started all this way back when as he proudly announced that he would never tell a lie. And ever since, other office holders have been asked the same thing and most of them look in the camera, with fingers crossed, and reassure everyone they would never ...

McCourt leaves impressive legacy at ACC

Bobby Allen said it best last weekend: “He was the Bobby Knight of junior college basketball.” Indeed. Just as Knight was synonymous with Indiana or John Wooden was with UCLA, Frank McCourt has been with Alpena Community College. Anyone who has attended a game at Park Arena is ...

Prepare for an increase in gas prices

Hold onto your wallets. The low gasoline prices we have enjoyed over the past year and a half are about to slowly disappear again. Such is the warning that comes from the analysts of Gasbuddy.com — a group that has accurately monitored gas prices and trends since 2000. I follow their ...

Dems finally find their backbone

I'm the sort of guy who is quite likely to do the opposite of what you tell me to do. It's my thing. So when alt-right types tell me people of the liberal persuasion should stop fussing and hollering and just fall in line behind the president, no matter how badly he acts, despite the fact ...

Smart decision to close Alcona schools for two days

Class lessons in Northeast Michigan schools always face extra challenges with winter weather, but when you combine the weather with illness, it can make for a powerful one-two punch. Students in Alcona Community Schools found that out this week after many of them came down with either ...

Sure we can do it, and we deserve it

Our Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner was last week. Every year we try to improve the event and make changes that will result in a more efficient program and a better experience for the participants. This year, in an effort to add some fun and better control award presentation times, we ...

Troop limits in Afghanistan increases costs due to private contracting instead

When U.S. military helicopters were sent to Afghanistan to aid in the battle against terrorists there, many of their mechanics stayed behind in this country. Men and women accustomed to servicing the aircraft and with a very real stake in doing it well — their comrades in arms fly the ...

President Donald Trump’s foreign relations should focus on Pakistan

It may be that the most critical foreign relations problem facing President Donald Trump, at least in the short term, is not Russia or China. It is Pakistan, which for years has been enabling terrorist groups in Afghanistan and thus, the rest of the world. During testimony before the Senate ...

Who’s packing Alpena’s parachute?

Have you heard the story of Charlie Plumb? Charlie was a Navy pilot in Vietnam. He flew 75 combat missions before his plane was hit with a missile. Charlie parachuted from the destroyed plane into enemy territory, was captured, and spent six years in a Vietnamese prison. But because of his ...

Not all rules are vital; Trump plan not unconstitutional

On Jan. 30, President Donald Trump issued an order that requires federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new one they establish. It was in keeping with his pledge to reduce the cost and intrusiveness of government. Now, two organizations and a labor union have filed a ...

They’re different times for state budget

Back in the bad old days when Michigan's economy was in a nose dive, the news lead out of every state budget was how much was being sliced and diced out of state services in order to keep the state afloat and the budget balanced. Gov. Rick Snyder's most recent blueprint for spending $50 ...

Anschuetz deserving honoree of Citizen award

Chalk one up for the “good guys.” That was our first thought Thursday evening upon hearing the news Bruce Anschuetz had been chosen as the Alpena Outstanding Citizen of the Year. The announcement came at the annual Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce dinner. While many in the crowd that ...

Committed to transparent government

A recent editorial in The Alpena News implied I have been against transparency. That is wrong. I have been and remain a strong advocate for greater transparency and open government. I voted for legislation that would have done just that last year, and I have made it a top priority this ...

Township taxes discovery a lesson for all boards

Careful monitoring of financial records and close scrutiny of every line item expense should be standard procedure for every person serving on a board and voting on financial expenditures. That should be the reminder from this week’s accounts of financial woes in Alpena Township. The ...

Trump shouldn’t compare US to Russia when it comes to murder

Donald Trump is president in part because many Americans disliked his predecessor’s habit of refusing to recognize the exceptional nature of our government and the American people. Too often, former President Barack Obama cited our nation’s challenges — and there are many — in ...

What’s in a name? It’s who we are

What’s in a name? Sometimes a lot. Sometimes a surprise. I recently wrote about John, Alice, Bert and Rose. Many folks told me they liked the column — but it had an error. Bert wasn’t an Albert, he was a Burt. I’m not sure if he is a Burton or just plain Burt but he wasn’t ...