Editorials and columns

Unemployment rate doesn’t tell the whole story

President Donald Trump has received an enormous amount of criticism — much of it justified — for some of his off-the-cuff comments. One, about unemployment in the United States, was right on target, however. Earlier this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the nation’s ...

The use of HGH not all it’s cracked up to be

Some men turn to human growth hormone or testosterone hoping to feel more youthful. HGH normally drops after sexual maturity while testosterone normally declines slowly throughout adulthood. While those with specific medical conditions benefit from hormones, for others the anti-aging ...

Governor has another, less-publicized, water problem

This is one of those stories that when you are finished reading it, you might say to yourself, this can't possibly be true. Oh, but it is. The state's ever-vigilant environmental lobby has more to do than gripe about Pipeline 5 beneath the Straits of Mackinac. There is another water ...

APS makes right call with change to school start date

We agree with members of Alpena Public Schools Board of Education to have students start school next year before Labor Day. Classes will begin Aug. 28, the Monday before Labor Day. We never have been a fan of waiting until after the holiday to begin classes, but until recently it was ...

Recent news indicates slowing economy

The Door County Peninsula of Wisconsin is one of that state’s important tourism regions. As you turn on the main road of the peninsula and drive through Sturgeon Bay — the first community you pass on the peninsula — you can’t help but notice the vacant big box not far off the highway ...

Of Twitter, Chuck Barris and Sears

Come Heller high water … ∫ Happy birthday to Twitter, which turned 11 this week. It seems like only yesterday when people kept their meaningless thoughts to themselves, doesn't it? ∫ I will say this for Twitter, though. It's still fun to see grown adults semi-cringe when they have ...

Transparency legislation needs to be passed

Last week the Michigan House approved a package of bills aimed to make the offices of state lawmakers and the governor more transparent to the public. The legislation now has moved to the Senate, where it is expected to be greeted less enthusiastically. Thus, we ask Senate Majority Leader ...

Accountability, transparency should be required

Not only should government transparency be expected in a democratic system, it should be required by law. Unfortunately, Michigan is one of only a handful of states in which the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Likewise, ...

Gorsuch right kind of judge for Supreme Court

Not infrequently, state and federal appeals court judges and justices surprise and even disappoint those who supported them when they were nominated. In a way, that is a very good thing — just what Americans ought to want from the ultimate arbiters of our laws and the U.S. ...

Senators need to focus Gorsuch during hearings

Some U.S. senators would do the nation a favor if they pondered who and what they are discussing in this week’s confirmation hearings for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, who has been nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court. During opening statements Monday by members of the Judiciary Committee, ...

Missing how the game was played

I miss a lot: I miss the way things used to be and the people who made those times the way they were. I could go on about things I miss — but so could you. There’s been a whole heap of changes hasn’t there? But though I miss the old places and old times more and more, I miss many of ...

With a bigger proposed budget, spending wisely is important

It is not difficult to visualize what Washington lobbyists for the big defense contractors were doing Thursday. They were rubbing their hands together in glee over President Donald Trump’s budget proposal. Trump included a $54 billion increase in military spending in the $1.15 trillion ...

A picture that spoke volumes

One picture is worth a thousand words and President Donald Trump proved that the other day. It's no secret that the new president and the current Michigan governor are not the best of buds. Last December, Gov. Rick Snyder stated the obvious, "I have no relationship" with Mr. Trump. Up to ...

First recipients worthy of newly named Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award

Former State Rep. Peter Pettalia represented Northeast Michigan well. And, while he was a friend to many organizations and interests across the region, he was a particular advocate for open meetings, Freedom of Information, public notice transparency and First Amendment issues. As a former ...

Proposed budget is just that, proposed

IF all of President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts were to take effect unchanged, the result would be devastating to Northeast Michigan. BUT that will not be the case, as now begins the lobbying and negotiating efforts to determine what stays, what goes and what changes. And while ...

Nothing good to say about March

If I were asked to say something nice about the month of March at its funeral, I'd have to decline. What's there to say? "March was like a girlfriend I once had — usually cold and frosty but with an occasional glimpse of warmth"? "March? Well, it was good for connecting February to ...

County upgrades would help ensure fewer issues in election process

News that Alpena County should have improved election hardware and software in place by this time next year is welcome news indeed for county voters. While a lot of focus was placed on the election process nationwide this past November, the one thing that focus did help identify was the need ...

Keep the light shining bright on our government

For more than two centuries, the bedrock of our liberty and prosperity as Americans has been our right to know what is going on around us and to discuss it freely. Our nation’s founders believed that was so important that when they wrote the Bill or Rights, they made freedom of speech the ...

How technology might affect future communications

If you ask Siri for something, do you say please before your request, and then say thank you after she assists you? For those of you who don’t know, Siri is the “intelligent assistant” that Apple has developed to allow users of the iPhone and other Apple devices to use their natural voice ...

Given a choice between fear and apathy, I’ll take fear

Dystopia is in the air these days. George Orwell’s “1984” is selling like hotcakes — if hotcakes still sold well in this low-carb world. Is the president to blame? I think historians, no doubt working from their subterranean monasteries, bunkered from the radioactive wasteland ...