Editorials and columns

America should aid Mexico’s fight on border crossing

Even before President Donald Trump threatened to use tariffs on Mexican goods imported into the United States, that country’s leaders seemed to be doing more than their predecessors to keep potential illegal immigrants from crossing our southern border. Now, however, the campaign has ...

‘So, when are you going to retire, Bill?’

As a Baby Boomer and the husband of a wife who now has been retired three-quarters of a year, I often am asked the question, “So, when are you considering retiring?” I suppose my answer depends on the day. Some days, it would be easy to answer, “Tomorrow.” Others, I really don’t ...

The press police when the police can’t

Without a doubt, one of the weirdest chapters of my career was the time I spent covering Emmett Township, which hugs Battle Creek’s eastern edge and is the second-most populous community in Calhoun County. The largely inexperienced board did all kinds of funny and odd things, but perhaps ...

If not Line 5, then what?

The “not in my back yard” syndrome is a real issue that problem-solvers face with any challenging situation. Certainly, the controversy over the Enbridge Inc. Line 5 oil pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac contains a lot of “NIMBY” emotion, and understandably so. The one ...

This column contains CBD oil …

Come Heller high water ... ∫ Before I get started, a quick disclosure: This column contains CBD oil. Why? Because I’m pretty sure that, by law, everything has to contain it, nowadays. My problem is I have no idea what it is or what it’s supposed to do. Please don’t enlighten me. I ...

Snyder falls victim to mob mentality

We detest mob mentality. While once mob mentality was only evidenced by a strong-willed person taking control at a gathering and influencing others into a frenzy, today it just as easy — if not easier — to form a mob on social media and then “have at it.” The latest victim was ...

Police officers’ response to locked cars

It was brought to my attention numerous times throughout the holiday weekend that, on the Fourth of July, a resident made a post on Facebook about how police officers at the Michigan State Police-Alpena Post do not have the proper equipment to assist residents who have ...

Women soccer players deserve equal pay

Equal pay for equal work has been one justification cited by those who believe the U.S. Soccer Federation’s World Cup-winning women’s team should be paid as much as those on the men’s team. But that is misleading: In an important way, the women are doing more valuable work. U.S. Sen. ...

State must do more for homeless kids

On the first day of my first full-time job as a preschool teacher, I walked into a beautiful building full of beautiful children and I was ready to take on the world. The human resources manager welcomed me to the agency and then turned on an orientation video and left the room. It was ...

Glad to see Alpena veteran get his due

Last week, just in time for the celebration of America’s birth and those who sacrificed to keep this great country living, came the news of George Guild finally getting his due. Guild was the first Alpena native to die fighting for his country when he was killed in action on Nov. 3, 1864, ...

Taking my grandkids to the circus

I had forgotten — or, if not forgotten, it had been too long since I last experienced — the wonder of a circus. Perhaps a residue of slickness or a sensation of seediness had draped a cover over it in that portion of my mind where lasting impressions are stored. The circus’s wonder laid ...

Dana Nessel’s full-speed-ahead schedule, trying not to burn out

It might not be an unanimous opinion, but you could make a strong case for declaring the new Democratic attorney general as the most prolific newsmaker in this town so far this year. From her staging a first-ever news conference with the GOP speaker of the House in front of the state House ...

Know the law, be responsible

One of the oldest and truest adages goes like this: Ignorance of the law is no excuse. That truism is especially relevant for Michiganders entering into the relatively untested waters of legal recreational marijuana. Though voters in November legalized the commercial sale and personal use ...

Celebrate Fishapalooza, celebrate Alpena

The fish mural on the side of the Local Basket Case downtown has, in our minds, come to symbolize the creative spirit, tenacity, and brother- and sisterhood that makes Alpena the wonderful city that it is. The mural, known as “Make a Splash for Art,” was a point of community pride when ...

Sometimes, life is as simple as lightning bugs

Off in the distance, the first visible pop of yellow caught their eyes. Concentrating more intently, they walked over to the area where the yellow first appeared. On the way, however, they were greeted with a flash here and a pop there. Moving as fast as they could to each area, it wasn’t ...

How the free press helped free America

“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” — Thomas Paine, “American Crisis” This week, as I do every July 4, I pondered on the bravery and nobility of our founding fathers, ...

Alpena strawberries a sweet treat to grab now

Is there anything sweeter than an Alpena strawberry? We love this time of year, for with it comes the delicious, sweet taste of Alpena strawberries. As we enjoy a fresh bowl of the delicious, bright red fruit, we actually can envision what heaven must be like with every bite. Our only ...

Cartoon that led to firing was brilliant

Come Heller high water ... ∫ This will not surprise you but I disagree with our tinhorn dictator about his Fourth of July celebration. Turning it into a military parade is so juvenile, so beneath us, so ... Soviet. We’re better than that. Or used to be, anyway. ∫ I like Michigan’s ...

Lessons from a broken bone

I broke my clavicle (collar bone) almost four weeks ago, and you know I look at everything as a learning experience, so I couldn’t let the opportunity slip by before unpacking it for lessons. Those of you who know about the accident likely expected this column at some point. Before I share ...

The sad tale of my rich Uncle Sam’s lonely trip to the banker

One day after my rich uncle’s birthday, he went to a bank and told the banker he needed a loan. The banker replied, “Certainly, Sam, that’s what we do here. Why don’t you come up to my office and we can discuss what you need?” They grabbed a cup of coffee, took the elevator to the ...