Editorials and columns

No campaign reprieve in Michigan

Well that didn't take long. That collective sigh of relief you heard around the state on Nov. 9 was worn out voters eager to put the election behind them and get back to a normal life minus the Donald and the Hill. The delightful pause lasted a grand total of 54 days because on Monday, ...

Minimum wage needs to be fair to employees, businesses alike

The start of the year brought an increase in the minimum wage to approximately 101,000 workers in Michigan. The wage increased 40 cents an hour, from $8.50 to $8.90. Twenty other states also saw the minimum wage increase Jan. 1. The highest minimum wage nationally is in Massachusetts and ...

Taking an interesting look at numbers

Let me begin this morning with the number nine. No, this isn’t a print version of Sesame Street. I ask you ponder the number nine for a moment as it is very significant in all our daily lives right now. Nine is the number of daylight minutes we’ve gained since Dec. 21 — the winter ...

Hypocricy of being upset at lip syncing

Many people are having a great time making fun of Mariah Carey, the pop diva whose New Year's Eve performance went kerplop when technical difficulties made it clear her performance was lip-synced. Every news show on the planet delighted in replaying the disaster. And of course social media ...

Volunteer to start new year

Most everyone begins the New Year with a resolution involving a healthier lifestyle. Many also pledge to give back to their communities. If you have welcomed in 2017 with one or both of these on your list, consider volunteering. From national foundations with Michigan chapters to grassroots ...

In Rogers City, library and theater make for the perfect marriage

When the Presque Isle District Library last year acquired the Rogers City Theater as a result of Karl Heidemann’s generous donation, we were impressed. A marriage of the library - with its dynamic staff and community involvement- together with the theater and all the sweat, labor and love ...

Democrats’ plan to delay Trump nominees disservice to Americans

Democrats in the U.S. Senate have vowed to use every roadblock they can find to delay confirmation of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees. They have speculated they could drag the process out for as much as two months after Trump is inaugurated on Jan. 20. That would delay the ...

Garage sale lady and ideas

A while back a woman approached me at an event and asked if she could run something by me. I stopped to listen to what she wanted to talk about. She wanted to ask me what I thought about the idea of having a community or city-wide garage sale day. She said she had been to this type of event in ...

Republicans need to be cautious when trying to replace ACA

Haste makes waste, especially in Washington, D.C. There, undue haste to replace the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — could make it or something worse permanent. As its unofficial name implies, the national health care takeover law is President Barack Obama’s baby. Reportedly, he and ...

Highlighting successes made in 2016

The achievements we made in 2016 will continue moving Michigan forward on the road to recovery. For the sixth consecutive year, we passed a fiscally responsible budget that improves the efficiency of state government, supports our schools and protects our communities. We continued to ...

Montana energy project long overdue

Something long overdue appears to be happening in Montana. There, a company has been granted a license to construct a $1 billion electric energy project that amounts to a gigantic battery. Absaroka Energy of Bozeman, Mont., plans to build a 400-megawatt pumped storage facility. If completed, ...

Resolving to stop to make a new start

The month of January is named after the Roman god Janus, the god of beginnings. He was depicted as having two faces, one looking to the past, and one pointing toward the future. This is where our modern-day New Year’s resolutions originate. When the clock ticks over we officially mark the ...

New administration needs to stop the ever-increasing national debt

Both Republicans who control Congress and President-elect Donald Trump have plans to grant most Americans tax relief. They hope to inject real growth into an economy still recovering only anemically from the so-called Great Recession. In reconciling their slightly different versions of tax ...

Tall task head for Snyder in 2017

The tiny berg of Fraser, Mich., today, and who the heck knows which town or city tomorrow? In case you missed it Fraser, population 10,000 plus, made the national news the other day when a giant sinkhole devoured portions of 22 homes including three homes on Christmas Eve that made it ...

Getting dependable trolley fleet first step in building success

We’re disappointed to read of the ongoing problems the trolleys operated by the Thunder Bay Transportation Authority are having in Alpena. It seems as if from the very start the fleet has been plagued with mechanical and structural concerns. That, combined with poor use of the trolleys by ...

Peters another friend of NE Michigan

Former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin was a great friend of Alpena. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow has been equally supportive. But the way things keep shaping up, U.S. Gary Peters ultimately could be the best friend of all. Peters has spent a lot of time in Alpena during his term. Last summer he ...

Adios 2016, may you soon be forgotten

Pardon the paraphrase ... And now, the time has come and 2016 must face the final curtain. Amen and good riddance. This year will be remembered for a lot of things — few of them good. My eardrums, for one, will be glad when 2017 gets here. I know it's not just me, this year was Loud with a ...

Of substitute teachers, Internet ads

Come Heller high water … Michigan schools can't find nearly enough substitute teachers, which is why you're seeing billboards all over the state advertising for them. One superintendent told the Free Press, "The state really needs to do something. We have to look at why are students not ...

When you retire, where can you find investment income?

As an investor, your main goals will change at different times in your life. During your working years, you need to grow as many resources as possible for retirement. Once you retire, however, you will likely need to focus more on getting income from your investments. But what are your ...

ACC does thorough job exploring program’s options

No one wants to lose anything. Thus, when you read that Alpena Community College officials have dropped a once-popular training program, it makes you pause and wonder “why?” Such was the case with the college’s auto body repair program. However, after a very informative recent ...