Editorials and columns

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 ...

Some Dems show they respect how the system works

Fortunately, some Democrats in the U.S. Senate are beginning to think about the meaning of “loyal opposition” in government. It means standing firm on specific issues, without engaging in wholesale obstructionism. Many Americans disagree with some or even all of President Donald ...

Early announcements for 2018

If the early bird catches the worm, lots of worms are being caught in the political arena these days. At the front of the line is Dr. James Hines. The virtually unknown doctor from Saginaw announced over a year ago that he would seek the GOP nomination for governor. He's hoping to replicate ...

Allor makes good first move

We like the way State Rep. Sue Allor, R-Wolverine, is starting out in Lansing. The first bill the freshman legislator introduced was aimed at making state government more transparent to the public. Allor joined with both GOP and Democrat legislators in introducing legislation that was part ...

National day for the music lover in me

Today is National The Day the Music Died Day honoring Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and Jiles Perry Richardson Jr., also known as The Big Bopper, who lost their lives in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959. Buddy Holly had chartered a plane in Mason City, Iowa, to fly himself and his band mates ...

How are we really a better country?

I get — we all get — that the party that controls Congress and the White House gets to remake the country in its own image. To the winner go the spoils. But how are we a better country for it? That's what I can't figure out: Why do the Republicans in charge think America is a better and ...

Men face unique challenges in resolving grief

While our culture continually challenges men to engage more in “traditionally female” activities at home, our cultural expectations of their behavior are not often in sync with these notions, especially when it comes to expressing feelings and emotions. Our society expects men to avoid ...

Business Expo perfect excuse to get out of the house

Seventeen years ago the advertising manager of The Alpena News convinced newspaper staffers that we could perform a public service by filling a need the community had at that time — sponsoring an expo that would showcase regional businesses. That first expo not only was a success, it has ...

Look close to be reminded of the good

Sometimes, especially in the last few years, I get frustrated when I look at the things going on in our world. It is more than just a feeling of frustration. I also get sad and sometimes even angry. I see an increasing inability for people to have a conversation about controversial topics ...

Trump’s ban not wrong, but vetting process needs work

President Donald Trump’s order banning travel to this country by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries certainly could have benefited from more planning. For example, denying re-entry to travelers who resided here, then left the United States intending to return within days or ...

Trump makes right call on pipeline

Among the headlines President Donald Trump made this week was one citing his executive order to clear obstacles standing in the way of the proposed Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. That is a good start, many local residents may have reacted. Now, let’s move on to accelerating ...

The uphill climb for Dr. Hines

Would you get on a bus, travel to seven Michigan cities with a dozen or so of your close friend, take loaded questions from the news media and hope that you don't get caught in a snow storm? You wouldn't but Dr. Jim Hines would. You see he wants to trade the title Dr. for ...

EPA chief needs to be confirmed sooner rather than later

Several of President Donald Trump’s key nominees have been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Even a few about whom partisan bickering was strident have been approved. But Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency, continues to cool his ...

Not trying to always trash Trump

Come Heller high water … Listen, I swear my intent with this weekly bits and pieces column is not to keep constantly bashing the Trumpster, really it isn't. But what am I supposed to do? I have never — ever — experienced an adult human being who knowingly and with gusto lies up a ...