Editorials and columns

Embrace the lesson in every experience

There is no playbook for life. I’ve learned a few things about what seems to work best regarding how we should approach life, especially when facing difficult situations. In addition to battles I’ve already shared like my eating disorder, depression, and family alcoholism, my family ...

At least Putin was willing to talk to US; not so with Iran

Meeting with our nation’s enemies in an effort to find some common ground is a good idea, despite criticism of President Donald Trump for meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. At least Putin was willing to talk. That is more than can be said about Iranian President Hassan ...

Change can happen to the best of us!

This past weekend, I had a chance to revisit a favorite camping spot in Northeast Michigan. As a child, our family would make annual pilgrimages to Shoepac Lake in southwest Presque Isle County. The property includes a deep fishing lake, rustic sites, and a trail that loops around five ...

Endorsements can be yummy, but they may make you sick

Political endorsements are like your Mom’s favorite chicken soup. It may not cure all your ills, but it doesn’t hurt ... or does it? With an electorate that often doesn’t know squat about a candidate’s qualifications, the office seeker often turns to someone the voter does know and ...

Critics of Trump’s economic stance were wrong

His critics labeled President Donald Trump a dangerous bull in the economic china shop when he threatened to slap new tariffs on some goods imported from European Union members. They were long overdue in response to unfair trade tactics aimed at the United States by the EU, Trump ...

Let the sounds of freedom ring in Aug.

In the old days, they used to refer to the pungent odor from Alpena’s industries as the “smell of money.” Keeping in that vein, then, we are a week away from the “sounds of freedom” screaming across the sky over Northern Michigan. From Aug. 5 to 18, the Alpena Combat Readiness ...

Local votes are the ones that matter

In many ways, it is a shame that a presidential election gains all the voter interest. As far as we’re concerned, it is elections like that which will occur Aug. 7 that should have residents excited and eager to vote. It is these types of elections — electing officials at the local and ...

‘Surrender tomorrow to Jesus’

At my father’s graveside committal service 26 years ago this week, I was the last one to leave. My cousin, a Baptist pastor from Muscatine, Iowa, had stood with me for quite awhile. As I recall, more watching than talking. There was the lowering of the casket into the vault. Then the dirt was ...

Good to see county spending on parks to draw visitors

Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Such seems to be the case in Alpena County, where the county government’s three campgrounds are experiencing a significant increase in use this summer. The three — Sunken Lake, Long Lake and Beaver Lake — all are enjoying more visitors. ...

Celebrate August, the peak of summer

Come August, there’s always a change in the air, my mom always says. Not quite a chill, but rather a reminder of the change that is to come, a promise, a hint. As the novelist Natalie Babbitt puts it: “The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long ...

Motorists, bicyclists should show respect

Although I have previously published this article, there have been numerous complaints to the post in regards to motorists sharing the roadway with bicycles. Citizens complain the bicyclists are riding three or more wide, taking up the entire lane, causing traffic to slow down, and the ...

Make home countries more prosperous for would-be immigrants

Most illegal immigrants come to the United States for economic opportunity. A few make the journey to escape political repression or crime. In many ways, what they do is entirely understandable — though, of course, immigration laws need to be enforced. Making their own homelands more ...

Summer sounds from an earlier Alpena

Let me take you back to a time when TV sets were few and those that were around had poor reception from distant stations; back when people got up and walked places, talked to people, and grocery shopped at neighborhood stores. On those rare occasions when reception was clear — the result ...

Oh, how quickly the high road is abandoned

It’s a funny thing what politicians will do once they conclude their campaign needs a kick in the pants. Ask Democratic candidate for governor Abdul El Sayed, who recently flip-flopped on the issue of attacking his opponents. Last June, during the first televised debate featuring Gretchen ...

On water fight: There’s no money tree

I remember my brother and I being told growing up many a time, “You know, money doesn’t grow on trees.” As an adult, I wasn’t so sure my parents were right as I drove up to the ATM machine to withdraw funds. To my boys in the back seat, it seemed like all dad had to do was punch some ...

Time to act on Line 5

Here are some numbers to ponder this morning. Hundreds of miles of Great Lakes shoreline. $1.8 billion in clean-up costs. 2.4 million gallons of spilled oil. Those are some of the staggering numbers found in a 400-page draft report released by Michigan officials Thursday. The ...

Doing nothing at jail site may not fly

Don’t you love an interesting tale of “good vs. evil?” Wednesday’s Finance Committee meeting of the Alpena commissioners reminded us of such a tale. In one corner was Commissioner Cam Habermehl, champion of the little guy and common sense everywhere. In the other corner was the ...

The collective impact of chambers

The Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce belongs to the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals (MACP). It’s where we receive much of our staff’s professional development resources and training, how we work to strengthen the chamber industry in the state and where we find advice and ...

My grandmother’s legacy: Love, support

Margaret Kline always said she wanted to marry a farmer. She loved telling the story of how she rode the Snow Train to Alpena from Detroit for the winter carnival. Spending time as a girl on her relative’s farm gave her visions of living on her own farm. After meeting Grandpa upon arriving in ...

Michigan ranked a great place to retire

A new study out this week pegs Michigan as a pretty attractive place to retire. Mind you, it doesn’t compare to number-one South Dakota, which evidently has become a very attractive senior magnet, but at number 14, it fared better than 36 other states as a retirement destination. The ...