Editorials and columns

Candidates hold first debates

A rare treat last week as voters and the political media got not one but two extended looks at the candidates running for governor and if you watched the WOOD-TV debate good for you and if you read about the appearance in front of about 150 newspaper editors, another good for you. But alas, ...

Hillman left looking for a new plan

It's back to the drawing board for Hillman Community Schools after Tuesday's election as the sinking fund millage request failed, 273-266. Seven votes separated Hillman from a fund for making building repairs, installing a security system and implementing upgrades to help the learning ...

Cost of amusement park a real eye-opener

Come Heller high water … ∫ This is probably about the most obvious thing I've ever written, but, holy cow, are the theme parks in Orlando expensive. I hadn't been to one in 25 years. Back then, it cost an arm and a leg. This time it cost an arm, a leg and all of the arms and legs of the ...

Kudos and good luck to ACC grads

Alpena Community College has sent a new batch of graduates into the world following Thursday's commencement. This was the 65th graduating class for the college. A community college is a true measure of the community, with stories as varied as there are students. In Thursday's edition of The ...

It will change you if you let it

It will if you let it. I most often say it to myself, but occasionally, I say it to others too. I said it recently in response to a person who was complaining about how irritating certain posts on social media were. I thought he was going to tell me the posts about politics were annoying, or ...

Kim can’t be allowed to fracture US-South Korea relations

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un may be telegraphing his punch. If so, it would answer the question of what his charm offensive is designed to accomplish. President Donald Trump and Kim plan to meet in person to discuss a way to alleviate tension over Pyongyang’s weapons buildup. High ...

‘Useful idiots’ deserve blame

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had a valid point in a speech delivered in Berlin last week, on the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth. Marx, Juncker said, “isn’t responsible for all the atrocity his alleged heirs have to answer for.” Perhaps not. Marx, an icon ...

Haspel deserves fair consideration for her nomination

To her credit, Gina Haspel, nominated by President Donald Trump to head the CIA, offered last week to withdraw from contention. Reportedly, White House officials, no doubt with Trump’s knowledge, told her she retains the president’s confidence. Good. Haspel spent much of her career at ...

Gentle encouragement opens doors

In fifth grade my dad asked me if I wanted to show an animal at the fair. At first it sounded like a lot of work and it might cut into my time reading Nancy Drew novels. He said he had a new baby calf in the barn and if I wanted him, I could raise him and show him at the county fair. If I ...

Seattle showing how not to treat big business

Events in Seattle are re-emphasizing a point about economic development that too many government officials seem to have forgotten: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Officials in that West Coast city have said they plan to establish a new “head tax” on businesses that gross more than ...

Everyone wins with firefighters training on Miller Building

Practical hands-on training is valuable for all of us, but imagine how much more so it would be for area firefighters. Thanks to the generosity of a local businessman, Alpena city firefighters earlier in the week had access to a building that ultimately was destined for demolition. Before the ...

Wait and see when it comes to Locks

It’s hard for me to get too excited about all the hoopla surrounding President Trump’s endorsement last weekend of repairing the Soo Locks that connect Lake Superior with Lake Huron. Instead, I stand on the sidelines and smile at all the politicians falling over themselves jockeying for ...

MLB’s all or nothing strikes a sour note

Forgive me for writing a sports column, but Major League Baseball is driving me nuts. I love baseball and like many it was the sport of my youth. Small towns in the summer in the early to mid 1970s didn't have lots of organized sports and baseball was it. That didn't matter because I loved the ...

Matter of respect

Disrespect is an alarming problem in our country. Its presence is felt in society and, sad to say, even within the church, the family of God. It is evident in our schools. It is on display at sporting events, no matter what age. But without a doubt, the problem begins with the way we treat one ...

Take extra caution before deciding to burn

Wildfire cautions in Michigan this time of year are not that unusual. Rarely do those warnings cover the majority of the state, however, as they did Tuesday. The Lower Peninsula was under a red flag fire alert, the highest level of warning issued, while the Upper Peninsula was under an ...

Stopping harm of cyberbullies

Growing up there was always a particular kid who was a little bigger than the rest of the class. He would use his size to intimidate other kids on the playground. He would then turn to name calling or teasing if his size did not intimidate the others. He was known on the playground as a ...

Cosby conviction sends a message

Last week’s conviction of entertainer Bill Cosby on a charge of sexually assaulting a woman was a milestone, in a way. Some people consider Cosby the funniest man they ever heard deliver a monologue. For years, millions of Americans viewed him as a model for fatherhood. And many black ...

Making a full disclosure

I am about to make a full disclosure. It’s one of those things people don’t like to do themselves but seem to enjoy when other people do it. I’ve been writing this bi-weekly column for 2 1/2 years now but I’m not at all sure what it is I’m doing. The column has followed a ...