Editorials and columns

Don’t put lipstick on a pig; plant lilacs

Archaeologists will tell you the quickest way to find a potential treasure trove of buried history is finding old outhouses, where many discarded items were thrown. And the quickest way to find an old outhouse is to search for lilac trees, as the the beautiful aroma of the lilacs would ...

The end is here and so I say goodbye

The saying goes that all good things must come to an end. And to that, my time at The Alpena News has come to an end. I believe that everything in life has an expiration date and no two things have the exact same expiration; my expiration time here is now. The decision to leave was made in ...

It only seems summer is nearly done

Come Heller high water … ∫ The Fourth of July always seems like the back side of the hill for summer to me even though it's not. It's when I first think "OHMYGOD, SUMMER'S HALF OVER AND I HAVEN'T DONE (BLANK) YET!" Panic time. There will be kayaking. There will be picnics. There will be ...

Rejoice in rain; we can use all we get

Lawns are brown. Flowers shrivel in the afternoon sun. Air conditioners are hard to find and a bag of ice is among the best selling items at grocery stores each day. Welcome to the summer of 2018. There is a chance that as you read this today, there might be rain outside or it may have ...

Smart911 tools can help keep you safe

Today, I was asked about Smart911… I felt really horrible because all I could tell them was it is a program that local dispatch centers were looking at a while back to gather information. When they asked how they could participate, I had no idea where to direct them. By reaching out to the ...

A good news rescue in Montana

Newspapers have to report so much bad, upsetting news that the occasional heart-warmer comes as a welcome pleasure. The good news this week was not all from Thailand, where rescuers were in the process of pulling off the rescue of members of a boys’ soccer team who had been trapped in a ...

The performances of our lives

I am so proud of us — our extended community. Proud for reasons I hadn’t fully appreciated. Proud we worked for and obtained these opportunities, proud we recognize their value. Proud too we are smart enough to cherish them, wise enough to nourish and improve them, dedicated enough to ...

Hats off to the volunteer cleanup crew

Did you see how many people were in Northeast Michigan this week for the holiday? With all those people, did you ever wonder what becomes of the garbage, rubbish and trash left behind? Let’s be honest, many of us are terrible when it comes to cleaning up after ourselves. I was impressed ...

Lifeguards returning to Starlite Beach a welcome addition

Lifeguards are returning to Starlite Beach. After a long absence that left the city beach unprotected, a private entity, Northstar Executive Protection, has offered to place lifeguards at the beach on Fridays and Saturdays, from noon until 8 p.m. The offer to the city comes with no financial ...

NE Michigan’s Independence Day celebration continues

There’s something to be said for extending a good thing for as long as you can. Such is the case for the Independence Day celebrations across the region, which continue on through the weekend. If you count the Long Lake celebration last weekend as the beginning of this year’s holiday ...

Dear Alpena people …

I like you. Most of you anyway. As it has happened before during my 11 (whoa) years here at the Alpena Chamber, I was recruited recently for a CEO job at another chamber. This time it was another Chamber in Michigan. It was for considerably more money than what I make now. Granted, it was also ...

Today we celebrate an exceptional nation

Merely coming to America is not enough for some people born in foreign lands. Our nation is such a beacon of liberty and prosperity that some choose to go through the rigorous process of becoming citizens. How many do that says much about us, not just about our government but about us as ...

A new appreciation for Jury Duty

It’s been a while since I had civics class in high school. A long while. So in April, when I received the summons for jury duty, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to do. Courts, crime, and the like is not a part of my everyday life so I am not ...

Students’ hard work leads to discrimination

As we celebrate Independence Day this week, some Americans will reflect not just on the political significance but also on our ideals as a people. One of them is that individual initiative is rewarded. Not really, as Asian-Americans in some places have learned. Hard work and dedication by ...

Pennsylvania gender equity rule backfires

So-called “gender equity” rules have been adopted in some places with the specified goal of getting rid of good old boy dominance in politics. Sometimes they backfire. In Pennsylvania, two women who should have won election to the Democratic Party Central Committee in Philadelphia are ...

Newsprint tariffs: Bad for jobs and democracy

The U.S. Commerce Department has added anti-dumping duties of up to 32 percent on newsprint and some other paper products from Canada. According to the agency these products benefit from unfair Canadian government subsidies. Most newspaper publishers across the country disagree. The newly ...

Engler continues to survive challenges at MSU

Everybody who thought the MSU Board of Trustees would buckle and fire interim President John Engler raise your hand. If your hand is up go to your room. There was no way that was going to happen but it took a rare public apology from the former GOP governor to cement his future on the ...

Be safe around fireworks this Fourth of July

Nowhere is the Fourth of July better than in Northeast Michigan. Of course mention the Fourth, and one naturally instantly thinks of fireworks. With access to fireworks so much easier today than in years past, we also remind residents to exercise caution when using them. Even the most ...

The odds aren’t good for single moms

In 1963 a brash young balladeer by the name of Bob Dylan recorded “The times they are a changin.” The song, an anthem of change for its day, would become one of Dylan’s best known recordings. Dylan’s lyrics were indeed true then, just as they are true today. And whether we are ...

Finding those things we can agree on

Last week, I asked readers to send me examples of things, no matter how basic, that most people, no matter who they are, can agree on. I did this for me. I've been truly dispirited lately about how angry and divided the country seems to be right now — more so than any time in my adult ...