Editorials and columns

Hats off, good luck to AHS robotics team

For some it might seem routine at this point, but not so for Alpena High School’s FIRST Robotics Team 5505. For the third straight year 20 members of that team have traveled to St. Louis to compete in the world championships. The competition began Thursday and continues through Saturday. ...

Time for action to help struggling area families

A report released last month by the Michigan Association of United Ways provides the latest documentation that far too many people are living in poverty or near poverty in northwest Lower Michigan. That needs to change if the region is to thrive. The 2017 ALICE (Asset Limited, Income ...

Ten years of working at the chamber

On May 15, I will have been at the Chamber for 10 years. It feels like two. That’s an entire decade, or a little less than one third of my life. It is hard to believe it has been that long. Especially considering that when I took this position I told my family, “Two years. I will be here ...

Study reveals issues regarding children’s sleep

Studies by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine should serve as a wake-up call for both parents and school officials. In more than a few schools, teenagers and even younger children are expected to be ready to learn before 8 a.m. on school days. AASM scientists say that may be ...

We need to know how far intelligence community is going to collect data

Much of the media attention on the intelligence community’s surveillance activities has focused on top government officials, right up to and including President Donald Trump. But what about the rest of us? Is the government snooping on Jane and John Q. Public, too? Some members of ...

Our water resources, our responsibility

Who knew we had so many shipwrecks near Alpena? Thirty years ago, if you asked me about shipwrecks, I would have told you there were a couple out in the bay; that one that sticks up out of the water and a couple others that people fish around. When Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary was ...

Kelly doing his job: Enforcing the law

Some government officials are being condemned by millions of Americans for a strange reason: They are enforcing the law. That makes no sense except to those who have forgotten our very freedom is based on rule by law, not by the whims of powerful individuals or whatever happens to be the ...

As downward enrollment trend continues APS keeps stretching funds

When it comes to counting heads, the Alpena Public Schools has a pretty good system in place. And while we would hope the number of heads would be increasing in the district, unfortunately that still isn’t the case. This week Diane Block, assistant superintendent, shared with the board ...

We are the ones who can stop pollution

Today is Earth Day, a time to reflect on the natural beauty all around us. Over the years this day has been important to me, not so much because I’m a passionate environmentalist, but rather because I appreciate the importance of nature around me, and know I am blessed to live in a region ...

Oh, the ‘joys’ of air travel

Long before the recent United Airlines incident where a man was bloodied and dragged off a flight for not giving up his seat, I thought flying was the most dismal form of transportation known to man, with the possible exception of a gassy camel. But that incident certainly confirmed ...

It is only the beginning

It always amazed me how some people possess a natural talent when introducing themselves. Personally I feel like an awkward turtle and wonder if I am boring the poor person to death or if I am actually making some headway. I wish there was a seminar somewhere close that would teach me how to ...

Gas tax is high, but road quality isn’t

Earlier this week Americans observed “Tax Day” when state and federal income tax returns needed filed. Taxes just don’t end there obviously. For instance, think about $198 million. According to analysts at GasBuddy.com, that is the amount of taxes motorists across the country will ...

Tokyo anniversary should serve as reminder to enemies

Seventy-five years ago Tuesday, people in Tokyo, Japan, looked up and saw something they had been assured was not possible: American B-25 bombers flying low as bombs spilled from them onto the city. Japan’s surprise attack at Pearl Harbor was supposed to have been the kickoff of an ...

Out-of-state drivers and roadside traffic bond

One question which always seems to come up is about posting roadside bond and how it is not considered a bribe for the officer. Michigan residents, who have out-of-state relatives who are stopped in Michigan, and cited, sometimes will hear that the officer kept the out-of-state driver's ...

All options need to be explored to rein in North Korea

“Gotta behave,” President Donald Trump warned North Korea this week. Also on Monday, Vice President Mike Pence cautioned Pyongyang that “the era of strategic patience is over.” During the weekend, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson telephoned Chinese leaders to talk about tension ...

It’s more important, right now, to have China as ally against North Korea

President Donald Trump is being criticized for dropping complaints about currency manipulation by China, while he attempts to gain Beijing’s help against North Korea’s rogue regime. It is true that China’s currency manipulation has been harmful to some U.S. businesses and workers. At ...

Knowing what I don’t know

How can I know what it is I don’t know? I don’t mean I should know anything I don’t know now, only know what it is I don’t now know so I can anticipate and get a jump on things by learning what it is I need to know. I’m having trouble though. There is a barrier of time between ...

All aspects of Obamacare should be considered for reform, repeal

With a new move to repeal and replace the Obamacare health insurance law gaining steam, President Donald Trump and members of Congress already are being urged to not go too far. Trump is being urged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and organizations representing the health care and health ...

Hats off to ACC nursing program for accreditation

Congratulations to Alpena Community College’s nursing program for receiving accreditation. The achievement is noteworthy and provided college teachers, administration and students a reason to smile this week. Make no mistake, receiving accreditation is a huge achievement. Accreditation ...

HUNT has positive impact on region

When a community suffers from a drug problem, it’s like an octopus whose tentacles reach far and wide. Naturally the problem impacts the user, and abuser. But the problem also often impacts relationships with a spouse or friend, impacts parenting skills, affects employment and, in some ...