Editorials and columns

The clear and present danger that is summer

Perhaps you are under the impression that summers are fun and carefree, especially for kids. Perhaps you are incorrect. As a longtime connoisseur of scare journalism ("Next on News 4: What you don't know about suntan lotion can kill you"), I feel it's my duty to alert you to a heretofore ...

God’s gift of joy

Americans, as well as Canadians (on this 150th Canada Day birthday celebration), love the pursuit of pleasure. Fun and relaxation are intended to bring us joy, are they not? We go to great lengths in arranging our schedules, our lives to pursue some pleasure. Theaters in the basement of our ...

Community garage sale becomes reality thanks to resident’s determination

Arlis St. Charles knows how to get things down. Today she and a small group of dedicated volunteers have turned a dream into reality with Alpena’s first-ever community garage sale. The event will continue Saturday and involves 49 families. St. Charles enjoys a good garage sale and from ...

Unmarked rescue and fire vehicles

Since I have started this column a number of people approach me with their questions in all sorts of places, the latest while I was off-duty at a garage sale. The reader went on to talk about how all the volunteers with the township fire departments personal vehicles are different and how can ...

They left a light on in Hillman

Joe and Josie Taraskiewicz always left a light on at their business, Joe’s Super Service, on the top of the hill in Hillman. Their business motto: “We’re fishing for your business and service is our bait” applied not only during normal business hours but after closing as well. ...

Dealing with that pesky ‘goose grease’

I appreciate living Up North where a traffic jam consists of Ma and Pa Canada geese crossing the road with their young ones. And while I enjoy the wildlife as much as the next person, after a while the geese can out wear their welcome. At that point they evolve from cute and pretty to ...

That big brown eyesore on 11th

Several years ago, Publisher Bill Speer and I were giving a tour of the area to a future employee from out of state we had in for a second interview. It essentially was a formality but we wanted to spend time with her to make sure the chemistry was right since she would have an important role ...

Settling the great pasty condiment debate

Now that it's summer again and hordes of trolls (the live below the bridge kind, not the hate-spewing online kind) are headed to the U.P. on vacation, I thought I would perform a public service by helping them avoid a major food faux pas. Namely whether to put ketchup or gravy on your ...

Wait loss, weight loss

I didn't mean to lose weight. It just sort of happened. One Saturday I got to wondering if there were an app for tracking how much you eat. Silly question, there's an app for everything! I wasn't planning to use it, mind you — I didn't need it, because I was eating just fine, thank you ...

Women business owners need retirement plans

If you're a woman who owns a business, you've got plenty of company. In fact, women own more than 10 million U.S. companies, and women-owned businesses account for about 40 percent of all privately held firms in the U.S., according to the Center for Women's Business Research. Clearly, the good ...

Start the holiday with a bang

Events leading up to the big Fourth of July holiday begin with a bang this weekend. And yes, we mean that literally. The ever popular Long Lakes Festival will be held Saturday at Long Lake Campground and of course, Long Lake. This is the eighth year of the festival and what started out as a ...

Listening to understand

The number of meetings I attend in a week can be a pretty substantial number. Meetings are one of the many things I wish I would have kept a running total of since my first day at this job. I also wish I would have tracked the total number of sticky notes I have used since day one here. ...

Trump needs to realize value of Camp David

President Donald Trump’s style is, well, different. In many ways he seems determined to redefine the presidency. In doing so he may give his successors new tools to deal with both domestic and foreign policy. Let us hope he recognizes the value of some of the old, well-worn tools, ...

Elected officials should think before they speak

It would be difficult these days to find a member of Congress not concerned about acrimony in politics spurring a few crazies to commit violent acts. Even Montana Rep.-elect Greg Gianforte, convicted last week of assaulting a reporter, is calling for more civility. But some of the very ...

Trump right to press Cuba to keep its promises

No doubt Cuban leaders counted on the United States not to look back after former President Barack Obama reversed longstanding policies toward the communist island in December 2014. But there is a new president in town, and he is right to insist Cuba keep its end of the bargain. For ...

Great consideration must be given before rushing back into Afghanistan

President Donald Trump is under an enormous amount of pressure over a variety of policy and legislative issues, ranging from tax reform to health care. It is not unfair or unrealistic to expect progress on at least some of those matters. But rushing into a new strategy for the war in ...

The challenge of luring business to state

Former Gov. John Engler started this thing. Gov. Jennifer Granholm continued this thing. Gov. Rick Snyder tried to modify this thing. And now state lawmakers are arguing how to continue this thing. The "thing" is providing tax credits to business to supposedly create more ...

Hillman, Atlanta boards show how to embrace change with forward thinking

Change never comes easy, that is why we are impressed with the boards of education in Atlanta and Hillman. When both faced a need for a new superintendent at the same time, the boards identified their shortcomings, swallowed their pride and territorial boundaries and agreed it made more ...

Outside the box thinking for big box

Thinking “outside the box” is a phrase that is used way too much these days, but it is a concept I wholeheartedly subscribe to. What if we were to use that type of thinking — outside the box type thinking — but then turned it around and applied it literally to a box? In fact, what if ...