Editorials and columns

When being wrong doesn’t mean you’re wrong

Let’s start this column with a crystal-clear disclaimer: If BuzzFeed was dead wrong about its explosive story last week that President Donald Trump had ordered his former attorney to lie to Congress, then the news site should retract its story and its mistake has done a great disservice to ...

Thanks to township for reviewing ordinance

We appreciate Alpena Township officials and their willingness to further review an ordinance passed in December dealing with blight and property issues. The ordinance has drawn the ire of many and resulted in hundreds of area residents in attendance at a public hearing last week. In a ...

You get the society you pay for, folks

Come Heller high water ... ∫ This is how shameful Michigan government has been the past 20 years: According to a new Michigan State University study, Michigan ranked last among states — last! — for total education revenue growth, spending 82 percent less by 2015 than we did in 1995. The ...

Medical marijuana can help patients in NE Michigan

In Michigan, marijuana and cannabis is legal. Local communities may opt-in for either medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, or both. Rural communities such as ours are rightfully considering support for medical marijuana dispensaries. Currently, patients with pain and seizures must drive ...

Stay safe, snowmobilers

The state last weekend experienced its deadliest snowmobile crash weekend of the season. Five snowmobilers lost their lives in accidents in Gogebic, Luce, Alger and Kalkaska counties. The accident in Gogebic County claimed two lives. To date, nine snowmobilers have died in wrecks this ...

The value of arts education

When I graduated college, each senior in my department had to submit for commencement how, over their four years, they had utilized the university’s Open Curriculum, which encourages broad and diverse studies — and no core curriculum or distribution requirements, which encourages students ...

When is a knife a concealed weapon?

The question this week was about pocket knives or knives you can legally carry on your belt. As taken directly from the email, “I was looking at buying a knife to carry. I was looking at the state laws regarding that, and they seem a little confusing. As far as I can tell, no concealed ...

Congratulations, Alpena athletes

In Wednesday’s edition of The News was a story from sports reporter Jonny Zawacki about basketball star Chris DeRocher earning the title of Alpena High School’s all-time top-scorer, with 1,436 points to his name. After 74 career varsity games, DeRocher broke the 47-year-old record set by ...

Shutdown threatens healthy food for kids

Kids are busy — trying to juggle school with family responsibilities, along with afterschool activities like sports, clubs or playing an instrument. And, at the end of the day, it seems like there’s always the much-dreaded homework. We know it takes time, effort and focus to do it ...

This community comes together for everyone

The News has been filled with features in the past week of the many ways residents of Alpena and Northeast Michigan come together — often to offer help to those who need it. In Saturday’s edition was the story of the various individuals and organizations who work to help inmates released ...

How we can grow the next Ron Winter

Ron Winter died a few weeks ago. A few days later, Steve Fletcher wrote a tribute to him. As Steve said, “We lost a giant this past week.” We sure did. Ron and I went to Alpena High School together. Though he was a couple years older, I remember him well. Ron stood out. His first wife, ...

Hold public meetings when the public can attend

Several times in recent weeks, members of the public have complained to their elected officials about the time meetings are scheduled and the advance notice —or lack thereof —that the public received about the meeting. Last month, it was Alpena Township’s decision to host a public ...

John Engler was a victim of John Engler at Michigan State

“John Engler was a victim of John Engler.” That poignant and spot-on quote is from the former governor’s strongest critic on the Michigan State University Board of Trustees, which just engineered the end of the former interim university president’s run. Brian Masollom had nothing ...

Take time to celebrate MLK Day

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a celebration of the birth of the civil rights activist who was murdered on April 4, 1968. The day, celebrated on the third Monday of every January, is now deeply ingrained in American culture. It’s a day off for federal and state government workers, ...

In Northeast Michigan, cold isn’t just cold

Does there come a certain point in the winter when the temperature doesn’t much matter? After all, cold is cold ... correct? You and I both know that isn’t true. Seventeen degrees feels quite different depending on whether there is any wind or not or what the humidity is at the time. A ...

We won’t host nasty conversations on our Facebook page

Last week, we posted a breaking news item to thealpenanews.com on the arrest of and pending charges against former Alpena Public Schools teacher Heather Winfield, who stands accused of sexually assaulting at least one minor. As we do with all stories, we posted a link to that story on our ...

Plummeting unemployment something to smile about

Alpena’s unemployment rate in December was 3.9 percent. At least one local official, Alpena Economic Development Director Jim Klarich, was pretty excited by that accomplishment. In his latest area economic update to financial backers, he writes, “The last time it was that low was in ...

Baffled by treatment of Nassar victims

Come Heller high water ... ∫ One true thing: If you want to start a heated debate, tell people you like or hate traffic circles. They’re all over Michigan now and there’s no middle ground on them. Personally, I like them. That’s your cue to write me an angry email. ∫ John Engler ...

Come to the table, Democrats

For those of us who call the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan home, the discussion around border security is often different than what we see on the nightly news. The challenges for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agents and other federal, state and local law enforcement in the Soo vary ...

Thank you for our ice tree

Not surprisingly in this cold weather, Alpena’s Ice Tree is back and growing. If temperatures remain frigid through the weekend, as forecasters are predicting, we expect that, by next week, the tree will have grown quite a bit. The Ice Tree, courtesy of State Street Car Wash owner Wayne ...