Editorials and columns

Andy’s rules for future elections

After losing his job in Tuesday’s election, Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, wanted a recount because the vote was close. But he couldn’t get one because of a new state law that only allows recounts in races lost by less than 1 percent. Walker lost by 1.2 percent. Which is ...

The stuff that matters

It was the last day of cleaning out my dad’s house. All the smaller things had been boxed up and moved, some to my house, some to my brother’s, some to Goodwill. My brother had been able to take the couch and loveseat. I claimed the dresser Dad refinished after Mom died. The clothes ...

Your life can benefit your community

Are there any charities that have a special meaning to you, your family, or your friends? Do you ever wish you could make a real impact on our community through a local organization, but don’t know where to start? If money were no object, there are likely several area causes you’d ...

Cheers to high voter turnout

Love him or hate him, one thing everyone can now agree on — President Donald Trump sure knows how to drive voters to the polls. In historic numbers, U.S. residents voted this week, a wonderful testament to the strength of our democracy. Nationally, more than 47 percent of the ...

How we act when an election is over

Like so many others who voted on Tuesday, I used the provided black marker to fill in bubbles of my choice on the ballot. Different bubbles than others, perhaps, but using the same action. Throughout my voting experience, I said hello to quite a few people. I waved at a few others. I saw my ...

Candidates, time to clean up your campaign signs

For weeks, small forests of signs promoting dozens of political candidates have been demonstrations of the vigor of our system of government. Now, they are just litter. Some candidates and their supporters started the process of picking up their signs on Tuesday evening. It is pleasing ...

Pay attention to stopped school buses, kids’ lives are at stake

It really is a question about how much children mean to us. Are they precious enough for us to pay just a little bit of attention while we are driving? Not for some people — and that includes a few right here in our area. We doubt there is a school bus driver in our area who has not ...

Here’s to a peaceful election

It’s Election Day! Today, voters across the nation will head to the polls to help decide control of Congress, several governorships, scores of downballot contests, and several proposals. Here in Michigan, the entire Legislature is up for election and Michiganders will pick a new ...

When a fear of change is not about change at all

I recently sat in a presentation that discussed Alpena’s lingering “fear of change” that rears its head whenever projects are met with disagreement. On the surface, it may look simple and straightforward. Organization A, would like to do project B, to get outcome C. Despite efforts to ...

Be the heart of your community: Volunteer

So many of the things we love about our town, from the services at our hospital to the festivals and other events we enjoy, are driven by volunteers. Yet, as was reported in a recent edition of The News, several area organizations are struggling to find new members and volunteers as some of ...

Debate sheriffs gave the inmates the keys

In order to keep the peace in your county jail, the local sheriff has to have rules. But what would happen if he or she turned over he rule drafting assignment to the lawyers representing the inmates? Oh my. There would be congenial rights every day, an open bar after five p.m., ...

Bridge Authority, carefully consider tunnel plan

Nov. 8 is an important date for the future of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. On that day, the Mackinac Bridge Authority will meet and hear presentations about why the Authority should take ownership, once it is built, of a tunnel that has been proposed to carry a new Line 5 and other ...

The best, most real journalism movies

Last month, while I was visiting my brother downstate, we watched “Fletch,” the 1985 movie starring Chevy Chase as an investigative newspaper columnist who uncovers an international drug/fraud conspiracy. If there’s one thing journalists love, it’s stories about journalists. And ...

Body cameras for police good for public, police

Body cameras for law enforcement make good sense. In today’s world, where often law enforcement officers find themselves in tough situations, a body camera can offer insight later to what actually happened. Body cameras are good for officers, as they are recorded truth of what happened ...

Long live the exclamation point!

When it comes to the English language, there are three rules that newspaper reporters typically follow: 1) Never use an Oxford comma. If you don’t know what that is, I’m reluctant to tell you, in case you’ll start using them. But what the heck: An Oxford comma is the comma that sick, ...

Protect the bridge from Enbridge oil tunnel

Plans calling for the Mackinac Bridge Authority to own the proposed Enbridge crude oil tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac are ill-advised. For over 60 years, the bridge has served as a symbol of our great state – the very manifestation of the courage, cooperation, innovation, and ...

Ed Grezlak, ‘the most interesting man in Alpena’

Dos Equis beer now enjoys brand recognition thanks to its “Most Interesting Man in the World” advertising campaign. But the company pales in comparison to Ed Grezlak, the “Most Interesting Man in Alpena.” For years, city residents watched Grezlak’s house be constructed on some of ...

Safety tips for avoiding car-deer crashes

As deer start to get antsy with the “rut” approaching, they begin moving a lot during low-light times. Their movement during the early morning hours or into the evening leads to inevitable car-deer accidents. With that in mind, I want to provide some tips for traveling safe during ...

Bring on the bots!

A recent front-page story in The News highlighted a VEX IQ League Championship event at Alpena High School. Area elementary students competed against one another in contests that had them design and program robots to complete specific tasks. High schoolers experienced in robotics ...

Women, don’t throw in the towel on voting

A woman sits in her rocking chair, holding a piece of white cotton fabric. She turns it over, running her fingers along the edges, looking over her handiwork. It had been a simple tea towel when she started, but her hands had transformed it, creating an intricate crocheted pattern. Satisfied, ...