Editorials and columns

Syria, Russia not being honest about chemical weapons

Syrian officials insist they did not use chemical weapons against civilians on April 7. Russian and Iranian leaders back them up. One Russian official accused the United States, England and France of having an ulterior motive for their missile attack on Syria last week. It was an attempt to ...

More needs to be done to identify children dealing with emotional upheaval

Are we doing enough to identify children coping with emotional upheavals before they harm themselves and others? Obviously not. On Monday, an 8-year-old student took a knife to school in Sauk Rapids, Minn. He slashed three other children before an adult disarmed him. All three victims ...

Media misses chance for tough questions

During this election year one of the most critical assignments for political reporters is to grill candidates who are running for this office or that. After all if they don't ask issue questions, how will a hapless voter have enough information to pick the most qualified office ...

How to make an entrance

Have you been spending time thinking of things you used to do — things you’d like to do again but can’t or won’t? I have. Tom Brindley’s recent column about small town movies and small town dreams together with our community’s discussion of projected changes to the old Maltz, ...

Ryan to leave Congress knowing his mission is unfinished

House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said this week he is leaving Congress because he doesn’t want his children to reach adulthood having experienced only a “weekend dad.” After 20 years in Congress, Ryan’s decision is understandable in that light. But one wonders if Ryan, ...

Region continues to benefit from Bessers’ philanthropy

We are forever amazed, and grateful, to the generosity and philanthropic spirit of Anna and Jesse Besser. Their foresight in 1944 has resulted in hundreds upon hundreds of projects and improvements around Northeast Michigan from the original donation they seeded their foundation with. ...

Airport bid options hinge on flight times

For those of us excited about the possibility of Minneapolis flights returning to Alpena I’m afraid I have some bad news — temper your enthusiasm for a few weeks. Earlier in the week it was revealed SkyWest, in its bid to continue federally subsidized air service in Alpena, had given ...

Hoping the weather forecast is incorrect

The snowstorm hasn't hit as fingers hit keyboard. Man, do I hope the weathermen and women are Wrong, with a capital W ... ∫ I tweeted this on Wednesday: “Phoenix hit 100 yesterday, 4th earliest ever. We have snowflakes in the air with accumulation in the forecast. Mother Nature is a ...

The return of the mom jeans

I see that "mom jeans" — that '90s look where the waistband of a woman's pants are up around her armpits — are back. Since I'm a guy, you probably expect me to say this is a terrible development in women's fashion, especially since they are replacing low-rise jeans. But you would be ...

Hillman security decision a sign of changing times for our schools

While most of us would prefer school boards of education discuss things like improving test scores, modernizing teaching tools or reducing class sizes, reality sometimes gets in the way. Certainly it did this week in Hillman, where the board of education there dealt with an equally important ...

Let’s wait to see if China is really changing policy

Diplomats in many other countries learned the secret to good relations with the United States years ago: Tell the Americans what they want to hear. So the small victory President Donald Trump has won in the so-called “trade war” he initiated needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Time ...

Observing robots help Alpena

Maybe you’re tired of hearing about robotics lately. Too bad, I’m going to write about it anyway, but from a slightly different perspective. I was involved in the FIRST Robotics competition this past weekend because of the Chamber. We played a small role in the overall event by managing ...

Assad’s chemical weapons attack deserves a response

Pictures and video footage of the aftermath of another chemical weapons attack blamed on Syrian dictator Bashar Assad are hard to take. No one likes to see innocent little children suffering. Some U.S. response to the atrocity, in which about 40 people died, is necessary. Most nations have ...

Living in our own reality

A few weeks ago while at my parents' house for dinner, my kids were watching a TV show. My son came out and asked me to fix the show because it stopped working. I went to see what the problem was and couldn’t help but laugh. A commercial was on. The show “stopped working” because it ...

Rebel allies need to be considered with Syria withdrawal

Syrian President Bashar Assad is secure in his position, with the support of Russian military might. The Islamic State organization in Syria has been nearly wiped out. It is time for U.S. troops to be pulled out of the country. There is no good reason for the 2,000 or so of them in Syria ...

Part-time legislature drive a bust

That huge collective sigh of relief you just heard bursting out of the capitol dome is the realization that the effort to create a part-time legislature is a total bust. Woo. That was close. Well actually it was not even close. Had you put pen to paper last May when Lt. Gov. Brian ...

Is new spending plan enough in battle against opioid addiction?

Federal officials plan to spend $4.6 billion to battle the opioid addiction crisis this year. That represents a substantial new emphasis on dealing with a very real crisis. But is it enough? Drug abuse is killing about 42,000 people a year in the United States. Yet much more federal ...

We’re over it, bring on spring

Everywhere you went this week the conversation was but one thing — the weather. While snow of this week’s proportion is never wished for, it certainly is not unusual for Northeast Michigan. In 2003 the region received 17.8 inches of snow over a two-day period, and during the entire month ...

Tariffs hitting newspaper industry

“Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel” is a phrase many have heard. Along with those ink purchases also comes large rolls of newsprint tonnage — after all those are the two key ingredients of reading your newspaper each morning. It is that newsprint which has publishers ...

Great time for learning in our schools

Forty teams of students are in town for the FIRST Robotics district competition this weekend at Alpena High School. The teams, including several from Northeast Michigan, began arriving Thursday and had practice on Thursday evening. The competition got under way Friday and concludes today. The ...