Editorials and columns

Let’s get this one right

Here in West Virginia, it takes something like a devastating flood for us to declare an official state of emergency. In Nevada, a shortage of marijuana qualifies. Talk about reefer madness. It probably helps to be over, oh, 50 years of age to see the irony in that. Not so long ago, a ...

The dilemma: Giving cities funds refusing to cooperate with fed immigration

Cities that refuse to help the federal government enforce the laws, including those on illegal immigration, should be penalized. But making it more difficult for them to crack down on violent criminals is not the way to do that. Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week threatened to ...

On being a travel writer

My friend Ruth Richard is a travel writer. With great good humor Ruth can maintain a travel journal accurate to within a tenth of a second. Descriptions there conjure images so precise a grown man can experience again the fragrance of a long forgotten flower. I am not a travel writer. I ...

Will legislature override Snyder veto?

Rule number one: Governors get hacked off if lawmakers override their vetoes. Rule number two: If lawmakers decide to do it anyway, see rule number one. To underscore the angst surrounding veto overrides, there has been one in recent memory and you have to go all the way back to Gov. ...

VA still not fully cooperating in reforming agency

A package of emergency funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs was approved by the U.S. Senate this week. It includes $2.1 billion for a special program to ensure veterans are not kept waiting for health care treatment at VA facilities. Meanwhile, the agency continues to spend in ...

Good news about strong local tourism

News earlier this week that tourism numbers for the area are up is welcome news indeed. According to the Alpena Convention and Visitors Bureau hotels and businesses have seen a steady stream of visitors from out of the area. Tourism is a strong — somewhat unscientific — indicator of the ...

Just a few things that are on my mind

A few thoughts as I head off for some R&R: ∫ I don't know if it happens to you or not, but when I encounter someone on the road who does something wrong/dangerous/illegal/etc., I encounter the same driving behavior all day. For example, on Thursday I got behind someone who was in the ...

China has it right when it comes to men and shopping

A mall in China has installed what are being called "husband storage pods," which contain a comfortable chair and video games to help him pass the time while she shops. American malls and big box stores, please follow suit. I don't necessarily need the video games, although I wouldn't be ...

A rewarding experience for volunteers

“I could feel his spirit coming back with each word I read.” Helen Buccella-Costa recalls a particular gentleman who had enjoyed an extremely full life. By the time she met him he was angry over his body’s betrayal, which had left him bedridden, with a fading ability to communicate. ...

How to meet a neighbor

In a traditional Hollywood film it is easy to predict how a neighbor will enter into the film. The majority of the time they walk over to box-filled porches with a plate of food as a welcoming gift. In a few films I have watched, specifically within the horror genre, neighbors are often seen ...

Time to re-evaluate strategy with North Korea, Iran

For decades, U.S. military strategy could be focused on the single nation capable of launching an attack on our mainland, the old Soviet Union. A secondary, though still important, consideration was China. There were no other major threats to Americans here in the United States. That has ...

Punish worst of MS-13 in US

MS-13 is one of the most vicious criminal organizations in history. All one needs to know about MS-13 is that its preferred method of killing is to use machetes, axes and knives to hack victims apart slowly. Not infrequently, the group’s targets are children. Last week, President Donald ...

Lessons learned for fair week last a lifetime

It’s Alpena County Fair Week! I’m learning that this one week of summer really takes on a whole new meaning when you have a child in 4-H. I spent many long days at the Fairgrounds while growing up. The fair was the most important event of the year. It was the culmination of a year’s ...

A good opportunity to learn more about invasive species

This week the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is trying to raise awareness about invasive species with “STOP the Invasives Week” in state parks. The initiative is running Tuesday through Saturday and will “highlight the identification, management and impact of invasive ...

Blame game an effective election tool

It's not exactly a new political strategy which you can best describe as "guilt by association." For years both Michigan political parties have tried to siphon votes away from one candidate by linking him or her to someone else who is insanely unpopular with the voters. Democrats linked ...

Northern Strike an important military exercise

Northern Michigan extends a warm welcome to visitors participating in Exercise Northern Strike at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center. Nearly 5,000 guests will be in northern Michigan over the next two weeks participating in this important training exercise that involves Army, Air ...

McCain sums up problems in DC

In the end, Republicans have no one to blame other than themselves. For years they have complained about the Affordable Care Act, about how they would repeal it once assuming control of leadership. Yet when in the position to do so, they flopped in the halls of Congress like fish out of ...

Vision of sci-fi writers drawing closer?

What point is the point of no return? When exactly is enough, well, enough? According to MIT Technology Review, scientists have edited the genes of human embryos which gives the hope of helping babies with inherited diseases. While controversial, most people likely would be for providing ...

Luther’s theology of the cross

In 1517, Martin Luther triggered the Reformation with his 95 Theses, nailed to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This year marks the 500th anniversary of that Oct. 31 event that ignited a fire across Europe. Fueled by the recently-invented printing press, the Reformation featured ...