Editorials and columns

Highlighting successes made in 2016

The achievements we made in 2016 will continue moving Michigan forward on the road to recovery. For the sixth consecutive year, we passed a fiscally responsible budget that improves the efficiency of state government, supports our schools and protects our communities. We continued to ...

Montana energy project long overdue

Something long overdue appears to be happening in Montana. There, a company has been granted a license to construct a $1 billion electric energy project that amounts to a gigantic battery. Absaroka Energy of Bozeman, Mont., plans to build a 400-megawatt pumped storage facility. If completed, ...

Resolving to stop to make a new start

The month of January is named after the Roman god Janus, the god of beginnings. He was depicted as having two faces, one looking to the past, and one pointing toward the future. This is where our modern-day New Year’s resolutions originate. When the clock ticks over we officially mark the ...

New administration needs to stop the ever-increasing national debt

Both Republicans who control Congress and President-elect Donald Trump have plans to grant most Americans tax relief. They hope to inject real growth into an economy still recovering only anemically from the so-called Great Recession. In reconciling their slightly different versions of tax ...

Tall task head for Snyder in 2017

The tiny berg of Fraser, Mich., today, and who the heck knows which town or city tomorrow? In case you missed it Fraser, population 10,000 plus, made the national news the other day when a giant sinkhole devoured portions of 22 homes including three homes on Christmas Eve that made it ...

Getting dependable trolley fleet first step in building success

We’re disappointed to read of the ongoing problems the trolleys operated by the Thunder Bay Transportation Authority are having in Alpena. It seems as if from the very start the fleet has been plagued with mechanical and structural concerns. That, combined with poor use of the trolleys by ...

Peters another friend of NE Michigan

Former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin was a great friend of Alpena. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow has been equally supportive. But the way things keep shaping up, U.S. Gary Peters ultimately could be the best friend of all. Peters has spent a lot of time in Alpena during his term. Last summer he ...

Adios 2016, may you soon be forgotten

Pardon the paraphrase ... And now, the time has come and 2016 must face the final curtain. Amen and good riddance. This year will be remembered for a lot of things — few of them good. My eardrums, for one, will be glad when 2017 gets here. I know it's not just me, this year was Loud with a ...

Of substitute teachers, Internet ads

Come Heller high water … Michigan schools can't find nearly enough substitute teachers, which is why you're seeing billboards all over the state advertising for them. One superintendent told the Free Press, "The state really needs to do something. We have to look at why are students not ...

When you retire, where can you find investment income?

As an investor, your main goals will change at different times in your life. During your working years, you need to grow as many resources as possible for retirement. Once you retire, however, you will likely need to focus more on getting income from your investments. But what are your ...

ACC does thorough job exploring program’s options

No one wants to lose anything. Thus, when you read that Alpena Community College officials have dropped a once-popular training program, it makes you pause and wonder “why?” Such was the case with the college’s auto body repair program. However, after a very informative recent ...

Traveling in vehicle with bright lights

“When is it appropriate to turn on your high beam lights when other vehicles are present on the roadway?” was a citizen’s question. Another asked what the law states in relationship to turning your high beam lights on when following another vehicle. This is definitely a topic that people ...

Trump should make global coordination in battle against disease a priority

Millions of people worldwide, but primarily in West Africa, received a Christmas present from Canada last week. It came in the form of a vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus. When Ebola pops into the news every few years, it makes big headlines. It is in the class of diseases known as ...

Don’t stop helping just because Christmas is gone

As the bills for Christmas present spending come in next month, many of us will scratch our heads and wonder, “Where did all the money go?” Those who try to keep charitable organizations running wonder the same thing. Many of them stretch their budgets to — and sometimes past — the ...

Doing a good job voting

Now that the voting is over and things have settled somewhat I can write about voting. Had I done so earlier I may have gotten myself in trouble. Even now, I’m taking a risk. Here’s something my old friend John used to say: “Pugh” he’d say, “Engineers are very smart people. They ...

Statistics don’t mean anything when it comes to terrorists

Statisticians point out we Americans are more likely to die from falls in the bathtub or being struck by lightning than because of a terrorist attack. We shouldn’t worry so much about terrorism, we’re told. Roughly twice as many Americans have been killed by lightning as have perished in ...

An evening with Gov. Snyder

For those of you looking for a dynamic and a deep dive into the weeds of this wacky political years of 2016, stop looking. This ain't it. Instead for your holiday reading enjoyment something a little more light-hearted from the guy who had the toughest year of his political career. Nobody ...

Peace, blessings to you at Christmas

The stockings have been hung by the chimney with care ... and all across Northeast Michigan residents wait in eager anticipation. On this Christmas Eve, 2016, we share our Christmas greetings and wishes with readers. For most of us, this has been a year filled with both joys and heartaches, ...

A tasty trip down memory lane

Sometimes memories of Christmases past provide wonderful settings for the present. Gene Beal, a former Alpena resident who is retired and now living in Fennville believes so. The former employee at the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena enjoys history, and recently while going through his ...

Open letter to Santa just before Christmas

Dear Santa, I know it's been a while since I last wrote a letter, but you understand that I didn't want to bother you because I didn't really need much and others needed so much more. At least this time it isn't written in crayon and you should be able to read it all. Hopefully there aren't ...