Editorials and columns

EPA chief needs to be confirmed sooner rather than later

Several of President Donald Trump’s key nominees have been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Even a few about whom partisan bickering was strident have been approved. But Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency, continues to cool his ...

Not trying to always trash Trump

Come Heller high water … Listen, I swear my intent with this weekly bits and pieces column is not to keep constantly bashing the Trumpster, really it isn't. But what am I supposed to do? I have never — ever — experienced an adult human being who knowingly and with gusto lies up a ...

Kudos to Kiwanis, Boosters clubs for Avenue of Flags

Northeast Michigan has a long and proud history of residents joining the military, of communities supporting the military, and an Air National Guard Base that plays an important role in our nation's defense. That proud history is taking another step with what the Alpena Kiwanis Club and Alpena ...

Trump made right call with TPP action

Among the first actions President Donald Trump took Monday was to officially kill U.S. participation in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. No doubt free-trade advocates will condemn the new chief executive for that. But all Trump did was to, in effect, sign the TPP’s death ...

Keep the snow off the streets

With the winter season upon us, we finally have seen some real winter weather, and when the snow sticks around, many people question the snow removal abilities of some home owners. Snow removal is probably one of every homeowner’s dreaded tasks, but it is necessary to live life in the winter ...

Protestors, too, are sign of why America is great

Throughout the nation, millions of people in dozens of cities took to the streets Friday and Saturday, protesting the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. A few thousand — out of a nation of 325 million —engaged in violent confrontations with police. It matters ...

Spinning but going nowhere

It’s been a while since I’ve laughed so hard I lost control — couldn’t stop. I suspect you’ve laughed that hard as well. I hope it hasn’t been too long ago. Good, hard laughing can be exhausting but can invigorate and restore. There’s not much better than a good ...

Obama’s pardon of Manning was wrong

Classified documents released by then-Army Pvt. Bradley Manning were found in Osama bin Laden’s hideout after a U.S. Navy SEAL team killed him. That alone is evidence of how badly Manning’s betrayal hurt our country. While working as an Army intelligence analyst in Iraq during 2010, ...

Interesting what Snyder didn’t say

There is no way to count how many words have been spoken by governors over the years in their annual state of the state message. Probably enough to fill a couple of football stadiums. But seldom do we dive into what they did not say and in the case of the current occupant in the front office, ...

A great way to end the year

Sometimes a surprise is bad, sometimes it’s good. In the case of the ending 2016 ending budget for Alpena County, it was outstanding. During Wednesday’s Alpena County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee meeting, Treasurer Kim Ludlow told the commissioners the county ended the year ...

Taking offense with column in Advance

Mr. Bill Speer, I am a little confused about your guest editorial in the Presque Isle Advance Jan. 12 edition expressing your indignation concerning the Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners decision to "no longer place minutes, notices and bids in this newspaper.” Did that ...

Obama’s self-revealing final act

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama did not go out quietly. His unquiet final acts were, in part, overshadowed by a successor who refused to come in quietly and, in part, by Obama's own endless, sentimental farewell tour. But there was nothing nostalgic or sentimental about Obama's last acts. Two of ...

Don’t get tattoos and piercings

A news story I just read said young people are starting to have their tattoos removed and their piercings spackled over (or however it is doctors fix such things.) "Many are seeking to reverse the impulsive, perhaps keg-fueled decisions of their not-quite-lost youths," the article said. ...

Hillman boys basketball on a memorable run

Sports fans love to talk about streaks; those streaks are held in high regard. Whether individual or team, ask a fan of a particular sport and they likely can tell you the most significant streak in that sport. Well in Northeast Michigan there are two streaks going right now by the same ...

Economic science on the side of Trump

An improved economy means more jobs and better ones. Even liberals who claim President-elect Donald Trump will be bad for low-income and unemployed Americans have to concede that. Now, the International Monetary Fund has revised its forecast for the U.S. economy during the next two years. ...

What are you willing to give up?

What are you willing to give up in order to get something you’ve never had? That is one of the greatest questions I have ever heard. I have no recollection of where I came across it and when I tried to look it up to give the rightful creator credit I wasn’t able to find the original ...

More people should behave like Kidman

Actress Nicole Kidman has been targeted for criticism because she is daring to buck the tide in Hollywood. She is — gasp! — behaving like a real American. During a brief interview last week, Kidman was asked about President-elect Donald Trump. Her response was that, “we as a country ...

EPA’s fuel economy numbers should be scrapped, changed

By 2025, new cars and trucks in dealer showrooms will achieve fuel economy averaging 51.4 miles per gallon, the Environmental Protection Agency has mandated. Given the fact that by the EPA’s own numbers, average fuel economy in the United States was just 24.8 mpg, that seems more than a ...

Appreciating the gifts of the season

In this mid-January time of year we are either enjoying outdoor winter activities or holed up inside the house under three sweaters and eight blankets. Some people aren’t made for cold temperatures (me) and some people love them (my husband). There is always something new and exciting to ...

New VA head, Congress will have to work together to clean up mess

Few Cabinet officers head agencies based almost solely on promises. But Dr. David Shulkin, nominated to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, will be one if he is confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The VA’s mission is to keep the promise we Americans make to everyone in military service. It ...