Editorials and columns

Let the sounds of freedom ring in Aug.

In the old days, they used to refer to the pungent odor from Alpena’s industries as the “smell of money.” Keeping in that vein, then, we are a week away from the “sounds of freedom” screaming across the sky over Northern Michigan. From Aug. 5 to 18, the Alpena Combat Readiness ...

Local votes are the ones that matter

In many ways, it is a shame that a presidential election gains all the voter interest. As far as we’re concerned, it is elections like that which will occur Aug. 7 that should have residents excited and eager to vote. It is these types of elections — electing officials at the local and ...

‘Surrender tomorrow to Jesus’

At my father’s graveside committal service 26 years ago this week, I was the last one to leave. My cousin, a Baptist pastor from Muscatine, Iowa, had stood with me for quite awhile. As I recall, more watching than talking. There was the lowering of the casket into the vault. Then the dirt was ...

Good to see county spending on parks to draw visitors

Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Such seems to be the case in Alpena County, where the county government’s three campgrounds are experiencing a significant increase in use this summer. The three — Sunken Lake, Long Lake and Beaver Lake — all are enjoying more visitors. ...

Celebrate August, the peak of summer

Come August, there’s always a change in the air, my mom always says. Not quite a chill, but rather a reminder of the change that is to come, a promise, a hint. As the novelist Natalie Babbitt puts it: “The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long ...

Motorists, bicyclists should show respect

Although I have previously published this article, there have been numerous complaints to the post in regards to motorists sharing the roadway with bicycles. Citizens complain the bicyclists are riding three or more wide, taking up the entire lane, causing traffic to slow down, and the ...

Make home countries more prosperous for would-be immigrants

Most illegal immigrants come to the United States for economic opportunity. A few make the journey to escape political repression or crime. In many ways, what they do is entirely understandable — though, of course, immigration laws need to be enforced. Making their own homelands more ...

Summer sounds from an earlier Alpena

Let me take you back to a time when TV sets were few and those that were around had poor reception from distant stations; back when people got up and walked places, talked to people, and grocery shopped at neighborhood stores. On those rare occasions when reception was clear — the result ...

Oh, how quickly the high road is abandoned

It’s a funny thing what politicians will do once they conclude their campaign needs a kick in the pants. Ask Democratic candidate for governor Abdul El Sayed, who recently flip-flopped on the issue of attacking his opponents. Last June, during the first televised debate featuring Gretchen ...

On water fight: There’s no money tree

I remember my brother and I being told growing up many a time, “You know, money doesn’t grow on trees.” As an adult, I wasn’t so sure my parents were right as I drove up to the ATM machine to withdraw funds. To my boys in the back seat, it seemed like all dad had to do was punch some ...

Time to act on Line 5

Here are some numbers to ponder this morning. Hundreds of miles of Great Lakes shoreline. $1.8 billion in clean-up costs. 2.4 million gallons of spilled oil. Those are some of the staggering numbers found in a 400-page draft report released by Michigan officials Thursday. The ...

Doing nothing at jail site may not fly

Don’t you love an interesting tale of “good vs. evil?” Wednesday’s Finance Committee meeting of the Alpena commissioners reminded us of such a tale. In one corner was Commissioner Cam Habermehl, champion of the little guy and common sense everywhere. In the other corner was the ...

The collective impact of chambers

The Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce belongs to the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals (MACP). It’s where we receive much of our staff’s professional development resources and training, how we work to strengthen the chamber industry in the state and where we find advice and ...

My grandmother’s legacy: Love, support

Margaret Kline always said she wanted to marry a farmer. She loved telling the story of how she rode the Snow Train to Alpena from Detroit for the winter carnival. Spending time as a girl on her relative’s farm gave her visions of living on her own farm. After meeting Grandpa upon arriving in ...

Michigan ranked a great place to retire

A new study out this week pegs Michigan as a pretty attractive place to retire. Mind you, it doesn’t compare to number-one South Dakota, which evidently has become a very attractive senior magnet, but at number 14, it fared better than 36 other states as a retirement destination. The ...

Don’t put lipstick on a pig; plant lilacs

Archaeologists will tell you the quickest way to find a potential treasure trove of buried history is finding old outhouses, where many discarded items were thrown. And the quickest way to find an old outhouse is to search for lilac trees, as the the beautiful aroma of the lilacs would ...

The end is here and so I say goodbye

The saying goes that all good things must come to an end. And to that, my time at The Alpena News has come to an end. I believe that everything in life has an expiration date and no two things have the exact same expiration; my expiration time here is now. The decision to leave was made in ...

It only seems summer is nearly done

Come Heller high water … ∫ The Fourth of July always seems like the back side of the hill for summer to me even though it's not. It's when I first think "OHMYGOD, SUMMER'S HALF OVER AND I HAVEN'T DONE (BLANK) YET!" Panic time. There will be kayaking. There will be picnics. There will be ...

Rejoice in rain; we can use all we get

Lawns are brown. Flowers shrivel in the afternoon sun. Air conditioners are hard to find and a bag of ice is among the best selling items at grocery stores each day. Welcome to the summer of 2018. There is a chance that as you read this today, there might be rain outside or it may have ...

Smart911 tools can help keep you safe

Today, I was asked about Smart911… I felt really horrible because all I could tell them was it is a program that local dispatch centers were looking at a while back to gather information. When they asked how they could participate, I had no idea where to direct them. By reaching out to the ...