Editorials and columns

Happy New Year

Wait a minute! Christmas decorations may already be going up, and we’ve heard Christmas music in stores for weeks now — and all this even though Christmas is still a little over three weeks away — but c’mon, isn’t ‘Happy New Year’ really jumping the gun? Well, maybe the word ...

Welcome, good luck new base commander

Welcome Col. John Miner to Alpena. Miner became the 12th commander at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center Tuesday, a role that puts him “front and center” with not only the military personnel that he works with, but also Northeast Michigan residents. Make no mistake, the Alpena ...

World needs to reel in Kim before US forced to take action

It would be bad enough had the North Korean missile launch this week been just another case of dictator Kim Jong-un rattling his saber for domestic political reasons or merely because he enjoys frightening and angering people. But the vast majority of military rockets used in test firings ...

Slow moving signs as driveway markers

I received an email in regards to the Slow Moving Vehicle placard. The email referenced how it is illegal for people to use the slow moving vehicle sign as driveway markers or any other use other than on a slow moving vehicle. The citizen continued in the email about how the “use of this ...

Benefits to buying local are numerous

On Monday, did your children or grandchildren get to tell a virtual Santa Claus what they want for Christmas? Did you try to guess how the magician you watched on your smartphone made the rabbit disappear? And, how about that ice skating app? Pardon our sarcasm, please. It is aimed, if you ...

Moderate Muslims need to help eradicate Islamic terrorists

In the bloodiest attack ever by Islamic terrorists in Egypt, they massacred at least 235 fellow Muslims in an attack on a mosque Friday. Bombs were set off, and those who escaped them were mowed down by gunmen. The mosque, in Egypt’s Sinai region, was packed with members of the Sufi ...

My mother’s good soup — but no stone

My Mother made good soup. It was a skill common to women who lived through the Great Depression. Her soup gave young people the energy to do what needed to be done while allowing older folks to settle. It was multifaceted and was always standing by. When demand for the soup exceeded its ...

Kathy Griffin brought on her own problems

“Comedian” Kathy Griffin is feeling persecuted. Too bad. She has no one but herself to blame. Too many entertainers seem to have forgotten that people pay well to see, watch and listen to performances they consider, well, entertaining. In Griffin’s case, some people thought for years ...

Let your generosity show on Giving Tuesday

Black Friday is behind us, today is Small Business Saturday, Monday is Cyber Monday and Tuesday is Giving Tuesday — 24 hours for residents to share their generosity this holiday season to nonprofits in need. During its inaugural year in 2015, over $30,000 was raised locally on Giving ...

Protecting our water is a top priority

One of our greatest treasures here in Michigan is our water — the Great Lakes, fresh water inland lakes, rivers and streams. It is my constitutional responsibility as a state representative, and my duty as a northern Michigander to ensure that we protect this incredible natural ...

Head first into the holidays

So, the holidays are in full swing. Are you ready for the onslaught of all things Christmas? Not me, I just have lots of random thoughts ... ∫ Have you seen the ad with the father and daughter where she has lots of videos and it closes with the father checking his phone while driving at ...

Things that I am grateful for

Last week I got my annual "What I'm Not Thankful For" list out of my system. Sorry. It had to happen. You ever try holding that many gripes and whines inside? Not easy or healthy. This week it's time for a few utterly random things and people I'm thankful for. Such as: Newspaper readers. I ...

An inclination toward gratitude

By the time you’re reading this column, I’m sure the turkey won’t be the only thing that’s been stuffed. In fact, seconds are most likely already behind you and you’re rounding the bases, heading toward your third sometime today. 
So often when we think of Thanksgiving what ...

Parade tradition started with a letter

It all began with a letter to the editor. The Bolenz Jewelry Holiday Parade that Northeast Michigan residents have come to love and adore all began with a simple question: “Why not a lighted parade at night?” A reader who will forever be known as Alpena Lena wrote a letter to the ...

Give thanks, but also take time to enjoy what the seasons offer

Today is a time for reflection, for giving thanks and for remembering the many blessings that we have experienced this past year. Some of us are filled with more thanksgiving than others, but all of us should, if we stop and ponder it for a while, have something to be thankful for today. ...

Here’s to all who do it right

When classes graduate from Institute of Organizational Management, they choose a song that plays as they walk into graduation. The song my class chose was Halestorm’s, “Here’s to Us.” We could have picked a traditional graduation song like Bruno Mars’ “Today My Life Begins,” or ...

Taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for Congress’ sexual predators

When most men are found to have harassed or attacked women, they pay a price. It may be dismissal from a job. It may be a hefty lawsuit judgment or out-of-court settlement. Sometimes, that helps predators escape criminal prosecution. You will not be surprised to learn things are different ...

New tax measures will be good more majority of Americans

Money does not grow on trees, even if some politicians want you to believe it does. For that reason, tax reform bills in Congress include some “losers.” For some people to get tax relief, someone else has to pay. But the bottom line on both the reform bill approved last week by the ...

Thankful for those who perform thankless jobs

On Friday night the unthinkable happened. Almost all of Alpena lost their municipal water supply. At about 11 p.m., I received a text from a co-worker asking if we had any change in water pressure as their faucets were only letting out a trickle. I was reading so I got up to check. Our water ...

Communication still key in preventing teen suicides

Suicide rates for teenagers increased substantially from 2010-15, at the same time use of social media by young people shot up. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study hints the two phenomena may be linked. It would be foolish to suggest, based on this one study, that social ...