Editorials and columns

Despite increase gas prices still lower than recent years for Memorial weekend

Area gasoline prices shot up over 10 cents a gallon this week, a sure sign that the first holiday of the summer has arrived.In what has become a disappointing, yet common occurrence most summers, prior to the Memorial Day weekend gas prices always seem to increase across the region.Naturally ...

Some cold water with good jobs report

The good news out of Lansing this week was that for the first time since September 2000, Michigan's unemployment rate fell to the same rate as the national average - 5.4 percent."Reaching the national average after being dead last has been a priority as we've worked to reinvent Michigan," Gov. ...

It’s Memorial Day weekend, summer is get closer

This is Memorial Day weekend, does that mean that summer is almost here? Well, I'm already in a summer kind of mind ...* Before all the barbecues and parties, or anything else you might be doing this weekend, take a minute to remember what the weekend really commemorates. This is when we ...

ARMC offers tips to protect your eyes

May is Healthy Vision Month and the National Eye Institute is encouraging Americans to think about their eye health and take time to educate themselves on what to do to keep their eyes healthy."We tend to take our eye health for granted until we notice problem," Dr. James Keller, board ...

The fruit of the Holy Spirit

In St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 5:22-23 he says, "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." In that same Letter he says further (Galatians 5:24-25) "Now those who belong to Christ (Jesus) have crucified their ...

Hats off to ARMC on 75 years

For 75 years Alpena Regional Medical Center - its directors, doctors, nurses and staff - have met the health care needs of Northeast Michigan residents.For a rural health care facility, that hasn't always been easy. Despite the hurdles of staff recruitment to the region, changes in health care ...

Smith’s alleged actions puts Senate into uncomfortable position

Long-time insurance industry friend Sen. Virgil Smith was enjoying the Detroit Tigers game from the Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield sky box last Saturday and was described as happy and apparently without any personal stress. As Saturday afternoon at the ball park faded into early Sunday ...

Ramadi more than just a setback

Contrary to what some commentators are saying, Islamic State terrorists' conquests of the Iraqi city of Ramadi do not raise questions about U.S. strategy to defeat the vicious group. They merely emphasize that a worry present for many months is growing.Many Iraqi troops abandoned weapons, ...

Good trade equals good diplomacy

Since several locals recently asked for my opinion regarding free trade, here are my thoughts. A little background is first needed to set the stage for discussion.Recently there have been many things written about a proposed treaty now being negotiated between the U.S. and a group of Pacific ...

Getting closer to your goals

Here at the Alpena Chamber, we just hosted our fifth annual Leadercast event. It was once again a great, energizing, uplifting, and inspiring opportunity. The day was full of impressive speakers who brought messages that were applicable to the lives of the attendees.I cannot choose just one ...

Conflict of interest follows Clinton

Imagine yourself as a State Department ethics office employee, asked for opinions on the propriety of activities that earn your boss' family millions of dollars. How often are you going to rule against her?Very rarely, an investigation by the Associated Press discloses. The AP looked into more ...

EPA errs with clean water rule

Like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Environmental Protection Agency officials are admitting they made some mistakes with their "waters of the United States rule."But pay close attention:?"I want to tell you up front that I wish we had done a better job of rolling out our clean ...

The elephant in the room

"What breaks your heart?"Within seconds, my friend Sarah Morrison turned to me and whispered, "childhood obesity." All I could do was nod. Sarah, a communications director, health and fitness coach and mom of two, had taken the words right out of my mouth.Pastor Andy Stanley posed that very ...

Keep it safe on the water this season

Since it's early in the season, most people haven't ventured onto the water yet. However, this week is National Boating Safety Week and the Memorial Day weekend is just a week away.Northeast Michigan is a great place if you enjoy time on the water, regardless of the size of boat you use. We are ...

Questions, Anyone?

Crows and gullsQ. A reader who lives in the city (Alpena) reports she is seeing more crows and fewer gulls this spring. She asks, "Is that a typical pattern and, if so, what's happening?"A. It is very difficult to answer this question because of many variables, especially changing weather ...

Time is running out for this year’s fireworks display

Everybody loves the Fourth of July and the celebration of our country's independence. Few communities have as much fun on the Fourth as Alpena. A parade, sandcastle contest, the Maritime Festival, concerts at Bay View Park, and to cap off that fun day of celebration - the traditional fireworks ...

Continued debate over open-carry in schools

In the biz they call them MOS's. For some crazy reason TV producers plunk man-on-the-street sound bites into the middle of an otherwise credible news story. It's probably a TV news consultant driven bit of non-journalistic "wisdom" designed to boost the ratings. Suffice to say any ...

President annoints Clinton as favorite 2016 candidate

Presidents often claim they do not want to influence their political parties in selecting nominees to succeed them. But President Barack Obama is making it abundantly clear he is on the bandwagon for his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.Few Democrats dare to oppose Clinton. But some ...

Time to make all officials more accountable

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is very conscientious about telling Americans, both businesses and individuals, they have to clean up their air emissions, water discharges, etc. But when it comes to cleaning up its own top management, "not so much" is being charitable.One might have ...

Let people do their thing

I'm reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. Described as an American classic and a book that defined a generation, I thought it would be interesting.I like to read about history and about things that, in a sense, put me out of my element. This book surely fits that bill. I've had ...