Editorials and columns

School can be expense for families

Now that August is here many families are gearing back up for the start of school at the end of the month.While naturally there is a need for things like new shirts, blouses, pants and skirts, these days schools are requiring that students head back to school with supplies as well. According to ...

Coal states changing the way they vote

This week President Barack Obama ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to impose new rules and regulations on power plant carbon emissions - an order many speculate will ruin the U.S. coal industry. The new rules sparked quick and angry reaction as Republican leadership in the House ...

Questions, Anyone?

Water trail marker in wildlife sanctuary?Q. Reader Joe Sobczak asks, "What is the white buoy at the far end of Island Park in the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary?"A. The buoy is part of a canoe/kayak trail developed originally by the city-appointed Wildlife Sanctuary Board. Erin Riopelle, owner of ...

Honoring a lost loved one

Grief and sadness hung over Peggy's family during the first Thanksgiving after her mother passed away. Her mother's presence around the table was missed as family members barely touched their food and sat quietly - until Peggy shared a story her mother often told. That's when looks of sorrow ...

Ho Ho Ho! Could gas go below $2 a gallon?

Here's news we want to believe, but are hesitant to embrace fully just yet.According to fuel experts, the price of gas at the end of this year could hover around the $2 a gallon mark.In a news release from GasBuddy.com this week, they indicated that in actuality, the national average for ...

Too many questions about new energy plan

During the past couple of years, Americans worried about how they will pay their electric bills in the future have had one consolation: natural gas. Though it is substantially more expensive than coal for power generation, at least there is plenty of it and the technology to use it is refined ...

Continuing to dole out atta boys

Let's continue on a positive path with more good news from the region.As a community, we're blessed to have charitable foundations and hard working folks in important positions. The last six or seven years put Northeast Michigan into hard economic times. Our for-profit enterprises suffered and ...

Zimbabwe authorities have to shoulder some of the hunting blame

Cecil, the lion killed illegally in Zimbabwe by an American dentist, will not have died in vain if what happened to him draws attention to the threat of extinction of his kind. But the government of Zimbabwe, where Cecil was killed, is doing all it can to divert attention from the real ...

4-H provides everlasting lessons

Until I was 18 years old, this time of year was filled with hectic preparations for the Alpena County Fair. My brother and I tended to various animal projects throughout the year. We raised beef cattle, trained horses, kept rabbits, pigs, chickens, and experimented with a variety of other ...

Kasich’s ideas are preferable to Obama’s

Part of Ohio Gov. John Kasich's campaign for president has involved outlining his foreign policy philosopy. It has been compared to that of former President Ronald Reagan - not always flatteringly, one suspects. Many on the left still view Reagan as a "cowboy" on the international stage.But ...

Our service men and women cannot carry guns — say, what?

It is impossible to say how many members of the armed services would have survived attacks on them during the past few years had they been, well, armed.But Pentagon policy is that service men and women at many facilities, including recruiting stations, cannot carry guns, Americans have been ...

Understand both sides of immunization of children

Now that August has arrived it means the start of school draws nearer and nearer.And, it also means that National Immunization Awareness Month has begun.We understand that not all parents have the same opinions regarding immunizations. Some see them as a tremendous means of protecting their ...

A man who defined strong character

"His business may have defined him, but his family consumed him."Those were the words of Dick Crittenden in a newspaper story Friday describing his father Bruce, or "Red" as everyone knew him.Following his death Wednesday evening, Red leaves behind a legacy of family, faith, honor, respect, ...

Specialist discusses symptoms, treatment of cataracts

When you hear the word "cataracts," most people immediately think of their eyes. However, the majority of people can't explain exactly what a cataract is and how it affects your vision."A cataract occurs when the normally clear lens of your eye is clouded, making it feel like you are looking ...

Use extra caution with campfires, grills

With the recent string of hot and humid days across the region, fire danger is at a dangerous level according to officials with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.Dan Laux, fire prevention specialist with the DNR, said that fire activity has picked up over the past few days and DNR ...

Nearly four years and counting

They called the Michigan House to order last Tuesday.There was order in the House all right but only a handful of lawmakers bothered to show up.The word had gone out the day before that there would be no voting and attendance would not be taken which is legislative secret code for, you don't ...

Time to put better safeguards in place to protect endangered animals

An ongoing environmental disaster has not received appropriate attention from world leaders, including both Republican and Democrat presidents and members of Congress in the United States. It is the slaughter of endangered animals. Once they are gone in the wild, many can never be ...

Continuing to hand out praise

Last week I began a two-week series in my column about all the economic "positives" that can be found around the region. This week that positive thinking continues.I am proud to have Alpena Community College here in our hometown and I bet you are too. As a business person I look closely at ...

War isn’t only outcome if Iran deal is rejected

White House political aides are doing an excellent job of fear-mongering to convince members of Congress to support the proposed nuclear arms deal with Iran. They appear to have swayed the normally skeptical Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.Manchin said Sunday he is "leaning very strongly" toward ...

I just want to know why

I don't have kids but it seems to me that children go through what I call the "why" phase. They want to know why regarding everything. Why do you have to wait for things to cool down before eating them? Why can't frogs live in the bathtub? Why do we have to wear clothes? Why can't you touch a ...