Opinion

Now, the real work begins

Editorials and columns

A government’s budget is arguably the most important work its leaders do. Whatever policy prescriptions lawmakers hash out mean nothing if they can’t later agree on the money it takes to enact or enforce those policies. The state’s decades-old unfunded — and unaccomplished — ...

State budget invigorates state and residents

Editorials and columns

As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer outlined in her budget presentation on Tuesday, Michigan is at a crossroads and needs new direction to get on the road to opportunity. And, at the Michigan League for Public Policy, we happen to have an Owner’s Manual for state policymakers to do just that. Our ...

The Destin, Fla. Snowbirds Writers Group

Editorials and columns

I am a member of The Destin, Fla. Snowbirds Writer’s Group. We are a seasoned seasonal assemblage consisting primarily of the same core group who has been meeting since 2013. As an indication of the depth and endurance of our association, consider that some of us have been known to go ...

Never too late to earn your diploma or your GED

Editorials and columns

Last week, The News reported that graduation rates for Alpena Public Schools dipped slightly last spring, when compared to the spring before. And one additional student dropped out. There are some benign explanations for that, according to APS Superintendent John VanWagoner. The rate ...

Wrong to force locals on fireworks

Editorials and columns

There is hardly any issue more local than noise. How loud a community is at different times of the day and on different days says a lot about the character of that community. Is it a raucous, boisterous place that never sleeps? Or a slow, laid-back, hushed sort of place? Those are real ...

Journalists do not have special powers

Editorials and columns

Hilde Lysiak is my hero. She is the 12-year-old girl from Selinsgrove, Penn. who publishes her own online newspaper, Orange Street News, and became famous this week for standing her ground against a police officer who told her he didn’t “want to hear about any of that ...

How many more taxes can we survive?

Letters to the Editor

How many more taxes can seniors and the working poor survive with? When I retired from the military in 1994, my taxes were around $600 for 80 acres with a trailer and garage on it. Now, with 1,300 square feet and three outbuildings, we’re are paying over $2,300, $900 of that for school ...

Glad county, arena reached contract deal

Editorials and columns

Thursday’s edition of The News put the community on ice —in a good way. Reporter Steve Schulwitz told us that officials from Alpena County and from Northern Lights Arena-Community, the private firm managing the arena, had reached a three-year deal that includes an option for a one-year ...

Alpena needs to allow marijuana sales

Letters to the Editor

I have learned that the City of Alpena is considering banning marijuana dispensaries and related businesses in response to the legalization of marijuana in Michigan. While I certainly appreciate the good intentions of those seeking the ban, this knee-jerk reaction is not the proper response ...

Alcohol ban attacks Pure Michigan way of life

Editorials and columns

An assault on our Pure Michigan way of life is well underway from an unexpected foe — the U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Forest Service recently announced — and is now delaying — a ban on consuming alcohol along the most popular and widely used sections of three rivers in the ...

Girl Scouts proud to be for girls, by girls

Letters to the Editor

You may wonder why, after over 100 years of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place, we are writing to say, “Girl Scouts are alive and well.” Unfortunately, there are rumors in this community and in the Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore ...

Closed road just a challenge to a Yooper

Editorials and columns

Come Heller high water ... ∫ As I write this, it has now snowed for 4,765 days in a row, by my estimate. Of course, I’ve been known to get a little nuts about winter this time of year, so I could be off by 3,000 or 4,000. But it certainly feels true. ∫ I know, I know. Take some ...

Dear art town, support your local theaters

Letters to the Editor

It is so apparent as to be axiomatic that exposure to the arts — visual arts, theater, literature, music — contributes to what makes us human. Art allows us to see our potential and encourages us to become our better selves. It allows us to consider the basic questions of humanity, ...

Citizens are the biggest defenders of law enforcement

Editorials and columns

We think we don’t want them, but we do. When they are lacking, we go looking for them. But in order to keep them, we must have someone holding us accountable. I speak of rules, laws, and guidelines. Can you imagine attending athletic games, trying to drive on highways, running a store, ...

A warm welcome home to Michigan?

Editorials and columns

The Polar Vortex wrapped its frigid claws around my vehicle and shouted, “This is as far as you go, old man!” That was about five miles west of Battle Creek, on I-94, on Jan. 29. I listened to Mr. Vortex and pulled off the road to spend an additional night on my way to Alpena. The trip ...

Raise hope, foster dreams

Editorials and columns

Last week, reporter Steve Schulwitz informed us that the 26th Circuit Court has already burned through much of the $275,000 Alpena County budgeted for the Child Care Fund, and officials expect they’ll need at least another $200,000 before the end of their fiscal year this fall. There are ...

May the day never come …

Editorials and columns

May the day never come when you are asked to write a letter to the judge to assist him in his sentencing decision for the drunk driver who killed your sister. That day is here for my family. The questions are endless. What can you say in that letter to truly convey how your life has ...