Opinion

It’s tax season; protect yourself from scammers

Editorials and columns

Now begins a peak time of the year for scammers. Officials with the Michigan Department of Treasury warn residents, especially seniors, to be alert to tax scams this time of the year. Be hesitant to share personal information, officials warn. “Taxpayers need to be extra alert for ...

Sister, teacher: A lesson in homecoming

Editorials and columns

Last month, I drove an hour east of Cleveland to Ashtabula, Ohio, where I grew up and where my youngest sister, Toni, is a high school English teacher. Once a week, she also teaches a “career enrichment” class for eighth-graders, which is why I was there. Our old high school is long gone, ...

Donald Trump using American capitalism to help the poor

Editorials and columns

During Christmas week, Fox News invited me to discuss how President Donald Trump’s achievements for black Americans are registering in awareness in these communities. Unfortunately, we didn’t succeed in scheduling the interview. It’s a subject of enormous importance not just because of ...

Movie of the year: Fascinating look back at World War I

Editorials and columns

The filmmaker Peter Jackson deserves more than an Oscar; he deserves a medal. What the director of the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” movies has done with his World War I documentary, “They Shall Not Grow Old,” is more than restore archival film; he has restored the humanity of ...

Goals for the new year: Be more present

Editorials and columns

Blink. It’s 2019. Did 2018 really even happen? It did, but, wow, did it go by in a flash. I’m not one for setting New Year’s resolutions. I try to do a little better every day, and that’s what I’ll do again this year. I also set goals throughout the year, as not everything I want ...

We were there in 2018, we’ll be there for you in 2019

Editorials and columns

Another year into the history books, and 2018 was a doozy. Notwithstanding the raucus news all year long on the federal level and one of the most frantic lame-duck sessions in memory in Lansing, Northeast Michigan saw its fair share of noteworthy events. The years-long dispute between the ...

Talent grant good news for Northeast Michigan

Editorials and columns

News staff writer Julie Goldberg reported recently that several school districts in Northeast Michigan have collectively reeived $1.9 million in Marshall Plan for Talent grant money from the state. The funds will go toward new and expanded curricula, certification programs based on ...

‘Going to be sad’: Last words from first lady

Editorials and columns

After she strongly suggested that her husband run for govenror, Sue Snyder sort of sat back to watch what would happen, never thinking that, eventually, she would find her own voice as first lady of Michigan. “I guess I just didn’t think about what my role would be. I would just be in the ...

‘Relentless positive action’ worked for Mich.

Editorials and columns

As 2018 draws to a close in Michigan, the state and its residents find themselves in a much better place than they have been in many years. Gas prices at many locations around Alpena Friday were below $2 a gallon for regular unleaded. That alone was cause for celebration among many who now ...

Hey, it’s property tax time! Happy New Year!

Letters to the Editor

Are you happy with your taxes? I feel once you become a senior, 65, you should not have to pay school taxes or college taxes, you paid them all your life. Now you pay for young people with kids that live off the state, and keep having kids, for the state and us to pay for. They need a ...

Man, I love this job: Starting the new year right

Editorials and columns

A colleague told me recently that he wished I’d write more positive things about newspapering in this column. That can be a tricky thing, sometimes, especially when the industry news is so often dire and more of your friends are shoved off to the bread line and this thing you care about ...

Alpena stands by its people in tragedy

Editorials and columns

There is no good time ever for a house fire, but, when it occurs at Christmastime, it seems even more unfortunate. Thankfully, though, this region is filled with good, caring people, and that was again evidenced by the Jason Lowell family of West Lake Street in Alpena this week. Jason, his ...

This year, resolve to be less annoying

Editorials and columns

This is the time when people start to ask, “Should I make any resolutions for the new year?” It’s a ridiculous question. Of COURSE you should make resolutions. You’re a hot mess. Based on how often you annoy me with your behavior, you need to make lots and lots of resolutions, and the ...

Experiencing ‘newness’

Editorials and columns

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” — Psalm 27:14 I started a new job last week. The nice folks at The Alpena News decided to let me do some writing for them as an official, honest-to-goodness reporter. On the first day of work, I got a tour of the ...

Ice rink is both magical, inspirational

Editorials and columns

There is something magical about an outdoor ice rink in the winter. That is partially why a new rink at Bay View Park is exciting. And, while we are pleased that soon area residents will be able to skate there, that is only partially why we find this project so incredible. The project also ...

Can you tow a vehicle with your own truck?

Editorials and columns

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column regularly appears on Thursdays but is running one day late because of the holidays. It will return to its regular rotation next month. I was approached last week with a question about towing private vehicles. The question was, “Can you legally pull a vehicle ...

No regrets and no answers from Schuette

Editorials and columns

No regrets. No second-guessing. No plans for the future. He’s going forward, not looking backward. There, in a nutshell, is the post-election story from defeated candidate for governor William Duncan Schuette, who started his political journey with a key challenge: nobody got his name ...

Compromise means progress in 2018

Editorials and columns

Our work at the Michigan League for Public Policy is never done. We focus on issues like income inequality, health, child wellbeing, workplace issues, criminal justice and education. And after a whirlwind, contentious lame-duck session, we’re finally able to watch the dust settle and reflect ...