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A little bit of this, a little bit of that

October 10, 2011 - Steve Murch
Monday musings on a day off (what, I'm supposed to do other things on my day off?):

… Beginning Tuesday The News will be taking a look back at Black Friday – Oct. 16, 1981 – when Alpena Public Schools closed its doors because it had no funds and couldn't pass a millage to stay afloat. The five-part series will look at the history of how the school got to that point; what the city was like during that time and the economics that played into the school's problems; the effect it had on athletics, and how some sports disappeared forever; could it happen again; what all the recent changes in funding and legislation mean to the future of education.

It's an important look back at dark times in Alpena education history. However, it also looks at what could be the future of education in Michigan. And as a follow-up to the series, in November The News will be hosting a town hall meeting to discuss education – its past, present and future – with leading educators in the area.

… Beginning next week you can start to get a look at the candidates for Alpena mayor and municipal council. The News distributed questionnaires to all the candidates and beginning next week we will publish the answers to those questions, giving the voters a glimpse at the candidates.

… I'm kind of looking forward to the next Republican presidential debate. Not because I can't get enough of the same old thing, but because I want to see who will stick their foot in their mouth. Every debate has seen someone say something that is outrageous (and generally untrue). The worst part is they all seem to deny saying something even when there is proof they said it.

The latest comment that makes you scratch your head didn't come from a debate, however. Herman Cain's comment telling the protestors that if they didn't have a job then they should blame themselves was last week's bonehead comment of the week.

… Speaking of the protestors, how can anyone really believe they are the equivalent of the tea party? They don't seem to be doing anything proactive, they're basically just protesting. If they form a grassroots movement that does more than just protest, then maybe they will be a force (and that term should be used loosely).

… My must-read every week is Sports Illustrated's Peter King's “Monday Morning Quarterback” column online. King basically empties his notebook of everything that didn't make into the magazine and covers everything football. It shows why he is the best football writer in the country. My favorite is his 10 things I think, and he has his non-football thoughts as well, which are mostly Red Sox based but fun to read nonetheless. King's tweets are fun to read too because he responds to many of his followers. Last year HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel did a story on King and it's fascinating how he puts it all together. He would ride the train from New York to Boston after NBC's Sunday night football game and post it online by the time he got home. How he does it will change because he and his wife are moving to Manhattan because the travel is tough and it will get him closer to work. I doubt the column will suffer but process he used made it that much more interesting for me.

… If you are a Detroit Tigers fan then Matt Mowery's blog at the Oakland Press should be a read for you. Mowery, you was the first sports editor at The News, albeit for just a short time, after I became managing editor, does an outstanding job of covering the Tigers.

… I wonder how many people have changed their driving habits enough that it will take them time to return to their old habits after the full Washington Avenue/Ripley Boulevard intersection is open. Ripley is now open to through-traffic, but Washington remains closed.

… If you want to see why college football is so fun, go and look for the ESPN clip of the last several seconds of the Miami-Virginia Tech game from Saturday. While the Wisconsin “Jump Around” gets the crowd going and is fun to see, the way the crowd gets fired up with Metallic's “Enter Sandman” playing is goose bump-worthy. They always play the song as the team enters the stadium to begin the game, and until Saturday's closing moments the most emotional and raucous the crowd was prior to this weekend was the first home game a few years ago after the tragic shootings on campus the previous school year.


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