Opinion

Where should you display your plates?

Editorials and columns

While patrolling, I observe license plates in some of the oddest locations. Most vehicles will have the license plate in the proper location. Others, if it falls off the vehicle, may have it in the back window until it is fixed. I have observed license plates in the side window of the ...

Sad to see opioids flood our communities

Editorials and columns

An astonishing 4 million opioid prescriptions flowed into Montmorency County between 2006 and 2012, making the area one of Michigan’s hardest-hit by the opioid epidemic that claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Michiganders in 2017. That 4 million pills is enough to provide 61 pills to ...

New state agency committed to progress

Editorials and columns

At the Michigan League for Public Policy, we do the research and analysis that will help fuel economic justice in Michigan. But that research is nothing if we aren’t listening to what people need. That’s why, when we developed our Owner’s Manual for Michigan, we toured the state and ...

Don’t make it easy for crooks

Editorials and columns

Crime went up slightly in Alpena County, up nearly 11% in Presque Isle County, and fell significantly in Alcona County from 2017 to 2018, according to the most recent statistics released by the Michigan State Police. Data from the Montmorency County Sheriff’s Department wasn’t available ...

Planting the seeds of survival

Editorials and columns

It’s boom time in the bunker business. With nefarious foreign sources hacking, troublesome incursions to our social media increasing, relationships with our allies straining, trade war tariffs looming, and people’s search for dignity depicted as invading — some affluent people are ...

Good luck to the Alpena North Stars

Editorials and columns

Earlier this month, sports editor James Andersen brought us the news that a new semiprofessional hockey team should be hitting the ice this fall. The Alpena North Stars will join the Battle Creek Cavalry, Bay City Americans, Flint Wolfpack, Oakland Vipers, Hadley Nepessings, Macomb Stags, ...

Be prepared for school’s return

Editorials and columns

We know, we know, we know. It’s hard to believe, but (*wipes tears from eyes*) summer is almost over. In a matter of days, most Northeast Michigan students will be heading back to class. All of them will within a few short weeks. Already, there are meet-the-teacher events and ...

Crystal balls are no way to run a school district

Editorials and columns

Who would want to be a school superintendent in Northeast Michigan these days? Take Alpena Public Schools Superintendent John VanWagoner, for instance. First, he had to spend all summer moving on from a defeated bond-sale request in May. At the same time, he keeps his fingers and toes ...

Plaza Pool is a treasure to our community

Letters to the Editor

It is sad to read articles regarding financial issues at the Alpena Plaza Pool. Our pool is a treasured asset in our community providing healthy activities for all ages. Living in Michigan means we are never more than six miles from a body of water. Learning to swim with qualified instructors ...

Does a story by any other name still ring true?

Editorials and columns

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump again went after one of his favorite targets, the New York Times, over the paper’s decision to change the headline on two stories covering the president’s speech on the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. The chronology went like ...

Say a prayer for our farmers

Editorials and columns

It’s not easy being a farmer these days, especially in Northeast Michigan. All of us are all too familiar with how bovine tuberculosis has made having a dairy herd in this region a gamble at best. We have read too many stories of lives ruined and herds destroyed after a cow tests positive ...

Heller does summer in Michigan …

Editorials and columns

∫ I’m just going to say it: I like Renaissance festivals. I’ve always been a fan of hokey, and there’s nothing hokier than a guy dressed in tights telling you in a bad English/pirate accent where the turkey leg stand is. Sheer, dumb bliss. ∫ I wonder if, someday, there will be ...

Thank you for a great Northern Strike

Editorials and columns

Friends and fellow citizens of Alpena, With great pride, I can report that another successful Northern Strike exercise is now in the history books. With several innovative and groundbreaking advancements this year, Northern Strike 19 truly wrote new history, not only for the exercise, which ...

Would you rehire people like this?

Editorials and columns

What if everyone had to reapply for his or her jobs every two years? I am sure your boss would have quite a few questions for you. My guess would be that you would go into that meeting well-prepared by having documentation of how you contributed to the company’s success. I am not aware of ...

Glad city rejected clean needle program

Editorials and columns

Earlier this month, members of the Alpena Municipal Council rejected a proposed amendment to an ordinance that would have allowed free needles to be passed out in the city. We agree with the decision, and support those who voted it down. The request had come from District Health Department ...

Do what you can for our furry hero

Editorials and columns

As we write often in this space, we are routinely thrilled by the generosity of Northeast Michigan’s people. We volunteer. We donate. We step up. We solve problems. We take care of our friends and neighbors. Now, one of our furry neighbors needs our help, and we hope ...

Sad to see dismal voter turnout

Editorials and columns

It’s been more than a week since Alpena County voters renewed the countywide property tax that supports the Alpena County Library, and we’re still brooding. Not because of the tax renewal. The small price — just $12.50 a year for the owner of a $100,000 house — is more than worth it ...

How to spend $1B more on roads

Editorials and columns

Lawmakers do not need to find $1.9 billion or even $1 billion for roads in a single year. Road repairs are long-term projects, and the state needs to gradually spend more to ensure that roads are put back together faster than they fall apart. Road funding is already at historic highs, when ...

A final lunch with L. Brooks Patterson

Editorials and columns

EDITOR’S NOTE: Capitol correspondent Tim Skubick has 50 years of experience covering L. Brooks Patterson, the Oakland County executive who died Aug. 3. If you had to pick three words to describe Lewis Brooks Patterson, you’d say he was passionate, controversial, and funny, and his passion ...