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Editorials and columns

The wonder of books at NIE fundraiser

When I think back to how I first got interested in a good book, I always remember the Hardy Boys. Frank and Joe Hardy were fictional characters, but I sure thought they were pretty “cool” as a boy in elementary school. How much better could it be than for Frank and Joe, a few years ...

The hidden value in a printed newspaper

In the grand scheme of things, it’s the content of a news story that matters, not the medium. You can be just as informed reading your work computer or on your smartphone or tablet as you are reading a printed paper. In some ways, digital journalism offers you more. It allows ...

Alpena school enrollment projections welcome news

Have enrollment numbers at Alpena Public Schools finally bottomed out? While the answer to that question probably won’t be known for several more years, school officials believe the indicators they are studying suggest that, in the next year, the district will have reached it lowest point of ...

Searching for a winter’s smile

Charlene is a Wilder, wife of Wes, daughter-in-law to Ron and Annebelle Wilder, both passed — two of the finest people I have ever known. Ron worked for Alonzo Green when Alonzo was the Alpena County maintenance supervisor. He, too, was a good man. Alonzo died young and Ron became what ...

Investigate wrongful politicizing of state grants

The recent revelations into the politicization of state economic development resources are deeply troubling. Officials in the Michigan Economic Development Corp., a quasi-public agency, used state grants as political leverage in the constitutional crisis provoked by Democratic Gov. Gretchen ...

Who is Jesus?

Isaiah 49:1-7: “And now the Lord says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him — for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength — he says: ‘It is too light a thing that you ...

Zero, goose egg, nada, zip

Do you know how much you still owe on your house? My guess is you probably do. How about on your car? You probably know that, too. How much do you owe the country? Have any idea? Well, there are a lot of zeros in that number. Congress, who is in charge of spending and taxes (income), just ...

Breath-test issues are concerning

It’s beyond belief that possible errors in alcohol testing devices being used in Michigan could have been faulty, and thus inaccurate in their readings. The identified potential problems with the breath-test devices that read blood-alcohol content could have a bearing on eight cases ...

The experience of leaving

You may not know this, yet, because it has been kept relatively quiet, but I announced my resignation from my job at the Chamber of Commerce. A hint of sarcasm, there. I was overwhelmed and surprised by the media coverage. The day I told people was an emotional day. Telling the staff ...

Show your community pride in DDA contest

Northeast Michigan is brimming with talent. As highlighted regularly on our Lifestyles page, our region is beautified by the work of homegrown painters, sculptors, woodworkers, musicians, and more. Art is as much a part of the fabric of our community as is hunting and fishing, boating, and ...

Lawmakers reduce corporate welfare

While there were important laws passed in the statehouse in 2019, what didn’t get passed was just as noteworthy. There was no large tax increase, despite it being the governor’s highest priority. There was less road funding in the budget, despite a consensus between legislators and the ...

Show up for MLK Jr. Day events in Alpena

We encourage all readers to participate in upcoming events marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Northeast Michigan. Public events kick off from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Alpena Community College’s CTR 106 with the presentation “Racism is NOT That Guy in the Pointy Hood,” by ...

Will Chatfield run for governor?

This town loves a good speculation story. When it involves who might run for governor, it loves that speculation even more. Now, you may be saying, don’t we already have a governor for three more years? Indeed, we do. So, what’s with bothering to talk about it now? See the first ...

Keep your pets safe this winter

Human beings are not the only creatures shivering in the cold. Winter can be as tough on pets as it is on their owners, and it’s important to provide them the care they need in the cold. The American Humane Society offers some tips: ∫ When putting together your emergency preparedness ...

Resolve to stop beating ourselves up

Come Heller high water … ∫ I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution this year, but if I had, it would have been: “I resolve to stop nagging myself all year long, every day, to incessantly improve at this or that.” The older I get, the more I’ve learned the value of telling that ...

Sad to see community service trooper position go

Even after federal funding ran out a few years ago, the Michigan State Police-Alpena Post decided to keep Trooper Ashley Simpson as the post’s community service trooper. The position gave the post a friendly public face through community presentations, education initiatives, and public ...

A few minutes’ peace with a baby’s cry

A little cry quickly brought me back to reality last weekend. Holding the newest Speer to enter this world, Abigail Louise, quickly reminded Grandpa he needed to pay more attention to this little bundle of joy cradled in his arms. It was a wonderful feeling, holding her, looking into ...

Journalism has many ways to survive

There’s an old saying in journalism: If everyone’s happy with you, you’re doing a good job. If everyone’s mad, you’re doing a great job. If that’s true, I received a major boost of confidence from this week’s letters to the editor. Last week, I penned a column about my ...

Big changes, big decision ahead at Chamber

Blinking twice this week at the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce and readers would have missed a lot in the way of personnel changes. The big news in Tuesday’s newspaper was the hiring of Mike Mahler as the new economic development director, replacing Jim Klarich, who retired at the end of ...

An approach to good food

There are things I’ve not done I need to do but likely won’t; things I needed to do, did, should do again but probably never will; things I did I should do again that I will do; and things I haven’t done but hope to get around to — someday. One of the things I hope to get around to ...