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Editorials and columns

Counting fights before Election Day

When it comes to the issue of voting, the two political parties agree on one thing: that voting is at the heart of the democracy. But, after that, the agreement ends. If you want proof of the political divide, just examine the attitude each party brings to the voting issue. Democrats ...

Be ever-vigilant of scams this tax season

Tax season can be a dangerous time for scams. Area police agencies recently told reporter Julie Riddle that scams are bad and getting this worse this tax season. About eight people a day are reporting scams to the Michigan State Police-Alpena Post, Trooper Michael Oliver told ...

Hypocrites in politics and baseball

Come Heller high water … ∫ So, let me get this straight. We’re outraged that Michael Bloomberg is spending his own money to run for president, but we’re OK with: 1.) Donald Trump spending his millions to run in 2016, 2.) Trump encouraging and accepting the help of the Russian ...

Glad to see turnout at Polar Plunge

We were thrilled to see so many Northeast Michiganders do something apparently stupid for a good cause. Scores of people turned out recently at Long Lake, dressed up in silly costumes, to cast good sense aside and jump into the icy waters. Every jump raised money for the Special ...

We all win if Oscoda wins Michigan space race

I’ve heard some disappointment around town this week that Alpena wasn’t selected as the possible site for the proposed horizontal space launch facility. None of that disappointment was heard from this corner. I celebrate the announcement with our neighbors to the south, in Oscoda, as ...

Another one bites the dust … maybe it’s our fault

The McClatchy Co. publishes 30 daily newspapers around the country, including some stellar titles such as the Kansas City Star (an early Hemingway employer) and the Idaho Statesman. It also publishes the flagship daily of my home-away-from home in Charlotte, North Carolina. It also filed ...

Glad to see Stabenow paying attention to region’s concerns

The region welcomed U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow this week. Michigan’s senior senator met with officials from around the region to hear the concerns they have about property damage many are experiencing from high lake water levels. In addition, she visited with different health care ...

In appreciation of snowplow drivers

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column has appeared previously. You can read more of Pugh’s past columns in his book, “The Best of Vignettes,” available for sale at The News, 130 Park Place, Alpena. There was a time when people didn’t take snowplows for granted. It was a time, too, when ...

Parents wait for Whitmer to follow the law

More than 175 days and just about as many excuses. That’s what currently stands between the Michigan Department of Education, where state officials are actively hiding school performance data, and Michigan parents hungry for more information about how their kids’ schools are ...

What love is …

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 The Way of Love “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not ...

News accepts guest columns

The Alpena News accepts guest columns of up to 800 words from individuals whose expertise in and/or personal experience with a subject can offer insights beyond the limits of a letter to the editor. Only subjects affecting Michigan —particularly Northeast Michigan —will be considered. ...

Reaching for the remote during debate

With notepad in hand, I saddled up to watch the Las Vegas Democratic debate on Wednesday night. I watched and listened intently for the first hour, then my TV went dark. No, it wasn’t a cable company issue. It was me and my remote agreeing I had seen enough — enough, that is, to see that ...

Congrats, Judge Black

Congratulations to Ed Black, the new 26th Circuit Court judge. Black was appointed to the post by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week. We believe Black is a man of integrity, as displayed by his professionalism while the county’s prosecutor. During that time, Black and the staff he ...

Reading is important

Alpena Public Schools officials have announced a plan to do everything possible to make sure no students are held back by a new state law. Under the law, which took effect this school year, any third-grader who fails to meet certain benchmarks on state standardized reading tests can be held ...

Payday lenders hungry for more

Last October, I wrote a column in The Alpena News on payday lending, the threat it poses to local residents, and the legislative efforts underway in Lansing to protect borrowers. I noted that rural areas, in particular, are vulnerable to payday lending, and that Alpena County has one of the ...

Important: Stay active (safely) in the winter

The gray and chilly winter months can easily discourage us from staying active, the warmth of a couch all too comforting. But staying active in winter is important, according to the American Heart Association, and has some serious benefits, including keeping our immune system healthy to ward ...

Medical pot card holders out of luck

The state has over 218,000 medical pot card holders, and there are now fears that an undisclosed number of those holders may be out of luck the next time they visit their favorite dispensary state-wide. Maybe you are one of those or you know someone who is? One cannabis organization blames ...

Glad to see landfill rebound

It wasn’t long ago that the landfill serving Alpena, Montmorency, and Oscoda counties was deep in the red, staring at a $1.6 million deficit and having to go hat-in-hand to local contractors to do the work it needed to do. Today, as News staff writer Steve Schulwitz reported recently, the ...

We need to learn to recycle

Soiled diapers. Needles. Biohazards. The problems officials face at the Alpena Resource Recovery Facility and other recycling outlets go beyond sorting out the wrong kinds of plastic or the glass the facilities can’t accept. Area residents are treating the recycling bins like garbage ...

Toughness is all around us

I heard a sportscaster the other day describe a pro athlete as “tough.” He didn’t define what he meant, but I assume he meant the guy plays through pain, rises above adversity, etc. — the usual jock stuff. Cynical Andy thought, “Well, of course he does. He’s paid $20 million a ...