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Editorials and columns

Congrats to all on Harrisville ice rink

Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best ideas, and it doesn’t take a major, multimillion-dollar project to add real value to a community. Case in point: Harrisville’s new ice rink, which already has brought great joy to residents, made the city a more attractive place to visit, and ...

It’s a racist plan, not a rescue plan

Polls show most Americans support the COVID-19 relief bill. But this bill comes with a slap in the face for people who believe in racial equality and want everyone to benefit. Section 1005 of the bill offers women and minority farm owners a total debt forgiveness of up to hundreds of ...

Excited to see development on the horizon

It could be easy to miss in individual stories reported in between the doom and gloom of the coronavirus or what’s happening in Washington, but many, many exciting things are on the horizon in the Alpena area. In a recent update to the Alpena Municipal Council, economic development guru ...

All not permitted is prohibited

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took time at a January press conference to slay a myth, saying, “Things have not been closed for eight months.” It is true, of course, that the economy is not and was not ever fully shut down. But the governor’s attempt to regulate nearly every aspect of our ...

Glad to see Health Dept. getting help — now, make it permanent

One of the earliest realizations of the coronavirus pandemic was that America had woefully underfunded its public health agencies. Last August, Kaiser Health News reported that spending on America’s local health agencies had fallen 18% since 2010, spending on state agencies had fallen 16%, ...

The Miller-for-governor plot

Today’s dissertation centers on Candice Miller, now the public works commissioner in Macomb County and very content at being that. For literally years, Ms. Miller has flirted with running for governor. After she served time in town as secretary of state and, then, after a successful stint ...

RC folks need to talk

Disturbing news out of Rogers City recently, as the Rogers City school district decided to put up for sale its Grambau Education Center, asking $500,000 and apparently taking the Presque Isle District Library folks by surprise. According to reporting by News staff writer Crystal Nelson, the ...

The importance of neighbors

If you want to look at the strength of a community, take a look at how people help one another. To me, that was abundantly clear this week, with the wallop of winter weather we’ve experienced. Nothing showcases neighbors helping one another out more than a stressful event such as a ...

We can debate without becoming enemies

“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles.” — Proverbs 24:17 “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” — Abraham Lincoln In my 15 years of newspapering, I’ve interviewed probably hundreds of politicians and ...

A lesson from history on hope for tomorrow

A disputed election. Fears of outside election tampering and tainted ballots. Harassment at the polls by paramilitary groups. While, indeed, it sounds like the 2020 presidential election a few months ago, it also pertains to the presidential election of 1876. I figured, what better way ...

Township, consider options carefully

Alpena Township leaders and residents have some important decisions to make. An ad hoc committee exploring township firefighting and emergency medical services has determined it would cost $800,000 next budget year to fully fund the Alpena Township Fire Department. That’s about $300,000 ...

Some expressions worth saving

Even at my age, I appreciate and accumulate insightful expressions. Some, I incorporate, later to expound upon as I move around from place to place day to day. Recently, a new expression came to my attention. I came across it while reading the current issue of The New Yorker, in a profile ...

Thank you for your beautiful photos

If you want to know what makes Northeast Michigan great, just look around. Be it snow or an autumnal color show, our trees are plentiful and picturesque, and wildlife frolic on and beneath their boughs. Be it frighteningly beautiful ice or the rolling serenity of open water, Lake Huron, the ...

Raise your voice, change the world

Recently, I have seen quite a few items in The Alpena News about unity. And why not? This country is dangerously divided, so coming together seems like the reasonable thing to do, and begs the question, “If not now, when?” All this division has created mistrust in our government. A ...

What is a road/stream crossing inventory?

Thanksgiving break as a kid was spent with my grandparents, who lived on a block of identical brick houses in a suburb of Detroit. The highlight was a trip to Toys “R” Us — a mind-blowing metropolis of playthings for a country kid — to pick out my own birthday present. I had an hour ...

Michigan Reconnect program exciting

Few things are more important to success than education, meaning not just books and classrooms but labs and shops where students can learn skilled trades. And Alpena Community College has decided to participate in a state program meant to bring older students back to that promise of ...

On proper winter sports etiquette

Winter sports enthusiasts were (likely) thrilled to see some snowfall in the area recently. I know I was. It has been a relatively snow-free winter. Sure, the ground is still white, but that is because it has simply been too cold to melt the little snow we have gotten. Up until recently, we ...

Local businesses need you again

Local businesses do so much for each of us. Not only do they give us the products we love or the food we enjoy, they also give us jobs, either directly on their payroll or through the money they flow into our economy and to other job creators. They boost our quality of life and create the ...

Budget tackles pressing needs

Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and new State Budget Director Dave Massaron released their 2022 budget proposal. The state budget is a big area of focus for the Michigan League for Public Policy each year and a big avenue for our policy wins each year. The League has always said that the ...

Time to heal

In Saturday’s edition of The News, you heard from several Northeast Michiganders sharing their thoughts about how America and her communities can heal from the political and social divisions that have quite literally torn families apart over the past several years. A number of themes ...