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Editorials and columns

These are make-or-break days on COVID-19

It’s all too easy to let our guard down these days. Having spent most of the summer safely socially distanced and often needing only to wear masks while indoors, these days, it is a time of readjustment for many area residents. The colder weather is forcing us indoors more often now, ...

Real horror: Paid-for journalism, clickbait bounties

“We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” — Stephen King I was born on Friday the 13th. Whenever my birthday has fallen on that mystical night, I’ve celebrated whenever possible with a marathon of old horror flicks, especially the slashers: “Friday the 13th” (of ...

Bring your gun, leave your T-shirt

As you head to the polls on Tuesday to vote in Michigan, you can carry a gun if you so desire, but don’t you dare wear that “Keep America Great Again” hat or a “Come on, Man” Biden for President T-shirt. Can the world get any crazier? The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld ...

Are you leaving? Catch the right train

I earlier reported on a couple itinerant Lake State Rail locomotives — numbers 1174 and 1166. They were both in town at the time, but then they were gone. Probably, they hightailed it south with a load of limestone. Recently, locomotive 1166 reappeared. But it was no longer in tandem with ...

On Halloween, running from 2020

Happy Halloween, readers, as if 2020 isn’t scary enough. My Awtry family’s Halloween history goes way back. Growing up, we decorated more for Halloween than any other holiday. My parents would have the occasional Halloween party, but my older sister soon took that to an entirely new ...

Motorists, beware of ghosts and goblins

With all the ghosts and goblins out and about on Saturday across the region, we urge motorists to drive extra carefully that evening. Motorists should allow extra time for their trips as they slow down for the Halloween activities in communities around the region. Illuminated by a blue moon ...

The holiday shopping forecast

In a few weeks (or days, depending how early you get into the festive mood), we are about to enter an unprecedented holiday season. Many longstanding traditions will either be altered or nixed completely as the pandemic persists. Many will be rethinking holiday travel and limiting holiday ...

Newspapers always get my vote

There is more content available today about the upcoming election than likely in any previous cycle. While we could fill this page with media sources that have some type of information about the election, most people find their election information on social media (like Facebook and ...

Getting out the vote is vital

Leaders of both major political parties agree on one thing: The presidential election on Tuesday is among the most important in American history. Its outcome will shape our government, economy, even our society for many years to come. Your life and that of your children and grandchildren ...

State cuts hurt our communities

Decades of state revenue sharing cuts have harmed local communities All federal and state issues ultimately have a local impact. But no state policy affects local government policies, services, and spending — and in turn, residents’ daily lives — like local revenue sharing. Revenue ...

Foreign language is important

We were saddened to read reporter Crystal Nelson’s recent story saying enrollment in upper-level foreign language classes is dropping off. Michigan requires students to have at least one foreign language class between junior high and high school to graduate. A second year of foreign ...

Trump, Biden tie on debate flobs

There are a whole host of metrics you an use to judge the winner of a presidential debate. If you applied who was most aggressive, President Donald Trump won the thing going away. But, if you used connecting with the audience, it was no match, as former Vice President Joe Biden empathically ...

Vote!

We are only one week away from the election. By now, many of you have already cast your ballots. Thank you. If you haven’t already cast your ballot and are planning to vote absentee, we urge you to take your ballot to your clerk’s office in person, instead of putting the ballot in ...

The 1 week left edition of Come Heller or High Water …

Come Heller high water … ∫ Spoiler alert: This is entirely — from stem to stern and tip to top — a Donald Trump-bashing column. I would be derelict in my duty if it weren’t. If that’s not your bag, please move on. ∫ Trump is 99% bluff, but the one thing I don’t think he’s ...

Get ready for winter, folks

Northeast Michigan is likely to see a snowy winter, according to long-term forecasts. And that means now is the time to get ready. The Washington Post offers some tips, including: ∫ Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, which may be needed with our furnaces running ...

What is objectivity? And what is it not?

“So much for Objective Journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here — not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase ...

News endorses John James for U.S. Senate

The Alpena News endorses John James for U.S. Senate. We believe that government runs best when there is a balance of power between the various branches. As we see this election, there seems little evidence to assume the U.S. House will change leadership, thus we believe it is important for ...

Breaking a close, keeping a garden

In England, they used to call the enclosures we call our backyards “closes.” In their closes, people kept livestock and tended their gardens. If a fox came along and broke into their close to “worry” their livestock, they would pop the fox. If someone pilfered from their garden, they ...

God for all seasons

When we planted our raised garden beds this past spring, I decided to edge one with a row of sunflowers. Within weeks, small tender shoots unfurled and began reaching upward. All summer long they grew, gradually producing large blossoms that tracked the sun’s east-to-west journey across ...

Let’s speed up our courts

There are plenty of legitimate reasons for the court process to be delayed: Late evidence. No-show witnesses. Tardy attorneys. There are arguably more reasons for slowness in Northeast Michigan, where court districts cover multiple large counties with no interstates, meaning attorneys, ...