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Editorials and columns

On Giving Tuesday, you showed reason for the season

Wow! Talk about impressive. This region is awesome when it comes to sharing our blessings with those around us. In yet another display of generosity, area residents dug deep and often in Giving Tuesday donations this week to the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan on behalf of 60 ...

Now, the best kind of journalism: Christmas stories

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming of Hinkley’s ultimate wisdom on all things journalism for a bit of yuletide nostalgia: My great-grandfather, Winfred “Friendly Fred” Hinkley, is my earliest Christmas memory. An auctioneer by trade, he wore a three-piece suit and a ...

Pot debate a tough one, get involved now

Alpena leaders find themselves in a quandary as to whether to allow medical marijuana sales within the boundaries of the Downtown Development Authority district. And, before we go any further, those boundaries extend many more blocks in each direction than what readers normally think of when ...

Do Republicans even know what a lie is?

Come Heller high water … ∫ When I was a kid and told a lie, I knew it. Who doesn’t? But, sometimes, I would insist over and over again to my parents — to the point of hysterics — that I hadn’t lied and was being treated unfairly! I thought of those moments as I watched Republican ...

‘A pox on both your houses’

For frequent readers of this space, let me begin with an apology to those who would hold me accountable for my previous column saying I was swearing off politics until after the first of the year. OK, yes, I fell off the wagon, but how could you not? Every news broadcast and every newspaper ...

Boys and Girls Club buy good for community

Brad Somers’ enthusiasm couldn’t be contained recently when speaking to the Alpena Rotary Club. Like a child visiting the North Pole at Christmas, the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena shared with Rotary members that he was “ecstatic” to announce the club’s ...

Give smart this Christmas

We’ve written about this before, but it’s important in this charitable season to make sure you’re giving smartly. Outright scams are just one of the worries. It’s also important to make sure you give to charities that truly serve the mission you wish to support, that spend most of ...

Legislators nix regulatory overreach

In September, Michigan’s Certificate of Need Commission voted to restrict access to a new, potentially lifesaving cancer treatment. Known as “CAR-T,” the Food and Drug Administration-approved procedure programs the body’s own T-cells to attack and kill cancerous cells, allowing ...

Shop local this holiday season

We’re sure your holiday shopping is already roaring fully, with just three weeks left till Christmas and both Black Friday and Cyber Monday already behind us. But we hope you’ll pause in the coming days and ponder ways you can shop local this Christmas. We know there are deals all over ...

Pure Michigan cuts hurt real people

What’s your quality of life like without kidneys? How long will your car run without spark plugs or a fuel pump? How much more difficult does it become to cook a holiday meal if someone steals your stove? The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Remove any singular part of a ...

The challenge ahead for Whitmer’s new legislative liaison

It was the morning after the night Gretchen Whitmer was elected governor, and former Gov. Jim Blanchard could not have been happier. He was one of the first influential Democrats to embrace her candidacy. During a post-election interview, he drew upon his personal experience of putting ...

Shovel your sidewalks

With the first big, heavy snow-dump of the season over the Thanksgiving holiday still sloshing around in our streets and driveways, it’s a good time to remind readers that it’s important to shovel their sidewalks. The city can and does ticket homeowners and — in some cases, renters — ...

Protect yourselves, Northeast Michigan

We read with great dismay last week Crystal Nelson’s report that sexually transmitted diseases are on the uptick in Northeast Michigan. While the numbers remain small — 94 known cases this year as of October across the four counties served by District Health Department No. 4 — they are ...

Winter’s beauty is in the eye of the Michigander

Enough is enough. Sometimes, that is hard for a news junkie like myself to admit, but, every now and again, I just need a break from reality and I find myself reading trivial but interesting facts. Two sites I stumbled upon this month both dealt with winter in Michigan. The first, from ...

News ain’t free and other bits of wisdom

With a nod to Andy Heller, how ‘bout some quick-hit analyses of the media news of the day? ∫ Bloomberg News says it won’t investigate its founder, Michael Bloomberg, as he spends his way through the Democratic primaries. It won’t investigate his Democratic rivals. But it will ...

Give to your community this Tuesday

Black Friday is behind us, Small Business Saturday is today, Cyber Monday arrives in two days, and Tuesday will be Giving Tuesday — 24 hours for residents to share their generosity this holiday season to local nonprofits in need. Now in its fifth year, Giving Tuesday five years ago raised a ...

Nov. 10, 2020 will be the true Thanksgiving

Come Heller high water … ∫ This week, at one of his rallies, President Donald Trump told supporters that the same unnamed liberals who won’t allow us to say Christmas are now after Thanksgiving. “They don’t want to use the term Thanksgiving. But everybody in this room I know loves ...

Think brain health in this year’s holiday gifts

As we approach the Thanksgiving holidays and the buying spree known as Black Friday, new findings in medical science can help guide our purchases to improve rather than hurt the persons to whom we have chosen for gifts. While there has been considerable research in middle school and teenage ...

Choose to shop small this holiday season

On Nov. 1, I received my first email promoting Black Friday sales. Early access! Sneak peek! Kick off your holiday shopping now! Our Black Friday event continues! 60% off everything! Your special code ends tonight! Buy now! A cacophonous ringing of headlines and promises and promotions ...

Enjoy the parade, remember how it started

When people ask about the influence of a newspaper, we refer them to Alpena Lena. A mild-mannered woman whose goal in life might be to leave a smile on the face of everyone she meets, Lena is generally shy by nature — that is for the first minute you meet her. Then, she is anything ...