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Editorials and columns

A school is not a building

We’ve heard from some residents concerned about Alpena Public Schools officials considering closing and selling the Alternative Choices for Educational Success Academy building and moving the program — which helps students who struggle in a traditional school setting — into Alpena High ...

Death with dignity

My wife, Penny is a very smart and worldly person. One of the things she shared with me was that, when people would comment, “If I die …,” we both would be perplexed, in that there is no “if.” Death is a natural part of life’s cycle. Being in the health care profession for over ...

Thank you, poaching tipsters

Poaching helps no one. It’s bad for the environment, throwing wildlife officials’ habitat management plans off-kilter when an animal is killed unexpectedly. It’s bad for hunters, taking an animal at which a legal hunter could have had a shot — and giving hunters a bad name. And, ...

Whitmer’s Florida hypocrisy

Hypocrisy in Lansing is nothing new, but recent unforced errors by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other ruling-class Democrats have reached new levels. First, it was Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein. The uber liberal — nominated by Democrats but officially elected as a ...

Thank a school bus mechanic

Every day, we put our kids’ lives in the hands of so many people. Teachers. Coaches. Youth pastors. Karate instructors. But the first person we trust with our kids’ lives every day is their bus driver -- and the school district’s bus mechanic. As News staff writer Crystal Nelson ...

Minimum wage hikes hurt young most

The focus of minimum wage debates usually centers on the number of job losses that could result from an increase. Those job losses, however, do not impact all types of workers equally. Increasing the minimum wage leads to employers shifting away from younger workers toward older, ...

Know the signs of human trafficking

If something seems off, don’t be afraid to tell someone. So say advocates for ending human trafficking, who held an event Monday in Alpena to highlight the problem and let Northeast Michiganders know it happens here. Trafficking can take on many forms, but it always involves a vulnerable ...

Whitmer’s messaging problem

Among all the dilemmas Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is confronting these days, you can now officially add that she has a messaging problem. When she shut down the state to bend the COVID-19 curve two times before, she steadfastly clung to the notion that the “science” justified the move. The ...

We need court cost reform

A Michigan Court of Appeals ruling that an Alpena County defendant must pay for the state’s costs in administering his court case is now precedent. By publishing their opinion, the appellate justices said their ruling that Travis Johnson must pay $1,200 in court costs can be used as case ...

A carefree week for self-care

The call annoyed me as a kid on vacation. About midway through the week, after we’d woken up and had breakfast, my dad had to dial a number on the hotel phone before we’d set out on that day’s adventure. “How are things going at the shop?” he’d ask his business manager, or ...

Everything we do we do for public service

It costs money to print newspapers, and, like any business, we care about our bottom lines, so we can invest in our people and the technology, equipment, and services necessary to improve what we have to offer. But, at their heart, newspapers exist for public service. A call to public ...

Appreciating the simple joys of a quality haircut

One thing I have learned from the coronavirus pandemic is to never take anything for granted again. Take, for instance, a haircut. I enjoy visiting with Bill and Amy at State Barber Shop and catching up on all things important. Bill always is quick with a wisecrack about the newspaper, and ...

Remember your 10 digits

We urge residents to remember to start dialing all 10 digits — including the 989 area code in front of local numbers — for all phone calls later this month. State officials will require the 10-digit dialing by Oct. 24, but residents can start practicing the extra dialing on April 24, News ...

The vote that saved Alpena City Hall

I suspect you have wondered — maybe while nowhere near it, perhaps when passing by — but at some point, you have likely asked: “Why is our City Hall built from Limestone quarried in Bedford, Indiana?” Indeed, why from a Hoosier quarry hundreds of miles away, not the limestone or block ...

African memories

Journal entry — Jan. 4, 2021 I was actually born in Southern Rhodesia, which later became Rhodesia and then Zimbabwe. When it came to renewing my passport, it was challenging to accurately choose my country of birth! My parents lived on a mission station way out in the bush. My mom ran a ...

Thank a youth volunteer

Inside Thursday’s edition of The News, readers found our annual publication celebrating National Volunteer Week, which this year begins on Sunday. For our 2021 edition, The News profiled several young people who go above and beyond to help their communities, including: ∫ Ashley ...

Don’t wait. The time is now

The ice left beautiful Hubbard Lake ahead of time this year. The time to mow my lawn came at an earlier time, too. I just celebrated another birthday, which seems to have come around in a shorter time from my last birthday. My “little” granddaughter, stuck in my mind as a 7-year-old ...

Put all options on the table for housing

Today, The News wrapped up a five-part series exploring the causes and effects of Northeast Michigan’s housing shortage. After weeks of reporting that included research and interviews with homebuyers, sellers, real estate officials, and economic development officials, The News’ “Short ...

Kids need cultural awareness

We understand the coronavirus pandemic has been all-consuming for more than a year, so we can’t hold it against Alpena Public Schools officials that a long-planned review of the district’s curricula on cultural awareness and racism remains incomplete. But our kids need those lessons, so ...

Invest Rescue Plan where it’s needed

The federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides unprecedented cash resources to families and significant investments in key areas like housing, child care, education, and health coverage. It also provides significant resources to help states, localities, tribes, and territories meet ...