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Editorials and columns

Help us continue doing award-winning work

Northeast Michigan residents need to be informed like never before — that is why I am so proud of The Alpena News staffers who make up our editorial department. Whether working remotely from home these days or in the office six feet apart from each other, the crew has been working ...

Society needs a new business model

I’ve been thinking a lot these past few weeks about a poster one of my teachers had on the classroom wall when I was a boy. It listed how much money Michael Jordan’s basketball and sponsorship contracts made him while he did everyday things: $52,000 while he sleeps, $618 while boiling an ...

This week, reach out and share some joy

Earlier this week, an editorial addressed “distant socializing.” And as we said in that editorial, staying connected with people is very important for all of us right now. With that in mind, today, we are advocating taking that concept one step further and becoming proactive. We urge ...

I can hear the music changing

I sense the beat is changing, the melody transforming, a measure being added to our song. Even though confined to quarters, still I hear the music. Could it be a new song is being composed? Maybe so. I’m optimistic when it comes to new musical compositions, and here’s why: Despite ...

Understanding and protecting vernal pools

That chorus of frogs you hear erupting from the woods on spring evenings is coming from a special but fleeting place. One of those songs belongs to the wood frog, just a couple inches long but with a voice that fills the air with a warm reminder winter is over. Those frogs hang out among ...

What will we be when this is over?

The coronavirus is taking its toll, for sure. The human tragedy is just that, a tragedy. Congress finally moved on a $2 trillion aid package, yet the virus continues to wreak havoc across the nation. But this will end, and then what? Will we come out of this a stronger, more unified ...

Don’t forget our furry friends

We keep hearing that the social distancing mandates meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus changes our everyday lives. And more and more things keep coming up to prove the point. To wit: Last week, reporter Steve Schulwitz detailed the ways virus prevention has affected the Huron ...

Not ‘social distancing’, ‘distant socializing’

Most of us weren’t designed to stand six feet apart from each other. We were designed to hug and shake hands and pat each other on the back and offer a comforting hand on the shoulder. That’s what makes the “social distancing” mandates designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus ...

Census Day: Another way to help

People are stepping up to help their communities in many ways through the COVID-19 crisis. From mutual aid groups to practicing responsible social distancing, Michiganders are doing their part to get through this together. If you haven’t done so already, taking the census is a small act ...

Now, more than ever: Be kind

While there have been no reports of it Northeast Michigan, we’ve been extremely discouraged by the photos, videos, and stories popping up in the media of grocery store fights over toilet paper and other such nonsense. By all accounts, the supply chain for our grocers remains strong, and, ...

Warring with, winning over Trump

Last December, in the warmth and comfort of the executive residence and with no hint that an insidious virus would engulf her second year in office, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had time to reflect on her approach to commenting on the performance of President Donald Trump. As you listen to her ...

The News is here for you

We are glad Gov. Gretchen Whitmer saw the wisdom in declaring the news media an “essential service” as she ordered other businesses closed in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Journalists the world over, including right here in Northeast Michigan, are working hard to ...

The sky is not really falling

When people think the sky is falling, there’s an obvious risk in saying, “Yes, it is … but it’s also not.” I’m going to take that risk. Yes, the coronavirus is awful. It’s killed roughly 12,000 worldwide as of this writing. But it could have killed more. Believe it or not, the ...

People are stepping up

School employees with no students to teach are stepping up to hand out food so kids can eat at home. Restaurants with no customers to serve delivering their food to seniors and others. Food banks, too, are ramping up operations to feed the hungry. Scared police, firefighters, and ...

Learning the value of time while sheltering at home

Time. Webster’s Dictionary defines time as “the point or period when something occurs.” As you and I grapple with “sheltering” in the confines of our homes, I have a new appreciation for time. Admittedly, for me, Monday through Friday, I still head to the office and work. As an ...

Emergencies no time for journos to wear kid gloves

“‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.” — F.A. Hayek These are weird and hairy times. Tensions are high. Bernie Sanders dropped an F-bomb on a reporter who dared to ask his plans after another day of dismal ...

A bit of perspective in troubling times

By now, we probably all are beginning to feel a bit “cooped up.” With that in mind, let us offer what we will call an “attitude adjuster” this morning. Read the following line by line, from top to bottom. Then, when you get to the bottom, read it again, line by line, from the ...

Life’s better with open doors

This evolving coronavirus pandemic got me thinking. One of the things I’ve been thinking about is my mother’s survival of the 1918 flu epidemic. She was born in 1909, so, when that contagion hit Alpena, she was 8 or 9 years old — old enough to remember. She did. What my mother remembered ...

Understanding science process, product, and culture

What a simple word: science. Two short syllables, easily pronounced. Yet, to many, science is mystifying. As we cope with COVID-19, perhaps it is a good time to discuss how science works. According to the National Academies of Sciences, our most prestigious scientific organization, science ...

Virus can’t take March is Reading Month

If there can be a silver lining in all the craziness in which we live these days, perhaps it is this: With Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s mandate to stay home, we have more time for a good book. March is Reading Month, and that’s one thing the coronavirus can’t take away from us. That’s ...