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Editorials and columns

15 years seems like just yesterday

Fifteen years ago tomorrow.Fifteen years since that fateful day that began in New York City, continued to Washington, D.C., and played out over a field in Pennsylvania.Fifteen years since that day when the President of the United States was supposed to be in Florida reading to elementary ...

Observe 9/11 by giving the gift of life

As we observe the 15th anniversary Sunday of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, we're reminded that many residents choose this time of year to participate in a public service or perform an act of kindness as their personal way to honor the victims and heroes from that day.This year the charitable ...

Who is taking part in polls?

As I write this, there are only 58 more days to go before the presidential election.I can't wait.Not for the election. I'm actually dreading that. I think everyone's dreading that. No matter who wins, half of us are moving to Canada. Unless they build a wall to keep us out.But I am looking ...

Understanding, tackling obesity

We know that obesity is an epidemic. More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. The statistics are even higher in Northeast Michigan. As a community, we need to acknowledge this growing risk, stop ignoring it and make change. We can help people live healthier, more fulfilling lives by ...

Don’t destroy downtown ‘vibe’

Would two-way traffic in downtown Alpena ultimately be a curse or a blessing?At this point it would be nice to know the answer to that, as for the time being all the debate over two-way traffic is a pain in the behind for many on both sides who have dug in their heels over the issue.If you ...

Give China credit for pandas’ recovery

China's brutality in punishing crimimals makes it easier for the government to enforce its will, of course. Still, Beijing deserves credit for a striking achievement in conservation.The giant panda, native to China, no longer is an endangered species, an international conservation group has ...

Obama shouldn’t trust China with climate change deal

Politics has made stranger bedfellows under President Barack Obama than at any other time during recent memory.He insists he trusts Iran to put its nuclear weapons plan on hold, despite evidence Tehran already is cheating on its promise to do so.Obama has normalized relations with Cuba, even ...

Back in the first grade

During my second year in law school I was involved in an automobile accident. At that time my financial cushion was threadbare. Meeting the insurance deductible abraded the fabric. Having no patch, I had to go to work. I became a full-time sixth grade teacher in Grosse Pointe Park during ...

Kids are back in school, let’s keep them safe

Today marks the first day of school around the region. Some kids are excited about the day while others may be dreading the end of summer vacation.In both instances, their minds might not be focused on safety and they could be putting themselves in harm's way as they head to school. That is ...

Tie aid to curbing slaughter of elephants in those African countries

Elephants seem to be doing well in some African countries, but they are being slaughtered by poachers at an alarming rate in others.The total population of African elephants is declining at a rate of 8 percent a year, according to a recent study. At that rate, they will become an endangered ...

M-STEP results not very rosy

You have to give good grades to the state Department of Education for orchestrating a nifty and positive spin on the latest round of test scores for kids in grades three through 11th grade, and at first blush you would walk away from the results with a smile on your face.After all the ...

Funding for airport needed, appreciated

Last month it was announced Alpena County Regional Airport was the recipient of $990,000 in federal funding to help with the construction of a new terminal.For a facility that has experienced lower numbers in travelers compared to previous years, the construction of a new terminal might be ...

1st House keeps being interesting

The 1st Congressional District in Michigan always has been interesting. It is a district made up of hard working people who relish their quality of life, lean conservative and who - percentage wise - have an abnormally high amount of them receiving some type of assistance check from the federal ...

Conversation between Trump and Mexico president

Donald Trump's meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pea Nieto was private. But I managed to get my hands on a secret transcript. Here's what transpired:Nieto: "Ah, so you are the loud, orange man I have heard so much about. Welcome to Mexico. My, you really are orange, aren't you?"Trump: ...

Want to retire early? Start planning now

The average American retires at about age 63, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. If you enjoy your work, of course, you may want to go well beyond that age. But what if you don't want to wait until 63 or so? Can you afford to retire early?Possibly - if you follow these suggestions:* ...

Good news for lakes with no Asian carp DNA

Thankfully Michigan waters continue to remain free of Asian carp.That was the story this week from Department of Natural Resources officials, who shared recent results of studies taken from throughout the Great Lakes.Since 2013 the Michigan DNR, along with similar agencies in other Great Lake ...

Resources in unexpected places

Alpena County Relay for Life recently held its annual 24 hour rally. I had the pleasure of speaking at the event during the "Fight Back" portion of the program. When I started preparing for my presentation I did some research on the event and what the "Fight Back" portion was designed to ...

Real reform needed for health care

President Barack Obama's signature federal takeover of health insurance clearly was a mistake. Millions of Americans are paying more, often much more, for coverage because of Obamacare. Millions are finding their health care options limited, despite the president's assurances that if we like ...

Obama continues to act like a monarch

Months ago, President Barack Obama pledged that the United States would accept 10,000 refugees from the civil war in Syria before the current fiscal year was out. On Monday, about a month ahead of schedule, the White House announced the goal had been met.That happened despite an enormous amount ...

Forest bathing improves health

This weekend I went for two outdoor runs. The first was on the city's bi-path. I took the path through the woods along the river. It was just after dusk had settled in. The air was heavy with the sweet fragrance of rain upon the trees. A light sprinkle peppered the pathway as I jogged along. It ...