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Editorials and columns

Every day the same

In the days before Christmas a mysterious thumping arose from the basement. The stifled whispers that accompanied it said that some big project was afoot. As we sat in the living room Christmas day and opened our gifts one by one, the kids informed me with twinkly grins that one particular ...

Stamas, Allor make sure area residents’ voices are heard

Area residents want to make sure their voice is being heard in Lansing. Having the interests of Northeast Michigan promoted is important to them. Thus, they want the people they send to represent them in the legislature to do their job and be there when votes are being taken. This past ...

Very proud day for our family

A close family member recently graduated from Drug Court. Drug Court is a program that treats the addiction instead of incarcerating it. The Drug Court program isn’t for every situation. Thankfully, it was right for our family and we will be forever grateful as it played a significant role ...

Giving to charitable organizations is still needed

Tax reform signed into law by President Donald Trump just before Christmas may be detrimental to many charitable organizations, some analysts insist. It should not make an iota of difference in how we Americans respond to need. If you make contributions to recognized charities, you may be ...

Illegal immigration challenges still remain numerous

Critics of President Donald Trump’s various proposals to crack down on illegal immigration say there is little need to do so. The number of people coming into our country illegally has dropped dramatically, they say. For a time, that may have been true. It is not, now. Judging by the ...

Lansing will be interesting this year

The 2017 legislative record goes into the Michigan history books as rather a ho-hum kind of year, but 2018 promises to be anything but. For the Democrats at the top of their list: They have one more year of business guy Rick Snyder at the helm and then with any luck after eight long years ...

Legislation good first step in helping local governments with retiree expenses

Unfunded and underfunded pension and retiree health care liabilities for local governments in Michigan should be a concern we all share. Earlier this month Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation to help address the issue. The legislation was a result, in part, of the work done by State Sen. Jim ...

Cautious excitement about statistics

Last Memorial Day Weekend my wife and I helped move our youngest granddaughter and her parents to the Detroit area from Wisconsin. As much as we have enjoyed the Midwest cities where our son and his family have called home these past several years, helping his family locate back in Michigan ...

Happier New Year 2018 commitment

It’s that time of year again — to look back on the past in hopes that we’ve learned something we can apply to the new year. I’m at the age where there’s a lot more past than future to look forward to, but that also means many more lessons have been learned. Instead of the usual New ...

New Year’s resolutions you need

Me? I don't need to make any resolutions. But the rest of you? Well, let's just say you should hit this New Year's resolution thing good and hard because — how do I put this politely? — you've got some work to do, as evidenced by your body of work lately. Fortunately, I'm here to help. ...

Feast of the Holy Family

In the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar the Sunday after Christmas is the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. How fitting to celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family during a time of year when many of us gather with our families (whether biological, or a family of friends). ...

Local projects will boost recreational opportunities

With the Arctic cold that has left local residents shivering, let’s look ahead to warmer weather this summer. Officials with the Department of Natural Resources have shared that two local projects in Alcona and Montmorency counties tentatively have been approved through the state’s ...

Tickets for parking in handicap spots

This week’s question was the topic of debate for a morning coffee group. The debate was, can a law enforcement officer cite someone who is illegally parked in a handicap parking space on private property such as in front of a restaurant? The belief was that because it was private property, ...

Twitter needs to be fair with its new enforcement

Twitter announced last week it has begun to enforce new rules meant to reduce abusive, hateful, violent content. Of course, the intent is good; and Twitter has every right to host whatever content it chooses. It is free to encourage or suppress whatever speech its decision-makers deem meet or ...

Time will tell if Pentagon decision for comprehensive audit leads to changes

Perhaps the Pentagon’s decision to launch a comprehensive audit demanded for years by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is progress. We’ll believe it when we see it. If history is any guide, the Defense Department will spend too much on an audit that covers up massive misspending, then will ...

Lights, ceilings, and a new year

Though I don’t look much like a judge and wasn’t the brightest light to ever sit a bench and wield a gavel, I was not so dim as some. To be in court and see an image such as reflected by the Chancery Judge in Charles Dickens’ Bleak House with “foggy glory 'round his head” ...

Standing up to power is only way sexual harassment ends

A few weeks ago, the entertainment industry formed a special panel, the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. If you have to ask why, you have not been paying attention during the past six months or so. Chaired by law professor Anita Hill, the ...

Trump’s poll numbers may play role in governor’s race

Pollsters get to ask all sorts of intriguing questions as they take the temperature of the electorate with questions focused on a politician's job performance or record. But nobody in this town can remember the last time voters were asked, "Is the president nuts?" Well to be fair, veteran ...

Merry Christmas Northeast Michigan

The stockings have been hung by the chimney with care ... and all across Northeast Michigan residents wait in eager anticipation. As we draw close to Christmas 2017, we share our Christmas greetings and best wishes with readers. For most of us, this has been a year filled with both joys ...

An important, smile-worthy sign

The folks at the Alpena Free Methodist Church always have a way of getting me to smile. While it is a great group of people who worship there, the smile they get me to share usually comes from the latest sign outside the church. Within the past week the sign changed, with the newest message ...