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Editorials and columns

We need to learn to recycle

Soiled diapers. Needles. Biohazards. The problems officials face at the Alpena Resource Recovery Facility and other recycling outlets go beyond sorting out the wrong kinds of plastic or the glass the facilities can’t accept. Area residents are treating the recycling bins like garbage ...

Toughness is all around us

I heard a sportscaster the other day describe a pro athlete as “tough.” He didn’t define what he meant, but I assume he meant the guy plays through pain, rises above adversity, etc. — the usual jock stuff. Cynical Andy thought, “Well, of course he does. He’s paid $20 million a ...

The Great Lakes, they are a’changing

I have a healthy fascination of — and appreciation for — the Great Lakes. I still remember quite vividly my first visit to Besser Bell. The pines through which visitors walk on their way to the shoreline are so majestic, so peaceful, they remind me of a church sanctuary. During that ...

An 18-foot pig and ugly politics

Fremont resident Jeff Tillman brought his 18-foot “Pork Barrel” pig to Alpena this week. Fremont uses the pig to rally support for keeping term limits of state legislators in place in Michigan. Which, given events out of Lansing these days, should be a position most people would find ...

Working in Number-one Kiln Room

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column appeared previously. You can read more of Pugh’s past work by purchasing his book, “The Best of Vingnettes,” available for sale at The News, 130 Park Place, Alpena. Back in the day, you couldn’t see the sky for all the cement dust. It permeated your ...

Resistance and resilience in forests

Michigan forests provide innumerable benefits. To start, forests help maintain biodiversity and clean air and water. They are also used for hiking, hunting, camping, wildlife observation, and collecting berries and mushrooms. Our forests also feed local economies. How, then, do we sustain ...

We know that heroes live among us

If you want to find a real hero today, look no farther than your community, where many a hero is known to live. Two people who certainly qualify for that label are Lincoln Suszek and Andy Marceau, who both risked their own lives trying to rescue an elderly couple caught inside a burning ...

If you use marijuana, do so responsibly

Recreational marijuana has arrived in Northeast Michigan. Meds Cafe in Rogers Township, the region’s first and only medical marijuana shop, this month became the region’s first and only seller of recreational marijuana. But that does not mean it’s time for unfettered partying. The ...

Reform school bond process

In Michigan, the burden to finance a school’s buildings falls almost entirely on a district’s local taxpayers, with little more than indirect support coming from the state. But some voters say they have a hard time finding out about elections that districts hold to ask for more money. ...

A lot to ponder on marijuana rules for city

News staff writer Steve Schulwitz recently reported on a new hitch in the Alpena Municipal Council’s consideration of whether to allow medical marijuana establishments downtown. Several downtown proprietors told Schulwitz mysterious developers have floated around downtown, inking purchase ...

Congrats, Amanda Polaski, Samuel Fitzpatrick

Northeast Michigan education is getting its just recognition. Recent editions of The News have brought word that Rogers City Elementary School teacher Amanda Polaski is in the running for Michigan Teacher of the Year and that Besser Elementary School third-grader Samuel Fitzpatrick was honored ...

Teach GOP a lesson at the polls

Come Heller high water … ∫ So, to recap the new GOP rules for the presidency: The sitting president CAN’T, if he’s a Democrat, appoint a Supreme Court judge in the last year or two of his or her term because we should “wait for the next election,” but the sitting president CAN, if ...

One size almost never fits all

We read with great interest reporter Julie Riddle’s dispatch on local law enforcement officials’ response to recently released recommendations from the Michigan Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration. The task force issued 18 recommendations to judges, prosecutors, and police that ...

A rodent reworked my frame of reference

Did you feel a bit gloomy this past month? If you answered yes, then good — I thought perhaps it was just me. But then I read a recent statistic from the National Weather Service’s Gaylord office revealing that, of the 31 days in January, 68% of them were completely cloudy in Alpena, ...

We all sometimes think the truth is lying

“Just because of the sanitizing coverage that’s in the media doesn’t mean the facts aren’t out there.” *** “The media knows what sells — conflict and division.” *** The president said those things. Not Donald Trump. Bill Clinton. Ol’ Slick Willy had little ...

Limit traffic light changes to when most needed

Sometimes, what seems like a good decision doesn’t always work. The traffic light at 2nd Avenue and Miller Street in Alpena might be one such case. The key word there is “might.” Alpena Municipal Council members were asked this week to consider returning the stop light at the ...

The atmosphere at sea

Ishmel said: “Whenever it is a damp November in my soul … I quietly take to the ship. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree — some time or other — cherish very nearly the same feeling towards the sea with me. “I did not mean to infer that I go as a passenger,” ...

What I am in my Father’s eyes

I’m from Illinois, I told someone recently. The blank stare in response told the usual story. “Is that over near Chicago?” my listener asked, and then shrugged and changed the subject. My former home is one of what coast-dwellers call the flyover states, considered too dull to be worth ...

The ‘rip’ seen ‘round the world

How can 79-year-old Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the “People’s House,” be as completely immature as my recently turned 1-year-old grandson, Ozzie, who regularly drops the food he dislikes off his highchair tray onto the floor? The “rip” seen round the world occurred immediately after ...

Business Expo meets a need, is just plain fun

Twenty years ago, managers at The Alpena News saw a need in the community and decided to work to meet that need with their first Business Expo. Several years previously, the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce had stopped hosting their business gatherings, and newspaper leaders thought perhaps we ...