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Editorials and columns

USMCA to give state a much-needed jolt

The phrase “Made in Michigan” invokes a sense of pride for Michiganders. Manufacturing and Michigan have a shared history that spans from automobiles to building an arsenal of democracy during World War II – and, thanks to President Donald Trump’s commitment to replace NAFTA with the ...

Public art, community transformation

If you have come to downtown Alpena recently via U.S.-23, you may have noticed a new, bright addition: a mural added to our downtown landscape. Sailing lines of color, intersecting, intertwined — a wave journey, as described by the artist. Waves symbolizing the ever-changing, ...

A July full of weather surprises

“Good riddance, July.” So might be the thinking of Northeast Michigan residents who have seen all kinds of crazy records set this month when it comes to weather. Earlier this month, the region sustained several back-to-back days of temperatures over 85 degrees. The sustained heat ...

Paddling class a worthy investment

Watersports have always been a favorite Great Lakes pastime. Every summer, as the sun shines and waters warm, Michiganders take to the waves in kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards to cool off and enjoy nature’s playground. But those recreational pursuits come with danger, to us and to the ...

Schools, parents need room to maneuver

In a typical June, most Michigan students would have cleaned out their desks or lockers, celebrated graduations at in-person ceremonies, and not given a second thought to what the coming school year would look like. But the uncertainties of this pandemic have unsettled familiar routines and ...

Congrats to the new Hall-of-Famers

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has robbed Alpena Sports Hall-of-Famers of their chance to publicly fete the athletic prowess of the Wildcats, but that little bug can’t take away the accomplishments of our players. The Hall of Fame decided last week to cancel its annual banquet because ...

A Big Mac of a game-changer?

We’ll never know, but, if a clandestine meeting had happened between the two progressive Democrats running for governor in 2018, Gov. Shri Thanedar might be the one presiding over the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and not Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Far-fetched? Maybe. But ...

An important milestone worth celebrating

Now through Aug. 31, the Harrisville branch of the Alcona County Library will host “Rightfully Hers,” a pop-up exhibit from the National Archives commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which finally gave women the right to vote. A democracy isn’t really a democracy ...

A cautionary tale about social media

Alpena school board Trustee Steven Donajkowski provided the students in his school district a valuable lesson last week when he was publicly criticized for Facebook posts some saw as racist. The Alpena Public Schools Board of Education has introduced a resolution committing the board to ...

The ‘unreal’ generosity of Jon Benson

Over the years, Jon Benson has left a tremendous mark on this community. While some of his many contributions have been noticeable, most often, they are quiet, behind-the-scenes-type things that usually make a huge difference for the people who are on the receiving end of his generosity. ...

Let’s put Grandma’s name in the masthead

“... there are no villains in this story. There’s just a ragtag band of hillbillies struggling to find their way — both for their sake and, by the grace of God, for mine.” — J.D. Vance, “Hillbilly Elegy” When I was little, I had this cousin who knew my brother and I ...

Emergency crews show value of sticking together

At every end of Alpena County on Tuesday stood emergency vehicles on the ready to assist, if needed. Members of the Presque Isle Township Fire Department stationed themselves temporarily at the Alpena Township North station. To the west on M-32 at the county border sat a Hillman ambulance ...

Spinning, but going nowhere

EDITOR’S NOTE: A version of this column previously appeared in The News. It’s been a while since I’ve laughed so hard I lost control — couldn’t stop. I suspect you’ve laughed that hard, as well — I hope it wasn’t that long ago. Good, hard laughing can be exhausting, but ...

True wisdom

I awoke early this morning — the sun was just beginning to peek above the horizon and brush its brilliant colors across the sky. But, it wasn’t the brightening sky that woke me. It was the incredible variety of bird songs and trills that acted as my alarm clock. I lay still, simply ...

Know boating rules

With summer in full swing and temperatures in the 80s and 90s, people are retreating to their boats on the water. It is important to remember the laws and regulations of boating on the water. Vessels are like cars, and the laws are similar to traffic laws. This month’s article will touch on ...

Fall sports are ‘a go’

Some clarity for high school sports in Michigan this fall was shared a week ago by officials with the Michigan High School Athletic Association when they approved starting the fall sports season on schedule. Their announcement ended speculation on what the fall sports season might look like ...

Zeller has the heart of a Lion

That roar you heard in the background was from fellow Lions members after hearing Alpena resident Dave Zeller has selected as an inductee into the Lions Clubs of Michigan Hall of Fame. It is a most fitting honor for a man who is synonymous with Lions and their service to the people of ...

Michigan facing unprecedented public health and budget crises

The rapid expansion of COVID-19 across the country and world changed our lives in many ways, including the need to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities by staying home. As Michigan’s governor responded to protect the state’s residents, businesses were closed, jobs were ...

Protect the area’s elderly

A story in Saturday’s newspaper described the sadness associated with crimes being committed against the region’s elderly. Unfortunately, these crimes occur much more often than anyone would like. And when they do it usually ends up with terrible results. While some law officers treat ...

Searching for a silver lining

Do you sometimes wonder how many folks were taught by their loved ones to search for the silver lining in whatever bad happens to you? It’s not some crazy notion out of one of those “Fix Yourself” self-help books sitting on the drug store shelf. Especially in these virus times, when ...