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Editorials and columns

We are not ‘one Michigan’ in our attitudes about coronavirus

So let’s see if we have this straight. Your dog can get a haircut, but you can’t. Your cat can get a manicure, but you can’t. And here’s the real kicker, some of the folks up north can get a beer, and you can’t. Houston, we have a problem. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Covid-19 ...

What does winning actually mean when discussing a forever war?

When a Wall Street Journal editorial warned this week against any precipitous U.S. withdrawal that might imperil our gains in Afghanistan, an exasperated President Trump shot back: “Could someone please explain to them that we have been there for 19 years. ... and except at the beginning, ...

Planning and training key to preparation

My heart aches for Midland area residents who were impacted by this week’s devastating floods. Days of storms in the area led to the failure of two dams and the record level of flooding that forced the evacuation of 10,000 residents there. Thankfully no one died from the flooding. ...

Is the media over-covering the COVID pandemic?

Cable TV news — and CNN, in particular — have made such a habit of wall-to-wall, 24-7 coverage of a single news event they sometimes seem a parody of themselves. When Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared, CNN’s coverage was so extensive I remember a segment in which pundits at ...

Important decision awaits APS board

Presuming a contract can be hammered out between Alpena School Superintendent John VanWagoner and Traverse City Area School officials, local education folks soon will be looking for VanWagoner’s replacement. The selection of VanWagoner this week as Traverse City’s new superintendent is ...

Bill was one of those soldiers

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was published previously in The News. Find more of Doug Pugh’s columns in his book, “Vignettes,” available for sale at The News, 130 Park Place, Alpena, Michigan, 49707. Bill is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery. He’s in Block 5 in the alley between Lots 4 and ...

When you come to death’s door

As I have navigated the drastic changes to my daily life these past months, I have regularly reminded myself that many things remain constant. There are still things I can rely on and anticipate. One such event is the migration of birds into our area each May. Though the long stretch of ...

Bring out the good bugs this year with native plants

Picture a spring when mosquitoes and blackflies are free of predators. Swarms of biting bugs take over campsites and patios, unfettered by swooping swallows or dive-bombing bats, because there are none. Chances are, you’ve had a perfectly good camping trip or backyard picnic spoiled by bugs ...

Are you suffering from insomnia these days?

If it makes you feel any better, so are your neighbors it seems. In a press release from the website Sleepopolis, a study was done of Michigan residents and their sleep habits. Alpena finished 234th in the state for healthy sleep (based on a number of different factors such as smoking rate in ...

Strategies of a resilient person

I had just assembled a list of potential column topic ideas for this week’s column. Setting the list aside, I changed focus to checking the news and ponder which of the topics I wanted to dig into. Wouldn’t you know, one of the articles on the news site I happened to be on was titled, ...

State’s personal tax in pandemic

Eventually the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic will run its course, and how long that takes will matter to the fiscal challenges Michigan’s state government will face. For example, the personal income tax is its largest revenue source. Right now, it’s unclear how much the pandemic will cause ...

Let’s hope we re-embrace reality

Even before the pandemic, so much of our lives had moved from the real world and into the 10 square inches of our phone screens. We shop online. We read online. We communicate with friends online. We date online. Now, the coronavirus and the shutdowns meant to prevent its spread have ...

Get your hunter’s safety certificate

With all of the shutdowns and closures meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, enjoying the Pure Michigan outdoors is one way we can keep ourselves entertained and active. But we must continue to do so safely, and outdoor regulations and requirements remain in effect. You must still, ...

Betting on a Capitol gun ban?

Political reporters just love stories about lawmakers “wasting” tax dollars. Every two years, when a new batch of legislators would arrive in town, there was a tradition that they got to decorate their offices with whatever they wanted. Lavish sofas, mirrored walls, wood-paneled ...

Cuts are coming, get involved

Many of you know what it’s like to have to scrape by when your income is slashed. Those workers who lost their job in the coronavirus pandemic and had to wait weeks for our overburdened unemployment system to get them benefits know what it’s like. So do those business owners who had to ...

America is awash in viruses nowadays, not just COVID

COVID-19 has the floor right now. But it is not the only virus galloping across America. Guns are a virus. Hatred is a virus. Intolerance is a virus. Racism is a virus. Sexism and sexual abuse is a virus. White nationalism is a virus. “Me first” is a virus. “I got mine” ...

Protect our kids

Fifty-one Alpena County kids were victims of abuse or neglect in 2018, the most recent year data is available from the Kids County Data Book, a statewide report on child well-being. For many of those kids, it was a trusted source outside of their home — a teacher, a pastor, a coach — who ...

All in this together, so reach out to someone

Friends care about friends. With that in mind, how are you holding up these days? I’ll be honest with you. If you asked me that question this week, I would share with you, “Not all that well.” The stress of trying to be a magician and keep finding rabbits in my hat to keep the ...

We need more journalists, not fewer — you can help

Awhile back, the New York Times did a great feature in which they interviewed laid-off journalists and asked them about the stories they were working on when they got the axe, the stories their communities never got to see because their employers needed to save money. There was the Anaheim, ...

When will high-water cycle reverse itself?

It’s no secret that water levels are at all-time highs in most of the Great Lakes. The latest figures from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pegged Lake Huron at 13.4 inches higher than it was at this time last year. What that means is that, in April, Lake Huron was three inches higher than ...