Editorials and columns

Loving our busy, busy town

Northern Strike, the Michigan Brown Trout Festival, a city managers’ conference, a softball tournament, university students from two different schools, vacationers, business travelers, multiple family reunions, the Alpena High School class of 1999 reunion, and so many others have been in our ...

Welcome, Kyle Bailey, and sign up as organ donor

Earlier this week, News reporter Julie Goldberg introduced us to Kyle Bailey, a 34-year-old Port Huron man and quadruple organ transplant recipient who plans to bicycle from Mackinaw City to Port Huron from Sunday through Aug. 10 to raise awareness of the importance of becoming an organ donor. ...

Indigent defense investments a good first step

Everyone is entitled to a fair fight, which is why the Constitution guarantees those who are accused of a crime the right to a defense attorney, whether or not they can afford one. But Michigan, like most other states, has not done well at protecting that right. Though courts are a branch ...

Will successful fighters fight term limits?

From the folks who brought you a major change in how to draw voting district lines, now comes a possible effort to take a whack at Michigan’s term limit law approved by 60% of the voters in 1992. Oh, boy, this could be fun. To be sure, the Voters Not Politicians grassrooters have not made ...

Take care to avoid concussions

One of the more surprising statistics to come from The News’ recent “Caring for Northeast Michigan” series was the number of head injuries sustained by Michigan athletes. In a story about the challenges of making medical care at the ready for athletes in our rural area, sports editor ...

New tenants in Kmart building is good news

The announcement this week of a possible new tenant in the former Kmart building is welcome news indeed. The news hinges on Alpena Township trustees granting the proposed new owner a zoning variance for the property from commercial to light industrial. While some might be disappointed by ...

High waters bring unintended consequences

If you were down at Art on the Bay this past weekend you couldn’t help but notice the standing water in some of the low areas around Bay View Park. If you were in that same neighborhood last Saturday when the rains came, then you also were probably treated to several inches of standing ...

Stop waiting for a saviour from Trump

For their health and wellbeing, if nothing else, Democrats and others who are horrified by Donald J. Trump have to stop doing two things: ∫ Being shocked by him. ∫ Expecting a savior to do something about him. The latest, greatest example is his stunningly racist tweet-storm about ...

Doubting in a tree

My favorite climbing tree grew alongside the old Alpena train depot. That fascinating building, with its lush lawn and tightly grown hedge, stood just a block from my childhood home. Grabbing the lowest branch and pressing my feet against the well-worn trunk, I would inch my way into my special ...

Getting to know the newsroom staff

No, none of us wear a “S” on our chests. We don’t have a cape, fly through the sky or have an aversion to kryptonite. We aren’t Superman or Superwoman. We aren’t Clark Kent nor do we work at the Daily Planet. We are just normal folks who have normal hobbies. We are your ...

The wonder of the State Theater

On Second Avenue near Water Street lies one of downtown’s most iconic and most treasured buildings. Looming over the rest of the block with its distinguishable peak, its four white pillars, its decorative fenestration. Facing Second Avenue with its incongruous modern red front, its bricked ...

What’s the future of newspapering?

I worry for the future of some individual newspapers. My hometown paper and the birthplace of my career, the Battle Creek Enquirer, serves a city of more than 50,000 people and a county of more than 100,000 people and has fewer journalists working in its newsroom than does The Alpena News. ...

Large trailers need different mirrors

An email I received from a local motorist stated: “It’s that time of year when more people are pulling camping trailers throughout the state. I travel a lot between Rogers City and Escanaba in the (Upper Peninsula) and Grand Rapids to the south. I notice many people pulling their trailers ...

Vote, even in the ‘little’ elections

In Wednesday’s edition of The News, reporters Steve Schulwitz and Crystal Nelson brought us a breakdown of the local ballot questions before voters on Aug. 6. Presque Isle County voters will decide the fate of a controversial wind turbine ordinance. Alpena County voters will decide whether ...

Child care is critical infrastructure, too

With the state budget stalled because of disagreements between lawmakers and the governor on how to raise the money needed to fix the roads, other key elements of the state’s economic infrastructure are getting much less attention. At the top of the list is child care. Parents need child ...

It takes all of us to make this work

We read with great dismay reporter Crystal Nelson’s recent dispatch on Roger City’s troubles with residents dumping trash at a recycling drop-off station. Rogers City Mayor Scott McLennan discovered seven bags of household garbage on a recent trip to the recycling station. He felt ...

Attending a small wedding ceremony

They were all there — family and friends. Words were spoken, papers signed, the journey begun. Witnesses observed “I do’s” uttered as vows, the securing of a blessing, the exchange of an opening kiss. All that because he made her laugh. Over behind where the choir sits was an EXIT ...

The unanswered question about Whitmer, Nessel and Line 5

Some of the players in this town have been wondering about the working relationship between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel and whether that relationship has its ups and downs or is peachy keen. They are clearly the two most powerful persons in town, which creates a ...

Fish mural keychains a novel idea

A good number of newspaper people are history buffs. After all, newspapers are the first recorders of history, putting in print today what our ancestors will someday use to get a sense of what Northeast Michigan was like in the year 2019. That is part of the reason why we were so impressed ...

We all must care for each other

Today, The News concluded a four-day series, “Caring for Northeast Michigan,” that took a deep-dive look at the challenges of providing timely and complete health care in rural, lower-populated areas such as ours. The gist of the reporters’ findings is this: When we chose to call this ...