Editorials and columns

Congrats, Alpena athletes

Alpena athletes were dominant this year in spring sports. Considering the weather didn’t even allow them to get outside and practice until very late in the spring, their accomplishments are even more impressive. Both the boys baseball team and the girls softball teams were Big North ...

Veterans gave their best, deserve the best

In October 1966, I called my family from Gustavus Adolphus College to let them know I had decided to become a Marine. I remember the call as if it was yesterday: My mother dropped the phone and didn’t say a word. My father, on the other hand, a World War II Navy veteran, had a much more ...

The cleansing power of a spring rain

I awakened to the sound of heavy rain pelting the skylight this morning. The refreshing rains of spring have arrived to arouse the earth from its dormancy and call forth life. Spring brings such a sense of cleansing: Dingy snow piles are washed away and winter’s cold grip is banished. ...

Work together to solve Asian carp problem

The newest discovery of Asian carp DNA in Lake Calumet in Illinois, just a few miles south of Lake Michigan, is a troubling reminder of the threat that invasive species poses to our Great Lakes ecosystem. In the past, the Great Lakes have been prone to foreign invaders of invasive species ...

I had to step down, you should step up

After just over four years on the Alpena Public Schools Board of Education, I have resigned. It was an incredibly difficult decision, as I have really enjoyed my time on the board. But, with increasing demands on my time because of growing responsibilities at my job with the Chamber of ...

Support your local farmers

On Saturday, reporter Crystal Nelson brought us an analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s farm census from 2017, the most recent year data was available. It wasn’t good news for the farming industry. Because of low prices for many crops and some high costs for regulations, ...

Measure twice, cut once

This weekend, while working on some rental house renovations, I had my daughter help me measure a length of cabinet space so I could get a 2-by-4 cut to the exact length. It was cold. We have the heat off, so we are not paying extra for heating an empty house. The cabinet was almost out of ...

Congratulations, Pat Rondeau

Congratulations to Patricia “Pat” Rondeau, who was on Sunday named Outstanding Senior of the Year at the Alpena Senior Citizen Center’s Older Americans Dinner. Rondeau, according to a Monday story by News reporter Crystal Nelson, accepted the recognition with great humility, saying she ...

Dear parents, kids: Stick it out

We are happy to see — if for no other reason than to give schools and families some finality —that the Legislature has passed and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a bill forgiving schools for snow days called during a state-declared winter emergency in late January-early February. We ...

Congress must step up on on plane safety

Federal Aviation Administration acting chief Daniel Elwell was on the Capitol Hill hot seat this week — and members of Congress were right to grill him harshly. Elwell was called before the aviation subcommittee in the House of Representatives to answer questions about the Boeing 737 Max ...

Celebrate your century-old state park system

Michigan state parks are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, and I believe we are blessed to have those wonderful facilities in our state. Preserving such parks took risk-takers with vision, who, I am guessing, many times faced questions and criticism about their leadership. ...

Good times, bad times in the Big Easy

I always imagined I’d be the Indiana Jones of journalism, a globetrotting adventurer covering conflicts and mysteries on the edges of the map. Until I took my first plane ride years ago and realized I am deathly afraid of flying. To deal with that fear, I force myself every time I get ...

No place for bullying in Northeast Michigan

Like it or not, most of us are going to be exposed to a bully in our lives. Bullying has been going on since the dawn of time, although what makes it particularly dangerous today is that social media inadvertently gives bullies more power and victims less self-worth. The false picture ...

Rural communities deserve better roads plan

Here in Michigan, we value hard work, fairness and responsible spending. The governor’s proposed 45-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase — which she continues to tour the state discussing — does not reflect any of these values. Her proposed increase was a rushed solution to a nuanced ...

Mother’s Day needs to be every day

Last week was one I hadn’t been looking forward to. It was six months in the making and, as May 12 approached, so did my apprehension. May 12 was Mother’s Day. Now, who can possibly be afraid of Mother’s Day? Six month’s ago, on Nov. 13, my world shook with the full force of God ...

Emergency scenes are not for spectators

Why are most people “adrenaline junkies”? Last Sunday, as local law enforcement were trying to cordon off a section of the north side and evaluate exactly what they were facing after shots had been fired in the neighborhood close to the Decorative Panels International plant, the ...

Minimum age to ride a motorcycle?

A reader asked if young children are allowed to ride on a motorcycle. Is there a minimum age for passengers? The reader also asked if a child is permitted to ride in front of the motorcycle operator. You may be surprised to know that Michigan law does not specify a minimum age to ride as a ...

Tell Harrisville how you feel about pot

Harrisville made Northeast Michigan history earlier this year by becoming the first local government in the region to affirmatively allow recreational marijuana businesses after Michigan voters legalized the drug in November. The new law allows Michiganders 21 or older to buy and consume ...

Using Kids Count to turn data into action

The Michigan League for Public Policy has produced the Kids Count in Michigan Data Book since 1992. And, while child well-being in Michigan has fluctuated during the last 27 years, a few things have been constant: the integrity of our data, the goal to generate policy change, and the intent to ...

Thank you, law enforcement officers

Each day this week, criminal justice reporter Julie Riddle is profiling a law enforcement officer from various Northeast Michigan agencies in honor of National Police Week. On Monday, we met Patrolman Adam David, of the Alpena Police Department, who was inspired into police work by his ...