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Editorials and columns

Setting everyday goals for yourself

What happens if you do something to expand your mind or improve yourself every day for a year? Have you ever set a goal for yourself like that? Not a goal with general statements like “do more of” or “get better at,” but a goal with specific measurables like, “I am going to do ...

Show up for gov’t meetings all the time

Northeast Michigan saw back-to-back-to-back packed local government meetings in recent days as the boards of commissioners in Alpena, Presque Isle, and Alcona counties considered a resolution that would declare their counties Second Amendment sanctuaries. The Alpena County board tabled the ...

Putting numbers before words

“Putting numbers before words.” An interesting prospect, especially in using it to start off a newspaper column, but bear with me. Last night was President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, followed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nationally televised Democratic response. And, ...

Glad lawmakers are listening on shoreline; now act

Rogers City Mayor Scott McClennan recently made the trek down to Lansing to speak before a legislative subcommittee about the damage high Lake Huron water levels have wrought on Northeast Michigan’s shoreline. The high waters have damaged Rogers City’s breakwall, Smitka Park, a portion ...

Whitmer’s dictatorial move

No governor would ever admit it, but, secretly, they would be overjoyed to have unilateral power to do whatever they thought was right, sans the interference of a legislature to stop them. Some might call that a dictatorship, which is why they would never utter it in public. Former Gov. ...

Protect yourself from illness

Illness is in the air. Two Northeast Michigan school districts, Atlanta and Rogers City, recently were forced to close because of the number of illnesses among their students. MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena is limiting visitor access to patients and is screening both patients and ...

Magic-bean political thinking

I saw two brief, seemingly inconsequential snippets of political news analysis the other day. Both confirmed for me that President Spray Tan McCheetos will not only be elected to a second term, but will become America’s first Ruler for Life. The first was a TV talking head wondering whether ...

Closely watching tax negotiations between city, plant

Something is better than nothing, the old saying goes. That may be the choice local government officials have to make as they negotiate a tax settlement with a local manufacturer. The issue dates back several years, when the plant’s former owner, American Process, lost a tax-exempt ...

The names we don’t name, and why

My regular readers are aware of my abhorrence of the overuse of anonymous sources, and are aware that we name names here at The News. But there are exceptions to that rule. We don’t name alleged or confirmed victims of sexual abuse unless the victim grants permission to do so. That ...

Hoping Alpena gets to reach for the stars

We keep following with great interest the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association and their continued efforts to bring space missions to the state. And, as we do, we keep hoping that Northeast Michigan plays an important role in those space efforts. We understand that association ...

Learning a child’s name

In the turmoil following 9/11, a young girl, puzzled by the horrendous violence, asked her mother why it had occurred. “They don’t know us,” her mother answered. “They think we’re bad people.” To which her daughter replied: “Maybe if they knew our names?” I forget ...

Equality Acts challenge religious freedom

Michigan political and civil rights activists have launched a petition initiative to expand protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The proposed language would broaden the definition of “sex” in the Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976 to ...

Snowmobiling safely this year

It’s that time of year for hitting the trails and putting miles on the snowmobile. I receive many questions regarding riding the trails, so why not make snowmobiling this column’s topic. I’ll share some tips and answers to common questions I’m asked throughout the season. The biggest ...

Life, God’s skillful craftsmanship

It was 1974, and I was a student in Alpena Community College’s nursing program, with every spare hour spent studying. I was completely immersed in the complexities of the human body and the incredible way it works. Memorizing the names of the bones and internal organs and learning the ...

New year in downtown Alpena

The end of the year and the turn to a new one always provides a chance to reflect on the previous year and look forward to the new one. What goals were accomplished and progress made? What opportunities and priorities will shape the new year moving forward? For our downtown, 2019 was ...

Have concerns, but road bonds are a start

Just hours after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proposed selling bonds to begin some repairs to the state’s aging infrastructure, Michigan State Transportation Commission members Thursday morning unanimously gave their endorsement to the concept. Commission members approved Whitmer’s $3.5 billion ...

New Winter Strike welcome

Northern Strike, the annual training exercise that brings military units from across the U.S. and beyond to the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, has been a welcome part of Northeast Michigan for years. The main purpose of the exercises is to make sure our military is ready to protect ...

A new day, or Groundhog Day?

A new year often promises change beyond the number you scribble on the date line of your checks. It can mean new opportunities, new priorities and new goals. But, when it comes to Michigan state government, 2020 presents the possibility of more of the same. On issues where there were ...

Film fest highlights treasure of Maritime Heritage Center

The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center was abuzz with activity recently for the 2020 Thunder Bay International Film Festival. The festival brings visitors from across the state and from across international waters to showcase riveting films about our Great Lakes and our oceans. And it ...

Can Whitmer deliver on SOTU?

Gov. Rick Snyder started it and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continued it … until last Friday. Both of them adopted, much to the chagrin of the state Capitol press corps, a policy of steadfastly not commenting on any of the events unfolding in the nation’s capital involving the president of the ...