Editorials and columns

Would you rehire people like this?

What if everyone had to reapply for his or her jobs every two years? I am sure your boss would have quite a few questions for you. My guess would be that you would go into that meeting well-prepared by having documentation of how you contributed to the company’s success. I am not aware of ...

Glad city rejected clean needle program

Earlier this month, members of the Alpena Municipal Council rejected a proposed amendment to an ordinance that would have allowed free needles to be passed out in the city. We agree with the decision, and support those who voted it down. The request had come from District Health Department ...

Do what you can for our furry hero

As we write often in this space, we are routinely thrilled by the generosity of Northeast Michigan’s people. We volunteer. We donate. We step up. We solve problems. We take care of our friends and neighbors. Now, one of our furry neighbors needs our help, and we hope ...

Sad to see dismal voter turnout

It’s been more than a week since Alpena County voters renewed the countywide property tax that supports the Alpena County Library, and we’re still brooding. Not because of the tax renewal. The small price — just $12.50 a year for the owner of a $100,000 house — is more than worth it ...

How to spend $1B more on roads

Lawmakers do not need to find $1.9 billion or even $1 billion for roads in a single year. Road repairs are long-term projects, and the state needs to gradually spend more to ensure that roads are put back together faster than they fall apart. Road funding is already at historic highs, when ...

A final lunch with L. Brooks Patterson

EDITOR’S NOTE: Capitol correspondent Tim Skubick has 50 years of experience covering L. Brooks Patterson, the Oakland County executive who died Aug. 3. If you had to pick three words to describe Lewis Brooks Patterson, you’d say he was passionate, controversial, and funny, and his passion ...

Hoorah for the county fair

Fair time is a wonderful time of year in any town, but especially so in a small, tight-knit community such as ours. The midway rides and games, the 4-H barns, the pie-eating contests, and the bump ‘n’ runs. Fairs are just good, old-timey fun that any family can enjoy. The Alpena ...

Let’s work to make bullying extinct

Reporter Julie Goldberg brought us some troubling statistics in Saturday’s edition: More than 180 incidents of bullying were reported last school year alone in Northeast Michigan school districts. Those numbers also are likely underreported, as more than half of the area’s middle ...

A lot to consider with proposed paid parking in downtown

Is short-term pain worth long-term gain? That is how we view the current discussion taking place by Alpena Downtown Development Authority members who are considering installing parking meters on the streets of Alpena again. The thinking, and rationale behind the decision, would be to ...

Finding the middle ground with civility

German writer Jean Paul once offered this advice: “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” I would hope that for all of us that would be true. I would hope that as we grow older, we also grow a bit wiser from the experiences of ...

Dear GateHouse: There’s no meat left on the bones

On Monday, Gannett Co. and GateHouse Media announced a $1.4 billion merger that would create one behemoth newspaper company and threatens communities all across America. In announcing the merger, officials from Gannett (which owns USA Today and my alma maters, the Lansing State Journal and ...

We must act now on gun violence

We could easily start to cool the mass shooting fever that has gripped America. It isn’t rocket science. We could, for instance: 1) Ban assault weapons and define the term broadly. The assault weapon ban that Congress let lapse in 2004 is a good start, but doesn’t go nearly far ...

Keeping geese numbers at manageable levels important

In Alpena there is no goose who ever laid a golden egg. Instead, there are plenty of geese who have laid — well the polite term would probably be grease — wherever they land. This summer the numbers of geese in the city seems at one of the highest levels it has been in recent years. ...

Who has right-of-way at turns?

Repeatedly, I am asked about the right-of-way regarding lane use by the hospital and the Duck Park in Alpena, and then at the intersection of Bagley Street and M-32. The question usually starts with something along the lines of, “When the light is a green arrow for the center turn lane on ...

Let’s really learn from mass shootings so we can stop them

Really thinking about what we read so often in the wake of mass killings is the only way we Americans can find a way to curb them. Taking the easy way out by concluding, as presidential candidate Joe Biden apparently has, that outlawing so-called “assault rifles” will do the trick, is ...

It’s time to SNAP into action

Last month, I had the absolute delight of having all my grandchildren under the same roof for a few days. Their laughter, their sweet curiosity, their silly games ... all of it just brightened the mood around the house. We took time to play and share stories, and I remember thinking, I should ...

Kudos, Jerry Lancaster, for building such a legacy

We love a good story, and Jerry Lancaster gave us a great one last week. Reporter Julie Goldberg on Saturday told us all about how Jerry, at just 20 years old, started Alpena’s L&S Transit Mix Concrete Co. with his dad, Willis. Now 90 years old, Jerry still works at the business he ...

An agreeable stay at middle ground

I’m from Alpena, but I’ve been to Bolton. Lately, I’ve been wondering what lies halfway between those two as I’ve been on a search for middle ground. But middle ground has been hard to find — more and more things are grounded elsewhere. Many people are casual observers, their ...

Watch out for ticks, folks

Few things are better than a Northeast Michigan summer, and the best part of a Northeast Michigan summer is getting outside to enjoy nature’s splendor. But, as reporter Crystal Nelson reminded us in a Saturday story, that splendor comes with risks. Alpena County is currently considered a ...

Trump and the common bonds between Snyder, Whitmer

If you were asked to compare former Gov. Rick Snyder with the current governor, you’d be inclined to conclude, “What comparison?” After all, he’s a Republican and she’s not. He’s a business guy and she’s a career politician. He’s got a boat load of money, she does not. And on ...