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Editorials and columns

The catchers in our field of rye

I’ve been trying to remember what it felt like being 15 or 16 years old. A few images have come through, and some of those aren’t too bad, but many of the rest make me cringe. Those images that make me cringe now should have made me cringe then, but didn’t. It’s the how and why of ...

The church, sin, and politics

President Joe Biden is a Catholic. However, on Inauguration Day, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops revealed deep concerns that many of Biden’s positions will advance moral evils in America, including his relentless support for abortion. One of Biden’s first orders was to ...

Conservation?

Conservation is an old term. The meaning has evolved over the past century. Many practices have become controversial as goals and expectations have grown more complicated. American conservation consciousness was aroused in the middle 1800s, arguably by the likes of George Perkins Marsh and ...

Winter Strike another chance to showcase region

National Guard units from across the country converged on northern Michigan a week ago to participate in winter weather training exercises. Using Alpena and Grayling as bases, the units prepared for cold weather combat. Their appearance was another great opportunity for the region to show ...

Just how thick is the ice?

In a scene reminiscent of one from the movie “Grumpy Old Men,” we struggled getting overdressed to fight off the cold for a day on the eight-inch ice of beautiful Hubbard Lake. It all began this past summer, while my daughter’s father-in-law, Mac, and I unsuccessfully looked for a good ...

Heed ice safety warnings

No one should consider themselves an expert on the ice. That’s the message Lt. Jim Gorno, law enforcement division supervisor for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, gave to News staff writer Julie Riddle for a recent story about ice safety. Experienced ice fishermen and ...

Northern Lights a community gem

The Alpena County Board of Commissioners is looking for new management for Northern Lights Arena. The current managers of the county-owned facility, the nonprofit Northern Lights Arena-Community, has given commissioners the requisite 90-day notice that they want out of the deal, News staff ...

You could get higher EITC

Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, marked the 15th annual Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day. The EITC is a federal tax credit available to families with low and moderate incomes. The credit is a proven anti-poverty tool that rewards work and helps workers pay for things like transportation costs or ...

Excited to see bond work moving forward

The Alpena Public Schools Board of Education has begun approving contracts for major renovations at its schools that will be paid for through bond debt voters approved in March. The $33.9 million bond project will over the next several years upgrade the mechanicals and security at every ...

Are Whitmer, GOP folks talking?

Would it not be pathetic if the state’s successful response to the coronavirus hinged on three little words — namely, “Can we talk?” Not only are the Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders engaged in a contentious debate on how to combat the deadly disease, but now ...

Important to understand history

Understand history so it’s not repeated. We’ve all heard variations of that edict many times. The biggest event it is paired with, of course, is the Nazi Holocaust. When major news events happen, I like to search for news photos, and that’s exactly what I did when the mob descended on ...

Meijer donation to St. Vincent was impressive

Through customer donations matched by the store, the Alpena Meijer raised $21,560 for St. Vincent de Paul of Alpena, the store said recently. Through the store’s Simply Give program, Meijer matches shoppers’ donations, sometimes doubling its match to turn a resident’s $10 donation into ...

Sports don’t give cities heroes, anymore

As a child growing up near Pittsburgh, I can remember sitting in the right-field bleachers at Forbes Field, watching one of my heroes, Roberto Clemente, drift back to the fence and snag a long fly ball. I can still hear the sound his cleats made as they dragged across the fines of the ...

With newspapers, have to take the long view

I promise you, dear reader, that I will make you mad. I also promise I will make you happy, while simultaneously angering many of your neighbors. Because newspapers reflect the real lives of the communities they serve — with all its diversity of thought and ups and downs — newspapers ...

APS board handled debate well

We are impressed by the way Alpena Public School officials — board members, teachers, and administrative staff — handled a proposed new history course at the high school. Earlier this month, board members learned a new course had been proposed — Perspectives of Democracy — and ...

Matters of touch can prove tricky

These days, we need to use caution when confronted with a touching situation. Touches carry risk and they can cause significant harm. But no touch at all — that can be the worst of all. There is touch that is art: a sculpture created by a welder, lines forming circles on paper or in the ...

MDOT will strive to minimize impact of U.S.-23 closure

As many of you know, the Michigan Department of Transportation will invest about $5 million this spring and early summer to rebuild two miles of U.S.-23, from south of Washington Street to south of Lakeshore Drive, just north of Harrisville. While we’ve had three meetings in the past ...

Starting a new period of healing

After last week’s presidential inauguration, there was a lot of buzz as I scrolled my friends’ and families’ posts on various social media platforms. The fabulous array of bold and symbolic coats worn by our country’s leading ladies. The musical performances by Jennifer Lopez and ...

If you raise your voice, you really can change the world

I hope this is the last one. Last what?, you might ask. The last column I ever write on the TransCanada (now calling itself TC Energy) KXL pipeline. Last week, President Joe Biden denied their international border-crossing permit for the 36-inch pipe full of poison. Now, before you ...

We need action, not words

So much for the marshmallows and smores. There’ll be no singing “Kumbaya” around the campfire tonight. It seems unity between government leaders in Lansing these days makes for good speeches, but not much more. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in her State of the State address on Wednesday, ...