Editorials and columns

Our wine region prettier than Napa Valley

Come Heller high water ... ∫ I spent the last week in Napa Valley, Calif., and I am here to report that they have this thing out there they call “the sun.” It’s this big, orange ball that hangs in the sky where the clouds should be, and it radiates this stuff called “heat.” I ...

Tax freedom day gets later and later

April 15, tax day, was Monday of this week. We all are aware of that day, although we should become more familiar with tax “freedom” day. It was April 16 this year, according to The Tax Foundation, which means all the money you have earned since the first of the year will go to the ...

City gives rotten eggs for Easter

Alpena city residents learned this week that the Municipal Council will consider raising their water and sewer rates in the weeks ahead. Hip Hip Hooray. Did our less-than-enthusiastic endorsement of the proposed 2.89% increase shine through the pages of the newspaper? Our position stems ...

Questions about police jurisdiction

I received an email with the following questions: “I live in the township of Alpena but work within the city limits. My question is whether or not the State Police have any jurisdiction within the city limits. “Whenever I see troopers responding to an accident or conducting a traffic ...

Happy DARE Day

Today is DARE Day in Alpena, a celebration of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education programs that aim to teach our kids the best ways to live lives that are free from drugs, violence and other dangers. According to the DARE website, the program was founded in 1983 in Los Angeles and now ...

To use data for good, we need good data

Something big is about to happen. It has been hotly anticipated, long-awaited, and is sure to please fans and followers when it comes out later this month. No, I’m not talking about the 2019 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book (although I probably should be!). “Avengers: Endgame” will ...

Dear drivers: That text can wait for a bit

Not a single text message, Instagram post, Facebook Live video, or anything else you might find on your smartphone is worth your life or the life of anyone else. So put the phone down while you’re behind the wheel. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Michigan State ...

Peeling back layers of time

It appears the proposition our lives are laid down in layers can be reasonably advanced. It’s not so dissimilar to the accretion of dust, silt, and the remains of plants and organisms in layers of sediment. When uncovered, they reveal their contents and serve to define the age in which those ...

A well-deserved award and a welcome surprise

Julie Riddle recently brought us the news of Dick Nowak, honored by the Presque Isle Township Board of Trustees with the annual Les Nichols Award for Nowak’s efforts to re-establish the township’s fire department. We echo the sentiments of township Clerk Cynthia Paavola, who said the ...

Hillman band program a worthy endeavor

In a recent story, Julie Goldberg told us how Hillman Elementary School turned $20,000 in donations into plastic band instruments for students to try before they head into the more formal band program in middle school. Grants from Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-op and the Community ...

Don’t hold the state budget hostage for roads

I have followed Michigan’s road woes closely and have written a number of pieces this year about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed increase in the state’s gas tax. And, just as all of us would have expected, there has been a lot of talk thus far from all sides of the issue, but little ...

Reporters do get to have fun, sometimes

Battle Creek, my home town, hosts an annual air show and hot-air balloon festival called Field of Flight. It’s a bigger event even than the yearly Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table (Battle Creek is home to the Kellogg Co. and Post Co.). Every dawn and dusk for five ...

Use common sense on fire risks

With mild weather predicted to return to the region early next week, more people will again be heading outdoors and doing spring yard work. That being the case, Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials urge residents to be cautious when lighting any fires outside in the weeks ...

Sustaining people, planet, profit

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. reports that, for every $1 spent on Pure Michigan marketing, $10.79 returns to the state in tax revenues. One out of every 16.5 workers in Michigan is supported by tourism. Overnight leisure travel generates the most significant tourism impact. Food and ...

What are we doing to protect elections?

Come Heller high water… ∫ Best moment of the week: Seeing the first-ever image of an actual black hole 55 million lightyears away. How amazing was that? That’s the kind of thing that restores my faith in humanity. We can be really, really smart and cool when we want to be. ∫ One ...

Glad to see early interest in bond proposal

A significant number of votes regarding the Alpena Public Schools bond request already have been cast, according to local election officials. As proponents and opponents try to ascertain whether that is good or bad news, one thing is evident: There is interest among voters to participate in ...

Welcome aboard, Officer Terri Curtis

Last week, Julie Riddle profiled Officer Terri Curtis, the newest member of the Alpena Police Department force. Welcome aboard, Officer Curtis! Curtis is a 2016 Rogers City High School graduate and a graduate of Alpena Community College’s criminal justice program and the Kirtland ...

You can (and should) shape Alpena’s economic future

On today’s front page, The News ended a four-day, seven-story series titled “This Is Us,” an in-depth look at Alpena’s changing economy and how its leaders are working to overcome challenges — we’ve lost more than 1,400 jobs since the Great Recession hit in 2007 — while amplifying ...

What is a landmark worth?

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission defines a landmark as a building, property or object that has a special character or special historical or aesthetic interest or value as part of the development, heritage, or cultural characteristics of the city, state, or ...