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Editorials and columns

A president, a comedian, and a glimmer of hope

Over the past several years, I have written a lot about the lack of civility in the world today. More specifically, my opinions have focused on the lack of civility in politics, and how the erosion of common decency in that environment has been eroding the public’s trust in politicians and ...

The truth ‘constantly exists’ and ‘always comes out’

“Truth is uniform and narrow; it constantly exists, and does not seem to require too much an active energy …” — Benjamin Franklin What is a democracy? Is it the simple act of the governed casting ballots to decide the future of its government? Can you call it a democracy ...

Welcome back, dear warbler

Over the years, one of Northeast Michigan’s greatest success stories has been the restoration of Kirtland warbler habitat. By restoring jack pines across the region, the bird’s numbers have climbed to the point where, today, they have been removed from the federal list of endangered ...

Tell Senate, Whitmer to protect counseling

A few weeks ago, the Michigan Mental Health Counselors Association posted a plea on its Facebook page indicating that the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) was proposing updates to the licensing rules governing licensed professional counselors. the rules would ...

In my great and unmatched wisdom …

Come Heller high water ... ∫ My favorite Donald Trump tweet of the week was the one where he said that, “in his great and unmatched wisdom,” he was pulling troops out of northern Syria. Honestly, who, besides the Wizard of Oz, talks like that? ∫ In my great and unmatched wisdom, we ...

Celebrating National Newspaper Week

For as long as our great nation has existed, newspapers have been part of the fabric that strengthens our democracy and makes our communities stronger. Before James Madison became our fourth U.S. President, he wrote the Bill of Rights and enshrined the freedom of the press into the First ...

Pick up your Old Newsboys edition this weekend

Ho. Ho. Ho. No, Christmas is not just around the corner ... even if holiday merchandise can now be found at many merchants around the region. The “Ho, Ho, Ho” mentioned above is a tease to the focal point of the 2019 Lions Old Newsboys edition that only can be purchased today and ...

Let actions speak louder than words

Have you ever met a salesperson who told you that you should do business with him or her because they are an “honest person?” I have. It makes me think they are not honest, and makes me not want to do business with that person. I feel they shouldn’t have to tell me they are honest. ...

Dear kids: Vaping isn’t worth it

In Saturday’s edition, reporter Julie Goldberg told us that vaping in high schools in Northeast Michigan and beyond has reached, as Alpena High School Principal Tom Berriman put it, “epidemic” proportions. Vaping has become so popular that one set of bathrooms at Hillman Jr./Sr. High ...

CTE reform needs more than money

Over the summer, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced a campaign to remove stigmas about skilled trades jobs, marking the latest effort in Whitmer’s mission to close the so-called skills gap in Michigan. The governor has also called for increasing per-pupil funding ...

Welcome aboard, Rachael Smolinski

The Alpena Municipal Council has picked its replacement for retiring City Manager Greg Sundin. Rachael Smolinski is the current director of the Harbor Springs Downtown Development Authority, but she has ties to the Alpena area. The council had a tough task before them, interviewing six ...

Happy homecoming, Alpena!

Nothing says fall quite like football, and nothing says football quite like homecoming and Spirit Week. Alpena High School is now counting down the days to the Wildcats’ home game against the Traverse City Trojans on Friday. Reporter Julie Goldberg last week previewed the fun Alpena High ...

Support your local paper

This week marks the 79th celebration of National Newspaper Week in America, a week to reflect on the First Amendment and freedom of the press and all the good newspapers do for their community. The News celebrated in Saturday’s edition by inviting readers to take a look at a day in the life ...

Whitmer vetoes further Up North, downstate rift

It always has been an “us versus them” mentality for those of us who call Up North home. We refer to “downstaters” with a certain disdain in our voice. Who are “they” to try and tell us what we need, what we don’t have, or how backward we are up here? “Why, some of you ...

Why I decided to become an ink-stained wretch

“Hail the ink-stained wretches The reporters, the tireless tradesmen who claw at the TRUTH buried under the soundbite” — poem, The Dallas Morning News I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I remember October in third grade, when my class was assigned to write a short story ...

Doggone it, we love having cop dogs in town

Proper training is an important part of success. Just like humans, dogs need training, and over 320 canine units from across the nation and Canada were at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center this week for some of the best training being offered in the U.S. The training was being ...

Worried about paying for health care in retirement? Here are some tips

No matter how responsible we are with our financial planning or how healthy our lifestyle, most of us will face a costly health care crisis in our lives, if only the expenses associated with old age. The cost of health care is one of the biggest threats to retiree savings and may become one ...

The patience and goodness of the Master Gardener

Over the past month, I’ve been busily harvesting beans, late peas, broccoli, cucumbers, cauliflower and beets. Heirloom tomatoes are finally ripening, and deep green pumpkins are transforming to brilliant orange. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? What I failed to mention is that, from the ...

The future of democracy, journalism

I am concerned about the future of our democracy. Are you? In fact, I am more than concerned. I am worried we may be teetering on a point of no return. And I think we need to talk about it. I am inviting you to do just that at an open discussion sponsored by the Association of Lifelong ...

Glad Youth and Rec gave to Plaza Pool

We are pleased the Plaza Pool received significant funding from the latest round of Alpena County Youth and Recreation Committee awards. The pool does not have an extensive means of raising funds and, without county and Youth and Recreation millage money, its future would be bleak. In ...