×

Editorials and columns

Protect our kids, follow the rules of the road on bus safety

School has been in session about a week now in much of Northeast Michigan, and, obviously, some motorists need a reminder on safety around school buses. Remember that, when a bus has both its red and yellow overhead lights flashing, it means the bus is about to stop. Motorists need to show ...

I won’t believe Siri stopped listening

Come Heller high water ... ∫ There are no fence-sitters on Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5, including me. I’m squarely on the side that says oil and water don’t mix. It makes no sense to risk the Great Lakes based on the word of a company with a lousy record of keeping oil and gas, you know, ...

Qualities of a great, small city

Imagine a city. A “great” city. Rows of buildings lining its streets, each one different, unique. Architecture marking different styles and times, showing its history. People on sidewalks, walking, sitting on benches and church stairs and at tables. Interspersed gardens, greenscape, and ...

Always asking myself, ‘What would a 60-year-old man do?’

Being a young female professional often comes with certain unnecessary challenges. Chief among them being that people often don’t expect you to be intelligent, or to understand when you’re being taken advantage of, or don’t expect you to hold people accountable when decisions are made ...

$1M federal grant for opioid fight is welcome news

The opioid abuse problem in Northeast Michigan did not occur overnight, nor will it go away in one day. Education, treatment, and behavioral changes all have to occur if those on the front line of this war hope to win the battle. As any military commander will attest, having the proper ...

Focus your efforts here at home

Recently, at a wedding, I ran into one of my teachers from elementary school. We sat and chatted for a long time about many different topics. One of the topics that captured our conversation for much of the time was about the society in which we live. We both agreed there seems to be a shift ...

Diverse voices important in law enforcement

In the Aug. 24 edition of The News, reporter Julie Riddle showed us how Michigan State Police Trooper Ashley Simpson, Alpena County Assistant Prosecutor Cynthia Muszynski, and 81st District Court Judge Laura Frawley highlight the growing number of women in Northeast Michigan law enforcement. ...

Minimum wage laws hurt people

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that would mandate a rise in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. I have often wondered if supporters of such mandates understand simple economic concepts or if they have familiarized themselves with scholarly research on the ...

Congrats to the Kirtland’s warbler, nature’s comeback kids

We are thrilled to see the Kirtland’s warbler, one of northern Michigan’s most cherished mascots, rebound enough in population to perhaps make it off of the endangered species list. As reporter Julie Riddle told us last week, the number of singing males has bounced from just 216 counted ...

Is history about to repeat itself?

Problem: The governor needs GOP votes to pass a gas tax hike for the roads. Problem: Republicans are not falling all over themselves to do that, especially those state House members who face close reelection campaigns next year. Solution: Let Michigan citizens vote to raise taxes. Bingo. ...

Come on, Alpena, let’s recycle (the right way)!

We are excited by the challenge issued by state and local officials last week for Alpena County to recycle 2 million pounds of plastics, paper, and cardboard by year’s end. According to local officials, staff at the Alpena Resource Recovery Facility have already collected and shipped 1.21 ...

Leave your shopping carefully

We couldn’t help but shake our heads in frustration last week when we ran yet another picture of yet another crash at the intersection where the Meijer and Walmart parking lots let out onto M-32. The Thursday crash, which sent one person to the hospital with possible head injuries, was the ...

What we cover, what we don’t, and why

Last week, a reader called to report something happening in town that displeased her and she thought ought to be a story. I determined pretty quickly it wasn’t something we would pursue. I encouraged her to write a letter to the editor, but she hung up on me, instead. I won’t get ...

Congrats to the Rash boys

Out at the Alpena County Fair last week, you may have picked up a Coney dog or elephant ear from three cheerful teens and helped them further their education. Marcus, 17, Jacob, 17, and Jason Rash, 14, and their Kids Biz company were selling food at the fair to raise money for college. ...

On straight hat bills and grumpy old men

Being an incredibly witty and insightful commentator on the absurdities of life is easier when you’re younger. People think you’re simply being delightfully sarcastic or wry. But, when you’re older and you point out something ridiculous, people immediately think you’re just being a ...

Learning to trust in God

Boating to one of the Au Sable River’s rustic campsites is at the top of our summer’s to-do list. We recently managed to squeeze an overnight getaway into our busy schedule. The weather was perfect: nicely warm with a gentle breeze. With our tent erected and hammock strung near the ...

It’s never OK to drink and drive

Drunk drivers who end up in Judge Thomas LaCross’s courtroom will be forced to see the faces of Aneena, 6, and Kya Lurak, 5, and Drayka Rayshell, 3, three beaming little girls from Ohio who were killed by a drunk driver. The story of the girl’s death, widely reported in Ohio media, ...

Where should you display your plates?

While patrolling, I observe license plates in some of the oddest locations. Most vehicles will have the license plate in the proper location. Others, if it falls off the vehicle, may have it in the back window until it is fixed. I have observed license plates in the side window of the ...

Sad to see opioids flood our communities

An astonishing 4 million opioid prescriptions flowed into Montmorency County between 2006 and 2012, making the area one of Michigan’s hardest-hit by the opioid epidemic that claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Michiganders in 2017. That 4 million pills is enough to provide 61 pills to ...

New state agency committed to progress

At the Michigan League for Public Policy, we do the research and analysis that will help fuel economic justice in Michigan. But that research is nothing if we aren’t listening to what people need. That’s why, when we developed our Owner’s Manual for Michigan, we toured the state and ...