Columns

Is is time to juice the pace of baseball?

From Little League on up, players emulate major leaguers, so Major League Baseball’s pace-of-play problem is trickling down. Four innings into a recent College World Series game here, just seven hits and three runs had consumed 96 minutes. During a coach’s visit to the pitcher’s mound, ...

Puberty suppression and female genital mutiliation

Michigan is set to become the 26th American state to join the federal government in criminalizing female genital mutilation, even as two Detroit-area doctors and one of their wives await trial for inflicting the procedure on a number of young girls. FGM, which is common in some parts of Africa ...

A neighbor’s casual touching

Dear Annie: I have a problem with my neighbor that I don’t know how to handle. We have been neighbors for three or four years. “Mr. Yates” has a seriously ill wife who is homebound. He does everything for her, in addition to doing all the work on the property. He has been helpful to ...

Miracle fruit bringing back taste

DEAR DR. ROACH: In a recent column regarding the woman with Parkinson’s disease experiencing a loss of taste, I was wondering if you have read about the Miracle Fruit. It’s an African berry known for enhancing flavor experience, and cancer patients reportedly have experienced an ability to ...

Is this a recording?

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF concerns recorded messages that may lead you to believe you’re actually talking to a real person. — Heloise “Dear Heloise: There seems to be something new going around. It’s a recorded message that sounds friendly, and there are pauses in the ...

Off The Tee: Belmont Hills Scotch Twosome winners announced

The Belmont Hills Country Club held its Scotch Twosome event last weekend. The duo of John Pokas and Phil Pata Jr. won the first flight with a round of 66. They were a stroke better than Larry Landtiser and Gary Young. In the second flight, Rennie Minor and Dave Diosi won with a 65. Brian ...

It’s past time to demolish this 1931 law

“You really ought to give Iowa a try. Provided you are contrary.” — “Iowa Stubborn,” from Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” “Contrary” does not quite capture Steve King’s astringency. The Iowa native and conservative congressman was born, appropriately, in Storm ...

We should be forcing big banks to innovate

Back in the 1960s, banks were not allowed to operate in more than one state. In fact, many states didn’t even allow branch banking, so there were lots of small local banks around the nation. Since then, of course, the rules have changed and the industry is dominated by a handful of very large ...

Society thinks it’s ok to ask height

Dear Annie: I am in my 60s and 6 feet 7 inches tall, and I am fed up with being approached by total strangers who ask such things as, “How tall are you?” “Did you play basketball?” “How tall is your wife?” “Your children?” And then there are the same tired jokes: “How is the ...

Remove mass on parotid gland

DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently was diagnosed with a benign pleomorphic adenoma of the parotid gland. My surgeon says that the mass should be removed, and explained many of the risks. The risks terrify me: Frey’s syndrome, facial paralysis, numbness. My mass is 11 mm. Is that considered ...

Phone conversation

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about the phone bill’s added charges and taxes. — Heloise “Dear Heloise: I recently moved into my first apartment and was shocked to discover that my phone bill, which includes a landline, my computer and cellphone, was about 25 percent to 30 ...

Nurturing out capacity for regeneration

Sparkling in the sunlight that inspired 19th-century romantic painters of the Hudson River School, Sing Sing prison’s razor wire, through which inmates can see the flowing river, is almost pretty. Almost. Rain or shine, however, a fog of regret permeates any maximum-security prison. But 37 ...

Thinking of those who build things on Father’s Day

Father’s Day was last weekend, and I found myself thinking in particular about the men who build things in this country. Perhaps it’s because there is a national conversation going on about the “working class” in America. The statistics are appalling: rising rates of poverty, ...

Old Man River’s Cheers & Jeers

CHEERS to The Lansing Sportsmen's Club for honoring local pitching legend Phil Niekro on his 20th anniversary of being inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.The club is holding a special event at 6:30 p.m. June 22 at the Skyliner that is open to the public. The event will also ...

Are we being invaded by white pickups?

It seems like they are everywhere these days -- white pickup trucks can be found all over our local region. That may not seem too significant to most people. In fact, many folks probably haven’t even noticed. I think those vehicles stand out to me when I see them because for several years, ...

Grads and Dads Also Deserve A Tribute

Last month, I wrote my May article as a tribute to mothers. Now I feel it's only fair to pay tribute to dads everywhere during Fatherás Day. This time of year also produces many graduates in our area. My husband and I get a few graduation announcements each year. Usually I just send off a ...

Doing things that are good for you

It's easy to forget what music can do for the soul. Unless you are a professional musician - or just one lucky individual - you probably don't have the time to spend a couple of hours just listening to music on a regular basis. I don't mean having the radio on in the background while you ...

Nation’s eroding standards erode our civilization

President Trump is having a bad week within a string of bad weeks. David Graham at The Atlantic wonders aloud whether his presidency is “on the verge of collapse.” It’s distressing. More concerning still are the larger trends and what they portend for the country. Consider: Hillary ...

The federal government’s ever-expanding web

A blind spider creeping through America’s judicial thicket might be heading to the Supreme Court, which will have to decide if the contentment or even the survival of the Bone Cave Harvestman spider species, which lives only in two central Texas counties, is any of the federal government’s ...

Today’s political showcase could be ‘Anger Games’

“Hate is a more powerful motivator than love.” According to the new Netflix documentary “Get Me Roger Stone,” that is one of the “rules” the self-described Republican “agent provocateur” has lived by. Stone, of course, is a showman. The “evil political operator” pose is to ...