The COVID-19 novel coronavirus is causing an escalating avalanche of trouble for people around the world and here at home, with no clear end in sight. For me, one thing that stings is the shuttering of Clarkston Village Players’ Depot Theatre, first by the CVP Board then pretty much by state executive order. The community […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Primary views

So far I’m holding fast to my informal one-and-done rule on Trumpian letters to the editor. I might relent if told to or when it gets closer to the November presidential election. Open season on the primary election, coming up on March 10 – one more edition before voters head to the polls. Fortunately, Michigan […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: History in headlines

The Look Back, From the CNews archive feature has changed a bit in the new year. We’re reaching back farther into the past now, 25, 50, and 75 years into our vintage editions instead of 15, 25, and 50. The “15 years ago” entries last year were being extracted from editions printed in 2004. Anything […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Drama at the theatre

It’s supposed to be bad luck to wish actors “good luck” on their upcoming performances, so instead you’re supposed to say “break a leg.” Most don’t actually intend harm to come to anyone, certainly not to members of the audience. I’ve been doing the community-theatre acting thing for just a few years, but know enough […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Christmas time

I hope everyone is having an excellent Christmas season this year. Mine is good. My house doesn’t look very Christmasy, though. I haven’t been putting up a Christmas tree at my place for the past couple years. The season goes by way too fast. And I have cats. I’ve been busy learning my lines and […]


We keep things local here at The Clarkston News, but I usually grant some leeway to letter writers to the editor. Readers can mostly write about whatever they like, including national issues like President Donald Trump. That doesn’t sit well with some. One wrote to ask us not to print any more political letters at […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Stop the loss

Over the last few years I’ve been concerned with the rate of suicide amongst veterans, about 20 per day from what I’ve heard most say. This Veterans Day, I decided to look it up with the most official source I could think of, the Veterans Administration. Their statistics listed 6,139 veteran suicides nationwide in 2017. […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: 20’s to roar again

In 10 weeks it will be the twenties once more, and I’ll be glad to be able to name the decade again. After the nineties, what decade were we in? The aughts, naughts, the ohs? And then that decade was followed by what, the tens? The teens? None of these labels seemed to have caught […]


Suicide is tragic, perhaps more so when involving a young person. For me, the loss of Jack Lehman hurts more because I know his parents — we’re friends through the Clarkston Village Players. The Clarkston schools superintendent, high school principal, teacher, and pastor have better words about how to deal with this than I do, […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Looking for health

A trip to Ford Field is in order for me. That became clear as I interviewed Frank Miglione for a story about his experience losing 135 pounds in two years. He was helping plug the upcoming Men’s Health Event in Detroit on Sept. 21. Info provided by the organizers was also a gut check. “Based […]

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