PHIL IN THE BLANK: Not lost in Pontiac

I’ve spent some time in downtown Pontiac and gotten to know the city to our south a little bit, enough to get around without getting lost at least. I’ve lived in Michigan for the past 25 years, but up in Flint. Everything south of Clarkston seems like one confusing mass of urban sprawl to me. […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: 26.2 for 50

I’ve managed to keep kicking long enough for this planet to spin itself around a star 50 times, and for that I decided I wanted to do something special. When I noticed the Charlevoix Marathon was on my birthday, June 22, I figured that would do. Training was going fine for awhile. I was up […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Memories of service

I recently joined a Facebook group, “Desert Storm photos,” where people post their old snapshots from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq during Desert Shield and Desert Storm back in the ’90s. I posted one of me as an E-4 Army soldier on latrine duty, which involved filling a half barrel we had been using as […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Dog with no name

The new bronze pooch is an excellent addition to Depot Park, something for adults to admire, kids to play on, and flesh-and-blood hounds to be confused about. It’s a fitting tribute to James and Gini Schultz, and all the other volunteers serving the community, especially in the downtown park. The metal mutt doesn’t have a […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Hotel hijinks

I’ve had a promotion of sorts, not at work where I’m still the editor, but at Clarkston Village Players. Not that I’ve received a lead role or anything, though the parts I’ve been getting are plenty. I run my lines in my head when I run and they’re enough to keep me occupied for almost […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Dope on display

The pile of drugs on the table at the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office presented a daunting and sad display for Sheriff Michael Bouchard’s press conference last week. One-and-a-half kilos of cocaine, which is about three-and-a-third pounds, 1,022 grams of heroin and fentanyl mix, 37 grams pure fentanyl, 600 grams of cutting agents, and 20 pounds […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Back on stage

I’ve been busy lately with the Clarkston Village Players at Depot Theater down by the train tracks. I took a bit role for their last show, “Laura,” in January, playing a police officer who shows up just to perp walk the suspects off the stage. Two appearances on stage with four lines total and I […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Winter writer’s block

My story on the Clarkston High School RED group’s immigration project on page 4 was a long time coming. Not because it took a long time to report or write, but because of the weather. Nolan Gerish, sophomore at Clarkston High School, contacted me back on Jan. 15 to see if I was interested in […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Human trafficking

The story “Learn about human-trafficking risks at workshop” on page 9 stemmed from a posting on Facebook that seemed to me easily dismissable. A second-hand tale of a man photographing a local 11- or 12-year-old girl in her yard. “First time he was seen he drove off. He then came back another day in a […]

PHIL IN THE BLANK: Who can handle the truth?

Nick Sioma was supposed to be a fairly straight-forward story for the holidays, a man helping out his neighbors by alerting authorities their house was on fire (Activist looks at dark side of 5G promise,” page 20). Something for the Public Safety page, a bit of kudos for a job well done. I would hope […]