Hoping for a big turnout as the circus comes to town

Thanks to local, state and federal legislators, the U.S. Forest Service will hold a listening session in Ely on Tuesday over the Twin Metals Minnesota leases.
We’re hoping for a big turnout at Washington Auditorium. Here’s some reasons why you should attend.
We’ve had historic meetings like this in Ely in the past, filled with emotion and focused on federal rules and regulations. This time the attack comes from Ely and is centered on a company that has put jobs and dollars into our local economy.
Becky Rom and her followers have focused on stopping mining projects including PolyMet which is now moving ahead with permits to mine copper and nickel just west of Babbitt. Rom’s pleas fell on deaf ears in St. Paul and she has not been able to sway elected officials at the local, state and federal level who represent this area.
Ely mayor Chuck Novak, St. Louis County Commissioner Tom Rukavina, state Rep. Rob Ecklund, state Sen. Tom Bakk, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, U.S. senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken all pushed for having the listening session in Ely.
So, the anti-mining contingent went to D.C. and found friendly bureaucrats in the Obama administration. They pushed for an unheard of review of federal leases that companies like Twin Metals need to continue minerals exploration.
Twin Metals has been a very good corporate neighbor to Ely. The company could’ve chosen to build its headquarters along with a core storage facility in Babbitt. Instead Ely’s tax base was increased, local contractors were hired and numerous businesses have benefitted since then.
We’ve run photo after photo of Twin Metals putting money back into the community. The Ely Food Shelf has been a major recipient, as well as concerts, sporting events, a Little League team, trail projects and countless other causes. Locating your company’s headquarters in town is one thing, opening up your checkbook repeatedly to make the community a better place to live goes above and beyond.
Anti-mining political candidates have fared poorly in Ely and for good reason: there is a silent majority of people who vote for pro-mining candidates. There is no doubt the same vocal minority will show up at events like the one on Tuesday and give “the sky is falling” speeches.
The silent majority can make their presence known by showing up on Tuesday at 5 p.m. Sit in the audience, wear a sticker and/or sign up to speak if you so choose. You’ll join elected officials, business leaders and the majority of people who cast votes in local elections.
Twin Metals has spent $400 million exploring for minerals. They’ve put our friends and neighbors to work, they’ve kept our property taxes down, they’ve been generous to our local groups and organizations.
Right now Twin Metals is facing a tremendous test from a few well-placed individuals.
If you can, attend this historic event in Ely on Tuesday. There will be a pre-event gathering at Whiteside Park (food and refreshments provided) at 3 p.m.; a mining supporter rally at Whiteside Park at 3:45 p.m.; a unified walk to the school at 4 p.m. and the listening session from 5-7:30 p.m. at Washington Auditorium.
Signs and stickers in favor of the leases are available from Gerald Tyler of UpNorth Jobs by calling 365-3324.