Columnists

Sat
27
May

Just An Avid Reader

I read quite a bit. Newspapers, magazines of all kinds, articles on the internet - but most of all, books. And though currently I read mysteries more than anything (a romance novel now and then), they range from one end of the spectrum to the other. Political mysteries. Spy thriller mysteries. Culinary mysteries. <BR><BR>Some are more difficult than others - you really have to pay attention, remember the cast of characters, watch for the details, acronyms, etc. Although they’re certainly good reads, it takes some effort to keep everything straight in your mind. But sometimes, I just want a fun read, quick and easy. <BR><BR>This is the case in Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity series. Lori Shepherd is an American living in the English countryside. Through the series she has met and married her husband Bill; had twin sons Rob and Will; made a number of unique friends in England; inherited millions and discovered a supernatural secret.

Mon
22
May

From the miscellaneous drawer

By May 21, 1975 the Echo reward fund in the Goedderz murder case had climbed to $1,300, but, at least on the surface, local concerns were more directed toward the region’s economic future. <BR><BR>According to the front page Echo news, time had run out on copper-nickel mining hopes. Ely snowmobilers were protesting along Sheridan Street about the closure of 19 trails that had been in use. Trails included the one which led to Dorothy Molter’s home on Knife Lake in the Boundary Waters. Friends in the area rode their snowmobiles in the winter to bring Dorothy her mail and they helped to cut ice for summer use.<BR><BR>At Ely Memorial $26,985 for swimming pool improvements was approved.

Sun
14
May

In the front row - Baseball teammates

Former Ely American Legion baseball teammates Tim Scott and Josh Mathson are on different but parallel routes in their collegiate baseball careers.<BR><BR>Scott, a 2005 Ely graduate who walked on at NCAA Division I Nebraska, was redshirted by the Cornhuskers this year and will get his first chance to compete at a higher level this summer as a member of the Parkville Sluggers - a Kansas City-based wood bat league team.<BR><BR>Mathson, the Embarrass native who is Minnesota high school baseball’s all-time home run king, is completing his sophomore year at Iowa Central - a Division II junior college powerhouse - and is considering accepting a scholarship offer from Georgia College and State University, the top-ranked NCAA Division II program in the country.<BR><BR>Together Scott and Mathson helped power Ely’s Legion squad to a 28-2 record and a second-place Division II state tournament in 2004, and after Mathson graduated, Scott went 10-1 on the mound

Mon
08
May

From The Desk of the Old Timer

There are people who follow part of the scripture every day. That part in John:15 in which the Lord says: “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”<BR><BR>This is what policemen and firemen do every day they put on their uniforms. They lay their lives on the line for the rest of us. It is what our military people do every day. Lay their lives on the line for the rest of us. We recognize that it takes a certain amount of character to do this. Our natural inclination is to watch out for ourselves<BR><BR>Lying on a bed in Ely Bloomenson Hospital last week while two pints of blood were being injected into my left arm gave me time to ponder this matter. The thought struck me that in a very real sense, whoever it was who donated that blood being dripped into my veins was doing exactly the same thing.

Sun
30
Apr

From the miscellaneous drawer - A nomadic journalist

In the April 30, 1975 Ely Echo, Bob Cary, who had been a recent outfitter, wrote about US Forest Service cooperators. The resorters and outfitters learned that the $245,000 new Prairie Portage Dam was expected to be completed that year and there would be a detour for the motorized (Jeep) portage. Permits were back to 10 people per campsite.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves Rifle Club had taken first place at the NRA Junior Rifle Sectionals in Minneapolis. Team members were Wendy, Anderson, Robert Maki, Brian Kopperud and Jerry Skubic.<BR><BR>In April 28, 1976’s Ely Echo, tourist operators were protesting the permit system which had started in 1967 but was, they believed, creating misleading information. Operators said that people often quit their trip early and did not go where they had declared they were going in the Boundary Waters. <BR><BR>It was estimated that 350 people attended the USDA Duluth hearing on snowmobiles in the BWCA.

Sat
22
Apr

In the front row - VCC basketball

Hoping to climb in the Northern Division after a pair of sub-par seasons, the Vermilion Ironwomen have bagged two key recruits - including one from Ely- that could give the community college basketball team a tremendous boost.<BR><BR>Kylee Seboe, a 6-0 center from Barnum who helped the Bombers to a fourth-place finish in the State Class A Tournament, and Ely senior Kelsey Ivancich have both committed to attend Vermilion in 2006-2007.<BR><BR>Both figure to make immediate contributions to a Vermilion program that picked up just one win this winter and struggled a year ago as well.<BR><BR>Seboe and Ivancich both bring something different to the floor for the Ironwomen.<BR><BR>An all-area and all-state tournament player, Seboe should provide a strong presence in the paint, something Vermilion lacked this year.<BR><BR>“She’ll bring a lot of athleticism and experience from a good high school program like Barnum,” said Vermilion H

Fri
14
Apr

Letters from Ely - A Good Hard Slap

A Good Hard Slap<BR><BR>Across the Midwest, the small farms have disappeared. Most of those 180- and 360-acre plots that supported individual families for generations have been sold off to five- or 10,000 acre corporate farms. <BR><BR>Remember those pretty farm homes with their red barns, silos and tire swings? They’re mostly gone, replaced by huge tractors moving in tandem across an empty landscape. <BR><BR>The small towns where the farm kids went to school are quiet now, the schools are empty, the stores are closed and the streets are left to crumble. <BR><BR>A few people, most of them retired farmers, still remain. They choose to live their last years near the land they loved for so long, even though the young people have all left.

Sun
09
Apr

From the miscellaneous drawer

It’s always good to learn something. This week it was study time with the Associated Press Stylebook. That’s the reference we use to arbitrate all sorts of grammar ideas, from punctuation to use of titles.<BR><BR>You have to be a bit nerdy to find the study of ellipsis interesting. It’s a bit embarrassing to learn you have been using them wrong. Shades of Colonel McCormick of the Chicago Tribune - I had been condensing by taking out spaces, much as he did by changing words such as through to the simpler “thru.” It saves space on a newspaper page and space costs big money.<BR><BR>It wasn’t space which was being conserved when Echo editor Bob Cary started writing “Front Page Editorials” in the 1970s. It was because publisher Miles Aakhus wanted his editorial space (Milestones, it was called) untouched by anyone except himself.

Fri
31
Mar

From the miscellaneous drawer Winton

In 1976 we lived at the bend in Shagawa River in Winton. It was a whole new experience for us. We had been suburbanites most of our lives in the Chicago area. Being an Ely suburbanite was different, as if three miles was a world away.<BR><BR>The river was a treasure, season by season. We learned the stories of the river - the child who drowned, the White Bridge on the Ely side and the Red Bridge on the Fernberg side. The old fire house which was set above the river although only the pilings remained. <BR><BR>The river belonged to everyone. There were skating parties in the winter, river skipping on snowmobiles in the spring, cannonball dives off rickety boards in the summer and duck hunters shooting on brisk mornings in the fall. Sometimes people floated down the river on inner tubes, starting at the rapids near County 88. <BR><BR>Winton was the perfect place for us. The neighbors were warm and supportive.

Sun
26
Mar

From the miscellaneous drawer

So my secret’s about to be out. I’ve been with the Echo for 30 of my soon-to-be 70 years. The amazing thing is that I’ve enjoyed or been challenged by almost every one of those years. <BR><BR>I wouldn’t say that about the early part of my working life.<BR><BR>I’ve worked since childhood. When there was a war going on, my brother and I were dad’s in-house labor force for preparing a metal part for manufacture. <BR><BR>During my teenage years there was office work in the factory in Indiana. That was followed by being a waitress at a Maid-Rite in Iowa during college years, a summer camp counselor in Michigan, a nanny and store clerk in California, a couple stints with Mafia-owned record shops in Illinois and later becoming a book buyer <BR><BR>When not working I went to schools or classes in Iowa, Illinois, California and Minnesota.

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