Columnists

Fri
05
Aug

From the miscellaneous drawer

We survived! Roadways, yards, and business properties are being restored.
For the most part, life is going on as necessary.
Area resorts reported that their guests, in general, pitched in to help with the clean-up. And the rare, complaining ones were willingly told “Farewell.”
In the “war” zones, the question lingers, “Did we take down all the ‘leaners’ and get all the damaged trees?”
Every summer storm may bring that question up again. In many places around Ely the landscape has changed.
As the winds charged through the forest, the weaker trees of popple, balsam and pine became a jumble of broken branches and trunks. How did the forest animals survive the terror?
The five deer which have shorn my hostas and munched through my yard are no longer seen.
And I have a new landscape, a new view of sunsets and the many vehicles passing by.
Life goes on.
* * *

Fri
22
Jul

Tips on filing insurance and storm damage claims

In the aftermath of severe storms that hit many parts of northern Minnesota on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman urges Minnesotans who experienced damage to their homes, businesses or vehicles to contact their insurance companies to start the claims process.
The Commerce Department website features a Disaster Information Center with guidance about how to plan ahead and what to do after a disaster strikes.
Rothman offers the following tips for Minnesotans affected by the storms:
Notify your insurance company or agent as soon as you can to start the claims process. If possible, have your policy information available when you call. If you cannot locate your insurance company information, the Minnesota Commerce Department may be able to help you with a contact number.

Fri
15
Jul

From the miscellaneous drawer

Perhaps it is because I’m old and bored with standard television programming. Therefore I frequently flip channels to see what’s happening on the American Pickers television show on the History channel. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the era when there was so little we each had, that we treasured ’most everything. It’s interesting to see that others have been “treasuring” as well.
My favorite aunt gave me a daguerreotype union case which my great grandfather carried into the Civil War. I was about age 10 at the time and found it amazing with its beehive in relief on the front in what was made of gutta percha, an early version of plastic.
So when I received a phone call this week from the casting associate of American Pickers, I was pleased to be able to share info with our readers. Elyites are savers and collectors, be it cars, signs, memorabilia or just plain junk.

Sun
10
Jul

Hook and Bullet Club - Float time

On the Fourth of July for the first time in many years I wasn’t watching and/or taking pictures from the sidewalk. I was in the parade, driving a float for the Prospector Loop ATV Trail system.
Dave Lossing had kindly volunteered to not only allow us to display two units in the parade, he also gave us his company’s flat bed truck as well.
John Sjoberg joined me in the shotgun seat and my nephew Hunter Deinhammer rode in the back, tossing candy from the side by side.
We left at 9:45 a.m. for the 11 a.m. Tower parade. The parking area next to the civic center was packed with parade participants, from politicians to horses with plenty of manure being spread around.
John secured the banners on the side and I found the lady in charge to find out where we needed to be.
“You’ll be behind Zup’s,” she said.
That would limit our candy throwing for sure, but as it worked out we were ahead of the Zup’s truck that dumped candy by the box full.

Fri
01
Jul

From the miscellaneous drawer - leap of faith

We humans are not well-developed. Sure we can create art, music, literature and work with our hands, but we are not much more developed than a pack of cats, dogs or wolves.
In all of us there is some playfulness, some in-fighting, some hurt feelings and fear, along with the whole spectrum of action choices existing in the world.
A few of us are adept at some one thing or may be stronger or smarter than most. Fewer still are kind or understanding.
When it comes to prejudice, there are more than one or two types of prejudice to recognize. A few believe that prejudice only applies to negative remarks and/or thoughts about blacks or Muslims or Jews.
That’s just not true. Listen to the speech or note the writings of those around you. Family, friends and strangers.
Intolerance and hatred are rampant, almost becoming a world-wide norm. The vituperation may be uncovered in many places.

Sat
25
Jun

From the miscellaneous drawer - Newspapers: Are they dying?

A day isn’t complete for me unless there is a newspaper to read.
Coming from a family of five and being the youngest, I learned patience. There was a hierarchy to the order of reading and Dad was first.
In the 1960s I subscribed to the Ely Miner and got it by mail in Illinois. When Fred Childers died, I hoped to purchase that newspaper, but his wife Columbia kept it for a time.
In 1972 the Ely Echo was brought to the local market by Miles Aakhus. By 1974 I was working for him and in 1977 he sold the Echo to me.
In 1909, there were 18 newspapers on the Iron Range. Some are gone, some remain.
In the Biwabik area, two newspapers existed in 1909: Biwabik News and Aurora Times. The remaining newspaper there is the current Range Times.
The front page headline on June 16, 2016 was: Future of East Range’s 109-year-old Range Times in jeopardy due to lack of support. It was written by the owner and publisher Gary Albertson.

Sat
18
Jun

Hook and Bullet Club - The good news

“We just need some good news for once,” I said to Mary on Saturday.
Another report of illness, this time from a cousin who is way too young to be in the shape she is in.
That news added to other bad news of friends with cancer made our discussion a somber one. We grieve for those suffering and for their families.
It had been another cold, rainy day in Ely and our spirits were as dark as the skies. We needed a boost, a shot of positive, some good news.
At around 11:15 p.m. Saturday night, our oldest son Jacob called and asked if we could gather around the phone.
We listened and wondered just what had happened that called for this near-midnight discussion.
Jacob calmly explained. We listened and to be honest, wondered. Was he pulling our leg? Was there something we had missed? Did we hear him correctly? Had his wife Kyah really just had a baby?

Tue
07
Jun

Hook and Bullet Club - Traveling

We must have entered travel season.
People in my life have packed their bags and headed out of town.
My buddy Rob went to watch his nephew graduate in Texas.
My co-worker Lisa went on vacation for a week to Florida.
My cousin Susan from California came to Ely for a visit last weekend.
My friends John and Rochelle went from Ely to California, strangely enough to Susan’s hometown of San Diego. They were also taking in a graduation.
My guiding buddy Roger will be heading into Quetico Park to start his summer of guiding clients on fishing trips.
A week ago I went on a trip, albeit a short one. I packed a bag with a change of clothes, made some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, threw some beverages in a cooler and climbed in my truck.
In the back of the truck I had my chainsaw, extra gas and oil, several pairs of gloves and safety equipment.

Mon
30
May

From the miscellaneous drawer - Transportation?

Growing up, bicycles and ice skates were preferred methods of easy travel in grade school years. For high school it became public bus, electric commuter train or car pooling. A bike and a river boat transported me to Quebec City in Canada. Diesel trains took me to college and across the US to catch an Atlantic passenger ship. Travel by Greyhound bus, subways and cable cars gave way to gondolas, vaporettos (water taxis), ferry rides, pontoon boats, canoes and sail boats.
Airplanes? Oh yeah. In those years you showed up within the hour of departure, sat in comfy seats and were quickly at your destination.
On Wednesday two nieces were to be traveling by plane. One from London to Chicago. One from San Diego to Ely.

Sun
22
May

Hook and Bullet Club - Snow, smear and moose

If you were in a tent the night before fishing opener in the Ely area, you can take home the diehard fisherman award.
Temps around 35 degrees, a strong wind and snow made for miserable weather for the 2016 fishing opener. That didn’t stop people from going. Well, it stopped some of us.
We were heading up the Echo Trail Friday night for a planned dinner at one of the restaurants in the Crane Lake area.
When we reached Ed Shave Lake, two things happened at just about the same time. First, it started to snow so hard you could barely see the road ahead. Second, a buzzer went off and a light popped up on the dash of John Sjoberg’s pickup truck.
I looked over and said, “Uh-oh.”
“That’s not good,” said John.
The light was the indicator for low tire pressure. He pulled over and we got out to take a look.

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