Columnists

Fri
29
Mar

Native son: Showtime in Ely

How lucky we are to have concerts, plays, musicals and other theatrical events in Ely!
Coming up is Cabaret which was an instant hit when it opened on Broadway in 1966. It’s still playing somewhere in the world as I write this. I saw this show at least a dozen times – twice on Broadway and in other cities in America.
It was unusual the minute you walked into the theater. The curtain was already up and when the lights went down the musical didn’t start with an overture. There was only a drum roll and a cymbal crash. The plot consists of two stories. The first takes place in the nightclub called the Kit Kat Klub. The second is about a failed romance
The two main stars in the show are Sally Bowles and the unnamed Master of Ceremonies. Every song in this musical is a hit. They were written by John Kander and Fred Ebb. My favorites are the title song Cabaret followed by Don’t Tell Mama, Casey at the Bat, Two Ladies and Maybe This Time.

Sat
23
Mar

From the miscellaneous drawer - Glad the city is saving money

There are times when the agenda sent out for an Ely City Council meeting is more interesting reading than any news report of the same meeting afterward.
For instance, what caught my eye on the agenda before the March 19 meeting is that therein are minutes from all the city’s committees: Parks & Rec, DGGHTrust, Housing & Rehab, P & Z, Heritage, Budget, Employee Relations, Utilities Commission, Ely Steering ABC minutes and more. One plan noted is for: “Google My Business listings will make it easy for Ely businesses to manage their business profiles so that they can stand out online. Currently most businesses have no information provided. There are 130 businesses in the downtown area. Budget $9,514.” Make that 129 businesses. Another business is also now closing.

Wed
20
Mar

From the miscellaneous drawer - Inventor wanted

Growing problem
Especially with the elderly - the frequency of falling. Firemen, police and medical personnel are increasingly being summoned to assist those who fall and can’t get up.
The Census Bureau projects that by 2035, there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million under the age of 18.
In nearby Virginia, MN it was reported that: “During the week of Feb. 25-March 3, the Virginia Fire Department was called for service 96 times: 15 fire calls and 81 medical calls.” Unknown how many of these were for help after falling.–––
Two years ago, after taking a shower and starting to dry off, I became dizzy and fell in my bathroom, hitting my head.
I carry my cell phone with me at all times (on the advice of my then- four-year old grandson Jake). I made a phone call for help. Then I thought out the situation...

Sun
17
Mar

Hook and bullet club - Snowmobiling

Boy am I glad I decided to go on a snowmobile ride with the kids last weekend. This rain will put a damper on riding unless there’s some snow to follow.
Our group included my daughter Megan, son Evan and his girlfriend Nella. We left from Ely on the Taconite and headed west toward Tower.
The trail was in great shape which created a problem - we were in Tower too early.
“Okay, how about we keep going and have lunch at the Vermilion Club?” I asked.
“Sounds good, I could go for their pizza,” said Evan.
We powered past Tower and hung right on to the Arrowhead Trail and dropped down into the 100-mile swamp. Here the trail was even in better condition, if that was possible.
We pulled off the trail at the Penguin Club section that would bring us over across Hwy. 77 to the VC. We had the same problem, it didn’t take any time.
There was a group of sledders parked behind the restaurant and the oldest guy in the group gave us the bad news.

Sun
17
Mar

Hook and bullet club - Snowmobiling

Boy am I glad I decided to go on a snowmobile ride with the kids last weekend. This rain will put a damper on riding unless there’s some snow to follow.
Our group included my daughter Megan, son Evan and his girlfriend Nella. We left from Ely on the Taconite and headed west toward Tower.
The trail was in great shape which created a problem - we were in Tower too early.
“Okay, how about we keep going and have lunch at the Vermilion Club?” I asked.
“Sounds good, I could go for their pizza,” said Evan.
We powered past Tower and hung right on to the Arrowhead Trail and dropped down into the 100-mile swamp. Here the trail was even in better condition, if that was possible.
We pulled off the trail at the Penguin Club section that would bring us over across Hwy. 77 to the VC. We had the same problem, it didn’t take any time.
There was a group of sledders parked behind the restaurant and the oldest guy in the group gave us the bad news.

Sun
10
Mar

From the miscellaneous drawer - readers heard from

It’s not a popularity contest, but the results from the Echo subscription card returns serve to reinforce what we’re doing at the Echo. And we appreciate folks who send notes or remind us of their reading favorites on their renewal post cards. Fishing, hunting and outdoors topics are popular. Editorials are are well read
Tom Coombe’s writing regularly gets plaudits. Pam’s O’Clock hour introduces us all to new and older faces around Ely. Columnists Trout whisperer (is he for real? one person asked. Yes, he is). A woman in Manhatten. Illinois wrote, “I enjoy the whole paper. Ely is my home town. Born and raised there.”
From Two Harbors, MN came: “ Mining, steel and timber industry news, much better than”another area paper. And Native Son, Miscellaneous Drawer and Hook And Bullet Club all got plaudits, as well as historical articles.
* * *

Fri
08
Mar

Native son: What a night

On Saturday March 2, one of our coldest bone chilling nights, St John’s University Men’s Chorus arrived in Ely and gave a performance which I don’t think anyone who was there will ever forget! Twenty three male voices in perfect harmony with each other singing spiritual and popular music in the great hall of St Anthony’s Church.
The Chorus was founded in 1948 by Father James Kelly. The present director is Axel Theimer and I had the great pleasure of meeting him when I arrived at the church. He had just finished rehearsing his group before they went downstairs to change into their performance attire.
In 1960 the chorus at that time made their first of many trips to Europe. They also perform frequently for state and regional music conventions for which they have received numerous prizes and awards.

Sat
02
Mar

Hook and bullet club - Snowmobiling

TRAIL STOP - Evan Wognum, Nella Foy, Mary Wognum, Bev Groteboer, Brad Pearse, Steve Groteboer and Kelsey Pearse take a break along the trail system in the Crane Lake to Ash River area.

Sat
23
Feb

From the miscellaneous drawer - When words meant something

Forty years ago, there were two Ely newspapers and both were owned by women. Columbia Childers ran the show at the Ely Miner in the 100 block of East Chapman Street and I had the help of the men and women at 2 East Sheridan Street. Though we were competitors, you might even say we were friends.
Friends come to an understanding of each other’s actions and in that way, a respect. We had lunch together at Silver Rapids not long before she departed the newspaper world.
Back then there was a larger group of Iron Range publishers who got together a few times a year for dinner. As a novice to the industry, it was a learning time for me.
I stopped to chat with Phyllis and Jim Burgess at the Tower News, got advice from Veda Ponikvar of the Chisholm paper, the Asbachs at MDN and bought half ton rolls of paper for our printing press from Cook News Herald which shared its supply.

Mon
18
Feb

From the miscellaneous drawer - welcome to the Echo office

There’s a whole new language to learn in almost any business or new venture. It took me a while to get the hang of the picas and points of newspapers and printing.

Oddly enough, the City of Ely never specified a type size for display advertising nor did they direct any complaint or request to us about ad print size. No discussion was initiated by the city to make the Echo aware of any dissatisfaction on its part. That seems odd unless this is all politically motivated.

The Echo’s legal type size at 7 point Times, came in at 84 lca. Since that was quite readable, it saved the city money, Whereas an lca (lower case alphabet) of 90 would take up more space when printed.

In the 1970-’80s there were two newspaper offices in Ely - The Ely Miner and the Ely Echo. One or the other was subsidizing the city with below cost rates for printing.

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