Columnists

Sun
22
Jan

From the Ely Echo publisher’s desk

From Glendora, California:<BR><BR>“Today I received my Dec 17th copy of the Ely Echo.This is really bad service. It is always late. I don’t think I have ever gotten it in less than a week late. Is this the best you can do? By the time I get the Echo, it is history! Why can’t I at least expect it in maybe a week or 10 days? Is that so hard? What class of service do you mail this for it to be such lousy service? Hope to hear from you, Frank.”<BR><BR>Dear Frank, <BR><BR>There’s nobody more unhappy with the US Postal Service than me. Every week without fail the Echoes are delivered to the Ely Post Office on Friday. They are bar coded with each address and pre-sorted by state and cities. What the Postal Service does to the newspaper when it leaves here Friday afternoon is anybody’s guess.<BR><BR>Have we put your newspaper on a Postal Watch yet? Sometimes that kick starts some action by the USPS.

Mon
16
Jan

In the front row

Every once in awhile, you’ll hear broadcasters talking about athletes being “in a zone.”<BR><BR>The phrase is usually described to talk about top-flight performances when the athlete has a near-perfect performance.<BR><BR>The most recent such outing that comes to mind was Texas quarterback Vince Young’s unreal effort against USC in college football’s national title game.<BR><BR>That was on Jan.

Sun
08
Jan

Snow Ball back for second year

After some questions about where it would take place, plans for the annual winter community dance event are taking place and it will remain at its original site.<BR><BR>Organizers of the Snow Ball - formerly known as the Mukluk Ball - say the dance is now set for Saturday, Feb. 5, from 7 p.m.

Sat
31
Dec

Little bit of local Finn history is on the road

The Ely area has a number of people and businesses that sell items on eBay. Most transactions are successful, a rare few leave a bad taste and then there are the unusual encounters...<BR><BR>When I offered some wooden fishing gear on eBay this fall, I received a request to withdraw one item and donate it to a soon-to-be museum.<BR><BR>The item was a homemade wood fishing reel. It was found in the Winton house which my family owned in the 1970s. The house had earlier been owned by Nick Kuitunen who had worked in the grocery department of the St. Croix (lumber company) Store in Winton earlier that century. <BR><BR>His family had used the home as a boarding house, complete with a sauna over the Shagawa River, a building which is still there. Near the back alley was a tiny garage with a small loft. It was there that the homemade reel and other fish-related items were found.

Sat
31
Dec

Little bit of local Finn history is on the road

The Ely area has a number of people and businesses that sell items on eBay. Most transactions are successful, a rare few leave a bad taste and then there are the unusual encounters...<BR><BR>When I offered some wooden fishing gear on eBay this fall, I received a request to withdraw one item and donate it to a soon-to-be museum.<BR><BR>The item was a homemade wood fishing reel. It was found in the Winton house which my family owned in the 1970s. The house had earlier been owned by Nick Kuitunen who had worked in the grocery department of the St. Croix (lumber company) Store in Winton earlier that century. <BR><BR>His family had used the home as a boarding house, complete with a sauna over the Shagawa River, a building which is still there. Near the back alley was a tiny garage with a small loft. It was there that the homemade reel and other fish-related items were found.

Sun
25
Dec

In the front row

Ely area resident Ben Mauser watched Tuesday’s high school boys basketball game between Ely and Tower-Soudan with plenty of interest, and a good deal of pride and satisfaction.<BR><BR>It was thanks to nearly two years of effort by the 80-year-old Mauser, a retired Ely teacher, that the Timberwolves and Golden Eagles played for more than position in the Arrowhead Conference standings.<BR><BR>Tuesday’s contest at Tower, won by the Timberwolves 64-57, was for the Gold Brick, a traveling trophy brought back to life by Mauser after a hiatus of more than 50 years.<BR><BR>Mauser pored through decades-old newpapers and yearbooks, put the call out to Iron Rangers who were part of the sports scene in the 1940s and 1950s and even had school officials digging into old trophy cases and storage areas in search for the original Gold Brick, which was traded from Ely to Gilbert to Virginia to Eveleth and many other schools that formed the old District 27 conferenc

Sat
17
Dec

Words from a burning heart

Down the street, at the corner, the slush is heavy, brown and thick from the freshly fallen snow. The ice underneath this rich brown layer that almost looks like topsoil is hard and slippery. Protected by nightly light snowfalls and plunging temperatures, the ice forms a glass-like surface that has a way of sloughing off car tires and booted feet. The simple act of getting where you want to go is not so easily accomplished. It carries with it the cool, slick touch of treachery.<BR><BR>One lapse into carelessness, one misplaced step or just too much speed can result in an accident. A collision. This is winter in the north woods, the elements doing battle and winning. The snow is light and airy and usually can be swept away each dawn. The shovels haven’t gotten too much of a workout yet. The salt is in a little higher demand.<BR><BR>Our Christmas tree is up and decorated.

Sat
10
Dec

In the front row

The Ely Timberwolves opened the 2005-2006 high school boys hockey season far away from home, spending last weekend in the Twin Cities suburbs with games against Holy Family (Waconia) and Delano.<BR><BR>Last night, the Wolves spent about six hours on a school bus, three on the way down and another three to get back home, for their matchup with Crosby-Ironton.<BR><BR>And before the year is out, the team has trips to Duluth, Moose Lake and Pequot Lakes and five - yep five - different dates on the North Shore - for games either in Two Harbors or Silver Bay.

Sun
04
Dec

At the beginning of the road

It is common knowledge that women are second-class citizens. They are not competitive enough. Women lack the ability for critical thinking. Women are not as good as men in math and science. <BR><BR>It was later discovered in many studies that females were not dumber than guys; they were just shortchanged in our educational system. It was decided that our country needed to compensate for this and give girls a boost. The results were, over the last 20 years, that many educational programs around the United States were funded to help girls catch up with the better-educated American male. <BR><BR>The results have been stellar for the young females currently in the educational system. As a father of three young ladies this has all been great for them. During their summers they all choose to attend programs that concentrated on math and science. This resulted in my daughters having a leg up on most males as far as attaining their educational goals.

Fri
25
Nov

Birdshot and backlashes

Among the ancient archives of the Pilgrim family Cary, reference is made to the observance of Thanksgiving at Plymouth Colony. Perusing these musty volumes, this writer came upon the following entry by one John Cary, a direct ancestor:<BR><BR>“Plymouth Colonie, ye 26 of November, in ye year 1621.<BR><BR>“Two days ago we hath our annual Thanksgyvyng Feast at ye order of Governor Bradford, although it very nearly did notte cometh offe. Ye tymes art tough; ye corn crop paltry & John Alden, that dolt, hath been messing arounde with ye Indian maiden Pokahontas. Her father, ye Indian Chief Massasoit, isse upset and threatening war.<BR><BR>“On top of thatte ye turkey population art at ye bottom of ye cycle. No matter where one looketh, no turkeys coulde be found. How, pray tell, wert we to hold Thanksgivyng without ye turkeys?<BR><BR>“ ‘Fear notte,” sayeth our bold leader Bradford.

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