Opinions/Editorials

Fri
18
Oct

Let’s give disabled people and all veterans a free BWCAW pass

A letter printed in this week’s Ely Echo points out the problems with the permit system for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Forest Service’s lack of helping disabled people experience the area.
There are some good points that were made and we believe the Forest Service has again ran afoul of the law and been too worried about creating an artificial wilderness than making sure people can actually go there.
We’ve said before in this space that with fewer and fewer people going to the BWCA that all options should be looked at to put more heads in tents if you will.
One way to do that would be to help our disabled people along with our veterans. The best way to help them? Give them a free pass. No permit, no lottery, no hassle. Just go.
These people have a hard enough time in the case of those with disabilities and for our veterans, we know they’ve earned the right to visit the very places they vowed and/or fought to defend.

Sat
12
Oct

Bridge a bonus for new ATV trail section

With over $3 million in construction for ATV trails in the Ely, Babbitt, Tower and Embarrass area, there will be new sights to be seen. This past weekend one of those sights was an old one.
For snowmobilers the pictures of the bridge over the Kawishiwi River in this week’s Echo are familiar, albeit without the snow and ice.
For ATVers, this was a new experience as the bridge previously wasn’t part of a summer trail system. Seven months out of the year the bridge sat unused. That has now changed.
The Prospector Loop ATV Trail system opened the section from South Farm to Spruce Road and beyond, including the Kawishiwi River bridge.
Days after it opened, the bridge was the scene for a photo of the 100+ people who were part of a benefit ride for Special Olympics Minnesota.

Fri
04
Oct

Preserving Ely’s past is important

The stories of Ely’s past came alive Monday afternoon.
It’s been over 50 years since the Pioneer Mine closed, but one could almost hear the echoes of days gone by as Serafine Rolando, John Seliga and Bill Erzar told stories, showed off exhibits and shared their passion for our community’s rich history.
Their audience was elected officials and political aides, and their appeal was genuine and matter-of-fact.
Money, a lot of it, is needed to preserve the historic mine site.
Much has already been done over the last two decades, with the preservation of the Miner’s Dry building providing a venue for public and cultural events, and a window to Ely’s mining past.
The headframe and shaft house rehabilitation were also welcomed and visitors, from around the region and far beyond, stop each year for tours, to look at the exhibits and hear some of the tales of Ely’s last operating mine.

Fri
27
Sep

...researching the BWCA and why this pretend wilderness is flat-lining, even shrinking with permitted visits

Editor:
Is what’s happening in Europe a harbinger for the US? I’m talking about demographics. EU statistics that could soon become relevant to the US would indicate the answer is yes.
If you’re in your 70’s like I am why should we even care? Of course the answer should be simple since we’ll be leaving our country to our progeny.
The death of old Europe is no longer a laughable euphemism. When I overlay all the scientific data from both sides of the Atlantic, the similarities in demographic changes were pretty obvious, even if we took a different path to get there.
I’ve been researching the BWCA and why this pretend wilderness is flat-lining, even shrinking with permitted visits. More on that in minute, but here’s where Europe becomes our eye to the future.

Fri
20
Sep

Dear Ely community members,

Dear Ely community members,

Great changes are in the future of ISD 696!

Red surveys emblazoned with the Ely name and logo may have arrived in your mailboxes or post office boxes this week. When you hold this survey, you hold the future of our historic district in your hands. What will this future look like? That is for all of us, the taxpayers and community members of our district, to decide.

We at Ely Education Association (EEA) hope that each and every recipient of this survey complete it. It will take just a few minutes of time to help shape the 2020 referendum.

Fri
13
Sep

Can’t tell you how much I enjoy the Echo

Dear Anne,
Can’t tell you how much I enjoy the Echo. Read it from cover to cover every week.
Glad to hear you are doing well. Growing old has its hazards - I am a walking example.
Carlo and Marian Colombo were good friends of mine and I’ve read Bob’s letters to the editor. Carol reached him through the internet and to respond with him, I have to mail her a letter and she sends it to him via computer. I don’t have one nor plan to get one. He told her mail is slow - he gets Christmas cards in March. She sent my first letter with a lot of questions and ’m waiting to hear from him.
Winnie Thaisen
Duluth, MN

Thu
05
Sep

...allow the environmental process to go forward for Twin Metals

Editor’s note: This counterpoint originally published in the Star Tribune on Aug. 30. It is being republished with permission.
Editor:
On the Iron Range, we’ve been mining for more than 130 years. Our former mine pits supply our drinking water. We believe Gov. Tim Walz and our state agencies should allow the environmental process to go forward for Twin Metals’ proposed copper nickel mine in northern Minnesota. We have rules under the laws and should respect them.
Mining opponents had sought — and initially earned — a generic, two-year environmental impact study designed to support a proposed 20-year ban on all mining in 235,000 acres of Superior National Forest. The study area is fully outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and its buffer zone, and covers land long designated for multiple uses, including mining.

Fri
30
Aug

Way to go Washington Elementary PTO

Summer is over when school starts and for parents of elementary students it’s a time to load up on supplies from notebooks to Kleenex.
Not so this year in our community. The Washington Elementary PTO has given parents a gift that should go down in the history books. Every child from grades kindergarten to fifth grade will have the bulk of their school supplies waiting from them in a red bag in their locker.
What a great project and an example of seeing a problem, finding a solution and getting the job done. That’s not to say it was easy. Fundraising for a $6,000 project and coming up with $4,300 from sponsors alone is impressive.
But it’s the volunteer hours it took to pull it off that really deserve recognition. Like most organizations, the Washington Elementary PTO could use some more people to help out. There are three board members (the secretary position is unfilled) and they’ve been working hard on this project.

Fri
30
Aug

Way to go Washington Elementary PTO

Summer is over when school starts and for parents of elementary students it’s a time to load up on supplies from notebooks to Kleenex.
Not so this year in our community. The Washington Elementary PTO has given parents a gift that should go down in the history books. Every child from grades kindergarten to fifth grade will have the bulk of their school supplies waiting from them in a red bag in their locker.
What a great project and an example of seeing a problem, finding a solution and getting the job done. That’s not to say it was easy. Fundraising for a $6,000 project and coming up with $4,300 from sponsors alone is impressive.
But it’s the volunteer hours it took to pull it off that really deserve recognition. Like most organizations, the Washington Elementary PTO could use some more people to help out. There are three board members (the secretary position is unfilled) and they’ve been working hard on this project.

Fri
23
Aug

Board will use the results to construct questions for a bond referendum

To the taxpayers and patrons of ISD #696:
In September, a community-wide survey will go out by email and US Post to give all taxpayers/voters and other constituents of Independent School District #696 the opportunity to weigh in on potential school facility improvements. You are likely aware that many separate options are on the table. We invite you to complete the survey and indicate which improvements, and how much of a tax increase, you would support.
The information you provide will be analyzed by School Perceptions, a company that specializes in constructing surveys of this kind and compiling the data into a statistically accurate recommendation. The School Board will use the results to construct questions for a bond referendum that could be held in February or April of 2020.
The board will hold public information sessions prior to a vote.

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