Opinions/Editorials

Thu
16
Sep

EDITORAL: District doesn’t live in a bubble

School districts have a habit of living in a bubble and that just doesn’t work once decisions are questioned and the public starts looking for answers.
The Ely school district has discovered this by getting a failing grade in public relations in multiple areas.
The first problem was a communications disaster when the district dropped a bombshell decision on the Friday before the new school year began. With an open house the night before and people seemingly happy with wearing masks if they so chose to, suddenly that was no longer acceptable. A must wear a mask policy was instituted without discussion, debate or school board participation.
The reaction was swift and severe. A petition was started to protest the required mask decision and quickly grew to over 300 names. This was PR SNAFU number one.

Thu
09
Sep

LETTER:…what happened that was so drastic it had to be changed so quickly?

Dear Ely Public School Superintendent, Administration and Board members:
I am writing to express my thoughts and concerns regarding your recent decision to mandate masks in our schools. I’ve also attached a letter from the Ely Community Voice, requesting that our petition be placed on the September 13, 2021 school board meeting agenda. (See below)

Fri
03
Sep

Letter: …These foundations should start funding where they could benefit humanity

Editor:
Will they finally make a difference?
Scientists have found that although forest fires do not release a significant amount of Acid Rain, they do create a significant amount of mercury into the environment. California, Oregon, and Washington wildfires contribute greater amounts due to the trade winds and climate.
These non-profit anti-mining so-called environmentalists from Northern Minnesota should invest time and funds to the National Science Foundation, to help educate and to come up with solid solutions instead of playing politics for only upholding an agenda for selfishness of their own private needs. Along with one-sided big box newspapers who will not inform its readers about these non-profits who are in violation of their non-profit status.
It would be for the greater collaboration of these anti-mining non-profits to promote education and work with the great mining industry of Northern Minnesota.

Fri
20
Aug

LETTER: …the woods are the home of Bigfoot

Editor,
Now that we have the insane wolf hunting stopped, what about adopting a sane policy regarding the unnecessary bear hunting season?
And while we’re at it we might take notice of the beauty of our woods and lakes and rivers while they’re still here, because don’t look now, but Mr. Peabody’s big trucks are hauling it away, every day. Logging should be limited at the very least. It is not right for some to become rich by destroying a natural resource that rightly belongs to all of us.
Speaking of the woods ... the woods are the home of Bigfoot, Sasquatch, all around us. I know it’s true and so do many of our friends and neighbors. They are not apes, animals. They are some sort of human, and their home is the woods, the woods we are destroying every day.

Fri
13
Aug

EDITORIAL: Facts over fear: Amid new hysteria, Covid data offers reassurance

With the rise of the Delta variant and news that cases of Covid-19 are climbing back up after an early-summer swoon, it’s easy to feel a bit unsettled or even be thinking “here we go again.”
That’s especially true for those glued to TV news or their social media feeds.
For the better part of three weeks, news of Delta has dominated and one doesn’t need to look far to find reports of new or reinstated recommendations, restrictions and mandates.
Yet despite the doom-and-gloom in some circles and panic in others, the sky clearly isn’t falling, particularly in Minnesota and in our neck of the woods.
We’d all be best served by taking a deep breath, stepping back and taking a look not only at the data, but what’s changed in the last year, or even the last few months.
First and foremost the latest “surge” in cases of Covid-19 needs more context.

Fri
13
Aug

Letter: Congratulations Ely Rotary Club

Editor:
Congratulations Ely Rotary Club for 100 years of outstanding service to the community.
I was fortunate to join the club in 1986 during a brief stint as editor of the Ely Miner. For the next fourteen years I enjoyed many friendships and interesting community and international projects. A major highlight was working on the first Ely Radio Auction (plus many more). Our first female Rotarian was Jeane Larson, Executive Director of the Ely Chamber of Commerce and owner of WELY. The club was in need of a major fund raiser and thanks to Jeane, the Rotary Radio Auction was born. Many wonderful years were spent with fellow Rotarian’s; Woods Davis, Bill and John Mills (good luck in your retirement, John), Jack Garske and many more Rotarian’s working on the auction.
It is so good to know the auction continues to thrive.
I am happy to report I’m still active in Rotary and wish the Ely Rotary many more years of fun, fellowship and community service.

Fri
30
Jul

EDITORIAL: Vendors persevered on their own

Vendors had buttoned up for the night in Whiteside Park before a fast moving wind storm wreaked havoc Friday night.
They would return to find tents smashed or relocated by the wind across the park or by the Little League field. Some tents were under fallen trees. Miraculously no injuries were reported.
Faced with a mess and the need for a significant clean up operation, the Ely Chamber of Commerce made the decision to cancel the remaining two days of the 2021 Blueberry/Art Festival.
The decision was the Chamber’s to make and there were numerous reasons to do so. Some would argue the event could have resumed later on Saturday. And that there should have been a contingency plan in place.
We agree on the need for a contingency plan that could have been implemented to relocate vendors who wanted to stay. That could’ve been part of the event’s insurance coverage as well.

Fri
23
Jul

Letter: …we need to seek answers

To the Editor
Great River Energy’s plan to sell its Coal Creek Power Plant to Rainbow Energy Center, LLC, and then buy power from Rainbow raises serious questions. A year ago, in the Spring of 2020, Great River Energy (GRE), the power supplier for twenty-eight electric coops in Minnesota, Including Lake Country Power, announced plans to shut down its Coal Creek power plant, fueled by coal. A reason given by GRE for the sale is cost to run the plant.

Fri
16
Jul

LETTER : …the ER personnel were exceptional

Editor:
Having had the occasion to use the local ER and hospital recently, I feel obligated to report that my experience was very positive. Beginning with the EMTs, personnel were competent, caring, and quick to respond.
The ER personnel were exceptional, starting with the ER physician, Dr. Olsen. He made calls to my specialists and ordered important tests. Later when I was in the hospital, the nursing staff showed itself to be equally impressive.
I believe Ely has an impressive response team of whom we should be proud. This is a relatively small remote community with services here one might only expect in larger facilities. We have been a community that has long insisted on quality care despite many challenges. Area residents should feel confident their health care is in good hands despite our size. It is the people here who make the difference.
David Kess
Ely, MN

Fri
09
Jul

Ely’s 4th of July celebration 2nd to none

With the world finally returning to normal it was good to see the town fill up for the annual July 4 celebration. Kudos to all who stepped up to make it happen, it was a great success.
The day started off early with a new event, the raising of the flag at the Veterans Memorial. For a 7 a.m. start there was a decent turnout with a short program on what Independence Day is all about. We hope this new tradition continues.
The Janet Gensler Memorial Four on the Fourth race filled the Trezona Trail with runners and walkers. This year the entire route was on blacktop, a first on the Fourth. Plenty of Ely and former Ely residents participated along with a large group of visitors. The event is a fundraiser for the Ely high school track teams.
Whiteside Park started hopping soon after that as YoungLife again put together games, food and fun for all everyone.

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