EDITORIAL Cooperation is key in emergency response

We’ve had two house fires in the past couple of weeks where fire departments from Ely, Morse-Fall Lake and Babbitt have worked together seemingly seamlessly. That doesn’t always happen when their governing bodies get together.
The two fires were similar in they happened during the day and grew into massive blazes with flames shooting high in the air. While firefighters donned air tanks and sprayed thousands of gallons of water, anyone who could pitched in to help.
At the June 4 fire there were people walking down Chapman Street with cases of water for the firefighters.
On June 23 when massive lengths of hose had to be hauled several blocks to a different water main, people who weren’t even on the department jumped in to help.
A community was bound together by pitching in wherever they could. That’s a far cry from what we’ve had to endure in watching riots across the country.


GUEST EDITORIAL Investing in internet access for all Minnesotans

by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar
As people across the country stay at home to keep themselves and their families safe in the midst of this pandemic, being connected to the outside world is especially important. With schools and businesses closed, kids are learning from home, parents are working and searching for jobs from home, and families are accessing telehealth services from home. But those things aren’t possible without access to high speed internet.
In rural communities throughout Minnesota, roughly 16 percent of households lack access to high speed internet. That means 144,000 households are missing out on the benefits that come with broadband. And that’s simply unacceptable. I’ve heard from school superintendents across our state who are partnering with small broadband providers directly in order to help their students without internet access. These are innovative partnerships that will help our kids during this difficult time.


LETTER... the dedication to duty and professionalism exhibited by the local rescue units

I was with Pete Serson and his friends last week when he collapsed and died on the Fall Lake – Newton portage. Our efforts to revive him were daunting. With 2 college students alternating CPR and his grandson courageously holding his hand, it was readily apparent we needed help and we needed it fast.
My cell phone luckily had enough juice to reach 911. Within minutes we could hear the helicopter approaching. Simultaneously, we could hear the rescue units coming from the Fall Lake landing. When they reached us, it was immediately apparent they knew exactly what to do as they took charge of the situation, relieving the 2 college students and aggressively working on Pete.
When he could not be revived, they carefully protected Pete and prepared him to be moved back to the landing, while at the same time shielding his grandson from unnecessary stress.


Echo Editorial: Standing up for what is right

Our form of government allows for and encourages people to question decisions made. This includes elected officials such as the Ely city council.
We were disappointed in the reasons given for not supporting a resolution questioning Gov. Walz’s executive orders regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Walz had originally told Minnesotans there was a need to “flatten the curve” in order to build up a possible response. That was three months ago. Walz has shifted tactics and been slow to return life to normal even when the current numbers are nowhere near his predictions.
Rightfully, the Ely city council had an opportunity to pass a resolution questioning the governors as well as telling local business owners they can open without fear of reprisal.
But instead of standing up for those business owners, five of the seven council members cited a vindictive governor who would slash Ely’s local government aid. This is pure hogwash.


LETTER… results were immaterial and are irrelevant to the federal permitting process.

Open Letter to Star Tribune Editorial Board:
We write in response to the editorial that appeared in the Star Tribune’s May 3, 2020 Sunday edition – “Federal secrecy is a red flag on mining”. The editorial writer calls on Minnesota Governor Walz to halt all state-level work on Twin Metals Minnesota’s proposed copper-nickel mining project near Ely and Babbitt because, the writer claims, the U.S. Forest Service denied a request by the Minnesota DNR to be provided information the Forest Service collected during a federal study begun under the Obama Administration that would have disclosed copper mining’s potential harm to the BWCA’s watershed.


LET: …thank you, thank you, every one of you

Dear Editor,
Coming home Sunday from a windy paddle on Ojibway Lake with friends, we found a fire truck on So. Luc Road and another at our cabin on Garden Lake.
Brian Tome (Boathouse BrewPub) going by in a fishing boat, spotted smoke, called in the fire, came up to the cabin and used our garden hose to keep it off the back wall. Thank you Brian!
By the time we reached home several fire fighters were there dousing flames that had sprung up all over behind the cabin.
Some firefighters were from Morse and Fall Lake Township and several from the U.S. Forest Service, and there may have been others. Thank you fire fighters!
Sheriffs’ officers (Lake or St Louis County?) and Forest Service law enforcement and fire superintendents were all here at one point or another and were all kind and careful trying to diagnose the cause. Thank you Sheriffs and U.S. Forest Service!


Burnout competition leads to $12,000 in scholarships for Ely H.S. graduates

Ely high school graduates are blessed with some very generous donors who give out tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships every year.
There were $83,000 from local scholarship providers and $44,000 from regional scholarship providers given out on Wednesday night. Ely’s 45 graduates were able to apply for more than one scholarship to help them once they move on to a university or trade school.
For six fortunate students, there was a very significant scholarship that rewards those who will more than likely be mechanics or work in one of the many other trade professions.
Last fall another Jake Forsman Memorial Burnout Competition and Car Show was held in front of the Ely city hall. The event was again a success and through the hard work of a large group of volunteers, monies were raised for scholarships.


Editorial: Business owners will need leeway, unique ideas to survive coronasummer

It’s far too early to determine the impact the coronavirus will have on Ely’s economy - except to say it is widespread and severe.
Some businesses have been shuttered for weeks while others have had to adjust on the fly to a new and hopefully very temporary reality.
One would be hard-pressed to find any business in the Ely area that hasn’t been hurt in one way or another by several weeks of stay-at-home shutdown.
We fear the worst may be yet to come, with the coronavirus continuing to hover like an ominous storm cloud over Ely, which relies so heavily on visitor traffic from May through September in order to survive.
Cash registers don’t ring when the sidewalks are empty, events are called off and travel is restricted or merely discouraged. The ripple effects are disastrous: fewer jobs and business owners struggling to keep their doors open.


EDITORIAL: Pandemic even complicates the BWCA motor permit system

The coronavirus pandemic has yet another victim, people who have motor permits for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
Info from the Forest Service on this issue shows it’s going to be tricky for permit holders this year. The main problem will be what day you can go.
Motor permits are for a seven day period with the user picking what day they want to enter the BWCA. This year, however, the USFS is encouraging users to pick what day to go a week ahead of time.
We all know the ability of weather forecasters when it comes to telling us if it’s going to rain tomorrow but a week from tomorrow? Your odds may be better with lottery tickets.
Here’s what we know:
“Ideally, day use motor permit holders can select their desired entry day to enter the Wilderness prior to this seven day timeframe, receive and print the automatically generated confirmation email seven days out from the permit week and be set to enter the Wilderness.”


Why Americans should support newspapers during COVID-19

Newspapers in the United States have traveled rough seas to the First Amendment freedoms we enjoy today. From the colonial Stamp Act through wartime censorship to today, when thousands of newspapers were slammed with the public health emergency known as COVID-19, people who work for newspapers have never had completely smooth sailing.
Now most of the businesses that advertise with us are shut down. The pipeline to make our payroll shut down with them. People are restlessly waiting in their locked-down homes for us to bring the news nonetheless.
Across the country, journalists and the thousands of people it takes to let them do their work — from publishers to ad sales people to printers — are figuring out ways to keep the news coming.
A disheartening chord is sounding here and there across America’s mournful song about this tragic era: why should Americans still support newspapers?


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