Opinions/Editorials

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.

Fri
02
Jul

EDITORIAL: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, even for a new logo on Ely’s water tower

Workers have been busy painting a new logo on the city water tower. On the ground, some keyboard warriors have skewered the move while others have left it as much ado about nothing.
A logo is much like a piece of art hanging in a gallery where two people can have opposite reactions after viewing. Is one wrong? Are they both right?
We’ll point out that there have been numerous logos on Ely’s water towers in the past 133 years. Some were just the three letters but they all conveyed the same message: if you’re looking at this tower, you’re in the right place.
Let’s also acknowledge that this current logo went through a review process and was approved by the Ely city council as well as the Ely Tourism Board and the Chamber of Commerce board. All three of these groups resolved to work together and present a unified look going forward. That in and of itself is a step in the right direction.

Fri
25
Jun

Editorial: Supporting local businesses means supporting local newspapers

by Dean Ridings, CEO, America’s Newspapers
As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, there’s a sense of relief and optimism that things will return to normal. Long-awaited family gatherings, birthday parties and graduation ceremonies are finally happening in person. Sporting events have fans in the stands, airports are busy, and we all are in the process of reclaiming those elements of life we’ve missed the past year.
However, with that optimism is the reality of the impact the pandemic had on local communities. Local businesses that struggled through the past year, if they were able to stay in business at all, are still trying to recover and regain lost revenues. These locally owned restaurants, shops and services are vital to our economy and provide valuable jobs and important resources. Whenever you can, please Shop Local and Eat Local.

Thu
17
Jun

EDITORIAL: Having public access on Burntside open to July 8 is welcome news

We love our lakes in the North Country and Burntside is right at the top of the list. The lake features beautiful sights, several public beaches and enough bays, arms and islands to spread out the boat traffic.
The one thing Burntside has suffered from is a better public access. There are actually five landings but only one that serves the public efficiently.
Located next to Sandemar off the Van Vac Road, the public access is about to get a much needed facelift with additional parking space, a wider access road and a separate canoe launching area.
But those benefits come at a cost and this year the cost is the Van Vac landing will be closed while the construction work is going on. Originally this was supposed to start by mid-June and run into September.
This past week the DNR office in Tower announced the Van Vac landing will remain open until July 8. There may be some dancing on the beaches to that bit of good news.

Fri
11
Jun

EDITORIAL : No help, no housing: Ely faces some monster challenges during busy summer

Right now it’s hard to determine what’s harder to find in Ely: an available, affordable place to live, or a table at a local restaurant at 6 p.m. just about any night of the week.
Both are in scarce, scarce supply, as anyone looking to eat out or for a place to live can attest.
Both are also interrelated, and an obvious hindrance to Ely’s efforts to get back on its feet, return to normal and get economic development moving again in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pademic.
Let’s start with the positives. It’s great to see Ely bustling with activity again.
Last summer was busy even in spite of the pandemic and our town welcomed summer residents and thousands of visitors, some who found Ely for the first time as they opted for shorter trips or were looking for a new spot once Canada closed its borders.
Yet even before a crazy busy Memorial Day weekend in the Ely area, it was obvious that 2021 would be even more hectic on Sheridan Street.

Fri
04
Jun

To those that say that we are in a time when there are no heroes – they just don’t know where to look

by David Merhar, Colonel (Ret) U.S. Army
If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, and prospered as no other people on Earth, it was because here in the USA we unleashed the energy and genius of our men and women to a greater extent than any other time in our history. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than on any other place on earth.
The price of this freedom at times has been high, but we have NEVER been unwilling to pay that price. To those that say that we are in a time when there are no heroes – they just don’t know where to look. Just visit any military cemetery with the rows upon rows of simple white markers bearing crosses of Stars of David, to see first hand the fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.

Fri
28
May

… thousands of trucks and rail cars – both which put off far greater carbon emissions than a pipeline

Editor:
A few months ago, I wrote a letter clarifying the planned pause on the Line 3 pipeline project and how it was important to protect our roads and environment as we transition from spring to summer. Now, as construction is about to start back up, I wanted to clear up another misconception being spread by pipeline opponents.
These protesters, many who are from out of state, continue to spout off about how the Line 3 pipeline is bad for our environment and that the new pipeline will be responsible for a massive amount of carbon emissions.
Both of these lines are flat out false.
First, under the Obama and Biden Administration, replacing the pipeline that was built more than 60 years ago was deemed necessary because of the risks it poses to our environment if not addressed. The replacement is actually to increase environmental protections across Northern Minnesota.

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