Opinions/Editorials

Fri
15
Jul

How many Minnesotans read newspapers?

Minnesota is home to 14,000 lakes, 12,000 loons, 135,000 seasonal lake cabins and 3.9 million newspaper readers. Really?
Really. Every month, 86% of Minnesota adults read newspapers’ print and online issues, according to a new Minnesota Market Study conducted by Coda Ventures. The study measures media usage and purchase behavior of Minnesota adults across urban and rural zip codes (see full-page ad in this issue).
The 3.9 million Minnesota newspaper readers number might not come as a surprise to you. After all, you are reading a newspaper right now. You are in the majority of Minnesotans who value your newspaper’s local news and ads.
Who are these 3.9 million Minnesota newspaper readers? Coda reports:
• 78% are under age 65,
• 68% are homeowners,
• 77% believe they have a responsibility to shape the future of their communities,
• 77% vote in local elections, 84% vote in state and national elections,

Fri
08
Jul

Kudos to everyone for a great 4th

The trifecta of a great holiday weekend was achieved in Ely. Great weather, fun events and lots of people having fun were all present during the July 4 weekend.
There was a new event, Rock the Park, held in Whiteside Park on Saturday night. This was a gamble taken by the Ely Events Committee and by all accounts it was a home run.
Two musical acts delighted hundreds who showed up on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. There were food trucks parked along the edges of the event area, several of which ran out of food by 8 p.m.
The Events Committee also sold out of the 1,000 buttons they had available to support the event and the Ely Fireman’s Relief Association was busy pulling cans from coolers throughout the evening for parched concert goers.
Congratulations to those who made this event a success and our hope is this will continue and hopefully expand to additional weekends of good times and live music in Whiteside Park.

Fri
01
Jul

Editorial: Be happy, it’s the 4th of July in Ely

The 4th of July is finally here! It’s time to set aside being upset about Roe vs. Wade being overturned or gas prices skyrocketing and just be proud to be an American. As the song went, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!”
And if you’re in Ely this holiday weekend, you are in the perfect place to enjoy yourself.
Starting tonight with a live concert at Whiteside Park by the rock and roll group The Northwood’s Band. Throw in five bucks to get a “Rock the Park” button and stop by the Ely Fireman’s booth for a cold beverage. Then sit back and enjoy the music.
On Monday there’s a full slate of events, starting with our local veteran leaders speaking at the raising of the flag at the Veterans Memorial, a free concert at the State Theater and all kinds of fun stuff at Whiteside Park both before and after the parade, courtesy of YoungLife.

Fri
24
Jun

LETTER: …additionally, the theater’s policy is to not discriminate against any individuals, groups or organizations that wish to rent the space

To the Editor:
I write as the chair of the board of directors of Ely’s Historic State Theater. The movie “2000 Mules” is being screened this weekend at EHST by a local organization that is renting the theater for their use. Because many people within the community have expressed concern and even upset about this, I would like to clarify the theater’s rental policy, and the particulars of this event.

Sun
19
Jun

Coming together to save Ely’s ambulance service

Representatives from Ely’s four governmental bodies sat down Thursday afternoon to discuss ways to make sure when you need an ambulance one will arrive quickly and with qualified and well-trained staff.
Today that starts with finding a permanent home for the Ely Area Ambulance Service, a non-profit run entity that works to make ends meet and that the service runs smoothly.
A joint powers board made up of Ely, Winton, Morse and Fall Lake has the ability to provide tax revenues, something that has been in place for decades. But now the joint powers board is being asked to do even more, help the ambulance service find a better home.
Currently the hospital rents the ambulance service a building that is basically just that. No running water or sewer, just a place to park the ambulances along with a small office. Plans have been in the works for years to replace that building with a more fitting home.

Fri
10
Jun

Editorial: Time to reverse a troubling population trend in Ely

The once every 10-year count is complete, and once again the U.S. Census shows that Ely has fewer people living here than it did a decade prior.
How many fewer? 251, according to the 2020 Census numbers reviewed by the city council on Tuesday night.
That brings Ely’s current population down to 3,209. While a seven percent drop may not be ominous on its own, it’s part of a more disturbing long-term trend that should make anyone concerned about the health of our community.
In 1990, just over 30 years ago, population in Ely was just a shade under 4,000. It dipped to roughly 3,700 by 2000 and again to 3,460 in the 2010 census.
Take another 251 people away this time around and we’re just a shade over 3,200.
What does this portend for Ely’s future?
Will we slide under 3,000 by the time 2030 rolls around? That’s the direction we are heading.
And when, if ever, does it bottom out? At 3,000? 2,500? 2,000?

Fri
10
Jun

Congratulations to Zup’s

There were a lot of Zupancich family members gathered in Ely Thursday morning. The reason? Celebrating the official opening of the new Zup’s Food Market in Ely.
This was truly a monumental project that was two years in the making. Zup’s and Ely Northland Market would be combined into one super store where Shopko once operated.
On Thursday there were speeches, congratulations and a ribbon cutting. It was the icing on the cake. The story really began 106 years ago when Grandpa John bought the original market back in 1916 from Ely grocer Frank Jenko. It was located on the southeast corner of Third Avenue East and Sheridan Street.
Grandpa John and his sons Joseph, Eddie, Ludwig, Bill, Leonard, Albert and John Jr. would operate the business, featuring their “old world” sausage selection.
Jim Zupanich Jr. started his speech telling that story of how seven brothers and their sister Angela were looking down from heaven on what a grand store was being opened.

Fri
27
May

LETTER: …without those workers and their toil there would be no Ely

Letter to the editor:
It’s good to see the city council recognize those who have contributed to Ely through years of work.
I hope the council will consider honoring the hundreds of miners who descended into Ely’s mines over decades to build this community and provide for their families.
A fitting tribute would be the renaming of Central Avenue, a name which is neither Ely-specific nor geographically accurate, to “Miners Avenue.” This is the route most of the miners took daily to their perilous jobs.
Without those workers and their toil there would be no Ely.
Doug Luthanen
Ely, MN

Fri
20
May

Letter: …it’s often said that for those who have served “every day is Memorial Day”

Letter to the editor,
On Memorial Day, 1945, the war in Europe had ended but the fighting in the Pacific continued, Lt. Gen. Lucian Truscott voiced remarks at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery at Nettuno, Italy. Turning his back on the assembled VIP’s he faced the rows upon rows of headstones and apologized to the 20,000 fallen Americans who had been laid to rest far from home. He was quoted as saying, “All over the world our soldiers sleep beneath the crosses. It is a challenge to us – all allied nations – to ensure that they do not and have not died in vain.”

Fri
13
May

Goodbye winter! The ice is out (finally) and summer is on its way (finally)

White Iron Beach Resort

The news arrived Tuesday and it was welcome: finally, Shagawa Lake was open.
But the winner of the Ely Echo’s annual Ice Out contest wasn’t the only one happy.
Those planning to wet a line this weekend or counting on the arrival of visiting anglers were joined by others with smiles on their faces.
After a long, cold and snow-filled winter, and an April that had a never-ending combination of more cold, and more snow, the open waters were more than just a sign that spring hard arrived.
It was much more symbolic than that.
We’d like to think it was a sign of better things to come.
Winter seemed to hang on for dear life in the Ely area, and even the most optimistic among us were beaten down in April.
Even those who love winter have to admit that enough was enough.
An open Shagawa Lake, and the sunny skies and warm temperatures that have finally arrived in Ely, are the portent of things to come.

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