EDITORIAL: Bakk continues to blast Walz

Minnesota state Senator Tom Bakk has made one thing clear, he’s not too happy with Governor Tim Walz.
That unhappiness may or may not have contributed to Bakk leaving the DFL but it does reflect outstate Minnesota’s disdain for how the governor has handled the pandemic.
Speaking to the Star-Tribune, Bakk said, “It was a colossal mistake to shut the entire state down” last spring, when the virus was not yet much in evidence in greater Minnesota, Bakk said. “Leaving the big-box stores open while Main Street was closed? It was like he panicked.”
We agree with Bakk on this and would like Rep. Rob Ecklund to pay attention as well. Walz has alienated small business owners and caused economic damage that may lead some to close their doors forever. All the while leaving Walmart, Target and Menard’s to continue serving customers.


LETTER: … with some of the greatest achievements man has accomplished

Dear Editor,
This undoubtedly will go down in history to be one of the most unusual years in history.
We have experienced hero’s play their parts with selflessness and kindness for their fellow man.
We have joined in unity and prevailed to feed our hungry.
We have rallied with full and open hearts for our beloved workers who take care of our human needs and who keep this great country running smooth.
We have experienced all the emotions that have been all so defined and yet stand steadfast and share relief with our family and friends.
Like sports, tests and jobs there will always be an end goal to achieve, with the great feeling that we’ve done our best and those accomplishments will take us forward to a New Year with some of the greatest achievements man has accomplished.
These people of the United States will always be the front runners for caring, kindness and giving to our small little world - earth that we live on.


EDITORIAL City took good steps with short-term rental ordinance

Good things come to those who wait.
Well that might be a bit dramatic given the topic, but city officials in Ely can rightly be proud of the work that led to approval Tuesday of a short-term rental ordinance.
The vote this week was the culmination of roughly two years of research, investigation and discussion of the issue.
One local official often jokes about things progressing “at the speed of government,” and that was clearly the case here as the city moved tediously to come up with a plan that best serves Ely.
But there was no pressing need to jump the gun and rush to come up with a half-baked solution or plan. At first glance, it looks like the city got this one right.
There’s no doubt that market demands have changed the landscape of lodging across the country.
Websites such as airbnb.com and vrbo.com have taken off, giving visitors to urban areas and rural communities the option to rent private homes or apartments.


Editorial: Survey says: Parents want their kids learning in a classroom

The results of the survey were staggering. Make no doubt about it, parents want to see their kids in school learning, even during a global pandemic.
We believe the Ely school district needs to make every effort to get kids back in class as soon as possible. Seems simple doesn’t it? But it’s not as easy as it seems.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on it’s that we have a lot to learn about COVID-19. The impact and spread of the disease is something that seems to be changing on a regular basis.
What that leaves us with is numbers, hard data being made available to the public. Those numbers tell us that children from zero to 18 are the least impacted by the virus.
Some states, including Minnesota, believe lockdowns are the solution instead of targeting those most vulnerable. This virus is a menace for those 65 and older, especially those living in long term care facilities where two-thirds of the deaths in Minnesota have occurred.


LETTER: …thank the Timberwolves football team

Dear Editor,
We would like to publicly thank the Ely Timberwolves football team for helping the Ely Community Resource, Ely Community Health Center and Range Mental Health Center move all the equipment and furniture into the new offices in the American Fraternal Union building on Fourth Avenue East.
It is heartwarming to see these young men involved in a service project that benefits this community. Thank you team and coach for donating two hours of your busy weekend to this project. We really appreciate you.
Thank you from all of us,
Board of Directors of Ely Community Resource
The staff of Ely Range Mental Health
The staff of Ely Community Health Center


Echo Editorial: For school learning models, one sizes does not, should not fit all

Students and parents could breathe a sigh of relief Monday as word came out that the Ely School District would stay the course with its present learning models, upon the advice of county and state public health officials, for the time being.
That news came in the wake of rising COVID-19 numbers in St. Louis County and across Minnesota, and a jump in biweekly case counts in Greater St. Louis County that would otherwise have prompted the district to make further shifts away from in-person learning.
But school board members this week revised the district’s restart blueprint, and wisely so, to incorporate more data into the district’s decision making process.
When it comes to deciding learning models for public schools, the last few months have shown that it’s not a simple, black-or-white decision.
Instead, there are more than a few shades of grey.


LETTER:…for bringing the issue to our attention

I read your recent editorial on BW rescues. As a Chicagoan who looks forward to our BW trip every summer, and who loves the town of Ely, we were surprised to read that this is a group of volunteers who are often called on to put their lives on the line to rescue victims of life-threatening accidents as well as naive fools.
Is there a source of additional information on the volunteer rescue group(s)? Do they accept donations for their organization? And is there an entity we can write to, or a petition to sign in support of adding a fee onto every permit issued? Our family pulls one or two permits every year, and we would fully support such an initiative and would love to back the idea in any way we can.
Thank you for the editorial, and for bringing the issue to our attention.
Pamela Berger
Chicago, IL


LETTER: …the cult-like following of the President by ordinarily sensible people

Dear Editor:
As it nears the election we the People find ourselves, most of us, wondering how things will go on Election Day. Considering the division we face between the left and right, this is a serious time for all of the country.
As the virus looms, the economy plummets, the climate produces destruction, politicians create their own divisionism, loss of the world’s respect - we the People are faced with madness at the top. The lies, lack of concern for the dying, misuse of power and pubic resources, voter suppression, manipulation of the courts, and threat to Social Security, all disturbing to say the least, and downright frightening.


EDITORIAL: Personal responsibility needs to be part of the BWCA experience

Last week we reported on three rescues, two in the BWCA, where people apparently didn’t realize winter can arrive in October.
First and foremost let’s thank the St. Louis County Rescue Squad for assisting in getting these people out of the woods. The Rescue Squad is an all-volunteer group that is trained for these situations.
With that in mind, those rescuers should have never had to be put in a situation where their lives were also endangered.
Speaking with our area first responders we heard one thing loud and clear. A lack of planning and a refusal to change those plans based on the weather is no excuse. These rescues were unnecessary and could’ve had much more dire results.


EDITORIAL: A vote for newspapers is a vote for democracy

by Tom Silvestri
The Relevance Project
Newspapers face another big election.
It’s about them.
While the United States is riveted by a most unusual presidential election, the newspaper industry is running to win the hearts, minds and souls of “voters.”
These voters are readers, residents, subscribers, students, advertisers, marketers, sponsors and newspaper employees.
Vote by subscribing to support your local newspaper. (If you already do, a big thanks.)
Vote by advertising -- cheers to current ad buyers. Patronize those who do.
Vote by engaging your newspaper. Write a letter to the editor, tweet appreciation to an enterprising reporter, send a suggestion to the publisher with a request to speak to him or her for a personal exchange.
Vote by learning more about your newspaper, its history, its mission, its staff and its ownership.
Vote by frequently checking the newspaper’s web site or news alerts.


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