Opinions/Editorials

Fri
20
Sep

Dear Ely community members,

Dear Ely community members,

Great changes are in the future of ISD 696!

Red surveys emblazoned with the Ely name and logo may have arrived in your mailboxes or post office boxes this week. When you hold this survey, you hold the future of our historic district in your hands. What will this future look like? That is for all of us, the taxpayers and community members of our district, to decide.

We at Ely Education Association (EEA) hope that each and every recipient of this survey complete it. It will take just a few minutes of time to help shape the 2020 referendum.

Fri
13
Sep

Can’t tell you how much I enjoy the Echo

Dear Anne,
Can’t tell you how much I enjoy the Echo. Read it from cover to cover every week.
Glad to hear you are doing well. Growing old has its hazards - I am a walking example.
Carlo and Marian Colombo were good friends of mine and I’ve read Bob’s letters to the editor. Carol reached him through the internet and to respond with him, I have to mail her a letter and she sends it to him via computer. I don’t have one nor plan to get one. He told her mail is slow - he gets Christmas cards in March. She sent my first letter with a lot of questions and ’m waiting to hear from him.
Winnie Thaisen
Duluth, MN

Thu
05
Sep

...allow the environmental process to go forward for Twin Metals

Editor’s note: This counterpoint originally published in the Star Tribune on Aug. 30. It is being republished with permission.
Editor:
On the Iron Range, we’ve been mining for more than 130 years. Our former mine pits supply our drinking water. We believe Gov. Tim Walz and our state agencies should allow the environmental process to go forward for Twin Metals’ proposed copper nickel mine in northern Minnesota. We have rules under the laws and should respect them.
Mining opponents had sought — and initially earned — a generic, two-year environmental impact study designed to support a proposed 20-year ban on all mining in 235,000 acres of Superior National Forest. The study area is fully outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and its buffer zone, and covers land long designated for multiple uses, including mining.

Fri
30
Aug

Way to go Washington Elementary PTO

Summer is over when school starts and for parents of elementary students it’s a time to load up on supplies from notebooks to Kleenex.
Not so this year in our community. The Washington Elementary PTO has given parents a gift that should go down in the history books. Every child from grades kindergarten to fifth grade will have the bulk of their school supplies waiting from them in a red bag in their locker.
What a great project and an example of seeing a problem, finding a solution and getting the job done. That’s not to say it was easy. Fundraising for a $6,000 project and coming up with $4,300 from sponsors alone is impressive.
But it’s the volunteer hours it took to pull it off that really deserve recognition. Like most organizations, the Washington Elementary PTO could use some more people to help out. There are three board members (the secretary position is unfilled) and they’ve been working hard on this project.

Fri
30
Aug

Way to go Washington Elementary PTO

Summer is over when school starts and for parents of elementary students it’s a time to load up on supplies from notebooks to Kleenex.
Not so this year in our community. The Washington Elementary PTO has given parents a gift that should go down in the history books. Every child from grades kindergarten to fifth grade will have the bulk of their school supplies waiting from them in a red bag in their locker.
What a great project and an example of seeing a problem, finding a solution and getting the job done. That’s not to say it was easy. Fundraising for a $6,000 project and coming up with $4,300 from sponsors alone is impressive.
But it’s the volunteer hours it took to pull it off that really deserve recognition. Like most organizations, the Washington Elementary PTO could use some more people to help out. There are three board members (the secretary position is unfilled) and they’ve been working hard on this project.

Fri
23
Aug

Board will use the results to construct questions for a bond referendum

To the taxpayers and patrons of ISD #696:
In September, a community-wide survey will go out by email and US Post to give all taxpayers/voters and other constituents of Independent School District #696 the opportunity to weigh in on potential school facility improvements. You are likely aware that many separate options are on the table. We invite you to complete the survey and indicate which improvements, and how much of a tax increase, you would support.
The information you provide will be analyzed by School Perceptions, a company that specializes in constructing surveys of this kind and compiling the data into a statistically accurate recommendation. The School Board will use the results to construct questions for a bond referendum that could be held in February or April of 2020.
The board will hold public information sessions prior to a vote.

Fri
09
Aug

...the new law changes the American Legion’s eligibility dates

Editor:
Attention: All veterans
Great news:
President Trump signed into law the LEGION Act (Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service). The new Law changes The American Legion’s eligibility dates to now be open to all those who served during WWI and all veterans since Dec 7th 1941 with at least one day of honorable federal service.
Minnesota’s own Past National Commander Dan Ludwig, from Red Wing Post 54, was witness to and was a leading influence in getting this historic piece of bipartisan legislation passed. We welcome with open arms ALL of our fellow Veterans along with their families to be a part of The American Legion family!

Fri
02
Aug

Should have been in held in the “sunset” room

Editor:
The class of 1949 held their 70 year reunion on July 27th at the Grand Ely Lodge. A classmate wryly observed that is should have been in held in the “sunset” room not the “sunrise” room.
This landmark event was the 20th consecutive annual class reunion with our close knit group starting with the 50th in 1999. In addition, there were several other reunions starting with the 10th in 1959.
The 15 classmates in attendance were Doris (Lammi) Eisenhart, Dom Elioff, Josie (Lunka) Elioff, Lorry (Banovetz) Glum, Maxine (Kovach) Jacks, Sheldon Klobuchar, Mary Ellen (Kleemola) Levander, Laverne (Anderson) Lindholm, Joan (Nelson) Lunth, Bob Maki, Tom Markson, Honey (Yadlosky) Nickolson, Karl Rukavina, Beverly (Viste) Wiermaa, and Betty Ann (Tjader) Zorman.
In conclusion, we are grateful for the school system which provided a great education and many fond memories.
Bob Maki
Class of 1949

Sat
27
Jul

Twin Metals decision to switch to dry stack tailings method means any sulfur/sulfide is nearly non-existent while dam failure is officially non-existent

by Bob Colombo
July 18 changed the landscape for non-ferrous mining in the Arrowhead. An innocuous sentence in our morning Facebook page simply said; “TMM to use Dry Stack Tailings.” I read it and whispered to no one, Thank you Jesus and Kelly Osborne. The importance of that sentence is huge.
World-wide there are 3,700 earthen dams in the mining industry. Chile alone has 740 dams and most of them are sitting over, or near, one of the most active earthquake faults in the world. In the last four years, I’ve have been witness to two major dam blowouts in Brazil. They were iron mines in the state of Minas Gerais and both are little more than an hour away from my home. Is it any wonder why new methods of dealing with tailings have been a hot-button issue for years? Tailings dams are basically the world’s biggest mud puddles with the consistency of wet cement.

Thu
25
Jul

On PolyMet: Enough of the fake news already

The claims by metro legislators and anti-mining groups about PolyMet Mining are downright fabrications. It is very disappointing that people don’t know or don’t care what our strong rules and regulations require, and that the media continues to perpetuate the misinformation. The people of the Iron Range deserve better. The people of the state of Minnesota deserve better. There is no scandal. The agencies have done their jobs. The letter of the law was followed to a “T”. Enough of the fake news already. Here are the facts:
Fact: Our DNR required PolyMet Mining to post bankruptcy proof of financial assurance (only accessible by the DNR) before they even issued PolyMet’s permit to mine. It doesn’t matter who or what the ownership looks like the resources needed to close the mine if the company went bankrupt are currently in place and only the state can release the funds.

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