Letting Fall Lake break away from Lake Superior School District only makes sense

This is an argument that is filled with common sense but lacking much of an opportunity for it to happen without action in St. Paul.
Fall Lake Township needs to become part of the Ely School District for one reason alone: That’s where kids who live in the township go to school.
A passionate plea on this issue was made by state lawmakers last week to get Fall Lake out of the Lake Superior School District, which just approved another bond that will raise taxes for another 20 years when they would have gone down otherwise.
“We’re hoping a common sense solution can be found,” said Sheila Gruba at Monday’s Joint Powers Legislative meeting in Ely.
While Fall Lake abuts Ely’s boundaries and more than 40 children who reside there open enroll into the Ely district, a geographical quirk places the township in the Lake Superior district and property taxes go to fund schools in that district.


LETTER: …Highly respected doctors and PHD scientists are being deplatformed

Dear newspaper readers,
Have you ever changed your mind about anything? Have you ever changed a strongly held opinion, after hearing civil, rational arguments to the contrary? Please read on, if you think it’s even possible to do so.


LETTER: …would have to look in the fiction section

To the Editor:
Once upon a time, not so long ago, the Ely area was a solid vote for any candidate belonging to the Democratic Party.
That landscape has changed significantly causing an awakening in the area. There is now a DFL office in Ely for the first time as anyone can remember.
Could it be that the Ely area residents have realized that the DFL party no is no longer the muscle at the legislature for mining, logging, unions and farming? Those are key economic issues for this area.
Bill Teft held a seminar at the DFL office referred to as “Biodiversity” proclaiming that people should leave the land as they found it. That’s an interesting concept considering many environmentalists in the area moved here, purchased undeveloped inland and lakeshore properties and may never return those lands to the way they found it.


LETTER: …God bless the USA and our veterans

To the Editor:
Thank you so much for making a great “spread” on your Dec. 4th issue and tribute to our WW2 vets!
I’m not a vet myself, but hold dear my last name, and the pride that many have sacrificed over the years; including my own family past and present; I truly enjoyed the history lesson, and I’m glad you dedicated many pages towards it!
I especially appreciate you remembering that without history lessons, we are doomed to repeat it! Maybe with a little more history and a little less hate, we can all get along a little better?
Our Kicka** ancestors are rolling in their graves as we speak! They fought for our freedom of speech and life, I for one appreciate it!
Regardless of thoughts, please start being respectful towards each-other, even if you’re wrong. God bless the USA and our veterans, past and present.
Jason Hedloff
Ely, MN


Editorial: As Covid lingers, vaccination best defense

There’s a feeling of deja vu in Ely, and not in a good way.
For a second straight year, November has meant more than deer camps and Thanksgiving in the 55731 zip code. Joining those late-fall staples, both last year and again in 2021, has been a sudden and substantial increase in positive cases of Covid-19.
A virus that appeared to be on the ropes if not on its way down for the count this summer has fought back and connected with more than a few punches in recent weeks.
Case counts have spiked in town and at the school, our hospital has admitted Covid patients and a death has sent shockwaves while driving home the point that the virus is no hoax. Odds are by now you know family members, coworkers, friends or neighbors, probably many of them, who have felt the impact of Covid-19.
Yet this November is clearly not same as 2020.


EDITORIAL: This holiday season, think local for shopping, gift-giving

The last week of deer season, bone-chilling winds and now the approach of Thanksgiving are three sure reminders that winter is nearly here.
Those also remind us that Christmas is on the way and it’s time to compile our lists and make a few wishes of our own when it comes to holiday gifts.
As we ponder what to get for our kids or our spouse, parents, nephews and nieces and whomever else on our respective “nice” lists, let’s be sure to also consider who might also need our support this season - our local business community.
Let’s face it - many haven’t had an easy couple of years.
The world changed in March, 2020, and in many ways it has not yet returned to what it was before Covid-19 reared its ugly head.
Nearly all of our businesses faced shutdowns and restrictions early in the pandemic, and while many have reaped the benefits of a pair of busy summers in Ely, many have also dealt with cancelled events and other obstacles along the way.


Editorial: Saving our history has a cost

For over 100 years the Pioneer Mine site has been a part of Ely’s history. But time is a cruel partner to buildings, even those on the National Register of Historic Places. Instead of giving up, a group of volunteers is pushing forward with a plan to save one of the remaining buildings.
The Ely Arts and Heritage Center board is charged with overseeing the use of the Pioneer Mine buildings and works with the Heritage Preservation Commission to find funding for projects.
What the EAHC did a month ago was a bit out of the ordinary. The Captains Dry building, built in 1910, has been left out in the cold when it came to repairs and maintenance over the years and it was becoming clear that without some immediate work it could go the way of the now torn down Engine House.


Letter: …I would also like to encourage people to donate to The Purple Canoe’s, The Longest Day fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association

Dear Editor,

I want to extend my gratitude for you running the article “Paddling with
Purpose…” in your August 28, 2021 Echo. I was born and raised a
612’er but found Ely in the late 70’s. I met Frank “Ozzie” Wattunen
in Minneapolis around that same time. He told co-workers and I that he was
in the process of building a log cabin on family property on Fall Lake. A
simple curiosity led me this way again and I was hooked on the woods and
water. We married on the shores of Fall Lake in 1984 so I guess you could
say I was hooked on him too!


Guest Editorial: America: Where do we go from here?

by Micah Larson
Two roads diverged into a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Our modern America is much like that traveler in the Robert Frost poem. We, as citizens of this free nation, have a decision to make. Wisely-made decisions can transform our country’s future for years to come. It is also a decision that carries with it grave implications.


Editorial: Free speech exists at meetings of the Ely school board as well

We would advise the Ely school board to tread lightly on revisions to its public forum rules. What we have seen so far is concerning, limiting and pushes the limits of First Amendment rights.
Nobody should have to worry about criminal charges or a police citation when addressing their concerns to their elected officials. Yet, that is exactly what could happen if the school board adopts this ill advised policy.
Let’s look at what our Congressman, Pete Stauber had to say just recently on this issue.
Amid a crazy push by the National School Board Association which it has since retracted, to label parents who speak out as “domestic terrorists,” Stauber rightly responded. He introduced a resolution aimed at protecting the rights of those who speak at school board meetings.


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