LETTER: ...find it hard to believe they can’t find a lousy 150 square feet in the park

Dear Editor,


The sad state of ethnic diversity - Where have you gone St. Urho?

No one growing up in the last generation in Ely would have ever dreamed it could happen. The vanishing of St. Urho’s Day as one of the area’s most honored celebrations.
Held this year on March 13, the day before St. Patrick’s Day, the celebration of St. Urho is sadly turning into something of a footnote, with the exception of our friends down Highway 1 in Finland.
In Ely, Mill’s Clothing Store, under the proprietorship of the late Bill Mills (a Finn with an anglicized name) featured the day. Restaurants were decorated green and purple and featured Finnish foods such as kola mojakka.


LETTER:...You paddle your canoes on the surface of the border lakes, but have no idea how deep the water is and what five generations of families have done to keep it clean.

Dear Editor:
An Indian Story:
The words that are used to cause maximum impact are many.
Several of them remain taboo in public so there will be no caustic idiom here, but I can demo an excellent example. It’s the “F” bomb. The “F” bomb is used in everyday language today and as a result, it’s lost its tough back-stiffening punch that it had 50 years ago.
Today it’s not unusual to hear school kids nonchalantly drop the F-bomb without a thought. It’s been overplayed in pop culture and it’s lost much of its impact if not its social disdain. That’s what happens when a word is overexposed.


Let’s not use the R word

Several people spoke at the end of the Ely city council meeting Tuesday night. They didn’t like the mayor’s position on mining and comments he had made.
That’s fine and thankfully in this country people can come forward and make their opinions known. What’s not fine and should be considered unacceptable is to throw around a word with a strong, hurtful meaning.
A couple of the speakers accused the mayor of racism when he discussed not supporting Fortune Bay after the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe came out in support of a bill that would stop copper-nickel mining before it has started in our area.
On a national stage we have heard Democrats use the word racism too often and too broadly. We believe this is the same situation. Was the mayor racist in his comments? No. Is criticizing a group of people for a differing opinion racism? No.
Let’s be clear. This was not at all about race and was all about mining. To suggest otherwise is nonsense.


LETTER: ...we were just as determined to come together as a community

Letter to the Editor:
The Ely Winter Festival very much appreciates the support of the community, the visitors to Ely, and most especially the amazing artists who fill our park with gigantic pieces of art.
You may have heard that on the first night of the International Snow Sculpting Symposium, most of our sculptures were vandalized with spray paint, which was easily shaved off. A few sculptures had pieces knocked off. Most disappointing was destruction of a sculpture that students from the high school and college had been working on with the mentoring of the some of our local professional carvers and the college art instructor. The vandal also vandalized many of the Amateur Blocks, and our brand new warming tent. The Ely Police Department is investigating.


Letter: ...advocating for…regulatory review

Dear Editor,
This has got to stop.
Advocating for the regulatory review process in connection with copper-nickel mining in northeastern Minnesota doesn’t exactly light up “the base.” It’s not raw meat or exciting in any way. But it’s the right case to make, the right thing to do, especially compared with the alternative.
The quick-and-dirty “alternative” is what U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum is asking Congress to approve in her bill to block copper-nickel mining in the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. No debate, no research or analysis of specific projects, just an old-fashioned “Shut ‘em down!” Her bill would prevent Twin Metals Minnesota and any other upcoming new copper-nickel projects from even getting a hearing on its proposal for an underground copper, nickel and platinum group metals mine near Ely and Babbitt.


Letter: Reminded how special a place Ely is

Dear Editor,
Who would have thought? In this Brave New World of almost daily breath-taking technological advances, it’s so awesome that we can come to Ely and get all of our computer, iPad, and cell phone problems solved more quickly, easily, and affordably than we can in South Florida, a home of Best Buy, Apple Superstores, and the Geek Squad.
Several months ago, while vacationing in Ely from our home in South Florida, our computer system was hacked: a potential problem out there for everyone reading this.
Some unscrupulous troll stole our identity and tried to scam all of our computer contacts. We immediately ran to Jim & Lisa Robbins at Voltz Technologies, right in the middle of town on Sheridan. “Help,” we cried, “we’ve been hacked!”


No reason for winter boredom in Ely

The flu bug is going around and the ever-present snow removal trucks around town reaffirm that Mother Nature has packed a punch this winter.
And while temperatures have moderated and even threaten to climb over the freezing mark this week - we nonetheless remain in the clutches of a winter that even in a perfect scenario has at least two months to go.
So let’s make the most of it.
Once again this year, organizers and volunteers have made sure there are no shortage of activities for us to get out of the house, fight that cabin fever and enjoy what the Ely area has to offer.
We find it hard to believe that many, if any, communities of Ely’s size have as much going on to beat the mid-winter blahs.
It starts this weekend with the Fun Run.
Now in its 20th year, the event appeals to snowmobilers and those who don’t even own a sled.


LET: ...own the building…built in the 1930s

To the Editor,
The Ely Area Senior Citizens Center is a 40 year old 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to provide help and services to Ely Area Citizens young and old.
We own the building which was built in the 1930s. We remodeled it in 1989 and it now needs upgrading. We are focusing on our kitchen and dining area first.
We need new appliances, stainless steel counters and lighting. Many organizations and groups use the building. AEOA serves meals here Monday through Friday and they also prepare meals on wheels delivered by the AEOA bus. Our building serves as the area voting place.
We would like to begin the remodeling as soon as we can raise enough money. We are applying for grants asking for donations and will have other fundraising activities. We do have matching funds lined up.
We would deeply appreciate any help with any amount you can give us.
Thank you for your consideration.
Theresa Jamnick, President


Letter: ...by establishing a program allowing motorized boat permits for disabled veterans

Dear United States Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen:
Thank you for your leadership on issues pertaining to our National Forest System.
The Superior National Forest (SNF) in northeastern Minnesota is a treasure held dear by local residents, Minnesotans, Americans hailing from nationwide, and international visitors.
Therefore, it is crucial we ensure compliance with the 1978 law establishing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Mining Protection Area, which is unique throughout our National Forest System.
It has come to our attention that disabled veterans in the region have been unable to acquire permits for accessing several lakes in the SNF.


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