Letter: Motorized boat permits for disabled veteran

Letter to Editor:
Marine Corps veteran Gerald Tyler and U. S. Air Force veteran Steve Saari head an initiative to have the United States Forest Service reserve a number of day motorized boat permits for disabled veterans each week throughout the summer. Such a reservation system would allow disabled veterans to access Basswood Lake in the BWCA through Prairie Portage, utilizing an existing boat lift service.


High hopes for Ely in 2020

Looking back on 2019 we realized there was some news we’d rather forget. Looking ahead to this year, we’re hoping the headlines are much kinder to the Ely area.
Losing the Shopko store was a major hit to the area. Consumers lost a place to pick up items not available at other Ely retailers. The Ely Echo lost a major advertiser since we were the main distribution method for the company’s weekly fliers.
Not having a place like Shopko in town hurt every retailer. Faced with a need and a lack of a store to get it from people will travel out of town or take to the internet to spend their money. Those dollars then never circulate in Ely to help our local economy. They are lost forever.


Letter: ...Not every citizen owns a 4x4 or snowmobile

Dear Editor,
After observing the performance of the city conducting snow and ice abatement so far this winter, I’m starting to question whether the city is actually carrying out their responsibilities on behalf of all Citizens in a timely, efficient, effective and fiduciary manner.
For Pete’s sake, snow plowing, sanding and removal should not a big surprise. This annual event must be controlled and managed to include; the total number of inches allowed to accumulate on the street before operations start, street priorities such as those around the hospital, VA clinic, fire department, schools, public service buildings and the clearing of snow around fire plugs etc.
Does the school board and city network in regard to this and other public safety issues? Not every citizen owns a 4x4 or snowmobile and I’m not the only person grumbling and expect better performance.


Letter to the Editor: ...we found an incredible town

Our gratitude...
When Georgia and I moved to Ely in 1954, our thoughts were to have two years of experience in teaching...then move back to our hometown area of central Minnesota...However, after one year we realized that we found an incredible town, filled with loving and kind, caring people...And after 65 years living in Ely...that feeling has grown stronger each year....


Letter: …Who are those that are so strongly opposed to Twin Metals copper-nickel mining project?

Letter to the Editor:
Earlier this week I attended the annual legislative meeting hosted by the Community Economic Development Joint Powers Board. Attending the meeting, as reported by the Ely Echo, were State legislators Tom Bakk and Rob Ecklund, City officials, IRRRB commissioner Mark Philips, Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar’s field representatives and field representative Spencer Igo from Congressman Pete Stauber’s office.
The meetings are held each year at this time and provide the opportunity for our local community leaders and the public to communicate with our legislators and express their concerns regarding infrastructure, our school and hospital, streets, roads and highways, the absence of broadband service, jobs and the state of our local economy. And conversely, it provides an opportunity for our legislators to tell our community leaders how much state money will be available to fund local projects.


Letter:…sign up to be a volunteer driver for the program

Dear Editor:
Become a valuable member of the VA Health Care System and Disabled American Veterans Volunteer Transportation Team!
Because so many sick and disabled Veterans lack transportation to and from VA medical facilities for needed treatment, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) operates a nationwide transportation network to meet this need.
It is with great pleasure to announce that rides are now available in Northeastern Minnesota for our veterans. This is a vital and extremely beneficial service to our veterans who have served our country.
All DAV drivers are required to be registered Minneapolis VA Volunteer Drivers. Volunteer drivers must have a state driver’s license, a clean driving record, personal auto insurance, no current health or mental issues and must be able to complete a physical and a background check.
In addition to the pleasure of serving Veterans, it’s a great way to enjoy conversations with Veterans and make new friends.


Letter: …Ely Senior Center in need of repairs

Dear Editor:
Ely Senior Citizens are looking for help to repair and upgrade their building.
The Ely Senior Center is a very old building and is in need of repairs and an upgrading. The Ely Senior Citizens have owned the building for 40 years. We are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization serving all Ely area citizens.
The windows are 40 years old and leak badly. The electrical and kitchen need new equipment and brought up to code.
Monday through Friday Ely area citizens are served meals prepared in the kitchen by AEOA. Carryout meals are also provided daily and delivered by an AEOA bus to Ely Seniors. We also provide transportation by AEOA bus to appoint-ments and businesses.
The center also serves as the home of Oasis International a religious group that conducts services each Sunday morning.


Ambulance problems too common

Two area ambulance services are struggling with one crucial component: having enough employees to respond to calls.
In Babbitt the problem falls in the daytime hours when many of the ambulance personnel are working, either at Northshore Mine or another 9-5 job.
The Babbitt city council has temporarily authorized sending an on duty police officer to respond to calls so there is someone to drive the ambulance. Since the Babbitt ambulance covers from Embarrass to Highway 1 and up to the Blueberry Road, much of the area is outside the coverage of the Babbitt police department.
Options to solve the problem include creating a full-time position to work the daytime hours and insure there is someone available to respond. The cost could be as high as $82,000 a year.
In Ely, the problem lies with low wages for standby workers. The Ely Area Ambulance Service currently rents a house for employees to stay at since half of them don’t live here.


...and he never took my money

Dear Editor:
I just finished reading the November 9th edition of the Echo.
It truly warms my heart to see all the Veterans recognition stories and ads.
I was an Ely resident when I joined the Navy on July 1, 1982.
At that time our country still had the bad taste of the Vietnam Conflict in its collective mouth.
It wasn’t “cool” to be in the military. Except in Ely. Every time I came home on leave to visit my parents, I would make my rounds.
I always stopped at Zaverl’s to see Gary. Prior to my enlisting, he and I had many a discussion about joining the Navy as I was deciding exactly what to do with my life.
Gary ALWAYS had a cold beer waiting for me when I was in town. On the house!!
I’d stop by to get a hair cut with Jerry the Barber, and he never took my money. After all, he was a Navy Vet himself.
I haven’t lived in Ely for over 37 years, but now spend my summers there and still consider Ely my hometown.


Paying Tribute to Our Veterans

On the 11th day, of the 11th month, we pay a special tribute to our veterans—honoring those who served in every war since our nation was founded. Whether it was the beaches of Normandy, the hills of Korea, the mountains of Afghanistan, the deserts of Iraq, or right here at home—these extraordinary men and women all heard the call of duty and answered it.

When our service members signed up to serve there wasn’t a waiting line, and when they come home there shouldn’t be a waiting line for the benefits they’ve earned. That’s why we’ve worked across the aisle to modernize the G.I. Bill benefits for our troops, strengthen funding for veterans’ health care, improve mental health care for our soldiers, and ensure that our VA system provides shorter waits and better care. Our veterans deserve to be treated with the dignity befitting their sacrifice and that also means making sure they have a safe and affordable home.


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