Editorial: A “yes” vote for Ely’s kids, future

Amid the strangest of circumstances, Ely area voters will head to the polls Tuesday and determine the fate of a $10 million school bond referendum.
This, obviously, wasn’t the backdrop envisioned by Ely school officials early in the year as they put together a package to take to district residents for long-awaited, and long-needed, improvements to the campus.
But the coronavirus pandemic and its impact are clearly beyond the control of the school district and we’d best be served to consider the referendum - and the nearly $20 million project itself - beyond the absurdities of today.
Much has been written in this newspaper, in news stories and editorials dating back years, as well as more recently in flyers and documents put together both by the district and a “vote yes” advocacy committee, about the district’s facility needs.


Editorial: Logging industry needs help

The three legged economic stool of taconite, tourism and timber is about to have one leg kicked out. The logging industry is dying fast.
We have a story this week about a bill being proposed to help the logging industry. Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith is co-sponsoring a bill to help our country’s logging industry survive the coronavirus pandemic.
During the most recent bailout, loggers were left by the wayside. Under the CARES Act, Congress provided $300 million to the nation’s fishing industry and $16 billion for dairy and livestock producers as well as fruit and vegetable growers. Loggers and truckers got zero.
Our local logging industry is seeing layoffs and we fear some companies may have to get out of the business altogether.
In addition to the economy residing in the outhouse, the Verso paper mill in Duluth recently shut down.


LETTER: …It is time to end this!

Letter to the Editor:
To allow Governor Walz to mandate and fine without the checks and balances of the legislature is extremely dangerous and must be stopped. It is time to end this! We must remove his puppets in the Minnesota house including Rob Ecklund. Recall Walz.
Al Forsman
Ely, MN


Congressman Stauber battling in DC

After walking in Ely’s July 4 Patriotic March, Congressman Pete Stauber returned to Washington D.C. to fight the good fight. He’s had his hands full as of late.
Stauber represents the Eighth District, which is a good portion of northeast Minnesota. He’s a first-term Republican with union endorsements and the Democratic party has basically waved the white flag for this year’s election.
One of his current battles is trying to keep the area’s economy alive with attacks coming from metro Rep. Betty McCollum. With the Democrats controlling the U.S. House, McCollum wields some power.
She’s decided a top issue for the Twin Cities is shutting down all mining in northeast Minnesota. One of the other top issues on her website is the renaming of the NFL’s Washington Redskins.


LET: …never seen people holding toilet paper while standing on the sidewalks

Dear Editor:
Ely held what could be defined as an almost impromptu (and greatest) Patriotic March on the 4th of July. I attended as a member of my organization, Fight For Mining Minnesota.
We brought along my painted canoe that, when not being dragged around in patriotic marches, otherwise resides inside the Fernberg Gallery as a large historical display.
A handful of patriotic renegades in Ely cobbled together a parade that was probably the best I have ever seen. They extended the route for social distancing purposes, worked with the Ely Police Department and City of Ely, acquired the permits, and even arranged insurance via a quick, really-successful, fundraiser.


LET…Flattening the curve was the bait. Next came the switch

At one point, the theory of “flattening the curve” was ubiquitous. The basic concept was that lockdowns could slow the spread of coronavirus, and this was of great importance since, as we were told at the time, “We can’t stop this virus.” The narrative went that if the virus were to spread unchecked, hospitals would be overwhelmed and both people with coronavirus and those needing medical attention for other ailments would die from the lack of access to care.
It all made sense. To a certain extent, it still does. Most graphics depicting flattening the curve, such as in The New York Times, showed two curves. Typically, the first was associated with no lockdowns that peaked well above the capacity of the health-care system, while the second, “flattened” curve was associated with lockdowns with its peak hovering near capacity. The areas under each curve, representing the total number of Covid-19 infections, were roughly equal.


EDITORIAL Cooperation is key in emergency response

We’ve had two house fires in the past couple of weeks where fire departments from Ely, Morse-Fall Lake and Babbitt have worked together seemingly seamlessly. That doesn’t always happen when their governing bodies get together.
The two fires were similar in they happened during the day and grew into massive blazes with flames shooting high in the air. While firefighters donned air tanks and sprayed thousands of gallons of water, anyone who could pitched in to help.
At the June 4 fire there were people walking down Chapman Street with cases of water for the firefighters.
On June 23 when massive lengths of hose had to be hauled several blocks to a different water main, people who weren’t even on the department jumped in to help.
A community was bound together by pitching in wherever they could. That’s a far cry from what we’ve had to endure in watching riots across the country.


GUEST EDITORIAL Investing in internet access for all Minnesotans

by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar
As people across the country stay at home to keep themselves and their families safe in the midst of this pandemic, being connected to the outside world is especially important. With schools and businesses closed, kids are learning from home, parents are working and searching for jobs from home, and families are accessing telehealth services from home. But those things aren’t possible without access to high speed internet.
In rural communities throughout Minnesota, roughly 16 percent of households lack access to high speed internet. That means 144,000 households are missing out on the benefits that come with broadband. And that’s simply unacceptable. I’ve heard from school superintendents across our state who are partnering with small broadband providers directly in order to help their students without internet access. These are innovative partnerships that will help our kids during this difficult time.


LETTER... the dedication to duty and professionalism exhibited by the local rescue units

I was with Pete Serson and his friends last week when he collapsed and died on the Fall Lake – Newton portage. Our efforts to revive him were daunting. With 2 college students alternating CPR and his grandson courageously holding his hand, it was readily apparent we needed help and we needed it fast.
My cell phone luckily had enough juice to reach 911. Within minutes we could hear the helicopter approaching. Simultaneously, we could hear the rescue units coming from the Fall Lake landing. When they reached us, it was immediately apparent they knew exactly what to do as they took charge of the situation, relieving the 2 college students and aggressively working on Pete.
When he could not be revived, they carefully protected Pete and prepared him to be moved back to the landing, while at the same time shielding his grandson from unnecessary stress.


Echo Editorial: Standing up for what is right

Our form of government allows for and encourages people to question decisions made. This includes elected officials such as the Ely city council.
We were disappointed in the reasons given for not supporting a resolution questioning Gov. Walz’s executive orders regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Walz had originally told Minnesotans there was a need to “flatten the curve” in order to build up a possible response. That was three months ago. Walz has shifted tactics and been slow to return life to normal even when the current numbers are nowhere near his predictions.
Rightfully, the Ely city council had an opportunity to pass a resolution questioning the governors as well as telling local business owners they can open without fear of reprisal.
But instead of standing up for those business owners, five of the seven council members cited a vindictive governor who would slash Ely’s local government aid. This is pure hogwash.


Subscribe to RSS - Opinions/Editorials