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.


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.


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