LETTER:…for bringing the issue to our attention

I read your recent editorial on BW rescues. As a Chicagoan who looks forward to our BW trip every summer, and who loves the town of Ely, we were surprised to read that this is a group of volunteers who are often called on to put their lives on the line to rescue victims of life-threatening accidents as well as naive fools.
Is there a source of additional information on the volunteer rescue group(s)? Do they accept donations for their organization? And is there an entity we can write to, or a petition to sign in support of adding a fee onto every permit issued? Our family pulls one or two permits every year, and we would fully support such an initiative and would love to back the idea in any way we can.
Thank you for the editorial, and for bringing the issue to our attention.
Pamela Berger
Chicago, IL


LETTER: …the cult-like following of the President by ordinarily sensible people

Dear Editor:
As it nears the election we the People find ourselves, most of us, wondering how things will go on Election Day. Considering the division we face between the left and right, this is a serious time for all of the country.
As the virus looms, the economy plummets, the climate produces destruction, politicians create their own divisionism, loss of the world’s respect - we the People are faced with madness at the top. The lies, lack of concern for the dying, misuse of power and pubic resources, voter suppression, manipulation of the courts, and threat to Social Security, all disturbing to say the least, and downright frightening.


EDITORIAL: Personal responsibility needs to be part of the BWCA experience

Last week we reported on three rescues, two in the BWCA, where people apparently didn’t realize winter can arrive in October.
First and foremost let’s thank the St. Louis County Rescue Squad for assisting in getting these people out of the woods. The Rescue Squad is an all-volunteer group that is trained for these situations.
With that in mind, those rescuers should have never had to be put in a situation where their lives were also endangered.
Speaking with our area first responders we heard one thing loud and clear. A lack of planning and a refusal to change those plans based on the weather is no excuse. These rescues were unnecessary and could’ve had much more dire results.


EDITORIAL: A vote for newspapers is a vote for democracy

by Tom Silvestri
The Relevance Project
Newspapers face another big election.
It’s about them.
While the United States is riveted by a most unusual presidential election, the newspaper industry is running to win the hearts, minds and souls of “voters.”
These voters are readers, residents, subscribers, students, advertisers, marketers, sponsors and newspaper employees.
Vote by subscribing to support your local newspaper. (If you already do, a big thanks.)
Vote by advertising -- cheers to current ad buyers. Patronize those who do.
Vote by engaging your newspaper. Write a letter to the editor, tweet appreciation to an enterprising reporter, send a suggestion to the publisher with a request to speak to him or her for a personal exchange.
Vote by learning more about your newspaper, its history, its mission, its staff and its ownership.
Vote by frequently checking the newspaper’s web site or news alerts.


EDITORIAL: Lights are back on for HS sports

The lights are back on at Ely School Stadium. When the coronavirus pandemic hit this past spring, students were sent home to distance learn. All sports were canceled. The lights went dark.
In an effort to lighten the spirits of athletes and fans, baseball and football fields across the state were illuminated once a week for 20 minutes and 20 seconds as a tribute during the spring months.
The Echo editor was stationed at the baseball field, the publisher at the football stadium at 20:20 military time. When the clock struck 8:20 the levers were thrown and the lights went on.
This past Wednesday night there was a different scene at the football stadium. The lights were on and despite rain and snow at times, there were players on the field and fans in the stands.


Letter: …they just increase their budget

Dear Editor:
“More bang for the buck” regarding the $20 million facilities project on the Ely school campus is great news.
Due to lower interest rates this will result in a $2.3 million savings according to the Ely School Board.
Now, we all know how government projects work. There are no real savings, they just increase their budget so they can spend the excess monies.
So be it, now there are no more excuses not to build a new track and field facility.
Joe Folio
Ely, MN


Letter: …Which is it Walz? Stay home or travel

Dear Editor:
Supreme Leader Walz is at it again. He puts our students at risk of the dangers of this pandemic by touring schools throughout our state – potentially bringing Covid19 to communities that do not currently have a problem with it. Then, he poses in a group of nine people mocking those that have been staying home and avoiding large groups.
This should not be surprising. This is the same hypocrite that sends MDH nurses from one side of the state to survey nursing homes on the opposite side of the state.
Which is it Walz? Stay Home or travel freely? Avoid groups or gather wherever you feel? Is there some sort of immunity that the state employees have that prevents them from spreading this disease? Is it not possible for state employees to be asymptomatic?
Al Forsman
Ely, MN


EDITORIAL: ATV trails: The dawn of a new era in Ely’s tourism economy

The future is finally here for Ely’s tourism economy as ATV trails were filled with riders for a state convention this past weekend.
The Prospector Alliance has been working to build trails to connect Ely, Babbitt, Tower and Embarrass for seven years. A lot of hard work is about to pay off for area businesses.
ATV Minnesota held its annual Ride and Rally in the four communities and attracted nearly 200 riders on Friday for a VIP ride from Embarrass to Tower. Politicians including U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, Minnesota state Senator Tom Bakk and Minnesota state Rep. Kurt Daudt, Rob Ecklund and Dave Lislegard were on hand and joined by local officials as well.
On Saturday, over 340 riders left on 12 different rides from seven locations, traveling between the four communities as well as south toward the North Shore. You can do that with over 250 miles of trails.


EDITORIAL: Eight years of wasted government spending over catching minnows

If you’re looking for wasteful government spending, check out the story of the feds spending eight years to charge three Ely people from crossing an invisible line to harvest minnows.
In a case that dates back to 2012 and where one of the key figures has since passed away, the feds charged Bob LaTourell Jr. and his twin sisters Mindy and Missy with violating an act that was passed 120 years ago.
The only good thing to come out of this debacle is that our old friend Jim Maki was an innocent man - something he would have gladly told you if he was still here today.
What is missing from this case is the evidence. There were 1,300 dozen ciscoes (that’s 15,600 minnows by our math) that were confiscated in a raid at the Great Outdoors bait shop.
Despite the best efforts of Ely’s Jeff Anderson, who worked for Congressman Rick Nolan at the time, the ciscoes were never returned. All of this headache and heartache over minnows.


EDITORIAL Mayors’ endorsement puts Range in limelight

It’s not everyday that Ely and Babbitt make national news.
But the communities had their few days in the spotlight this week, and it wasn’t even because of copper-nickel mining.
Instead, the strangest of political seasons had the cameras of a major cable news outlet focused on Ely.
In a matter of two hours Wednesday, both Ely Mayor Chuck Novak and Babbitt Mayor Andrea Zupancich were interviewed on the Fox News Channel, with Zupancich getting a segment on the top-rated program hosted by personality Tucker Carlson.
The topic? The presidential election and the respective mayors’ endorsement of President Donald Trump.
Mayors and other elected officials often take a stand in regional, statewide and national political races.
Candidates for the State House and Senate, U.S. House and U.S. Senate often showcase the endorsements of regional officials as a means of showing support.


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