From the miscellaneous drawer - First 40 years

In the Ely Echo of November 30, 1977, it was announced that there was a new owner of the Ely Echo. That wasn’t part of my original plan which had been to share ownership with other Echo employees. That idea didn’t work out then.
In the intervening years, that HAS happened with son Nick Wognum now being the majority owner, followed by myself, Tom Coombe and Lisa Vidal-Sainio.

The Echo’s original owner (1972-1977) Miles Aakhus had been combative in his role as publisher. In order for editor Bob Cary to make his voice heard and read at that time, Cary had to write “Front Page Editorials.”
That changed as Cary’s guidance as well as reporter Sam Cook’s was sought by this one-year-newbie to journalism attempted to find her comfort zone. My declaration in the December 1, 1977 Echo issue included:
“ In the coming weeks the Ely Echo will reflect the concern of the staff and myself to provide more intense coverage of community news. We will emphasize more visual reporting of the news. We will deal more with issues, and less with personalities. There has been a long standing division in the Ely community. The job of the new Ely Echo will be to encompass and hopefully unite the various factions of the city in order to deal effectively with the real problems the community faces.
“The Echo has added staff members to accomplish these ends: Sam Cook, (city reporter), Cecelia Rolando (advertising sales), Jack Dulinsky (Printer), Toni Dulinsky (production), and Phyllis Cook (copy desk). They are welcomed by our staff: Bob Cary, Lil Cary, Connee Schmidt, Pat Harri, Lorene Mauser, Rena Garni and myself.
“I am the sole financial owner of the Ely Echo and Milestones, Inc., but it is not my newspaper. It is the product of the staff and the community. I’m a part of those. Every reader and advertiser is also a part.
“I am personally committed to determining how the new Ely Echo can best serve the interests of the community. With your help I know we will continue to succeed. I’ll be listening to your comments. Every staff member will also. Share your thoughts, criticisms, and suggestions with us. We’ll listen and try our best to accommodate all the varied interests of the community.
“A newspaper has an obligation to the community it serves - to furnish the reader with an accurate, unbiased account of events. A newspaper has an obligation to put the reader on the scene, to give insight into a situation or event the readers may or may not be aware of, and analyze the background to lend depth to the reader’s interpretation of the present.
‘A newspaper has an obligation to its advertisers to attractively display their products and services to the largest possible readership.
“A newspaper is people - advertisers, readers and newspaper staff. People who have an obligation and a responsibility to each other.· The ECHO will fulfill that obligation and that responsibility.”
How well that duty has been fulfilled is your judgement. I do want to thank the over 100 loyal subscribers who have been with the Echo for over 40 years. They are part of the over 3,300 subscribers who appreciate and share our work.
This work has kept me young in spirit due to the interaction with people and staff members. I thank Nick Wognum, Tom Coombe, Lisa Vidal-Sainio, Cameron Weisert, Terri Pylka, Brad Berry, Nancy McReady, Joe Domich, columnists: Pam Roberts, Trout Whisperer, Karen Hamilton, Dave Krikorian and photographers and friends who help to create this newspaper. Some have been with us over 30 years and one and all are appreciated.