... shows median household income 20% higher than the 55792 zip code

Dear Editor:
The “Dill vs. Rom” headline on the February 7 article about the recent Minnesota House Mining Committee hearing should instead have read “Dill vs. Ely.”
Dill’s attack on the legislation that protects the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Dill’s willingness to sell out Ely-area businesses and homeowners to support foreign copper mining companies is a direct assault on the well-being of my home town.
The Ely area supports 33 resorts, lodges, and bed and breakfasts; 23 canoe outfitting businesses; eight motels; five dogsledding adventure businesses; three bait and tackle shops; 13 campgrounds; eight nationally-known outdoor learning centers and camps; three museums; and three seasonal festivals and art fairs that bring visitors and vendors from across the region.


RAMS could be better in the long run

After a series of fumbles and one questionable play call, a local government organization could come out with a win.
RAMS, the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools, has long been the organization cities, school districts and townships have sent their memberships to each year.
But when it was announced RAMS would be hiring a current state senator as its director, it appeared to be the wrong call. Not on the level of the Seahawks’ final play in the Super Bowl, but close.
This led the Ely city council to jump into the political mud and vote to withhold joining this year. Then, this week the mayor and council tried to rewrite Roberts Rules of Order when a motion to table the issue was passed 4-3.
A claim that five votes were needed to table went unchecked and the council voted 6-1 to rejoin RAMS. It took several in-meeting text messages to point out the SNAFU that the vote to table was correct.


School slipped on the ice, needs to fix policy allowing for late starts

The Ely School District seemed to take a giant step forward last year when it joined nearly every other district in the region and gave school officials the option to start school two hours late - rather than scrapping the day entirely - when bad weather hits.
But the icy road conditions of Jan. 23 have nothing on the slipping and sliding by school officials in the aftermath of a highly-scrutinized decision to cancel school that day.
It was clear in the hours after the decision and again Monday night - when board members discussed the issue - that a seemingly simple and welcome new option is bogged down in bureaucracy and a head-scratching, advance notice policy never approved by the school board.
It’s also obvious that the district needs to make the necessary steps to allow for late starts when circumstances warrant,.


If Duluth mail plant closes, the impact will be felt in Ely

With the looming April closing of the U.S. Postal Service plant in Duluth, places like Ely will suffer. And the clock is ticking.
This week Rep. Rick Nolan sent a letter to the Postmaster General, raising additional concerns regarding the decision to close the Duluth mail processing facility and requested the consolidation process be halted immediately.
Good for Nolan, he recognizes this closing will not help northeast Minnesota or for that matter, the Post Office.
If the Duluth plant closes, the Ely Post Office will likely be changing when mail leaves Ely. It could be that instead of getting your mail to the PO by 4:15 p.m., it may be noon. Is this good for business, good for consumers or good for the community? No, no and no!
This week we’re printing an editorial from the National Newspaper Association on this issue. We’re hoping there’s still a chance to keep this closure from happening. But the clock is ticking.


Extending the spectrum of knowledge

We can save abandoned pets, but can we save abandoned people?
It’s not just the homeless, the mentally disturbed or handicapped people - young or old - to consider.
There are also the orphans of life - the elderly.
As their numbers increase dramatically, the burden of caring for them falls on the government which may attempt to meet the most minimal physical needs but fails to recognize mental needs and potential. And the brain should be an important part of the equation.
If the elderly were sent back to school to meet the changing world, would that be much different from sending pre-school children to classes to learn to cope and grow in the world in which they are entering?
Isn’t the need for preparation for the future as great for the seven year old as it is for the seventy year old?


LETTER: ... a clear and present danger to the future

Dear Editor:
A district federal judge, without one shred of professional wildlife management evidence to support the courts decision, has hurled the timber wolf back onto the endangered species list years after it had been de-listed under the authority of the U.S. fish and Wildlife Service, the present administration and congress. This decision was based solely on the insubstantial claims of an animal rights group vehemently opposed to professional wildlife management of wolves by the Minnesota D.N.R.
I believe this surreptitious ruling by the court was a clear abuse of the intent of the endangered species act by re-listing an animal simply on the capricious whim and fiat of an animal rights group.


Thanks, Mike, for 32 years of public service

There aren’t many politicians who are as good with a wrench as they are with a gavel. But then again, Mike Forsman isn’t just any politician. And after 32 years of public service for Ely and St. Louis County, he’s turning in his gavel.
Mike’s political career started on the Ely city council and ended on the St. Louis County Board. He was a hard campaigner, never lost an election and didn’t mind if he ruffled feathers along the way. Mike wasn’t one to have people guessing how he felt on an issue.
And he had a sense of humor. In a mayoral election in Ely, Mike finished in a tie, even after a recount. His proposed solution to break the tie: an ice fishing contest.


LETTER: ...for many of us the choice to deliver our children here in Ely is personal

Dear Editor,
Child birth is quite possibly the most natural and personal experience a family will go through. Of course, women have carried and delivered babies since the beginning of time. Sure, things have changed; medications, techniques and medical procedures have changed bits and pieces of the birthing process, but overall the way in which a child is created, develops in the womb and enters this world has not changed throughout history.


Is being born in Ely unsustainable?

In light of the stunning decision by Essentia this past week, it was suggested there should be a “Last Baby Born in Ely Contest.” This would be funny if it wasn’t true.
Effective July 1 of next year, there won’t be scheduled births in Ely. The reasons appear to be health-related but there are holes in the argument for this troubling decision that even its proponents concede is “extremely difficult.”
And without question it’s a decision that’s a major, major blow to the community.
Let’s start with the symbolism. You can be a lot of things in life, but you can only have one birth place. For over 125 years, Ely has been a place where you could take your first breath of air. Thousands of people have had Ely, Minnesota listed on their birth certificate.


Check out our new library, and say thanks to those responsible

The doors opened Wednesday at the new library and it was fitting that librarian Rachel Heinrich unlocked the doors. For it was her vision, perseverance and dedication that helped make the dream of a new library a reality.
Rachel will be the first one to tell you there are many people to thank. We had a city council with the fortitude to look past memories and make the right decision for the future. We had a library board and the members of the Friends of the Library who provided support both politically and financially. And there was a crew of volunteers that stepped up to make the move happen.
But all of those tangibles and intangibles came together to make this project happen thanks to Rachel. She’s not one to look for attention but we think she deserves our thanks for her efforts.


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