Opinions/Editorials

Sun
21
May

Forest Service now takes aim at all commercial activity in BWCA

The U.S. Forest Service will use a lawsuit settlement to take aim at any and all commercial activity in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Big Brother is not only watching, it’s on the hunt.
Forest supervisor Connie Cummins struggled in an interview with the Echo this past week to explain why a lawsuit over how many towboats use the BWCA has been turned into a global rock-turned mission.
“Will professional photographers be included in this study?”
“Yes.”
“Will dog sled operations be included in this study?”
“Yes.”
Exceeding the limits of authority has been taken to a new level. And anyone who makes a buck in any way off the BWCA should be very, very concerned.

Fri
12
May

Taking property off the tax roles will have consequences for taxpayers

by the Minnesota Association of Townships

Mon
08
May

Car show and burnout competition gets approval from city commission

A new event scheduled for this fall in Ely has received approval from the city’s Planning Commission.
The Jake Forsman Memorial Car Show and Burnout Competition can now proceed on Saturday, Oct. 21 in front of the Ely City Hall on Chapman Street.
There was a good turnout for the hearing Wednesday night. The four members of the Planning Commission, along with city clerk Harold Langowski and attorney Kelly Klun took testimony, asked questions and approved the request with conditions.
There were several opposed to the idea. Not too surprising since these are the same people opposed to mining. Maybe they don’t like motors.
There were a number of people present in favor of the event which is modeled after a burnout competition held every year in Libby, Montana.
A major difference will be the large concrete barriers in place in Ely. Libby’s event has no barriers, just cars burning rubber on the main drag.

Sat
29
Apr

Annual Echo Progress Edition not as robust as previous years

There were stories and photos to fill up the 17 pages in this year’s Ely Echo Progress Edition but there certainly weren’t as many as previous years. In fact, there’s just one more page than what we had the first four years, down 11 pages from a high of 28 pages when the business community was thriving.
This year’s edition is a reflection of Ely’s economic downturn that continues despite the cheerleaders who refuse to see the reality of our current situation.
We could’ve written a story about the number of businesses for sale. We could’ve written about the businesses that closed up shop, giving in to declining sales and a lack of customers.
But that’s not what the Ely Echo Progress Edition has been about over the past 23 years. We’ve focused on the businesses who have persevered and made investments in the community. New owners, improvements, additions and a few new businesses are what we wrote about for the 2017 edition.

Mon
24
Apr

Rec Center project at key juncture

It’s safe to say that plans for a community recreation center in Ely have reached a crossroads.
Within days, Ely School Board members and the general public will get their first look at architectural renderings for a complex that has been both dreamed about, and talked about, for years.
Now it’s time for government officials, recreation center supporters and yes, Ely area residents, to determine if the project is going to be more than just a dream.
At first blush, some of the numbers talked about have been staggering: $10 to $12 million, 50,000 square feet, an enormous complex that could anchor the west side of the Ely school campus.
Project supporters have laid out a vision and a survey of local residents has shown impressive support for the concept.
But as concept moves toward possible reality, more than one elephant remains in the room.
Let’s break it down like this:
Where will it go?

Mon
17
Apr

Former LCP director charges: Lake Country Power Board & Management Irresponsible

Dear Editor

Sun
16
Apr

169 project finally rolling

The official groundbreaking of the Highway 169 project finally took place Thursday morning. Nearly 20 years since the push started to make a safer highway and now we can see the results.
There were five original members of the Highway 169 Task Force on hand, one who came by wheelchair. Their patience for this project as well as their continued support is to be applauded. Thank you to Bill Erzar, Pete Davis, Mike Forsman, Greg Dostert and Rudy Semeja for your determination.
This project jumped more hurdles than it should have including some ridiculous blockages thrown forth by NIMBY opponents who increased the cost and in effect, reduced the benefits of the project and the safety of the final alignment.

Sat
15
Apr

169 project finally rolling

The official groundbreaking of the Highway 169 project finally took place Thursday morning. Nearly 20 years since the push started to make a safer highway and now we can see the results.
There were five original members of the Highway 169 Task Force on hand, one who came by wheelchair. Their patience for this project as well as their continued support is to be applauded. Thank you to Bill Erzar, Pete Davis, Mike Forsman, Greg Dostert and Rudy Semeja for your determination.
This project jumped more hurdles than it should have including some ridiculous blockages thrown forth by NIMBY opponents who increased the cost and in effect, reduced the benefits of the project and the safety of the final alignment.

Fri
31
Mar

Sadly Ely’s faltering economy is not an April Fool’s Joke

Fifty years ago today the Pioneer Mine stopped producing iron ore in Ely, Minnesota. Our economy has been on a downhill slide ever since.

At the time studies were done on the impact the closure would have on Ely. There were hopes of recovery but there were no hopes of reopening.

After 41 million long tons of iron ore was pulled from the ground to build our country and defend her in two world wars, the Pioneer was put to rest.

Ely was once declared to become the future metropolis of the Vermilion Range. But the process used to make steel no longer needed the oxygen rich ore mined here for 80 years.

We have a proud history of mining here. We still have plenty of people who live here and work at either North Shore or one of the mines in Mt. Iron, Virginia or Hibbing. We have people who work in related industries that provide services or materials to the taconite mines.

Sun
26
Mar

... This is not an indicator of a healthy employment situation for the iron range small towns and cities

Dear Editor;
Mining is not an issue of love and cares for the BWCA, we all love and care for the BWCA!
I will acknowledge with the anti-mining obstructionists and one speaker in particular at the Forest Service listening session at the DECC on March 16 who contend the economy in Ely and towns nearby is an economy built on the strength of the BWCA as an economic wealth builder.
After the speaker was done self-aggrandizing and bloviating about his business, he did elucidate the robustness of the Ely economy ,saying the city is growing and healthy and new businesses were coming in constantly. We know this must be true because we heard the same speech before.

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