Vote yes on Tuesday for the school and our future

Finally, and safe to say thankfully, the finish line is in sight and the end to a tumultuous and far too long election season will come to an end on Tuesday.
We’re sure, and like always, Ely area residents will sift through the rhetoric and take a look at the mud-splashed candidates, at least at the national and Congressional levels, and make their own decisions behind the curtain. A growing number of residents, about 250 in the city of Ely alone, have already taken advantage of the early voting option.
As is our tradition, we don’t endorse candidates for president or the U.S. House, or for mayor or school board for that matter, on this page. We trust our readers to look at the facts, explore the issues and personalities and make a decision that best reflects their own interests.


A life lost so young hits the community right in the heart

The Ely community was in mourning on Thursday after a car crash resulted in the loss of one of our young people.
Jacob Forsman, 21, died when he exited the vehicle and came into contact with a live electrical wire, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department.
The accident occurred just outside of town on a sharp corner on Hwy. 21 near Moss Ridge Road.
We’ve had our share of car accidents and lives lost over the years. Each one brings with it hurt and heartache, feelings of loss and sorrow. We struggle with these as we think of the life taken too soon and the pain felt by family and loved ones.
We feel that pain as well. In a small town we have connections to those directly affected. It may be as a friend, a co-worker, a classmate, a city council member or a friendly face. It still hurts.


Locally, the upcoming forums are an important voter resource

Watch all three presidential debates? Congratulations and our sympathies. Instead of listening to candidates duck questions and ignore moderators, how about a refreshing change of pace? Check out two candidate forums for Ely city council and school board.
This week the six people on the ballot for three seats on the city council will be at the VCC theater on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Candidates Jerome Debeltz, Paul Kess, Angela Campbell, Ryan Callen, Rachel Colber and Mark Zupec will give opening and closing statements with questions inbetween.
The event, sponsored by the Ely chapter of the American Association of University Women and Ely’s Rotary Club, is the only time the candidates will be at a public forum.
Similarily, school board candidates James Pointer, Alexis Leitgeb, Tom Omerza, Zach Walen, Heidi Mann and Geoff Galaski are invited to a forum on Nov. 3, also at VCC and at 7 p.m.


Perilous trip ends safely, thanks to Packsack’s Gene Ott

Note: Taking a trip into the Boundary Waters recently were: the writer’s son Jason and his wife, a nephew and his fiance’, and in the third canoe - Judy and her brother, Randy.


Politics finds Ely, thankfully without presidential candidates

The Nov. 8 election is still weeks away but a candidate from one of the higher profile races made a campaign stop in Ely.
Republican Stewart Mills is again trying to beat Democrat Rick Nolan for the Eighth District House seat.
Mills was in Ely briefly on Wednesday and stopped in the Ely Echo office on Chapman Street. We expect to see Nolan soon, as he’s been a more frequent visitor to Ely.
This race is attracting plenty of “outside” money with 99.9 percent not going to newspapers. Yet newspapers are exactly where politicians turn to get their message out.
Now into a second election campaign,we’re still waiting to see a political ad from Stewart Mills. At this point we’ve probably got a better chance to get one from Mills Fleet Farm.
Nolan did advertise with the Ely Echo and other Range newspapers in 2014. That could very well have been the difference in his win over Mills.


Fall colors light up Ely area

A floatplane ride Monday morning was a great way to take in the totality of the fall colors in the Ely area.
Stan Skelton taxied away from the dock on Shagawa Lake and banked to the right as he cranked up the engine. Moments later the floats lifted off the water and we were with the birds.
The morning sun lit up the fall colors with bright yellows and oranges leading the way. Our plentiful evergreens provided the perfect contrast to the view from above.
Just being in Ely this time of year is a blessing. The bugs are gone, the temperatures are just right and Mother Nature is putting on her annual autumn show. Plus, the fishing has been red hot as of late, an added bonus to be sure.
Sure enough by the end of the week, snow was in the forecast but not enough to worry about it. More of a reminder that fall will fly by fast so we better get out and enjoy it.


Help may be on the way if your internet is turtle slow

If watching Netflix isn’t an option and downloading a one megabyte file takes forever, there may be some good news crawling your way.
Last week the city of Ely announced a joint effort to bring broadband to our neck of the woods. We’ve waited long enough for a private company to step up and provide high speed internet. It’s time to move forward.
In Ely your choices are basically cable or phone for internet. Cable is only available within the city limits and does not offer broadband. The phone options extend farther but the speed drops off dramatically. If you live more than two miles from town, your internet speed is on pace with a turtle.
The city along with the Town of Morse, the school district and VCC have already provided letters of support. The area joint powers board has signed on as well.


July 21 windstorm has had lasting impact on the area

When a wicked windstorm hit the Ely area like a freight train on July 21 the impacts were devastating in some areas and minor in others. For the families of two people killed when a tree fell on their tent on Basswood Lake, the impact was the greatest.
This week we have an update on one of the boys in that Scout group who was injured and has had to undergo multiple surgeries. He may be over a thousand miles away but 16 year-old Alex Muller lives with the storm’s impact every day.
Apart from the tragedy on Basswood, miraculously there were no other major injuries sustained. Automobiles were crushed, holes were punctured in houses but no other loss of life was sustained despite the strength of the storm.


...wondering if the USFS did authorize

(Note: This letter was sent to U.S. Forest Service Kawishiwi District Ranger Gus Smith)
It was nice to meet you at our August township meeting.
At that meeting I asked if the Freemans had a permit to advertise with props from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and you said you did not know, but would find out.
As you know, Dave and Amy Freeman have been living in the BWCAW wilderness for the past year in order to garner support for opposition to the proposed Twin Metals mine, which is located outside of the BWCAW.
Over the past year that the Freemans have been blogging from the BWCAW, I have noticed that they have referenced, with links, the companies that have sponsored this year long trip. These links have been accompanied with pictures that were obviously set up to show the products of the companies that have sponsored this trip.


Fall is in the air and that suits us just fine in Ely, Minnesota

Twice this past week there were frost advisories issued by the National Weather Service. For those of us who live in Ely 12 months of the year, those advisories told us what we already knew: the best time of the year is here.
Here’s some of the things we enjoy when there’s frost on the pumpkin:
• Sleeping with the window open. Cooler nights might mean an extra blanket on the bed but not having to worry about mosquitoes sneaking in is another fall advantage.
• Enjoying the vegetables of our labor. Gardens are being harvested and freezers are being filled with canned deliciousness to enjoy over the winter months. Nothing like getting your hands dirty and bringing home grown food into the kitchen.
• Today is the first day of the small game hunting season as well as the opening of the archery deer season. Hunters will don orange clothing, or at least a hat, and head out in search of grouse, hoping to run into a covey and end up with enough birds for a meal.


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