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BDub

Ely at the Crossroads

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Tuesday evening I went to the so-called townhall meeting of 'Ely: At the Crossroads' at the Grand Ely Lodge. This meeting was to discuss our future with options for sustainable businesses in the Arrowhead. I walked into the room to see 6 or 7 people sitting in a circle with a fellow filming what was being said. I sat behind the circle to listen in, and was asked by Diadra Decker, who is with Save Our Sky Blue Waters, to register and sign a release for the filming. I signed my name, giving my permission. I left my address, telephone # and email address blank and went to my seat. Diadra came to me again and said that they needed all the information. I filled in that I was with the Ely Echo, which I do some writing, and told Diadra I wanted to listen to what was being said. I went to my seat a third time.

Diadra came to me again and said she had to talk to me. I was lead out of the room. She told me that the press could come in when they were all done, and that is what the Timberjay was going to do. When I said I wanted to sit in and hear what was being discussed, Diadra told me that even though it was a public meeting, it was according to their rules. I said that was ridiculous, that I had never heard of a public townhall meeting that a person couldn't participate or listen because they were with the newspaper.

At the Monday 'film fest' Kat Thompson said something like isn't it better to have the locals say what goes on. Right! Her idea of economic opportunity was to relieve the stress of the people from the cities and have them ride a train up to Ely and be soothed by music and massages all the way, then when they get here they go out in the woods or relax at a resort. This was one of her ideas to bring jobs to Ely!

Even though the presentation the evening before was advertised as having a concern about future economic opportunities for the area and protecting our water resources, the final words by Diadra were about signing and sending postcards to our Congressmen and Senators opposing the PolyMet project.

My impression of At the Crossroads is that Diadra Decker and Kat Thompson, from the Twin Cities, will make a propaganda film to present to legislators showing only their agenda of opposing the mining projects, and even if people were filmed supporting the economic development of the mining projects, that footage would end up on the cutting room floor.

I suggest that everyone write to their State Representatives and Senators and tell them that this propaganda film is the result a vocal few. The technology of the proposed mining projects is far safer and cleaner to our environment than the smelters with massive pollution used in Russia at their precious metal mines. That is the pollution that is affecting out lakes. We are told to 'think locally and act globally'. It is common sense to mine with better technology here.

A recent article in the Mesabi Daily News told of the drastic declines in school enrollments all across the Iron Range. The people who live in these towns want the mining projects to move forward. We need these good paying jobs to bring young families with children to our communities, to keep our communities thriving.

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I forgot to mention that at the Monday 'film fest' which was a viewing of the short film 'Thirst' and an early logging film, that Kat Thompson asked men and loggers to come to the Grand Ely Lodge the next afternoon to take part in a choreographed jig, like the loggers in the 1800 & 1900s did, to be filmed for the presentation.

Also found on the internet that Diadra is a massage therapist, thus the massage train idea.

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If the economy doesn't improve soon, the three major income sources around Ely will all suffer greatly (Mining, Logging, and Tourism). The price of metals has dropped by historic levels the last few months. I don't know about lumber, but with the number of housing starts down I'm guessing so is demand. There's already grumblings amongst the outfitters about the lack of reservations coming in for next years canoe season.

As for the PolyMet project, mining is an environmentally destructive industry, that's just the nature of the beast. There will be environmental consequences down the road if the project goes thru, no doubt about it. How much or how wide spread, who knows? The way things are going, I wouldn't be as worried about the PolyMet as I would about the closure of existing mines.

Quote:
Also found on the internet that Diadra is a massage therapist, thus the massage train idea.

Everyone has an agenda. wink

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Everyone does have has an agenda.

If it was a public meeting, I can't see you being excluded. Given it was held at a private business, the rules change.

Duffman is right about greater concern on existing mines.

U.S. Steel idling three U.S. plants, focusing production at other facilities

PITTSBURGH — United States Steel Corp. (NYSE:X) is "temporarily" idling three U.S. plants, affecting 3,500 workers, due to "market conditions and their impact on customers' orders."

U.S. Steel plans to concentrate production at other facilities, including Lake Erie Works in Nanticoke, Ont.

The plants being idled are in Keewatin, Minn., Detroit and St. Louis, while American sites in line to benefit from the production consolidation are in Gary, Ind.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Pittsburgh.

"We believe that our difficult decision to temporarily consolidate our production is a necessary response to current market conditions," stated U.S. Steel chairman and CEO John Surma.

U.S. Steel announced last month it would lay off about 675 workers - 500 in the United States and 175 at the Lake Erie facility - because of weakening demand.

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