May 28, 2009

Draining of Lake Could Provide Jobs to Thousands

After hours of experimenting and countless calculations we may not be able to drain Miner’s Lake in the fashion we were originally hoping (with 8 gallon buckets and a lot of hard work).  Water Resource students from Vermillion Community College estimated the lake to hold approximately 8 trillion gallons of water!  At our original proposal of 10 buckets every 30 seconds, this would require more than 30 million days working around the clock.  Obviously not an option since we need to be done by 2016.  

This is where we call upon Phase Two of the President Obama Economic Stimulus Plan.  If our planning committee can convince President Obama to support our quest to bring the 2016 Olympics to Ely, we could employee thousands of “Bucket Haulers” for the next seven years.  Certainly this would help to boost the economy and lower the unemployment rate.  It’s a win-win for all, the work on Miner’s Lake begins, it employs thousands, fuels Obama’s stimulus package and brings people from all around the country to the fabulous town of Ely (prior to the start of the Olympics, of course).  With festivals, activities and fishing galore throughout the summer, laborers would enjoy all the great things Ely has to offer.

We understand it may be a stretch for Obama to support our efforts up in Ely, but we deserve the love that Chicago has received!   

Position Description: Bucket Haulers (Crew Members and Crew Leaders)

Benefits and salary: free coffee, discounted work apparel, government health benefits, Crew Members $9.00 / hour, Crew Leaders $10.25

Hours:  multiple shifts available with option for overtime

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Support overall efforts to complete the 2016 Olympic Stadium
  • Must work quickly and be able to stand, walk and bend for hours at a time
  • Ability to carry 50 lbs. comfortably
  • Must be comfortable around water, swimming experience beneficial
  • Crew Leaders will be responsible for 10 members and ensure all work is staying on pace


  • Must be 16 years of age
  • Desire to live in Ely area for up to seven years
  • A git-r-done mentality is crucial

May 22, 2009

Dock Dogs - the next Olympic sport?

There are spots being held for two additional sporting events in the 2016 Summer Olympics. While several sports have active lobbying efforts in place - baseball, softball, golf, roller sports, blah, blah, blah - we're thinking outside the box in Ely. Why not . . . (drumroll, please) . . . Dock Dogs!

Watch a short video here

You can get a great look at this exciting "sport" June 5-7 when Ely's Pet and Wildlife Expo features DockDogs® in Whiteside Park. This is what the Chamber of Commerce is saying about it:

"This event will consist of competitions in three disciplines: Big Air, Speed Retrieve, and Extreme Vertical. Big Air features dogs running down a 40 foot dock and jumping into a pool of water after an object, in which they are judged on the length of their jump. Speed Retrieve consists of dogs being clocked to see how fast they can run down the dock, jump into the water, and swim to the end of the pool to retrieve a dead fowl held by a modified extender arm. The final category is Extreme Vertical which is a “high jump” for dogs in that they lunge up to snag a “bumper” suspended in the air."

Now, you may be wondering if your dog is DockDog-worthy. Good question. You can find out with two events this year: "Fun Jump" and "Let's Try Dock Dogs." Again, from the Ely web site:

"A Fun Jump is an opportunity available to anyone with a dog to come out and use the dock. Its objective is to give those unfamiliar with the sport a chance to try it out before entering the competition. It is especially important to get your dog comfortable with jumping into a clear water pool, versus dark-colored lake water which they are typically familiar with. Fun jump participants will pay a flat fee of $10 per dog. This fee gives them unlimited access, during the allotted time, to practice their dog in: Big Air, Speed Retrieve, and/or Extreme Vertical. Dock Dogs Northern Stars members will be available to give pointers, instructions, recommendations, and answers to any of your questions. This session runs from 3-6pm on Friday June 5th, 2009.

"Let's try Dock Dogs is an instructional class available for anyone interested in learning more about the sport, as well as providing an opportunity to experience a jump before entering the competition. We will briefly explain the different divisions of the sport, how each one works, and provide an overview of the rules and regulations. After the class, and with the help of a DDNS instructor, participants will get a chance to try it out. Our goal is to get your dog interested by providing a positive, fun, and rewarding experience! Having experienced first hand the thrill of the sport, most participants go on to register for a Big Air Wave Competition immediately following the class. Participants will pay $10 per dog for the class, receive an instructional packet, a Certificate of Completion, and a $5 DDNS voucher (which can be used either towards the purchase of a wave or items at our merchandise tent). This class runs approximately one hour. We have 2 sessions available on Saturday June 6th, 2009: 8:30am & 11:30am. Please arrive at least 30 minutes early to allow time for registration. Class size is limited to 10 dogs."

Of course, Olympic purists would point out that this is not a human sport and not eligible for Olympic consideration. But consider how much we love our dogs, how much more loyal they are than most humans in our lives, and how many characteristics they share with the human race - like flatulence and the tendency to fight over females. Sort of gets you thinking, doesn't it?

Check it out June 4 and 5 in Ely this summer!

May 11, 2009

Design the mascot for the 2016 Summer Games in Ely and win $500!

The Ely Chamber of Commerce, together with the Games Organizing Committee and Ely Greenstone Public Art, is offering a$500 first prize to the winner of a contest to design the mascot for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

This is what Ely Greenstone Public Art has to say:

Will it be a comical timberwolf? A tubby black bear? A humanized loon or eagle? A mythical creature or a lowly woodchuck?

No one knows yet what the mascot will look like for Ely's 2016 quest. Together with the Games Organizing Committee and the Ely Chamber of Commerce, Ely Greenstone Public Art is launching a contest to create a 2016 Ely games mascot with a $500 prize awaiting the winner. One entry per person; no fee to enter. All submissions become the property of Ely Greenstone Public Art.

Contestants are urged to get their designs ready - prototypes are not necessary, but most welcome - for submission by July 1 to the Ely Greenstone, 2647 Van Vac Road, Ely (218-365-5917) or Ely Echo, 15 E. Chapman St., Ely, MN 55731, telephone 218-365-3141, either in person or by mail.

The first Olympic mascot was created during the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France with the introduction of "Schuss," a stylized skier. All Olympics since that time have had a mascot - usually an animal native to that area or occasionally human or mythical figures representing the cultural heritage of the area.

All artists, either professional or amateur, are invited to participate - families, groups or individuals. Any and all materials can be used and artist renderings of a proposed mascot are acceptable. Pieces submitted can be two, three or multi-dimensional. Maximum size is 6".

All submitted mascots will be available for viewing in Ely the weekend of July 18-20 at the Ely Greenstone 4th Annual Juried Art Exhibit and Sale. Arrangements are being made for display of the finalists' work for the public to vote on throughout the summer. The winner will be chosen by October 1, just prior to the announcement of the summer game's bid winner.

Questions, call Muffin Nelson at 218-235-1912. To learn more, click here.

May 4, 2009

Official Ely Olympic Photographer named

Famed outdoor photographer Jim Brandenburg has been named the official photographer of the Ely 2016 Olympics, should Ely succeed in its efforts to secure the rights to host the Games. (And why wouldn't we?) Jim's bio on his blog reads as follows: "Jim Brandenburg traveled the globe as a photographer with National Geographic Magazine for over 30 years. His photographs have won a multitude of national and international awards including BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Jim was twice named NPPA's Magazine Photographer of the Year."

(There's a much longer bio on his website that talks about all the other career highlights, awards, books and movies he's been involved with. If the photography world gave out gold medals, he'd be a Michael Phelps type of guy - without that whole bong incident, of course.)

Now, you might we wondering why a photographer that specializes in wildlife and the outdoors would be selected as an Olympic photographer. To which we say, would you expect anything different from Ely? We like to go against the grain. Zig where others zag. One photo of an athlete straining to cross the finish line or leaping into the air is pretty much like another EXCEPT when it's in Ely and there's something really cool in the background. Like, maybe a bull moose or a 16-foot Kevlar canoe or a spectacular sunset. That's when you want a guy like Jim Brandenburg behind the camera, not some guy from the Associated Press.

Jim lives in Ely and displays his work in the Brandenburg Gallery right here in town.

You can check out Jim's website and blog here: