Archive | May, 2015

Late Storms Mean Fewer Wildfires, But Is Speed Week Threatened Again?

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Howard Copelan


On one hand heavy spring and summer rains lessen the chance of wild fires, on the other they could swamp the Salt Flats again.


The last ten straight days of rain has gone a long way to quitt tears of a particularly vicious fire season.

But on the other hand if the wet continues into summer Wendover’s premier racing event Speed Week could be cancelled for the second year in a row.

Unusual late Spring storms drenched northern Nevada for almost two weeks this month supporting ranchers claims that rural Nevada is headed toward a wet cycle.

Anyone who has been ranching for a long time can tell you that the weather out hear is cyclical,” said Wells Rancher Geoff Dahl back in 2002. “We have wet years and then dry years there really isn’t  typical ‘normal’ year.”

Dahl’s observation could be right while the two decades of a dry track was a boon to racing enthusiasts the previous 10 years were often a disaster. During the late 1980’s to mid 1990’s rain forced the cancellation or the curtailment of Speed Week and other racing events more than a half a dozen times and during one particularly bad stretch it was only held once in five years.

wreccoolad (1)It was the uncertainty caused by those rain storms, that have prompted many of the world’s preeminent speed racers to look for other venues to run their machines, including the Black Rock Desert north of Reno that saw the breaking of the land speed record by a British team in 1997.

And it didn’t rain just on the Salt Flats. Wet cool summers saw a rapid increase in the Great Salt Lake, so rapid that then Utah Governor Norm Bangerter pushed through the construction of a $100 million pumping project to protect low laying homes and businesses.

But like the blizzard that happens as soon as storm windows come down the wet years anded as soon as the pumping station, now referred to as Bangerter’s folly, was completed apart from maintenance the pumps have never run.

But along with mushy salt flats and swamped lake front homes the Wet also brings good news. Last year Spring and Summer rains made  2014 one of the easiest wild fire years and it was  the first summer in almost a decade that the BLM did not have an emergency mustang round up to save herds from thirst or starvation.

“It really amazing what just  small increase in rain can do for wild horses,” said BLM Public Affairs Specialist Chris Hanefield.”

centraGardeners are reporting bumper crops of vegetables and alfalfa growers are reporting yields not seen in a decade and much lower costs in irrigation.

Of course the summer of 2014 could just be one wet year in what could be another string of dry ones. Accurate records date only from the 1970’s for north eastern Nevada and western Utah and even those are spotty.

There are however legends among the Shoshone and the Goshute that long periods of drought were followed by several years of mild weather and summers with substantial rains. petroglyphs in the region often depict a spiral representing Native American beliefs that cycles repeat themselves again and gain and again.

But also in 2014 Wendover’s premier event Speed Week was canceled for the first time in 20 years by the Southern California Timing Association due to rain.

According to the SCTA web page the amount of water dumped on the famous race was simply was too much to drain or evaporate before the start of the event.

The last time rain caused the cancellation of Speed Week was in 1994 but according to what few records were kept and the memory of old time Nevadans this year’s cancellation could be  harbinger of several more in the coming decade.


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Vegas Water Grab Loses In Supreme Court, Northern Nevada Celebrates Victory

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Howard Copelan



Just in time for the Snake Valley Water Festival the Nevada Supreme Court issued two short orders on last week denying Southern Nevada Water Authority’s and the State Engineer’s petitions for writs of mandamus.

This ruling constitutes a major victory for opponents of SNWA’s Pipeline Project, led by White Pine County and the Great Basin Water Network and local Native American tribes.  By the same token, this ruling is a defeat for SNWA and the State Engineer, and their efforts to circumvent sound science.

The Supreme Court’s orders follow its February order dismissing SNWA’s and the SE’s original appeals.  Now SNWA and the State Engineer Jason King are in the position of having to comply with the Judge Estes’s order and the requirement to demonstrate that SNWA’s proposed groundwater mining and export operation will be sustainable and will not cause impermissible impacts on the environment and existing water rights holders, such as ranchers, farmers and local business people.

wreccoolad (1)The out manned and outgunned ranchers, farmers and just plain folks of rural Nevada and Utah won their third major victory against the Las Vegas city slickers of the SNWA when the Nevada Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of District Judge Robert Estes ruling that voided the Las Vegas water grab last year.

Estes ruled in December 2013 that State Engineer Jason King had failed to establish adequate criteria for protecting the residents of eastern Nevada and western Utah from damages that might result from drawing down the groundwater to supply the Southern Nevada Water Authority with 84,000 acre-feet a year of groundwater from SPRING, Cave, Dry Lake and Delamar valleys.

The state supreme court ruled that since Estes sent the case back to the state engineer the case was not appealable — yet.

However the language Estes used to void the water rights made it clear that getting the rights back for Las Vegas could be very difficult.

“There are no objective standards to determine when mitigation will be required and implemented,” the judge wrote. “The Engineer has listed what mitigation efforts can possibly be made, i.e., stop pumping, modifying pumping, CHANGE location of pumps, drill new wells … but does not cite objective standards of when mitigation is necessary.”

jrgolfEstes concluded that if “it is premature to set triggers and thresholds, it is premature to grant water rights.”

“If the Nevada State Engineer lacks information to set concrete triggers for monitoring and preventing or mitigating harmful impacts, then SNWA’s applications must be denied,” said Abby Johnson, president of GBWN.  “The District Court decision reversed the State Engineer’s decision on all of SNWA’s water rights applications in Spring, Cave, Dry Lake and Delamar Valleys.  The Supreme Court’s ruling requires that the State Engineer and SNWA accept that decision, and confront the deficiencies that Judge Estes held must be corrected before any of SNWA’s water rights applications can be granted,” Johnson added.

“On a scale of one to ten this is a nine,” Johnson said in an interview with the High Desert Advocate.

centra“SNWA has had 25 years to provide basic information proving that its proposed project to pump and pipe water out of these rural valleys would be sustainable and comply with the most basic requirements of Nevada’s water law.  The fact that they not only have failed to produce such evidence in all that time, but also have gone on record saying repeatedly that they cannot produce such evidence, only goes to show this misguided proposal never has been and never will be scientifically defensible or legally permissible,” declared GBWN’s attorney, Simeon Herskovits of Advocates for Community and Environment.

Rob Mrowka, senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity said, “Once again, the natural heritage that makes Nevada great has been SAVED by the courts from the ill-conceived and short-sighted plans of the SNWA.”

“All of the science actually shows that SNWA’s plan to pump groundwater out of these rural valleys and pipe it down to the Las Vegas Valley simply will not be sustainable and cannot avoid destroying existing water rights and the environment in the vast affected area,” said GBWN’s Johnson.

The Supreme Court decision marks the fifth consecutive victory of GBWN and allied opponents of SNWA’s controversial proposed project over SNWA in the courts in a real live “David v. Goliath” battle.

The high court’s decision is just the latest setback for the Negas water grab. Until last summer northern Nevada water appeared to be ready to be pumped down south. But just as the pipeline was all but laid bad things began to happen to the bad guys from Sin City.

SVF-POSTER-2015-printonYELLOW-page1-1In addition to the Estes decision SNWA opponents scored a political victory of a sorts when Utah governor Gary Herbert In an 11th hour decision reversed himself and said he would not sign a controversial water-sharing agreement with Nevada that was strongly supported by the SNWA and strongly opposed by Utah ranchers and more recently by the LDS church.

“At the end of the day, when it comes down to those people who have the most to lose — it’s their water, their lifestyle, their livelihood — I can’t in good conscience sign the agreement,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

Finally that year the Goshute and Shoshone Tribes, and their allies took the fight to a NEW level, requesting that the Federal District Court of Nevada “void the validity” of the Bureau of Land Management’s  Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) and “suspend and enjoin any operation on the right-of-way” pending full compliance with federal environmental laws and TRUST obligations to the Tribal Plaintiffs.

“These are standards that SNWA and the State Engineer themselves have repeatedly conceded, on the record, they cannot meet because the science does not support such conclusions,” said GBWN’s attorney, Simeon Herskovits of Advocates for Community and Environment.

“The Nevada Supreme Court’s rejection of SNWA’s and the State Engineer’s appeals, combined with Judge Estes’s ruling in district court, represents a victory for the people and environment of the Great Basin in Nevada and Utah including ranchers and farmers who are threatened with elimination by SNWA’s ill-considered, massive water grab,” said GBWN president Abby Johnson.

LC Ad-HDA“This is one more nail in the coffin for SNWA’s pipeline and one more indication that protecting Snake Valley groundwater is the right thing to do and will succeed in the end,” said Steve Erickson of GBWN in Salt Lake City.

“We hope SNWA and the State Engineer will reconsider their prior efforts to ramrod this unsustainable and ultimately devastating groundwater mining project on ratepayers and taxpayers,” said Howard Watts III, communications specialist for GBWN.

This ruling does not necessarily represent the end of the case.  SNWA and the State Engineer may well decide together to rush a remand proceeding and try again with more bogus pseudo-science.  But they should be held accountable for having boxed themselves in by making repeated representations to both the Nevada District Court and Supreme Court that they cannot satisfy the standards Judge Estes held they must satisfy.

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ESP Hosts New Death Chamber

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Howard Copelan



The new death chamber scheduled for Ely State Prison will be wheelchair friendly and handicapped accessible, thanks to a vote of the Nevada Legislature.

But while getting to the death chamber may gotten easier, getting to the execution will get a little harder.

For the first time in more than 20 years the remote Ely State Prison will house the death chamber for the state of Nevada.

wreccoolad (1)While ESP has always been home to death row, the few executions the state has carried out have remained in the now closed Nevada State Prison in Carson City. The obsolete death house was cited as not in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. State officials have said for about four years that they wouldn’t be able to carry out an execution there.

This week a joint Assembly and Senate budget committee approved the construction  the budget of  $860,000 on a new execution chamber at the Ely State Prison.

Executions remain rare in Nevada, which has only carried out the death penalty 12 times since 1977.

Department of Corrections officials say there are about 80 inmates on Nevada’s death row, but the state hasn’t executed anyone since 2006.


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Vicodin Romeo Arrest Redux

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Howard Copelan



A Wendover man, Eli Sireechat, was arrested in the MacDonalds parking lot on a bench warrant from Elko District Court.

Screech has an extensive criminal history mostly involving drugs.

He was arrested last year after he was seen aggressively offering women, the pain killer Vicodin, in exchange for sex.

wreccoolad (1)According to police reports, Sireech approach three women sitting at a bar in a Wendover casino and offered them Vicodin pills.

Vicodin is a tablet containing a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is in a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers, and is often prescribed for sever pain.

The ‘high’ it gives is most often described as being similar to morphine or other opiates such as heroin or demerol.

It can also cause sever liver damage especially if taken with alcohol, which may be one reason why Sireech was so harshly rebuffed.

According to witnesses one of the women knocked the pills out of Sireech’s hand while another call 911. When police officers responded, the women pointed out Sireech who was still in the casino perhaps looking for friendlier prey.

centraAt first Sireech denied even having drugs on him during police questioning. That statement was however contradicted by the bottle of pills protruding from the man’s shirt pocket.

The bottle contained in excess of 80 individual pills believed to be Vicodin, a prescription strength pain narcotic reliever.

Sireech also was found to have an outstanding warrant for his arrest.  The warrant had been issued through the Eastline Justice Court.

Sireech was arrested and later booked into the Elko County Jail upon the following alleged offenses: Active Bench Warrant; Obtaining Illegal Prescription Drugs; Possession of Schedule 2 for sale (84 counts) 1 count per pill in the bottle.

Sireech’s bail at the time of booking was $426,197.


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Lightening, Rain and Earth Quakes Do Not Shake Hippies

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Howard Copelan



Not lightening, torrential rain or even an earthquake put a damp on the second annual sacred waters tour that began at Alamo Friday and ended at the Ibapah Goshute Reservation Monday, Memorial Day.

Organized by the radical environmental group, Deep Green Resistance the trek took place from May 23th to 25th.The Trek through  eastern Nevada trip highlighted key fragile areas within the vast region, located on the ancestral lands of the Goshute and Shoshone people.

On the first day of the trek hikers found themselves at the epicenter of a moderate earthquake in Alamo.

According to the United States Geological Survey the temblor hit at around noon 11:47 a.m. PDT and measured 5.4 on the Richter Scale. No injuries or major damage was reported.

wreccoolad (1)After being slightly shook up, the travelers will ventured east on remote dirt roads through the Delmar Valley, north and west through Cave Valley and into Ely, then on to Spring Valley. The tour end Monday at the site of two major massacres of Shoshone and Goshute peoples, where travelers may pay their respects.

This was the second year the tour has been organized to draw attention to the negative impacts of water and power development on communities of people, fragile ecosystems, and sacred lands. This year’s event added a poetry workshop and a visit to the sacred Swamp Cedars, as well as a focus on the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing.

Trip organizer, Max Wilbert, says the purpose of the tour was to get to know the land and people threatened by extraction.

For two days during the hike, trekkers suffered through unusually heavy rains. Yet they continued despite the hardship.

centra“Once you have built a relationship with the place, you’ll fight to protect it,” Wilbert said. “There is a lot of history here, a lot of stories in this land that are worth telling.”

A Local, Rick Spilsbury of the Ely-Shoshone Tribe, has been fighting the water grab for decades, and sees opposition as critical to the future.

“The Western Shoshone still hunt and gather here—right where the worst of the environmental damage will be.” said Spilsbury. “The mass killing of life in this area will not only be the final blow to Western Shoshone culture, it will be a serious threat to their long-term sustainability—and even viability.”

The $15 billion SNWA groundwater development project plans to extract water from mountain valleys in the Great Basin region and deliver it by pipeline to Las Vegas and the surrounding area. The embattled pipeline project faces mounting opposition from a growing network of organizations and individuals determined to ensure a sustainable supply of water for all needs within the Great Basin region.


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Despite War And Family Illness Sam Copelan Awarded Masters With Honors at Bar Ilan University

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Howard Copelan

Seren (Captain) Shalom Bareretz (Sam Copelan) serving this summer on the Israel/Syrian Border

Seren (Captain) Shalom Bareretz (Sam Copelan) serving this summer on the Israel/Syrian Border

When 2014 began, West Wendover High graduate Sam Copelan was well on his way to completing his Master’s degree in record time.

With a good 70 percent of his studies completed in the first year of the normally three year course, the former all state line backer and 2005 WWHS valedictorian figured to spend most of 2014 writing and polishing his thesis.

Life however got in the way.

wreccoolad (1)Copelan, a captain in the Israeli Army Reserves, was first called away in February for six weeks of training on the Golan Heights and the Syrian border.

A month after he returned to civilian life, he was called up again back to the Syrian border during the Operation Protective Edge took on the Gaza Strip.

The day Copelan returned again to civilian life, his studies were again interrupted in August when his parents Howard and Corinne Copelan arrived in Israel to see their three children and two grand children as well as delivered video games to the border villages along the Gaza Strip.

SVF-POSTER-2015-printonYELLOW-page1-1The elder Copelans stayed three weeks and when they left the year Sam had set aside to write his thesis had eroded to four months.

The interruptions did no however end.

On the trip back to America Howard Copelan suffered a heart attack and his plane made an emergency landing in Spain. The couple spent a week in the hospital in Barcelona while Sam negotiated with the airline for an extended ticket.

Then a week after the elder Copelans returned, Howard Copelan was stricken with toxic shock and fell into a coma.

centra“ I was the logical choice to come and help,” Sam said. “Anna, my sister, had a toddler and a newborn baby to take care of. Arieh my younger brother,  had just started university. I was just working and writing my thesis.”

Sam returned to his Wendover home in mid-October and spent the next month helping his mother and tending his father.

“I really didn’t think about the thesis for that month,” he said.

“We really didn’t want him to interupt his studies,” said his mother Corinne Copelan. “But when Sam sets his mind to do something, he does it. He was a tremendous help to me and my husband as well as our youngest son Louie.”He finally returned to Israel and his thesis in late November, with less than two months left to complete the project.

He did, and received a 95 percent grade.

He will formally receive his Master Degree with honors in Political Science this Summer in a ceremony at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv.


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For The Sake of Peace, SNWA Give Up

Posted on 29 May 2015 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

One can tell how good or bad an idea is by who supports it and who is opposed to it.

By any measure the SNWA attempt to pump all the water from northern Nevada to Las Vegas is an incredibly bad idea.

It has and should be fought by anyone who opened a tap north of the Clark County line.

Far beyond its piddling merits the amount of harm it will is almost beyond imagination.

Lets imagine what would happen should somehow the SNWA win the right to build its $15 billion drainage system.

Does anyone think that northern Nevadans would stand by quietly while the south builds this system to suck the state dry?

It is the recipe for civili disobedience if not violence.

Yes we are a nation of laws but when the law is used to perpetuate an injustice it can and must be changed. The method of that change can either be peaceful or violent or a combination of both.

We ask this of the SNWA is slacking the thirst of Las Vegas worth civil war?

Is it really worth the mass protests, the violence in the high desert that is almost certain to come?

There is a concept in religious law called ‘peace in the home’. It suggests that even if one is right beyond any doubt he or she should concede the point if their partner cannot see reason. There are more important things than being right. It is simply common sense.

Unfortunately common sense is in very short supply in Las Vegas, not surprising from a city built on the shattered dreams of so many. Still by pursuing this water war against its neighbors Las Vegas continues to sew enmity and hatred.

There is an old saying that a persons impact and import in life is like a hand in a bucket of water. It may cause a big splash but once removed there is very little evidence it was there at all.

We personally learned that lesson when went into a coma last September. Despite our imagined importance, our newspaper did not miss a beat, thanks entirely to our wife Corinne.

She carried on all by herself for the six weeks were were unconscious and for the next month while we were recovering.

Her biggest problem was not the fact that her husband was near that hilly borne where no man returns but was actually convincing peole she could handle the job despite her feminine voice.

That may sound hard to believe in our liberated day and age but it is nonetheless true. The fact they she proved she could get along without us obviously means little. We would ask that it meant more.

We have written before that personal thanks makes us uncomfortable, that discomfort grows worse when it is not we who are deserving of gratitude but Corinne. And since she is the much nicer member of our partnership she usually does the nice things in our newspaper.

So dear readers if we do something that compels you to say thank you either thank us both or thank her alone, she deserves it.

The idea of making the death chamber of the Ely Stte Prison wheel chair friendly is absurd bordering on evil.

Forget the fact that the state is involved in this ridicuous farce of a death penalty, where it is often given but never applied we are now going to spend close to a million dollars just to make sure those who can’t make it up a stair or two on their own can wheel through to witness an execution that is probaly not going to happen anyway.

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Could Tiny Fish Stop Long Canyon Mine?

Posted on 22 May 2015 by Howard Copelan


Could a tiny fish no longer than a thumb stop the Long Canyon Mine before construction begins?

The fish is called the “Relict Dace” and was mentioned in the formal appeal by the Goshute Tribe against the Bureau of Land Management Approval to the Long Canyon Mine Project.

“The Project Area spans 24,779 acres. Earth-moving activities during mine construction and operation will degrade 3,879 acres of land surface, occurring both on public and private land. On the west edge of Goshute Valley, the Johnson Springs complex, which is fed by groundwater and which includes Big Springs, forms“a system of springs, potholes, ponds, and outflows.” reads part of the appeal. ”This unique and limited habitat sustains a genetically distinct population of the relict dace (Relictus solitarius). FEIS 3-152 –3-153. “[A]n emergency petition to list the relict dace at Big Springs pursuant to Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act was submitted onJune 27, 2014 by an environmental advocacy group.” FEIS 153. While the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service(“FWS”) did not emergency list the dace as endangered, the FWS did make a 90-day finding:“we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the relict dace. . .”Federal Register, 80(69): 19262; see Exhibit 3. At present, the FWSis undergoing their 12-month status review of the relict dace to determine whether listing the genetically distinct population is warranted.”

LC Ad-HDAThe relict dace, Relictus solitarius, is an endangered cyprinid fish of the Great Basin of western North America. It is the sole member of its genus. The relict dace occurs in only a handful of habitats in eastern Nevada, all of which were once covered by the prehistoric Lake Lahontan. Locations include the springs of Buttle and Ruby Valleys, and the drainage systems of Franklin Lake and Gale Lake.

The mention of the dace was almost a foot note in the appeal submitted by the Goshutes against the mine two weeks ago.

In a motion to halt all work on the mine filed by  Goshute Attorney Paul Echo Hawk the Goshutes claim that the Long Canyon area contains hundreds if not thousands of Paleo Native American artifacts that would be destroyed by the construction and operation of the mine.

Two  weeks ago  Ibapah’s Goshute Indian tribe filed an appeal with the Department of Interior that, if granted, would derail or at least delay the Long Canyon Mine project 30 miles west of Wendover.

Hiring began for the Long Canyon Mine a month ago after the final government okay to begin the mine’s construction.

wrec“We think we have made a compelling case not only for a successful appeal but also for an immediate halt of construction,” said Goshute attorney Paul Echo Hawk.

According to a press release from the Goshutes the appeal asks the courts to reject the BLM finding that there are no significant archaeological finds within the project.

The massive open-pit mine would permanently destroy or remove thousands of Tribal cultural resources.

“The Long Canyon Mine area is a vitally important part of our cultural history and its destruction will erase a critical part of who we are as a people,” said Zelda Johnny, a Tribal Cultural Monitor and Tribal Council Vice-Chair.

The mention of the fish could be considered a Plan B for opponents of the mine if the appeal fails on the archeology. Orr perhaps a plan C

The 45-page Tribal appeal is supported by documents showing the BLM refused to share known information about Tribal cultural items in the area and that the BLM insisted the Tribe waive legal claims in order to have access to the BLM’s Tribal information.

“How can our Tribe evaluate the impact of this proposed mine when the BLM would not give us access to the information about our historical ties to the site?” said Tribal Chairwoman Madeline Greymountain.

But although insisting that Long Canyon is almost holy Native American Land the Goshutes have brought very little evidence to support their claim.

centraWhile there could be an abundance of arrow heads and pottery shards and several ancient hearths there is little evidence to suggest that the Long Canyon was anything more than a place to get through for the nomadic ancient native peoples that became the Shoshone and the Goshutes.

According to Zelda Johnny so far no petroglyphs, signs of long term settlements or agriculture have been discovered.

The dearth of such artifacts helps the mining company and the BLM in two distinct ways. Bureacratically the lack of artistic artifacts supports the claim that the area was not spiritually important to the paleo Indians. The lack of such artifacts also means that the enthusiasm against the mine would be more difficult to generate and maintain.

According to some reports the Goshutes may believe a rumor that the BLM or even Newmont is keeping what would be considered very significant finds secret and away from the Goshutes.

It is one thing to seek to protect rock art created by an ancient Indian from the last ice age but it is impossible to feel the same emotional bond to a hearth dug in the ground no matter how old that hole is.

The Goshute  administrative appeal is a required first step in the appeal process.  “The Tribe is committed to forcing the BLM to follow the law and allow the Tribe a full and fair opportunity to participate in the federal review process before this special place and tribal artifacts are permanently destroyed forever.  The BLM has failed its trust responsibility in this case,” said Echo Hawk.


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To Miss E. With Love

Posted on 22 May 2015 by Howard Copelan


Hundreds of past and present WWHS music students gave a fond fair well to Choir and Band director Patty Eklund Wednesday who after 19 years of teaching is returning home to Minot North Dakota.

cocert1 (1)


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Ely Disincorporation Vote Moves Forward

Posted on 22 May 2015 by Howard Copelan


A bill which could lead to the disincorporation of the City of Ely cleared another hurdle to make it on the 2017 ballot Friday when it cleared an Assembly Committee.

The Assembly Government Affairs Committee voted 8-6 on Friday to pass SB238, which was sponsored by Republican Sen. Pete Goicoechea.

The measure would create a 2017 advisory ballot question to break up the City of Ely and instead form a town that would be governed by White Pine County.

Originally the bill had scheduled the disincorporation vote to this year’s general city election but was delayed following a lobbying blitz by several Ely elected officials. Most spoke against the disincorporation and argued that it would be unfair to spring the vote on the electorate with just three months notice.

wrecThe legislature agreed and post poned the vote until 2017. Ever since the closure of Kennecott in the late 1970’s the idea of disincorporating Ely has raised its head. Proponents of the idea have argued that such a move would save vast amounts of tax payer dollars in uniting services and doing away with the costs of running a city.

Opponents argue that the savings are not so great especially since the Ely and White Pine County have a joint police force already.

Underneath the pocket book issues could be however a general weariness in the legislature about dealing with Ely politics. One of the most bitterly divided communities in the state Ely and to a lesser extent White Pine County regular has recall elections or rather recall election movements the cost both time and money.

Often political disagreements are resolved by the courts.

In the latest uproar the Ely City Council made up of newly relocated “reformers” came up against the “good old boys” native Ely residents on the Rail Road Management board.

In what was called an effort to embarrass the Rail road Board the city council paid tens of thousands of dollars for an audit of the Rail Road’s books.

centraWhile the audit found no evidence of criminal or financial wrong doing it did slight the board for sloppy bookkeeping. Both sides took the audit result as a sign of victory.

Although the pro-disincorporation movement could have the upper hand now the fact that the vote is now delayed for tw years could mean everything.

Ely and White Pine County could be on the verge of a gold mining boom with two major mines well into the permitting process. The influx of people and perhaps an economic boom could change everything once again.

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