Archive | Opinion

The Ordinariness of Good

Posted on 03 December 2015 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

In the wake of the evil that occurred this week in San Bernardino and the evil that occurred last month in Paris and the evil that is going on in Syria, Iraq and various other places in the Middle East, we would like to share a story of simple goodness.

Roddie Edmonds was a thoroughly ordinary American. Born and raised in Kentucky, Edmonds joined the Army just before World War II. By December 1944 he was a Master Sergeant not too shabby but really nothing special.

He had the bad luck to be captured in the Battle of the Bulge now 70 years ago and became the highest ranking non-commissioned American officer in a German POW Camp.

Edmonds found himself in charge of about 1,000 other American Prisoners of a War which by early 1945 was pretty much over. Really all Edmonds had to do was keep his head down for a couple of months and wait either for liberation or surrender.

One thing thought about a quarter of Edmonds new charges were Jews and the Germans wanted them. The Germans didn’t say out right what they wanted to do with those Jewish American soldiers but hey it was 1945 the death camps had already been captured and the holocaust had been mostly revealed.

So when the Germans ordered that all Jewish soldiers to fall out, Edmonds ordered everyone to fall out.

They can’t all be Jews, said the commandant to Edmonds

We are all Jews said Edmonds to the commandant

The commandant pulled out his Luger pointed at Edmonds head  and demanded the American Jews.

Edmonds told him essentially to get stuffed and that commandant would have to shoot everyone and then be probably executed for war crimes by the soon to be victorious allies.

The kraut backed down and Edmonds saved the lives of 250 men.

A hundred days later Edmonds and his men were liberated. He went back to the Army and then back home, married had kids and lead a perfectly normal quiet life. He never sought recognition for his actions. He didn’t even tell his own family. But after he died in 1985 his son was contacted now and again by those aging Jewish G.I.’s who owed their lives to one stubborn nondescript Sergeant who refused to give into evil.

Wednesday Edmonds was named a Righteous Gentile by the State of Israel.

As the photos of yesterday’s killers get published they will appear to be as completely normal as Roddie Edmonds.

It is often remarked that evil often appears so average so normal. While true it is also important to remember that good is just as average, just as boring.

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Geri Wopschall Around the County

Posted on 03 December 2015 by Howard Copelan

G WopEly City Council

November 23

Comments- Jailhouse, Sheriff, John Cobb, etc. all say no to the removal of stop signal. Pedestrians need a light for safe crossing.

Fire Chief Ross Rivera reports medical calls are 540 in the last years and we are approaching that number this year.

City Attorney- past due for water, sewage, etc is $384,000. 104 accounts over $1000. passed due.

  Pat Robinson – Animal Control has free spay and neutering with any adoption.

  City Engineer Almberg- CDBG projects possible for Ely, only two are allowed. 1. Ely Ave water lines, 2. Water treatment plant or 3. Murry Street extension.

Ely Ave. water lines and water treatment plant were chosen.

  Approval of Home Occupation Permit to Julie Spear, A to Z Yorki’s, 805 Ave G.

Acceptance of the 2012 International Property Maintenance Codes.

Discussion Solution to current situation between city and county fire and EMT Services. Postponed until the fire chiefs meet.

bathlumber (1)Discussion pursue collecting a percentage of the .35% tax currently beings assessed to all residents in White Pine County and only going to the county EMS.

  Ross Rivera said the percentage is .035 not .35. Bruce Setterstrom stated the money should be split. We need to get this done while in negotiations with the county. Approved

New Business

Stop light at 5th and Aultman. Dave Berky from the city and Randy  Hesterlee from NDOT both stated the light needs to be removed. The repairs of this light has been $10,000. The light parts are not available and the light is often not working properly. There needs to be a study and plans made to remove the light and design a pedestrian activator light to replace it. This project would be completed in 2018. It is important to began the process. NDOT would pay for everything, no cost to the city.

The vote was 2-3, voting to not replace the light.

Designation of a handicap parking spot at 1052 Lyons Ave. There was much discussion as to the cost and who would pay. Other questions – will there be other requests? Should there be a review done in a year? Do we need an ordinance to cover items like this?

centraoct15The vote was 4-1 for the city to pay $311.00 to instill sign, paint curb and put a handicap symbol on the street. Bruce Setterstrom voted no.

City approved paying Reck Brothers finial payment of $17,311.00.

Selection of date and location for Mayor, City Council and City Staff to formulate a long term strategic plan.

The date will be January 8 and 9 at the Prospector.

Discussion/Action- salary increases for Charles Odgers. Mr. Odgers requested that the city pay his life insurance, amounting to $3,585.00 for the year. The city said he would get 2 1/2% which will include  the insurance.


G Wop

Philosopher Camus wrote “Always go too far, because that’s where you will find the truth.”

“Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for”

Will Rogers

Layoffs are common with businesses when needed. Why are the County Commissioners so lax in making the hard decisions? The county is top heavy and must cut. Severance pay could be a solution. Please make a decision.

  Cowgirl or cowboy up.


  A question has been answered. Why does a official put an item on the agenda and vote against it?  They don’t always vote no. The official does this because they are asked by a citizen or fellow officials. This is a fair and just practice.

Zapateria Dec______

  The bonuses given to staff of Tourism and Recreation, I may not

have made clear as I wrote them. The total amount was $2,500.00 to $3,000.00. Each person received $25.00 to $200.00 for part time and staff. Heads to receive $500.00 to $600.00.


  If you are not paying your utilities – water, sewer and landfill bills, I know you have a reason. There is help available. Mt. Wheeler has plans that can help, Social Services may be able to help. You don’t need liens on your property.


  There is quite a difference between .35% and .035%, the city residents pay this as does the county residents and the money should available to both. Thank you Ross Rivera for the correction.

Thanksgiving Mesa Rent 2015____

  New Business- Boy oh boy. This item seemed to get everyone confuse.

  My understanding is NDOT will remove and replace the light on 5th and Aultman with a pedestrian active light . This would be done in 2018 (?) and would be of no cost to the city. Why did the council vote no?  Bruce Setterstrom and Kurt Carson voted yes.

  The agenda was not a complete statement, it said nothing about replacing the light. Maybe some had already decided.


  Handicapped parking was a no brainier, but needs an ordnance.  Each case requesting a handicapped parking needs to follow guide lines. Is there on property available parking? How long will it be needed? At who’s cost?

  I do feel Bruce Setterstrom went the extra mile, in purchasing temporary signs and put them in place.


  Strategic Planning for the City – 8 & 9 of January at the Prospector.

The Strategic Planning meetings are open to the public.

Newmont Thanksgiving 2015____

  Now that I record meetings, I am finding officials forget what is said or what they say. I know sometimes we are planning a rebuttal instead of listening. I do the same.

Geri Wop

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Last Times

Posted on 27 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

The last time we had Thanksgiving with our Mom and Dad was 1997. They came over in the late afternoon. Dad played scrabble with the big kids (he cheated) and then we ate. It was simple and it was nice. Six months later Dad was killed in a car accident and Mom went to live with one of her daughters, until she too, passed two years later.

That’s the funny thing about last times, we seldom know they are last times until they are long past.

Sometimes we think  we would have liked to have known they were last times while they were in the now.

Perhaps we would soften our speech and our demeanor with friends and relatives if we knew that this time would be the very last time we saw each other. Perhaps being in the know might lead to a decrease in holiday fighting.

On the other hand, maybe it’s not a great idea after all. The last Thanksgiving with our parents would have certainly been a lot more melancholy if we had known and as for decreasing holiday friction, a good case could be made of an increase. Knowing it was a last time might embolden some to get that thing off their chests that has been bothering them for decades.

Perhaps we should consider each time as the last time, just in case it is. It is not like Thanksgivings grow on trees anyway. We have seen just 54 ourselves, barely a hand full when we think about it and at most we have fewer Thanksgivings before us than those we already celebrated.

Still we won’t know our last Thanksgiving until after it has past.

Not knowing perhaps makes us more thankful that once again, we with friends and family, gather round our table, hold hands and say thanks.

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Geri Wopschall Around the County

Posted on 27 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

G WopChamber Board Meeting – November 17

Wonderful lunch at All Aboard Cafe.

  Mike’s Auto Shack became a new member of the Chamber.

  The Annual Christmas Dinner will be at the Jailhouse on December 11. The menu will be Grilled Tri Tip and Seared Chicken Breast. Price is $20.00.

  Remodeling of the Chamber will be gain after Thanksgiving. Expect the office to be closed 1 to 2 weeks.

  Some discussion took place about the EDC and finishing the local phone book.


bathlumber (1)County Commission Meeting – November 18

The County does not follow the agenda, items are not in agenda order.


Ken Carver – it is short sighted to scrap the EDC. Maybe it could be turned over to another group.

Donna Bath – EDC should not be eliminated.

Robinson Mine representative spoke about the price of copper. The mine has no planned layoffs.

Liquor Board:

License was granted to Shepherd ‘s Club Restaurant. Located on the McGill Highway.

Road Commission:

Thanksgiving R Place(old-new) 2015Bill Miller is in Reno attending the Sage Grouse Litigation meeting.

Richard Howe questioned why he was there and not here doing his job. The answer is this litigation greatly affects the roads. Richard agreed.

McGill / Ruth fire truck loans:

Elizabeth Frances read the NRS that allowed the Country making loans. Must be open to public comment. For my benefit Mike Coster restated the authority to make the loans.  Approved

Golf course:

Randy Long was given a one year contract.

Community Development Block Grant Priorities:

County will sponsor RNCD

Two new projects- redo the McGill fire department bathroom (adding a shower) and redo the Senior Center parking lot, possibly enlarging.

Questionnaires were sent out to residents of McGill and Ruth. These need to be returned so we qualify for other projects under CGBE. McGill has a drainage problem that could be one of the projects. If McGill qualify.

Fire Commission: Brett Waters

Thanksgiving Aqua 2015DState did an elevator inspection, and gave a bill for their service. There are new elevator regulations that will cost to bring up to standard.

Brett spoke of different training classes and maintenance on equipment.

A automatic gate for the airport was found stored in maintenance and returned to the airport where it will be put to good use.

Staff Direction: review of policies and cost of volunteers in service to the Fire District.

Mike Coster questioned about training and qualifications for volunteers going to fires. “I don’t want someone untrained putting a ladder against the wall of a building.”

Laurie Carson said “Mike you getting off the agenda.”

Mike also stated Brett Waters did not return his calls or emails. Brett did send two years of volunteers and qualifications. Mike “This is not what I requested. “

Mike “From personal experience, I know unqualified volunteers get on fire trucks.”
Attorney reminds Mike he is off the subject.

Thanksgiving Centracom 1-2 2015

Carol McKenzie stated “not one untrained goes on calls.”

Mike is concerned about insurance cost. Mike stated from personal experience, the Lackawanna department lets untrained volunteers on fire trucks.

Attorney stated Mike Coster was accusing Mr. Waters of dereliction of duty and this was not the time or the place.

Brett’s reply: Each fire department chief knows who is qualified and training is ongoing.

Brett would like a personnel meeting and everything made public knowledge.

Brett stated he is busy and does not have time to return all calls or answer questions for everyone, the liaison can handle asking and answering questions.

Laurie Carson introduced Tom Collins. Tom spoke about what he did in Las Vegas and what can be done in White Pine County.

Thanksgiving WREC 2015cMike Coster spoke about the Sage Grouse Litigation. BLM sage grouse effects most of the state, but is not fully formed. We have to show there are problems that are eminent. Some mines have stalled. Harm is already being done to mines, hold up on water tanks, school that can’t be built, etc. Local BLM doesn’t  know anything.  No testimony was allowed by people not named in the suit. This maybe a threat to the county, we may need to get more involved.

Liaison to Aquatic Center:

Laurie Carson until January and revisit at that time.

Richard Howe voluntary resignation from the liaison  position to EDC.


New liaison to be Gary Perea

The resignation if Jim Garza was accepted. Mike Coster asked if Jim had presented at letter with his resignation and why it was not available with the agenda item. Kathy Ricci said yes there was a letter and she would get a copy to each commissioner.

Recommendations from Strategic Planning Committee:

Thanksgiving Di Grazia 2015

Recommend to removal of the EDC department. Work can be devised between the Clerks office and the Treasurers office. There was much disagreement, Mike Coster and Richard Howe spoke about this needs to be done. Carol McKenzie and Gary Perea wanted to keep the department. Mike wanted a vote, but could not because of wording.

Recommend to combine fire departments. Not discussed much. Wait until after meeting with the City of Ely.

Mike Coster read a letter from Deb Brooks. Deb is concerned with fire and EMS coverage in her area. After attending the City Council she  feels the county does not care about saving our homes or lives. The county should not dismiss our concerns so easily. Deb states it would be easier to be annexed in to the city.

Gary Perea replied the county does take there concerns seriously.

Gary also asked if Deb was at the last City Council meeting. Yes she and her husband did attend.


City of Ely meeting for negotiation with White Pine County on Interlocal Agreement for Fire – November 19

The County was represented by Elizabeth Frances, Sheriff Dan Watts and Fire Chief Brett Waters. The City was represented Bruce Setterstrom, Kurt Carson, Chuck Odgers, Fire Chief Ross Rivera and City Administrator Robert Switzer.

Thanksgiving Supps'(old-new) 2015County proposed to hire a consultant for $25,000. To $30,000. The City feels this can be solved with out spending. Elizabeth feels this’s impossible.

Dan Watts explained the problem of dispatching City into county. The Sheriff was turned in to the state for dispatching out of there area. Someone called the state and complained dispatch was sending City into County area. Bruce Setterstrom ask Dan Watts who told him to stop dispatching the closest department. Dan did not answer.

The city did want to know why no Commissioners were on the panel.

Response time was discussed. County Fire is 5.4 miles from Mineral Heights, but they have two people on duty. County can roll when the call comes in. The City is 1 mile and has one person on duty and must wait for another before rolling.

The decision was made for the two fire chiefs to meet and come up with a recommendation by December 1. There should be another meeting at this time.

Thanksgiving Ambulance 2015

White Pine County Tourism and Recreation Board – November 19

Set Guidelines for Travel and Marketing.

Most travel to conventions is paid for by grants. These grants can only be used for this purpose.

Bruce Setterstrom stated he went to the governors convention and it was a waste of money for him to go. The staff who have already established relationships should be the only ones to go. The staff is very good at these functions.

Signage Regulations NDOT

Ely is only allowed two signs entering the city. The city can request more, but no guarantee.

Approval of Christmas Bonus.

Mike Coster feels there should be not bonuses. “The County does not give bonuses, it is a thing of the past.”

Thanksgiving NBT 1-2 Page 2015Mike is reminded the county gives longevity bonuses.

Bonuses in the amount of $2,500 to $3,000 are approved with one no vote.

Steve Gray asked for finances get for fire works to be used at Fire and Ice and the train. Approved


G Wop

Philosopher Camus wrote “Always go too far, because that’s where you will find the truth.”

I do feel we have 5 Commissioners who put a lot of effort in their jobs. I do not agree with their votes or reasoning. I feel they frequently forget who voted for them and what their responsibilities are. Their preferences to different departments heads (likes and dislikes) should not be part of the voting or remarks. The county is top heavy and needs to be cut.

These Commissioners are capable of doing the right thing for the county.

White Pine County Commissioners meeting

If meetings are going to be 5 hours plus, chairs need to be a little softer or the commissioners need to set on the same chairs the rest of us sit on!

I do thank Mike Coster for repeating legalities for the county making loans. I did look it up myself and understand. I still have misgivings about the loans.

Questionnaire sent to McGill and Ruth are very important. They must be filled out and returned.

Staff Direction:

I mostly like the way Mike Coster does his job as County Commissioner, but this time I feel he is way out of line.

Thanksgiving Ellison 2015BWe feel your pain for not getting the returned calls or emails. The information you asked for was not what you wanted. (Welcome to the club, we all have asked for information. Humm who owes me one.)

Mike was a member of the Lackawanna Volunteer Fire Department for a short time. This sounds like sour grapes.

There are many meetings and training sections each mont. The meetings are announced on the dispatch radio. There is training on fire trucks and all the equipment.

Extra training is always being make available by Chief Waters. A 4 day hazardous waste class was recently completed. These special training classes are provided by grants Mr. Waters acquires. No cost to the county.

Tom Collins spoke one ways to bring more tourists and money into White Pine.

The Sage Grouse litigation is something we all need to pay attention to. This could affect our county greatly.

The removal of the EDC department is one of the best cuts I have heard. I understand the Chamber might be willing to take the responsibility of this department over. I believe there are other options, so county not hang on to something that can be done else where.

Newmont Thanksgiving 2015

City/Country Interlocal fire agreement

Where was the county?  Do they have the money to throw at a problem?

The County started the meeting with a negative attitude. We have never been able to talk, so we need to hire someone as a go between. The City was positive that something could happen in this meeting.

I think it is time the commissioners stop sending the Finance Director to do their jobs.

I think the two fire chiefs are the right choice for coming up with a solutions. The Sheriff is also an important part of the mix.

See you all back on December 1.

Geri Wop

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Moderately Bat Sh*# Crazy

Posted on 19 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

We are Islamaphobes.

Muslims scare the crap out of us.

Yes we know that not all Muslims are terrorists but lets be honest Islam is not a religion of peace, more like a religion of pieces of human beings blown apart by suicide bombers.

In the past 30 years or so Muslims level of crazy has only gotten worse and more horrific.

Yes we know that these murderers represent only a small percentage of Muslims but we ask to forget about the wild eyed assassins. The average Muslim one can find on the streets of say Paris or Abu Dabi believes in crap that if espoused by anyone else would qualify him or her as bat sh## crazy.

According to a little public opinion poll taken this year the vast majority of Muslims belie the death penalty is appropriate for a whole variety of sins against the body politic.

Convert away from Islam— one should die

Question Islam as the supreme religion— one should die

Commit adultery— one should die or at least be raped

Be gay— one should die.

These are just some of the laws Muslims adopt when they are in the majority. Must we remind you that these are the “moderates”.

We really don’t care if somehow some when Muslims will somehow be fixed.

But Muslim society is broken now and the smartest thing to do is to put them under some kind of quarantine or as we say in Arabic Haram.

Yes we know there are Christian crazies but the absolute worst thing they do is knock on our door proclaiming the “Good News” granted that can be a bit annoying but they aren’t going to cut our heads off if we decline.

And yes there are Jewish crazies too but the worst they have done is build a greenhouse where they shouldn’t.

And there are Buddhist, and Shintoist and just about every other kind of fanatic. But it is only the Muslim screw balls who think mass murder is okay and their moderate play understand their pain.

We gave up trying to understand their grievances the day we captured a 12 year old fighter with the PLO in Beirut.

His commander left him to face us with a chopped down Ak47 and a plastic key around his neck.

The key was to open the gates of Paradise after he achieved martyrdom.

We took away his gun, his key, and kicked him in the butt and sent him home to mama.

When he got to a safe distance he turned around and shouted that there would come a day when his humiliation would be avenged.

Could have and perhaps should have killed him then and there.

But we didn’t because we were decent.

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Geri Wopschall Around the County

Posted on 19 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

G Wop

G Wop

Around the County

Veterans Day Honoring all Who Served.

  An out standing program honoring the people of Ely and surrounding area who served our country with honor, hosted by American Legion, White Pine #3.

  The music and speakers were inspiring. Richard Howe wrote and read  Greetings from County. It was a heart felt reading. I believe Richard said he wrote it for the Purple Heart publication. If you were not present, this would be worthwhile getting a copy. Thank you Richard.

Ely City Council

bathlumber (1)November 12

1. Judge Michael Kalleres – salary increase of $10,000.

Bruce Setterstrom- employees received a raise of 2 1/2%, Judge Kalleres is part time and already received $5,000 last year. An additional  $5,000.00 would too much. 2 1/2% would be about $520.00 a year.

Approved for 2 1/2 increase. One no vote by Bruce Setterstrom.

  Members of the high school golf team spoke about the city supporting the golf course.

  City Engineer – Carson sewer line under way.

Thanksgiving R Place(old-new) 2015 
Bruce Setterstrom reported on a dog park. Neighbors need to ok, but looks like a go ahead.

    Discussion and vote on Amendment to animal control. Dog owners must provide records of vaccines and medical certificate to animal control. Approved

  Discussion and vote on trapping cats. A private party is authorized to trap. Approved

  Discussion and vote on charging utility and land fill fee separate for business and apartment in same building. Approved

  Newmont Thanksgiving 2015Discussion and possible vote on Landfill scales. Bruce Setterstrom – 6 months is to long, we have a good price and should go ahead. B J Almberg – we need to clarify the scale size with officials before going ahead.

Held for next meeting.

   The City has a new policy and procedures for filing Liens.

New business-

  Health insurance going up 5,000. a month. City pays 80% and employees 20%.

Extension of time for residence with RVs as primary living quarters to make application for special use to allow them to remain on their property.

  Solutions to current situations where City of Ely fire department is providing fire and EMS emergency services to White Pine County residents.

Thanksgiving Ambulance 2015  County fire station  #1’is 5 1/2 miles to Mineral Heights, the city is 1 mile. Why is the county being dispatched? There were many comments on why dispatch does not call the closest station. One comment, “The City payed for Sheriff service, should the county pay for fire service south of Ely?”

  Pat Stork commented on the need to have an agreement for the protection of the citizens of White Pine. He also said if people south of town would call 289-6633, the City Volunteers would be there.

  Most people commenting did say dispatch was a problem and being part of the county, an agreement must be made for the welfare of all.

  Comments were made by the volunteers of the City Fire Department. They wanted everyone to know they will come if called. You can call the department directly at 289-6633.

Thanksgiving Centracom 1-2 2015  Sam Hansen stated he would like to know the response time for each station, from dispatch time to the arrival in Mineral Heights. This information is to come from passed records.

  Bruce Setterstrom stated he has requested a meeting with the county concerning a Inter-local agreement 6 months ago. He did meet with Gary Perea and Elizabeth Francis once. Both did attend this city council meeting. Gary addressed the council and said he would get answers to the councils questions. Gary and Elizabeth agreed to arrange a meeting before November 23 to discuss this matter.

This was tabled until November  23.

  Discussion/ Possible Action – Determination to pursue collecting a percentage of the .35% Tax currently being assessed to all residents in White Pine County and going only to White Pine County EMS.

Tabled until November 23 after meeting with Elizabeth Francis and Gary Perea.

Last weeks question and answer:

Thanksgiving Di Grazia 2015  Geri Wop


G Wop

Philosopher Camus wrote “Always go too far, because that’s where you will find the truth.”

The City Council is going through ordinances and bring them up to date. It is always a good thing to stay on top of things, you need to know any changes. The best way to know is attend the meetings.

Thanksgiving Ellison 2015BJudge Michael Kalleres salary increase was discussed last year. The amount discussed was $10,000. The City Council decided that was to much and gave him a $5,000 raise. Judge Kalleres asked the council to reconsider and give him the extra $5,000 this year too.

An inter-local agreement must be established between the city and county.

The City, lead by Bruce Setterstrom, has been requesting a meeting and  agreement for some time. There was one meeting with Gary Perea and Elizabeth Frances, then on October 27, Bruce sent a letter to the Commissioners, lawyers and City Council. “is it possible to have a joint meeting with county commissioners and the City Council on November 12 starting at 4 PM. Regular city Council could start 5 PM. To discuss fire departments” County representatives arrived at 5:00.

Gary Perea replied on October 28. “White Pine County has already begun their Financial Strategic Planning process and is working to complete the process by late December Although White Pine appreciates the City of Ely’s request, any changes to County departments will be handled after this process.”

Gary and Elizabeth did attend the regular meeting at 5:00. They were not prepared to discuss the situation. An agreement to meet before November 23 was agreed to.

  Thanksgiving NBT 1-2 Page 2015Many questions were raised about who is in control of dispatch. I feel the County Commissioners are ultimately in charge and need to look into why the closest emergency service is not called. Then they need to address the situation.

I can guarantee you that all volunteers in the city or county are willing and eager to go where needed. This is a political problem and needs to be solved.

The EMS .35% Tax? I don’t think you need my opinion on who should  benefit from this tax. Anyone who pays it.  This is another item the county and city should have discussed a long time ago.

Communications is definitely a problem in White Pine County. To communicate one must listen and understand each other. Total agreement is not necessary, understanding is a must.

Geri Wop

Thanksgiving Supps'(old-new) 2015

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The Other Veterans

Posted on 13 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Somewhere in the high desert of Syria there sits an American peshmerga. A volunteer to the cause of liberty that this country is officially ambivalent to. In fact there is more than one American volunteer to the peshmerga which by way means those who are not afraid to die.

They are fighting on three fronts against the obscene ISIS and the not quite as obscene Syrian regime and the still less obscene but still pretty gross Turkish army.

Some of these Americans are veterans of the Iraq and/or Afghan wars. Some of them are devout Christians defending Christian cities and villages from oblivion. All of them make us proud to be Americans and prouder still to call them our countrymen.

Yes we honor those who wear or who have worn this nation’s uniform and they deserve the full measure of our support. But so do those forgotten heroes who found they could not wait for a formal declaration of war.

It is that legion of men and more than a few women who broke the law to save the world. Not once but many times over.

We speak  of the 100 or so volunteers from Ely who left for war in 1915 to fight for Serbian freedom from the Austro-Hungarian Empire two years before America entered World War I.

We speak of the thousands of Americans who fought against fascism and Nazism in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil war.

We honor those who snuck across the northern boarder to join the Canadian Army from 1939 to 1941 and those of the Flying Tigers who battled the Empire of Japan long before Pearl Harbor.

And we honor those Americans who helped birth the fledging state of Israel including the first general of the Israeli Army general Micky Marcus West Point class of 1924.

That American peshmerga today is the son of those men in spirit and in deed. In the very best case his war will be but a precursor to formal American involvement in the worst case his side will lose and his sacrifice will be forgotten by most of his countrymen.

But like his fathers and grand fathers the American peshmerga does not fight for glory or history. He fights because it is the right thing to do and may G-d bless him.

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G Wop Around the County

Posted on 13 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

G WopI will not be able to attend any GOP or Democrat meetings, so I am extending an open invention to both parties (Democrat, Sam Hansen or Republican, Mike Coster) to give me reports on their meetings. These will be printed as written with out changes or opinion on my part. These meetings are important for information as elections are coming closer.

It is very important you are a informed vote!

The District Fire Chief, Brett Waters, needs a “That a Boy”.

Mr. Waters has managed to get insurance reduced for homes and businesses in the county. Brett had the flood and fire zones re-looked at and changed, with the up dating of fire equipment and extra training of the volunteers, rates are going down. I have heard this from residents of both Baker and Ruth.  You need to check your rates, I understand it is a sizable drop. Thank you Brett for helping the citizens of the county.

Last weeks question and answer:

What did Hyman Lipman do in 1858 that made life easier for students?

A: He put pencil and eraser together

New Question:

Who was billed as “The Human Mop” when he joined his family’s comic acrobatic vaudeville act at age 3?

bathlumber (1)Opinion


Philosopher Camus wrote “Always go too far, because that’s where you will find the truth.”

As government grows beyond its constitutional boundaries, it really does devour freedom.

Unknown quotes  |

Voting is one of the best ways to let your feelings about the leadership know how you feel as to the direction the Country, State, County and City is headed. Everyone needs to be registered, informed and vote.

Information is truly the hardest to come by. Do not be afraid to talk and ask questions. Listen to others, ask questions and think. You will be alone in the voting both. It is up to you.

With elections coming soon, pay attention to what you hear. Try to use common sense, don’t follow anyone, THINK.

R Place Veterans (old:new) 2015When has the county saved the citizens money before? I know they have, when the franchise fee (tax) was let sunset. This fee is back. The Road Department and others save money by looking for the best deal for supplies. I would like to know of more savings the county is providing. We do need some positive news.

  I do not feel the county employees are responsible for the counties financial shortfall, this lies squarely on the County Commissioners.

 Geri Wop

Wendover Ambulance Veterans day 1-4 2015

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By the Skin of Our Teeth– Le Chaim!!!

Posted on 06 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

Howard Copelan, Publisher

Howard Copelan, Publisher

We had our grandsons over a couple of weeks ago and the funny thing was we began to remember our war of 30 years ago.

It is not that we forgot it but somehow in the weird twists and turns of our synapses those memories became clearer, sharper when we held their hands in ours.

Perhaps that happened because had it been for a step this way rather that way, a pause taken or not taken, a round fired then or not just then but a second later or before the precious moments of holding our grandsons’ tiny hands would never have been realized.

We did not realize it then, but the future at least our future and the future of our descendants, depended on a whole bunch of variables that were dependent on the judgment of a 20 year old idiot that was ourself.

We have the strangest feeling as our grandsons played by our feet that somehow we got away with something.

No one told us way back then that future generations were resting metaphorically on our shoulders. Even if it had been explained we probably would have paid it no never mind. We were after all immortal or at least invincible and a good thing too because people kept on shooting at us.

Once as they were walking, we caught a glimpse of ourselves in a window’s reflection. The look on our face was very familiar but we had never worn it before. Our grandfather used to look at us that way. A look made up of combination of being surprised, amused and amazed.And then our grandfather would tell of  his walk alone through the Belleau Woods.

Then he would show us his medals he got for not dying.

To think our very existence depended on the decisions of a 16 year old idiot that was our dough boy grandfather was frightening.

Thankfully both of us survived mostly through G-d’s Grace and not through our own merit.

And one day when they are old enough we will show them our medals we got for not dying. That is  if we can find them.

We now know what he wanted us to understand. Life is a miracle.

Happy Veterans’ Day

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Geri Wopschall Around the County

Posted on 06 November 2015 by Howard Copelan

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Library Board meeting October 27

  Update on Library expansion – Construction will go ahead, parking for the handicapped is an issue.

  Grants – NSL grant to provide new educational stations, with games for all grade levels. The library will come up with the match and will not count on the county.

  Lori Romero stated the grants have gone from 4 pages to 11 pages.

  There will be no board meeting in November. December 8 will be the next meeting.

  The County budget cuts are coming up and this is a worry to the library. A request is made to tell Commissioners the library can not endure a 10% cut.

County Commission meeting October 28

Laurie Carson was absent due to surgery. Get well soon.

  Public Comment

  George Chachas said he missed the last commission meeting because he was not notified. He said the agenda was sent to him days after the meeting.

  Bill Miller reported the debris on a Cherry Creek road has been removed. The party placing the debris there has not been identified as of yet, so who is to be billed for the removed has not been determined.

The fence in question has been removed. Bill did report there is other debris that needs to be cleared.

Bald Mountain Mine Expansion – some roads are not on the maps and ownership needs to be determined. Contracts need to be made for the county to maintain roads.

  Bunny Hill – Ely Bus, there are 3 buses, one needs a new engine, one needs repairs and one is running. Attempt is being made to get the money for a new engine.

  Jim Garza – report on Camp Success, scheduled work should be completed this spring.

  Lori Romero said she is just waiting to see dirt moving on the Library Expansion.

 bathlumber (1) Mike Wheable stated that the felony rate is up. Domestic violence is one reason that the rate is up. This may be that there is not more crime, but more are being prosecuted.

  Mike Wheable read a letter thanking White Pine County for joining the complaint in a lawsuit concerning the sage grouse land use. Mike felt this needed some research as to the vote on the subject. White Pine did give money, but did we agree to be complainants?

  Bill Calderwood spoke on the Pennington Foundation Grant.

This will be used to build an amphitheater by the duck pond.

  Carol McKenzie stated a need to remove the Ely Time logo from the Administration building and label it correctly. Carol also addressed the problem with parking in front of the building. There is only one handicap parking place and at lunch time patrons of the restaurant across the street fill all spots. Several Solutions were discussed. One was to have the city put in parking lines on the restaurant side of the street to prevent parallel parking (Mike Coster). Mike Wheable questioned as to the ownership of 11th. It may be a state owned street, NDOT seems to have a say on what goes on.

  Gary Perea discussed the water rights application and possible abandonment of these applications.

  Kathy Ricci asked about hiring a full time assistant for the pool. Richard Howe stated he does not see a need for a full time person. The county has a hiring freeze and this should included replacements. Megan Brown stated she is spending her time Supervising the pool workers and not getting other things done.

 R Place Veterans (old:new) 2015 Mike Coster, “The pool is open 57 hours a week and reporting 120 hours as part time assistant.” “Will the hours increase to 160?”  ” We should wait until summer.”

  Carol McKenzie,”She knows what she needs, kids who work at the pool need supervision.”

The vote  passed 3 to 1. Richard Howe voted for and Mike Coster voted no.

  Jim Garza asked to review the option to award all DOE Grant Funds to Killian Technologies. Passed

  McGill and Ruth fire trucks need to be financed with a loan. Elizabeth Frances came up with several options. They can each get a loan at FNB at 3.7%, USD at 3.25% or a county loan at 2.00% for 10 years. A discussion about a possible 5 year guaranteed loan at 2.00% and re-evaluate at the end of this 5 years. Loan amounts are $82,100.00 for McGill and $36,700.00 for Ruth. Commissioners will have a public meeting concerning these two loans.

 Polar Express 2015 1-2 page Carol J. Ferguson was appointed to the Baker Advisory Board.

  Bunny Hill – Road closures for next years SSCC – approved

Last weeks question and answer:

   To whom did Mahatma Gandhi write for advice on diet and exercise?

A: Strongman Charles Atlas

New question:

What did Hyman Lipman do in 1858 that made life easier for students?


G Wop

Philosopher Camus wrote “Always go too far, because that’s where you will find the truth.

Commissioners – Where are the hard choices we were promise?

Tourism – What happened to the signage committee?

Veterans_2015_Newmont_HDA2The GID really impress me the minute I walked in. They were having a ethics and procedure class. This is important to all boards.

  If you become delinquent in paying your water bill, can you afford a $35.00 fee to turn it on again?

  The lower base usage rate should not be a big deal to most people. Just cut your usage by taking a shorter shower.


Tourism Meeting

  All members appeared to have gotten a good nights sleep.

  I am glad Ed put an end to a rumor. Rumors do need to be taken care of quickly, if left to linger they seem to become fact!

Aqua Veterans'Day -b 2015  The approval of the Christmas Dinner with no charge is a good one. The library should have been handled in the same way. Question, is there any guide lines as to who gets the free card and who does not? I believe there should be so other Organizations does not think they need the facilities free.

  Installing the demand controller is a must. I wonder if other city and county buildings have them.

  I am afraid I was not aware of how much the revenue room tax provides to the Tourism Board, $409,000.00 does seem like a lot.

  The NSS 75th anniversary convention being held in Ely next year will bring revenue to White Pine County and Ely.

Please join us from July 16-23, 2016 in Ely, Nevada as we celebrate our past 75 years and look forward into the future of caving.

Welcome to the Great Basin of the American West!

  I did not hear anything about the signage committee. I hope they are working hard. We need signs, please do not drop the ball!

Supps Veterans Day 1-2 page 2015Ely City Council

  Why is the city fire department maintaining the county trucks? I know agreements and contract between the county and city are hard to come by. There seems to be very little cooperation between the two. This may be a good thing. The county needs money and the city seems to be doing fine, no…the roads are a mess.

  A full time inspector for a four week job at $10,000 seems a little over kill. This seems to me an inspection 3 time a week would cover things, or inspections at different stages.

  We can thank the council for not voting for a landscaping ordnance. This is a nice western town and should not look like anything else. This ordnance would only add expense to new business.

Geri Wop

NBT Veterans Day 1-2 Page 2015

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