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Letter to the Editor

Time is running out, tell Congress not to raise taxes on volunteer firefighters and EMTs!

At the end of 2010, an exemption from income taxation on incentives that many local communities provide to volunteer firefighters and EMTs as a reward for their service expired. As a result, tens of thousands of volunteer emergency responders across the country will have to pay higher taxes this year without Congressional action. Contact your U.S. Representative and Senators now and tell them to co-sponsor the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Reauthorization Act (S. 933/H.R. 2353), which would extend and expand a federal income tax exemption on all property tax benefits and up to $600 per calendar year of any other type of benefit that volunteers receive as a reward for their service.

If your Senator or Representative is already a co-sponsor of the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Reauthorization Act, contact them to let them know that you appreciate your support. The sponsor of S. 933 is Charles Schumer (D-NY) and the current co-sponsors are Susan Collins (R-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). The sponsor of H.R. 2353 is John Larson (D-CT) and the current co-sponsors are Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tim Holden (D-PA), Tom Latham (R-IA), Michael Michaud (D-ME), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Laura Richardson (D-CA) and Betty Sutton (D-OH).

Ken Jacobson

Letters to the Editor

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee tucked a dangerous provision into the huge Defense authorization bill. With it, Congress took one more step towards passing a law for endless worldwide war. This new law would use American military forces against terrorism suspects everywhere and anywhere. It was added to the bill by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.).

It could become the single biggest ceding of unchecked war authority to the executive branch in modern American history.

Outrageously, there have been no hearings on this worldwide war legislation, nor has the necessity for this legislation been explained by Rep. Buck McKeon or anyone else in Congress.

This proposed "Authorized Use of Military Force" has no geographic boundaries, which means a president could take America to war in any country in the world (including places like Somalia, Yemen, Iran, or even Indonesia) where a suspected terrorist resides and could set us on a course for decades of war.

This dangerous proposal has no limitation on a president using these new war powers, even within our own country or against American citizens.

No president should have unilateral and unchecked authority to initiate military action and exercise other war powers. This can have enormous implications and be the quintessential "slippery slope."

Yes the government must keep us safe but it must do so in a way that is consistent with the rule of law and our nation's values.
This authorization of a new global armed conflict is unnecessary and will undermine our values and may well change us as a nation.
The full House of Representatives will vote on the issue next week and it's important that Representative Dan Benishek vote "no" on this new authorization for the use of military force.
Please contact his district office at (906) 828-1581 and tell him that as your representative in Congress you want him to vote against this dangerous provision.

Ken Jacobson, Ironwood

May 15-21,2011 is National Emergency Medical Services Week-Honoring those living among us who day an night provide life-saving services. These men and women with titles of EMT or Paramedic man our local ambulance services or are first responders. They have extreme courage and understanding-and put in unexpected hours in some times extreme conditions. When our call for help is made they respond in a professional way and are some of the most caring people you will meet So,t his week say thanks to these fellow citizens that live among us and truely are hero's.

John Cain-Ironwood


Guest Editorial

Once again, winter brings Parking Problems. Parking truly is not a difficult task, and yet it seems that many at Gogebic Community College seem to lack this particular ability.
Anyone can go outside and look at a row of vehicles and find at least one vehicle parked in two parking spots.

Those lines do serve a purpose and it is not to see how many of them you can park across at one time.

They require you to be parallel to the lines to be parked correctly and not intersecting with them.
It is understandable "that there will be some difficulty parking during the winter because you have to contend with huge snow plows dotted across the parking lot but you can still take the time to park in as best of a manner as possible.
However, there is no reason to have three-fourths of a parking space between you and the car next to you. It makes it impossible for more cars to fit in each row.

We all know that with the increased number of students at GCC that parking is very limited and that no one likes to park all the way down by the Civic Center in the middle of winter.

If everyone took a little more time and effort in parking we could have more students and faculty
able to park in the closer parking lots and maybe just a few more smiles in the morning.


Guest Editorial...

Everyone that has ever driven a car will understand the Guest Editorial from the Gogebic Community College Chieftain Newspaper.  The editorial is a collaboration of the Chieftain Staff Members.


Letter to the Editor

What I hear one city employee from public works has filed for retirement and one has been told he will transfer to either water or sewer department- he held the position of dispatcher and office person at the city garage-this position should of been eliminated some time ago seeing public works is now at 4 men.
In regards to hiring the city will need to replace public works has they just don't have enough to plow or remove snow come winter. If the budget allows there is an option for the city to consider and it's in the contract which would allow the hiring of what's called 89 dayers- these individuals would be hired for a period of 89 days and on the 90th they would laid off and would only receive an hourly wage and the usual deductions-no benefits. At the end of 90 days they could be called back for an additional 89 days.
When I was on the commission when Erickson was hired I wanted the city to use this in hiring replacement in public works has to see if an individual works out to be considered for a full-time position that the union approved to as long as we did hire within a year.
The cost savings would have been great and we also got a good look at someone and in the summer it gave us the coverage when many were on vacation. Of course I couldn't get administration or the commission to support to move.
They also need to consider all unneeded expenses or they are in a world of hurt. As far has the water and sewer increase - you'll continue to see these as long as these projects to improve these systems continue-one needs to only look at Wakefield, which has done so-when required by the State.
The city also didn't talk of the $360,000.00 more or less owed those about eight union employees when they retire one will take this money when he's done in May. They sure have some figuring to do and I wish them well -they got a lot to consider.

John Cain, Ironwood



Letter To The Editor  


Our City like so many in Michigan will see a shortfall of state revenue sharing this coming budget year. From what I foresee this could be in the area of some $300.000 on the short end to a possibility of $800.000 on the high end. Regardless, the city's administration and commission have some tough management decisions to consider.

The main course is where to you cut to save and provide the services that this community's people deserve.
With the state and our governor stating they would give additional revenue sharing funds if a local government shows where it's cooperating in cost sharing services and working with other local governmental units-makes things even more interesting here.

Number one, Ironwood must take the lead in working with other local units in cost sharing services and could have done this many times. Our former Governor spoke of this time and time again and now it's here to roost.
Some other options out there to consider:
Combine our City Clerk and Treasurer positions, drop our Community Development Director and form a County Director, with the cost shared with the county and other units of government. Drop the Public Safety Dept. and go to just a Police Dept. and a Full-Volunteer Fire Department, or contract with the Sheriff’s Department for Police and Volunteer Fire; drop the Director of Water and Sewage and hire a hourly clerk part-time and lastly go to a cost-shared County Public Works Department. That would still require a water and sewer department consisting of a work crew of 5 men and a pump-station crew of 1 full-time and a part-time employee.

Not-knowing where our loss revenue will fall the City also has a problem of assuring a fund reserve to fall on if needed.

Some tough decisions to be made in short order.
Wish the best to our elected reps and city administration.

John Cain, Ironwood

  What Was She Thinking!

IRONWOOD - March2, 2011

Just 23 minutes after saying a prayer to open the Monday's meeting, Commissioner Gema Lamb told the City Commission why she thought that the Ironwood Riverside Cemetery should be opened in its entirety to dogs.

She actually said that the rate of vandalism soared after dog walking was prohibited in the cemetery.
Yup, her theory is that people walking dogs in the cemetery were a deterrent to crime. The reality is that the vandalism in the cemetery occurred at times when most normal people would sleeping, not walking their dog.

If Gema’s thoughtless remarks had any validity the ordinance would have been repealed right then and there, not now when it suits the convenience of the Burchell gang.

Lamb blamed the situation on a family residing on Francis Street. Why is it no surprise that the commissioner would blame someone from Francis Street. HMMMM!

Now the thinking for the Burcillites is that it’s ok that dogs be allowed in the cemetery if the dogs are on a leash and that owners pick up after their dogs. Everyone knows that is not going to happen and that is why the current restriction was enacted in the first place. In fact, one member of the Parks and Wreck Committee states that he saw another member of the same infamous committee on a trail with his dogs and failed to pick up after his dogs. HMMMMMM!

Burchell has made many poor decisions, especially with appointments to city committees. The problem is compounded in that decent people quit those committees rather than deal with the imperious Burchell appointees.

"In Our Opinion"


An IronwoodInfo Editorial





What Was She Thinking!

An IronwoodInfo Editorial - "In Our Opinion"

IRONWOOD - March2, 2011

Just 23 minutes after saying a prayer to open the Monday's meeting, Commissioner Gema Lamb told the City Commission why she thought that the Ironwood Riverside Cemetery should be opened in its entirety to dogs.

She actually said that the rate of vandalism soared after dog walking was prohibited in the cemetery.
Yup, her theory is that people walking dogs in the cemetery were a deterrent to crime. The reality is that the vandalism in the cemetery occurred at times when most normal people would sleeping, not walking their dog.

If Gema’s thoughtless remarks had any validity the ordinance would have been repealed right then and there, not now when it suits the convenience of the Burchell gang.

Lamb blamed the situation on a family residing on Francis Street. Why is it no surprise that the commissioner would blame someone from Francis Street. HMMMM!

Now the thinking for the Burcillites is that it’s ok that dogs be allowed in the cemetery if the dogs are on a leash and that owners pick up after their dogs. Everyone knows that is not going to happen and that is why the current restriction was enacted in the first place. In fact, one member of the Parks and Wreck Committee states that he saw another member of the same infamous committee on a trail with his dogs and failed to pick up after his dogs. HMMMMMM!

Burchell has made many poor decisions, especially with appointments to city committees. The problem is compounded in that decent people quit those committees rather than deal with the imperious Burchell appointees.


In Our Opinion
  An IronwoodInfo Editorial

IRONWOOD - While Ironwood homes and garages turn red from road dust Councilman Lamb continues to complain about dust of the ATV trails. Lamb an elected caretaker of the City obviously has either no idea about the dusty roads or she just doesn’t give a damn about them.



Oh - Oh, We're Vitrolic!
  Hi Lou: Please print in your editorial section. Thanks.

First, printing of unsigned editorial comments destroys the credibility of this web site and anything that person may have to say.

Second, the vitrolic attacks on individuals, particulary those who give of their time and effort as community officials, deligitimizes the comments made by the perpetrators and destroys any meaningful dialogue regarding important community issues.

Third, to marginalize people who have recently moved here, who are active in trying to improve our commnunities. is bigoted and such comments our out of place on this web site or anywhere.

Fourth, those who believe that 4-wheeling and snowmobiling are the economic wave of the future are chasing an illusion. Here's why! Sales of snowmobiles are down more than 33% since the peak years of 1997-98. At least a half-dozen motels from here to the tip of the Keweenaw have gone out of business because they depended upon snowmobilers. The recent events such as Sledfest and Motocross attracted a handful of outside visitors and a few locals. A lot of money was spent promoting the events with very little economic return to the area. Outsiders rarely, if ever use the caves; they're more interested in destinations such as the Porcupine Mts. the many area trails, and the Keweenaw. Snowmobiling will always be here as long as we have snow. The past several years clearly demonstrate that if everyone else has snow no amount of money spent will bring them here. Every community has access to these trails and will forever.

4-wheeling by youngsters in the caves---many of whom are less than 16 years of age and unaccompaned by adult supervision----contributes absolutey nothing to enriching the economic base of the community. They are simply recycling local money at local businesses, no different than what everyone else in the area does. This area attracts only a handful of outside 4-wheeler dollars. The impact on the economy is insignificant. In 10+ years one can count on two hands the number of outside 4-wheelers to Copper Peak, undoubedly the biggest attraction this area has to offer. To give carte blanche use of the caves to 4-wheelers is a gross misuse of area resourses. Every community has 4-wheeler trails; what makes ours better than theirs?

HERITAGE TOURISM IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT REASON PEOPLE TRAVEL. Anything this area can do to enhance and promote our history and heritage will make the area infinitely more attractive to outsiders. If this area wants to attract outside dollars to the area, then making our unique mining history more redily accessible and available, by such activities as development of the MMHP in Ironwood, the Colby Hill mining site in Bessemer, etc. If this area wants to attract young families, then development of non-motorized hike and bike trails will go along way towards making our communities more attractive. Young families simple cannot afford the expenses of the motorized sports.

In this area, we will see growth of the non-motorized winter sports of cross-county skiing, snow-shoeing, etc. Look for continued growth of the SISU cross-county ski races. Similarily, non-motorized hiking and bike trails with continue to grow in popularity. Does this area want to invest in an infrastruture which has a resonable chance of success or continue to promote activities which are not bringing outside dollars? Community leaders must decide.


Charlie Supercynski


  Thanks Charlie for the insight. But does being Vitrolic mean a longer or shorter lifetime? (just kidding)

But, thanks for not using the "N" word "Negative". I never  heard any one word over used nor over abused than it is is here in Ironwood. After moving here, I began to wonder if a native Ironwoodie had  residuals on that word and received royalties every time it was printed or worse yet, when used by some dumb ass at a meeting when they were stuck for a legitimate answer while trying to defend their defenseless position.

Most of the time when I read or I hear the "N" word it is being used as an offensive weapon against someone trying to exercise their right to free speech, or worse yet against someone trying to think for themselves.

Personally, everyday I give thanks for having parents that encouraged me to think for myself. Unfortunately, in Ironwood no one is allowed to render opinions, especially when they have thought things out and may actually have a better idea.

The only thing I hear that ticks me off more than the "N" word, is the cowardly cliché' "that we fail to see the big picture". That garbage is most often used by those who walk and talk (mostly talk) with blinders on.

Thanks again for your opinion, and thanks for not using the trite expression "Negative", personally I like "venomous diatribes" a lot better. Now there's a word that deserves residuals!

Lou B

Increase In Vandalism No Surprise

Recent incidents of vandalism in Ironwood, Ironwood Township and Bessemer have resulted in demands for more police protection. Concerned citizens are demanding more police coverage including the use of expensive surveillance equipment.
Why would anyone be surprised at the increase in vandalism in our area.
While some are quick to point a finger at the youth of Ironwood, Ironwood township and Bessemer, it should be obvious that kids are just mimicking their adult counterparts.

City Commissioners in Ironwood are perhaps the worst role models our children could have.

City commissioner Rick Semo openly and publicly confessed to being a vandal. He violated the City’s Laws when he took it upon himself to illegally cut down trees in the Caves area of Ironwood. City Commission Lamb and Mayor Burchell have also violated the laws of the city and the state, in addition to alleged ethics violations. Nothing has been done about those individuals responsible, nothing at all!
How would a child understand that there are two sets of rules for Gogebic society? One set of rules for the Burchells, Semos and Lambs, and completely different rules for everyone else.

Why wouldn’t anyone of any age feel free to go to the caves and cut their own firewood for the winter season?

Burchell and Lamb want college graduates only on their committees and boards, and yet they turn a deaf ear to an appointees character when appointing one of their own to a city position. The school district blames underprivileged students for its poor test scores.

It’s no wonder our youth leaves the area as soon as they are old enough to do so.
If Mr. Semo wants to support “Character Building” in our schools, then he and his colleagues should be the first to take the course.

S. Anderson

Letters to The Editor 

Thank you to Chief Mike Yon and the Wakefield VFD for providing the white gloves, at the last minute, for the ENTIRE joint fire department honor guard at the airport flag ceremony.
That's yet another great example of "mutual aid" and cooperation between neighboring departments that the fire service is famous for.

(Departments represented were, Bessemer City VFD, Bessemer Township VFD, Ironwood City VFD, Montreal VFD and Wakefield VFD.)

Ken Jacobson, Chief
Ironwood VFD




I know times are difficult right now

To whom it may concern,

I have recently been informed that the city of Ironwood is looking at closing the Caves
to ATV's and possibly Snowmobiles. This is of great concern to me as I purchased my
property on South Range road with the understanding that I could safely access the
main trails via these local trails. I spoke to people at the City halt Police department,
and Chamber and was told to insure I didn't infringe on other people's property, show
respect to walkers & bikers, and stay clear of vehicles moving in and out of the Caves. I
have many friends here in Ironwood and I can tell you that we all show common sense
no matter if we are on the main trails or the local back trails. I fear the city is taking a
few bad apples and trying to punish all ATV and snowmobile enthusiast.

I bring well over 150 people every year to Ironwood to enjoy the snowmobiling and ATV
trails. Most of these people stay in local hotels in the winter but stay at my home in the
summer. Many people come with me as we enjoy a very easy means of getting to the
trails. If the city stops this, then there are no real reasons for traveling this far north
when trails can be accessed easier in Mercer. I urge all of my guest to spend their
money here. I insist they purchase groceries and supplies here to insure that Ironwood
stays afloat. I do the same. I choose local businesses, local construction of my recently
built garage, and supplies from Ironwood. I do this because I believe one should pay
where they play. I do this because I always thought that the city supported ATV,
Snowmobile, Skiing, and all other sports that frequent the area. I can assure you that
closing our access to the main trails will result in lost tax revenue for the city.

I hope you reconsider closing the caves to ATVs and snowmobiles. I really would like to
see the walkers, bikers, cross-country skiers, and anyone else is able to share trails. I
love riding through the caves and letting my kids sit with me and watch the occasional
Eagle soar on top of us. Please understand that being both ATV and Snowmobile riders,
my family also enjoys cross country skiing and snow shoeing. I have no fears of sharing
the area with others. I hope those who don't ride ATV's or snowmobiles can find a
sense of sharing as well. We all need to be respectful and open-minded of each other
and the recreational sports we enjoy.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.

Best Regards,
John Ramsey
Ironwood, MI



Religious freedom is one of our most fundamental liberties, and a founding principle of our nation. Our laws protect the right to build a house of worship whether it's a mosque, a church, or a synagogue. Preventing Muslims or any other group from practicing their faith is unconstitutional and un-American. Especially in times of controversy, we must oppose religious discrimination based on cultural stereotyping—and resist those who seek to trade away our most precious values for political advantage. Throughout our nation's history, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and others have all been victims of fear and discrimination. To see that tolerance and justice prevail, it is our sacred duty to speak out for what we know is right. Political leaders like Mayor Michael Bloomberg should be praised for standing up for religious freedom in the face of political pressure.

Ken Jacobson


Watching Your Pennies

Using the savings account calculator here: http://www.savingsaccountcalculator.net/

Apparently the City of Ironwood is earning a mere .1% interest on their $500,000 perpetual care fund. (Note: That’s .1% , not 1%.)

I think you’re exactly correct. Watch your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.

Now, I’m not investment banker, so I didn’t read the fine print. But, a simple and quick check of Ally Bank’s website shows they are paying 1.29% in their savings accounts. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that would give the taxpayers of the City of Ironwood a $6,450 annual return on their investment.

If the perpetual care fund has been at it’s $500,000 limit for any significant amount of time……well, the interest that COULD have been earned is substantial. I wonder if anyone would have an idea of what could the City of Ironwood could have done with the additional $5,950 per year in interest income.

As you said, watch the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves.

Glen Pavlovich


Glen, that of course assumes that the $500,000 is there in the first place!



It appears that City Commissioner Lucius attempt to look at developing a County Community Developement Director which would be all communities in Gogebic County cost-sharing this postion will go no further then it did. City-manager Scott Erickson shot it down giving the hours of work just in ironwood would prohibit it. However;we've been without one for almost a year-yet items are being handled,which makes me wonder. In short order unless Ironwood takes the lead in working together on common concerns that all Gogebic County Communities could work together thru dialogue and understanding perspectives that exist on a paticular issue and helping citizens identify thru spefic actions we can achieve a common goal which helps us all.

John Cain


Dear IronwoodInfo,

Is Deaf Services part of Grandview Health System or Aspirius?



Dear Interested I suggest that you go to the person most likely to know the answer to that one.



or phone: (906) 932-6215



Letter to the Editor

If the City can’t afford a match for a grant without robbing the deceased taxpayers of Ironwood, how can they afford to payback the loan? It will be interesting to see what grant they use the stolen funds for.

Janet W.

No Surprise!

Why would anyone be surprised hat the City Manager would want to steal Perpetual Care a fund? The care at the Cemetery has gone to hell ever since Erickson came on the scene.

Grass Needs Mowing


Jessie James Gang

The Ironwood Commissioners find it easy to steal from the dead; they have been stealing from the living for decades

Tom Rydell


Sick of Millage Village

How is it that the city has to eliminate needed workers and has over $250,000 per year to throw away on the City Manager and the City Attorney?

Over Taxed and Under Served


Naughty Booby

If the City Commissioners can steal from the dead without a guilty conscious, it’s little wonder they that they can steal from the living so easily.


No Need To Rob Graves

If Ironwood needs to borrow money to survive why doesn’t it borrow from Scott Erickson and The City Attorney? That is where all of the city’s money is going these days.

Me, Myself and I


  Sin City

I find it interesting that the Ironwood City Commissioners begin their meeting with a prayer, then go on to rob graves and ATV trails.

"God is Watching!"



Why All The Fuss?

Why all the fuss over a letter sent to Chronicle owner Steve Frank. It doesn't sound like a hate letter to me, nor to anyone else for that matter.

How can a reasonably factual document be considered hate mail?

There were however two mistakes in the letter. First, the writer didn't read the information about Frank in the meeting minutes.

The information was published the very next day following the Park Ur' Rec Meeting on July 8th. The information appeared in Frank's very own publication. The writer of the letter was confused as the Chronicle's account of the meeting intentionally resembled meeting minutes. Dry and boring.

The second mistake was that the writer referred to Frank as an adult. Hardly likely considering Frank's response to the letter.

Norrie Taxpayer

Not So Grand?

Ironwood Info;
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE start covering the crooked events happening at the hospital. Your website often talks about people in our area who avoid the press - well THE GRANDVIEW HOSPITAL IS ONE OF THEM!!!! They are probably the worst offenders! Grandview·often says that it does not have to nave a public meeting that is open to reporters. But they still report to county committees. So if they report to county committees like the finance committee why do they not have open sessions? People are leaving Grandview left and right. Employees, patients, doctors. People are fired. People are scared to talk. Employees are fearful of their jobs. We are in need of your help! Isn't it sad when we have to mail you a anonymous letter asking for your help?

Letter To The Editor

20 Questions

The E-mail from County Prosecutor Richard Adams to the Daily Globe, left more questions than it did answers about Deaf Services of America.

He claims that it was legitimate, and yet the State Attorney stated that did not have a permit to solicit donations.

If there are kids running around town looking for money for Mr. Albert's charity, why isn't there a permit?

Why would there be poor record keeping, doesn't Mr. Albert have an Accountant in the immediate family?

When Mr. Adams compares the BP oil spill with Deaf Services of America, is he telling us that the BP oil spill isn't worth investigating?

Lucky for the people of the Gulf Coast that they don't have to depend on the indifference of the Gogebic county Prosecutor.

Sick of Cover Ups

Expose the Critters!

Has anyone noticed that the supporters of the Miners Park are mostly non-city residents? The vast majority of the members live outside the city and will not be paying any taxes to for their “beloved project”. Someone should publish the membership list.

Of those supports living within the city limits, hardly any of them lived here 10 years ago. Their concern for the Ironwood miners is only overshadowed by their desire to take over the Caves area. Otherwise they would stop talking and buy a brick for the downtown Miner’s Mural Project.
Just another south-of-the-bridge scheme to separate the over taxed Ironwood Citizen from their minimum wages!


Globe Story "Local Charity Solicitation"

"Who's Who?"

Is Steve Frank a Partner of Jim Albert in Deaf Services of America?

A. Trailblazer

Reply: We don't know. Since an application to solicit is not on file, we would not be able to review any of the Charities Information.

"Interest Watch"

River Valley Bank still advertises on the Albert website. Are they holding all the DSA loot?

Seeking New Bank

Deaf Services Reporting

Why hasn’t IronwoodInfo done an investigation into the Globe story about Jim Albert’s charity solicitation?

You're being remiss
Just Curious

Reply: The Globe has looked into this matter and has done a thorough job. We have been verifying the information published by the Globe.
1. The Michigan Attorney General’s Office has written to us stating that the Charity is “Not Licensed” to solicit money. They stated Deaf Services of America in Ironwood, Michigan was licensed to solicit donations but has been expired since July 31, 2000. The last reporting period was December 31, 1998. Therefore, there is no current application.”

2. Someone has been handing out solicitation flyers to local business. We have one.

3. The Flyer does say that DSA sends over a thousand kids to camp each year.

4. The flyer does say that their “certified DSA interpreters do courtroom interpreting." We do know that Albert is not considered a "Certified Interpreter” by the County District Court and his services are no longer used in that court. There are several courts in the area, so perhaps he is an acceptable interpreter in those. Or not. We don’t know.

5. We asked Ironwood Public Safety Director, Robert Erspamer about the Globe Report. He stated that “the report was accurate”

We do not know if the Local Prosecutor, Richard Adams will reopen this case in view of the recent solicitations in the area. This story really goes beyond news considerations. The matter could be easily clarified by Albert, the Attorney General, the Michigan Treasury Department or the IRS.

There seems to be some interest in the matter by the State Attorney General's Office.

Pleased With School Board

With children in the Bessemer Schools I was pleased to read the story of the Bessemer School budget. I notice the stark difference between the status of Ironwood and Bessemer Schools financial status. As a somewhat casual observer, I am led to conclude that one district appears to have its financial ducks in a row and one appears to struggle with student retention and financial stability.

When voters were asked to consider school consolidation, residents of Bessemer rejected the idea. We were often said to be too "attached" to the Speedboys / Speedgirls to consolidate.

I might offer the current budgets and Bessemer’s INCREASE in the student population as evidence that our educators are "doing something right" and the school board's fiscal responsibility have more to do with rejecting consolidation than a misguided allegiance to a mascot.

To my knowledge, Bessemer residents have not turned down any school funding proposal in recent history. We pride ourselves in our schools. Additionally, the custodians and support staff appear to work very hard at maintaining the building, and programs that allow our students to learn in clean, properly maintained facilities that allow students to focus on learning.

I'm reminded that Michigan allows parents to choose what school their children attend regardless of what district they live in.

I'm proud that the Bessemer School board has been able to responsibly manage their district.

Glen Pavlovich



The city of Ironwood has 6293 residents and approximately 120 acres of parks(11 parks NOT including the new Skate Board Park) in the City of Ironwood-the mowing is done by a contractor. Note: Old Depot Museum does their own mowing and also the figure does not include the Pocket Park either.

The City of Ironwood has $10 million in the budget where $2.5 is in the general fund. Out of the general fund $100,000 is in the Parks and Recreation Fund. Now deduct $50,000 in wages and benefits that leaves $50,000 left in the fund. Deduct $5,000 for mowing and now there is only $45,000 left for the maintenance of 12 parks.

Even if the Friends of the Miner’s Memorial Park Committee even applies for a grant, the City of Ironwood can’t even hope to do any matching funds. Grants are NOT for free.

I realize that the Miner’s Memorial Park is NOT going to be groomed like Central Park in Manhattan which consists of 840 acres with $27 million dollars in the Conservancy’s budget, but how are the FMMP’s going to take care of about 325 to 500+ acres at absolutely no cost to the City?

Being a Range Master Gardener, I know all about volunteering and working at the Pocket Park……it started off with 20 people and as we have gotten older and have added more responsibilities or illness to our lives, there are about 5-7 people helping out.

The FMMP committee keeps saying you are going to have volunteers………how many people will brush, dig and clean up after everyone? Plus a lot of garbage has been dumped in those caved in areas that must be hauled up and disposed-especially by the Xcel Energy office…..

I have lived here all my life and thought that the mines slowly “caved” in. The mining companies actually used dynamite on the shafts to sink them. The “Caves” are our legacy. Look at what the mining companies have left us with…when left with lemons, one must make lemonade and do what we must, but the City does not have the money. Our infrastructure has fallen apart and we cannot even keep up.

Are the “Caves” really safe? My brother, when he was a young boy, actually went into some openings. Those openings would have to be scouted out and secured. I seem to remember one was by the Xcel Energy caves and by the old ski hill. There is a dangerous sinking area by the Knights of Columbus building…

The Miner’s Memorial Park is a nice idea. I just don’t see why we have to have to have more plaques, designations or mining equipment displayed when there is a plaque, a drill and ore car at Hiawatha, on Newport Hill there is a sign and at the Old Depot Museum a plaque and mining machinery. Can’t one of those areas be expanded? Especially the Old Depot Museum- the history of the area is housed right there. There are restrooms on site.

Designate the Depot as the Community Center and Miner’s Memorial Park and expand that. As for trails-I just don’t have the answer-maybe a simple sign and map? But it must be for all the people and not just a select few and at no expense to the City of Ironwood. Any potential property that could be sold should not be included into this park.

If the City Commissioners decide to make the area a park-and if the park is not maintained, what does it take to UNpark the park? A vote from the residents of Ironwood?-more money wasted.

Just the ramblings of a woman with common sense and who loves Ironwood.

Lynn M. Adams
Ironwood, MI


It's Just Our Opinion!

In Our Opinion!

An IronwoodInfo Editorial


Since taking office seven months ago Rick “Recall Me Too” Semo has been at the forefront of controversy. So much so as to make a fool of himself and to be an embarrassment to the taxpayers of Ironwood.

We now know that he is a self confessed vandal. He violated the City Ordinances by destroying trees and wildlife in order to build a private trail for his dog.
Just this past April, in his usual mean spirited attitude towards taxpayers, Semo told a City Resident and Taxpayer that “A shop in a garage is a luxury that defeats the purpose of the ordinance .” “I'm sure you would love to have a shop” stated Semo as he denied a request for a six foot set back variance to Michael and Janet Weigel.

The Weigels had requested the variance of six feet to the set back requirements. The Weigel garage would be the same as that of other garages in the neighborhood. The Weigels also had letters of support from their neighbors.

Unlike the Weigels, Semo, never asked for permission to cut down trees nor did he seek a wetlands permit. He felt that he was above the law and took it upon himself to destroy public property. Semo has now proven that he is a hypocrite as well as a vandal.

Once again Semo has shown little or no respect for City Taxpayers. But, how could he show respect for others. Respect for others begins with self-respect, something the arrogant Semo surely lacks.

Destroying City property is not like a downtown business owner sweeping his sidewalk without city approval. Unlike almost all City Homeowners, who pay for their sidewalks, the downtown business owners had their sidewalks paid for by the rest of us. That is why they’re obligated to keep their sidewalks clean and clear of snow.

Video shows a smug and arrogant Semo denying a variance request.
What was She Thinking?

An IronwoodInfo Editorial

Monie's All Wet

IRONWOOD - Monie Shackleford spokesperson for the Miners Memorial Park gang, recently wrote a letter to the Daily Globe, in which she complains about the Globe coverage of City Commissioner Rick Semo’s vandalism of the Caves area.
She stated that "the Daily Globe has blown this small issue out of proportion and demonstrated its biases by making it the focus of two large front page articles, in addition to two newspaper editorials."

Perhaps coverage could be better if the City Commission would stop covering up the crime. It's not alleged as Semo confessed to the vandalism.

City Manager Scott Erickson, Mayor Booby and Aunt Gememy, have refused to turn the matter over to the police for investigation.

Furthermore Shackleford continues to spread lies about “illegal” ATV and Snowmobile use of the Caves. She obviously spends too much time reading misinformation written in local Bitch Blogs.

As previously reported in IronwoodInfo, there never was illegal use by motorized sports. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the law would know that. However, the City Attorney explained what the local talking heads should have been intelligent enough to know. The City gave it’s implied consent for the use of the Caves for motorized sports. Never did the City attempt to keep recreational vehicles out of the Caves. Never. There were never any signage, nor any ordinances created to keep the sportsmen out of the area.

So Monie, Monie stop spreading misinformation! It’s bad enough that honest people are being duped as to the motives behind the phony Memorial Park Scheme. A scheme by outsiders who have no idea what a mine or miner is all about, nor do they give a damn. It’s all about stealing trails from the motorized sport people by the left wing extremist invading our city from south of the bridge and aided and abetted by Annette and Bob Burchell, Gemma Lamb and Rick Semo.


What Was She Thinking?

An IronwoodInfo Editorial

At last week’s meeting of the Downtown Ironwood Development Authority, Joe Karius suggested that an agenda was not relevant to DIDA and should be removed from meeting’s discussion. His decision was supported and passed. DIDA member Eva Furgason took issue with Karius and stated she saw no harm in discussing the issue. She and another member suggested that the downtown blueprint program calls for co-operation between DIDA and the City Commission and therefore they should discuss members believed not to be in compliance with that issue. She and her cohorts were simply trying to embarrass DIDA Chairman George Goerig, plaintiff in the effort to recall two City Commissioners. The recall has absolutely nothing to do with DIDA, and Joe Karius hit the nail on the head with this one.


The blueprint plan does not say a thing about recalling Commissioners that have acted improperly while in office, nor does it say anything about recalling Commissioners that have allegedly violated both state and city laws.

Does Ms. Furgason believe that a DIDA member be dismissed if they reported seeing a City Commissioner rob a convenience store? Does MS. Furgason believe that she and her cohorts should be the authority in judging what constitutes cause for a recall?

Most importantly, the Michigan State Police are investigating the allegations of wrong doing by Commissioners, Burchell and Lamb.

Furgason’s effort to editorialize and publicize this situation at a DIDA meeting amounts to interference in a police investigation. Nothing less, nothing more, and no contrived interview in local blogs will change that fact.

No matter what the Blue Print Plan calls for, it does not replace our laws, nor should it be used to interfere with an ongoing police investigation. The Blueprint Program is nothing more than a self-serving program to enhance property values for downtown property owners. It should never be used to replace common sense.


In Our Opinion
Lansing Banditos Issue Ultimatum

IRONWOOD - The Ironwood Memorial Building was the hub of political activity yesterday, three meetings that stretched far too long into the evening hours.

The day began with the IEDC meeting called to deal with the State Attempt to Steal Our Revolving Loan Fund money. The Commissioners followed the same path that other EDC’s have taken.

In Our Opinion

Parks & Rec Chairman Should Step Down!

Ironwood - February 3, 2010

Monday night the Parks and Recreation Committee met to discuss among other things the location of the Non-Motorized and Motorized trails through the Caves area. 

For decades the Ironwood Caves have been used for the enjoyment of Snowmobile and ATV enthusiasts. Today there’s an effort under way to displace the motorized sportsman and replace them with hiking trails.
While the Gogebic Range Trail Authority has bent over backward

In Our Opinion!

"Not Just For Children!"

The following are the comments of Lou Bonagura, Editor of IronwoodInfo.com, made to the Ironwood City Council, August 10, 2009. The comments are relative to the current efforts, of the hiker/biker elements attempting to evict snowmobiles and ATVs  from Ironwood.


I was unaware that the city of ironwood was so prosperous that it could chose between which segments of the economy it wanted to keep or eliminate. Nor was I aware that Ironwood was so perfect that it could chose or dismiss any recreational activity for it's citizens and tourists alike.

First, I do not nor do I intend to participate in motorized sports. To the contrary, I ride a non-motorized bike. I look forward to using the existing and new trails, alike.

However, I do not... repeat I do not look forward to doing so at the expense of other citizens who wish to use the existing and future trails for motorized sports.

I have seen first hand that both sports can successfully coexist, when selfishness and self serving motives are eliminated from the equation.

I also know as a parent, that one of the first things you attempt to teach your children is to "share"

Perhaps some of the individuals involve in the current dispute have forgotten what there parents have taught them.

Additionally, If the establishment of a Miners Memorial Park were sincere, and not just camouflage for self-serving purposes, I believe as do most citizens that I have spoken to believe, that the Park should be accessible to handicap individuals as well as non-handicapped individuals.

Perhaps the park should be made accessible to all motorized vehicles. I strongly suggest legal research into that particular element of the caves park concept. There has been a great deal of litigation surrounding accessibility to public lands.

I understand that the area in question contains approximately 425 square acres. It is hard to understand how New York's Central park can satisfy the needs of 23,000,000 people annually and that our caves area can't accommodate a pitiful hundred or so residents.

Finally, while it may be beneficial to talk about how many visitors this or that will bring to Ironwood, I believe what is more import is what Ironwood brings to its current taxpayers and citizens.


In Our Opinion!

An IronwoodInfo Editorial

City Continues to

Bargain in Bad Faith

Ironwood - June 30, 2009

Before you read the following I would like to make one thing clear. For the length of my entire career, I was never a member of a union, I was always considered a part of management. Furthermore, no one in my family was ever a member of a union. While I like to think of myself as a Goldwater Republican, I would neither accept nor condone the methods being used by the spineless city council in its dealings with the city's union employees.

The city's tactics appear to be nothing less than Union Busting!

City of Ironwood municipal employees have been working for two years without a contract, due to bad faith bargaining by city officials. Each time the workers come close to a tentative agreement with the city, the city's big guns throw another obstacle in the way of finalization.

Ironwood, unlike any other local government does everything in its power to beat up the local union workers. It's been over one year since Ironwood residents picked up signs and walked the informational picket lines in front of the Memorial Building. Still the inept city council has failed to bring this disgraceful situation to a conclusion.

Let's make one thing perfectly clear. We are not talking about some union members in New York nor are we talking about Union Workers in California, nor Detroit for that matter.

We are talking about people who work and live right here in Ironwood.

They are not the enemy they are one of us.

They send their kids to the same schools that we send our children to.

They bring their children to the same churches we all attend.

They take their hard earned dollars to shop in the same stores where we all shop.

They pay the same taxes that we all do.

They not only tolerate the same miserable weather that we do, but go out in that miserable weather to take care of our needs.

We were not laying in holes repairing the water leaks resulting from years of neglect by the politicians, they were.

"They" are "us", and quite frankly I'm fed up with trashy attitude that our city workers are receiving by inept politicians. Union busting is not a good thing and it's certainly not an honorable thing.

The City is paying the City Attorney $100. an hour to stall off the union contract. The city continues to use the unproductive adversarial Form of Negotiations." A method that does nothing to solve union negotiations nor to increase the self-respect of Ironwood . You can't show respect to others when you have no self respect to begin with.
In the event that some of our readers are too young to remember, prior to the formation of unions there was no middle class. None! There were however abusive employers, both public and private.

Almost everything that we enjoy today comes as a result of unions fighting for employees which resulted in the creation of our middle class. The pay check that you enjoy today is only as large as it is because of our nation's unions. Let us remember also that when union membership was at its pinnacle so was American prosperity. Ironwood's greatest days also came when the unions were at their highest level.
Ironwood's fiscal woes are not a result of union wages or benefits. It is the result of city government that failed miserably and then mis appropriated the workers pension money. Let's not forget that the economic collapse of 2008 was not a result of labor but more abuse by those who crush not only unions but employees in general.
If our city government can pay an attorney $100,000 plus per year and a city manager $100,000 per year and then piss away thousands of dollars on unnecessary ads in the Daily Globe, then it damn well can afford to pay its workers a living wage!

Last Monday Bob Murphy spoke to the city commission and the following are his remarks:
Monday June 22, 2009
City of Ironwood Commission Meeting - Public Comment.
My name is Bob Murphy. I am a staff representative with Michigan Council 25 AFSCME. I am here this afternoon on behalf of Local 1538. My team and I have been negotiating with representatives of the City since the spring of 2007. We believe it is time the City of Ironwood settles the contract with its City employees. I have made two separate offers to City representative over the past several weeks, the first of which after review received several language amendments which I believe now mirrors the Public Safety Agreement that was ratified by this commission several weeks ago.

Last week I asked your negotiating team if it was their intent to submit and recommend that offer to you for ratification, your chief negotiator Denies Cossi indicated that they would not, and went on to state (and I paraphrase) that is was their intent was to go through the entire contract and find all the things they did not like and make a proposal.
I strongly encourage this Commission to reconsider this course of action as it will leave me no other option than to file unfair labor practice charges with the Michigan Employment Relation Commission and any other legal action that may be available.
Please let me restate that Local 1538 did pre-ratified the proposal that was submitted to the City Manager two weeks ago and I believe mirrors the Agreement that was reached between the Ironwood Public Safety and the City of Ironwood and ratified by this Commission.
Thank you for your time.



In Our Opinion!

An IronwoodInfo Editorial


Ironwood Township - June 25, 2009
Globe editor Joseph Karius once said of people opposing his views, that they  were loose with the facts  and dealt in innuendo. It is quite clear that either his reporters or his editing is more than guilty of the same charges he renders against  those he considers to be threats to the Globes future. 

This week the remaining readers of the Globe were able to see a glaring example of what they refer to as playing loose with the facts  and dealt in innuendo.  The point in hand was the coverage of the township's board meeting, by Globe Cub Reporter Margaret Levra. We hope that it was an oversight on the Globe's reporting rather than an outright lie by omission.

Levra, chose to write about allegations made by the disruptive township malcontents, Larry and Moe, whose ring leader, Curley stayed home to avoid any more embarrassment than he's already caused to himself and the others.

Yes, Monday was a complete disaster to Curley and his merry men. Gathered in the township hall was a large group of township  voters who came to support the board of trustees against the false allegations being thrust about by Curly, Larry and Moe.  The globe reporter chose to omit this information from her biased report. She further omitted the fact that Trustee Kathy Maki, spoke to the attendees in defense of the trio's false allegations against Township Supervisor Kim Mattson. The points brought out in Maki's comments clearly exonerates Mattson from the false statements made against Mattson by  the sore losing cry baby who bullies the women on the township board every chance he gets. He and the stooges he's duped into assisting him retreat every time a male member of the board challenges them. Hmmmm!  Levra included in her story reference to an email sent by a township employee to the cry baby Jim Simmons. The email probably should not have been sent via the township's computer, however, the content was nothing more than the sentiments of the overwhelming number of Township voters. The same voters that sent Simmons and his cronies running during the last election. The contents of the email were very mild compared to what should have been said to these Imo Limos. Unfortunately, Rachael isn't used to handling men who bully others.

The Globe reporter not only omitted Kathy Maki's remarks, she also omitted the remarks of Township resident, Donald Treglon, who stated to  the board, that he was very pleased with the job that Kim Mattson and the board were doing. He went on to say "that he wished the other ones (3 stooges) would leave the board alone so they would not be disrupted in their work. 

It's bad enough that the meetings have become disrupted  by folly but, it's made even worse by the role being played by the Globe in this fiasco. Unlike everyone else, the Globe allows Simmons free access to the letter to the editor column. The rules that apply to everyone else go right out the window with respects to the township sore loser.

In fact, we find to be a strange coincidence that Globe which abandoned news coverage of the township more than three years ago, would chose  this time to return.

Loose with  the facts and dealing in innuendo is one thing, as is sloppy editing. But, a lie by omission is quite something else altogether. It leaves one wondering.




"I'm Glad I Lost the Election!"

In Our Opinion


May 27, 2009
The Township naysayers brought their negative attitudes back to the township offices again Tuesday afternoon. The chronic complainers once again were assembled by Jamie Simmons at the Township Board meeting in another attempt to embarrass or otherwise harass Kim Mattson, the Township Supervisor.
Simmons has been pursuing what appears to be a personal vendetta against Mattson ever since he got his butt beat in last year's election. Some people just can't accept defeat gracefully.
What is amazing to this writer is how his little band of merry men (and women) continue to embarrass themselves on behalf of Simmons. One has to wonder, how many times would you stand up, say something, appear to be dumb as dog poop, and come back for more.

The problem is, that Simmons gives them a sound bite to go with and nothing more to back it up with.. Since Simmons' arsenal is filled with little more than trite and innuendo, the Simmmons  spokes-folk  are left with egg on their faces when presented with an answer from the board. The blind followers don't have any where-with-all to follow through, making themselves look far from bright.

With each succeeding meeting the Simmons' boys and girls look worse and worse, with nothing new to say. Simmons himself is running out of fresh material. Not that any of it has been relevant so far.

Simmons and his friends (?) go in front of the board asking rhetorical questions trying to embarrass Mattson. However, as soon as one of the men on the board confronts the naysayers they back down immediately. That too makes one wonder!

This week the front man was a woman, Kathy Lahti. She asked when would the road in front of her home be sprayed? At the last meeting Chris Winchowski asked when would the road be paved? He and Lahti both live in the home located at 5056 Welch Creek Road. There are over 5000 people residing in the City of Ironwood asking the very same question! Only they have a more legitimate complaint as they pay the highest taxes of any city in the Upper Peninsula. Nearly twice the taxes that Township residents are paying. Get in line Chris! With respect to Kathy Lahti, why was she asking this question in the first place? She called the Township office last week and received the same information she received again at this week's meeting. "The County sprays the road, not the Township. The township pays the bill!"
The questions are a result of the naysayers lacking the knowledge about their government, which is a result of not attending meetings until Simmons lost the election. Even Simmons failed to attend meetings until he was beaten in the election!

There was some good news. ......
After the meeting adjourned, Simmons told this writer that "He was glad that he lost the election" he went on to say "I wouldn't want to be up there doing what they (the trustees) are doing!"

Guess what Jimmy?   We're all glad too!