Opinions

Wed
19
Apr
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A Dangerous Precendent Taking Root

A Dangerous Precendent Taking Root

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

 

There is a dangerous precedent taking root in Minnesota that is subverting the public’s right to assess the character, quality and statesmanship of its elected officials. It allows bickering elected representatives of local governments to go behind closed doors to apparently work out their differences in a group therapy session – all in the name of becoming more effective leaders.

Wed
12
Apr
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Preschool Should Have Legislature’s Support

Preschool Should Have Legislature’s Support

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

 “The first five years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. They are the foundation that shapes children’s future health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement at school, in the family and community, and in life in general. Children learn more quickly during their early years than at any other time in life.”

Those words from the World Health Organization pretty much sum up the critical importance of early childhood learning. We also know that good nutrition is essential to child development and learning. We know that a nurturing environment determines how a child develops and learns.

Wed
05
Apr
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A Temporary Victory For Benson Area

A Temporary Victory for Benson Area

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

It has been an intense week for the City of Benson as it has marshaled support to fight a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that could have had a devastating economic impact on the area.

Xcel Energy and Laurentian Energy Authority (LEA) were seeking legislation that could have ended the state’s biomass mandate. That mandate is at the heart of the 22-year power purchase agreement between Benson Power, LLC, and Xcel Energy. It means that Xcel is obligated to buy the 55 megawatts of power Benson Power produces through burning a combination of turkey litter and wood chips.

Mon
03
Apr
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Fighting For Rural Economy A Constant Battle

Fighting For Rural Economy A Constant Battle

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

Sometimes you need a little luck. When you get it you had better be prepared to make the most of it through hard work.

It was a stroke of luck that the City of Benson found out in a roundabout way late last week that a bill was moving through the Minnesota Legislature that potentially could have led to the closing of the Benson Power, LLC, plant.

Its closing would be a substantial economic blow to the community. We would lose 45 direct jobs at the plant. Another 50 to 60 jobs would be lost in support of the plant. We would no longer have the people coming and going from the Benson area who are affiliated with the plant in one way or another, staying at the local motels, eating at our restaurants, buying gas, and spending money in other ways.

Wed
22
Mar
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Minnesota Voters Spoke; Daudt Not Listening

Minnesota Voters Spoke; Daudt Not Listening

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Minnesota Republican Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt is rumored to be considering a run for the governorship in 2018. As with all politicians considering a run for higher office, he is carefully calculating his actions in light of how they will play with citizens across the state next year. Such calculation often puts politicians in untenable situations where common sense and political courage take a back seat.

Last fall Minnesota voters overwhelmingly chose to give the authority to raise legislator salaries to the independent citizen Legislative Salary Council. The constitutional amendment granting the authority passed with 76 percent approval –an amazingly high percentage considering all ballots on which a person didn’t check a box were considered no votes.

Wed
08
Mar
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Pass Law to Ban Phone Use in Vehicles

Pass Law to Ban Phone Use in Vehicles

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

Driving between Benson and Clontarf we met three consecutive cars - not one of the drivers saw us pass by them. All three were glued to their phones not even glancing up as we flew by one another.

A deer jumping out of the ditch would have been in their windshield before they even saw it. Another driver approaching also on his or her phone could drift over the centerline and the two vehicles would hit head-on. A bicyclist on the side of the road could be hit and killed by a distracted driver drifting to the shoulder.

These aren’t made-up scenarios; they’ve happened and tragically they will happen again.

Wed
01
Mar
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Editorial Cartoonists Essential To Editorial Pages

Editorial Cartoonists Essential To Editorial Pages

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

It has always been difficult to convince people that the editorial page of a newspaper is meant for opinions. Many think that it should be neutral on issues, but it is a place for the expression about what we observe and think about what is going on in our community, state and nation.

It looks at the challenges we face, and at how competently or poorly they are being addressed. It is meant to hold our leaders accountable. It is meant to make readers think more deeply about issues. It is meant to give us perspectives about the way others in the community think and feel.

Fri
24
Feb
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Trump's Presidency Demands A Vigilant Press

Trump's Presidency Demands A Vigilant Press

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

This past week’s attack on the news media wasn’t the first by a U.S. president, but it was what many consider to be the most disturbing.

It started last Thursday during an impromptu 75-minute news conference called by Trump at which he blasted the press, ridiculing its organizations, and treating its reporters with obvious disdain. Seven times during the press conference he claimed that some of the nation’s most respected news organizations were nothing but “fake news.”

“Much of the media in Washington, D.C. — along with New York, Los Angeles, in particular — speaks not for the people but for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very obviously broken system,” Trump said. “The press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about it, we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people.”

Fri
17
Feb
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Digital Disconnected From The World Around Us

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

We fear for the creative spirit of our younger generations. They spend so much time constantly digitally engaged with their phones, iPads, and computers that they have little freedom or mental energy for creative thought.

Those very same tools that have opened up the world to them with unfathomable information at their fingertips is also being used to immerse themselves in the trivial. They endlessly check on the latest Facebook post, the text that arrived 2 seconds ago, an Instagram photo that was posted by a friend, or a Snapchat post. And, most certainly, this isn’t just an affliction of the young.

In a recent The New York Times column writer Jane E. Brody tells of an interview she read featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the Broadway musical sensation “Hamilton.”  In it he is asked where he finds the time to be creative.

Wed
08
Feb
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Stifling The Freedom To Assemble

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

Thomas Jefferson
Third President of the United States
1801-1809

It was March 5, 1770, when a squad of British troops responded to a report of a sentry being heckled and pelted with snowballs by a group of colonial men. When confronted by the protesters, the British troops fired, killing four people. That day became known as The Boston Massacre and represented a pivotal moment on the road to the American Revolution as it “galvanized the colonial public to the Patriot cause.”

We are sure that British crown loyalists thought the men got exactly what they deserved and that a few more should have been shot that day to make sure the rebellious colonials got the message.

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