Opinions

Wed
16
Aug
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Newspapers Essential To Community

Newspapers Essential To Community
 

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

We are one of more than 200 newspapers in Minnesota to print a blank front page this week to illustrate to our communities what they face should their local newspaper disappear.

This is the only blank front page we have printed in 131 years.

Today, it is estimated there are 600 fewer newspapers in America than there were in 2004. In 1990, there were nearly 57,000 people working in daily newspaper newsrooms. Now that number is closer to 32,000. No one seems to know exactly how many community weekly newspapers have closed their doors or how many rural journalists have been laid off, but communities throughout rural America are gradually becoming news deserts.

Tue
08
Aug
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Faked Videos The Next Challenge To Democracy

Faked Videos The Next Challenge To Democracy

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

"Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.”

Benjamin Franklin

Founding Father Benjamin Franklin’s words are too forgiving in this digital age. It is getting to the point where we can’t trust much of what we read, what hear, or what we see. And it is going to get worse.

Trouble is we have to have faith in someone to bring us the truth so that we can make informed decisions about the quality of those who would lead us.

We need trustworthy information to make decisions about important policy decisions: Is climate change real? Should we go to war with North Korea? Do immigrants reduce wages for citizens? Will millions lose health coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed?

Wed
02
Aug
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Trump Budget Would Deeply Damage Rural America

Trump Budget Would Deeply Damage Rural America

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

As it works to shape the next five-year farm bill that Congress is supposed to approve in 2018, the Minnesota Farmers Union has been doing an extensive, ongoing survey of what the state’s farming community thinks needs to be addressed in that bill.

It conducted 14 Rural Issues Discussions around the state this past spring and into the summer. It has also been conducting what it calls Rural Voices Discussions that will continue into 2018.

From those discussions it is developing a comprehensive list of needs of farmers and rural communities that will become a part of their lobbying agenda in both St. Paul and Washington, D.C. Every state legislator will be made aware of the needs of farmers and told how the state can help. Members of Congress will get the same message, but geared at federal assistance.

Tue
25
Jul
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Benson Needs Leaders To Step Up

Benson Needs Leaders To Step Up
 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
John Quincy Adams
Sixth U.S. President

When voters go to the polls in Benson this coming November they will be electing a new mayor and at least one new council member.

Mayor Gary Landmark and Council Member Stephanie Heinzig have announced they will not seek reelection in November. Council Member Jack Evenson is also up for re-election and has said he will seek a second term.

If Evenson were to lose, the council could see three of its five members new to city politics, but having a deciding vote in directing the city’s future for the next two years.

Tue
18
Jul
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Volunteers Make Kid Day, Band Festival Special

Volunteers Make Kid Day, Band Festival Special

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

Successful community events don’t just happen. They take a lot of hard work and dedication. They take people willing to sacrifice their free time for their community, often with very little thanks. While everyone else is sitting back and enjoying the day, they are scurrying around to make sure all the bases are covered and handling those inevitable little problems that pop up.

Thu
13
Jul
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‘Tipping Points’ - What Will It Take Us To Act?

‘Tipping Points’ - What Will It Take Us To Act?

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

A half a world away from each other one small ecological threat and one very large environmental disaster are playing out. Both have something in common – the actions of humans.

First, let’s look at the local threat to the environment and our quality of life. A recent study of Norway, Games and Andrew lakes, in northwest Kandiyohi County finds that the three popular lakes are reaching a “tipping point” on water quality. Norway Lake is already considered “impaired” because of pollutants.

Thu
06
Jul
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It’s Not Always Easy To Stand By Your Principles

It’s Not Always Easy To Stand By Your Principles

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

Sticking to your principles is easy when they are challenged by situations where people can easily see the reasons for your actions and agree with them. Such situations don’t test the depths of your convictions.

It is in those rare cases where standing by your principles has the crowd turn against you that you are tested. Often, in those cases, your sympathies lie with the crowd, but you still know what is right and necessary despite the anguish you feel in taking a firm stance. As a profession and organization, Minnesota newspapers faced such a test last week.

Fri
30
Jun
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Renewable Energy Is Our Future

Renewable Energy Is Our Future

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

When you drive through the countryside these days you see an increasing number of solar farms popping up on the landscape – acres and acres of land covered with panels collecting power from the sun and feeding it into the electric grid. You will also see a growing number of businesses, from farm operations to big city manufacturing plants, with solar panels supplementing their power.

Wind farms have also been steadily growing in Minnesota and America, feeding power in to the electric grid. The University of Minnesota-Morris helps to power its campus with two giant windmills. A growing number of farmers have been using windmills to supplement their power.

Fri
30
Jun
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Rural People Have To Be More Accepting of Immigrants

Rural People Have To Be More Accepting of Immigrants

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

We are at a difficult juncture in the future of rural Minnesota. Who will be the future generations that fill the jobs in our factories and small businesses? Who will fill our classrooms? Who will sit next to us in church? Who will buy the groceries, hardware goods, drug prescriptions, home decorative items, and other things that keep the doors open in our retail community?

Who will keep our hospital open, both through being the patients and the medical providers?

Wed
14
Jun
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Civic Center Presents Interesting Opportunities

Civic Center Presents Interesting Opportunities

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

With CNH moving out of the north end of the Civic Center in October, Benson Public Schools have an opportunity to provide its sports programs with new facilities that serve not only students, but also the community at large.

Over the past several years, the school board has looked at multiple options to expand the gymnasium space it has with little success. Voters have rejected plans that would have seen new facilities constructed and show little appetite at this time for approving the construction of new buildings.

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