Opinions

Wed
27
Apr
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Protecting Pollinators And Killing Mosquitoes

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Swarms of mosquitos trying to suck you dry, leaving you itching, and with little red welts, can be very maddening. They can ruin an evening sitting outside with friends, or a round of golf, or playing a game of softball, spending time in your garden, or playing with your children in the backyard.

But those pesky mosquitoes are more than a summertime annoyance – they also potentially carry diseases that can be debilitating or even life threatening. The Zika virus, though the mosquitoes that carry it don’t live as far north as Minnesota, is getting a lot of headlines these days creating considerable concern. La Crosse encephalitis and West Nile virus are both carried by mosquitoes and do cause serious illness, even death, in Minnesota.

That is why citizens demand that their local governments spray on a regular schedule to keep mosquito populations down as much as possible.

Fri
22
Apr
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It’s Hard To Keep An Open Mind To Learning

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

We read a fascinating story written by National Public Radio’s Anya Kamenetz last week about the importance of teachers knowing the most likely wrong answer a student is likely to give in response to a question.

In her story, titled “Why teachers need to know the wrong answers,” she follows the research of professor of astronomy and director of the Science Education department at Harvard University, Philip Sadler. He says “that cognitive science tells us that if you don’t understand the flaws in students’ reasoning, you’re not going to be able to dislodge their misconceptions and replace them with the correct concepts.”

Wed
13
Apr
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Complacency, Resignation Are Our Emenies

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

“It is important, if you are going to ensure the death of your community, that you lose focus on your goals and become complacent, or support those who are complacent in their decisions and leadership roles within your community.”

-- 13 ways to kill your community, by Doug Griffiths and Kelly Clemmer

Complacency, the dictionaries say, is that feeling of being satisfied with the way things are and supporting the status quo. It is particularly destructive in that it is often accompanied by an ignorance of the dangers that stifle community growth.  Leaders dismiss challenges as temporary obstacles that will pass without any special attention needing to be paid to them and citizens go along with their assumptions.

Wed
06
Apr
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Council Aims To Focus On Cleaning Up Benson

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 
Driving into Benson from the west on Minnesota Highway 9 your first impression is that of a vibrant smaller community with expanding industry. Benson Power LLC and the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company, with their plumes of steam rising into the air, the Glacial Plains grain facility, and the other businesses in the area all are evidence of recent growth.

Then you go by Ambush Park, the Benson swimming pool with its tall water slide and then the 18-hole Benson Golf Course behind its decorative stone wall. Across the street from the clubhouse is the Benson Dairy Queen where kids coming from the pool are lined up for a treat.

Pretty good first impression as you pull into town.

But as you get into town a little farther, that first impression changes.

Thu
31
Mar
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Appleton Prison Should Be The Smart Choice

By Reed Anfinson

Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Minnesota faces a serious prison overcrowding problem. No one argues that point. It is how that problem should be addressed that is at the root of deep emotional stands on the issue. There are three basic solutions under discussion: sentencing reform, creating more prison beds, or the combination of the two. Tangled within those three solutions are passionate feelings on sentencing fairness, racial inequity in sentencing, and the difference between being tough on crime and compassionate to our fellow human beings who have violated the law.

Wed
23
Mar
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Disallusioned Electorate Wants Punches Not Plans

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

“We live in an era where trust has collapsed in every single institution in the country with the exception of the military and it is not without cause,” Republican Strategist Steve Schmidt said on Meet the Press Sunday morning. “An era of systemic fraud in business, in politics, in the culture, in sports, in religion, all of it accumulating to this moment in time where someone has come forward with profound communication skills offering easy answers to people who…have seen no changes.”
 

Thu
03
Mar
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We Welcome Political Letters, But....

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

It is the season of political letters to the editor again. This means those who ardently support one candidate or another will be mailing out letters to area newspapers hoping to put a plug in for voters to cast a ballot for their candidate.

The Swift County Monitor-News has a few rules that we apply to letters that are submitted before deciding whether they will be published.

One of our basic rules is that letter writers should be local, preferably subscribers to the Monitor-News. We get inundated with letters from far and wide. They come from outside this region and even other states. Letters that are not local are unlikely to get printed.

Thu
11
Feb
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The Necessity Of Duplicity

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

“You’re a flip-flopper!” is considered one of the most damaging accusations to confront a challenger with in the political arena. “You were for it before you were against it!” Score another point for a candidate’s opposition.

But can we really blame politicians when they seemingly change their stands on issues? Or, should we blame ourselves for dropping out of the early stages of the electoral process letting the far right and far left dictate the debate, and thus the outcomes of primaries and caucuses?

Are candidates disingenuous flip-floppers or is he or she a political realist while the accuser is simply politically naïve? Do we blame ourselves for lacking the sense of harsh political reality that demands we accept the necessity of duplicity?

Fri
11
Dec
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Body Cams: Privacy v. The Public’s Right to Know

By Reed Anfinson

Publisher - Swift County Monitor-News

Wed
02
Dec
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The Politics of Fear

 

By Reed Anfinson

Publisher

It appears that worries about terrorists slipping into America among the Syrian refugees flooding out of the war torn country has caused some, including the leading candidates for the Republican nomination for president, to abandon the U.S. Constitution and America’s core principles.

They could learn something from a former Republican president who faced a far greater crisis following the terrorist attacks on America Sept. 11, 2001.

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