Opinions

Wed
16
May
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Our Community Is Looking For Leaders

People seeking election to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the state’s governorship, and the Minnesota House will be filing for election this coming Tuesday in hopes of winning election in November. But in many ways, those who seek to hold office in St. Paul or Washington, D.C., are not the ones whose actions will have the most significant impact on the future health and success of our community.

Rather it is those who will be filing for the Swift County Board of Commissioners, the Benson City Council, and the District 777 Board of Education who will most directly have a say on the quality and accessibility of our health care, the excellence or mediocrity of our school academic and athletic programs, the providing of local services, and the future economic successes or failures of our area.

It is these leaders who will shape policy, property tax levies, and oversee the performance of the administrative leaders of our local governments.

Wed
09
May
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For Taxpayers, Local Governments Are Connected

We’ve heard a few comments lately from Swift County public officials that have given us the distinct impression they believe that each of the taxing units to which we pay real estate taxes stands alone in the voter’s mind.

Further, their conclusion seems to be that each public body should have little concern for what the other is doing as far as raising taxes.

 “On an editorial note, I don’t see any members of the Benson School Board here, but we will try to make decisions as we can on our own,” Swift County Commission Chairman Eric Rudningen said with a chuckle at the start of the board’s May 1 meeting.
In a conversation we had about our concerns that a proposed new county building levy now could hurt the Benson Public School’s chances to pass its levy, a county official asked us what concern that was of the county?

Rudningen’s editorial comment was a direct reference to a column we had written back in late April.

Thu
03
May
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Europe Union Acts To Protect Its Pollinators

With increasing anxiety, we’ve read stories over the past years about the beehive colony collapses, the die-off of large numbers of bees of all kinds in the wild, and the threat to the future of many of our pollinators.

Why the anxiety?

A study by the European Union found that these pollinators, some wild, some commercially kept, are responsible for the development of plants that “provide almost all vitamin C, vitamin A and other micronutrients such as carotenoids, calcium, fluoride, folic acid and several antioxidants in human diets.”

According to the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research, “Insect pollinators contribute an estimated $24 billion to the U.S. economy annually. Honey bees specifically pollinate about 100 crops in the United States.”

What is killing off our pollinators and threatening our food supply? There are two primary culprits in this assault, one natural, one man-made.

Tue
24
Apr
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'Snowbirds' Crucial to Keeping Congressional Seat

In just two years, the federal government will be conducting its decennial Census – a head count of everyone living in America. Based on the data it collects, it will assign the 435 House of Representative seats to states based on their population, working to ensure that each district has nearly the same number of people.

Minnesota demographic officials fear we could come out on the short end of the count and lose one of our eight seats for the 2022 elections.

Minnesota is growing, just not as fast as Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, Montana, Colorado or Arizona. Each of those states is projected to pick up a seat.

Minnesota, along with seven others, is likely to lose one.

Should Minnesota lose a congressional district, we probably won’t be seeing a lot of our representative.

Wed
18
Apr
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Benson School Levy Should Be Our Focus

By Reed Anfinson
Editor, Swift County Monitor-New
s
 

For the past several years, Swift County, the City of Benson, and Benson Public Schools have all been working to come to up with comprehensive plans for addressing what is called “deferred maintenance” of their aging buildings.

Deferred maintenance simply means fixing or replacing what is getting old and not working the way it should – heating and cooling systems that continually breakdown, pipes that drip, windows that don’t keep the weather out, roofs that leak, paint that is peeling, flooring that is worn, walls with mold inside, and the list goes on.

Wed
11
Apr
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A "Wall" Wastes America's Resources

Would you guess that more immigrants are coming into the U.S. today than ever before? Do you believe that there are “caravans” of Mexican immigrants heading for the American border as you read these words? Are we facing the imminent threat of our borders being overwhelmed by immigrants?

Consider some facts about recent immigration trends. In the five-year period between 1995 and 2000 more than 2.27 million Mexicans illegally crossed the border. Democrat Bill Clinton was the president during these peak years of illegal crossings.

Wed
04
Apr
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Crushing Newsprint Tariffs Threaten Newspaper

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Newspapers in America are under assault, but the assailant this time isn’t the one you would think. Yes, the internet continues to take away advertising dollars without giving anything back to citizens in the form of community reporting. But it isn’t the internet we are talking about this time; it is Wall Street.

It is the big money hedge fund players who care about one thing and one thing only –profits. They could care less about the impact of their actions on communities throughout America that rely on their newspapers for information about local governments, their sports teams, their community events, the challenges they face, or the triumphs they achieve.

Tue
27
Mar
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Scandi Haven Village A Reality Due To Persistant Determination of SCBHS Board, Staff

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

With the groundbreaking ceremony for Scandi Haven Senior Living & Memory Care Wednesday, April 4, at 10:30, Swift County-Benson Health Services will finally be visually celebrating the start of an important chapter in the facility’s future.

A need for an assisted living facility in the community was identified more than 15 years ago with a study in 2002. Additional studies in 2014 and 2016 also showed a high demand for assisted living as well as a memory care facility.

Wed
21
Mar
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Truth Can't Compete With Lies On Social Media

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

Mark Twain

Twain’s observation about how fast lies travel and how truth is left in the dust is truer today than during his life in the late 1800s. Today, those lies travel with the speed of electronic and social media communications reaching people in even the most remote corners of the world.

A deep, extensive study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) looked at more than 125,000 stories that had been shared by 3 million Twitter users over the decade between 2006 and 2016. It found that falsehoods, misinformation and outright lies traveled six times faster reaching far more people than the truth.

Wed
07
Mar
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Our Problem Isn't Video Games; It's Guns

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

As those who would stop any attempt to pass laws that could perhaps stop the next mass shooting in America, they are faced with an opposition that is well-financed, holds their clout over lawmakers more interested in re-election than children’s lives, and one with a massive propaganda machine.

First, for our readers, let’s establish the fact that we are not against all guns. We grew up hunting. We enjoy shooting a rifle for target practice. We just don’t believe that the 2nd Amendment and the Founding Fathers who wrote it contemplated assault rifles with high capacity magazines.

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