Opinions

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.

Wed
07
Jun
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How to Spend $20 Million. Payments Would Be Opportunity, Heavy Burden

How to Spend $20million

Payments would be Opportunity, Heavy Burden

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

Twenty million dollars.

That is an awful lot of money for a small town to be looking at for investing in economic development.  We don’t have it yet, but the odds are looking better that it might be coming our way.

While the Legislature passed the bill including the language that provides the city with four payments between 2018 and 2021 totaling $20 million, and Gov. Mark Dayton signed it, the Minnesota Pubic Utilities (PUC) still has to weigh in.

Wed
31
May
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Allowing Speech We Hate Essential

Allowing Speech We Hate Essential

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

“If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought—not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”
Supreme Court Associate Justice
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1929)

It isn’t easy to listen to the ideas of those with whom we vigorously disagree. In fact, these days we tend to shelter ourselves in the houses of thought where we are sure to hear opinions that reinforce what we already believe and hold dear.

Fri
26
May
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Some Young Men Choose Video Games Over Work

Some Young Men Choose Video Games Over Work

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

In rural America every young person who can be filling a job vacancy at a local business is considered a valuable asset. Businesses advertise far and wide seeking workers. They conduct job fairs hoping to draw in new employees. But even in western Minnesota hundreds of jobs go unfilled because employers can’t find the people to fill them.

It is hard enough to get young people to move to rural Minnesota, leaving the big cities where there is a lot more action and other young people to socialize with, to fill job vacancies. Who knew that a growing challenge for employers would be that potential employees are being stolen away by video games?

Fri
19
May
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Parents Need To Know Vaccines Are Safe

Parents Need To Know Vaccines Are Safe
 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Too often these days the ridiculous is partnered with the thoughtful in debates with both given equal footing. It’s called a false equivalency. It is giving equal time and credence to a person who says the Earth is flat as to one who shows you the proof that the Earth, is in fact, round.

Creating false equivalencies, giving listeners or readers the idea that two points of view always have equal weight and value, is done out of a warped sense of “fairness” and certainly not out of any devotion to intellectual honesty.

Thu
11
May
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Americans Disconnecting Their Landlines

Americans Disconnecting Their Landlines

 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

When we were very young the family would regularly go to the “family cottage” up on Lake Minnewaska during the summers. It was a small cottage on the south side of the lake sitting high on the hill that had been built in 1924 and was shared by the Johnson family relatives – our dad’s mother was a Johnson.

Each weekend when we would arrive at the lake we would have to run down to a mosquito-infested ravine to get several pails of water. It ran from a pipe that had been driven into the side of the ravine wall and had a steady flow of clear, cold water running from it. We would use that water to prime the hand pump in the cottage so that we would have running water for the weekend. There was an outhouse there in those early days as well.

Thu
11
May
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Benson Power Agreement A Bittersweet Deal

Benson Power Agreement A Bittersweet Deal

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

It is a bittersweet agreement the City of Benson has signed with Northern States Power (NSP) to back the closure of Benson Power, LLC. It is the parent company of Xcel Energy.

Many have to wonder why the city would sign any agreement that would mean the loss of 45 jobs, the loss of dozens more locally in support of the facility, and the eventual loss of nearly $760,000 in property taxes for the city, county and school district.

They must be wondering why the city would have fought so vigorously only a month ago to stop language ending the state’s biomass mandate from passing in the Minnesota House and Senate. That law would also have allowed NSP to buy Benson Power and shut it down.

Thu
11
May
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Reuniting Minnesotans With Their Money

Reuniting Minnesotans With Their Money
 

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

Minnesota lawmakers participating in conference committee discussions in St. Paul will be considering approving legislation over the next couple weeks that could restore newspaper publication of notices on unclaimed property held by the Department of Commerce’s Unclaimed Property Division.

Why is that important to you? It is important because just maybe the state is holding a $100 refund check on a gas bill that belongs to you. Maybe it is holding a $1,000 check from an insurance company that was written out to you or a relative. If you are lucky, maybe it is holding a $10,000 stock dividend that belongs to you or a relative. It might also have your grandmother’s wedding ring, a collector Babe Ruth baseball card, or a rare Mercury head dime that was in a safe deposit box turned over to the state.

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.

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