Opinions

Tue
19
Jun
admin's picture

The Injustice of Zero Tolerance

Publisher’s note: There are  times when we feel strongly about an issue, but find someone who is more articulate, more persuasive, and carries far more weight with the words they write than we could ever hope to acheive. This is one of those times, so we will let former First Lady Laura Bush, wife of former Republican President George W. Bush, speak to our readers.

Separating children from their parents at the border ‘breaks my heart’
by Laura Bush

Wed
13
Jun
admin's picture

Water Wars On the Horizon

Today’s U.S. Drought Monitor shows a growing area of deep brown covering portions of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah. It indicates an area suffering an exceptional drought – the worst possible. Spots of brown also appear in Oklahoma, west Texas and southwest Kansas.

Areas suffering an exceptional drought experience water emergencies, water rationing, the loss of cropland and pastures. They see streams and small bodies of water drying up. Their reservoirs fall to dangerous levels. Wildfires become a persistent hazard. Livestock herds have to be reduced or sold off.

Surrounding the brown areas is an even larger area of deep red indicating extreme drought conditions. Farmers in these areas also find it impossible to grow crops. There are widespread water shortages; surface waters are disappearing.

Wed
06
Jun
admin's picture

A Growing Distortion In America's Politics

As America becomes more urban and rural areas are unsettled, a growing disparity in our nation’s power structure is becoming more evident with each passing year. It is a disparity that has profound meaning for how this country governs itself; an imbalance that lends excessive power to an increasingly small percentage of our citizens.

It is an inequality that gives an outsized voice to a conservative, rural minority that at times can thwart the will of the vast majority of Americans.

What is this mechanism that so distorts the will of Americans? It is a part of our national Constitution adopted in 1787 – the establishment of the U.S. Senate based on statehood rather than population.

Tue
29
May
admin's picture

An Opportunity And A Challenge

We read two stories this past week that seem at odds with each other.

Minneapolis, the state’s biggest city, is growing at its fastest pace since 1950.  Renting an apartment, or buying a house, is getting increasingly difficult because supply isn’t meeting the demand of newcomers, Greta Kaul of MinnPost writes.

“Between 1940 and 1950, Minneapolis added more than 29,000 people, an increase of 6 percent, according to U.S. Census data. By 2020, the Metropolitan Council projects that Minneapolis will have added about 40,000 residents since 2010, an increase of more than 10 percent,” she reports.

Minneapolis’ population is nearing 420,000 while St. Paul’s is over 305,000. The Twin Cities area is over 3 million people and contains over half the state’s population of around 5.52 million.

Wed
23
May
admin's picture

Are We A Less Thoughtful Society

Are we a less thoughtful, less civil society today than we used to be? Does the well-being of our neighbors matter little? Does our entertainment trump their peace of mind?

We would, unfortunately, have to answer that, “Yes, we are a less civilized society than we once were. We are much more self-absorbed, thoughtless individuals than existed a generation or two ago.”

It is surprising how much profanity we hear in public places these days. It doesn’t matter who is sitting at the next table – families with young children, a group of senior women out together, the minister from the local church, or “just plain old” folks from the community.

One of the common complaints you find in today’s City of Benson Police reports has to do with loud noise – music blaring away in someone’s house or apartment, or outside. Music thumping through the walls. Music blasting through the neighborhood.

Wed
16
May
admin's picture

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
admin's picture

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
admin's picture

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
admin's picture

'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
admin's picture

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.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Opinions