Opinions

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.

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.

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