Opinions

Wed
28
Jul
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Newspapers, Government Have Vital Partnership

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

It wouldn’t be surprising if most people thought of newspapers and those serving in government, whether elected or appointed, as natural adversaries. Often, we are portrayed that way in film and books. The press seeking to uncover incriminating evidence of wrongdoing by the government officials is a common theme.

It’s true that at times public officials hide information.  Perhaps, they’ve done something foolish, or criminal, that they don’t want the public to find out about. It’s our job to expose wrongdoing, whether intentional or not. Only through our reporting can the public judge the honesty and competency of their elected officials, then hold them accountable. Their informed judgment helps citizens decide whether someone deserves another term or should be replaced.

Wed
21
Jul
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Supporting Dreamers Supports Our Future

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the United States District Court in Houston, TX, sent tremors through the immigrant community when he ruled last week that former President Barack Obama exceeded his authority in creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

His ruling again makes the fate of these young immigrants and their families a political football and a source of deep anxiety. Will their families be ripped apart by forced deportation? How do they start businesses, careers, buy homes and start families with such uncertainty?

To the relief of Dreamers, the judge’s opinion stated that the federal government should not “take any immigration, deportation or criminal action” against recipients that it “would not otherwise take.” However, while the Department of Homeland Security will keep taking new applications for DACA status, it is temporarily blocked from approving them.

Wed
14
Jul
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The ‘Wow!’ Factor of Benson Public Schools

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

We’re celebrating community again!
So many of the events that drew us together as family, friends and community last year were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, there is a pent-up energy to gather and delight in one another’s company.

This week we are celebrating Benson’s 90th Kid Day. Saturday’s Kid Day parade, with the Benson High School marching band leading the way, is a highlight the day. But there so much more from the carnival in the Roosevelt Park, the classic car show, sporting tournaments, Kid Day Amazing Race, ribfest, car burnouts, live music, airplane rides and much more will all be exciting for kids and adults alike.

There will be families who no longer live in the area returning with the children and grandchildren to participate in Kid Day. There are class reunions coordinated with the Kid Day weekend.

Wed
07
Jul
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To Ensure A Lasting Celebration, Get Vaccinated

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Our celebration of the nation’s 245th birthday felt special this year in that we reclaimed so much of what we missed last year. Gathering with friends and family, and hugging all those we have missed, is without a doubt the biggest highlight. We gathered to enjoy parades, fireworks displays, and community celebrations.

We also celebrated our sense of freedom from the oppressive COVID-19 pandemic.

For the most part, it appears that COVID-19 is a disease of the past for the residents of western Minnesota. Countryside Public Health’s five counties, which include Swift, Chippewa, Big Stone, Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine, saw just 18 COVID-19 cases in June. That is the lowest monthly total since the first cases were diagnosed in the area in May 2020. Swift County saw just six cases in June while Stevens County saw one and Pope County only four.

Wed
30
Jun
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Identifying Our Most Pressing Challenges

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

When you think about your life in rural Minnesota, what would you say are the most challenging issues your community faces? What would make your life better?

Of course, your answers are going to depend on whether you have a young family in need of a daycare, a business that desperately needs new workers, someone looking to buy a home, a business owner who sees his community shrinking, or a public official worried about crumbling infrastructure.

School superintendents worry about falling enrollment and the declining state funding that results. Businesses, educators, and families all are frustrated by the lack of internet broadband connections. Suppose you are a senior citizen who seeks an assisted living facility for yourself or a spouse. Is there one in your community?

Newspaper publishers see fewer advertisers and subscribers.

Wed
16
Jun
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‘The Land of Sky Blue Waters’ Is Threatened

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Reports of the damage we are doing to our planet come with a depressing regularity these days. Yet, they seem to be shrugged off with the same complacency and a there’s-nothing-we-can-do-about-it resignation as the latest mass shooting.

Earlier this month, a study was released that warns of far-reaching impacts for Minnesota, and the planet, without significant changes. In some ways, it is already too late to prevent the damage underway, but we can mitigate the depth and reach of that damage in the years to come.

Wed
09
Jun
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Moving Closer Toward Democracy’s Demise

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

If you haven’t heard about it yet, you likely will before long. Another community in Minnesota, is losing its newspaper. Another community will be going virtually blind as to the doings of their local governments, their efforts to keep citizens safe during a pandemic, the stories of their people, and so much more.

This isn’t some tiny town in Minnesota losing its newspaper. International Falls is a community of 6,000 people.

Fri
21
May
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It's been a long road to mask freedom

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota Democratic Gov. Tim Walz has had an impossible job. His first priority has been public safety, followed by the economic health of individuals and businesses.

His critics often rebuked him for measures he implemented under his emergency authority. They were critical of business and school closures. They wanted bars and restaurants open sooner and at higher capacity, despite evidence showing it would accelerate COVID-19 cases and deaths. They pointed to South Dakota, Florida, and Texas as models of what Minnesota should be doing.

Wed
12
May
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Government Can Help Get People Back To Work

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Minnesota is opening. It almost feels like the pre-COVID-19 days. People are out and about; the bars and restaurants are full of people laughing and socializing. We have had high school proms at our schools. Graduations are coming soon. The only bothersome affliction for spring sports has been the weather.

Only the masks worn by wait staff, people going into businesses, and medical facilities, and still on some in their vehicles reminds us these are not ordinaryl times yet.

Our businesses are also aware that COVID-19’s silent hold on the economy still runs deep. It’s reflected in the community newspapers with classified ad pages full of help-wanted advertisements. We hear their pleas for workers on the radio and television. They are all over the internet. Jobs are posted on flyers around the community.

Wed
05
May
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Racism Comes In Many Disguises - by Reed Anifnson - Publisher

‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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