Opinions

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.

Wed
05
Apr
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A Temporary Victory For Benson Area

A Temporary Victory for Benson Area

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

It has been an intense week for the City of Benson as it has marshaled support to fight a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that could have had a devastating economic impact on the area.

Xcel Energy and Laurentian Energy Authority (LEA) were seeking legislation that could have ended the state’s biomass mandate. That mandate is at the heart of the 22-year power purchase agreement between Benson Power, LLC, and Xcel Energy. It means that Xcel is obligated to buy the 55 megawatts of power Benson Power produces through burning a combination of turkey litter and wood chips.

Mon
03
Apr
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Fighting For Rural Economy A Constant Battle

Fighting For Rural Economy A Constant Battle

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

Sometimes you need a little luck. When you get it you had better be prepared to make the most of it through hard work.

It was a stroke of luck that the City of Benson found out in a roundabout way late last week that a bill was moving through the Minnesota Legislature that potentially could have led to the closing of the Benson Power, LLC, plant.

Its closing would be a substantial economic blow to the community. We would lose 45 direct jobs at the plant. Another 50 to 60 jobs would be lost in support of the plant. We would no longer have the people coming and going from the Benson area who are affiliated with the plant in one way or another, staying at the local motels, eating at our restaurants, buying gas, and spending money in other ways.

Wed
22
Mar
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Minnesota Voters Spoke; Daudt Not Listening

Minnesota Voters Spoke; Daudt Not Listening

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Minnesota Republican Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt is rumored to be considering a run for the governorship in 2018. As with all politicians considering a run for higher office, he is carefully calculating his actions in light of how they will play with citizens across the state next year. Such calculation often puts politicians in untenable situations where common sense and political courage take a back seat.

Last fall Minnesota voters overwhelmingly chose to give the authority to raise legislator salaries to the independent citizen Legislative Salary Council. The constitutional amendment granting the authority passed with 76 percent approval –an amazingly high percentage considering all ballots on which a person didn’t check a box were considered no votes.

Wed
08
Mar
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Pass Law to Ban Phone Use in Vehicles

Pass Law to Ban Phone Use in Vehicles

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

Driving between Benson and Clontarf we met three consecutive cars - not one of the drivers saw us pass by them. All three were glued to their phones not even glancing up as we flew by one another.

A deer jumping out of the ditch would have been in their windshield before they even saw it. Another driver approaching also on his or her phone could drift over the centerline and the two vehicles would hit head-on. A bicyclist on the side of the road could be hit and killed by a distracted driver drifting to the shoulder.

These aren’t made-up scenarios; they’ve happened and tragically they will happen again.

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