Opinions

Wed
18
Apr
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Benson School Levy Should Be Our Focus

By Reed Anfinson
Editor, Swift County Monitor-New
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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.

Wed
11
Apr
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A "Wall" Wastes America's Resources

Would you guess that more immigrants are coming into the U.S. today than ever before? Do you believe that there are “caravans” of Mexican immigrants heading for the American border as you read these words? Are we facing the imminent threat of our borders being overwhelmed by immigrants?

Consider some facts about recent immigration trends. In the five-year period between 1995 and 2000 more than 2.27 million Mexicans illegally crossed the border. Democrat Bill Clinton was the president during these peak years of illegal crossings.

Wed
04
Apr
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Crushing Newsprint Tariffs Threaten Newspaper

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Newspapers in America are under assault, but the assailant this time isn’t the one you would think. Yes, the internet continues to take away advertising dollars without giving anything back to citizens in the form of community reporting. But it isn’t the internet we are talking about this time; it is Wall Street.

It is the big money hedge fund players who care about one thing and one thing only –profits. They could care less about the impact of their actions on communities throughout America that rely on their newspapers for information about local governments, their sports teams, their community events, the challenges they face, or the triumphs they achieve.

Tue
27
Mar
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Scandi Haven Village A Reality Due To Persistant Determination of SCBHS Board, Staff

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

With the groundbreaking ceremony for Scandi Haven Senior Living & Memory Care Wednesday, April 4, at 10:30, Swift County-Benson Health Services will finally be visually celebrating the start of an important chapter in the facility’s future.

A need for an assisted living facility in the community was identified more than 15 years ago with a study in 2002. Additional studies in 2014 and 2016 also showed a high demand for assisted living as well as a memory care facility.

Wed
21
Mar
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Truth Can't Compete With Lies On Social Media

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

Mark Twain

Twain’s observation about how fast lies travel and how truth is left in the dust is truer today than during his life in the late 1800s. Today, those lies travel with the speed of electronic and social media communications reaching people in even the most remote corners of the world.

A deep, extensive study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) looked at more than 125,000 stories that had been shared by 3 million Twitter users over the decade between 2006 and 2016. It found that falsehoods, misinformation and outright lies traveled six times faster reaching far more people than the truth.

Wed
07
Mar
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Our Problem Isn't Video Games; It's Guns

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

As those who would stop any attempt to pass laws that could perhaps stop the next mass shooting in America, they are faced with an opposition that is well-financed, holds their clout over lawmakers more interested in re-election than children’s lives, and one with a massive propaganda machine.

First, for our readers, let’s establish the fact that we are not against all guns. We grew up hunting. We enjoy shooting a rifle for target practice. We just don’t believe that the 2nd Amendment and the Founding Fathers who wrote it contemplated assault rifles with high capacity magazines.

Tue
27
Feb
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Americans Agree Compromise Is Needed

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

We will start off this column with a couple of surveys that illustrate how much many Americans agree on two controversial topics and another one that says most of us want Congress to compromise to get things done on many of the critical issues facing the U.S.

Two-thirds of Americans want stricter gun controls in general. But when it comes to universal background checks, the nation’s voters are nearly unanimous with 97 percent saying they are needed. Even 97 percent of gun owners approve of universal background checks, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.

A solid majority, 67 percent, favors a ban on assault-style weapons like the AR-15 used in the mass murder of 14 students and three faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, Feb. 14.

Wed
21
Feb
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State Must Take Lead on Gun Control

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Few people have faith in the leadership in Washington, D.C., to act with decisive purpose to implement meaningful gun control legislation following yet another mass shooting at a school. Fourteen children and three teachers slaughtered with an AR-15 military-style rifle in six minutes.

They’ve done this drill before. Twenty children and six teachers massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary, in Newtown, CT. Congress did nothing.

People gathered for good times at a concert (Las Vegas,) a movie theatre (Denver,) a nightclub (Orlando), and a shopping mall (Burlington, WA,) gunned down. People gathered at a church murdered in Charleston, SC, and Sutherland Springs, TX. What did we get from Washington to make our nation safer? Nothing.

Wed
14
Feb
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Fix Immigration, But Show Compassion

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

As President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress block meaningful revision of America’s immigration policy, held hostage by the far right-wing base of the party, families are being torn apart at an ever-increasing pace.

President Trump won election partially by vilifying all immigrants, particularly those from Mexico and the Middle East. He aroused fears and prejudices.  He highlighted a few criminal cases. He highlighted the isolated murders, rapes, robberies, gangs, and the threat of terrorism. He made sure to push them to the front of his speeches despite statistics showing that undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit a crime than a U. S. citizen.

His language hasn’t changed now that he holds office. In today’s internet world, where anger and vitriol spasm to the top, rendering reasonable thought objectionable, there is no room for compassionate acts.

Fri
02
Feb
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Candidates For Governor Need To Grasp Rural Needs

by Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Last Friday nine candidates running to be our next governor sat down to be questioned on rural issues at an event sponsored by the Center for Rural Policy & Development and the Minnesota Newspaper Association.

Though the November election is still months away, this is a crucial sorting out time in the election process.  Republican and Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) candidates have been traveling the state seeking support as the Feb. 6 caucuses draw near.

Those caucuses feature a non-binding straw poll where citizens vote their support for their favorite candidate. Those who make a strong showing get a boost propelling them ahead of the pack and toward endorsement at the state conventions in the first week of June.

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