Opinions

Tue
11
Dec
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Splitting From Republicans A Risk For Miller

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

For the first time since he started serving in the Minnesota House in January 2016, Republican District 17A Rep. Tim Miller is going to be in the minority party – and by choice, a minority of the minority.

Democrats regained the majority in November when they took 18 seats previously held by Republicans to gain a 75-59 advantage.

District 17A includes all of Swift and Chippewa counties, all but two townships in Renville County, and the four southern Kandiyohi townships of Edwards, Holland, Roseland and Lake Lillian.

With that control, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party now sets the agenda for bills in the House. New House Speaker Melissa Hortman of Brooklyn Park controls who serves on what committee and whom the chairs and subcommittee chairs will be starting in a few weeks.

Tue
04
Dec
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A Good Economy Doesn’t Mean A Healthy America

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Conservative columnist for the New York Times David Brooks made a few observations this past week about how strong the U.S. economy is today with all the signs pointing to a nation that should be feeling pretty good about itself.

Yet something is missing. American’s aren’t feeling better; they’re feeling worse.

Gross domestic product, a measure of a nation’s economic strength, is growing at near 3.5 percent creating one of the best economies in many people’s lifetimes, he points out. Our economy has been on a steady upward climb since the crash of 2007-08 and is enjoying the second longest recovery on record.

Wed
28
Nov
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Rural America Out Of Step With Its Future

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Rural America has an image problem.

It’s a growing problem that could stand in the way of exactly what we need to turn around our dwindling population and struggle to maintain our workforce

We are growing older and more conservative just when we are in desperate need of attracting young people of the millennial generation to our communities who are more open-minded, more diverse, and more tolerant of those who aren’t like them.

Tue
20
Nov
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Fundamental Changes In Economic Development

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

Who would have imagined 20 years ago, maybe even only three, that quality, affordable and readily available daycare would be the key to economic development and a city’s growth?

Since the start of the Industrial Revolution economic development has been about bricks and mortar. It has been about the “build it and they (workers) will come” philosophy.

It is a philosophy so ingrained in our thinking and approach to economic development that it takes a profound reordering of traditional principles enshrined in a community’s playbook for creating jobs and drawing workers to fill them.

Wed
14
Nov
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The Waning Influence Of Rural Minnesota

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

When Swift County voted for Donald Trump for president in 2016, it was only the fourth time in 100 years that it has not voted for a Democrat and the first time in 60 years it had gone Republican.

It voted for Republican Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, Progressive Robert La Follette in 1924, Republican Warren Harding in 1920 and Republican Charles Evans Hughes in 1916.

Based on last Tuesday’s elections, it now appears that Swift County, along with much of rural Minnesota, is turning Republican. Unless the Democrats run a candidate with wide personal appeal to voters, such as Rep. Collin Peterson in the 7th Congressional District, or Sen. Amy Klobuchar for the U.S. Senate, it is going to go Republican.

Based on the changing demographics in the state that does not bode well for rural Minnesota’s influence in state government.

Wed
07
Nov
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Public Has Chance To Shape Community’s Future

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

Would you like to help shape the future of the Benson area? You will have the opportunity during a public meeting with author, economic development strategist and community therapist Doug Griffiths Friday, Nov. 16.

Griffiths, the co-author of 13 Ways to Kill Your Community, will be in Benson two full days next week. He is meeting with local business groups, community leaders of all ages, citizens on the street and you – if you care about this community.

He will be here Thursday and Friday, Nov. 15 and Nov. 16 with a community meeting planned for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at the Benson Golf Club. All are welcome.

Wed
31
Oct
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Vote Your Principles, Not A ‘Personality’

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

After the 2016 election, we were talking to a man about how he had voted. He said in 2008 that he voted for Democrat Barack Obama for president. In 2012, he didn’t vote at all. In 2016, he voted for Republican Donald Trump but said he could have voted for Vermont liberal Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders if he would have been on the ballot.

We thought, “What does this man believe in?”

He was bereft of political or social principles. His political affiliation was based on the shallow cult of personality. Whoever excited him at election time got his vote, not because of what he or she stood for, or the candidate’s vision for leadership.

When you go to the polls next Tuesday, will you vote for what you believe in, or will you vote for a person who just might tear down all that you hold dear?

Medical care and insurance

Tue
23
Oct
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Politicians Prey On Our Natural ‘Wiring’

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

 

“But the world does move, and its motive power under God is the fearless thought and speech of those who dare to be in advance of their time - who are sneered at and shunned through their days of struggle as lunatics, dreamers, impracticable and visionaries; men of crotchets, vagaries and isms.

“They are the masts and sails of the ship, to which conservatism answers as a ballast. The ballast is important – at times indispensable – but it would be of no account if the ship were not bound to go ahead.”

Horace Greeley

Greeley was just that sort of man he describes above. “He endlessly promoted utopian reforms such as socialism, vegetarianism, agrarianism, feminism, and temperance, while hiring the best talent he could find…” to write about the subjects in his New York Tribune.

Wed
17
Oct
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The Threat of News Deserts & Ghost Newspapers

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

“The fate of communities and local news organizations are intrinsically linked - socially, politically and economically.”

Penelope Muse Abernathy
Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics
University of North Carolina

Just this past week we wrote about the vital role newspapers play in their small rural communities. We certainly didn’t plan on writing about it again this week until we read a deeply disturbing story on a report from the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism by Tom Stites.

In his story titled “About 1,300 U.S. communities have totally lost news coverage,” Stites writes about the unexpected extent of developing news deserts in America and growing threat the loss of newspapers means to our nation.
The UNC study shows that:

Wed
10
Oct
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Informed Communities Are Healthy Communities

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher, Swift County Monitor-News

Holding a copy of the Monitor-News up in our office, an incensed MAAC, Inc., President Denny Larson of Montevideo said, “And I had to find out about this in the newspaper!” It probably wasn’t meant as a compliment, but it sure made us smile inside.

What Larson was referring to was a story about his low bid on a demolition project in Appleton not getting the job. We aren’t talking about a small amount of change. Larson’s bid to Swift County was $40,000 less than his competitor’s.

That is potentially $40,000 more in taxpayer money spent on the job. As we explained in our stories on the bidding process, county commissioners cited two reasons for going with T&K Kennedy Excavating, Inc., of Benson. First, it was a local business. Local also means they pay real estate taxes in Swift County. Second, T&K’s bid was more detailed.

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