Commentary: USA Drone Port Project launched in Knott, Perry counties through power of collaboration

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Building on the community’s assets, strong partners, seed money leading to the idea, and an ambitious vision and plan, the USA Drone Port project was launched for Knott and Perry counties last week in Hazard. The potential for the USA Drone Port: National Unmanned Robotic Research and Development Center goes beyond the jobs it will create as a drone research, testing,...

Commentary: Living in a post-truth world — from ‘alternative facts’ to a state of confusion

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward Wheaties was a staple breakfast food in my childhood and between spoonfuls of the stuff that was supposed to make me strong I remember staring at the box donned with Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner ready to spring the javelin. It was the breakfast of champions and of course what eight-year boy old didn’t aspire to be a world champion athlete? Jenner now...

Commentary: Any reform of Kentucky’s tax code should meet three specific principles

By Jason Bailey Special to KyForward With the 2017 Kentucky General Assembly in the books, Governor Bevin and the legislature will now turn their attention to a possible special session later this year that will focus on tax reform and pensions. The need to clean up the tax code is among the biggest issues facing the Commonwealth. The growth of tax breaks increasingly undermines our ability to make...

Bill Straub: Bevin stiff-arming state’s media does disservice to public and pursuit of accountability

WASHINGTON – Ben Bradlee, who would go on to become the legendary editor of The Washington Post, once wrote a story highly critical of then-President Lyndon Baines Johnson and his administration, leading LBJ to invite Bradlee, then working for Newsweek, into the Oval Office for what was sure to be a dressing down. What Bradlee instead encountered were tepid protestations from the president, free...

Commentary: Is is possible that aerospace could be Kentucky’s next big industry? Absolutely

By Stewart Ditto II Special to KyForward In Kentucky, we are used to the stereotype. Whenever we travel anywhere outside the state, we are recognized for the same three things; bourbon, horses, and KFC. Now don’t get me wrong, I am proud of these illustrious pieces of Kentucky lore and history. But as many of my fellow Kentuckians can attest, there is much more to our commonwealth. In fact, we are...

Constance Alexander: Tour of gaseous diffusion plant offers history buffs a real blast from the past

A World War II veteran who fought at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, Chris Grevis, continued his service to the country by working at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) from 1952 – 1955. Even now, at 90 years old, he can tell you his badge number – 2236. He rattles it off with a smile. “I’ll never forget it,” he said. Today, Chris lives in Toledo, Ohio, but he made the trip to Paducah last...

Commentary: It’s time to ‘Plus It’ to accomplish the impossible for benefit of Kentucky students

By Stephen L. Pruitt Special to KyForward Spring is a time for new beginnings. I hope that everyone has had a chance to get away or at least find a way to reenergize in preparation for the remainder of the school year. Over Easter weekend, I travelled to watch my son row for his university at a meet in Tennessee. As I sat on the banks of the beautiful lake with incredible weather, my thoughts drifted...

Commentary: Churches are not second class — state should treat all organizations equally

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an important case regarding religious freedom and whether the government can treat religious institutions as second class. The case at hand involves a Missouri church that applied for a grant to receive recycled scrap tire material for its playground. The state rejected the application on the grounds that...

Commentary: It’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day — we all need to find a way to make a difference

By Kristin Weiss Special to KyForward The year 2020 is quickly approaching and with it, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. At Green Umbrella, we’re working hard to make Greater Cincinnati and northern Kentucky a top 10 metro area for sustainability before then. We’re already making progress. Our region has over 101,000 acres of protected greenspace to date; we’ve seen a 55 percent increase...

Bill Straub: If Bevin truly is a man of integrity, then it’s well past time that he shows some

WASHINGTON – There is some evidence that the glorious leader, Gov. Mad Matt Bevin, may have stepped in it this time, and he is reacting with all the smug, self-satisfaction of a used car dealer pawning off a Yugo with no engine to your grandmother. Bevin may – and it should be stressed that the word “may’’ is key here — be involved in a property transaction that could prove personally...

Commentary: Paying taxes causes aggravation for many, but we all benefit from the results

By Anna Baumann Special to KyForward Across the commonwealth, Kentuckians were filing their taxes this week; and many are wondering if and how the Governor’s intention to do tax reform this year will impact what they pay in the future. The principles of good tax reform are clear (that it generates new revenue to invest in our communities in a fair and reliable way). Tax Day is a good time to remember...

Constance Alexander: By meeting challenges day by day, Hannah Babcock proves ‘yes she can’

Not having kids of my own, I have taken vicarious pride over the years in watching other people’s children blossom into members of a caring community. So many of our young people in Murray, Ky., do amazing things at home and away, and one who has impressed me from the time she was a very tiny girl is Hannah Babcock. In a scant twenty years, Hannah has brought distinction to our town with many outstanding...

Commentary: Bringing adults, youth together in equal setting key to addressing violence, bullying

By Douglas A. Wain Special to KyForward No one in Kentucky is immune to violence, and we at YouthAlert (YA) invite you to help us meet the needs of state’s youth before it’s too late. Louisville, for example, is set to have another record number of homicides this year, and more than a third of the city’s victims are between the ages of 16 and 25. We are failing our kids. However, with your support,...

Commentary: Trump’s executive order is good news for Kentucky’s coal communities

By Sen. Mitch McConnell Special to KyForward At the beginning of this year, I sent a letter to then President-elect Trump urging him to work with Congress and use his executive authority to provide regulatory relief to Kentucky coal miners and their families. Last month, he stepped in to offer a much-needed reprieve from the so-called Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation, which tried to extend the...

Commentary: Adding sales tax to groceries would hurt low-income families, weaken revenue growth

By Anna Baumann Special to KyForward Gov. Bevin has said he will propose tax reform in a special session this year that will move Kentucky toward a “consumption-based” tax system – in other words shifting from income taxes to greater reliance on sales taxes. One of the options for doing so would be to expand the state’s sales tax base to include groceries. But a tax shift package that includes...

Bill Straub: Trump’s tent didn’t expand the GOP electorate; it’s white voters who are the difference

WASHINGTON – To be honest, I don’t watch Saturday Night Live any longer. The only thing that will keep me up that late watching television on a Saturday night is a ballgame that goes into extra innings. But I’m certainly familiar with the show, going back to its original broadcast with George Carlin as host in 1975. Like anything that has been around that long it’s had its ups and downs. ...

Commentary: New voluntary federal ID cards now compliant with mandates, pose no threat to privacy

By Rep. Jim DuPlessis Special to KyForward In 2005, legislation was enacted by the United States Congress to beef up national security by adding new requirements for state driver’s licenses and other official ID cards. Ever since then, as states have gone through the process of complying with the new mandates, much opposition has formed to what is often called REAL ID. However, despite those concerns,...

Constance Alexander: Inspirational ‘Ride with Larry’ film about a journey of hope lands in Murray April 20

Larry Smith is a tough guy. Sort of. He spent twenty-six years in law enforcement as a captain in Connecticut, with the Hamden Police Department. He’s been married long enough to raise three children and move to South Dakota when his wife, Betty, accepted a professorship in Political Science at the university there. Some might suspect that the tough guy went soft when he opened the Bakery Café in...

Commentary: When parents engage with schools, children and their communities prosper

By Helen Carroll Special to KyForward There is no greater influence in a child’s life than parenting. The people we become rests on the foundation of our parents’ love, care and choices they make about how we grow, learn and prosper. Parents’ involvement in school is critical to that foundation and has lasting impacts on the parents themselves, their children and their communities. For 280,000...

Commentary: Department for Public Health has a major impact on all of our lives

By Dr. Hiram C. Polk Special to KyForward Have you eaten at a restaurant lately? Did you brush your teeth this morning? If so, the Department for Public Health (DPH) has touched your life. DPH doesn’t only inspect the conditions of restaurants you visit, but also worked to make Kentucky the first state to add fluoride to your water to help protect your teeth. As a component of Kentucky Cabinet...