Commentary: AARP Kentucky fighting to protect Medicare from increased cost, risk

By Ron Bridges Special to KyForward AARP Kentucky has just launched a campaign to let Congress know we oppose any plan to increase Medicare costs and risk for seniors and today’s workers. We believe Kentuckians have earned Medicare by paying in with each and every paycheck. Proposals to turn Medicare into a voucher system would take health care in the wrong direction – ramping up costs for current...

Commentary: Congress, White House working together to bring relief to coal country

By Mitch McConnell Special to KyForward As the Obama administration packed its boxes and prepared to leave office, the former president took a parting shot at Appalachian coal communities, who have already been some of the areas most hurt by his coal policies. After eight years of anti-coal executive actions, the Obama administration added insult to injury with its Stream Buffer Rule. This regulation...

Commentary: During Valentine’s Day week, how about showing some love for our public schools?

By Stephen Pruitt Special to KyForward Back in the 1970s, there was a TV drama called “Kojak.” The show’s star, Telly Savalas, was bald and almost always seen with a lollipop in his mouth. He loved them almost as much as he loved to solve crimes. His ever-present catch phrase, “Who loves ya baby?” was used to remind the people around him that he loved them and had their backs. You may be...

Bill Straub: Focusing on results and not the theatrics, McConnell thinks Trump is doing just fine

WASHINGTON – It took that great philosopher, John Matuszak, to sum up in a single thought what makes America great. Back in the late 1970s, early ‘80s, the Oakland Raiders were truly nothing more than a gang of outlaws and Matuszak, the team’s standout defensive end, was the most notorious of them all — the Al Capone of the silver and black. On the Sunday of Super Bowl XV in New Orleans,...

Commentary: Time is now for Brent Spence Bridge as public-private partnerships offer funding options

By Adam Koenig Special to KyForward For over 50 years now, countless vehicles have traveled from Northern Kentucky into Ohio, and vice-versa, on the Brent Spence Bridge. Whether it be to transport goods, travel, or engage in commerce, Brent Spence has been heavily utilized over the years, and this traffic has taken its toll. Currently operating at nearly three times of what it was designed to carry,...

Constance Alexander: New facility provides more opportunities for interaction for Murray Art Guild

When the Murray Art Guild acquired the Linn House on 6th Street in 1971, the organization had reason to be proud. The Queen Anne style residence — constructed in 1899-1900 — featured a spacious wrap-around porch, pedimented gables with fish-scaled shingles, and a splendid cupola. For years, the historic location served the organization’s needs, but keeping up with repairs to an old house...

Commentary: East Kentucky needs leaders, citizens who aren’t afraid to dream bigger

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Rural communities miss great opportunities when their leaders and citizens do not dream big enough. One of our problems in not making “Appalachian Kentucky Great Again” has been thinking too small and scaling down our dreams and expectations. Congressman Hal Rogers has had a big vision for bringing the digital economy for nearly 10 years but, often our organizations...

Commentary: Kentucky should reject dangerous call to reopen U.S. Constitution

By Jason Bailey Special to KyForward The Kentucky General Assembly will soon consider a resolution that is part of a well-funded national effort calling for a new convention to rewrite the rules of American government — an idea that could create chaos and jeopardize the U.S. Constitution. Since the founding of the country, the constitution has been amended 27 times. Each time, Congress has passed...

Bill Straub: Politicians lining up to eliminate the EPA have strong Kentucky ties in common

WASHINGTON – Kentucky is piecing together a strong contingent of volunteers ready and willing to do battle with raging hordes of tree-huggers and scientists in the ongoing War on the Environment, emerging proudly as the modern embodiment of F Troop. The commonwealth’s defenders are firmly fixed along an ecological Maginot Line in the battle against those who would foist potable water and breathable...

Commentary: An unforgettable experience outside Kentucky’s last remaining abortion clinic

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward Have you ever gone to an event expecting one thing only to find out that it was something entirely different? That was my day on Friday and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. I was invited to attend a gathering of pastors and pro-life leaders in Louisville where I thought they’d be praying outside the EMW Women’s Clinic. As I drove down...

Constance Alexander: Looking back on 28 years of Main Street columns and community journalism

The premiere installment of Main Street was published in the Murray Ledger & Times the first week of February, 1989. At first there were two columns a week, but after a few years, I cut back to one. In the 28 years that have elapsed between then and now, there have been about 1,552 columns, totaling somewhere in the vicinity of 1.2 million words. I chose the name of the column because I used...

Commentary: Common sense prevails with passage of Kentucky’s prevailing wage law

By Julia Crigler and Teresa Oelke Special to KyForward When it comes to Kentucky politics, all attention is currently focused on the swift passage of the state’s right-to-work law, which was enacted on Jan. 7. The measure made Kentucky the 27th state — and the last in the South — to join the right-to-work revolution, with all its many benefits. But it was not the only laudable law enacted that...

Commentary: Kentuckians need barrier-free access to help them to quit smoking for good

By Shawn Jones, MD Special to KyForward In Kentucky, you don’t have to look far to see the negative impacts of smoking. With more than a quarter of Kentuckians regularly lighting up, we consistently lead the nation in smoking rates. As an ear, nose and throat specialist, I have treated many patients suffering the physical consequences of smoking. Smokers are at high risk for contracting a number...

Bill Straub: Trump’s volatile first two weeks — a word of advice — better steel yourself and get used to it

WASHINGTON – There comes a time in the affairs of man, as W.C. Fields once put it, when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation. Now is such a time. Things aren’t going to get better, at least for four years. No, the situation will not improve over a few months. Hoping that the administration of President Donald J. Trump comes to a screeching halt through resignation, impeachment...

Constance Alexander: How can our country regain its sense of pride, unity in divisive times?

Saturday marked the thirty-first anniversary of the Challenger disaster. Those of us who witnessed it live on TV remember the initial trajectory of a rocket thrusting into space, followed by an unexpected burst of fire. Smoky tentacles seemed to sprout from a vaporous horned snail as the ship — and the seven souls inside — plummeted into the ocean. That night, as President Reagan delivered...

Jeff Rubin: Public parks and libraries play important role in improving quality of life — count the ways

Among the many influences that contribute to the quality of life in a community, I can think of two where their impact is often taken for granted, under appreciated or not fully understood. This may be particularly true in smaller communities where options for public engagement in ways that better the mind, as well as the body, may be few and far between. That is where the programs and services available...

Commentary: Charter schools aren’t the answer to education issues facing Kentucky

By Stephanie Winkler Special to KyForward There are two lies that have been told so often that they now are taken as truth: 1) that Kentucky’s public schools (and indeed, all public schools) are “failing,” and; 2) that charter schools and “school choice” are the answer to that problem. Neither is true. It’s no secret to anyone who is paying attention that Kentucky’s public schools are...

Commentary: Tort reform will improve access to health care while also lowering costs

By Dr. Robert Couch Special to KyForward It happens every day in Kentucky’s health care system. You are sick and want to see a physician, but there is a long wait—sometimes days, weeks or even months. Instead of waiting, perhaps you go to the emergency room, where costs are significantly higher and large crowds often await treatment. Once treatment is received, you may be told additional tests...

Commentary: Marches, Planned Parenthood and balanced reporting on what’s really significant

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward It’s been a week of marches and protests and major policy shifts, but in the pursuit of a story that seemed the pinnacle of “what’s important,” the institutional media neglected some major news. The Women’s March on Washington, while an important event attracting nearly a half-million marchers, received an inordinate amount of attention—at...

Commentary: Kentucky has opportunity for best charter school law in U.S., but the details count

By Terry Brooks Special to KyForward The hottest toy of this past Christmas season was Hatchimals — plastic eggs with one of two interactive creatures inside. The lucky recipient nurtures the egg, causing it to hatch; and after hatching, the creature inside learns to talk, walk and play games with the help of the child. Right about now, the egg is hatching. The same is true of charter schools in...