Bill Straub: In the debate about Confederate statues, the real issue is who deserves to be honored

WASHINGTON – Remove if you must the hoary statues found in our public squares dedicated to those who perpetuated treason under the banner of the Lost Cause, but by all that is holy spare the John Hunt Morgan figure that rests proudly covered in pigeon droppings on the front lawn of what was once the Fayette County Courthouse. The survival of this noble sculpture is necessary for several reasons,...

Commentary: We must not ‘kick the can down the road’ in fixing Kentucky’s ailing retirement system

By Governor Matt Bevin, Senate President Robert Stivers, and House Speaker Jeff Hoover Special to KyForward Kentucky’s pension systems are in critical condition. While certain state retirement plans are arguably in “better shape” than others, every system is severely underfunded and rapidly spiraling downward toward a single outcome: no more money to pay Kentucky’s retirees. Understandably,...

Constance Alexander: Film inspired by Kentucky writer Wendell Berry commands us to “Look & See”

“Is there a way to go back?” was the first question posed by a member of the audience after a recent one-time screening at Paducah’s Maiden Alley Cinema of “Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry.” The provocative documentary featuring the renowned Kentucky writer, poet, teacher, farmer, and outspoken citizen of a lost landscape, begins with Berry’s lyrical narration of lines from...

Seamus Carey: Moving memorials of Confederate alumni and what to do with the truth

By Seamus Carey Special to KyForward The issues surrounding the recent unrest in Charlottesville arrived on our doorstep in Lexington when our mayor, Jim Gray, courageously called for an acceleration of the process underway to remove two statues from Cheapside Park in downtown Lexington. Once one of the largest slave auction blocks in the country, the site of this park and the Confederate statues...

Ashley Spalding: Five things to keep in mind as college students head back to school

By Ashley Spalding In colleges across Kentucky, students are beginning their fall semester — some for the first time, some returning to complete a degree. Here are five things about higher education in our state to keep in mind as the new school year begins. State budget cuts have continued Kentucky ranks in the bottom 10 states in the nation for per-student higher education funding cuts since 2008,...

Bill Straub: Trump’s disposition should unsettle one and all so the question is — should he be replaced?

WASHINGTON – The immortal Hank Hill would often in frustration intone, “That boy ain’t right,’’ in reference to the antics of his son, Bobby, thus indirectly providing the citizens of this great nation with vital insight into the appalling behavior of the president of these United States, Donald J. Trump. It is well past time for America to come to grips with the overwhelming evidence that...

Billy Reed: Breckinridge is one of only three Kyians to serve as U.S. vice president, but remove statue

Since becoming a state in 1792, Kentucky has produced three men who have served as Vice-President of the United States. The first was Richard Mentor Johnson, who was V.P. under Martin Van Buren from 1837-’41, and the last was Alben Barkley, who was Harry S. Truman’s “Veep” from 1948-’52. The one in the middle was John C. Breckinridge, who was only 35 years old when he was elected Vice-President...

Constance Alexander: Memorial honors unity, glory of one of the first African American regiments

At first, Robert Gould Shaw was reluctant to accept an appointment to lead the Massachusetts 54th Infantry, one of the first African American regiments in the Civil War. Often described as the pampered son of a wealthy abolitionist Boston family, Gould attended Harvard from 1856 to 1859. Instead of completing his studies, he traveled around Europe and, as young people are sometimes wont to wonder,...

Jeff Rubin: Your key to better health and quality of life may be right under your nose

Say the words “oral hygiene” to someone and the first thought that comes to mind might be “brushing and flossing.” However, the term encompasses much more than simply avoiding cavities. So much so, that today more than 200 national dental organizations, including the American Dental Association, have adopted a new definition to draw attention to the term’s significance. Traditionally, oral...

KHSAA: It’s not just fun and games, high school sports teach important life lessons

By Bob Gardner and Julian Tackett Special to KyForward Tailgates. Pep rallies. Friday night lights. The new school year is here. And that’s exciting news for student-athletes and high school sports fans alike. Research shows that being a student-athlete is about a lot more than fun and games. It teaches important life lessons, too. In fact, high school athletes not only have higher grade point averages...

Mitch McConnell: Congress making consequential decisions that have direct impact on Kentucky

By Mitch McConnell Special to KyForward This Republican Congress is making important strides on issues that have a direct impact on Kentucky. We’ve listened to you and the concerns you’ve raised. As your senior senator, I am proud of these accomplishments, and we’re just getting started. The first major victory of this year was the confirmation of a nominee committed to the rule of law to the...

Eli Capilouto: As competition for talent increases, need for education and skills grows as well

Last week, 50 representatives with Greater Louisville, Inc. traveled to our campus to bridge a strong connection between their effort in developing Louisville’s workforce and our graduates. They are working on behalf of their community to recruit more of our graduates to the Louisville area; further connecting our cities and region, and adding to the more than 35,000 UK alumni already in the region....

Bill Straub: Fear of change culminated in events in Charlottesville — where is the accountability?

WASHINGTON – So, how did we get here? It’s now apparent that the United States of America, the most powerful nation the world has ever seen, has as its president a man who is incompetent and, more importantly, has no moral core. During the 1950s it was said that certain politicians were “soft on communism’’ because they were insufficiently zealous in their abhorrence of the Russian bear....

Ryan Quarles: Kentucky’s fabulous State Fair is coming up; come share the great tradition, Aug. 17-27

The Kentucky State Fair is one of the highlights of the agricultural year in Kentucky. As a farm kid from Scott County, I have many fond memories of past state fairs. It’s a chance to rub elbows with our neighbors, reunite with friends from across the Commonwealth, and show off the best that Kentucky agriculture has to offer. The 113th edition of this great tradition is Aug. 17-27, and, as always,...

Constance Alexander: No joke, words matter when topic is disabilities, culture, race or religion

Years ago in New Jersey, when the brand new president of Woodrow Wilson Junior High School’s PTA made his first speech at back-to-school night, he opened with a joke. “A priest, a rabbi and a mullah walk into a bar,” it began. Some audience members shifted uncomfortably in their seats. Teachers made eye contact and shook their heads in dismay. Undeterred or unaware, the man prattled on, mugging...

Mark Wohlander: Whistleblowers play key role in rooting out government waste, fraud, abuse

By Mark Wohlander Special to KyForward One could only hope Chief Justice John D. Minton was sincere when he said “transparency and accountability are bedrock principles in maintaining trust in state government.” More than 30 years after the Kentucky legislature enacted the state’s open records laws, the Kentucky Supreme Court has finally acknowledged that it is not above the law. The policy overturns...

Todd Mansfield: What’s behind an active lifestyle eatery with a healthy concept?

I’m often asked how someone who never stepped foot behind a restaurant counter ended up being a founding partner of CoreLife Eatery – an active lifestyle restaurant with a healthy concept that’s rapidly sweeping the nation. I spent 25 years practicing as a Doctor of Physical Therapy, health and wellness has always been a passion of mine. During that time, my life was consumed with walking people...

Bill Straub: Never popular with Democrats, McConnell now facing critics from the right as well

WASHINGTON – Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root ‘n Branch’’ McConnell, who has contributed more to the noxious political divide that plagues the nation than any other individual over the past decade, has serendipitously developed a way to unite Democrats and the GOP’s whacko right wing. They both want him gone. Republicans are becoming increasingly agitated with McConnell, of Louisville,...

Commentary: Tweeting is no way to communicate policy; discussion needed about gender issues

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward President Trump’s tweet barring transgendered persons from serving in the military caught everyone off guard, including policy makers who are still trying to figure out exactly what it means. As we navigate the minefields of this highly charged issue there’s middle ground that nearly everyone can agree on: policy by tweet is no way to run a government....

Constance Alexander: Book detailing recovery from cancer provides a message of hope to McCain family

Thanks to complicated surgery, aggressive chemotherapy and rigorous rehabilitation, Lisa Reisman survived a deadly glioblastoma multiforme when she was 32. GBM, as it is called, has a median survival rate of one to two years. Nonetheless, 19 years later, she has defied the statistics. Her book — “5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours” – covers the details of her devastating diagnosis and chronicles...