Jeff Rubin: As the bumper sticker says – if you can read this, thank a teacher; they believed. . .

If you can read this, thank a teacher. I saw that bumper sticker on the back of a car I was following on the highway the other day. The sticker brought a smile to my face. More than that, it made me think about the important role teachers have played in my own life growing up. A role that could just as easily be applied to anyone of us, including our children and grandchildren. Throughout my formative...

Jeff Rubin: Key to creating jobs, retaining businesses? A stronger connection to the arts

How to create jobs, retain business, and attract new industry are major concerns to many communities, large and small, across the Commonwealth and around our nation. That’s why what the American Planning Association, The American Arts Council, The Kentucky Arts Council, Berea College and similar organizations are doing to address it is worth writing about here. It starts by encouraging a stronger...

Jeff Rubin: The real meaning of Labor Day — it’s more than just about the work

Now that the final sale days of summer are behind us, this would be a good time to consider the real meaning of Labor Day. It might also be a time to think about our own sense of labor and the role it plays in bringing meaning to our life and well-being to our community. A creation of the labor movement, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions workers make to the strength, prosperity, and well-being...

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...

Jeff Rubin: Inspirational, life affirming Honor Flights much more than just a way to honor our veterans

A few weeks ago, I received a call from a friend of mine named Mike. He had called to ask me if I would pass along some information regarding “Honor Flights.” There are two, in fact. One takes off Sept. 6 and the other on Oct. 14. As I was unfamiliar with the term, let alone the program, I inquired further. What I learned about Honor Flights has been inspirational to me and nothing short of...

Jeff Rubin: Current drug epidemic may be even worst than people think and elderly not immune

Not a day goes by that you can’t pick up a newspaper or listen to the news and not be reminded of the drug epidemic in Kentucky and the surrounding region. Here, as in many communities across the Commonwealth and our nation, an increasing number of young people, and not so young people, have fallen victim to some sort of substance abuse or addiction. The result of which, accidental or otherwise,...

Jeff Rubin: Maximizing town and gown relationships one important key to improving local development

It’s graduation time in many college towns across Kentucky and America. That got me thinking about relationships; not just the ones between students and their impending Alma Mater, but between a community and its college (if you live in a community that is fortunate enough to have one). That’s the question I asked myself in preparing to write this column. In short, what type of relationship has...

Jeff Rubin: Family and consumer science providing new roles, opportunities for both men and women

If you’re of a certain age, you may remember home economics as an elective you took in high school when you couldn’t find anything “easier” to take. If you could sew a button, boil water, or knew where to place your knife and fork you could usually get by. But you would have missed the point of what home economics and now consumer and family science is all about. It was, in fact, a revolutionary...

Jeff Rubin: Maintaining independence as we grow older often a matter of perspective

There is little doubt people are living longer these days. In fact, data compiled by the Social Security Administration says a man reaching 65 today can expect to live another 19.3 years on average, while a woman turning 65 can expect to live another 19.6. And those are just averages. About one out of every four 65 year-olds will live past 90, and one out of 10 will live past 95. So, where we live...

Jeff Rubin: Providing care for a loved one impacts more than you think — support is available

By Jeff Rubin Special to KyForward You don’t have to look far these days to find someone taking care of the wellbeing of a parent, spouse, or friend. You may, in fact, be one of them. If you are, you’ve joined the ranks of approximately 735,000 Kentucky “family caregivers” and some 65 million adults nationwide who have taken on that role. By definition, a family caregiver can be anyone (a...

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...

Jeff Rubin: Fight holiday stress, depression, count your blessings — it’s not about the spending

According to the experts, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Between food shopping, present shopping, cooking, baking, present wrapping, work, kids, mailing lists, office parties, Christmas parties, who’s coming, who’s going; there’s hardly a moment left to catch our breath before it’s time for church. Yet, after the last present...

Jeff Rubin: We need to develop a sense of urgency in fight to curb epidemic of diabetes

November is American Diabetes Month, thirty days set aside to shed light on a chronic condition that remains one of the fastest growing illnesses in Kentucky, the U.S., and around the world. It is also a disease that as of yet has no cure. According to the World Health Organization, diabetes currently affects more than 415 million people worldwide. Included in that total are at least 25.8 million...

Commentary: Leaders or barriers — choose your candidates wisely when you go to the polls

By Jeff Rubin Special to KyForward As a citizen expecting to vote in Tuesday’s elections, I am reminded of the old axiom that people tend to get the government they deserve. Given the divisiveness, animosity, and discord shown by our own citizens, voters, and incumbent leaders, these last few years, I’m fearful that may happen again. In the hope that we may choose our next leaders more wisely,...

Jeff Rubin: Education, job training are important components to true prison reform in Kentucky

The Madison County Jail Task Force Report released this past June identified a number of concerns regarding overcrowding and prisoner recidivism that are certainly not unique to Madison County. They are issues being faced by many communities across the country and the cause of much debate within the penal system. To put this in perspective let’s first consider the magnitude of the problem. By all...

Jeff Rubin: Employing older workers just makes good business sense

The last full week of September is National Employ Older Workers Week, a time set aside by the U.S. Department of Labor to recognize the vital role of older workers in the workforce. The aim is to increase awareness of this labor segment and develop innovative strategies to tap it. This campaign of awareness comes at a time, when according to a recent New York Times editorial, “Older people are likely...

Commentary: Lack of transportation options have affect on health, livelihood, economy and more

By Jeff Rubin Special to KyForward To many of us, driving is a privilege we too often take for granted. Ingrained in our culture as a rite of passage in our teenage years, it is the primary source of getting to and from work, shopping, church, or social activities as an adult, and the last vestige of freedom many adults are unwilling to give up as they grow old. We are a nation that relies on our...

Jeff Rubin: Affordable housing issues demand creative thinking and action

Some 40 million American households are paying more than a third of their incomes on rent, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. This is particularly disconcerting given that the number had been trending downward in recent years. It infers a continuing rental affordability crisis due in no small part to a deepening income inequality across the U.S. Add to that a growing shortage...

Jeff Rubin: As we celebrate 4th of July, remember that veterans deserve dignity, respect — and benefits

This 4th of July as we celebrate the many freedoms we enjoy as Americans, let us not forget the right each of us has to live a life of dignity, respect, and independence regardless of our age or condition. Consider too, the opportunity it affords us to assist those with needs or seek assistance for ourselves when time and circumstances require action. I was reminded of all this when I had the opportunity...

Jeff Rubin: Crimes, scams against the elderly a growing concern for Kentucky

In fiscal year 2015, Kentucky’s Adult Protective Services investigated nearly 46,000 reports of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation in Kentucky. Yet, despite the fact that a growing number of elderly are increasingly vulnerable to a broad range of exploitation and abuse, knowing just how many and who they are, is often quite difficult to identify. According to a report by the U.S. Department...