A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

2013 Review: A salute to our faithful, interesting stable of regular columnists

KyForward is celebrating its third end-of-year review with you, happy that we can revisit an abundance of rich, deep content by writers who share their experiences and expertise on a regular basis. These fine writers have helped us accomplish one of our primary goals when KyForward was created – to provide a forum for a variety of voices on a wide and deep range of subjects that inform and entertain and educate. This is a salute to this incredible body of talent and good works:


Steve Flairty’s stories about the good works of Everyday (Kentucky) Heroes touch the heart – and remind us that there are good people among us who wake up everyday to make our world better in ways large and small. These people matter – and their stories need to be told. Steve tells them. Whether the heroes collected teddy bears or make toys for needy kids, grow gardens to feed the hungry, fight drug use among teens, advocate for those with disabilities, champion literacy, provide medical services Among our favorites – and yours – was the story of Kentucky Afield host Tim Farmer who, despite the loss of the use of his right arm, became an expert fly fisherman – and inspired people young and old to persevere.


Week after week, Keven Moore makes insurance interesting – and entertaining. His column gets national attention because nobody explains his subject the way Keven Moore does. Whether it is seasonal – as in the safety risks Santa faces or the dangers you face in getting ready for the holidays or the hazards of haunted houses – or personal – related to gun safety or diving in shallow waters – or timely – as in workplace bullying, hunting-related liabilities, kids’ camps, earthquake preparedness, product packaging, sports safeguards, Travon Martin, garage sale risks, distracted driving, precautions in hiring a handyman or the dangers of farming. . .Keven has insight – and a twist you hadn’t thought of. Take a second look at Kentucky’s ripe for sinkholes – and then revisit his other 2013 columns.


Gena Bigler leads a purposeful life not only as a financial adviser but as a good citizen who believes in public service and giving back. Her weekly commentary offers a breath of fresh air and plenty of food for thought. De-clutter your life. Make Saturdays special for your kids. Climb out of debt. Put yourself in the shoes of a furloughed worker. Know your needs from your wants. Give more and feel better. Slow and steady investing is best. Teach kids about money early. Mind your manners – and civility. Is expensive prom really a priority? Grow a garden. The list goes on, but we’d recommend – in honor of the season a revisit of “Stone Soup.” Doesn’t hurt to be reminded.


T.G. Shuck, everyone’s favorite weather guy, provides important weather updates when we need them – and offers an interactive, up-to-the-minute weather map on our Weather Wizard page so we can track the weather when and where we want.


Foot Health, a special (and very popular) column by the experts at Lexington Podiatry – primarily Dr. Sarah Voelkel – provides straight-forward advice on keeping our feet happy and healthy. It draws an interenational audience, proving that we are all united by concerns about our feet. Whether it’s heel pain, stress fractures, poor selection of shoes (heads up, ladies), brittle toenails or plantar warts, stone bruises, smelly feet or skin cancer . . .the experts weigh in. The world over is worried about those mysterious bumps on our feet – so we recommend a revisit to that one especially – but they’re all still here.


Eye Health – thanks to the folks at Stratton Eyes – helps us keep our eyes healthy. It’s a regular column on our Health page with great advice and counsel about protecting your precious gift of sight.


Art Lander has been Kentucky’s favorite outdoorsman for a very long time. We’re pleased he has joined the KyForward family, providing his special brand of reporting on fishing, hunting, wildlife, seasonal recipes – and more. Take a look at Art Lander’s Outdoors special section and take a deep breath of fresh air.


Chef John Foster always has something tasty in store for us – whether he’s talking turkey, punching up the holiday dips, defending the brussels sprout, decrying overindulgence, offering the perfect burger, using season produce, trying new vegetables, or getting creative. There’s always something yummy in store. Just for fun, fight food fatigue with Chef Foster and revisit your favorites as well.


Speaking of food, why not a little wine as well. Mike Rosenberg’s The Naked Vine will put you on the right track. His columns on Turkish wine were readers’ favorites – which shows we may all have a sense of adventure. Mike just loves wine – and helps the rest of us figure it out.


And because we want to be well-dressed for the adventure (any of them), we can turn to Alex McLean’s Lex What Wear to keep up with the latest and greatest. Mix prints? Love plaids? Shopping online? Crazy about colors? Tie on a bow? From flirty skirts to slouchy pants to frills and baubles, Alex helps you find that special look. See all her fashionable features written from New York City for Lexington, including the latest one shining the spotlight on the the holidays city style”>.


Betsy Waters keeps us abreast of all the family-friendly opportunities we can take advantage of – and a lot of it is free. But whether we want to take the kids on a cultural quest, pick berries or find a pumpkin, enjoy the library, do good works, scare away boredom, have fun at home, tour local parks, take a road trip, Betsy has ideas for you.

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James Halcomb is by vocation a nurse tech. By avocation he is an avid film nerd, TV geek, food snob and book buff. He shares his insights with KyForward readers, offering interesting and informative suggestions for how to spend your leisure time. Want to know three great films for “family snuggle time off work and school?” Have some favorite holiday movies? Want to know what’s worth watching on TV? Updates on horror films, Keystone Kops, GI Joe, war movie classics, Superman, from the obscure to the cult popular . . . James is on it. We recommend a revisit of his recent pice on Ricky Gervais’ Derek, as an example of his special talent for telling a story.


Our friends at Bluegrass Greensource provide a wealth of helpful hints each week on being green and environmentally responsible. Saving energy, cutting down on waste, buying local, making a rain barrel, planting a garden, decluttering, recycling, reusing, reducing . . .We all have a part to play. These good folks remind us of the many ways we can help.


The Science Guy, Jason Lindsey, helps us help our kids get hooked on science – with fun, family-centered science experiments you can easily try at home.

On the commentary side, we’re grateful to Tom Block, Rick Robinson, Billy Reed and Lewis Donohew for regularly sharing their diverse, interesting and often provocative commentary. And to Kevin Murphy, a newcomer to our family, for sharing his own experiences and those of others with cancer. And to Rabbi Marc for his thought-provoking faith-based life lessons.

We must mention Wayne Stacy, a superior photographer who offers fine travelogues beautifully illustrated. Health problems have plagued Wayne recently, so his photostories have not been appearing regularly. We wish him good health in 2014 — and hope to see more of his good work as soon as he’s able.


Enjoy these interesting voices – connect with them with your questions and observations. And look for much more to come in 2014.

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