A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Constance Alexander: Thanksgiving: Canned cranberry sauce with a side of family memories

When I was growing up, creamed onions and Scotch whiskey were essential to a proper Thanksgiving. The onions paid homage to Mother’s Irish heritage, and the whiskey a wink to Daddy’s ancestry. Besides the big bird, two kinds of potatoes — mashed white and sumptuous sweet – topped the list. Baskets of Parker House rolls added more temptation, with enough butter to clog even the spunkiest...

Commentary: As pandemic continues, more emergency assistance needed for affordable homes

By Marilyn Harris, Tiffany Marthaler and Adrienne Bush Special to KyForward In times of natural disasters, providing housing for those in need is one of the first steps taken in rebuilding communities. We must ask our legislature, why in the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent economic disaster, are long term housing strategies not playing a larger role in stimulating our economy and...

Billy Reed: November 22, 1963, a day that changed world and a reminder not to give up on democracy

As I was driving my 1957 black Chevy convertible past Lexington’s Blue Grass Field, I was feeling good. Only 19, I already was covering high school sports for The Leader, the city’s afternoon newspaper, and I was on the way to Princeton, in deep western Kentucky, to cover a playoff game between Lafayette High, a team I had covered all season, and Caldwell County, led by Kerry Curling, a two-way...

LaDonna Koebel: Employment and work-from-home scams prevalent during COVID-19 pandemic

Reports of scams to the Attorney General’s Office have skyrocketed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with dollar losses up as much as 8,000 percent compared to 2019. In August 2020, employment and work-from-home scams accounted for nearly half of the dollar losses reported to our office. Scammers are preying on the vulnerabilities created by the pandemic and know that employment scams are...

Brennan Center: Why the election lawsuits will fail; there’s no evidence, just baseless accusations

By Myrna Perez Brennan Center for Justice Earlier, I wrote that the flurry of lawsuits filed by President Trump’s campaign were unlikely to have an impact on the election and laid out the reasons why. Since then, more lawsuits have been filed by the Trump campaign and other sympathizers, like the Republican National Committee and True the Vote. In total, 31 such suits have been filed since Election...

Bill Straub: Mitch is in for another term and setting a record, but ‘lovable’ as a warm puppy he really isn’t

As if running up the score on an overfunded and overrated Democratic opponent wasn’t sufficient, supporters of Senate Majority Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell now apparently want you to believe the lawmaker who revels in being called the Grim Reaper is really as lovable as a warm puppy. Scott Jennings, a top-notch GOP operator, recently penned an op-ed for The Courier Journal of...

Jan Hillard: COVID-19, the flu, smallpox, more and the curious case of anti-vaccination from beginning

Suspicion about vaccines is not new. Opposition to vaccinations dates back to the 1800s when some resisted taking the smallpox vaccine. People have refused to take vaccines, claiming ineffectiveness, violation of religious practice. Today some embrace conspiratorial claims such as the COVID vaccine is really secret DNA gathering to control the population (as in the “documentary” Plandemic). Fears...

Constance Alexander: In wake of unprecedented pandemic, virtual artifacts abound in COVID museum

It’s official. Word of the Year 2020, according to Collins Dictionary, is “lockdown.” Defined as “imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces,” the word registered a 6,000 percent increase in usage from 2019 to 2020. With the world in the grip of a pandemic, and an eye toward documenting this historic lockdown era, museums are seeking documentation...

Jason Glass: We need our communities to take this virus as seriously as our schools have

Public education is a decidedly social endeavor. The things most graduates treasure from their school years are the memories of interactions with great teachers who changed the trajectory of their life, their experiences in school activities and athletics that taught them the value of collaboration and teamwork, and the lifelong bonds of friendship that often are forged in school-age years. This same...

Dr. George Wright: Extending grace to loved ones, to ourselves during this holiday season

“Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won.” — John Lewis, former civil rights activist and congressman UK campus from downtown view. (Photo by Mark Cornelison) Soon, members of our community will return to families and loved ones,...

Commentary: Citizen voices are key to COVID-19 response in education and beyond

By Natalie McCutchen, Annette Hines, and Spandana Pavuluri Prichard Committee volunteers Add to Kentucky’s groundswell of education influencers some innovative, if earnest, laypeople. We are part of a citizen research team of school stakeholders. We call ourselves the “Intergen 9”, and we comprise three parents, three teachers, and three students representing eight districts across the Commonwealth,...

Al Cross: Mitch McConnell has the switch to turn off The Trump Show, but will he use it?

As far as we know, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t told President Trump to throw in the towel and start funding the transition to President Biden. That’s a message that would quickly emit from the leakiest White House in living memory. So why hasn’t he given Trump the word, for the good of the country? For one thing, the current episode of The Trump Show may be the climax of the...

Bill Straub: Listen carefully to Beethoven’s Eroica, Mitch; recall he ripped away dedication to Napoleon

The world this year is justly celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. One of the pieces one is likely to encounter during this festive occasion is one of the master’s greatest works, his groundbreaking Third Symphony, first performed in 1804. Beethoven, it is written, planned to dedicate his E flat major opus to Napoleon Bonaparte, recognizing that the French statesman had seemingly...

Dr. Dale Toney: As pandemic continues, access to health care more vital than ever for Kentuckians

Insurance plays a vital role for everyone in our health care system, whether you’re enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, an employer-sponsored plan or one off the marketplace. But what happens if insurers refuse to cover the vital services you need to manage your health and connect with your doctors? This has been a growing concern among patients and their physicians for years but has escalated as we...

Constance Alexander: Boone’s bones come home to Kentucky in Ted Franklin Belue’s new book

Even if you didn’t know Daniel Boone was lost, you will be relieved to discover that historian Ted Franklin Belue has tracked him down. To be more precise, he has located Boone’s bones. Or has he? In his new book, Finding Daniel Boone: His Last Days in Missouri & the Strange Fate of His Remains, Belue blazes a path between Boone’s final years in Missouri and his years in Kentucky, both before...

Berry Craig: No more, no more, no more; finally we are rid of our Sawdust Caesar

Nearly 75 million (and counting) of us have said no more to Donald Trump’s politics of hate, fear and division. No more to his grievance politics. No more to demagoguery. No more to racism, sexism, misogyny, nativism, xenophobia, homophobia, and religious bigotry. No more to Trumpian boorishness and buffoonery. No more to his fawning over murderous dictators and dissing our democratic allies. No...

Commentary: Kentucky’s fight against drug addiction must include help from criminal justice system

By Tim Robinson and Ben Chandler Special to KyForward At a moment when many people are finding it difficult to see eye-to-eye with their fellow Kentuckians, there’s one thing we all can agree on: we must keep fighting to end addiction in the commonwealth. This is a public health crisis that has only worsened due to the challenges of the last eight months, with substance use and overdose deaths trending...

Al Cross: Republicans cement Frankfort power; will they overreach?

Well, that was a whoopin’. Tuesday’s election was a political disaster for Kentucky Democrats, and it has the makings of a governing disaster for their leader, Gov. Andy Beshear. But if Republicans overreach, it could be a public-health disaster for us all. Driven by allegiance to President Trump and a strong seventh endorsement of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, voters increased Republicans’...

Bill Straub: Disappointments enough in the election but a big bright spot — Trump will soon be gone

To quote former President Gerald Ford, “our long, national nightmare is over.” Well, almost. With the vote totals dwindling down to a precious few, it appears that Democrat Joe Biden, the former vice president, appears, after experiencing some hairy moments, to have the votes necessary to oust incumbent President Donald J. Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and...

Ryan Quarles: Kentucky needs to support farmers and restaurants during COVID-19 pandemic

Across the nation and around the world, the number of coronavirus cases is on the rise. This alarming trend has raised concerns that the economic lockdown from the spring could return. Leaders in Frankfort can and should be creative in using available resources and developing guidelines to prevent further damage to Kentucky’s economy this winter while also encouraging Kentuckians to follow CDC guidelines. When...