A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Melissa Martin: Summer is a time for children to have fun — and we need to be sure they are safe

Summer is a season for running in the yard, swimming, and playing in a tree house. But for some children summer becomes a dangerous or deadly season. Lawn Mower Safety Data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that when visits to doctors’ offices and clinics are included, more than 17,000 children and teens are treated for lawn mower injuries each year, according to the American...

Constance Alexander: No application required for one of the best jobs in Kentucky

Jeff Worley’s job history is as checkered as the shirt he wears in the ID he carried when he was a taxicab driver in Wichita. Since those days in the 1970s, he has worked as an offset pressman, folk singer, research magazine editor, and university professor. Now retired from University of Kentucky, a new career opportunity recently came his way, via a phone call from the Kentucky Arts Council. “You’ve...

Stuart Sanders: In light of Notre Dame fire, Kentucky needs to ensure preservation of its treasures

When Notre Dame Cathedral burned on April 15, people across the world mourned the damage. They shared family photographs taken at the cathedral, worried about artifacts housed within the church and expressed concern about the building’s stained glass windows. While we mourn the fire because of the cathedral’s religious and cultural significance, we also connect to the building because of the power...

Commentary: Earth Day’s movement for healthy environment continues with call to action on climate

By Mark Reynolds, Jim Vogt and Doug Bell As Americans observe Earth Day (April 22), let’s take a moment to reflect on the power of the grassroots movement behind that first celebration in 1970, which led to dramatic changes that improved the quality of our lives through cleaner air and water. Shocked by the massive oil spill that fouled the beaches of Santa Barbara, California, in 1969, Wisconsin...

Keith Inman: We like being #1 in most ways — but not (as we are) for being first in nation for child abuse

Everyone likes to be ranked number one – especially here in Kentucky with our prized horses, bourbon, and basketball. But this? This is not a number one ranking Kentuckians should be proud of: Kentucky has the highest rate of child victims of abuse and is double the national rate. Since 1923, Kosair Charities has helped children reach their potential while overcoming their obstacles. Now in our...

Bill Straub: Since it’s baseball season, let’s bat some things around – oops, out of strikes already

It’s baseball season once again — thank the lord — so let’s toss it around-the-horn political style: First. Give Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, credit – he’s not afraid to make a fool out of himself. And this time Wonder Boy, as the old saying goes, did it in front of God and everybody. Massie serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee,...

Richard Nelson: Equality Act has a clever, noble name but carries troubling consequences

The Equality Act (HR 5) is moving in Congress but Congressman James Comer (R-Tompkinsville) is “deeply troubled” after looking into the details. “It’s a clever name with an allegedly noble purpose,” Comer said before the House Committee on Education and Labor, “but a vehicle for serious harmful consequences.” The act adds “gender identity” and “sexual...

Constance Alexander: Mark Twain might be pleased with this poetry celebration that’s ahead of its times

When Mark Twain declared, “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years after it happens anywhere else,” he had no way of knowing that one Kentucky community has taken the lead in observing April as National Poetry Month. For the second year in a row, the Calloway County Public Library is hosting a public reading of poems by Kentucky writers...

Mike Farrell: With so many things off track, including #MeToo, the question is — what’s our character?

The #Me Too train has run off the tracks. Please don’t misunderstand me. I have always believed in the equality of women. In my 50-year career, I have worked for two women, both of them skilled and intelligent leaders. I learned loads from them. I am revolted by the Harvey Weinsteins of the world who use their power and position to demand sex from young women seeking acting jobs. If he is as guilty...

Melissa Martin: Profanity has trickled down to the playground; is potty-mouth really the new norm?

Kids cuss behind the teacher’s back. And the playground is the opportune place for potty-mouth. No adults listening. That’s what children tell me—the ones that are upset by swear words. Offensive language is common language in some homes and taboo in others. Toddlers start out by mimicking words and phrases. They don’t know what words are taboo and what words aren’t until a shocked parent...

Al Cross: Slow pace so far for the primary and those seeking to be governor; we need to know more

In little more than five weeks, Kentuckians will go to the polls to begin the process of electing their next governor, or giving the current one four more years. But the race has seemed to have a slow pace. That’s partly because there are fewer journalists to cover it, leaving the candidates’ media messages largely unfiltered and unquestioned. But if you look closely, their first television commercials...

Bill Straub: About those votes against the Violence Against Women Act; NRA saw is as gun control

The He-Man Woman Haters Club, created by Alfalfa, Spanky and other members of the Little Rascals back in the 1930s, looks to be undergoing a surprising revival even though the boyish imps of the original incarnation have been displaced by the manful, masculine, manly men known as the Republicans in the Kentucky congressional delegation. This resurrection isn’t so much because the GOP House members...

Richard Nelson: Henderson city commissioners should be concerned about fairness to all

A majority of Henderson City Commissioners said they’d like to reconsider a “Fairness” ordinance that elevates sexual orientation and gender identity to civil rights status. Some see the move as promoting diversity and tolerance. Others see it as unnecessary and divisive. What’s fascinating in the midst of this debate is that I have been accused of spreading fear simply because...

Constance Alexander: At the end of a long, arduous literary journey, the writer resists ground rush

The Irish Blessing poem begins with the line, “May the road rise up to meet you.” It goes on to hope the wind will ever be at your back, and that the sun will shine upon your face, adding a wish for “rains to fall soft upon your fields.” In other words: May your journey be successful. This little prayer comes back to me as I struggle to finish the last chapter of a novel I have been writing,...

Amye Bensenhaver: Illegal less-than-quorum meetings are the crabgrass of violations

What violation of the open meetings law is as common as crabgrass and just as pernicious? Ask the Glasgow Daily Times. On April 2, the newspaper reported that it would appeal the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s denial of a complaint alleging that the board violated the open meetings law by engaging in a series of less than quorum nonpublic meetings to discuss board business but avoid the requirements...

Daily Yonder: What’s possible in Rural America? Plenty as rural Americans roll up their sleeves

Suzanne Anarde and Matt Dunne Special to KyForward To paraphrase the famous writer from America’s heartland: reports of rural America’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Paul Krugman’s recent New York Times column, “Getting Real About Rural America,” would have readers believe that the heartland’s challenges are simply unsolvable. That fatalism is at odds with what we see in our daily...

Bill Straub: Here come the judges — and, thank the Constitution, they have important role in democracy

WASHINGTON – Gov. Matt “Yosemite Sam’’ Bevin appears to have a bit of a problem with the U.S. Constitution, at least that part that establishes the judiciary as one of the three equal branches of government. St. Matt of New Hampshire, as we all know, doesn’t react well to being told no, something the courts, both state and federal, have been doing with some frequency of late. He has not,...

Mitch McConnell: Kentucky on the frontline of opioid and addiction response; prevention will save lives

Coordinated efforts at the federal, state and local levels are making considerable progress in the fight against opioid and substance abuse. Unfortunately, Kentucky still ranks among the hardest-hit states in the nation. Reports continue to show record-breaking overdose deaths in our Commonwealth, and families are struggling as they watch their loved ones battle addiction. Our prevention, treatment...

Constance Alexander: A host of golden daffodils tells stories of the past in Kentucky’s Golden Pond

In springtime, daffodils cluster around invisible houses in what used to be Golden Pond. A sharp eye might spot remnants of foundations from family homes, or a pair of maple trees that once flanked a front porch. Random artifacts like these offer silent testimony from the hundreds of families displaced from that close-knit community when the Tennessee Valley Authority created Land Between the Lakes. According...

Commentary: School Safety Act lays groundwork for securing schools, strengthening our students

By Rep. John Carney and Sen. Max Wise Special to KyForward There are very few Kentuckians who do not remember how they felt when they heard of last year’s shooting at Marshall County High School. As parents who share a strong passion for education, this tragedy shook us to the core. As legislators, we realized that our state had to do more to prevent school violence, not only to protect potential...