A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Constance Alexander: Waiting for Godot is no substitute for visionary leadership

For some, the presence of the monument itself offends. Others are vexed with the likeness of Robert E. Lee. Another affront is the water fountain beneath the General, conjuring up the specter of a “Whites Only” sign. The location also raises a fundamental question: If the courthouse is a symbol of liberty and justice for all, how can a memorial of racial oppression continue to hold a place of honor...

Billy Reed: Look for Billy’s cutout in the Reds stands and don’t play golf with Trump (integrity matters)

I freely admit that I have enjoyed watching the Cincinnati Reds on TV, even though I seriously doubt if major-league baseball will be able to continue dodging the Coronavirus pandemic that has shut down so many things we love. For example, the Louisville Bats canceled the entire season months ago. They’re the Reds’ Class AAA farm team, and I miss going to Slugger Field on the banks of the Ohio...

Col Owens: Of course we can — we must search our souls if we really mean to find the end to racism

Distinguishing between races began in America in 1619, with the importation of Africans as slaves. The American economy was built on that system and it survived for 250 years. While slavery was dominant in the South, all of America benefited from it, with the interdependency of the economy. The Civil War and amendments to the Constitution freed the slaves. And under Lincoln, Reconstruction promised...

Ashli Watts: Road to recovery depends on legal liability, unemployment fund, education/childcare

As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the road to Kentucky’s economic recovery will no doubt be longer than we would prefer, but the length of the journey will ultimately be decided by how we address three key issues: unemployment insurance, legal liability and the education and care for our children. Kentucky’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund now has a balance of $0. Mandated business...

Bill Straub: Jobless wait nervously while McConnell dawdles on the unemployment supplement they need

More than 30 million jobless workers – including about 140,000 in Kentucky – will soon find that their unemployment checks used for superfluous purposes like, oh, food and rent and various other play pretties, are a little lighter during these mean economic times because, apparently, a bunch of folks here in Washington could care less. Topping that list, unsurprisingly, is Senate Republican Leader...

Jan Hillard: Mail-in voting is both safe and effective — and deserves broad adoption across the states

With COVID’s reach growing daily and the presidential election 3 months away, we must rationally look at alternatives to in-person voting. Vote At Home photo We cannot cast off alternatives with unsupported generalizations that claim widespread fraud. The evidence from years of using in-home and absentee voting does not support the claim of widespread fraud. Instead the evidence shows that mail-in...

Constance Alexander: Denied their humanity, these women of history must be remembered

The preface to DaMaris B. Hill’s new book of poems, “A Woman Bound is a Dangerous Thing,” confronts readers with a startling statistic: “Between 1980 and 2015 the number of incarcerated women increased by more than 700%.” As indicated in the book’s sub-title – The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland – DaMaris Hill stands in solidarity with the...

Emily Beauregard: Medicaid is essential for many Kentucky families in midst of economic downturn

With COVID-19 cases on the rise and key provisions of the CARES Act expiring at the end of July, the prospect of losing unemployment benefits, facing eviction, being unable to put food on the table, and having to return to school or work in an unsafe environment is looming for many Kentuckians. Any progress Kentucky has made in keeping our residents safe and healthy could be undone without the sustained...

Jan Hillard: Conspiracy theories and COVID-19 — better the devil you know than a world you don’t

COVID 19 is fraught with fear, uncertainty, inconvenience, and threat. In times like these, most Americans rely on science, medicine, and the legitimate media to make sense of and take individual action regarding the virus. There are however some Americans who follow a much different path to navigate the virus. For these individuals, conspiracy theories provide explanations of the origins of the virus,...

Al Cross: Local, trusted voices are needed in a pandemic and doing the right thing should be exalted

Norman Chaffins and Donnie Keeton probably never expected to see their name in a column about Kentucky politics. But they’re elected officials who have done the right thing when it comes to the coronavirus, and they and their kind should be exalted. Chaffins, a Republican, is the sheriff of Grayson County, in west-central Kentucky. Keeton, a Democrat, is a magistrate in Morgan County, in Eastern...

Ben Brandstetter: Higher education shows commitment to power through COVID-19 pandemic

It would be an understatement to say that the last few months have been difficult. For me personally, it has been mentally exhausting to keep spirits up for my family and employees at our firm. However, these efforts have strengthened many of my personal relationships while also showing our company new ways that we can continue to serve our clients. Ever since becoming chair of the Council on Postsecondary...

Charles Williams: How many nursing home residents must die from COVID-19 before Congress acts?

COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire through the nation’s nursing homes. Already, more than 56,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities — including more than 450 in Kentucky — have died from COVID-19. They account for more than 44 percent of U.S. coronavirus deaths, even though less than one percent of Americans live in nursing homes. This is a national disgrace. To...

Col Owens: Gestapo tactics must stop now; speak out for the America we know and love, not this

We have recently witnessed in Portland, Oregon, an occurrence which should never happen in our America – the insertion of unidentified armed men in unmarked vehicles “arresting” – i.e., kidnapping – unarmed civilians off the street. With no evidence of authority, no warrant for arrest. These people are mostly engaged in peaceful protest demonstrations. This is not the country we live...

Constance Alexander: Join in 30th anniversary celebration of Americans with Disabilities Act

If you need a diversion from the pandemic, talk to Carrissa Johnson. She runs the local office of the Center for Accessible Living (CAL), and wants everyone to join in the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Enacted on Aug. 26, 1990, and inspired by the legal concepts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADA protects people with disabilities against discrimination,...

Kyle Keeney: Congress must protect access to care for Kentuckians, needed resources for hospitals

As COVID-19 cases hit record numbers in Kentucky, policymakers must work together to protect access to care and ensure our hospitals and other providers have the resources needed to fight this pandemic. However, this may be impossible if Congress doesn’t immediately update the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs (MAAPP), which has been around for years and was updated and expanded by...

John Schaaf: Just like Hoover and Carter, Trump faces big challenges in seeking re-election

Mark Twain supposedly said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” That truism could apply to this year’s Presidential election, which will not exactly replicate any previous election, but certainly resembles the campaigns of 1932 and 1980 by featuring a President leaning into difficult headwinds. With COVID-19 spreading across the nation, efforts to defeat the virus have been largely...

Dr. Ram Sanjeev Alur: COVID-19 relief bill must address rural Kentucky’s physician shortage

Even as many people hope for critically necessary financial support for struggling hospitals across the country, this next coronavirus relief package represents perhaps the best chance to address a critical issue facing rural America that has been magnified by the pandemic: the devastating shortage of health care providers in rural communities. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done a tremendous...

Jason Bailey: Kentucky’s senators must agree to adequate federal aid for state to survive recession

A couple months ago, some public officials and corporate lobbyists began eagerly calling for states to reopen rapidly as the way to solve the COVID-19 problems of mass unemployment and struggling businesses. But the choice to reopen before the virus had been controlled and minimized — and without adequate testing, contact tracing and protections for workers and consumers — has been a dismal failure. COVID-19...

Bill Straub: Rand Paul objects to Trump’s Gestapo and wants Dr. Fauci to be more optimistic

In The Sound of Music, that wholesome hash of low-brow entertainment produced on both stage and screen, a waddle of nuns is heard crooning the tune, “How do you solve a problem like Maria?: In Kentucky, the song might be improved if Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics could be edited to ask, “How do you solve a problem like Rand Paul?” The Republican senator from Bowling Green often comes across...

Dr. Scottie Day: Reopening schools safely requires careful planning — here are guidelines to consider

As we continue into unchartered waters during the coronavirus pandemic, reopening schools safely requires careful planning. Many schools are overcrowded and understaffed, which makes implementing measures such as distancing and cleaning difficult. The American Academy of Pediatrics has outlined some guidelines for states and school districts to consider when planning a safe environment for students,...