A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Jim Waters: Protect journalists and activists from vindictive lawsuits; then there are also public records

It’s one thing for government agencies to deny open records requests from the press or public. It’s quite another for those entities to file lawsuits in retaliation against the requesters. Yet such legal retribution is happening nationwide with increasing frequency, including in Kentucky, where seriously misguided efforts by the City of Taylorsville to silence frequent local-government critic Lawrence...

Bill Straub: McConnell put energies into court appointments (to little avail); Biden can do better

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, as benevolent as ever, has graciously decided to forgive U.S. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland for pursuing a Supreme Court appointment he intended to steal and will support Garland’s nomination to serve as attorney general. What a guy! Garland, you’ll recall, was nominated by then-President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in March 2016 to fill the high court...

Jennifer Doering: With new legislation on tap, let’s craft a solution that benefits Ky’s entire beer industry

Kentucky’s craft beer industry has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years thanks to the hard work of brewers, distributors and retailers who have contributed to putting that perfectly poured frosty beverage in your glass. In a state better known for its bourbon, we’re glad to see homegrown innovations in tasty craft brews getting well-deserved attention and market share. The laws governing...

Constance Alexander: Teaching the history of our country is hard enough, but living it is even harder

Schools are not adequately teaching the history of American slavery, educators are not sufficiently prepared to teach it, textbooks do not have enough material about it, and – as a result – students lack a basic knowledge of the important role it played in shaping the United States and the impact it continues to have on race relations in America. Even as I consider how I learned history, with many...

Nicholas Brake: Don’t be deceived by the name, House Bill 149 creates opportunities for the wealthy

Don’t be deceived by the name.  House Bill 149, an act creating “opportunities in education” is bad legislation at the worst possible time. HB149 was drafted with the intent of providing tax credits to wealthy donors to give families the ability to use public dollars for private school tuition and for education-related expenses for all families. It is potentially devastating for...

Commentary: The voices of those in recovery offer glimmer of hope driving Kentucky Comeback

In Kentucky, you don’t have to look far to find one of us… a loved one, a neighbor, or a colleague who has struggled with drugs and alcohol. Or maybe you are one of us, too. But even if you’re one of the few who hasn’t been personally impacted by the addiction crisis, you’ve surely seen headlines and news stories about people who have tragically lost their lives because of this awful disease. Amid...

Joseph Kurtz: HB 149 offers Kentuckians the right to choose the education their children deserve

This past week, former State Representative Jim Wayne authored an opinion piece calling on Catholics to oppose House Bill 149, which would create an educational choice program for Kentucky families.  Rep. Wayne and I share a concern for ensuring that public policy serves the common good, and I appreciate him offering his views. Nevertheless, his arguments against House Bill 149 suffer from several...

Jim Wayne: Why Catholics should oppose tuition tax credits for private schools

St. Agnes Catholic School in Louisville holds the distinction of being a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School four times. No other school in our commonwealth has achieved this prestigious honor of education excellence. As members of St. Agnes Church, my wife and I know our financial support of this school is part of our mission to share our faith with the new generation. Along with a well-rounded,...

Bill Straub: The Republican Party is trying to find itself — a ‘house divided against itself cannot stand’

It was Lincoln, the pre-eminent member of a political organization formerly known as the Republican Party, who cited the synoptic gospels in declaring in 1858 that, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That proposition, Lincoln told a friend, is “indisputably true,” adding “I want to use some universally known figure, expressed in simple language as universally known, that...

Al Cross: McConnell stayed true to form; no guardian of the republic, but ready for the next battle

As the House impeachment managers concluded their case against Donald Trump Saturday, one seemed focused on a senator in the front row. Rep. Joe Neguse, Colorado Democrat, had Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in mind. He began by quoting Henry Clay, the Kentucky Whig whose desk McConnell treasures, and who first inspired McConnell’s ambition to be a senator. He dropped the name of John Sherman Cooper,...

Constance Alexander: Rand Paul fights on, with boorish behavior as his sullen superpower

A Genius of calligraphic swordsmanship, swashbuckler Zorro proudly wears a mask as he traces a Z onto a villain. Armed with a mask and shield, Captain America fearlessly routs the Nazis in World War II. Astride a splendid white horse, a masked Lone Ranger rides with Tonto to right the wrongdoings of the world, declaring, “We ride for justice. Justice is what I seek.” All swagger in suit and tie,...

Commentary: Every Kyian needs access to high-speed internet for school, work at home, telehealth

By Brigitte Blom Ramsey and Colby Hall Special to KyForward 2021 is off and to the races, and already one topic is still dominating debate across our communities, state, and nation: access to high-speed internet. Upload speeds, middle mile, fiber, last mile, low earth orbiting satellites … for the average person, it is easy to get lost in the weeds. Technical terminology and complicated diagrams...

Billy Reed: Black History Month perfect time to remember the 1963 boys’ state basketball tournament

Black History Month is the perfect time to remember the 1963 Kentucky Boys’ State High School Basketball Tournament because that’s the one that changed the sport forever and had an impact on society as a whole that many in the Commonwealth either didn’t notice or purposely ignored. The tournament in Louisville’s Freedom Hall took place nine years after U.S. Supreme Court had rendered its historic...

Timothy Lonesky: COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need to put Kentucky’s patients first

As a rheumatologist, I work with patients every day who are suffering from complex, chronic conditions, such as arthritis and rheumatic illness. These diagnoses do not have one-size-fits-all solutions, and effective management often requires many doctor appointments and specialty medicines — expenses that can add up quickly. In my 17 years of working in medicine, I’ve seen too many patients...

Bill Straub: Some things you can count on, and Rand Paul is proceeding in his true, maskless form

You can always count on the sun to rise in the east and set in the west. You can always count on Tom Brady to come through in the big game. And you can always count on Rand Paul to make an ass out of himself. Boy, this dude is some nasty piece of work, isn’t he? You may have heard there’s an impeachment trial going on in Washington, some jamoke named Trump (as Panama Smith said about Eddie Bartlett...

Charles Leis: Education Opportunity Grants empower parents with choice to meet their students needs

Supporting public education or school choice is not an either/or situation – both public and nonpublic schools can thrive if we give parents the opportunity to make choices about the resources their child needs. Our organization — EdChoice Kentucky — agrees with the majority of KY voters that Kentucky parents should have the power to choose what education opportunities meet their student’s...

Constance Alexander: Availability of COVID vaccine inspires deadly sins, and a couple of virtues

Pride, covetousness, lust, anger, envy, sloth, scandal. That was how we memorized the Seven Deadly Sins at St. Francis School. Our source was the Baltimore Catechism, which the Sisters of Mercy used relentlessly as they drilled us in the finer points of our faith. The good nuns did such a thorough job that every girl could recite the no-no’s flawlessly. Today, thus indoctrinated, I still remember...

Commentary: Ky. can’t miss the opportunity to bring $100 million to schools, public services this session

By Members of the Kentucky General Assembly Special to KyForward The Kentucky Supreme Court’s recent ruling that historical horse racing (HHR) slot machines do not meet the definition of pari-mutuel wagering puts the responsibility on the General Assembly to act and clarify their legality. We must do so this session, and ensure continued support for our valued horse industry. At the same time,...

Anna Baumann: Voucher would drain much-needed resources from Kentucky’s public schools

Over the next couple months, the 2021 Kentucky General Assembly will decide whether to enact House Bill 149, a private school voucher program that between now and 2040 would take $8.6 billion away from public schools and other critical investments and hand over control of those resources to unaccountable private entities. The loss of public resources would come at a critical time for Kentucky’s P-12...

Akia McNeary: It’s past time for Kentucky to embrace school choice, unlock opportunities for all students

Numbers, statistics, dollar signs — people like to talk a whole lot about charts and diagrams when you bring up school choice or educational freedom. But to parents across Kentucky, this issue is a lot more personal. It’s definitely more personal than that to me. When my youngest son, Nehemiah, was in preschool, I enrolled him in Zion Christian Academy. However, because of financial issues,...