A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

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...

Col Owens: Evolving political alignment promises different future — vote in November

Some thoughts about the Democratic primary election. First, we had terrific candidates. Terrific candidates. But this meditation is not about the candidates. It is about our Party. What this election shows clearly is that the Kentucky Democratic Party is now the majority party, comprised generally of two wings, moderates and progressives, of roughly equal proportions. Some have called it a split party....

Letter to the Editor: Col Owens says support Amy McGrath and healthcare for all — realistically

A major issue facing Kentuckians in this fall’s U.S. Senate election is health care. All Democratic candidates support universal access to coverage. How to get there is what differentiates them. Amy McGrath recognizes that access to health care, like access to basic education, enhances our quality of life while undergirding our nation’s security and competitiveness. She proposes a thoughtful, realistic...

Col Owens: Middle class ‘hollowing out;’ we need to rebalance our overall economy for stability, security

Financial advisors recommend that investment portfolios be routinely rebalanced, even when they are doing well, to achieve long-term stability and security. In much the same way, we need to rebalance our overall economy – to achieve long-term stability and security. Our present economy is healthy in several respects. Unemployment is low, and median household incomes have recently increased. However,...

Commentary: Why Hillary? From close up, personal, answer is simple: She is best person for the job

This is the first of two guest columns about the upcoming presidential race, featuring personal commentaries on the top two contenders — in alphabetical order. Today: Col Owens on ‘Why Hillary?” and tomorrow Marcus Carey on ‘Why Trump’? By Col Owens Special to KyForward Hillary Clinton first came onto my radar screen in 1968. I was a junior at Harvard and was dating...

Commentary: Kentucky should keep the Medicaid expansion as it is; say no to KyHealth alternative

By Col Owens Special to KyForward I am a recently retired senior attorney from the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio. During my career I concentrated on health care issues of our low-income clients, primarily Medicaid issues. Many of our clients relied on Medicaid. Others went without access to care — until the Medicaid expansion. Ohio adopted the Medicaid expansion in 2013 with the strong...

Commentary: The case for Hillary for President and why Democrats should unite for November

By Col Owens Special to KyForward It is not a state secret that I support Hillary Clinton for President. There are many reasons why. I first encountered her in college when I dated a friend of hers at Wellesley. When I first worked for Legal Services in the late 1970’s she was chair of the board of the national Legal Services Corporation, where she did an exemplary job during the Carter Administration....

Col Owens: Kentucky needs to hire Alison Lundergan Grimes, retire Mitch McConnell

We need Alison Lundergan Grimes in the U.S. Senate. Why? There are many reasons, and they’re good ones.   Alison wants to solve problems here in Kentucky and around the nation. She will not pass the buck, as Mitch McConnell does when he blames President Obama for not solving them and then does everything in his power to block solutions. His desire for the president to fail overwhelms...

Col Owens: Kentucky needs to take its future in its own hands and make tax system fairer

The General Assembly has just passed another inadequate state budget. And once again, it has failed to give Kentucky a tax system that will allow it to compete in the 21st-century economy.   As a legal aid attorney and education advocate for 35 years, I’ve long witnessed firsthand how our state budget and revenue system fail to serve working families or to create adequate opportunities for...

Commentary: Affordable Care Act will reach a 'tipping point' when as popular as Medicare

Over 100 years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt first proposed that health coverage should be available to all Americans.   Now, a hundred years later, thanks to President Barack Obama and Congress, such a policy is in place. The Affordable Care Act makes health insurance available to all Americans, including specifically those with pre-existing conditions. Clearly, this undertaking was not...

Col Owens: President Obama is right – it's time to move U.S. beyond perpetual war

President Obama has announced his intention to move the United States beyond the state of perpetual war we have lived in since 9/11. It is time.   Immediately after 9/11, the U.S. went to war in Afghanistan, the seat of al-Qaida. Ignoring, of course, the fact that almost all of the 9/11 terrorist hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. But in the immediate aftermath of the attack it seemed an appropriate...

Col Owens: The time has come for us to pass reasonable gun safety legislation

This past weekend my wife and I got a robocall from Sen. Mitch McConnell, saying that President Obama is doing everything in his power to restrict our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.   Sen. McConnell should be ashamed. Nothing could be further from the truth. These calls are simply an attempt to distract attention from the senseless tragedy at Sandy Hook and the ensuing outrage from...