A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Eli Capilouto: Creating a real ‘sense of place’ means listening, re-thinking, to embrace all of our students

As thousands of new students and families visit campus for “see blue. U,” we are reminded of the important sense of place that a college or university must be for those who learn, discover, work, and heal on its campus. That sense of place — of belonging — is fundamental to the success of UK and to each individual who steps foot on our campus.  The importance of place was evident last week...

John Schickel: KY HEALTH, part of state’s Medicaid program, means able-bodied recipients contribute

Benjamin Franklin is said to have said “when people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of a republic.” I hope and pray that is not where we are as a country, but recent developments in Frankfort this year would tend to indicate we are heading down that path. Next to the pension crisis, the explosion in the budget to cover Medicaid — a jointly funded, Federal-State...

Jason Bailey: Time for sensible approach to paying pensions in Kentucky with total transparency

The long pension saga of the last year gave rise to the largest mobilization of Kentuckians to the Capitol the state has seen in decades. The unpopularity of proposals led lawmakers to try sneaking the final pension bill into sewage legislation, which the Franklin Circuit Court declared unconstitutional last week. The whole episode will mean a halt to more legislative attacks on pensions for the time...

Bill Straub: Take Carrollton KY, a good, safe place to live (as it should be) but diverse with ‘darker’ people

Some years back, at least a quarter century ago when the burley economy was still thriving, I spent a couple days in Carrollton to research an article on migrant labor. I recall driving toward the Ohio River at the northern edge of town one evening when I happened upon a grocery store, and not just any grocery store. It was painted in red and green and the signs out front were all in Spanish. In this...

Mitch McConnell: Updating on recent work in the U.S. Congress and on getting the country ‘back on track’

Not even two years into the Trump administration, our country is finally getting back on the right track. On the heels of a major regulatory rollback and historic tax reform, consumer confidence is soaring and unemployment is shrinking. I’m proud of the many promises this Republican Congress has worked closely with President Trump to fulfill for your family, and I would like to update you on our...

Constance Alexander: A nation that went to the moon should be able to solve today’s complex problems

Families got a package deal on tonsillectomies when I was a child. At least that is how it seems to me as I reflect on my experience. I was the one with constant sore throats and upper respiratory infections. My older sister Jeanne had none of those complaints, yet we had our tonsils out at the same time. Daddy stayed home from work, and my mother made us dress in church clothes, white gloves and...

Rick Sanders: KSP safeguards citizens, employees and facilities, in full view of First Amendment

There has been significant media coverage in recent weeks surrounding protests by the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. Some sources have suggested that this group is somehow being arbitrarily “shut out” of access to the building because of the content of their message. This is simply not true. While the Kentucky State Police (KSP) works daily to safeguard...

Bill Straub: No ‘Profiles in Courage’ found perusing political landscape in Trump-McConnell land

In February 1944, after seven years of guiding President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s agenda through the upper chamber, Senate Democratic Leader Alben Barkley, from the small, Western Kentucky town of Lowes, a man who would “rather be a servant in the House of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty,’’ declared enough was enough. FDR had vetoed a tax bill – the first time a president...

Col Owens: Middle class ‘hollowing out;’ we need to rebalance our overall econony 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,...

Jesse Jones: Looking for small victories against those night monsters, dark rooms — and depression

Don’t read this alone in the dark. That thing under your bed might get anxious. The monsters that come to life when the lights go out would know. The dead-eyed woman on the ceiling above you might get angry. Here goes anyway: There are things in this world far scarier than an imagination’s creations. I slept in the same bed as my mother until I was 9 years old. Nothing terrified me more than unexplained...

Constance Alexander: Pulitzer Prize-winning musical ‘Next to Normal’ explores bipolar disorder

Demi Lovato, Russell Brand, Carrie Fisher — even adorable girl-next-door-who-happens-to-be-host-of-ever-popular CBS Sunday Morning, Jane Pauley – admit to bouts of bipolar disorder. Others in the spotlight have gone public with their struggles, and awareness of various mental disorders are discussed more openly now than they were a few years ago. But while the glitterati appear on talk shows...

Ashley Spalding: To improve health through work, Kentucky needs to commit to better job quality

With the state’s new barriers to Medicaid coverage soon to be erected under the guise of encouraging work, we’ve heard a lot in Kentucky recently about the health benefits of working. Besides the fact that revoking coverage for low-income Kentuckians who fail to meet a work requirement has been shown as ineffective in promoting employment, these barriers do nothing to improve the low quality of...

Andy Beshear: Response to Bevin’s Chief of Staff; Kentuckians know the truth about ‘Sewer Bill’

A wise teacher recently told me, “If you’re doing the right thing, you don’t hide it in a sewer bill.” That’s what the General Assembly did when it turned an 11-page sewer bill into a 291-page pension bill and rammed it through both the House and Senate in just 6 hours, all without a single public comment, without giving legislators time to read it and without any analysis on whether it would...

Bill Straub: Following Tuesday’s primary election, the Republican Party now the party of Trump

WASHINGTON – There can no longer be any doubt that the Republican Party, once known as the party of Lincoln and, later, the party of Reagan, is now the party of Trump. The proof comes in Tuesday night’s primary election results. In South Carolina, state Rep. Katie Arrington toppled incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford to capture the GOP nomination for that state’s 1st Congressional District seat centered...

Blake Brickman: Andy Beshear’s lawsuit threatens future of Kentucky teachers’ pensions

Attorney General Andy Beshear is getting plenty of practice for his next campaign as he travels across the Commonwealth to spread fear and misinformation about the new pension reform bill (SB 151), designed to save Kentucky’s public pension system. Brickman His most dangerous lies are those of omission. AG Beshear doesn’t want Kentuckians to know about the positive things SB 151 does to help ensure...