A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Alice Bannon: Brennan Center for Justice believes Ginsburg should not be replaced until after election

It is less than 50 days until Election Day. If Senate Majority Leader McConnell follows through on his pledge that he will consider a nominee by President Trump to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg it will be more than rank hypocrisy. It will be a full-on crisis for the country, the Supreme Court, and our democracy. The Court touches virtually every aspect of our lives — from marriage, to health...

Commentary: Federal aid hasn’t reached most Kentucky farmers, exposes fragilities of food system

Community Farm Alliance The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program has missed 70 percent of Kentucky’s farmers and has been largely inaccessible for direct market, small-scale, and specialty crop producers and farmers of color. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragilities of our food system. The pandemic has stretched or broken the value chains that bring food...

Al Cross: McConnell should get Trump to stop contradicting science — that’s bad for public health

When I was a child growing up in one of the poorest counties in the nation, with one of the smallest percentages of college graduates of any county, I was lucky. I had parents who had been to college and knew something about public health and had even worked in it. Even the less fortunate folks in our community had respect for the local health department. We all knew that it was a trusted place with...

Bill Straub: Who to believe? New stimulus package (choose one: does, does not) look promising

It was Sen. George Aiken, a Republican from Vermont, who suggested in the fall of 1966 that the United States relieve itself from a growing quagmire in Vietnam by simply declaring victory and calling the troops home. “It may be a far-fetched proposal,” Aiken said in a now-famous floor speech, “but nothing else has worked.” Fast-forward 54 years and you’ll find Senate Republican...

Constance Alexander: Always prepared, Girl Scouts embrace fashion update, seek ‘something cooler’

Today, when a Girl Scout opens the door to her closet, she is not greeted by a sea of green. As a result of a recent fashion update, official Scouts-branded apparel now includes blue denim, black leggings, and a khaki utility vest with a notch collar, epaulet shoulders, and a gently cinched waist. With input from dozens of Scouts, a three-person team of Fashion Institute of Technology students learned...

Jason Glass: As we start new school year under unusual circumstances, department stands united

I wanted to start my first column as Kentucky’s new commissioner of education to let you know how happy I am to be back home and how honored I am to have been selected to help move the Commonwealth’s schools forward during these unprecedented times. I know this is the most unusual opening Kentucky – and the rest of the country – probably has ever had. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE)...

Alicia Whatley: Promoting cessation to end teen vaping — as usage of e-cigarettes has surged

In Kentucky, rates of youth cigarette smoking have been decreasing, but the usage of e-cigarettes has surged. The percentage of 12th grade Kentucky students using e-cigarettes jumped from 12.2% to 26.7% from 2016 to 2018. This upward trend for youth e-cigarette use is being seen by high schools nationwide with 25% of all high school students reporting use of electronic nicotine products in 2019. While...

Advancing Equality: Point Arc of NKY embraces disability rights and race equity; become antiracist

By Jennifer Wells Point Arc Zembrodt Education Center Part of a series by NKY’s nonprofits who stand together against racism and any acts that dehumanize people. The Point Arc of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati was formed in 1972. Today, The Point is a full-service agency whose mission is to provide opportunities to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to help them...

Dr. Ty Sullivan: Don’t let COVID-19 prevent your child’s annual doctor visit; check immunizations

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way of life in Kentucky, our country and across the world. In recent months, stay-at-home orders, mask-wearing and social distancing measures have created a “new normal,” and all of us have put activities on hold to reduce the spread of the virus. But one activity that you should not put on hold is a child’s annual doctor visit. With schools back in session...

Rachel Roberts: Today is Suicide Prevention Day — we have a lot more to do to prioritize mental health

The rise of COVID-19 has understandably re-focused our attention on healthcare access and inequities. One component that hasn’t gotten as much attention, but should, is access to mental healthcare. We’re in a moment where more of us than ever before could benefit from having an established relationship with a qualified provider. 
Although we have seen sustained success in the fields of mental...

Bill Straub: Overseeing destruction of the planet, president declares he is great environmentalist

With all the attention being afforded his derisive comments aimed at military personnel, his abject failure to address the COVID-19 crisis, the ever-increasing volume of his racist dog whistling and, well, his general imbecility, little notice is being given to President Donald J. Trump as he oversees the destruction of the planet. Fires are raging in California, hurricanes are popping up like bubbles...

A personal journey through prostate cancer, which needs as much a spotlight as breast cancer in women

By Steve Ranson Kentucky Health News Prostate cancer is to men as breast cancer is to women. The second-leading cause of cancer deaths in men comes from a small gland located between the bladder and the penis. If not monitored or treated, prostate can be a killer. Likewise, the No. 2 cause of cancer deaths in women is breast cancer. So what’s the difference? Over the years, more awareness has been...

Edward Tonini: Communities battle urgent problem worsened by pandemic — healthy food access

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our nation in unprecedented and profound ways. Our nation’s vulnerable children are particularly compromised. Within their communities, they have to battle an urgent problem worsened by this pandemic: food access. Simply put, with schools closed, it is significantly more difficult for children to access the healthy foods they need. However, there are tools the federal...

John Schickel: Enjoy happy Labor Day celebrating those who keep economy moving, society strong

On Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, America held its first Labor Day celebration. In 1894, then-President Grover Cleveland officially made Labor Day a national holiday. Since that time, America has recognized the first Monday in September to celebrate the people who keep our economy moving and society strong—the American worker. 2020 has brought a greater appreciation for our workforce....

Advancing Equality: Can we talk? Stand united to advance racial equity and break down barriers

Part of a series by NKY’s nonprofits who stand together against racism and any acts that dehumanize people. Can We Talk? We stand united to advance racial equity this statement drives the discussions of our group of Northern Kentucky nonprofits seeking to ensure social justice. This group, comprised of more than 25 nonprofit agencies based in Campbell, Kenton, and Boone Counties, has been meeting...