A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Peter Y. Sussman: Journalism in the crosshairs — first, they came for journalists. Who speaks out?

Authoritarianism does not knock politely on the door of a democracy — it barges right in, breaking doors or windows as needed for entry. Though it often develops incrementally, there are clear early warnings that it’s on its way: demonization of whole classes of people with divisive rhetoric; a leader who governs by whim, resists collaboration, and undermines due process; fiery rhetoric that engages...

Wayne Lewis: KDE increasing opportunities for student success in college, career and life

One of my top priorities here at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is to increase the number and percentage of high school students successfully completing early postsecondary opportunities, such as dual credit, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate and Cambridge Advanced International. Lewis These types of opportunities let high school students earn college credit before they...

Bill Straub: ‘Tis the season; since lots of kids are hungry, can we figure out a way to feed them?

‘Tis the season, as they say, and Kentuckians caught up in the spirit are ready to spread the sort of comfort and joy one might expect as Christmas draws near. Well, most of them anyway. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, a sterling advocate of the “I’ve got mine I don’t care about yours’’ philosophy of Ayn Rand, is at it again. In a state where 20 percent of the children...

Brent Cooper: ‘Northern Kentucky’ and how is it defined?; let’s talk about ‘being stronger together’

Over the past year as NKY Chamber President, I’ve noticed people don’t seem to agree about what makes up Northern Kentucky. Not even our top elected officials, business and civic leaders. If you asked ten people what Northern Kentucky is, you might get ten different answers. We are a direction – Northern. We are the south side of Cincinnati. We are a collection of small towns. We...

Letter to the Editor: Kentucky groups stand against attack on immigrant families

To the Editor: A radical and punishing rule change proposed by the President’s administration would harm immigrant families in Kentucky and across the country. By keeping families from meeting their basic needs, jeopardizing immigration status and taking resources out of Kentucky communities, the proposal is an affront to our Commonwealth. The “public charge” rule change would count legal...

Teresa Werner: Assessment details current, future economic climate change impacts; call legislator

The recently released National Climate Assessment issued by NASA, NOAA, the Department of Defense, and 10 other federal scientific agencies specifically details the current and future economic impacts of climate change. The study stresses that if left unchecked, emissions of heat-trapping gasses from the burning of coal, oil, and gas could eventually cost the economy hundreds of billions of dollars...

Villa Hills Mayor Callery: We need to establish a Northern Kentucky Police Academy

According to the website How-to-become-a-police-officer.com the number of police officer jobs will increase 32 percent over the next four years requiring 400 new officers in Kentucky every year on top of those who retire or leave policing.   The number of new officers needed presents a challenge to many cities in our Commonwealth due to the limited number of police academy slots available for new...

Dr. Bradley Nelson: Wipe the slate clean for 2019 — start with forgiveness for your health’s sake

Holding a grudge can damage your heart and shorten your life by putting you under undue stress, research has found. Veteran holistic physician, Dr. Bradley Nelson. calls forgiveness “the number one thing you can do to reduce stress in your life.” “If there’s someone who has hurt you or wronged you in some way, and you haven’t forgiven them, your stress level will inevitably be greater...

Letter to the Editor: Lisa Guisbond of FairTest says exit test isn’t one of ways to ensure student success

There are many ways to ensure that Kentucky students graduate prepared to succeed after high school (“Wayne Lewis: The Kentucky high school diploma has to mean more; still much work to be done,” Nov. 28). Imposing an exit exam is not one of them. In fact, the track record of this approach is littered with failure. The trend over the past decade has been to abandon, not embrace, graduation...

Bill Straub: When you don’t know anything, it is probably best to shut up and listen to those who do

Permit me to borrow a phrase that has been used consistently by Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell and any number of his colleagues on the GOP side of the aisle: I am not a scientist. Here is my curriculum vitae on the subject: I somehow managed to survive a high school chemistry class taught by Mr. George Barstow who had been a teacher since the Roosevelt Administration...

Wayne Lewis: The Kentucky high school diploma has to mean more; still much work to be done

Change is scary. I understand that. Yet we have reached the point in Kentucky’s history when change to our minimum standards for high school graduation is necessary to ensure that our children are well-prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce. Lewis The case for raising the bar is compelling. Thanks to the incredible efforts of educators, policymakers, parents and Kentucky communities,...

JC Morgan: Campbell County Public Library launches its fourth ‘Drop Your Drawers’ campaign

The Campbell County Public Library launched its fourth year of the “Drop Your Drawers” campaign in November. I am asked sometimes how we came up with the idea for the program, but it was really more the merging of two ideas than the creation of one. A few years ago, I attended a training on building early literacy skills. The presenter was a friend of mine, Debbie Onkst, who worked with the Northern...

Constance Alexander: Once there were three siblings — but one grew up to make an ambrosia centerpiece

Of all the Alexander daughters, who would have thought Pamela would be the one? We’re talking about Pamela Jane, the middle child, known for secretly ordering six packs from the local liquor store and having them delivered to the house when the parents were out of town.    This is the Alexander sibling who bullied her compliant younger sisters into doing her after-dinner chores. Unbeknownst to...

Melissa Martin: Close your eyes and imagine your favorite holiday memory. Anything to do with food?

The main purpose of food is to nourish the body to keep humans alive. But, the taste experience around the holidays is a flavor festival. The sense organ of taste is the tongue. The receptors for taste, called taste buds, are sensory cells. Adults have between 2,000 and 4,000 taste buds in total. It’s a papillae palapalooza! Sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savory tastes can be sensed by all parts...

Dustin Pugel: Anti-poverty, anti-hunger, pro-health SNAP puts food on tables, needs no barriers

This holiday season, as Kentuckians celebrate with friends and family around the table, we must also remember the impact policy choices are having on one of the best tools we have to ensure we all get enough to eat. The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, plays a critical role in improving the health and well-being of 580,000 Kentuckians, including...