A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Teresa Werner: Giving the Commonwealth a seat at table on issue of climate change and fossil fuels

Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.  Greenhouse gases trap heat and without them, Earth would be a frozen planet.  Since the Industrial Age, the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) to produce energy helped transform our economy and our lives.  Yet we now know that the burning of fossil fuels has a serious unintended consequence:  it releases more carbon...

Sue Cross: Criticism of media is fine and needed, but shouldn’t mean systematic attacks on the whole

Today, the Institute for Nonprofit News joins journalists across the country in asking you, the public, to stand up for your rights to free speech and an open government. This started as a campaign by the Boston Globe to ask the President of the United States to knock off attacking the news media. But the President’s attacks on the press aren’t ultimately about the press. “The press” is just...

Bill Straub: ‘Knock ’em out, drag ’em in’ Bevin shows how divisions just get wider and more bitter

So, just what is it with this Bevin guy? It used to be during the long, sultry, Kentucky summers, with lawmakers out of town and anyone with a lick of sense off somewhere drinking sweet tea in air-conditioned comfort, a governor would lay low, hope things remained calm and start planning for his/her political future. Not so with Mad Matt, obviously. First, there was the contretemps over his rather...

Scot Ashton: From fit to major surgery; recalling that time his lungs collapsed and he got new ones

Imagine falling asleep in a confused and disoriented condition and waking up nearly 4 weeks later with numerous hoses, sensors, bandages, and tubes protruding from your body. Your mouth and lips are as dry as a saltine cracker in a Death Valley dust storm. You are hungry enough to eat a tongue depressor and attempt to do so when a nurse examines your throat. As you gaze across the room, you notice...

Ryan Quarles: The Kentucky State Fair provides an opportunity for people to come together

As a people who brim with pride for our state, each year Kentuckians of all backgrounds have an opportunity to embrace one of the Commonwealth’s time-honored traditions: the Kentucky State Fair. Quarles Growing up as a farm kid in Scott County, I would count down the days until I visited with Freddy Farm Bureau, watched livestock shows, and chowed down on a Kentucky Pork Producers sandwich. The 114th...

Constance Alexander: More and more, we must separate the factual wheat from fake news chaff

“In today’s digital age, it can often be challenging for consumers to determine what information is truly reliable. But whether it goes by the name of ‘propaganda,’ ‘hype,’ or ‘spin,’ it is possible for news readers to identify ‘fake news’ and avoid it entirely.” So said Laura Harvey, a reporter for The Messenger, Madisonville’s newspaper, in a recent article about how discerning...

Commentary: Extending summer, moving back starting dates for school makes economic sense

By Chris Girdler This time of year, I find myself reflecting on one of the great witticisms of Yogi Berra, who once said, “It’s like Déjà vu all over again”.  Unfortunately, many people across our great Commonwealth find themselves asking, “Is summer over already”? For most Kentucky students, the answer is yes. Girdler In an effort to preserve prosperity enjoyed by Kentucky’s tourism...

Bill Straub: Andy Barr is finding Amy McGrath a formidable opponent for 6th Congressional seat

It hasn’t been a very good last few days for Rep. Andy Barr, which is bad news for a financial industry that controls his every tic in Washington but potentially good news for the residents of Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District. Barr, R-Lexington, whose accomplishments during his first five years in office couldn’t fill a thimble, unexpectedly finds himself in a tough re-election campaign...

Constance Alexander: Fading hydrangeas signal change of seasons, reminder of passage of time

The hydrangeas are past their peak. Blue-green fades gracefully to a luminous, pearly luster, while rose-colored bursts ease toward rust. Brawny weeds and muscular green leaves threaten to overpower, yet they seem unconcerned. Grazed by a gentle breeze, they nod their shaggy heads and bow, still cheerful as summer ends. Years ago, I wrote a piece about the last roses. Mourning their loss before it...

Rep. Jason Nemes: Kavanaugh eminently qualified to fill SCOTUS vacancy

Shortly after Judge Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court, partisan political opponents began their rounds on the cable news circuit and social media, issuing bombastic comments about the eminently qualified jurist. United States Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh Perhaps none was as egregious as was tweeted by former Democrat National Committee Chairman and Clinton...

John Schickel: Petersburg honors Vietnam war hero Fleek; threw himself on grenade to save comrades

When I moved to Boone County many years ago (1977), I had heard of Sgt. Charles ‘Chalkie’ Fleek being killed in Vietnam and receiving the Medal of Honor. Sen. Schickel I’m ashamed to admit that not since I sponsored the legislation to designate Kentucky Route 20 the “Sgt. Charles Fleek Memorial Highway” through Sgt. Fleek’s hometown of Petersburg, KY, did I realize how significant it was. ...

Andy Beshear: From coffee grounds to opioid disposal pouches, Kyians join fight against addiction

Over the years, you have heard me say that in order to tackle our state’s opioid epidemic, it’s going to take all of us coming together as a community. That everyone has a role in building a better future. Beshear One of my efforts to build that future is the Kentucky Opioid Disposal Program, which provides drug deactivation pouches to help Kentucky families safely dispose of the dangerous unused...

Eli Capilouto: A powerful message about student success and the workforce we’re building for Ky.

Consider this economic fact: A recent national study from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce concluded that 95 percent of jobs created in the recovery of the last 10 years went to applicants with some college experience. In other words, a college education — some training and development beyond high school — has never been more important. The challenge — and the opportunity...

Dennis Keene: Unintended consequences of tax bill, and now we are beginning to understand increases

Back in May I wrote an editorial about the unintended consequences of House Bills 487 and its companion HB 366 which raised taxes upon the citizens of the Commonwealth. At the time we did not know the full scope of the legislation and the impact upon the citizens because there was no fiscal statement, no analysis prior to the majority voting on these bills. Four months later we are beginning to understand...

Bill Straub: Enough is enough is enough, it’s time for press corps to take the gloves off — and tell the truth

For better or worse, I spent six years back in the early 2000s as the White House correspondent for Scripps-Howard News Service. Believe me, that’s neither a boast nor a brag, as George M. Cohan might say. I always remember the words of Ron Hutcheson, the one-time White House guy for Knight Ridder while we were sitting at a hotel bar in Waco, TX, with nothing to do but twiddle our thumbs while then-President...