A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Paul Hill: An Open Letter to Donald Trump: I once admired you as ‘cool guy,’ you changed my mind

OPEN LETTER TO DONALD TRUMP Let me say that I admired you when I was in my twenty’s. I bought your book, The Art Of the Deal and thought, “What a cool guy..I want to be that guy.” Come on. . .a New York real estate mogul who started here in Cincinnati on Reading Road. . .why not? I then followed your career through the purchase of your New Jersey Casinos and subsequent bankruptcies and your...

Al Cross: McConnell’s speech was a turning point, at last, as he stands up for the truth

On one of the most dramatic days in American history, Kentucky’s senior senator saw he would lose control of the Senate; fled the chamber under attack from a mob incited by a president whom he had enabled, but who probably cost him that control; and gave a speech concluding their political divorce. Mitch McConnell’s remarks, which you should read, might have been the big news of the day if not...

Bill Straub: So it has come to mob rule, terrorism, vandalism of Capitol, encouraged by sitting President

A little more than 85 years ago, during an era of rising fascism in Europe, Sinclair Lewis, who authored such classics as Babbitt and Main Street, published a novel with the title It Can’t Happen Here, about a charismatic, populist politician, Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, who is elected president by instilling fear in voters and vowing to usher in economic reforms. Almost immediately upon...

Beverly Bell: The Miley murders and swift justice — death of golf star Marion Miley was devastating blow

The story had everything you could want: a young, gifted and nationally acclaimed athlete is brutally murdered at a swanky, southern country club in the middle of the night. The crime is reported on the front page of The New York Times and in newspapers around the world. A national manhunt for those responsible ensues. From the first moment I heard of murdered golf star Marion Miley, I was hooked....

Beth Davisson: Vaccine is here; time to rebuild economy, doubling down on criminal justice reform

As Kentuckians begin to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s getting easier to think about the road ahead and recovery. A vital part of that will involve rebuilding our economy and strengthening our workforce. In particular, two actions will be critical to moving Kentucky forward: reforming the criminal justice system and expanding fair chance hiring. As a result of the pandemic,...

Ben Chandler: State’s poor health rankings are caution flag; don’t let virus keep you from doctor

A new state-by-state comparison of the nation’s health ranks Kentucky near the bottom in a variety of significant categories. Though the 2020 America’s Health Rankings Annual Report from the United Health Foundation may underscore Kentucky’s longstanding position as a state with serious health challenges, this year’s rankings also provide a great service by raising a caution flag related to...

Billy Reed: Happy New Year (truly!); we remember weird stuff as we leave 2020 behind, some good too

Happy new year to everyone, and I mean that with more sincerity than ever. Last year was such a disaster, due to all the worldwide havoc caused by the Coronavirus pandemic that even to mention 2020 is the same as using a curse. The world of sports was hardly immune to the crisis. At both the college and pro levels, so many games were canceled or postponed, and so many teams decimated by players who...

Commentary: Public health action plan urgently needed to stem the COVID-19 pandemic

Our haphazard and disjointed COVID-19 pandemic response is worsening this national catastrophe. Although vaccines provide a sense of light at the end of the tunnel, during the coming holiday weeks and winter months we will experience the worst public health crisis of our lifetime. On behalf of the past presidents of the American Public Health Association, we are deeply concerned by the lack of a national,...

Jessica Fette: A challenging year for Erlanger and all, but progress was made in many ways; ready for 2021

2020 has been, to say the least, an incredibly challenging year. The covid-19 pandemic changed the way we worked, educated kids, ran businesses, shopped, and interacted with one another. It made too many people sick and took too many lives.   With vaccines now beginning to be distributed, there is reason for optimism and hope. And while many of us want to forget 2020, it was actually a very good...

Bill Straub: Count reasons for McConnell’s disdain for $2,000 stimulus checks; maybe 30 million of them

There’s been considerable talk recently on the subject of Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell and how he has somehow amassed great power even though he is publicly viewed to be about as popular as a heart attack. The discussion was spawned by the Louisville lawmaker’s successful effort to return the U.S. Supreme Court to the legal underpinnings it maintained before...

Alan Bernstein: Public boat dock/marina at Cincinnati Public Landing would not serve larger riverboats

BB Riverboats owns and operates three U.S. licensed and certified vessels: The Belle of Cincinnati, 1,000 passengers; the River Queen, 500 passengers; and the Mark Twain, 150 passengers. For more than 40 years, my family has operated cruises, events centers and restaurants on the Ohio River. We have worked tirelessly to bring visitors, events and attention to the communities and businesses that...

Julie Kirkpatrick: An open letter to Kentucky’s Congressional Delegation for relief for tourism

A Grateful Thank You to Kentucky’s Congressional Delegation Kentucky’s tourism industry, normally an economic driver and major jobs generator for the Commonwealth, has been devastated by the COVID economic crisis. However, with the enactment of the Congressional relief bill, we now have a light at the end of what has been a very long and dark tunnel. Julie Kirkpatrick I want to express my appreciation...

Lynn James: Christmas came and went — and the COVID virus is still with us, as we greet the New Year

Christmas still came. In spite of the COVID Grinch, Christmas still came. We could see it happening. More packages being delivered. More cars on the roads headed to stores. More groceries being bought during the last days before Christmas.  Yes, even COVID couldn’t stop our desire and drive to celebrate Christmas this year. And why shouldn’t we? It’s been a long, tough year for all...

Commentary: Honoring Alice Sparks, trailblazer, philanthropist, for support of FORE! Kids Golf Outing

The Bluegrass Care Navigators family recently lost a dear friend and generous advocate for our Northern Kentucky regional office, Alice Stevens Sparks, a trailblazer and philanthropist. Alice Sparks and her grandson, Alex Alice was a well-respected community leader and generous philanthropist with a charismatic personality and huge heart. Alice’s connection to Bluegrass Care Navigators began over...

Girard Miller: We need to get to work on seven state and local fiscal lessons from a year like no other

As 2020 winds down, it’s the time to look back on lessons learned from the unique experience we’ve all had in the COVID-19 era, which has challenged and stressed our systems of public finance in ways not experienced since the Great Depression. For state and local governments, there are some important takeaways that should be remembered for years to come: Progressive taxation has its drawbacks...