A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Constance Alexander: Fahrenheit 451 sparks programs about literacy, public libraries, free speech

For a man who wrote stories that make spines tingle and raise hairs on the back of the neck, author Ray Bradbury was a just a regular guy. Sure, he had a fabulous imagination and earned worldwide renown, but his beginnings were humble, his tastes simple, his education unique. “I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library,” he said, “and it’s better than college....

Daniel Cameron: Remarks on becoming Attorney General; will uphold the law ‘without fear or favor’

It is an honor to be here, standing among this esteemed group of constitutional officers, who share a collective vision for a stronger Kentucky. I look forward to working with all of them in the coming years. It is with both humility and excitement that I share with you my vision for the office of the Attorney General. Let me start by saying that we have hit the ground running. We are building a staff...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about other economic systems; for fair discussion

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa Because of America’s liberties, capitalism became the natural basis for our economy, but of course, it’s not the only basis for an economy. Other systems, such as fascism, communism, socialism, or some blend of these ideas, all involve large, controlling governments. We write to explain several deficiencies in...

John Schickel: Federal family leave, tucked away in National Defense Authorization Act, is misguided

As a state senator, I try to stay in my lane by not commenting on federal issues in Washington by keeping my focus on representing you in Frankfort. However, what happened recently in Washington upset me so much, I felt I had to say something. Obviously, the eyes of the mainstream media have been on impeachment with almost no coverage of what I am going to talk about. Recently, something else happened...

Brewer: Boone should be a Second Amendment sanctuary county, resolution in the works

Editor’s note: The Boone County Fiscal Court is preparing a resolution pronouncing the county as a sanctuary city for second amendment rights. In 1791, our forefathers ratified the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, an amendment authored by James Madison, which reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear...

Bill Straub: ‘Spoils system’ on full display as judges with questionable qualifications get appointments

It was Sen. William L Marcy, assessing some of the questionable appointments rendered by President Andrew Jackson back in the day, who initially said, “to the victor belong the spoils,’’ thus brilliantly summing up the American form of democracy in one, deft phrase. Things have changed very little since the 1830s when Marcy, of New York, prowled the corridors of power. Despite occasional congressional...

Constance Alexander: Ideas abound for columns as does thirst for justice, especially for accessibility

Fifty columns, averaging about 700 words each, add up to 35,000 words for “Main Street” 2019. Readers ask if coming up with topics is difficult, and the answer is no. In fact, there is too much to write about; ideas abound. In the past few years, “Main Street” has showcased examples of Accessibility, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA, one of America’s most comprehensive...

Nichole Koontz: Don’t let exercise take a back seat — get moving, at least 150 minutes a week

It’s that time of year again when we will strive to wear the perfect outfit, select a perfect gift and host the perfect holiday party. While it’s a festive time, many of us get perfectly stressed out. And the thought of exercising goes right out the window. Instead, we promise to start or restart the first day of the new year. In that instant, we surrender to mounds of food and drink, fail to get...

Amye Bensenhaver: Rep. Chris Harris will be missed in legislature as champion of open records

Personal tributes have been pouring in since Rep. Chris Harris, D-Forest Hills, announced on December 19 that he will not seek re-election as state representative for Pike and Martin Counties. Open government proponents are deeply saddened by Rep. Harris’s announcement. His advocacy for the laws securing the public’s right to know has been unwavering. As a member of the Pike County Fiscal...

Al Cross: Continuing the tradition of gifts for public officials; hoping for a 2020 in which facts matter most

The tradition of a Christmas-gifts column for public figures in Kentucky was started almost four decades ago by the late Ed Ryan, when he was the Courier Journal’s bureau chief in Frankfort. Those were the days of Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. and first lady Phyllis George Brown, who had an administration and an entourage of characters who provided plenty of grist for Ed’s sometimes snarky humor mill. Since...

Bill Straub: Prisons bursting at the seams, nonviolent prisoners deserve pardons; devil in the details

Let me put my cards on the table: I am one of those people who would rather see 100 guilty individuals go free than witness one innocent person go to prison. I believe it should be extremely difficult – emphasize, extremely difficult – to deprive anyone of his or her freedom. The death penalty is immoral, savage, and should immediately be abolished in all 50 states, DC and the federal government. There...

Emily Beauregard: A complete and accurate census count is good for Kentucky’s health

Every ten years, the Census counts every person living in the United States, regardless of age, race, geographic location, or citizenship status. Data from the Census determines how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed throughout the country. Census data also help state and local officials, community leaders, and nonprofits identify needs for healthcare, education, housing,...

Dave Newton: Giving back voting rights to former felons is historic step forward, thanks to Beshear

On December 12, Governor Andy Beshear helped Kentucky take a historic step forward. With the twirl of a pen, 140,000 previously disenfranchised members of our Commonwealth were re-empowered with the right to vote. Years of conversations, meetings, phone calls, and work by people with felonies in their past created the grassroots support needed to bring us to this moment.  Over a hundred of us attended...

Lauren and Rob Hudson: Letter of common ground about preserving freedom and limiting government

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa As explained in prior letters, we need government laws and a justice system to protect liberty and property, but how much government is too much government? Regardless of where you stand, know that America continuously debates the topic of balancing freedom and government. When you hear politicians argue on television, radio,...

John Schickel: It’s ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ and was a momentous year for the legislature

As 2019 comes to a close, I’d like to extend warm wishes and sincere hope that you and your loved ones enjoy a Merry Christmas in good health and full of happiness. Just as the eve of “the most wonderful time of year” is upon us, so is the 2020 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly. It was another momentous year for the General Assembly as we continued to build on the momentum created...