September 22, 2021

Biden Working Hard To Sideline GOP Mash-Up Of Madness

BENZONIA – I’ve waited for this one from the Department of Justice. It’s been coming for weeks. Attorney General Merrick Garland sued Georgia on June 25, 2021, asserting that its despicable voter suppression law passed in March is illegal. The law, like others by Republican Legislatures in 13 more states, is designed to make it much harder for people of color to vote. But under the U.S. Voting Rights Act, discriminating against groups of people …

Read More

Craft Distilleries Are More Numerous Than Ever. The Pandemic Looks To Have Helped.

GETHSEMANE, KY. – Conditions last year could hardly have looked worse for craft distilling in Kentucky or any other state. Built on the intimacy of locally-produced spirits, virtually all of the more than 2,000 craft distilleries that operated around the country were imperiled by state health directives that closed tasting rooms.  Yet while the virus produced financial pain, it did not lead to many distillery deaths. Federal pandemic-related aid, consumer demand, important changes in state …

Read More

Report Cites Progress, Impediments to Universal Access to Clean Water, Safe Sanitation, and Hygiene

My first months of 2021 were consumed with reporting and writing a three-part Circle of Blue project on global trends in water, sanitation, and hygiene. Our collaborator was the Wilson Center, the D.C. think tank that has been one of of our partners since 2010 in reporting the Global Choke Point chapters in China and India. As I noted in WASH Within Reach, as a Circle of Blue correspondent in Africa, Asia, and Latin America …

Read More

Kentucky Coal Fields Display How Hard It Is To Redevelop Rural America

PAINTSVILLE, KY. – On April 23, 12 weeks after President Joe Biden signed an executive order that promised to help rural regions of the East and Great Plains move past their dependence on fossil energy markets, the administration identified $37.9 billion in existing federal grant and loan accounts to meet the president’s job creation and revitalization goals.   One of those accounts, administered since 2016 by the Department of the Interior, helped start a high-tech manufacturing …

Read More

LeBron James’ I Promise Development Strategy Is Doing Good By Doing Well For Akron Kids

AKRON, Ohio – In 2014, when he strode into the University of Akron’s InfoCision stadium accompanied by the cheers of 30,000 people, LeBron James had more on his mind than returning to his hometown to play basketball again in neighboring Cleveland. That August evening Mr. James really wanted to talk about his new mission in Akron. The LeBron James Family Foundation, he said, would focus on strengthening the academic performance of Akron’s underprivileged public school …

Read More

2021 Will Be Better; The 2020s Will be Great

There really is not a way to hit on a word, or even an assembly of words, to adequately encompass the tough, dangerous, and ultimately exceptional year that 2020 has been. Next year will be better. And the 2020s promise to be a decade of real progess. During this decade technology and ecology will marry more firmly than ever to produce pathbreaking achievements in sectors that really matter— energy, transportation, agriculture, climate, resources, and manufacturing. …

Read More

In Louisville, Covid-19 Slows Portland Neighborhood Recovery

LOUSVILLE, Ky. — Until the Covid-19 pandemic, Gill Holland spent six years and $35 million constructing new residences and renovating 19thand 20thcentury wood and brick warehouses in Portland, an historic Ohio riverfront neighborhood that is Louisville’s oldest and one of its most impoverished.  Mr. Holland’s Portland Investment Initiative has purchased over 60 properties and filled them with businesses and residents new to the racially diverse neighborhood, where roughly 10,000 people live.  The project has renovated …

Read More

In Montgomery, Bryan Stevenson is Thurgood Marshall’s Heir Apparent For Supreme Court

Montgomery, which has occupied one bank of the Alabama River since 1819, never deliberately set out to distinguish itself as the white hot furnace of American racial injustice, or the historic hearth of reconciliation. That’s what Alabama’s capital has become, though. Yesterday the city of 200,000, where slaves were sold and where the Civil Rights movement was born, took another memorable step. It elected Steven Reed, Montgomery County’s first African American probate judge, as its …

Read More

Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum Opens in Owensboro, Kentucky

OWENSBORO, KY. — This flourishing city of more than 59,000 residents has occupied the high ground on a big bend of the Ohio River so long that its history includes being the winter encampment for the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804. Owensboro’s famous sons include Johnny Depp, who was born here in 1963. Among its notable achievements is surviving the loss of 6,000 General Electric manufacturing jobs at the end of the 20th century, …

Read More

Americans Are Designing Asia’s Future

One of the many critical details of 21st century change, learned during a decade of global reporting, is that Asia is the dominant continent of the century. Another thing is that development patterns in Asia’s big cities, the glittering metropolises along the Pacific Rim, are different than they are in the West. And the third essential feature of 21st century change is the big role American architecture, engineering, and planning firms are playing in designing …

Read More