Young Brains and Nurturing Environments

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Raising healthy and happy kids doesn’t just depend on exercise, a good diet, and proper shelter. Experts say a loving and nurturing environment is also crucial during the first years of a child’s life.

We’ll explore the latest research on childhood brain development and learn how it’s being implemented in Kentucky on the documentary special Safe and Sound: Raising Emotionally Healthy Children in a Stressful World. The program airs Monday at 9 p.m. on KET.

Studies indicate positive early experiences are critical for children to develop long-term mental health, while experiences of trauma or constant stress can have serious repercussions for a child’s development. Those working to help Kentucky parents improve their child-rearing skills include Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS), a state-run program offered to new parents in all 120 counties. We’ll also visit a Lexington family learning Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), which strengthens the parent/child bond through dedicated playtime supervised by a professional counselor.

One of the experts featured on Monday’s program is Dr. Otto Kaak, a professor of psychiatry, pediatrics, and social work at the University of Kentucky. He’s also Associate Director of the University’s Center on Trauma and Children, where he works with families under investigation for child abuse or negligence.

To preview the documentary broadcast, Bill Goodman will speak with Dr. Kaak on Sunday’s edition of One to One. In the conversation, Dr. Kaak explains that a caring and positive home environment is key to creating strong neural pathways in a child’s brain.

One to One with Dr. Otto Kaak airs Sunday at 1 p.m. on KET. The documentary, Safe and Sound: Raising Emotionally Healthy Children in a Stressful World, airs Monday at 9 p.m.

Comer on Next-Generation Republicans

Friday, April 11th, 2014

In a wide-ranging conversation on One to One this weekend, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he thinks Kentuckians are ready to elect more “next-generation” Republicans to public office. Comer described them as GOP politicians who emphasize economic issues over social issues, like same-sex marriage. He places Kentucky 4th District Congressman Thomas Massie and U.S. Senator Rand Paul among this new generation of Republicans.

The Monroe County native and Western Kentucky University graduate was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2000. Comer served there until becoming ag commissioner in 2012. He says if he decides to run for governor next year, he will focus on education and fostering a highly trained workforce in Kentucky.

In the Republican primary for governor, Comer would face Louisville businessman Hal Heiner, the only candidate to declare so far.

In our One to One discussion, Comer touts the popularity of the “Kentucky Proud” program and says he thinks eastern Kentucky could benefit from its own “Appalachia Proud” version. He also describes a successful project the department started last fall to provide Kentucky dairy farmers with greater opportunities to process and sell their milk within the state.

One to One with Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer airs Sunday at 1 p.m. on KET.

An Open Letter to Coach Cal

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Dear Coach Calipari,

Congratulations on a terrific season. You assembled an exciting group of young men who gave University of Kentucky fans a thrill a minute this year. We’ll be talking about this team for years, if not forever.

But that’s not why I’m writing you. I want to say how delighted I was to see your remarks in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal sports section where you gave us a preview of your new book. It was the headline that caught me eye: “Why ‘One and Done’ Must End.”

In your book, “Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out,” you explain why you have embraced “one-and-done” players – and why you want the NBA’s eligibility rules to change.

In other words, you would like to see our phenomenal UK players, like Julius Randle, James Young, and the Harrison twins, hang around Lexington for at least one more year.

You told the Wall Street Journal, “I’ve made it work for the teams I coach – and for the players – as best I can. But I don’t like it one bit. Some people say I’m renting the players or I’m working the system. Let me make this very clear: I want to coach players for four years.”

You go on to say that very few of the young players are truly ready for the rigors of the NBA and you’d like to see them benefit from more time in the classroom and on a college campus.

Coach, I like your suggestion that what you propose wouldn’t be that radical or difficult. “All that it would require is that the NBA come together with the players association and agree that no player comes into the league until at least two years after his high-school class has graduated.”

Great idea! Can you get it done before the end of the week?

There’s a lot more in your book that I’d like to discuss with you. Why don’t you stop by the KET studios and we’ll tape a One to One show.

Until then, take care of that bad hip and enjoy some well-earned time with your family. And, once again, thanks for a super season.

All the best,


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