Helmet Hubris

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages:

Wear your bicycle helmet.

I was cycling on Lexington’s Legacy Trail over the weekend when I saw something that riders never want to see or experience: a bicycle accident.

About 50-yards ahead of me, two ladies were on their bikes, enjoying the great early July weather. Then in a flash, one of them went down hard. She ended up sprawled across the pavement, bleeding profusely. Luckily, the woman was not seriously injured – other than a gash in her forehead. A city ambulance arrived in a few minutes to transport her to the emergency room.

HelmetYou know where I’m going with this: She wasn’t wearing a bike helmet.

Am I sure she wouldn’t have banged her head on the concrete if she had been wearing a helmet? No.

Was it her choice to not wear a helmet? Yes.

Is the risk of not wearing a helmet really worth it? That’s for you to decide.

A bike accident can happen anywhere, anytime. But if you are wearing a helmet that can absorb the impact of falling onto a hard surface (like a road) or striking another object that might be in your way (like a car), the helmet can take the blow, rather than your head and brain.

But like so many other things in life today, this bike helmet issue is not a simple one for some people. In fact, there are legions of folks who argue that focusing on helmet use distracts from what’s more likely to save lives: safe riding skills.

I’m all for that, too. But I’m also going to wear a helmet while on my bike.

Debate Stalls on Brent Spence Bridge Project

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

This post was written by KET public affairs reporter John Gregory.

Anyone who has travelled along I-71 and I-75 through northern Kentucky to Cincinnati and beyond knows that the Brent Spence Bridge can be a bottleneck. The narrow lanes on the double-decker span are prone to accidents and drive-time congestion. It’s little wonder, given that the bridge now handles 100,000 more vehicles a day than it was designed to carry. For locals who travel the that route each day, their commute can be a nightmare.

On Monday’s Kentucky Tonight, Bill Goodman discussed the Brent Spence Bridge and options for addressing its traffic problems. His guests were Covington Mayor Sherry Carran; Brent Cooper, interim president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Brian Ellerman, general counsel for the Toebben Companies; and Covington Mayor Pro Tem and Commissioner Steve Frank.

A plan to repair of the 50-year old bridge and construct an adjacent second span has become a divisive topic. Local business leaders argue the project is vital to the economic health of the region, while some civic officials debate the need for a new bridge, and others balk at the tolls that will likely be needed to help pay the $2.6 billion price tag.

Click here to watch the full Kentucky Tonight discussion, or click here to read a recap of the conversation.

Tune in next Monday night at 8 when the topic will be the state budget and tax reform. The scheduled guests are Jason Bailey, director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy; State Sen. David Givens (R-Greensburg), vice chair of the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee; State Rep. Rick Rand (D-Bedford), chair of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee; and Bryan Sunderland, senior vice president of public affairs for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Writer’s Month and Special Olympics

Friday, June 27th, 2014

I’m often asked – especially at this time of year – what I’m reading or if there’s a new book I would recommend. Summer vacations and a good book just seem to go together like sunshine and sand.

In the next few days, I’ll finish Stephen King’s “On Writing,” his 2000 book that’s part memoir about how he became a successful novelist, and part stylebook of grammar tips and writing techniques. It’s a wonderful read for the want-to-be writer in all of us.

Last week I finished Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.” In her 20s, after her mother died and her own marriage ended, Strayed made an impulsive decision to hike more than 2,000 miles of the trail from California to Oregon by herself. It’s quite a tale.

LaMancha bookOn One to One during July, I’ll introduce you to some writers you may not have read before and books you might consider packing for the beach.

On July 6 at 1 p.m. on KET, Indiana native Karen Mann discusses her debut novel, “The Woman of La Mancha.” It’s Mann’s take on “Don Quixote,” featuring a lively and beguiling female protagonist who leads you through an extraordinary story of nobility and romance across Spain.

Landfall bookThe following week, journalist and Spalding University MFA instructor Roy Hoffman talks about his book, “Come Landfall.” Set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, it’s the story of three women and the men they love. Hoffman is the author of three novels and writes nonfiction pieces for the New York Times and other national publications.

On July 20, I’ll visit with Kentuckian Jason Howard of Berea. His work, “A Few Honest Words: The Kentucky Roots of Popular Music,” reminds us of the importance of this state’s contribution to American music.

And then on July 27, I know you’ll enjoy hearing from singer, motivational speaker, and author Naomi Judd. She talks about her life in country music and her recovery from a near-death medical experience that changed her career.

Special Olympians Take National Honors
In closing, I’d like to give a big KET shout-out to the Kentucky Special Olympics team that competed in the national competition last week in New Jersey.

The commonwealth was well represented by 38 athletes and 16 coaches, who faced off against teams from all over the United States in aquatics, gymnastics, track and field, basketball, bowling, flag football, golf, and Bocce.

Kentucky's 4x50-yard freestyle relay team won the Gold Medal at the national Special Olympics competition last week.(Photo courtesy of Special Olympics Kentucky)

Kentucky’s 4×50-yard freestyle relay team won the Gold Medal at the national Special Olympics competition last week.
(Photo courtesy of Special Olympics Kentucky)

When they returned home, the athletes and coaches were greeted at the Louisville airport by a throng of well-wishers and media who turned out to congratulate them.

Family and friends gathered at Louisville International Airport to welcome the Kentucky team home.

Family and friends gathered at Louisville International Airport to welcome the Kentucky Special Olympics athelets home from the national games in New Jersey.

We send our congratulations to all of them as well.

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