From the Left



We All Deserve Space To Pursue Our Dreams

The Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop saved me from making a huge mistake last week. I emailed my editor before I left and told her that I didn't think I'd have time to continue writing this weekly column. I told her I was too busy. I have a full-time job for our local newspaper, where I write and edit columns for the Kentucky community.

I ...Read more

We Must Show Up and Do Better for Our Communities

A big part of my job is community engagement. The opinion section of any newspaper cannot happen without the people of the community. In order to lift up the voices of our neighbors, I must reach out and be willing to talk to people, not just sit at the computer and wait for my inbox to fill up. Email is still a digital space, and it lacks the ...Read more

My Garden Is Still a Mess, and Yours Should Be Too

I still have dry flower stalks and leaf litter across my yard. The weather is warming with the start of spring and it has me itching to get out in the garden. I've watched as some of my neighbors raked and bagged leftover leaves, but I'm resisting. I might be ready, but the Earth is not.

If I started cleaning up now, I'd disturb the ecosystem ...Read more

This Election Season, Let's Choose Productive Public Discourse

It's time. Super Tuesday is over, and America is deep into an election season faced with two very familiar candidates. It's time to take stock of our collective values and decide how we plan to support those beliefs in our actions. I'm not just talking about how you plan to vote;I'm talking about how you plan to live every day as a member of ...Read more

Chores and Tribulations: I Crave a Better Way for Household Productivity

I love contributing to the family. But I hate chores. As a child, chores were tasks to be checked off a list so I could get on to other things. A checklist made clear that I'd either succeed or fail based on chores completed. I often felt overlooked, reduced to tasks. Patted on the head for duties that meant nothing to me so I could disappear ...Read more

The Homeless Crisis Should Not Be Treated as Out of Sight, Out of Mind

At a lunch meeting recently, I heard someone say they liked living downtown but moved to the suburbs because "the homelessness is just too much." This same person went on to say that unhoused people should be relocated out of downtown. To where? He didn't say.

I bristled. Someone else's homelessness is not something being done to you. Having to...Read more

Erma Bombeck's Great Work Lives On at the University of Dayton

I was unloading the car I'd rented when my neighbor asked where I'd gone. "The University of Dayton," I told her, explaining that the university had received a treasure trove from Erma Bombeck's family for their archives.

"Who?" my neighbor asked.

"Erma Bombeck."

"The name sounds familiar..." she said, trying to place the name.

Erma has been...Read more

Teen Dating Isn't Really the Best Practice for Adult Relationships

Valentine's Day is upon us, and my son is gearing up for a "friendship party" with his second grade class. I love this view of the day. The focus on friendship has a longer view on love than the pressure of passion with hearts and flowers.

Our son is only 8 years old. Friendship is the only thing on his mind when it comes to relationships. ...Read more

Do MRIs Freak You Out? They Used To Scare Me Too, But Then I Learned This

I didn't know I was claustrophobic until I had to get an MRI of my knee when I was 32. The technician pushed the button that eased me into the tube, and all seemed to be going well, until a few minutes into it I felt my heart rate increase and proceeded to have a full-blown panic attack.

This intense reaction to an MRI is common -- so common ...Read more

If You Have a Lot To Teach, You Probably Also Have a Lot To Learn

An intern is working with me for the spring semester. This is new for my department as the opinion editor. We get newsroom and photography interns every year. But opinion journalism is a different beast, and journalism is a fast-moving, ever-changing industry thanks to the internet. What used to be words on paper with a headline delivered to ...Read more

There's Next-Level Humanity in Remote Work and I Am Here for It

The polar vortex struck this week and blew my whole week sideways. School was canceled for my son but included homework packets to complete during the days off. I'm grateful that my job is one I can do from home. In fact, I work from home most days. But my new intern started this week, and I had been looking forward to getting him started in a ...Read more



Steve Breen Marshall Ramsey Walt Handelsman Steve Benson Michael Ramirez Lisa Benson