Super Quill-ian Blog

Blog about writing, dreaming and growing up

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin gets seriously bizarre with child sexual abuse rant

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin thinks that teachers, who went to Frankfort to preserve their pensions, are at fault for any and all things that happen to children when school is closed.

“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them”

Bevin, you obtuse little ape.

On Friday when teachers showed up at the state capital and got in his face over his inability to protect teacher pensions, Bevin went on a bizarre media rant about children beer bong-ing poison and being sexually abused. I wish I were lying.

“Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of children today were left home alone?”  Bevin inquired.

He didn’t stop there.

“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them. I guarantee you somewhere today a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were home alone because a single parent didn’t have any money to take care of them.”

I’m personally not sure whether to laugh or cry at this statement. It is utterly ridiculous and amazing that Bevin can button his shirt much less govern a state. Alas, he is where the Republican party has gone. Blame the teachers  (read: anyone) for problems that he and his party created.

Perhaps kids are home alone, Bevin. Maybe if parents had adequate access to childcare for before, after and in the event school is cancelled, less children might be home alone. Maybe those parents would have some options. You know which parents I mean, Bevin…the ” because a single parent didn’t have any money to take care of them” parent. The ones who keep getting their services and pensions cut because of you.

Also, Bevin, your budget proposals put the Poison Control Center at risk of closing. Perhaps it if were well funded and could do adequate outreach, kids might certainly know better than to ingest poison.

I’m sorry, I can’t even take that statement seriously. Kids do get into poisons, but I don’t think being in or out of school is going to shift those numbers dramatically. I’m thinking that kids sipping cordial glasses of Drain-O is not happening at the rate, Bevin wants folks to think. If he’s concerned about poison, perhaps he should reflect on the 1.2 million United States children who have lead poisoning. Many of those exposed by the Republican slack on regulation of businesses who dump chemicals in water systems. Bevin is welcome to visit Flint, Michigan and have a glass of lead water or visit the schools in Portland, Oregon where they had to shut off water fountains because of lead contamination. Hell, it’s happened in Kentucky.

It isn’t home that’s the risk, it is Republican policy — again.

More to the point and fully shaking my head at this, perhaps if Bevin would stop slashing funds for children and families in crisis, and would not only raise social worker pay but decrease their caseloads, at-risk children could be better served by therapeutic and prevention services.

What Bevin said is emblematic of several things. Republicans have run out of logical shit to say. It isn’t that they are just now saying ridiculous shit, they always have but it is the fact that what they are saying has jumped the shark into crazy talk so completely made up and silly that even their base is listening with wrinkled foreheads.


Bevin is also the poster boy for carpet-bagger politicians who only run for office to seek a financial payout on the backs of the people in a community to which they have no attachment.

When teachers began discussing their days off, they were first worried about their children. They understand that many of these children come from complicated background and that many of the kids (and their parents) face significant hardships when school is out.

Teachers know this better than Bevin.

Teachers also know that being an educator is a profession and one that comes with certain responsibilities and expectations. It is also a job. For any job performed, particularly in a capitalist system like the one that Bevin so strongly supports for himself, when you work, you receive pay. That pay can be in the form of hard dollars on the paycheck, but also in the form of benefits to be used for medical and retirement. These benefits are part of the agreed-upon exchange. You work, you get paid. Whatever form that might be.

So the bottom line is this, Kentucky educators have the right to be fairly compensated for their worth. Teachers do and any other American worker does.

Whether a teacher cares for his students or not shouldn’t matter. Teachers are employed and financial compensation is the currency of that continued relationship. Love can’t pay the bills or feed an educators own children. “Love of the job” certainly won’t pay for care and medications in the senior years.

Kentucky, stop letting folks tell you they deserve something that you don’t. Stop listening to politicians like Bevin who try to villainize workers for standing up for their rights to be compensated fairly. Bevin is on notice. He is aware. Keep up the pressure.

Buy him a new suitcase and find out why he’s so obsessed with kids sexual assault. It’s kind of creepy.

UPDATE: (bish, please edition):

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Kentuckiana’s five most innovative high school classes


Kentuckiana’s five most innovative high school classes

All over the country, school systems realize that students are living in a new era. This is no different in our local schools. All over the Metro, schools are changing the way students approach their studies. To meet the demands of the changing world and to prepare the next generation to take the reigns or the flight controls, these five high school courses challenge students with next level education, offering them a chance to change the narrative of education.

Biomedical Science (Mercy Academy)
“We had a course called Advanced Biology II for years and years, and it was kind of boring. But with this big STEM focus we’re really trying to bolster our science, technology and math, so we shifted that course into something called Biomedical Science,” says Mercy Academy (5801 Fegenbush Lane) faculty and Science Department Administrator Patrick Burton.

Burton took his experience from a stint in medical school and updated the advanced biology course to meet the interests of the students and demands of their potential careers.

At Mercy, an all-female Catholic school, the introduction of STEM-style courses broadens the focus from regular science to something that can be applicable in a later college or career decision.

Students in the Biomedical Science course are provided the chance to discover biology through the fields of medicine and applied technology. They are given the opportunity to explore minor diagnosis, symptomology and, in the process, gain valuable patient interaction and interview skills. Students are also taught to build medical models and develop biomaterials to mend simulated broken bones.

“I gave groups of students a patient case, and they got a patient profile and some x-rays that showed some broken bones,” says Burton. “They had to design a biomaterial that would fix that. In the end, I felt like they learned more about the structure and the surgical process than I thought they would starting out.”

Burton finds the course revitalizes the material, and the students agree. Senior Jessie Nalley says of the course, “Coming into the class I was really interested in the medical field. I’m interested right now in going into radiology. This class allows you to look at everything outside the box.”

Philanthropy (Kentucky Country Day)
Nestled on 85 acres in Northeast Louisville, students at Kentucky Country Day(KCD) (4100 Springdale Rd.) get the chance to give back to the local community. In fact, they are taught how to give back through a unique course called the Philanthropy class. Juniors and seniors are given instruction on the history of philanthropy, serve as the board of the school’s Artemis Fund, host a fundraiser, solicit, and award grants to local nonprofits. The course is an elective for juniors and seniors in regular courses but mandatory for juniors in the Honors program.

The course was the brainchild of former KCD parent, Judy Miller whose Miller Family foundation funded the original Artemis Fund with $10,000. The original endowment has grown, according to the, to more than $130,000. Each group of students enrolled in the Philanthropy class replenishes and awards new monies to grantees.

The students gain valuable insight not only into the importance of stewardship to their community, but they learn skills necessary to make their giving effective and sustainable. Past grant recipients have included Dare to Care, Americana Community Center, The Lincoln Foundation and Visually Impaired Preschool Services.  

KCD Director of Development and course instructor Gentry Easley says of the students’ experiences in the Philanthropy class, “I think it’s very eye opening to them when in a very short period of time we get upwards of 20 grant applications for a couple thousand dollars. It’s important for the students to see how much of an impact they can make with a small amount of money.”

National Air and Space Education Institute (Assumption High School)
Dr. Tim Smith, pilot, educator and founder of the Air and Space Academy, believed that helping kids apply STEM knowledge in the field of aerospace would deliver a well-trained workforce and help students discover a field they might never have considered. Assumption High School students have the exclusive opportunity to enroll in the Academy.

The program extends past Assumption High School to several high schools in Kentucky and Tennessee. Students from all of the programs get the opportunity to expand both their STEM knowledge and experience the world of aerospace. These students are in grades 9-12 and join a yearly academy-wide competition hosted in Somerset, Ky. Students can participate in flight training, design and engineering, restoration, and mechanics—all skills that will transfer to advanced aerospace learning or the workforce.

The operations base of the academy is at Bowman Field on Taylorsville Road, which is just a short drive from Assumption High School (2170 Tyler Lane)—an all-female Catholic learning environment.

Freshman, Alayna Breslin says of her experiences, “I have learned a lot about flying and engineering. I feel like it is a good program. I am really wanting to continue this program and learn as much as I can.”

The program is tough, and some of the students find learning so much new material complex but are eager to try new things. When asked what she’ll take away from her experience, Freshman Carly Crawford says, “I will remember how this has prepared me or at least exposed me to the tasks I will hopefully be performing in my future career.”

Theatre Program (Community Montessori)
“Montessori philosophy asks the adults to follow the child, wherever possible, and to nurture their independence,” says Hannegan Roseberry.

With that in mind and the knowledge that theatre exposure in children is, like many arts, key to unlocking intellectual curiosity in young people, Community Montessori’s theatre program does this a bit differently. Because of the nature of Montessori learning, this program is led by the students with guidance from Roseberry and Debi Cline both instructors at Community Montessori (4102 Saint Joseph Rd) in New Albany, Ind.

“We have learners ages 12 – 18 involved with these productions, and we rehearse a fraction of the time that you would in a traditional program; they are asked to work as independently as possible until it’s time to pull the show together as opening night approaches. This is their theatre program, and they are expected to lead onstage and off,” says Roseberry.

Community Montessori students get experience in all the areas of theatre production.  This includes the marketing, set design, lighting and costuming. Students are given the opportunity control and decide how each performance should be presented. This offers them a unique opportunity to develop a good sense of their capabilities and maturity.

“The thing about theatre is that it is full of constant surprises. It’s always interesting for me to see how shows will play out because you never really know until it’s actually happening,” says Sophomore Lily Barnett, who has participated in the program for four years, acted in five productions and been part of the technical crew in two. She has spent her life at Community and hopes to take her experiences forward.

“Something I would take with me, after leaving, would be the friends I have made and the ability to go out into the world and inspire,” she says.

Manufacturing Technology Program (Doss High School)
Preparing young workers for future careers in manufacturing is at the core of a new partnership between Jefferson County Public Schools and Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT), with Doss High School (7601 Saint Andrews Church Road) as its home. The Manufacturing Technology program at Doss High School is part of a regional effort to cultivate individuals in nearby communities to fill a void in the more than 32,000 skilled technician positions that have been posted.

Students in this program learn valuable skills in machining and industrial technology. They are trained in a four-course major and provided hands-on learning experiences while working with local industries such as GE Appliances, Ford-Louisville Assembly Plant and Amatrol.

Students are also given the opportunity to earn two certifications, the National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC) and the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council – Certified Production Technician (MSSC-CPT) credential. The on-the-job training and certification helps students get a leg up on entry-level manufacturing jobs.

The students are given highly desirable and employable skills that will help them as they go on to college and out into the workforce. “At JCPS our core mission is to prepare students to graduate college and career ready,” said Dr. Donna Hargens, JCPS Superintendent, in a news release. “Combining national certifications with local, work-based learning experience and regional partnerships will prepare tomorrow’s workforce for the high-skilled, high-tech lucrative manufacturing careers of the 21st century.”

From the arts to sciences and everything in between, students across our area are experiencing education in new ways. Embracing technology and deep analytical processes, these students are sure to be well prepared to meet the future needs of Louisville and our country.

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Menopause: A time to renew your spirit (Norton Healthcare “Get Healthy” magazine Jan-Mar 2016)

gethealthycover2016 PUB-7082 Get Healthy Jan-Mar_2016_LR 3

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Interview with Slash-World on Fire

One of the attractions I had to writing was the possibility that I might interview people that I admired. This was another of those full circle moments, much like being able to interview Rob Halford of Judas Priest. Originally meant to be published in the LEO Weekly but scheduling issues caused it to come in late. Nevertheless, here is the interview I did with Slash.


This weekend, October 3rd and 4th, Louisville’s Champions Park will be transformed into the headquarters of rock for the second year in a row. Don’t be deceived, the Louder than Life festival boasts more than just performances. It is an immersive and high-end experience. Aside from music, the festival promises first class dining and drinking experiences featuring some of our local food truck and bourbon favorites.

Former Guns and Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist, Slash is performing on Sunday October 4th with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. I recently tracked Slash down to find out about his new music and his work as an animal activist.

Super Quill-ian: How does the festival experience feel in comparison to some of your other dates in clubs or casinos?

Slash: Different types of venues, they’re all very independent feeling of each other. Doing a festival date is very different than playing in a theater or even an arena because it’s an outdoor environment and also because of the large amount of people spread out over such a large expanse of space.

Quill: How did the collaboration between you, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators come together?

S: I met Myles when I was making my first solo record. He sang a couple songs on the album. I met Brent when I was looking for drummer and he introduced me to Todd Kearns. They were such a great rhythm section; I thought they needed to have their own name, so we came up with the Conspirators

Quill: Tell me about the new album, World on Fire? What themes do you explore in the new music?

S: It explores a lot of different themes. It goes from songs about love and relationships to poaching to politics.

Quill: There is an accompanying DVD. Tell me a bit about that and why you chose to release a hard copy version instead of an all-digital format?

S: I just like having a physical copy of anything recorded, whether it’s live or a studio recording. We did a tour of small clubs back in September of last year and recorded one of the shows, the Roxy show, so we decided it would be cool to memorialize us playing in a small, sweaty venue like that.

Quill: You are using proceeds from some of your new music to donate to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). How did you become involved with this organization?

S: I’ve been an animal enthusiast all my life and as soon as I got into a position where I could be somewhat of an activist, I met different organizations and IFAW is one of the ones that I’ve been supporting for a long time. Because we had this one song specifically about poaching, I thought it would be great if we got on board with IFAW and tried to do a music video to sort of raise awareness to our fans about what’s happening in the ivory trade.

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A&E Guide: Artist Profile – Kevin Warth



“I’ve been reading a lot of Roland Barthes. I’m influenced by qu

His work heavily explores, through the language of portraiture, issues involving the body and “family-making.” Warth speaks with authority beyond his youth. His work is tied closely to his own experiences as a gay man in the Bible Belt where family values are on the lips of every preacher and politician. Warth examines these issues all the while intending to subvert the ideas of family and sexuality. “I see myself as a rule breaker, an academic and an activist. I strive to create meaningful sociopolitical commentary through my work and I believe one of art’s greatest strengths is the ability to create a dialogue.”

Growing up in Southern Indiana but based in Louisville, Warth became interested in photography through the influence of his father, also a photographer, and a high school media arts class. When he graduated, it seemed natural to continue at the university level, exploring his interests in both photography and ideas of the queer body in the language of the family.

His most recent body of work, “boy and his SIR: BDSM and the Queer Family,” explores these issues by placing couples or groups, often in BDSM attire, in situations akin to those of the hetero-normative idea of family. Vividly and sometimes quietly questioning what it means to be a family and how that family appears for someone exploring a varied sexuality. “I’m taking this language of family portraiture and photographing queer couples and groups. I wanted to present this alternate mode of family-making and that is reified through the photograph itself.”

Warth has participated in a few shows locally — his most recent solo effort at Gallery K & Coffeehouse on Story Avenue. “My work is more and more self-referential and talking about photography as a medium itself, challenging the way we think about that. I, of course, identify with [photographer Robert] Mapplethorpe to a degree. He paved the way in showing beautiful images of very sexual things which is something I do but in a very different way.”

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A&E Guide: Artist Profile – Scott Scarboro


Racecar driver Mario Andretti said, “Desire is the key to motivation but it’s the determination and commitment to unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” Scott Scarboro, veteran local artist, finds these words helpful in keeping focused. His only lament about being an artist in Louisville is the lack of gallery spaces and web presences that patrons can readily access. “The patrons are out there; they just don’t know where to go.”

A prolific creator, Scarboro produces multimedia and kinetic artworks. “My last solo exhibition at the Green Building [Gallery] could have passed as a 4-person show. Getting older only amplifies the need to get ‘er all done.”

Scarboro mines his childhood and personal mythology for subject matter — a practice that resonates with admirers of outsider folk art and assemblage. His work calls in to question innocence and exploration, both ideas closely associated with youth. “I am drawn to images of iconic characters from my childhood as subject matter. Much like the ‘Dynamite’ magazine collages that used to grace my bedroom walls.”

Scarboro manipulates not only the materials of his youth, but teases at the commercialization and commodification of childhood through his glitch video work.  Using snippets of 1970s television programming, commercials and cartoons, he creates “short hypnotic daydreams.”

Like most artists, his process changes with new elements. Recently adding his mother’s sewing machine to his repertoire, Scarboro incorporates yet another layer of his youth into his creations. “My mother and I had many conversations at the sewing machine. That’s where I learned about the birds and the bees. It’s a natural and rich part of my life.” Sewing non-traditional materials into his work, Scarboro says almost anything can be utilized, “Taco Bell wrappers, plastic caution tape, foils, cardboard, copper, wire, movie film, chicken feed sacks, et cetera. If a needle can go through it, it is fair game.”

When not working on his own mixed media projects or encouraging his artist children, Scarboro can be found planning Good Folk Fest. This year’s Good Folk Fest will be held at the Tim Faulkner Gallery in Portland on Nov. 20-22. “I’m excited about having it at the Tim Faulkner Gallery. I want all the artists to be successful, all the musicians to have a good time and be well received, and I want everyone who walks into the door to experience something inspiring and meaningful.”


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Get the Grant-A Tiny Tutorial

keep-calm-and-make-it-rain-57There is free money everywhere—if you have time, patience and a good idea. If you’ve got these things, you can make it rain on your project. Although, sometimes even a sprinkle is better than nothing.

The world of grants funding is one familiar to students, artists, and activists but often those who exist and work outside of these categories don’t realize that there is probably grant funding for most anything. If you play sports, want to start a business, or need money to seed an idea there is probably a grant that can assist you. If you are a woman or a woman-centric organization, grant makers are searching for you.

When applying for grants there are steps to take in preparation:

  1. What do you need money for?
  2. What are your project requirements? (Money, Supplies, Mentorship, Staff)
  3. Develop your idea. (Draft, Proof/Edit/Revise, Draft, Edit, Draft. It’s a great idea to have a second set of eyes here.)
  4. Who is offering the scratch? Search grant sites and match your idea to a granting organization. Does it fit their criteria? What kinds of projects have they funded? What are they seeking? What are the rules for the use of grant funds? How much reporting is involved? How much information to they need? Is there an interview? Is there an application fee?
  5. Begin the application process if you meet their criteria and can complete the application in total and EXACTLY as they request it. This is my golden rule for grant applications: Do unto the grant application exactly what is asked. Follow their directions to the letter. Grant applications are not times to be cute or to rush. Take your time and do it correctly. Be organized and use the writing/revision process to your advantage.
  6. When you think you are complete, check it again. Then check again and when you are ready….
  7. Apply and exhale. It’s not up to you at that point and that’s ok.

What happens if you get an award?

1. Get clarification on any questions from the organization and Get to Work.


Here are a few sites to get you started. These are specifically geared towards women’s ideas and projects though some of the aggregate sites have more info.

Aggregates (These contain links to many granting organizations): (arts)  ( social justice for states and non-profits) (everything) (business)  (healing art) (female business) (minority business)

Individual orgs:  (awesome ideas) (feminism)  (photojournalists)  (business) (business) (education)  (support for organizations) (AA specific and arts)


Help: (African American specific) (checklist) (big corporate givers with links to their foundations)


About the Author:

IMAG2539_1Erica Rucker is a professional freelance writer who also teaches composition and business writing at Indiana University Southeast. Her work can be found regularly in LEO Weekly and has appeared in The Ptolemaic Terrascope, The Guide, Foxy Digitalis and more recently Insider Louisville and Norton Healthcare’s Get Healthy magazine. You can follow Erica on Twitter @ericaerucker but beware of honesty, occasional outrage, and strong geekery.



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Norton Healthcare-“Get Healthy” Magazine Jul-Sep 2015

Page 5 Get HealthyPage 5 Get Healthy



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White Paper for Demilec/Proud Green Home


Sample Page:


Demilec white paper_Page_1

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Be Angry


If you are in my life, it is because I want you here. Likely we’ve shared food, drinks, tears and joys. If not those things, we’ve shared a word (hopefully kind) and perhaps a laugh. We may or may not share a similar background.

If you are one of my friends who happens to also be white you might be wondering why I seem angry lately and why it seems to be directed at “white” people. Trust me, I’m not angry at you but I am asking you to be angry in solidarity with me.

I’m angry that systems created to perpetuate a phobic and unjust society have yet to be dismantled. As it stands, that often means those with the privilege to be in the “majority”—even if only by proxy of skin color—feel as though they receive the brunt of my frustration. The way that power works doesn’t allow a lot of room for those on the outside of that “majority” to become invested in ways to affect large-scale change. It has to come from within. This means directly addressing issues like: Racism, Sexism (and Misogyny), Homophobia, Classism, etc. and that is where, if you are a friend who happens to fit in that “majority,” your partnership is integral.

If you are my friend, I demand this of you: Be angry.

  1. Be angry because the actual lives of your friends might depend upon it.
  2. Be angry because the actual lives of your own children might depend upon it.
  3. Be angry because the health of our nation definitely depends upon it.

Understand that when you see injustice it is not only my duty to speak about it but yours to address as well. When you see something problematic you have a duty to stamp it out, expose it, report it and as much as you can, squash it. Don’t allow it in your life or that of your family. It is poison. If you don’t understand the issue, ask someone you trust and read about it. When people are marginalized for whatever reason, we all suffer.

You might be wondering what you can do in the place of simply being enraged. Here are a few things:

  1. Speak the name of the problem. Learn the nuances of those problems. READ.
  2. When you see the media glossing over the problem: write them, call them, and email them. Facebook them, Tweet them. Correct their language. For example: Seeing a news outlet calling the Charleston shooting, an “Attack on Faith,” when the shooter himself called it an attack on “black people”. This should immediately result in direct action and response to correct that misinformation.
  3. Call your representatives; write letters, email, etc. Demand action appropriate to the problem.
  4. In your own families, if you have relatives participating in unjust behavior, stop them. Correct them. Risk making them uncomfortable. Nowhere in our society should hatred feel cozy.
  5. Reflect on your own ideas and change the ones that can hurt someone else. Self-reflection should be a constant for all of us. We’re all implicated and we are responsible to each other.


The bottom line is this, DO SOMETHING. Your actions matter.


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