Madam Vice President

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to put my thoughts down for this historic event.

It’s hard to wrap my brain around what this election means to me. It means progress. Even though there’s another white man as president and that’s not anything new. 

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp

I hope you’ll read the full column at the link below.

Jim Obergefell Sends Note of Encouragement to Young Gay Person in Cincinnati

I am so grateful I got to share this uplifting story following Justices Thomas and Alito’s damaging remarks against LGBTQ+ rights. Please, read the full story below and celebrate this generous kindness.

Like this story? You may also like these:

Metro driver, worry about safety not morality
Sexual harassment of girls starts during middle school

Also more HERE

Library Card Sign Up Month

It’s Library Card Sign Up Month (yes, that’s totally a thing) and it’s more than enough of a reason to bring back my memories of my childhood library. What is your favorite library memory?


If you liked this story please check out the ones below also or visit my Articles and Clips page.

How to Help Kids Discover Writing and How it Helps Them Cope

Entertaining Insights Podcast Guest

My Journal entry March 10, 1986. I was 11-years-old.

I’ve kept a journal since childhood. Beyond that writing always seemed to come attached to a punishment. I had to write sentences or an essay about how I felt. I’m not sure that’s the best way to encourage kids to write. Writing is about the use of language and literacy so you can’t start later and just say “write this down.” I really believe it starts when you’re young and teaching kids the context and language of the world that they live in. Teaching them how to articulate how they feel. Before they even write it on paper if you can help them find the words for their five senses and articulate that to you, it’s almost a version of emotional intelligence.

Listen to my interview with Dr. Nancy Berk on her Podcast Entertaining Insights as we talk more about kids and writing. My interview starts at 42:06.

Read more parenting advice from Bonnie HERE.

Anti-Viral Mask Innovation Brings Hope

Isabel Escobar, a professor in chemical and materials engineering, holds two versions of the plastic support lattice and a vial of the membrane material to inactivate the
COVID-19 virus.

The Pandemic has been hard on me. Especially because I have four different autoimmune diagnoses and am therefore immunocompromised. Writing about COVID-19 provides me some purpose during this time of lockdown. Sure, the country seems to be opening back up but the infection rates are not slowing down and that doesn’t seem like it’s going to change any time soon. Not to mention all of the people who are against wearing a mask.

So, If you need me, I’ll be at home. I’m not that brave – or stupid.

While here are home, I’ll continue reaching out to innovators and community leaders to get their stories of how they are trying to help during this pandemic. This gives me hope. Like my most recent story of Isabel Escobar and Eric Wooldridge. Researchers innovating an anti-viral mask here in Kentucky and making science work for us in amazing ways.

Isabel is a membrane scientist. Eric is an additive manufacturing expert (3D printing). Together they have created a new kind of mask filter. One that not only filters the air as you breath through it but one that actually kills pathogens that come in contact with it.

Escobar wanted to provide “passive disinfection” in a mask. She explained that “the presence of silver nanoparticles provides a secondary barrier in the form of inactivation of any viruses that accumulate on a mask.” Simply put, silver nanoparticles target and inactivate all viruses and bacteria, including the virus that causes COVID-19. 

Read the full article at the link below


To read more of my articles about COVID-19, the tips from experts and stories of community members on how we’re getting through, click the links below.

When School and Therapy Go Online, Access to Internet Is Crucial for Children with Special Needs
Asymptomatic Teens and Mental Health Concerns
Grow Flowers and Foster Mental Health: The Benefits of Gardening
Stocking Your Pantry to Cook Take Out Favorites at Home

COVID-19 Coverage: Internet Is Crucial for Children with Special Needs

Leigh Taylor takes photos of the Maddox Family for article about Internet being crucial for families with special needs.
Leigh Taylor takes photos of the Maddox family for the article.

The Coronavirus Pandemic has transferred everything online making internet crucial in the home. This means that for children with special needs, even some therapies needed to switch to online “teletherapies” which required another layer of adjustments. But for those who don’t have internet access, or those in rural communities who must rely on data, it meant therapy was expensive or all together unrealistic.

An innovative and technological future that provides services during extreme times while underscoring services regularly, is an ideal that comes at a cost to populations already underserved. 

Read my linked below. I talked to Clinical experts as well as education experts about this very real Internet inequity for the Appalachian region of Kentucky and what professionals and families are doing to bridge the gaps now and into the future.


If you like this article you may also like more COVID-19 coverage from me that looks at how this pandemics is affecting kids:
CDC Guidelines: 10 Quarantine Do’s and Don’ts for Teenagers
Asymptomatic Teens and Mental Health Concerns
Grow Flowers and Foster Mental Health: The Benefits of Gardening
Stocking Your Pantry to Cook Take Out Favorites at Home

Thanks for reading! You can also find a detailed catalog of my work by clicking the Articles and Clips tab in the menu bar.

“Not All…” Rebuttals to Racism

Stop Racism. Stop "Not All..." Rebuttals to Racism.
Canva Image

I see a lot of justification for racism and defense of the “good guys” happening in my social media feeds. It needs to stop.. White people needing to defend with constant “Not All…” retorts when met with examples of yet another cop doing horrific things in the name of “keeping the peace,” or another White woman armed with a cell phone. I decided to address it in an op-ed for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

We have enough division and isolation in our lives right now. We should be pulling one another closer in comfort instead of pouring energy into worrisome differentiating. People are dying from heinous acts within a system meant to protect and serve. These two incidents happening within a week of one another prove that racism not only exists in our society and in our law enforcement, it proves that racism is prevalent enough that a white woman in New York City’s Central Park was confident enough to call upon it in her time of humiliation.

Hopefully, the op-ed is read with open hearts and minds with the intention of making this county better for everyone. Read the full op-ed at the link below.


If you enjoyed this op-ed and want to read more, check out my Articles and Clips page or click on the links below for more social justice.

Commentary Pulitzer Winner, Unusual?

Long form essay takes the Commentary Pulitzer for 2020

Dana Canedy speaks at the 2019 SPJ region 4 conference in Cleveland, Ohio.
Dana Canedy speaks at the 2019 SPJ region 4 conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

In March of 2019 I had the pleasure of seeing Pulitzer Administrator Dana Canedy speak at the region 4 conference for the Society of Professional Journalists in Cleveland, Ohio. Her talk was inspiring and I tweeted a few quotes from her. Like this one:

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Fast forward to when the 2020 Pulitzers were announced. I remembered Ms. Canedy’s talk. Since I’m the Communications Director for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists I especially took interest in the Commentary Pulitzer winner.

Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary with her essay from the newspaper’s 1619 project “Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true.” This extraordinary essay not only stands out for its Pulitzer Prize quality but also for its unprecedented length. A single essay of more than 7,000 words has never won the Pulitzer Prize in the Commentary category. Traditionally, a columnist has won that category with a series of columns.  

I had to talk to Ms. Canedy and learn more about this Pulitzer selection. I was thrilled that she was gracious enough to talk with me and give me her insight about what I thought was an out-of-the-box pick for the Pulitzer. You can read our full Q&A at the link below.

If you like this article and want to read more insight on column-writing check out my articles and clips page you check out a few samples below.

Quarantine Cooking

Paratha for quarantine cooking

It was my husband’s insight that helped me plan for “quarantine cooking.” I tend to draw from my parenting experience when I write so it was nice to start with Felipe this time. 😊 While Frozen Pizza and Mac-n-Cheese flew off the grocery store shelves my husband steered us towards the international isle to load up on rice, beans, and bouillon cubes. My husband’s mother is Mexican born and knows how to cook delicious meals from scratch using basic dry stock goods.

Sahibzada Farhana Quarantine Cooking
Sahibzada Farhana

Chef Farhana Sahibzada has the impulse – to return to traditional food cooked from dry stock goods that have a long shelf life. She says her quarantine cooking habits start with lentils and homemade paratha. Her recipe she was gracious enough to share with me for the article. It’s from her cookbook Flavorful Shortcuts to Indian/Pakistani Cooking for families to try at home. She also has YouTube Tutorials for some of her recipes that are helpful.

“Most families have only so much freezer space. Instead of stocking up on ready-made mac-n-cheese or frozen pizza, save that space for perishables like meat, dairy, and vegetables. Then stock your pantry with basic dry ingredients that have a long shelf life. This pandemic has given many families the gift of time, so why not use some of that time for cooking meals from scratch, together?”

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp

Read more about Chef Farhana and get that Paratha recipe at the link below.

If you like this article about Quarantine Cooking check out a few of my other links about #QuarantineLife:

CDC Guidelines: 10 Quarantine Do’s and Don’ts for Teenagers
Asymptomatic Teens and Mental Health Concerns
Grow Flowers and Foster Mental Health: The Benefits of Gardening

Foster Mental Health with Gardening

Whether we’re quarantined or not, spring is here. We could all use a little more wellness in our lives, and gardening may just be the answer for you and your teen. As an adult, my garden is my happy place.The seeds of this love were planted as a child. I call it “dirt church” now and, it turns out, there’s some science to it. When gardening, you can foster mental health with gardening.

My love of gardening led me to a pediatric psychiatrist Dr. Rameshwari V. Tumuluru, in Pittsburgh who developed a wellness garden for her hospitalized patients. I know gardening helps me cope. She helped me apply mindfulness concepts to gardening in quarantine with teens.

I also interviewed Scott Beuerlein, the Manager of Botanical Garden Outreach, and Shasta Bray, the Manager of Interpretive Exhibits, Visitor Research, Conservation Communications & Fun both with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. They provide practical advice for starting small and emphasized that every litte bit helps our environment.

Green space and flowers for pollinators have become scarce in some urban and suburban areas, the value of grass and roadside weeds to the birds and bees is minimal. Even a potted flower on the balcony provides an option that wasn’t there before and the pollinators will find you.

Think of the bird who finds a boat and stops to rest on its trip across an ocean. That’s what your garden provides for pollinators. Your garden, or the pot of flowers on your front porch, provides refuge for both you and the butterfly that finds you.

Read the article in the link below to see how you and your teen can Foster Mental Health with Gardening.


You might find these articles on helping teens through this pandemic helpful:
CDC Guidelines: 10 Quarantine Do’s and Don’ts for Teenagers
Asymptomatic Teens and Mental Health Concerns
Grow Flowers and Foster Mental Health: The Benefits of Gardening

For a complete list of articles by me, visit my Articles and Clips page.

Foster Mental Health with Gardening