Immigration Is our Universal American Story

“When asked what drove her to see it through, she said that she wanted to be an American citizen like her children and husband. She wanted to show them she could do it and make her family proud. Manuela also very much wanted the right to vote. On July 14, 2017, she was sworn in as an American citizen.

“The opposition to refugees and immigrants is strong, but it is the most universal story we share as Americans. It should be the common ground that unites us.”

Click belw to read the full column

Read more from Bonnie Jean HERE and HERE

Getting the Full Story in the Age Of Media Mistrust

I really enjoyed this conversation with Julian Rubinstein and Terrance Roberts. Julian’s new book The Holly which focuses on Terrance’s story is a great read that manages to shine a light on how local media failed Northeast Denver. The interview recording is linked below. I hope you’ll watch.

I also reviewed this book for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and that review is linked below the recording. The book is worth the read.

Read more from Bonnie HERE and HERE

For more author interviews click HERE

The Privilege to Push Against Progress

Two supporters help up a banner at the back of the auditorium to show their support for the proposed social equity course.

critical race theory

“I recently moved back to my hometown of Fort Thomas, Kentucky, located just across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio. I promised my husband, who’s Hispanic, that it is more progressive and more diverse than when I was growing up. I also sold him on the fact that it is one of the top school districts in the state. But, as I sat in a community meeting in our local high school auditorium and listened to my fellow community members make public statements about a proposed elective course on social equity, I worried that I was wrong.

Many of the comments at the microphone were in favor of teaching social equity. Some shared a personal story to illustrate why it’s important to them. But those who spoke out against the course hammered home the same sound bite that’s been echoing across the country as states seek to ban critical race theory (CRT) from public education.”

Read the full column at the link below.

Read More of Bonnie’s work HERE and HERE.

Grass Isn’t Green, It’s Wasteful

In this article for Subaru Drive magazine I take the reader through our backyard conservation projects to remove grass, establish pollinator gardens, install rain gardens, and turn our turf lawn into a clover lawn.

I like a lush, inviting yard. Grass? Not so much. Grass isn’t “green” – it’s wasteful, costing homeowners time, money and energy in an endless cycle of planting, watering and cutting. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that landscape irrigation accounts for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling almost 9 billion gallons per day. Grass is actually considered America’s largest irrigated “crop,” beating out even corn.

Read the full article below.

For a simple step-by-step guide to install your own pollinator garden click the link below!

Read more articles by Bonnie on the environment HERE

Paying for Roads in an Electric World

“Both driving and public transportation are heavily subsidized, but drivers are either unaware of that or OK with government support of personal transport. People get upset when states start talking about toll roads and bridges. Ironically, these tend to be the same people who think public transit should be self-sustaining. It’s not, and it never has been.”

Click Below to Read the Full Column

Read More From Bonnie HERE and HERE

Exercise Your Freedom of Speech. Write an Op-Ed

The Wandering…Dude?

For more columns from Bonnie click HERE

Interview With Biographer David Maraniss

I had the absolute honor of interviewing David Maraniss the two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner and award-winning biographer about his writing process.

You can watch the 30-second end clip before you commit to watching the whole hour-long video (posted at the end of this blog).

David shared his writing experiences for writing his most recent book, A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father (2019). For this book he researched his own father with a biographer’s eye. David’s father Elliott Maraniss was a WWII veteran who had commanded an all-Black company in the Pacific. He was spied on by the FBI, named as a Communist by an informant, called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952, fired from his newspaper job, and blacklisted for five years. Yet his father never lost faith in America and emerged on the other side with his family and optimism intact. 

In our conversation, David gives great writing and research advice when dealing with personal and painful memories, especially when it focuses on family. Watch the full hour interview at the link below:

For upcoming interviews and workshops visit my Events Page.

If you like this interview you may also like my interview with John Avlon and Mary C. Curtis on the Art of the Interview:

Write to Unite

After last week’s events this is a conversation you do not want to miss. Presented in Partnership with Greater Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists and Moderated by Cincinnati Enquirer’s opinion editor Kevin Aldridge, Pulitzer winners for commentary Clarence Page and Kathleen Parker will talk about the power of writing to heal and unite. Can this be possible and how can we columnists work toward that goal? Just $25 for NSNC Members. SPJ members use Coupon Code CINCYSPJ for member discount as well. Register now:

What happens to drug money?

Drug money funds the OPAA
Eye On Ohio

Here’s what we learned about drug money.

This is one of those articles where you think you have one story and then you turn a corner and bam! You get a piece of information that leads you to a bigger story. I learned so much working on this investigation about what happens to drug money.

The story centers around outgoing county prosecutor Trecia Kimes-Brown. She gifted cash to kids who completed 4-H projects and it nicely illustrates how Ohio law needs to do better. Ohio county prosecutors and county sheriffs have two outside accounts – meaning checks don’t cross the auditor’s desk for approval before they go out of these accounts. One of these accounts hold profits from drug money seizures. One can imagine the confusion and misuse this can cause. But I don’t think all of the misuse is malicious. Instead, some misuse is born from the discretion given elected officials.

We also learned about the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, an organization that solely exists to serve elected officials. The organization charges outrageous annual dues that are – you guessed – paid using these outside accounts. The organization is classified as a 501(c)3 organization and therefore was able to turn down our Freedom Of Information Act public records requests even though they are clearly funded with public money.

Eye On Ohio will follow up on this story as more information becomes available. We filled a public records request with the Department of Justice and are waiting for more information. Also, there may be a podcast in the works about this issue with Why Don’t We Know. For now here’s what we’ve learned so far:

Thanks for reading. You may also enjoy reading:

freelance writer
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp Freelance Writer

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is an award-winning freelance writer and columnist. She is the Communications Director for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, member of the Cincinnati Enquirer Editorial Board, and a board member for the Cincinnati Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She lives with her family in Northern Kentucky.  Find her on social media @WriterBonnie or at