Something to Think About - keep (237)

          It’s always good to come home. While we’ve been gone the world situation hasn’t changed that much, but conflict is still rampant with school shootings, gun debates, international tensions escalated and a general fear for the future of our lives as we know them.

          Often in the past when situations look very bleak I have suggested prayer as a solution.

          While as a Christian this makes me feel better it occurs to me that not all my listeners are believers.

          So does that mean I should stop suggesting prayer?

          To answer that question my thought is maybe I should try explaining why I see prayer as a good option.

          To start that process today I’m sharing with you an Affirmation of Faith recited by the congregation in the church we attend in California. It is a good definition of what Christians believe.

          If you are already a believer this can be a good refresher, if you are not a believer or have doubts this hopefully will give you something to ponder.

 

          This is a Lenten Affirmation of Faith.

We believe in God, the creator of heaven and earth, granter of grace and life.

We believe that nothing in all the world can separate us from the love of God, who always forgives a repentant heart.

We believe in Jesus Christ, God in human vesture, who came to love us into new life.

We believe that Jesus took the burden of our sins upon himself and carried that burden to the cross, where he relinquished his own life for our sakes.

This act was his ultimate gift to us.

We believe his death was not the end, but that he was raised from the dead and he will come again one day.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who speaks truth to all people, in every language.

Our hearts are warmed when we embrace that Spirit, and God’s presence within us is revealed.

As the church, and as members of the body of Christ in the world, we believe we are called to make a difference in the world.

Thanks be to God.

          I’m Steve Sauder and There’s Something to Think About!

A study presented to the Legislature last week by Texas A&M researcher Lori Taylor, showed that the average efficiency rate of Kansas schools is 96 percent.

That number backs up a 2017 study from the Kansas Association of School Boards that showed Kansas ranks in the top 10 in an average of student outcomes while its per-pupil spending is below the national average.

Kansas school districts are resourceful. Districts around the state are filled with teachers and administrators who are the heart of education and best know how to try to achieve great things in the classroom. Our teachers and staff are dedicated, and I am grateful and proud our public schools are rated so highly. 

Our circumstance, however, is perilous given we are experiencing growing teacher shortages and our average teacher pay is no higher than 42nd in the nation.  Our teacher salaries are nearly 8% below Nebraska’s. It is obvious that this has been a decade where school districts, and their individual schools, have had to learn how to function with fewer resources when funding from the state was cut following the 2008 recession and revenue shortfalls in the wake of the 2012 tax reductions.

The Taylor study presented last week was commissioned by the Kansas Legislature which is working to address the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling that Kansas schools are unconstitutionally underfunded. The study clearly confirms, just as the earlier Augenblick and Myers study and the Legislative Post Audit study, that funding matters when it comes to improving education outcomes.

 

As I have had the opportunity to serve in the legislature and more recently the opportunity to be a close observer of this legislature I am encouraged that in the coming few weeks our Kansas policy makers will successfully meet the school funding challenge.

Having courageously addressed tax reform in the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers have no appetite for raising taxes which I understand.  The question then becomes – can we reach the goal of constitutional funding with existing resources?

I believe we can and here is how.  First, we can make meaningful changes but confirm the essence of our current and historic school funding formula.  This formula has been touted as a model nationally and has been upheld by our Supreme Court.

We can set realistic goals which, while not as aspirational as we might wish, will improve outcomes significantly for Kansas students.

We can draw on available and likely resources which includes current ending balances and revenue which, 8 months into the current fiscal year, is up $270 million. Experts believe that amount will grow.  Kansas is currently benefitting from revenue created by tax reform at the federal level.  Prospects for resolving the inequity with internet sales tax are better than they have ever been and could also provide meaningful additional revenue to Kansas.  The Kansas economy is improving and that will obviously help address K-12 funding challenge as well as other pressing needs.

Any legislative solution will necessarily be phased in over three to five years and I trust the Supreme Court will agree with a responsible phased in plan.

The path ahead for our legislature is daunting but I am confident they will be up to the challenge.  I am Don Hill and that is something to think about.

(Mailed to Governor Brownback on Monday)

Governor Brownback, just wondering what you thought when your picture went up Sunday at KU/WSU game in Omaha and the crowd booed?

You are good at imagining - like not knowing your tax plan is running Kansas into the poorhouse.

So how do you explain that spontaneous response in Omaha?

I’m sure your handlers had a great answer for you.

Is it possible you are really unpopular and your leadership is a failing?

KU and WichitaState laid it on the line Sunday and the best team prevailed. When it was over there were no excuses, no stories, just honest rhetoric about what worked and what failed.

Too bad you aren't willing to man up like the Shockers and Jayhawks and tell the truth !

Suck it up Governor your leadership is ruining a great state and you can’t even see it!

I’m Steve Sauder

Steve Sauder

President Emporia’s Radio Stations, Inc.

1420 C of E Drive

Emporia, KS66801

Undoubtedly you know there was an earthquake in Oklahoma on Saturday that we felt locally and throughout many states.

Earthquakes have become more commonplace in the Midwest and a – not new process called “fracking” used by oil and gas producers is being blamed by some for these events.

Just so you will better understand here is a text book explanation of “fracking.”        

“Fracking” is shorthand for hydraulic fracturing; a type of drilling that has been used commercially for 65 years. Today, the combination of advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, employing cutting-edge technologies, is mostly responsible for surging U.S. oil and natural gas production.

Hydraulic fracturing involves safely tapping shale and other tight-rock formations by drilling a mile or more below the surface before gradually turning horizontal and continuing several thousand feet more. Thus, a single surface site can accommodate a number of wells. Once the well is drilled, cased and cemented, small perforations are made in the horizontal portion of the well pipe, through which a typical mixture of water (90 percent), sand (9.5 percent) and additives (0.5 percent) is pumped at high pressure to create micro-fractures in the rock that are held open by the grains of sand. Additives play a number of roles, including helping to reduce friction (thereby reducing the amount of pumping pressure from diesel-powered sources which reduces air emissions) and prevent pipe corrosion, which in turn help protect the environment and boost well efficiency.

Why “Fracking”?

Safe hydraulic fracturing is the biggest single reason America is having an energy revolution right now, one that has changed the U.S. energy picture from one of scarcity to abundance. “Fracking” is letting the U.S. tap vast oil and natural gas reserves that previously were locked away in shale and other tight-rock formations.

“Fracking” isn’t new. My dad used “fracking” nearly 50 years ago to turn tired, old oil leases viable again.  

“Fracking” today is accomplished using a chemical reaction. My dad and his cronies likely started their “fracking” with gun powder, but advanced to nitroglycerin. Whatever their methods it was far more dangerous than today’s process.

As for the earthquakes and the part “fracking” plays in them I refer you to a quote from a geologist who said, “this weekend's event was nearly 300 million years in the making.”

Let the debate continue!

I’m Steve Sauder.

          We don’t always agree with Governor Brownback, but we sure did when he declared the first week in September as Kansas Literacy Week.

          You see “Literacy” is a big deal in Emporia not only because we have the best Teacher’s College in America here, but also because of two amazing efforts to improve literacy in early age children that are now based in Emporia.

          Much like being the “Founding City of Veterans Day,” being home to  both the Kansas Masonic Literacy Center and the Kansas Literacy Center is huge.

          The Mason’s are investing are investing $4 million here over the next ten years to provide “unprecedented literacy development that will give richer meaning and greater potential to the future of 50,000 children throughout Kansas.”

          The goals are: Service for Schools; teachers and students across Kansas, and Service for families and communities and Research for the betterment of literacy development.

          This program is in its first year and will benefit children all across Kansas.

          The second program at Emporia State is funded by a $330,000 gift from the Jones Trust. It is designed to assist children in being ready for school and the task of reading and writing. Eleven schools in Lyon, Coffey and Osage Counties are the beneficiaries of this effort.

          Combined at ESU these programs make our university the hub for improving literacy in Kansas. Children living in the three counties will have the opportunity to be the best trained ever in terms of early childhood reading and writing – provided we take advantage of what is being offered.

          Dr. Ken Weaver is Dean of the ESU’s Teacher’s College and Dr. Dennis Kear is the person in charge of the literacy programs. Both are veteran educators and well qualified to lead.

          When comes to the Three R’s I’m not certain about arithmetic, but it would appear kids in our area have been blessed with a great opportunity to be really good at readin’ and writen’!!

          Thanks for listening, I’m Steve Sauder

 

Emporia’s Memory Walk to end Alzheimer’s Disease will be this Sunday at the Lyon County Fair Grounds. Registration starts at 1:30 with the Walk starting at 2:30. Prior to the Walk a social time will be held for friends to meet and talk.

     Often we hear that someone is suffering from Dementia and we think that’s not as serious as Alzheimer’s, but we’d be wrong. Both are serious and neither is a normal part of aging. The following may help you understand the difference.

  •  “Dementia” is a term that has replaced a more out-of-date word, “senility,” to refer to cognitive changes with advanced age.
  • Dementia includes a group of symptoms, the most prominent of which is memory.

A good analogy to the term dementia is “fever.” Fever refers to an elevated temperature, indicating that a person is sick. But it does not give any information about what is causing the sickness.

In the same way, dementia means that there is something wrong with a person’s brain, but it does not provide any information about what is causing the memory or cognitive difficulties.

Dementia is not a disease; it is the clinical presentation or symptoms of a disease. There are many possible causes of dementia. They are degenerative diseases of the brain that get worse over time.

The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s, accounting for as many as 70-80% of all cases of dementia.

Approximately 5.3 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer's Disease.

          Emporia’s Memory Walk is Sunday at the Fairgrounds. Much progress has been made in Alzheimer’s research, but much if left to be done. The number of victims is massive and for each victim there is a caregiver and family. Please attend the Walk and also offer prayers for the people affected by these cruel diseases.

          I’m Steve Sauder

Today my topic is the Bond Issue for a new facility in USD 251, North Lyon County on October seventh.

I’m not a patron in the district so if you say this is none of my business I’ll accept that but, still offer my thoughts.

Listening to Board of Education President Matt Horton and Superintendant Aron Dody Monday convinced me that this plan to build a new K-12 facility, district office and athletic facilities in one location makes very good sense.

No one wants to add dollars to their tax bill, but that’s going to happen in USD 251 whether this issue passes or not.

Dody offers a compelling laundry list of economic factors that make building a new facility seem reasonable.

Cost savings from transportation alone will be staggering! Currently buses criss-cross the district to get students to class and sometimes kids even have to change buses.

More manageable classes save dollars: Example: 32 fifth grader this year in Americus and 9 in Reading. If together there would need 2 teachers with 21 and 20 students. Reality – 3 classes, 3 teachers with an additional cost of about $50,000!

Obviously maintaining and staffing the 3 existing buildings is far more expensive than just one.

Energy savings in the new school will be gigantic!

It would seem plausible that enrollment in 251 could increase with better proximity to potential students from other districts.

It appears the 251 Board has made every effort to involve patrons and answer their questions.

North Lyon County is an area made up incredibly good, strong, and hard working people. Drive around the area and you can see the tremendous pride folks have in their properties.

Seems to me that that same pride will be exhibited in this new school? The upside seems enormous. In a state where leadership is seriously lacking USD 251 leaders are setting an example about which the district can take great pride.

It will be a big decision on October seventh. Hopefully everyone will get well informed and vote.

I’m Steve Sauder

          The second Saturday in September is World AFib Awareness Day. When that message arrived from KU Med it hit home with me because I have dealt with Atrial Fibrillation for about 20 years.

          AFib is the most common type of irregular heartbeat. It occurs when one or both of the upper chambers of the heart – called the atria – don’t beat the way they should. This can cause blood to pool in the left atrium, where a blood clot can form. If that clot breaks away, it can travel to the brain, where it can cause a stroke.

          AFib won’t kill you, but a stroke can, so those of us with AFib pay a lot of attention to our blood thickness. A scary fact is that 1/3 of people with AFib will have a stroke at some point.

AFib affects more than 2.7 million people in the United States. The odds of developing AFib go up with age. Amazingly, some people have AFib, but experience no symptoms.

Some of the most prevalent symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation are:

  • Racing, irregular heartbeat

  • Fluttering in the chest

  • Heart palpitations

  • Dizziness

  • Weakness

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Sweating

  • Fatigue when exercising

  • Faintness

If you’d like to know more about AFib there is a not for profit organization (Global Atrial Fibrillation Alliance) founded for the purpose of bringing patients, physicians and industry together for the common goal of improving the knowledge, awareness and support for the management of AFib.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info on how to get involved.

On September 13th there will be a World AFib Awareness Day at Kansas City’s Crown Center Hotel. Attendees will learn not only about diagnostic treatment and tools, but also about using things like yoga and lifestyle changes to manage AFib.  Register online at www.tinyurl.com/GAFA2014

AFib won’t kill you, but that stroke can!

I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to think about.

Monday night’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was exciting, boring and predictable all at the same time.

          Judged as a debate, I think Hillary won and the Donald while scoring some good points missed several golden opportunities. They offer up so many plans it seems more like a Monopoly game than real life.

          One idea that Trump might consider concerns his unwillingness to release his tax returns and his reported ability to NOT PAY TAXES!

          I’ve been reading a book about Joseph P. Kennedy. He’s the father of President John F. Kennedy his brothers Bobby and Edward and 7 other children.

Trump should read this book called The Patriarch. It tells how Joe Kennedy manipulated business deals and especially how he absolutely raped the stock market and banks by creating investment opportunities in companies then convincing friends to join in thus driving up stock prices and then - often bailing out taking massive profits with him. Joseph P. Kennedy was a very skilled inside trader.

I don’t think he ever had to use bankruptcy, but he was accused of using funds from a bootlegging operation to fund one deal.

Here’s the rest of the story. Largely because of way Kennedy and others like him manipulated the markets and banks Franklin Roosevelt as a part of his New Deal in the thirties championed legislation to create regulations for banks and the Security and Exchange Commission to start reeling in Wall Street.

Amazingly Joe Kennedy who had all kinds of political aspirations himself lobbied for and was appointed by FDR as the first Chairman of the SEC!

This was absolutely like appointing the fox to watch the hen house!

So how does this help Trump?

Monday night when Mrs. Clinton said “Donald brags about paying no federal income taxes,” Trump utters under his breath – “I’m smart.”

My suggestion would be to cite Joe Kennedy who set the standard for insider trading on Wall Street then volunteered and was appointed to clean it up as Chairman of the SEC.

Trump should suggest if we want to collect more taxes from the rich why not ask someone who understands how to avoid taxes to be in charge of collecting them?

 He can proudly claim - and this time with some creditability, that he knows more about the flawed IRS Code than about anybody!

Don’t hold your breathe though – he had lots of opportunities Monday and swung and missed most of them.

Sadly Monday’s debate did little to help me decide how to vote. It did though motivate me to try and finish the Patriarch – its 787 pages long, but full of good stuff.

To end with some good news we are only 42 days away from the election!

I’m Steve Sauder.

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