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Something to Think About

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

Steve Sauder is president of Emporia's Radio Stations, Inc. the owners of KVOE-AM 1400, Country 101.7 and Mix 104.9. Steve has been in a leadership position with ERS, Inc., since 1987.

February 19, 2014

Ray Call, wow! While Ray and I had conversations from time to time I did not know he was close to passing away. This is a great loss.

          Unique is the only way to describe Ray Call. Talk about hearing a different set of drums! Ray holds a major spot in the history of Emporia. He was his own man.

          My associations with Ray have taken on many shapes – everything from co-worker (I was the Gazette’s Circulation Manager for a year), to reader, critic, topic, friend, competitor and even co-conspirator a few times.

          Thank you to Bobbi Mlynar for her awesome piece in Monday’s Gazette about Ray’s life. It brought back so many memories.

          Ray was a newspaper man at a paper buried in tradition with bosses so legendary its mind boggling. He worked for the White’s after all. William Allen White, NO he died with Ray was 12, but his ghost is still there! He did work for W.L. (Bill) White  and his wife Kathryn (she may have been the toughest of all) and finally the Walkers.

          If you know much about journalism you know that Ray’s job at the Gazette had to be a pressure cooker. When he wrote an editorial it not only had ten thousand or so readers to contend with but THE WHITES!

          Ray’s writing to me was legendary. First, he wrote almost every day! Writing opinion pieces once a week in a challenge, but daily is ridiculous! Ray Call not only did this he did it with precise accuracy and on timely topics almost all local in nature.

          Bobbi’s article brought good memories about pick up trucks and other controversial subjects he tackled.

Ray Call was fearless. He was not a community booster. Maybe more accurate would be to say he thought of himself as our community’s conscience. He took stances that were not pro business and would ask questions of community leaders in government, at the Chamber, in education, the churches or whoever that often made them uncomfortable. He asked those question most were afraid to ask!

There had to be some serious issues with the Gazette’s advertising department and Ray.

But, in the end Ray was effective in helping his community land on the correct side of most every challenge.

Over the past few years Ray and I had several interesting conversations about many things including the various spats he had had with KVOE over the years.

You fought the good battle my friend, so, now rest in peace. Ray Call had just turned 82.

I’m Steve Sauder

February 12, 2014

          Saturday night Emporia State University will hold a Gala to mark the end of their 150 year celebration.

          My name is Steve Sauder and I am a Hornet.

Let me suggest this is a great time to be a Hornet.

Why you ask?

          Because, while Emporia State has had many fine hours and tons of accomplishments over the years there has never been a time when the future appeared to be this bright –  even with amazingly awful budget cuts in place and with more expected.

          Nobody saw this coming.

          Two years ago enrollment at ESU was seriously low and falling. The campus totally lacked excitement and the hope for the future was dim.

          On January 3, 2012 Michael Shonrock became Emporia State’s new President. He wasn’t wearing a cape, so expectations weren’t that great.

          What we didn’t know was that Shonrock has a different way to look at things than most leaders. He never gets caught up on what is notpossible, but always looks to find out what can be done.

          His style is perfect for Emporia. His leadership has transformed the ESU campus and many think our community as well!

          What Michael found at Emporia State was a place that had a culture of doing more with less. Despite not having had a pay increase for a longtime he found a hard working, dedicated and talented faculty and staff.

          Unfortunately for Shonrock state support for Emporia State has been even less than he expected when he took the job. Kansas lawmakers have done little to aid higher education during his two years in Emporia.

          Despite these difficult conditions the University is growing and making plans for exciting major changes. Budget cuts have forced the elimination of over 70 positions at Emporia State, but morale seems strong. Fact is, I attended the most recent General Assembly at the start of the new semester and the faculty and staff in attendance were pumped up and excited!

          Throw in the increasingly strong and amazing results form the ESU Foundation’s Now and Forever Campaign (over half way to the $45 million goal) and you understand something special is going on at Emporia State University.

          Two National Championships in Debate; a play off football team, #7 nationally ranked ladies basketball team, track and field accomplishments out the wazoo along with academic accomplishments too many to count don’t hurt either.

          One on my favorite saying is “the speed of the leader determines the speed of the pack.”

          Obviously, ESU’s leader has us running real fast.

          I’m Steve Sauder and I am a Hornet. Stingers Up!

February 5, 2014

                                                2-5-14

          A Texas eye doctor recently sent this letter to Aetna insurance declaring their contract null and void because of Obamacare.

I have been privileged and honored to care for thousands of patients covered by Aetna policies since the 1990’s. I have devoted my life to providing state-of-the-art care to these individuals. We have formed a patient-doctor relationship, which I hope many will chose to continue in spite of my severing ties with Aetna. You see, health insurance has evolved such that insurers and government have inserted themselves smack-dab in the middle of the once sacred patient-doctor relationship. I am called a provider- not a doctor. My patient is now yours- not mine. What I can do as a physician now has strangulating strings and nonsensical numbers attached- to you and government and money-not the best interests of the patients.

Obamacare, contains ever-changing-at-the-whim-of-HHS, politically-expedient mandates, rewards, penalties, rules and regulations with which I cannot rationally or morally treat my patients and run a practice, much-less interpret, implement, or comply.

Millions of Americans have lost coverage because of the healthcare law.

So here we are, you are getting new business offering health insurance plans featuring my services without my consent under terms which are unacceptable to me. Accept this as my official written notice that the changes that you have unilaterally made to our contract are unacceptable to me and make our contract null and void.

You must explain this to your patients. You must tell them that they have purchased a product that was misrepresented to them and that you cannot deliver. It saddens me to think of the decreased access to care from actual physicians and the shockingly increased costs Aetna patients will now experience because of your choice to collude with big government rather than collaborate with patients and physicians.”

Kristin S. Held, M.D.

          The Affordable Care Act has some good points in it like eliminating pre-existing conditions and coverage for college kids, but the evidence against it is adding up FAST!

It’s time for someone to fix this mess.

No, Republicans voting over and over to repeal Obamacare isn’t working and Democrats this is your law so find a way or be prepared to live with the disaster that is brewing.

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

January 29, 2014

It took a little time to get to know Larry Kramer, but when you succeeded you had a true friend. Larry was a no nonsense person and coach. He passed away last Saturday. He was 71.

          Coach or Coach K as he liked to be called took over a downtrodden Emporia State football program in 1983. It had won 18 games in the previous 9 years.

          Kramer’s teams won 2, then 3 games before winning 6 games in 1985. That was followed with 8, 7, & 8 wins before winning 11 in 1989 losing to Carson Newman in the NAIA National Championship game.

          Here’s my story about getting in the Coach’s doghouse.

          The story comes from the awesome 1989 Championship season. Game six was played at Kearney State. ESU won easily giving them a 5 – 1 record, but the Hornets were called for like 5 personal foul penalties in the second half.

          On a rambling Wednesday’s Words I mentioned that ESU had an excellent football team, but really needed to tighten up their discipline.

          Coach Kramer heard about my remarks and responded with two pointed questions: What hell did Sauder know about football or discipline?

          I tried to see Kramer, but he didn’t want to talk. Assistant Coach Mark Luedtke suggested I just let Coach cool off. Instead I offered Larry the opportunity to do a rebuttal on KVOE and he took my offer and rebutted for some 7 minutes!

          It took a few years to mend that fence and rumor has it Coach K did

let his team know that type behavior would no longer be tolerated and the Hornets did end up playing for a National Championship!

          Many years later Larry and I laughed about the incident.

          In my job on the ESU Now and Forever campaign Shane and I have called on dozens of former Larry Kramer football players. I don’t have to fabricate to tell you that to a man they each and everyone tells us what a positive influence Coach Kramer had on their lives – to a man.

          That’s a legacy we all would be proud to own.

          Rest in peace Coach K, you were a warrior.

          I’m Steve Sauder.

January 15, 2014

Today I’ll share with you a truth about Public Enemy Number 1.

The old battle of the bulge, the contradiction that occurs when we match our desire to become fit and thin with a plate of hot French fries or fresh pastries.

          The most common New Year’s Resolution is always to shed a few pounds. There are many ways to lose weight and most involve a diet.

          There are name brand diets from Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, Atkins, MediFast and the famous Mayo Clinic Diet.

Lesser known plans abound. Like: the Green Coffee Diet, the Dash Diet, the Miracle Diet of 2014, the Web MD Diet, the Sensa Diet, the Abs Diet, the Flat Belly Diet for Men or the Paleo Diet suggesting you “eat like a cave man.”

And there are many other plans, pills and lotions out there all promising to help you lose weight.

All of these plans work up to a point – but the truth (remember I’m sharing a truth with you today) lies in a word most us over weight people abhor and typically refuse to acknowledge.

          That word is sedentary which describes a ”lifestyle with no or irregular physical activity.” One definition of sedentary I read uses the term “Couch Potato.”

          Dieting can work, but dieting works far better when exercise is part of the equation.  

          Over eating is a fairly easy target, but a sedentary lifestyle is very difficult to overcome, but help is available.

          Emporia is blessed with several gyms just itching to help you learn to exercise:

The Genesis Health Club, Emporia Fitness, Emporia Recreation Center with their “Couch to 5k” starting now and the ESU Rec Center if you have an association with the University just to name a few. I’m sure there are others.

          The point is dieting alone is a very slow process. Attacking a sedentary lifestyle is a life changing event.

          The truth is it’s time to start movin! Heck, some people even like to exercise!

          I’m Steve Sauder

January 8, 2014

1-8-14

Today an essay written by Emporia native Louis Copt.

Trash Can Chickens  by  Louis Copt

          Most of my early childhood was spent growing up in a dingy apartment above a hardware store sandwiched on either side by two taverns.  A long dark hallway stretched from one end of the building to the other.  The apartment was way in the back which overlooked an alley and the black tar roof of the “Town Royal Tavern.” A set of iron stairs led from a back room down and around and out into the brick-paved alley.

I seem to remember bricks everywhere.  Just across the narrow alley was a lumberyard.  Its brick wall contributed to the canyon-like feeling the alley had.  Once, when I was two, my mother took a photograph of me standing against the brick wall.  The sun was in my eyes and I looked like I was ready for the firing squad.  This brick-lined world was my playground.

One of my favorite activities there was digging through the trash.  A print shop in the basement of the apartment building supplied the raw material for endless afternoons of childhood bliss.  Often, their trash cans would be full of misprinted flyers and church bulletins.  There seemed to be no end to ribbons of brightly colored paper trimmings that I gleefully let fly up and down the alley decorating my drab, brown world.  The best part was I always had plenty of free paper to draw on.

But, the trash can which held most of my attention, especially in the spring, was the one behind the hardware store.  The name of the store was “Jones Hatchery".  Besides the usual assortment of hammers, ladders and barrels of nails, the back room came alive every spring with baby chicks hatched in large incubators.  Up in our apartment, the end of winter  was always announced with the cheeping of hundreds of chicks, the sound echoing off the brick walls of the alley.  Sometimes the cheeping was loud enough to drown out the juke box noise from the bars which often mixed with the drunken cussing and fighting by men just home from the war.

During hatching season, I would scour the trash cans behind the hardware store on a daily basis.  I would listen for peeping in the cans and begin my annual rescue of the little chicks still alive among the heaps of broken shells and their dead brothers and sisters.  These were the birds that were too weak, too small or had some flaw that would cause them to be passed over by those who could actually pay money for live chicks. Upstairs my mother would line the bathtub with newspaper, and I would start nursing my brood of refugees back to health.  We would rig up an old lamp with a bare bulb to provide a bit of warmth and with a saucer full of water the chicks were safe. I could usually beg enough “scratch” from the hardware store clerks, who would fill a small sack out of a big bin. I loved to feed the dozen or so chicks that would limp around, sometimes walking backwards on the newsprint oblivious to the headlines that screamed of car crashes and furniture on sale.  

Not all of the chicks would make it, but at least they had a better shot in the bathtub than slowly dying in a trash can.  The ones that did make it were eventually transferred to my grandma’s farm in Osage City.  There, they would join their brethren hatched in Osage and those that were still alive from the previous year having been rescued from the Jones Hatchery gulag.

What a weird assortment of poultry my grandma had.  Everything from the convalescent,  to exotic show birds to common hens and roosters.  This was because we never knew what type of bird we would get when they were dug out of the trash.  When I would visit the farm, my job was to feed the chickens the table scraps my grandma saved in a coffee can housed under the sink.  The chickens would eat just about anything, but they especially liked coffee grounds.  I imagine the caffeine kept them wound up, and my grandma always claimed it made them lay more eggs.

          It never bothered me that the rescued chickens eventually found their way to the Sunday dinner table.  In my mind, at least they had a chance to roam the farm, eat bugs and grasshoppers and peck all the Folger’s coffee they could handle. And, we were hungry. 

Written by former Emporian Louis Copt. I hope you enjoyed this essay.