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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.

November 6, 2013

Attending the funeral for a co-worker is something I believe I have never experienced before.

          Yesterday we laid Roger Troutner to rest.

          I remember when we hired Roger at Valu-Line. He was finishing up his schooling at the Goodland, Kansas Technical School in the telecommunications area. Valu-Line was growing and needed technicians. The competition for techs at Goodland was strong. We were very excited to land Roger.

          He moved here and made Emporia his home. Roger started with Valu-Line which became Birch. After Birch he worked for Stutler Technologies and recently joined the Valu-Net team.

          Roger served 4 years in the Navy and was Gulf War Veteran.

He and Deanna were married in 1996 and have three good looking children.

          On October 30th Roger lost a courageous battle with leukemia. He had just turned 45.

          Roger’s brother said during the service he understood why Roger made Emporia his home citing all the love that has been shared for he and his family during his illness.

          The number of friends attending the services was a wonderful tribute to Roger.

          Death is a part of life. Unlike those who do not believe, Christians are blessed with hope. That hope is based on a belief of an eternal life in Heaven with Jesus.

          Admittedly I struggled during the service to understand how and why this happens to someone so young. But, in those struggles I am reminded and thankful for my Christian upbringing that does give me hope.

          On the other side one has to wonder how non-believers get through such ordeals.

          Roger was a good man and you know what? I’ll bet God needed a good tech in Heaven.

          I’m Steve Sauder

October 30, 2013

This is an open letter to the Emporia City Commissioners

          Commissioners:

          I thank each of you for serving on the Emporia City Commission. Few know the time and effort you extend.

          With the resignation of Matt Zimmerman you are faced with not only with a challenge, but also a good opportunity.

          Matt did a good job for our community. His leadership helped put our city is excellent financial condition while also attending to issues like infrastructure improvement, clean up efforts and a host of other items.

          Here are a couple of thoughts about his successor.

          First, we need someone knowledgeable, aggressive and assertive. We need someone on their way up, not someone looking to retire in Emporia. Emporia has too much riding on this person to not find a “go getter.”

          With that said let me suggest this is NOT the time to try and save money on this hire. We will get exactly what we pay for!

          Emporia’s best shot at growing over the next decade is tied closely to Emporia State University. President Shonrock has the university on an upward spurt, so it is important to find someone with a good grasp on how the city might best assist the campus in their growth.

          It would make sense to me to ask Michael Shonrock to be a part of your search process.

          Other groups you might consult on this decision are the Flint Hills Technical College, the Regional Development Association and the Lyon County Commissioners. And, it wouldn’t hurt to include USD 253 in the process.

          I am curious why you are waiting to start your search. I hope it’s not because you want to try running the city for awhile without a city manager on board.

          Emporia’s chosen form of city government demands a professional manager leading the way with policy set by the city commission. Operating for an extended period of time without that professional leadership seems to me to be taking an unnecessary chance.

          Good luck in your deliberations. Much of Emporia’s future is tied to your selection.

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

October 23, 2013

 Like a majority of Americans I am disgusted with everyone and about everything in Washington D.C. and my distain is not reserved solely for the President and his party.

 Calling myself a Republican these days is pretty difficult. The failed strategy to shut the government down rather than fund Affordable Health Care was silly enough to start with and now looks absolutely ridiculous with the massive failure of Obamacare to roll out in a workable fashion.

 If you are keeping score the Republicans missed an opportunity to tackle President Obama for safety with their actions of the past few weeks.

 What exactly do you think the news the past weeks would have been without the shut down?

 Of course it would have ALL been about the FAILURE of the Affordable Healthcare Plan to work. Without the shutdown to deflect attention President Obama would have been on a hot seat with no other topic to address

 Opportunity lost for the Republicans, but current rhetoric makes me wonder if they learned anything.

 Then there is our President. The morning after he addresses the nation and instead of offering up some type of language designed to heal the wounds he declares victory.

 He described the agreement to re-open government as being passed by the democrats and “responsible republicans.”

 That is not what I expected or hoped for. My hope was he’d say we had our differences, but we found a way to compromise. There are some who still disagree, so we need to reach out to them and a find a way move forward. Instead he calls the irresponsible!

 My thinking is Mr. Obama has to work really hard at leading vs. trying to win battles.

 I guess the good news is after the first of the year they will get to try all this again. Some Republicans say they won’t allow the government to be shut down again. That’s a good start, but not all Republicans are saying that, so hang on.

 Lord help us cause there is not a way to vote all of them out at once. Wish us luck.

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

October 16, 2013

       One of our loyal listeners shared a story with me that deserves repeating. Please understand this is not a shot at any athletic team, but just about setting a good example for youngsters.

          Roosevelt, Utah is a town of 6100 near Salt Lake. After Friday night’s game the coach kept the entire squad in the locker room for an hour and a half.

          They weren’t talking about the loss. The coach was more concerned about the way his players were acting off the field: “Skipping classes. Not doing their homework. Bully classmates over the internet and; Disrespecting teachers.”

          “Turn in your jerseys, you are done playing for Union High until you start acting right,”said the coach.

          Each player left the meeting with a letter outlining the problems that needed to be fixed. The most important passage was this: “The lack of character we are showing off the field is outshining what we are achieving on the field.”

          On Monday and Tuesday instead of practicing the team pulled weeds, washed windows and did other jobs at two nursing homes. The coach started study halls for players behind in their classes. Every part of the young men’s lives were called into question including their behavior at home.

          Nearly everyone bought in and most benefitted. Player’s change in attitude was seen at home, at school, and in the community. On Thursday 32 of the 41 players were given their jerseys back. Some played in the JV game that day and all prepared for Homecoming on Friday night. The other nine still had work to do to get the jersey back.

          I’m sure there was resistance, but generally the actions of the coach were well received in the community. The article suggested some thought he was a hero, but others agreed he was just “Coach of the Year.”

          Raising youngsters has never been easy and with things like social media to deal with the job just gets tougher.

          Many times on KVOE I have shared an idea we used in raising our boys. Our rule when they were out was pretty simple. We required them always let us know where they were. Factor in that most of these years were prior to cell phones and you understand my boys had a challenge. We expected them to call us anytime their location changed.

          Not sure if that’s good advice for these times, but it worked pretty well in the eighties!

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

October 9, 2013

       Homecoming 2013 at Emporia State is this weekend. Not sure if there has been 150 Homecomings, but this is ESU’s 150th year, so this is a special celebration.

          If you listen here on KVOE, read the Gazette or go online to emporia.edu you can figure out all the Homecoming 2013 events.

          I’m not sure if there’s a parade on Saturday morning, but I do know Distinguished Alums will be honored and the Athletic Hall of Honor will induct five new folks plus honor a national runner up baseball team.

          Last night things kicked off with the Movie Magic Pop’s concert. The Homecoming Musical All Shook Up runs all week as well.

          A special feature will be at 5:30 on Saturday when The Green River Ordinance plays in Webb Lecture Hall until eight o’clock. Once known as The Invaders this band is in the Kansas Music Hall of Fame and features a couple of former Emporians: Glen Andrews and Bob Yoos. Yes, one is a past Distinguished Alum and the other the son of Earl and Elizabeth Yoos who operated the Drapery Den for years.

          Guess it would be a mistake to forget football. The Hornets are 5-0, ranked 23rd nationally and really fun to watch. That game will kick off at 2:37 Saturday afternoon. MIAA TV is the reason for the odd time.

          Another very special event will be at 10:30 Saturday morning when the John Baxter Sports Medicine Facility will have a donor’s reception.

Talk about an icon! Doc Baxter has given ESU athletes and others great service for nearly 50 years and to honor him a new state of the art training facility has been built.

Emporia State is not only celebrating 150 years, but also an enrollment over 6 thousand students. A new positive attitude is very evident under President Michael Shonrock’s leadership.

            ESU is Emporia’s Crown Jewell and we all need to let students, faculty and staff know how much we appreciate them. Tell a Hornet today thanks for attending Emporia State.

            Stingers Up! I’m Steve Sauder

October 2, 2013

          “What we have here is a failure to communicate,” Cool Hand Luke once said and if he were in Washington today he’d probably be saying the exact same thing.

          The U. S. Government is shut down again. This is the eighteenth time this has happened. The first shutdown came in 1976 under President Gerald Ford and it was largely over funding for two departments – Labor and Heath, Education and Welfare. The Democratically controlled Congress eventually overrode Ford’s veto. It took 12 days.

          President Jimmy Carter was involved in 4 shut downs of the U.S. government. Issues included Medicaid, abortion and funding for public works and military projects.

          President Reagan is the “Shutdown King” having been involved in 7 such events. The issues ran accross the board with everything from MX missiles to abortion. Reading about the Reagan shutdowns one has to be impressed with how they were resolved.

          Here is an example: In 1987 the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate. They opposed funding for the Nicaraguan Contras but desired the FCC to start reinforcing the “Fairness Doctrine.” The D’s yielded on Fairness Doctrine in exchange for non-lethal aid for the Contras.

          Do you see my point?

          They “yielded.” There was a compromise. Reagan worked with his political opponents in an amazing manner.

          President George H.W. Bush and Congress worked out a deal in 1990. President Bill Clinton and Congress twice agreed to compromises in order to end shutdowns!

          Amazingly President George W. Bush never had to deal with a shutdown.

          So what about today?

          For starters the fragmentation in the political parties, especially within the GOP, is greater than ever before. Leaders don’t have anywhere near the clout they did a few years ago. Pork Barrel deals and political money are not available to be spread around to help legislators change their minds.

          No doubt the Republicans holding Obamacare hostage will get much of the blame, but President Obama better watch out because eventually a floundering economy will land on his lap.

          Don’t look for much but rhetoric for a few weeks, but on October 24th bond payments will be due and the rubber will start to hit the road. Stay tuned.

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