headerlogoweb103014

Cloudy
Emporia, KS
32
°F

Cloudy
Humidity: 88 %
Wind : NNW at 5 mph

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.

March 05, 2014

“One of a kind,” is a massive understatement when talking about Don Ek who passed away on Monday night.

          At Larry Kramer’s funeral they talked about “terms of endearment.”

          Don Ek had more than his share of “terms of endearment” associated with his name.

          First off Don was a great husband, father and Christian. He distinguished himself as a community leader as well giving time to all that ask and volunteered for even more. His success in business is well documented.

          Before getting to those “terms of endearment” let me share about my associations with Don. He was a close friend and the father of a couple of boys who thought my concession stand at the old C of E baseball field was there for their enjoyment.

We were competitors, associates and even co-conspirators a few times.

          We traveled together many times. Most often to Vegas or Reno, but most memorable for me was our trip to Scotland right after the 9-11 attacks. How we avoided an international crisis on that trip escapes me. Don knows no strangers and THAT can be a problem in a foreign country.

          And finally at Lake Kahola where we built a cabin next door to the legendary Ek homestead. We were facing not only a brand new house, but we were new to the lake and we had a new boat. Without Don we might well have sunk the boat and burned the cabin down. The Ek’s were great neighbors. My grandsons knew him as Donsie – a term most women also used. His patience with me and those kids was amazing and when he left the lake, well it wasn’t the same place.

          Now let’s talk about some of those “terms of endearment.”

          Donsie is at the top of the list, but many of us called him Eeeek sometimes followed by you blank, blank, blank usually after he spilled his beer on the table.

          I played a lot of gin and poker with Don Ek and I gave him a name that his poker club buddies remember well. That name was Shakespeare because of his amazing ability with words. NOT!

          My son Jamie called him fondly “the old buzzard” and Don responded calling Jamie “buzzard bait.”

          Now it was pointed out to me that if “buzzard” was going to be mentioned there were other animals Don had an affinity for also – like chiggers, monkeys and turkeys.

          Yes, they definitely broke the mold when they made Don Ek. He lived life at 105 MPH and best of all always made everyone around him feel good about themselves too. He was amazing!

We love you Donsie!

          I’m Steve Sauder

February 26, 2014

  The announcement last week that Mark McAnarney had been hired as Emporia’s new City Manager came as a surprise only because the City Commission had indicated they were hiring a search firm to help fill the position.

                Mark comes about as well qualified to lead our city as anyone could be having worked as the Assistant City Manager for over two decades and having worked for several different city managers. He definitely has seen some good, some bad and even a little of the ugly.

                Mark McAnarney knows the workings of Emporia’s city government better than anyone alive, so he’s a great choice.

                Mark also knows Emporia. His wife Amy is an Assistant Principal at Emporia High where son Josh goes to school. Their other son Matt is off at college. They are both good kids. Mark and Amy built a nice home a few years ago and are truly invested in our community.

                With that all said there are a few concerns I have for Mark.

                First, is simple: his job now is to lead and not follow - just an adjustment, but one worth mentioning. This includes his relationship with the elected members of the city commission. They need to let Mark lead and not over direct his activities.

Second is that Mark’s relationship with other employees at the city has now changed dramatically. People who were once his co-workers are now his employees. There is no doubt many city employees looked to Mark to voice their needs and concerns to the city brass. Those days are gone. New relationships will need to be built.

My last concern is for Mark’s time. The city manager needs to be seen. He attends lots of meetings and events. Mark will be great at doing this but he has to find the time to also do his job - just another adjustment.

At the end of the day the city commission made the right choice. The City of Emporia has capable people in most key positions and they appear to have great respect for McAnarney – that’s good.

 Mark McAnarney is honest, hard working, and extremely well prepared, but his greatest asset in my opinion is his sincerity. When you talk with Mark you know you are getting the truth. You know he’s not blowing smoke. If Mark doesn’t know the answer he’ll say so, that my friends is sincerity and a trait great leaders possess.

Congratulations Mark!

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

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.