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Erren Harter

Erren Harter

September 24, 2014

September 23, 2014

Wowzer! Not sure that’s a word, but I am sure Kansas has quite a race going on for the United States Senate.

          In the incumbent’s corner we have Republican Pat Roberts – the wiley veteran of 8 terms in the House of Representatives and 2 terms as a Senator from Kansas.

          The challenger is Independent candidate Greg Orman – a political unknown until recently, but a man with a plan and plenty of resources behind him.

          This will be a difficult decision for many Kansas voters.

          Senator Robert’s longevity was used against him in the hotly contested primary election where he won but failed to capture a majority of the votes.

          Robert’s has a sparkling record of leadership and accomplishment in Washington where is noted for important positions especially in agriculture, health care and defense. If he loses Kansas loses its most influential voice on the beltway.

          Orman was raised by his mother in Minnesota. He spent summers

working in his dad’s furniture store warehouse in Stanley, Kansas. He’s been an over achiever from the get-go. He earned a spot in the American Legion’s Boy’s Nation in WashingtonD.C. in 1986 and that’s where he met President Ronald Regan. He graduated from Princeton in 1991.

          Shortly after college Orman developed an efficient lighting system he built into a business he eventually sold to K C Power and Light. From that early success Greg Orman has had the golden touch starting running several very successful companies.

          Monday Orman released his required financial disclosure. The release indicated assets between $21.5 and $85.9 million and an annual income between $917,000 and $4.5 million. Taking the reported assets at their lowest number puts Greg Orman among the wealthiest U.S. Senators.

          Actually, it appears Kansans have a great choice. A long term veteran of Washington politics who is a cinch to hold a high ranking position if the Senate is controlled by Republicans; or the brash newcomer who has a knack for success and has pledged to be a problem solver in D.C. rather than a hard core politician.

          This is a tough decision. Hope you care enough to vote in November.

          I’m Steve Sauder.

September 22, 2015

September 22, 2015

 

          On September 2, my topic was the proposal for a new school facility in Northern Lyon County. You will probably remember I started by stating that I was not a patron in the district and that I understood some would feel like this was none of my business. I accepted that and shared my observations.

          My thoughts were that the proponents of the new school had done a good job of trying to inform the voters. That there was a list of economic reasons to build the new facility including: gigantic transportation savings; classroom size efficiency that included an actual fifth grade example that would result annual savings in the $50 thousand range; energy savings and more.

          The reaction to my effort was a number of “thank you” notes from supporters and a few comments from others.

          There have been letters in the Gazette both for and against the bond issue. This has the looks of a tough decision that would be made by an informed electorate.

          Then Saturday I opened up my Gazette. The paper’s Editor& Publisher decided to weigh in on the bond election.

          Chris Walker is opposed suggesting “the tax increase would be insane.” He talked about people possibility being “shunned” if they voted no and let all know he’s voting no on October 7th.

          Chris is certainly within his rights to oppose the bond issue and say so using his mode, but something you may or may not know makes me wonder about his motives. 

          While the Walkers are USD 251 District patrons I think their children attend school elsewhere - makes one wonder.

If the USD 251 bond passes more Emporia kids will likely consider the new, smaller and closer school. That could raise my taxes. 

          North Lyon County voters have a major decision to make. Good Luck!         

          I’m Steve Sauder

September 21, 2016

September 20, 2016

          Colin Kaepernick created quite a firestorm when he first chose to sit down during the playing of our national anthem. Of course his complaint was to “not show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

          He has been called everything from non-patriotic to entitled. Some athletes have joined him while others have gone the other way.

          Time magazine asks the question: Should the national anthem be played at sporting events anyway?

          I was surprised to learn that this is not the custom in most other countries except Canada and in Olympic type situations.

          Time pointed out we don’t start the Academy Awards show with the Star Spangled Banner nor Broadway shows and most other events.

          Baseball gets credit for both the first playing of the national anthem before a game in 1862 and starting the tradition at baseball games which seems to have started with the World Series in 1918 when America was swelling with World War I pride. But even then the practice of playing this song was still reserved for big events like the World Series.

          Time points out that often the flag waving and troops showing up at sporting events has been paid for by contracts between sporting teams and the Department of Defense. That’s interesting!

          I choose to remember how meaningful our national anthem became after 9-11 and how patriotism seems to trump just about all other bad habits for Americans. No doubt we go overboard at times – the MIAA, the Athletic Conference ESU participares in started a practice of playing the national anthem not once, but twice at all double header basketball games!

          Given the times we live in I like the playing or singing of our national song at sporting events and it seemed very appropriate at the ESU Presidential Inauguration last week.

          Different athletes have reacted in different ways – that’s fine – that’s what makes America unique.

          To end I will lift up J’den Cox’s story. J’den is a University of Missouri graduate from Columbia, Missouri who recently won a Bronze Medal in the Olympic Games in wrestling. Upon his return home he sought and was given permission to sing the national anthem before Missouri’s home football game last Saturday. He said it was an easy thing to do and he loved it.

          J’den didn’t mention anything about protests and such he just let his actions speak for him.

          Good example for us all.

God Bless the USA!
I’m Steve Sauder.  

September 20, 2017

September 19, 2017

          Local service clubs like the Lions Club, Kiwanis, Optimist, Sertoma and Rotary matter. Each contributes locally and on a larger scale world-wide.

          The Lions concentrate on sight and vision having been challenged by Helen Keller in 1925.

          Kiwanis is about "building" with helping kids their stated mission.

          The Optimist strive to make a difference for kids and their communities.

          Locally Sertoma is known for their "Little Train" and putting up flags while hearing is their overriding mission.

          If the groups just mentioned want equal time it will be available but, today I'm talking about Rotary International and its' world-wide effort to eradicate Polio.

          In the 30's, 40's and 50's Polio was a feared disease. An infection causing paralysis and death it was most common in the summer months.

          Also known as Infantile Paralysis its treatment was to be the sole beneficiary of our Jones Trust in the 50's. In 1955 the  Salk vaccine was introduced and has been successful in eliminating polio from most of the world, but the task is not complete and Rotary continues the fight it started in 1979 to totally eradicate this dread disease.

          After Rotary’s initial effort in '79 they got serious in 1985 introducing PolioPlus with a goal of raising $120 million to immunize every child in the world.  By 1988 $247 million had been raised!!

          By 2003 the effort was gaining traction a new goal resulted in $135 million additional being raised including a million dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

          The Gates’ were just warming up! In 2007 they challenged Rotary with a $100 million challenge.

          Today just three countries have active poliovirus - Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Treating children in those countries is difficult because they each have much bigger issues than health to deal with.

          The numbers are staggering! At the recent Rotary International Convention the organization announced along with the Gates Foundation pledging an additional $450 million dollars for the effort.

          Even though last year there were only 19 reported cases of polio worldwide and 8 cases so far this year - the fight goes on. You see if the virus remains anywhere it can spread back to the places where it has already been cleared. The battle is not won yet. The U.S has been polio free since 1979. To date the efforts of Rotary and Gates have immunized over 2 ½ billion children!

          Service clubs like Emporia's Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Optimist and Sertoma would be sorely missed if not active. They do matter!

          I'm Steve Sauder.

September 17, 2014

September 16, 2014

The recent Supreme Court appointment by Governor Brownback seems to have raised little, if any attention by voters. Governor Brownback chose his former Chief of Staff and recent appointee to the Kansas Court of Appeals, Caleb Stegall for the post over Court of Appeals Judge Karen Arnold-Burger, and Emporia’s Merlin Wheeler, the Chief Judge of the 5th District covering Lyon and Chase Counties.

Brownback’s selection of Stegall was not unexpected, but certainly did open him up for criticism for making an obvious political choice over candidates many thought were most qualified.

Paul Davis and Anthony Hensley and a host of other Democrats, of course were critical. Ryan Wright with the Kansas Value Institute said “Brownback placed trust in the least qualified and least experienced nominee.”

Several critics said the obvious choice was Arnold Burger because of her Court of Appeals experience. Plus being a female she would have helped with gender balance since the Supreme Court is under represented by women.

Once again our Governor did not choose to be obvious, smart or clever. He appointed his friend and former aide.

Monday’s Gazette carried a story from the Wichita Eagle suggesting the ”Judicial selection system worked.”

Interesting!

Unlike Court of Appeals selections the Governor did consider candidates proposed to him from the Kansas Nominating Commission. It appears the Commission did their job selecting: Stegall, a bright new face; Wheeler a tried and trusted, long serving veteran; and Arnold- Burger a well qualified female with next level experience.

Agreed, the system worked.

Governor Brownback did nothing wrong, he just was predictable.

A true test for the Governor will be if he gets re-elected if he tries to eliminate the Nominating Commission for the Supreme Court.

Locally we won by not losing Merlin Wheeler who is an outstanding judge.

The Governor should have taken a longer look. He missed a good opportunity to pick a good man.

I’m Steve Sauder

September 16, 2015

September 15, 2015

Very impressed was my reaction to Emporia Board of Education’s applicants for the open spot on their board when Brent Windsor left.

          No less than six people applied – that was awesome! Thank you to: Jennifer Dalton; Shilo Good; Melissa Reed; Jeff Lutes; Iona Moore and the eventual selectee: Colleen Mitchell.

          Your willingness to serve was amazing. Especially given the difficulties facing K-12, public education in Kansas. Running a school district has long been hard work, but when you add in the messes our Kansas legislature and governor have created you have to wonder why anyone would want to serve?

          Look at the challenges being faced in North and South Lyon County and Chase County and you get a better understanding of what our school leaders are facing. Thanks to all that serve and thanks again to the applicants for the USD 253 opening.

          And, wow! What a great selection in Colleen Mitchell! Over thirty years of teaching experience and to say she was a good teacher would be a massive understatement! She was the Kansas Teacher of the Year in 2013 and a Master Teacher as well. She’s also part of a family that does business in our community thus giving her appreciation for things like property taxes and expenses.

          Colleen won’t be the only former teacher on the Board, but adding her experience will help non-teachers better understand. And, she too will get an education as to the challenges faced by school administrators. This has to be a win/win situation.

          Why would anyone want to serve on a public school Board of Education?

While local control is always talked about our state and federal governing bodies have perfected the art of mandating programs or requirements, but often without proper funding?

          Thankfully, we have local folks willing to take on the challenge, so thanks again to everyone willing to serve.

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

September 14, 2016

September 13, 2016

          This election for president of the United States is beyond belief. It appears that if either candidate had good sense about themselves they could be walking away with this contest.

          According to Good Clear Politics from the Internet the average from 8 polls shows Donald and Hillary in a virtual deal heat in the race to be the most unfavorable. Trump shows 58.6% unfavorable with Ms. Clinton close behind at 55.3% unfavorable.

          Gee, I wonder why?

          Trump has insulted every possible faction of the electorate starting with John McCain and moving on. Too many to count!

          Clinton’s Saturday gaff – characterizing Trump’s backers as a “bigoted basket of deplorables” becomes even more amazing if you believe that remark was reportedly not conceived by the candidate, but written by her speech writers, approved by her staff and then read from a teleprompter during her speech.

          Next we get to the health issues. Trump’s Doctor and his comical letter would seem to have been better used as a spot on Saturday Night Live.

          Mrs. Clinton’s health is another question  indeed. All in all the handling of her bout with pneumonia has only added clout to the argument that she is hard to trust.

          Both candidates are disliked by more than like them and their health is in question for several valid reasons. Makes me wonder what the over and under might be on either of them being able to serve a 4 year term?

          Those thoughts shifted my attention to the candidates for Vice President. Me thinks they might be more important than usual?

          I’m not suggesting anything, but given the times we live in, the health of these two and the polarization of the opposing factions and I can see a VP becoming president as a fairly high probability.

          So, Mike Pence or Tim Kaine?

          Pence is 57, an attorney, the 50th Governor of Indiana and a former member of the U. S. House of Representatives.

          Kaine is 56, also an attorney and currently serving as a Senator representing Virginia. He was the Governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010 and mayor of Richmond, Virginia for 3 years.

          About this I am serious. I’m not voting for Trump and Clinton is fast becoming a non-option, so what do I do?

          Not vote? I do not like that idea. I’ve never missed an opportunity to vote.

          I may just vote for one of the VP’s. That might be my answer.

          I’m Steve Sauder

September 13, 2017

September 12, 2017

There is a petition going around asking the Emporia City Commission to get involved in the issue of the availability of White Auditorium for Emporia State’s basketball teams should they have the opportunity to host their Regional Tournament.

The problem as many know is these NCAA Regionals always fall on the same week as the state high school basketball tournaments and Emporia has hosted a state high school tournament for as long as we can remember.

Over a decade ago there was an attempt to host both at White, but a broken leg and some very late game times messed that idea up.

On at least 3 occasions since then our Lady Hornets were in position to host, but denied that opportunity because the gym was not available.

A recent attempt to utilize Emporia high school's gym didn’t fly either.

The group carrying the Petition is on the right track in my opinion by asking the City of Emporia to get involved.

The best possibility for reaching a compromise will be if the City and the Kansas State Activities Association can reach an agreement.

Ft. Hays worked a deal with the Activities Association a few years ago when they had the opportunity to host a NCAA Regional. The high school tournament was moved to another city at the last minute, but then returned to Hays the next year. We understand Hays thinks they can do this again if necessary. Emporia need that same deal!

The difference being Ft. Hays owns their facility, Gross Coliseum. ESU rents White Auditorium so Emporia City needs to speak.

Petition organizer Gary Ace tells me his group does not want to see White “dark” meaning they aren't seeking “an all or nothing” deal.

Emporia through its’ city officials needs to request from the Activities Association an agreement similar to Hays' where under certain circumstances the high school state tournament could be moved for that year.

Emporia has the reputations for being one of the best hosts for state basketball tournaments, combining that with Emporia's obligation to assist our university in this matter the Kansas High School Activities Association should be reasonable.

Such an arrangement would be fragile. Timing would be tight. Regional hosts are often not decided until Sunday night with both tournaments starting on Wednesday or Thursday.

We could see the decision to move the high school event made a week or two early only to see the Regional go elsewhere. That could result in "no tournament" in Emporia. That’s a chance we might have to be prepared to live with.

Complicated?

You bet. If it wasn’t it would have been resolved a long time ago.

What I do believe is getting Emporia city officials to take a stand might give a compromise a chance it hasn’t had for some time. It's worth a try!

And, yes I signed the petition.

I'm Steve Sauder.

 

September 10, 2015

September 08, 2015

Kansas City baseball has a rich history which includes only one World Championship, but the memories are amazing.

          In 1955 Kansas City became a major league baseball city. Unfortunately, the A’s were awful from day one until 1967 when they moved to Oakland. Names like Catfish Hunter and Blue Moon Odom came on board in 66 and Reggie Jackson was drafted the year before A’s success started in California.

          A’s memories include: Gus Zerial, Harry “Suitcase” Simpson, Vic Power, Bert “Campy” Campaneris, Lou Krausse and Lou Pinella. And of course Charles O. Finley.

          Fortunately major league baseball liked Kansas City and the Royal’s were created one year after the A’s left.

Since 1969 the Royal’s are 3,610 and 3,840 not including last night. They’ve played in three World Series winning in 1985. Our boy’s have made the playoffs just 8 times in 46 years, but we still love them!

This year’s team is very talented. Recently Major League Baseball named a Franchise Four for each team. The Royal’s 4 best players were: George Brett, Frank White, Dan Quisenberry and Brett Saberhagen. No argument here.

Just for fun let’s do “Best Ever” by position.

Left field is Alex Gordan with Bo Jackson a close second; Center field goes to Lorenzo Cain in a battle with Amos Otis and Willie Wilson; Right field is tough with Al Cowens edging Jeramine Dye; Brett at third; Alcides Escobar at short over Freddie Patek; White at second with Eric Hozmer at first over John Mayberry and Steve “Bye Bye” Balboni. DH is tough, but Hal McCrea was special; Salvadore Perez is my catcher. Pitchers are too difficult to pick. Saberhagen and Quiz were great, but so were Splittorf, Leanard, Busby, Greinke, Cone, Montgomery and Holland. And maybe Wade Davis!

This year’s team is special. Very talented and getting the breaks winners seem to find. Not sure what happened last night, but this recent skid should NOT be a concern. No, it’s not fun to lose, but this is baseball and those other guys are really good too. Teams like the White Sox are playing to impress – it’s September!

Ned Yost is using his big advantage in the standings to get his players rested and ready for the playoffs. Win or lose in the post season what Ned is doing right now is calculated to make his team better in October.  

Here’s a fun question to ponder: If you are starting a team made up of former Royal’s who is your first pick? George Brett or Bo Jackson.

Royal’s baseball – got to love’em!

I’m Steve Sauder

October 9, 2013

October 08, 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

 

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