Something to Think About - keep (236)

Emporia State University is the most important operation in our community. Fortunately both our city and county commissions have embraced the idea that Emporia is a university community. That means ESU is an economic engine for us just like Tyson, farming or Hostess.

ESU has long been a role model for academic excellence especially in the areas of teacher education, accounting, science, theater, music and art. I am sure other disciplines are good too, but I am aware of the work in these areas.

ESU despite being the victim of state budget cuts and leadership changes continues to set a high standard.

Four leaders have combined to set a solid course for the university.

Edward Flentje was the interim president after Michael Lane. Too few know the wonderful job Ed performed especially in challenging the ESU Foundation.

Michael Shonrock was a unique leader who brought a style all his own to the job of President. He energized not only the campus, but our entire area.

Jackie Vietti served as ESU's interim president while the selection of Allison Garrett took place. President Vietti had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at her during her stay - budget cuts, law suits and upheaval, but she took care of business and left a strong operation for our new president.

Allison Garrett will be inaugurated as ESU's 17th President on the 16th day of September. Allison brought a corporate savvy to our school having worked for a large corporation's legal department before entering higher education. We have noticed her ability to view things from a different perspective which is good.

We have been blessed with four strong leaders in a row and good leadership at the ESU Foundation has led to a successful capital campaign – the largest in the school’s history.

Our university and Tech College students are back in town now which is obvious with increased traffic and such. We miss them when they are gone and love'em when they are here.

During disc golf Glass Blown Open and World Championships and the Dirty Kansa Bike Race we hear about how friendly our town can be. Many of us go out of our way to welcome visitors. This is really good and indicates that Emporia has embraced the idea of being good hosts.

My thought today is why not do the same thing for our college student guests? It takes little effort and if we all started working these kids I'm thinking we can create those same positive thoughts we get from the disc golfers and bikers.

Thanking a youngster for choosing to go to school in Emporia is easy. Then ask them where they are from and what they are studying and who knows - you might make a new friend.

Our schools are our biggest assets, so let’s work together to let the students and staff know we appreciate them being in Emporia!

I’m Steve Sauder

          This is not intended to scare anyone, but to inform you about traps in youth sports.

          That may sound strange coming from Steve Sauder, but there are some traps!

          According to TIME magazine spending on youth sports in the U.S. has jumped from $8 billion to $15 billion in the last decade!

          For what you ask?

          Team fees, travel, coaching, equipment, uniforms and so on.

          The traps come when parents go overboard pushing their youngsters in hopes of earning a college scholarship. That's the biggest goal.

          Facts are only 2% of high school athletes get a D-I, NCAA

scholarship. This doesn't mean a scholarship is a bad goal, but it does mean spending thousands of dollars a year in pursuit of that scholarship isn't a good bet. A savings account might be a better one!

          Here's another trap. According to TIME "the more money families pour into youth sports, the more pressure the kids feel - and the less they enjoy their sport."

          If your son's baseball team joins the right organization they can have a national ranking versus other teams - starting at age 4? Of course you'll have to subscribe to the website for results.

          The USSSA is a not for profit group that promotes youth sports. Their 2015 revenues were $13.7 million and their CEO earned 831,000 bucks!

          Another trap is specialization - choosing a single sport early. Research shows this leads to more injury, burnout and depression. And, a recent NCAA survey indicated 88% of scholarship recipients played 2 or 3 sports throughout high school.

          My point is participation is great and travel teams are likely a necessity, but be real. It’s not a good plan to mortgage your house to send Junior to wrestling camp. Youth sports need a budget just like groceries.

          Even if you are convinced you have the next Tiger Woods in your family - keep it real. Coaches find talent and talented athletes find places to show off their skill in due time. Patience may be a virtue worth considering.

          Have you heard about Joey Erace? His on-line name is Joey Baseball. He has a hitting coach at $100 an hour and a fielding coach too. He lives in New Jersey but plays for teams in Texas and California. His dad admitted they have already spent over $30,000 on his baseball career. By the way - Joey Baseball is ten years old!

Have to wonder if he will even remember being a kid?

          Thanks for listening, I'm Steve Sauder


          This may seem like a strange message, but I’m sharing it to ease confusion about my health.

On July the 4th while watching Wimbledon tennis I noticed something was amiss with my left eye. Covering my right eye I discovered I couldn’t see anything?

           I experienced a hemorrhage in my right eye almost 2 years ago caused by a tear in the vitreous that left me with “floaters” in the eye that blocked about 60% of my vision. I assumed this was just a reoccurrence, but in the other eye. Since that eye cleared up after several procedures and is 100% normal today I was not particularly alarmed.

There was no pain so we waited until the 5th of July to call Dr. Reynold’s office. They told me they needed to see me immediately. We found out there was an occlusion in a vein and artery that had shut off the blood and oxygen supply to my retina thus killing about 45% of it. Unfortunately the damage was right in the middle of the retina thus blocking my sight.

          My doctors tell me there is no chance for a reversal and that retina transplants are science fiction since the retina is a part of the brain.

          I’m learning to function with one eye. Depth perception is the most difficult thing to relearn. I’ve restricted where and when I drive and I’m going slower and paying a lot more attention.

          I’m sharing this so people will know about my situation and hopefully understand if I don’t speak because I didn’t see them or recognize them or if I accidently bump into them – hopefully not with my car.

          You might make the case that I’ve fallen in love with Medicare because since turning 65 I’ve had my share of events. Check out this list: Ankle surgery, an AV Ablation for A-Fib, the hemorrhage in my right eye, cellulites after  falling off the bridge at the Country Club lake while fishing, back surgery, a broken foot, lost vision in my left eye and finally I was fitted with a prosthetic brace for my right foot and ankle that I now wear every day.

          Actually, maybe I do love Medicare!

          I’m Steve Sauder

            Wow! I was very favorably impressed with Lee Daniels’ The Butler, the movie playing locally for another 10 days.

            The story tells many sides of the Civil Rights struggles in American history and does this through the eyes of Cecil Gaines.

            Cecil played by Forrest Whitaker in an Academy Awards winning performance in my opinion. The story is told through his eyes, a black child in the South who sees his father shot because he challenged his boss who had raped Cecil’s mother all goes all the way to Washington D C and the White House where he serves as a butler for 36 years.

            Cecil Gaines’ life is complicated by being advised early that for a Negro to survive they needed two faces – one for whites and of course their own. Conflicts within his family – one son became a Freedom Rider, Black Panther and finally an elected official while the other dies serving his country in Viet Nam are just the tip of his challenges. Cecil’s job allows him to hear American President’s real feelings on controversial issues on an almost daily basis.

            President Reagan even invited Gaines and his wife to a State Dinner to honor his service, but Cecil figures out this was just for show. Eventually he and Reagan became close with Cecil being called “family” by the President.                

            My personal review puts this film on par Schindler’s  List!

            Professional reviewers have given the film generally good reviews. One said the cast carried the day and that is a hard opinion to contest. The Butler set earnings records during its first two weeks.

            In addition to Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey may also earn an Emmy. She is pretty amazing in her role as Cecil’s wife.

Then imagine Robin Williams as Ike Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon and Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan and there are many others.

At the end Gaines and his son are reunited – even being arrested and jailed on a South Africa protest –and the movie ends with Cecil at the White House to meet newly elected President Barack Obama. For the occasion he wears a tie given to him by Jackie Kennedy after JFK’s death along with an LBJ tie clasp a gift from a President that used the “N” word more than once in the White House.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler – a really good movie to see here in Emporia over the next ten days! It is not subtle in its treatment of the civil rights events, so be prepared.

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

KVOE provides equal time to responsible parties. Contact Ron Thomas at 620-342-1400


          Living in Emporia just gets better.

          This past weekend locally was amazing. The ALS effort leads a list of accomplishments any community would envy.

          Gary Ace, Paul Hastings and their merry bunch of volunteers took full advantage of the Ice Bucket Challenge rage and reached numbers beyond belief – nearly $70,000 raised.

          Beef Fest has withstood the test of time. The cattle industry has seen good and bad times, feast and famine and riches and otherwise. Yet, these folks have maintained this annual event. They are a hardy bunch indeed.

          Disc golf, neat old cars and the BBC were also carried out this past weekend. E-Town was a happening place.

          Add in the return of our college students and the buzz was more than noticeable.

          Speaking of ESU one unofficial report on enrollment suggests about a hundred and twenty more students on campus now versus last year. That is a good thing.

          Flint Hills Tech just keeps growing, adding and impressing.

          A strong leader at both schools explains a lot.

          Tip of the hat to Team Schnak heading to Lake Tahoe to ride their bikes for Juvenile Diabetes. Sounds like a lot of fun for a good cause.

          The Willis Peet military service 18 years after his death was very appropriate - nicely done.

          Emporia’s United Way Drive is off and running. Another thing our town can brag about. We raise annually upwards of $600,000. Pittsburg, Kansas, about our size has a goal of $300,000. Hmmmmmm.

          Just a little thing, but it’s nice to live in a community where our infrastructure is important enough to address it on an annual basis. Good job City of Emporia leaders.

          Last, but not least we have some pretty cool foundations in Emporia that make a difference in our lives almost daily. Thanks to the Jones Foundation, the Reeble Foundation, the Trussler Foundation, the Clint Bowyer 79 Fund and the Hopkins Foundation.

          Emporia, Kansas is a wonderful place to call home for many of reasons. Hoping you appreciate Emporia as well.

          I’m Steve Sauder


Guns? Not sure there is a more confusing topic!

Guns are big business, important to hunters and target shooters and collectors, important for law enforcement and the armed forces. Guns have many good and worthwhile uses.

On the flip side, of course is the fact guns kill and injure and are utilized in most every crime committed.

I don’t hunt anymore, but I do own a shotgun. I don’t have ammunition in my home because while a gun could be good protection I’m not sure I could shoot anybody.

Others, of course disagree with me and keep guns at the ready for protection. That is their right without quibble from me.

Guns should not be outlawed. Obviously that would be an impossible task to enforce and we’d have a situation where besides law enforcement the only people with guns would be criminals.

Kansas laws have been recently changed so that carrying a gun is a right Kansas citizens enjoy without many restrictions.

As I understand the law certain places have the ability to prohibit guns from being carried therein. Schools and churches are obvious.

An editorial from the Lawrence Journal World in Monday’s Gazette talked about concealed carry as it relates to bars. The editorial was a little confusing, but I did learn bars have the right to post signs telling people carrying guns they are not welcome.

What was confusing was it was suggested most Lawrence bars were not posting such signs citing the fact they would not be able to tell who had a gun anyway.

The editorial suggested bars should post signs prohibiting concealed carry if for no other reason their liability exposure would be reduced by trying to limit guns in their establishments.

This creates for me is a question for businesses in Emporia as to their plans concerning the carrying of firearms in their establishments.

Quoting the editorial a bar owner said “Alcohol and guns just don’t mix well.”

Maybe our lawmakers think they have this all covered because Kansas State Law does still make it a crime to carry a gun while intoxicated.

I feel safer already!

Guns and their use are ”Something to Think About!

I’m Steve Sauder


          Most of this is from Time magazine's August 29th story entitled: TYRANNY OF THE MOB.” It starts: “Trolls are turning the web into a cesspool of aggression and violence.”

          Explaining “the Internet’s personality has changed. Once it was a geek with lofty ideals about the free flow of information. Now…it is a sociopath with Asperger’s. “

          If you needed help increasing your upload speeds it was readily available. Unfortunately now, if you mention you are depressed on the web you will likely receive instructions on how to kill yourself.

          Factors like anonymity, invisibility, lack of authority and not communicating in real time “strip away mores society spent millennia building.”

          Let me define a couple of new terms for you.

          To “Troll” is known to most as a fishing style. But online “It quickly morphed to refer to the monsters who hide in darkness and threaten people.”

          Internet trolls claim the do this for “lulz” or translated laughs. These include everything from clever pranks to harassment to violent threats.

          They claim if you don’t laugh you lack a sense of humor.

          Also there is “doxxing.” That’s publishing social security numbers and bank account information.

          Every heard of “swatting?” It is self explanatory – it’s calling in an emergency to someone’s home in hopes of having a swat team bust in!

          Some of the other tricks “trolls” have played include: posting on memorial pages mocking the death of someone they may not even know.

In 2012 Anita Sarkeesian tried to raise funds for a series about the hatred of women. She received bomb threats, doxxing threats, rape threats and an unwanted starring role in a video game.

A New York Times writer with 35,000 Twitter followers quit social media after a barrage of anti-Semitic messages.

And a female writer recently stopped using social media after receiving rape threats against her 5 year old daughter.

Folks these are just the tip of the iceberg. The Time story written by Joel Stein is amazing.

Our kids from 6,7,8 years of age have phones and access to the Internet. Parents need to take heed and make sure their children aren’t off on the wrong foot. If you hear them say “trolling” and they aren’t going to the lake it’s time to get involved.

Asking if they have “Prince Albert in a can” was a prank – sending in the swat team isn’t!

          I’m Steve Sauder


As ugly as it sounds discussions on ways to remove President Trump from office are not uncommon.

          Besides the obvious ones like death or resignation there are two other possibilities: Impeachment or the powers in the 25th Amendment ratified in 1967.

Article II, Section 4 of the U. S. Constitution says The President and Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors." The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeaching, while the Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments. The removal of impeached officials is automatic upon conviction in the Senate. The federal judiciary cannot review such proceedings. End of story.

Far less known would be using the 25th Amendment. It says:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments transmit to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.           And then the fun begins!

          This means the Vice President and a majority of the President’s Cabinet would agree that he is unable to perform his duties. It would take 10 of the 18 people on President Trump’s Cabinet to make this move. If accomplished Vice President Pence would immediately become Acting President.

          But, the ousted president has the opportunity to respond. It is unclear as to the method he would need to use, but it’s suggested that even writing a note saying “I can still be president” would suffice and Mr. Trump would once again be president!

          Next the Cabinet has 4 days to vote again on the question of the President’s ability to perform his duties. If they confirm their earlier vote then the Vice President once again becomes the Acting President!

          At this point the Congress is automatically called into a Special Session in which they have up to 21 days to decide to agree or disagree with the Cabinet! There must be a two thirds majority in both Houses to uphold the findings and make the Vice President the President of the United States.

          I am not making this up!

          If this were to happen we could have 4 Presidents in less than a month.

          Once again it is time to pray for President Trump to become a more effective leader.

          I’m Steve Sauder and “There’s something to think about.”

          We’ve all heard about ALS. Many people know about ALS because of Lou Gehrig the great Yankee first baseman who contracted the disease, was forced to retire at age 36 and made his famous “I am the luckiest man on the face of the earth” speech.

          A-myo-trophic Amyotrophiclateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It strips its victim’s muscles of necessary nourishment.

          For the past 14 years Dr. Gary Ace has championed the Walk to Defeat ALS in Emporia. This year’s Walk will be Saturday at Jones Park. Registration starts at 7:30 with Walking starting at eight.

          Recently the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral to say the least with multi-millions of dollars being raised, not to mention the tremendous increase in awareness about ALS.

          Gary challenged me last week to take the ice and I did so on Sunday. I then challenged the folks at KVOE to get dunked this Friday at seven AM.

          Somehow the KVOE challenge and the fire department got connected and now we are having the ALS Fire Hose Challenge at 7 AM, Friday, and everyone, including you are invited.

          Longbine Auto Plaza’s staff is joining us and we want anyone with interest to come and get soaked for ALS.

          Quick story. When telling some of the folks at KVOE about this challenge it was suggested it might beinconvenient to get drenched at seven and be back at work by eight.

          Yesterday listening to Dennis Fish on the Talk of Emporia describe the diagnosis process his wife Jeri went through to confirm she had ALS it struck me that their dilemma defines real inconvenience.

          So, this is your official invitation to join us Friday morningat seven at 1420 C of E Drive to get a little inconvenienced in the name of ALS.

          ALS is a cruel disease. Please come join us.

          I’m Steve Sauder

Old saying are often painfully accurate.

They take a step forward followed by two steps back or you need a score card to know the players come to mind after reading a Time article about Joshua Holt, a 25 year old Salt Lake City native who has been held prisoner in a Venezuelan jail since June of 2016.

Holt was in Venezuela after meeting a girl on-line through his church. They had been married two weeks when he was arrested and charged with arms possession. Witnesses confirm police planted the guns after the arrest.

Since the arrest Holt has had 5 preliminary hearings canceled and his health has suffered badly.  He is forced to eat a diet consisting of things like uncooked poultry and raw pasta. He's lost over 50 pounds.

His family obviously was encouraged by the promises made by presidential candidate Trump to "not allow these things to happen on his watch."

Even more encouraging was the recent release of Aya Hijazi, an American aide worker who had been in an Egyptian prison for 3 years.

President Trump invited Egyptian president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House and secured Hijazi’s release in 10 minutes and of course  then boasted that President Obama had tried unsuccessfully for 3 years to get Hijazi released.

Of course there is a "rest of the story." In al-Sisi’s rise to power there was a coup and his regime has repeated charges against it for human rights violations. Some fear the White House invite indicated American approval of al-Sisi.

But, President Trump did get Hizjazi released.

Joshua Holt is proving to be a somewhat more difficult problem.

There is valid proof that the Trump Administration has and is trying to gain the release of many Americans held in foreign countries but may have found out this task like many others is way more difficult and complicated than they understood.

They've learned some hard truths about high prices for releases and ugly rescue or ransom options when dealing with these folks.

Holt's case is compromised by news like the following from Monday:

"Yesterday's illegitimate elections confirm that President Maduro is a dictator who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement announcing the latest American sanctions on the Latin American country.

Can you imagine how gut wrenching it would be to have a loved one in prison in a foreign land and especially a country where a dictator is in power and the United States is imposing sanctions!

One step forward and........

Well, you get the picture. Please pray for Joshua Holt.

I'm Steve Sauder

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