Emporia, KS

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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 25, 2015

It’s Thanksgiving week and I was intrigued by a story on Face Book about 7 year old Jack Swanson from Pflugerville, Texas who reacted to the vandalism of the local Islamic Center by gathering up his savings – twenty dollars he’d been saving towards an I-Pad – and gave it to the mosque.

Jack isn’t a Muslim just a kid who saw injustice and felt a need to help.

An official from the mosque reacted saying, “Jack’s 20 dollars are worth twenty-million dollars to us because it’s the thought that counts. This gives me hope… it’s not one versus the other. Our kids are going to grow up together… if we have more kind hearted kids like Jack in the world, I have hope for our future.”

The mosque reportedly gave Jack a gift for his act of kindness – a brand new Apple I-Pad!

Hope you agree this is a neat story especially in these times of tremendous stress and distrust of our fellow man.

Our world is torn with the threats of terrorism. Our lives have been forever changed. Trust in our world is in short supply. We all have to wonder what’s next. Travel plans are now often based on safety. We have to wonder where is this going and how will it end?

Thanksgiving will be a welcome time. A time to reflect and say thanks for all we have, but also a time to ask for guidance.

As Americans we have so much about which to be thankful, yet attacks like the event is Paris make us unsure of the future.

Maybe we should take the lead from Jack Swanson? Dedicate ourselves to acts of kindness. We all know we don’t need more hate on our world, so why not look for places to be good to our fellow man? Who knows it might start to add up!

Have a great Thanksgiving, I’m Steve Sauder.

November 4, 2015

It’s back to the future today. Fast forward 20 years. It’s 2035 and for the first time since 2015 the Kansas City Royals are in the World Series.

My great grand son, Tate, Jr., is asks “Papa Steve, can you remember the last time the Royals were in the World Series?”

          I’m 89, but I tell Tater a great deal about the 2015 Post Season for the Royal’s. It’s still as clear as a bell!

          First, is how we scored the tying run in the ninth inning of the fifth game in New York. Eric Hosmer our first baseman is on third with one out. Our catcher, Salvador Perez chops one to the right of third. Hosmer waits for the throw to first then breaks for the plate and should have been out, but the throw is wide and he scores. We win the game and the Series in the 12th inning. Gutsiest play ever!

          A close second was Alex Gordon’s clutch home run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score in game one. The Mets reliever Jeurys Familla was supposedly untouchable.

          Facing elimination in game four against Houston in the Division Series the Royals score five runs in the eighth inning to erase a 4 run deficit. This was one of seven come from behind victories by the Royals in the 2015 post season!

          Against the Blue Jays in game six of the American League Championship Series closer Wade Davis found himself facing no outs with runners on second and third and a one run lead. This after he had recorded the final out in the eighth and then sat through 57 minutes between pitches due to a rain delay. Two K’s later and a ground out the Royal’s were in the World Series! Incredible!

          The winning run for Davis came in the bottom of the eighth when Lorenzo Cain amazingly scored on a single to right. Another example of daring and exciting base running that highlighted the 2015 Royal’s!

          Those were just 5 highlights. There must have been a dozen including amazing pitching displays and a utility player getting the game winning hit in his only at bat in the Series! Every member of the Royal’s had a highlight during the five game event. The 2015 Royal’s were the absolute definition of a team.

          And last Tate, I can remember the celebration in Kansas City following the Series. Well over 500,000 fans packed downtown K C and heard the team say Kansas City had always possessed the best fans, that it was also the best city and NOW had the best baseball team in the world. It all seems like yesterday!

          The 2015 Kansas City Royal’s were indeed magic.

October 21, 2015

            I’ve thought for some time that our local governments were somewhat delinquent by not directly supporting Emporia State University. All state schools our size – Washburn, Pittsburg and Hays – receive annual support from their local governments.

            This leaves ESU vulnerable if Kansas decides to close a school and given the lack of leadership in our state that could happen.

            Fortunately our LyonCounty and Emporia city commissions are deep into consideration to create a direct subsidy to the University for scholarships. The effort is called “A University Community in Motion.” It was discussed last week in a joint meeting. It seems most are on board maybe with exception of one commissioner suggesting the city already does a lot for ESU. That is true, but given ESU’s importance to our city I doubt the city could ever be doing too much for the school.

            The proposal is for a half a million dollars a year be provided to ESU for new scholarships. This is an awesome idea that would absolutely transform the school recruiting efforts. Of course, the big question becomes where does the money come from? That hasn’t been determined. 

            This of course will raise the ire of those who oppose any tax increase even for a really good cause.

            The commissioner’s aren’t tipping their hands, but I have an idea I think could result in lower overall taxes after a few years.

            My suggestion is to float a county-wide sales tax. No doubt there would be opposition, but the good might outweigh the bad. Attention would need to be paid to not making high ticket items non-competitive of course. We would vote on a sales tax increase, so all sides could be heard.

            Here’s my logic.

            First, don’t limit recipients to Lyon Countians. There are not enough students in our county plus the Jones Trust money already helps those kids and this new money could be added on for local kids.

            The limitation I would suggest would be these scholarships would be for on campus students only!

            Currently ESU has just over 6,000 students. Just over 50% of those students now attend classes on campus. This new money should be used to force students to live locally. All recipients would need to live in LyonCounty and attend classes on campus, not on-line.

            Half a million dollars in new scholarships ought to create 500 new students. I think a new ESU student is equal to a new job.  Adding 500 new students would boost ESU’s economic impact by over 15%. 

            My numbers may not be exact, but I’m guessing my logic makes a lot more sense than the dribble Governor Brownback has been offering.

            If I am correct increased consumption should result in much higher sales tax revenues for the county which could eventually be used to reduce taxes. This could create a win, win, win situation!

            “A University Community in Motion” is not only a good insurance policy and stimulus for ESU, but also an opportunity to lower taxes, but only if we give it a try!

            Call a commissioner today and let them know how YOU feel.

            I’m Steve Sauder.

September 30, 2015

Emporia’s Memory Walk to end Alzheimer’s Disease will be this Sunday at the Lyon County Fair Grounds. Registration starts at 1:30 with the Walk starting at 2:30. Prior to the Walk a social time will be held for friends to meet and talk.

     Often we hear that someone is suffering from Dementia and we think that’s not as serious as Alzheimer’s, but we’d be wrong. Both are serious and neither is a normal part of aging. The following may help you understand the difference.

  •  “Dementia” is a term that has replaced a more out-of-date word, “senility,” to refer to cognitive changes with advanced age.
  • Dementia includes a group of symptoms, the most prominent of which is memory.

A good analogy to the term dementia is “fever.” Fever refers to an elevated temperature, indicating that a person is sick. But it does not give any information about what is causing the sickness.

In the same way, dementia means that there is something wrong with a person’s brain, but it does not provide any information about what is causing the memory or cognitive difficulties.

Dementia is not a disease; it is the clinical presentation or symptoms of a disease. There are many possible causes of dementia. They are degenerative diseases of the brain that get worse over time.

The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s, accounting for as many as 70-80% of all cases of dementia.

Approximately 5.3 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer's Disease.

          Emporia’s Memory Walk is Sunday at the Fairgrounds. Much progress has been made in Alzheimer’s research, but much if left to be done. The number of victims is massive and for each victim there is a caregiver and family. Please attend the Walk and also offer prayers for the people affected by these cruel diseases.

          I’m Steve Sauder

October 14, 2015

I just called him “Calhoun.” We met through friend Jeff Hawes when we were all at Wentworth Military Academy Summer Camp when I was ten years old.

William Kenneth Calhoun III died this past Friday at home in Lawrence. He was 71.

          On KVOE News over the weekend I called him an “icon” in Emporia for my generation. Calhoun was involved in more things outside his field of endeavor than anyone I know.

          As the news of his death started to sink in it hit me that while we had allowed Calhoun to fix many things locally we had made a big mistake. We should have forced Kenny Calhoun to Topeka or even Washington because of his unique ability to force budget considerations and planning.

          Early work for Calhoun was at Newman’s Department Store the family business on Commercial Street. He kept it afloat for a long time through rough times for retailers and finally gracefully closed it out.

          While a Commercial Street merchant Calhoun led almost single-handedly the project to revitalize downtown Emporia. Our downtown street design was Ken’s and he was the ringleader in getting rid of parking meters and building parking lots.

          They called Calhoun the “Mayor” at Lake Kahola. The lake was special to the Calhoun’s and Ken kept his finger in Kahola business right up through the sale from Emporia to the leaseholders.

          Calhoun was president of the Emporia Country Club 3 times – 1974, 1998, and 2012. Guess what – he wasn’t president because things were rosy. Again he was a fixer helping find ways to keep the club open.

          Calhoun attended Culver Military School in Mexico, Missouri and later Kansas University and loved his reunions and old classmates.

          Calhoun was a KU fan and Lady Hornet Basketball supporter.

          Before moving to Lawrence three years ago Ken managed the Emporia Community Foundation for 12 years of magnificent growth.

          Calhoun loved Emporia but moved to Lawrence to finish his life and find some new challenges. His wife Judy told me at the time of Calhoun’s death he was chairing a finance committee and because it was budget time and he was so excited.

          Seems to me what I need to do now is warn St. Peter about Calhoun. Ol’ Pete better have his heaven’s Mission Statement up to date, goals set and budget balanced because Kenny Calhoun will soon be looking over his shoulder!

          RIP Ken, you were one of a kind.

          I’m Steve Sauder

October 2, 2015 - Guest STTA by Roger & Sherry Ferguson

Back in the Day…………

Why CAN’T we afford this new North Lyon County Consolidated School?  Our ancestors built schools for us.

 A quick trip to the Lyon County Archive provided us with the following information about Northern Heights High School (NHHS).

 “Due to the loss of students in the communities of Bushong, Allen, Admire and Miller schools the communities started discussing consolidation.  A vote on consolidation was held in May, 1955, and carried.  In September, 1955, an issue of $375,000 in bonds for construction and equipping a new high school carried.  The location was chosen and construction started in April 1956.”

So what did our ancestors build in terms of today’s money?  Using an inflation calculator ( http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm ) we find the school they built would cost $3,334,645.52 or 3 million dollars today.

The current proposed construction cost is 39 million dollars.   We don’t hesitate to say “back in the day” our parents and our grandparents would have voted against this proposal.  They were busy building schools back then, not a “Palace in the Pasture.” 

Recently editorial articles have been published describing the great education NHHS alumni have received and how it gave them morals to succeed.   An education that made them the people they are today.  We hope one of those moral values is that spending within our means DOES provide a quality education.  Be proud to make a fiscally responsible decision for future generations by Voting ‘NO’ on Oct. 7th.    

Roger and Sherry Ferguson

North Lyon County Residents