Something to Think About - keep (257)

On December 30, 2014, I read an editorial in the Gazette entitled “Emporia is a Very Generous Community”. To quote Brandy Nance, “The generosity here in Emporia is an integral part of the fabric that makes up Emporia and the area.” This statement is so true when I think about what Emporia has done for The National Teachers Hall of Fame. We are getting ready to celebrate our 24th induction ceremony, and 5 teachers from across the United States will be chosen to participate as our newest inductees.   We would not be in existence had it not been for this great community. Founding organizations back in 1989 were The City of Emporia, Emporia State University, The Chamber of Commerce, and USD 253; and each of these organizations is still an integral part of the Hall of Fame.

Honoring teachers is not a new concept. Before the Hall of Fame began, there were awards given to teachers such as: Disney Awards , The Millken Awards, Internet Innovators Awards, State Teacher of the Year Awards, and The Fulbright Distinguished Award .

What sets the Hall of Fame apart from these awards is that we honor teachers who have dedicated their lives to education, with 20 years of full-time teaching being a requirement for nomination.

We have all had teachers who have impacted our lives in one way or another. I remember Mr. Plank who was my 5th grade teacher at William Allen White School here in Emporia. I remember him teaching me something, I remember him being very respectful, I remember him having different ways to teach us, and I remember he was just a darn good teacher. I have been blessed to have received my entire public school education right here in Emporia and to have had many wonderful teachers. There was Mr. Collier, yikes he was kind of scary but a he sure knew his social studies, There was Mr. Nelson a great science teacher, There was Mrs. Jacquith my English teacher, and the famous Mr. Bloxom who was a huge humorist. When 18 wheeler trucks would go by on west 6th right by the school, he would say, there goes another EHS graduate.   Then there was Mrs. Hendriks, the music teacher. So many memories have come from that class. It’s just recently after the Christmas holidays that I have reminisced back to my time in Mrs. Hendricks chorale, the Christmas Program, the performances made throughout the community and the trips to state music competitions.   I will treasure forever what these teachers have given me.

At the Hall of Fame, we are getting ready to make our selection. A group of 15 people from across the nation will be flying to Kansas City to discuss and choose our 5 inductees. Those on the committee represent national education organizations as well as several of our corporate partners. They will spend the better part of one day watching videos, collaborating and trying to narrow 20 great teachers down to 5. Announcement day will be in March and then these 5 selected teachers will converge on Emporia in June to be honored for what they do with America’s school children. So many of the new inductees have praised our wonderful town of Emporia, they love being here, they love the experiences they have had here and they feel honored. From the band concert in the park to the friendly greetings and banners downtown to the gala banquet on Friday night, these inductees are made to feel like royalty.   Thank you, Emporia, for helping support the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Emporia is truly “Teacher Town, USA” in the heart of America, and you capture the hearts of these educators who represent all that is great in American education.

And… how recently have you thanked a teacher?   It’s something to think about……

Hello! I’d like to start off today by thanking Steve Sauder for providing me the opportunity to be one of the “Something to Think About” guests in his absence.

The greater Lyon County area is a wonderful area in Kansas and the United States in which to live, work and raise a family. Many factors go into that, and I know that previous guests have mentioned a few of those factors. One that I haven’t heard and I’d like to talk about today involves the importance of positive community involvement by members of the community.

You don’t have to be a county or city commissioner, school board member, or one of the other elected board members to be positively involved in the community. You can definitely gather facts on the issues within the community from reliable sources and attend meetings to ensure any decisions made are based on fact, not rumors or random opinions. With careful thought given to what will benefit the entire community, everyone can win!

One of the most important ways of being involved in the community is through volunteering your time. This could mean volunteering through one of many local clubs, churches, community groups, area activities, or even being on a local community board. I know we are all busy, but as you give your time take a look at those around you. Hopefully you see a number of people who are happy to be there, doing what they feel is the right thing to help the community. Will everybody agree on what “the right thing” is? Absolutely not – and that’s one of the neat things about living in the United States of America. We have the right to publicly and respectfully share our views.

That brings me to a learning opportunity for our community. February 25 & 26 and March 4 & 5, K-State Research and Extension in Lyon County is hosting a Board Leadership Series. These 4, 2-hour evening sessions are open to anyone in the community whether you are on a community board now, have been in the past, or hope to in the future. The sessions provide a solid base to help make meetings more effective and efficient and help you be an engaged community member. You don’t have to be on a board to participate! More details on times and costs are at the office – stop in or give us a call.

I’d like to share one current example of how this community can come together, and it is taking place on the Lyon County Fairgrounds right next door to our office. The W.S. and E.C. Jones Foundation, Lyon County, the City of Emporia and Westar have come together recognizing the importance to this community of the central building on the Lyon County Fairgrounds – the Anderson Building. Even though this is a significant up-front investment, the leaders of these organizations recognize the improvements will allow for greater use by all in the area, drawing not only local but also regional events and people to spend money in the community and generate additional tax revenues. And when an anonymous donor challenged Extension to match a $50,000 gift with community dollars to go toward functional enhancements to the building to further its value to the community, this community responded – so much that the donor added another $5,000 that has also been matched! Thank you to everyone who has been and continues to be involved in this and numerous other projects in the community!

I would especially like to thank everyone that has been positively involved in your community, wherever that may be. Lyon County is a great place to live and work, and with positive community involvement we will make it even better for the future!

I’m Brian Rees with K-State Research and Extension in Lyon County and for today, that’s “Something to Think About!”

In Emporia, we have had the same city commission for the last 4 years. In that time, our commission has focused on maintaining the city’s financial strength, long range planning, and on development. I think we have made significant progress towards our goals, but I think the most visible area has been in development. Development can take many forms, but I thought I would focus on Housing, Infrastructure, Industrial, Commercial, and Higher Ed.

Updated housing has long been a need in Emporia, and has been on the city’s goals since 2013.  Housing can take many forms, but I wanted to focus on both single family, and multifamily. We had 20 new houses started last year, with a total cost of $3.3 million, and 247 remodeling permits with a total of $1.8 million. Last year, the commission approved the first RHID project in Emporia, opening 26 lots for construction in the new Hidden Vistas development. Of those 26 lots, 10 have commitments. The commission also supported 3 Housing Tax Credit applications that could lead to a new low to moderate income housing complex.  Finally, 2016 saw the opening of the Chelsea Lofts downtown.

Maintaining and updating the city’s infrastructure has also seen significant development. Last year, roads that were resurfaced included Hwy 50, and over 2 miles of other city road improvements. Over $750,000 was invested in our roads. We also relined over 3 miles of sanitary sewers to maintain their life expectancy, and completely rebuilt Sewer Life Station 6 in Jones Park.  The city’s award winning water also saw significant investment in a new Ozone treatment cycle, and a new main water intake line from the Neosho River, complete with zebra mussel prevention.

Industrial development and jobs are one of the backbones of our local economy. Last year, we saw higher employment at many of our major employers.  The RDA is continuously in talks with our local companies, and will look to partner in their future growth. Finally, the city used a KDOT grant to finish Warren Way in Industrial Park 3 to open the last big lot to development.

Commercial development saw 2 major projects announced, and the construction started. The Flint Hills Mall is using a 1 cent CID to rehab and modernize their facility. This is the first project of its kind in Emporia.  The Emporia Pavilions project was approved and construction began in October 2016.  This was a combination TIF/ CID project, again the first time that method has been used in Emporia.                        

The final type of development I wanted to discuss is in Higher Education. Last year, the city announced a major plan to help improve Welch Stadium at ESU through a 5 year commitment. The city also partnered with Lyon County to provide scholarship dollars to help recruit students to ESU.  The city also completed a storm water project along Merchant Street that improved the ESU landscape off of I35. 

The current city commission has focused on all types of development the last 4 years.  Progress can be seen around town. However, if you feel that there are other priorities the city should focus on, or just think things should be done differently, please remember that the next election for the city commission will be in November. If you would like to file for the election, please see the Lyon County clerk by June 1. I’m Jon Geitz, and that is something to think about.

                                                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!

As I prepare for my maiden voyage as author of “Something to Think About,” I reflect on the weekend I just experienced here in our hometown of Emporia, KS.  Friday night, the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated and honored many great leaders throughout the community.  These individuals pour their hearts and souls into our community to make it a quality place to live and work.

With many deserving people and businesses, the recognition shared Friday night was nothing short of inspiring.  These are the folks that make Emporia one of a kind.  I would like to personally thank the following leaders who make a difference right here in Emporia; Steve Brosemer of EASCAR as Committee of the year, the great people of ValuNet as Business of the Year, George and Gail Milton who received the Tourism Award, Carolyn Risley as Volunteer of the year, and Mr. John Mallon who earned the Lifetime Achievement Award. I tip my hat to Rich Avery for a job well done in 2015 as Chair of the board and I have all the confidence in the world in Pete Euler who will lead our Chamber to many successes in 2016. 

As I reflect on this evening, I am reminded of how fortunate we are to have so many  different personalities working together to make this a special place where quality of life is far from lost.  It was only a few weeks ago, action was taken by the City Commission and County Commission to support Emporia State University and the kids of our community through scholarships.  This action speaks volumes to the environment our elected leaders strive to create.  With the many uncertainties in life, it is difficult to put into words the value of being surrounded by friends and neighbors.

I can say without reservation that Emporia is a great place to follow your dreams, a great place to raise a family, and a great place to call home!

I’m Shane Shivley and that is something to think about.

  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.

{wbty_audio audio_id="8936" audio_title="Something to Think About - Bob Wright"}

Something to Think About, every Wednesday on KVOE with Steve Sauder.  I remember when Ed McKernan Jr., past owner of the radio station had his weekly words.  I always looked forward to both, didn't always agree with them, however.

When I received an email from Erren Harter asking if I would be interested in doing the show on one of the Wednesdays that Steve will be gone, I thought that it would be a neat deal,  Well let me tell you, it hasn't been as easy as I thought.

I thought maybe I would talk about Steve asking me to fill in for his leftfielder on a slow pitch softball team.  There was a high-five ball that I would normally catch well it felt to the ground when Steve was on the pitching mound.  Yes, you can picture the rest.

Or maybe I could tell you about the time Ed McKernan Sr., was broadcasting the Emporia high basketball game with Topeka high in the Dungeon with their two division one signees.  Ed broadcast the whole game with my dad playing instead of me.  By the way, we lost 63-61. I am sure that if I had played instead of my dad we would have won the game.

Oh the memories.   Life is built on memories you live for the moment you prepare and then it is gone in a split second to become a memory.

When Yordano Ventura was killed a few weeks ago it brought back memories of him in his Royals uniform, his hat cocked to the side, and the hope we Royals fans had this year for him being the big guy on the mound.  But oh my, how life can be so fragile

That accident jogged my memory to the year 1964 when a former KU track athlete silver medalist in the 400 m hurdles in the 1960 Rome Olympics and a captain in the Air Force named Cliff Cushman came back to KU to train for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.  He was favored to win the gold instead he hit a hurdle during the Olympic trials, he fell and did not qualify for the Olympics therefore this would push his dream for Gold back another four years.  For all the accolades in track he might've been better known for a letter he wrote to the students in his high school in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  It was a challenge to these young people to better themselves, cherish second chances, honor their mothers and fathers and to reach exceeding your grasp.  You can read the letter on the Internet, just Google "Cliff Cushman letter".   I have used it many times giving it to young people who experimented some heart ache in their lives.  The irony of it all was that Cliff returned to the Air Force he flew his first mission in Vietnam was shot down and is listed as missing in action.  In a brief second his hope for gold again was snuffed out.

Here are some things to think about also:

Just for Today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life-problem at once.

Just for Today, I will be Happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Just for Today, I will try to strengthen my mind, I will study and I will learn something useful

Just for Today, I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my luck as it comes, and fit myself to it.

Just for Today, I will exercise my Soul.

Just for Today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible,  talk low,  act courteously, be liberal with flattery, criticize not one bit nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anybody.

Just for Today, I will have a Program. I will write down just what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I’ll have it. It will save me from the two pests Hurry and Indecision.

Just for Today, I will have a quiet half hour, all by myself, and relax. During this half hour, some time, I will try to get a little more perspective to my life.

Just for Today, I will be Unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to be Happy, to enjoy what is Beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

One last thing, a few weeks ago, I was reading a devotional by John Wooden, the great UCLA basketball coach.  It was titled 86,400.  That is how many seconds there are in a day.  They are given to us for us to use as we see fit.  We cannot pass any unused seconds to the next day.  Once they are gone they are gone.  It details about planning, using your time wisely, do not waste time, time lost is time lost, you can't make it up, if you put things off and work twice as hard the next day then you're only cheating yourself.  Life is fragile, enjoy every moment, don't cheat yourself.

Now there is Something to Think About

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

alexa bottom ad gif

Powered by JS Network Solutions