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.

June 29, 2016

Kansas City Royals  – World Champions in 2015, but it had been decades since our last championship and now as the defending champions we are forced to live day by day with the reality that a baseball season is indeed a marathon and in no way a sprint.

          A note for sanity’s sake is that baseball is a game where failure dominates and success is fleeting. A batter who can consistently get a hit three times out of ten is a star and will reap giant rewards. A pitcher who can be successful 60% of the time is also a hot commodity. Baseball is filled with failure and those who can deal with it become champions.

          So now our Royal’s embark on the year after winning the World Series and after playing in the Fall Classic in successive years.

          Are we now a dynasty? Many, including Las Vegas picked us to win again, but our season hasn’t gone that well. At times our boys seemed invincible, but we also lost 8 straight at one point and sit as this is written 5 games behind the Indians.

          How can we explain our supposed best pitcher giving up 9 runs in the first inning?

          Some World Champions!

          What are we supposed to believe?

          Well the answer is pretty easy. The answer is this is baseball and you learn a lot of bad has to be accepted along with the good even for champions!

          Winning in baseball at the major league level not only takes talent, it also requires lots of good luck.

          Last year the Royal’s seemed special and they were. They came from behind in 8 of 11 playoff victories and they had player after player “step up” when needed. It was magical.  Our guys were good, but also very lucky.

          This year the Royal’s are good, but so far not special. They sit in good position to make the playoffs again. Time will tell.

          I too get upset when pitchers walk batters or players strike out with the winning run on third base, but we need to keep the faith. They don’t give rings for winning the division, so overtaking the Indians isn’t job one. That job is to get into the playoffs.

          The Royals have the best record in baseball at home this year, but Monday night the crowd numbered just over 31,000 and they were playing the St. Louis Cardinals.  That was embarrassing. Hopefully the crowd was better last night.

          Some say baseball is boring, but not if you live and die with every play in every game. A two run home run in the top of the first like Monday can make your hot dog go sour in your tummy, but 2 runs in the bottom and 4 in the second and life is suddenly like a bowl of cherries.

          Baseball is special and some of the time so is our team. Go Royals!

          I’m Steve Sauder

June 22, 2016



Maybe not a new term, but certainly a term most of us were not that familiar with prior to former Olympic Decathlon Gold Medal winner Bruce Jenner going public with his gender change.

Now we have our president dictating a policy for bathroom usage that isn't  needed by many and is creating lots of confusion.

So, using an informative article from the Topeka Capital Journal as my resource let me define some terms that might help all of us better understand this confusing “transgender” situation.

Are the terms gender and sex interchangeable?

My source says "NO."

Sex is a biological status based on attributes like chromosomes and anatomy.

Gender is a social construct relating to behavior and activities society associates with males versus females.

What is transgender?

An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from what society associates with their sex as identified at birth.

Does transgender involve making changes to one's body?

Some people do seek changes through hormones or surgery. Others don't.

Does transgender have anything to do with sexual orientation?

Not at all. Sexual orientation refers to romantic attraction, i.e. whether someone is gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight.

I hope these definitions help. What we learned is: sex and gender are not the same thing; transgender is someone identifying themselves as a sex different from their birth; not all transgender folks change their bodies and transgender people can practice any sexual orientation.

The newspaper story in the Cap Journal is about a high school student born as a female who now does not associate herself with either sex.

The bathroom controversy for transgender individuals is amusing. Evidently the president feels he has a “one size fits” all solution while the common sense people on the Kansas State Board of Education basically said – our policy isn’t broke so we aren’t fixing it. 

Hope this helped as we obviously have lots of new stuff to learn!

I’m Steve Sauder

June 15, 2016


          Timely, but touchy topic today – guns.

          I am a gun owner and was a hunter, but 2 knee replacements ended that activity. My point is I respect the right of Americans to own guns.

          But, with that said and the brutal massacre in Orlando last week my thinking is it is time we do something about these weapons that have no purpose what so ever other than to kill.

          Guns like the AR 15 reportedly used in the Orlando slaughter have little redeeming value. I actually fired a machine gun as part of the Emporia Police Department’s Citizen’s Academy years ago. Thirty rounds fired in just a few second did give me a rush and the target was obliterated, but I can achieve that same feeling by lighting a pack of 500 firecrackers at one time!

          Guns don’t kill – people do, but guns like the AR 15 should be harder to get than is currently the case. This is the part of the Orlando event that gets to me. This guy bought his weapon of mass destruction with few questions just a few weeks prior to the shootings.

          I’m not prepared to say no one should own an AR 15, but to buy one it ought to be more difficult and the authorities ought to learn who you are, why you want such a gun and what your intensions are.

          Is that Big Brother stuff? Probably, but what else can we do? The status quo won’t do!

          You need a license to be a plumber, a barber or even to sell real estate so why shouldn’t gun ownership be qualified?

          Here’s a fact I heard. President Obama in his seven years in office has hosted 12 State Dinners. During the same time frame he has given 16 speeches in response to mass shootings!

          A friend Tweeted “When there wasn’t compromise on gun laws after Sandy Hook I was amazed and concluded it must be okay to shoot children.”

          Both candidates for President seem confused on this issue. This is not an immigration issue and all out gun control will never pass, so someone who understands compromise needs to step up.

          Ronald Reagan had it right in 1989 when he said “I do not believe in taking away the right of citizens for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But, I do believe than an AK 47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.”

          The time has arrived to adopt rules that restrict the ownership of these guns that are capable of mass shootings.

It shouldn’t be easier to purchase an AK 15 than it is to get permission to cut the curb in front of your home for a new drive way!

          Heaven help us!                       I’m Steve Sauder

June 8, 2016


            Listening to KVOE yesterday and hearing Jim Cummins and the DK-200 people discuss the past weekend the point that kept coming up was yes, the race is unique, the Flint Hills are breath-taking and the weather is always unpredictable, but the feature that sets the event apart from many others – now including the famous Tour de France – are the people of Emporia.

            Face it folks – our town is cool because we support things like the DK and the Glass Blown Open and lots of other lesser known events in a manner that sets us apart.

            This got me thinking so I made a list – a partial list for sure – of neat things that happen in our town about which we should be proud. Not all towns do what we do when we:

            Raise over $600,000 for the United Way!

            Hold a record setting Technical School Auction;

            Support ESU’s Now and Forever campaign;

            Support literacy education through the Jones Foundation and the Mason’s of Kansas and EmporiaState;

            Blow the lid off the record for the Community Foundation’s Match Day;

            The ESU Athletic Auction and Golf Tournament set a new record for success to benefit all sports and summer school in particular;

            Emporia supports the W. A. White home called Red Rocks;

            S.O.S. is a community treasure and Emporia steps up in support;

            Back to ESU - Welch Stadium has a state of the art scoreboard, new turf  and soon a brand new track;

            How about LyonCounty and the City of Emporia becoming major supporters of scholarships at the university?

            After some tough times Camp Alexander is back!

            Phil Taunton and his What’s in Outdoors is a blessing for kids and old folks too!

            Denim and Diamonds helps Newman Regional Health with a cool auction;

            The Chamber of Commerce and Main Street make a really powerful community team;

            No one matches our Art Council’s facility or programs!

            The Granada Theater is a blessing with amazing activity;

            Add in great schools, churches, parks, ESU, Flint Hills Tech and nice people and we’ve got a winner!

            Good place this town we call Emporia.

            Let me use some advice from an old farmer to close.

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
Meanness doesn’t just happen overnight. And,
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.

I’m Steve Sauder

June 1, 2016


          Saturday the Emporia State Alumni Association holds its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. A big part of this event is honoring the Distinguished Service Award recipients. These are folks who have provided “unique and significant service” to the university.

          A partial list of past honorees include: KVOE’s Ron Thomas, Don Hill, George & Gail Milton, Clair Hutchinson, Tom Tholen, Dave Eldridge, Skip Evans, Chuck & Doris Hanna, Russ & Jeanie Jenkins, Paula Sauder, Gilbert Rodriquez, Carl Hoffman, John Rich, DeWayne Backhus and my dad.

          This is a big honor.

          Four people will be recognized this year.

          Virginia “Ginny” Higgins long time ESU instructor and leader who first graduated in 1962 and spent most of her life at Emporia State winning numerous awards for outstanding teaching and finally being inducted into the Kansas Speech Association Hall of Fame in 2006.

          Dr. Loren Pennington started teaching at the university in 1960 and is an expert on World War II and the Korean War.  He became involved in Emporia Veteran’s Day celebration and is a permanent fixture at the annual Veteran’s Roundtable. Dr. Pennington means history in Emporia.

          Marion Stuart grew up in Emporia, attended the laboratory school, received 2 degrees from Emporia State and taught in 5 Kansas high schools. She and her late husband Chuck were fixtures at university events for decades.

          The final honoree is my close friend John Staton who graduated in 1960 and has never quit promoting and supporting Emporia State.

In a letter in support of John for a different award I said “There is no better or more dedicated Hornet anywhere than John Staton!”

I suggested John should simply be recognized as a “Proud Hornet Supporter.”

John knows no strangers. He has a conversation with everyone he comes in contact with and more times than not he finds a connection to Emporia State.

There’s not time to list all the ways John and his lovely bride Connie support the university - they are endless.

John is well into his seventies, but he still found the energy to help with the ESU Foundation’s recent Now and Forever campaign - and in a significant manner.

Professionally both John and Connie succeeded nicely, but their real calling may be in helping others. They’ve done everything from hauling a dog-napped beagle across the country to its home in Kansas to assisting for nine years an aging Army General.

It is a busy weekend in Emporia, but these folks are all Proud Hornets and Distinguished servants……… We salute and thank them.

I’m Steve Sauder.

May 25, 2016