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.

September 7, 2016

Undoubtedly you know there was an earthquake in Oklahoma on Saturday that we felt locally and throughout many states.

Earthquakes have become more commonplace in the Midwest and a – not new process called “fracking” used by oil and gas producers is being blamed by some for these events.

Just so you will better understand here is a text book explanation of “fracking.”        

“Fracking” is shorthand for hydraulic fracturing; a type of drilling that has been used commercially for 65 years. Today, the combination of advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, employing cutting-edge technologies, is mostly responsible for surging U.S. oil and natural gas production.

Hydraulic fracturing involves safely tapping shale and other tight-rock formations by drilling a mile or more below the surface before gradually turning horizontal and continuing several thousand feet more. Thus, a single surface site can accommodate a number of wells. Once the well is drilled, cased and cemented, small perforations are made in the horizontal portion of the well pipe, through which a typical mixture of water (90 percent), sand (9.5 percent) and additives (0.5 percent) is pumped at high pressure to create micro-fractures in the rock that are held open by the grains of sand. Additives play a number of roles, including helping to reduce friction (thereby reducing the amount of pumping pressure from diesel-powered sources which reduces air emissions) and prevent pipe corrosion, which in turn help protect the environment and boost well efficiency.

Why “Fracking”?

Safe hydraulic fracturing is the biggest single reason America is having an energy revolution right now, one that has changed the U.S. energy picture from one of scarcity to abundance. “Fracking” is letting the U.S. tap vast oil and natural gas reserves that previously were locked away in shale and other tight-rock formations.

“Fracking” isn’t new. My dad used “fracking” nearly 50 years ago to turn tired, old oil leases viable again.  

“Fracking” today is accomplished using a chemical reaction. My dad and his cronies likely started their “fracking” with gun powder, but advanced to nitroglycerin. Whatever their methods it was far more dangerous than today’s process.

As for the earthquakes and the part “fracking” plays in them I refer you to a quote from a geologist who said, “this weekend's event was nearly 300 million years in the making.”

Let the debate continue!

I’m Steve Sauder.

August 31, 2016

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

August 24, 2016


          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


August 17, 2016

The sad situation surrounding this campaign for president we are having got me to thinking last week about the comedian Will Rogers. I wonder what Will would have said?

          I found some things written about Mr. Rogers in the Forward to a book about him that might be helpful today.

          Finally, there was no malice in his humor. He never criticized a man who was down. He was neither a Republican nor a Democrat. He said he was always with the “outs” and against the “ins.” At the start of the great depression Will Rogers ceased all criticism of Presidents.

          He had a sharp wit, but he used it kindly. In his daily newspaper column read in over 400 papers he took cracks at capital and labor, bankers and farmers, but through it all was a thread of forgiveness and national unity. The insulting personal humor of today was quite foreign to Will Rogers.

          Will Rogers lived in a time now long past, when more people lived in the country than the city. I think his point of view is best summed up in a remark he once made to an audience in New York City. “They call me a rube and a hick, but I’d a lot rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man that sold it.”

          That was Will Rogers.

          So today, if we could ask him how do think Mr. Trump would answer the question about selling or buying the Brooklyn Bridge?

          Lord, today just a simple prayer. Please send us a modern day Will Rogers cause we need something to laugh about!

          I’m Steve Sauder.


August 10, 2016

It took awhile but Kansans proved last week we aren’t so dumb. But, on the same set of facts we can’t say the same thing for our governor.

          In primary elections all across Kansas Republicans sent conservative lawmakers who were the support system for Sam Brownback packing. The results were even better than moderate Republicans had hoped.

This is good news for our state which has been burdened by leadership that has been absolutely tone deaf despite massive indications that the people were not supportive of their tax policies, revenue shortfalls and continual budget cuts. Brownback’s approval rating was recently listed at a lousy 26%!

          But, Governor Sam evidently, still doesn’t feel the burn. In an interview on public television in Kansas City, Monday he blamed the media and poor communication for the losses taken by his supporters and refused to call the election results a repudiation of his leadership.

          The truth is all across the state conservative incumbents were tossed aside like rag dolls and my understanding is there are democrats running in all 40 Senate races state-wide and a number of them have excellent chances.

          It looks to me like the contests in November for seats in the Kansas House and Senate may well be based more on: Do you support Brownback’s policies rather than are you a Republican or Democrat?

          The term “repudiate” was used earlier - it means to “refuse to accept as valid.”  For me that is the question to ask all state candidates – do you repudiate the leadership and policies of Governor Brownback?

          If they can’t pass that test us “smart Kansans” will toss them out!

          By the way – “repudiate” sits right next to Republican Party in my dictionary.

          Truly “something to think about” today!

          I’m Steve Sauder

August 3, 2016


          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