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.

May 18, 2016

This year’s presidential race is like going to a giant smorgasbord with steak, lobster and crab legs. It is difficult to pick a single topic so today a couple of random thoughts.

          First, this Trump campaign reminds me a little of Barry Goldwater in 1964. Goldwater served 5 terms in the Senate so he was a politician, but he brought fear to the race with the thought of the Arizona Senator having access to the nuclear trigger.

          Speaking of The Donald – I heard an interesting thought about him – it suggested Trump never goes on defense – that he is always on the offensive. Think about it – when someone attacks Trump he immediately strikes back, never with an excuse or explanation but with an aggressive response. He often uses Twitter and his Twitter Army jump in and attack the opponent like a swarm of locusts.

          Another story I heard was that Trump said he’s been aggressive since the second grade when he punched his music teacher in the eye because he didn’t think the teacher knew anything about music!

          Think about this – Trump’s aggressive behavior has been effective in the political campaign arena, but how will it work as President of the United States.


          Now a few thoughts about Mrs. Clinton.

          A Time magazine article suggests she might beat Trump by being boring rather than engaging him. I couldn’t agree more. It takes two to have an argument so maybe Hillary just ignores Trump and especially his crude remarks and if she does it well she might just drive him crazy?

          My wife and I used to have a code when any discussion got too hot to handle – we’d just say “How about those Royal’s?”

          I’d love a debate where Trump rips into Mrs. Clinton and she responds “How about those Mets?”

          Clinton’s other ploy might be to avoid campaign mode. She’s not good at campaigning. During husband Bill’s race in 1992 her approval rating dropped to 38% only to rise to 66% as First Lady. As a candidate in 2008 her approval rating dropped to 48%, but went back up to 66% as Secretary of State.

          Hillary’s best strategy might just be - to be boring and let Trump be the boor.

          Are we having fun yet?

          I’m Steve Sauder.

May 11, 2016

It is graduation time. I know this because I saw President Obama giving an address to graduates at Howard University. He will also talk to the graduates at Rutgers’s and the Air Force Academy. His message was good, positive and political urging grads to not only vote this time, but every time.

If I was speaking at a graduation my message would be more direct. One idea would be to use the Post I’ve seen recently on Face Book suggesting there some things anyone can accomplish that require absolutely no talent. That means there is no excuse to not practice these traits.

Zero talent is required to:

1.     Be on time.

2.     Have a strong work ethic.

3.     Give effort

4.     Display positive body language.

5.     Exert energy.

6.     Have a good attitude.

7.     Show true passion.

8.     Be coachable.

9.     Do the extra things.

10.   Be prepared.

Great advice because all these things are traits we see in our best employees, co-workers and leaders. God gave each of us the tools to do all those things if we desire to do them – no talent required.

Now let me simplify that list for you. Back in my youth coaching days and especially when I coached youngsters on the baseball field I had just 2 rules. I’d tell the boys – if you can say “yes sir, when asked these questions we’ll never have a problem.

My two rules were: “Hustle and Do Your Best.”

Pretty simple and I believe they pretty much cover all ten ideas from before.

Son, were you hustling? Were you doing your best? If you can say “yes” then we won’t have a problem.

Either way – the ten things you can do that do not require talent or “Hustle and Do Your Best” those who try hardest will succeed.

I’m Steve Sauder

May 4, 2016


          On vacation for weeks, you find hundreds of rabid, messy, mean Raccoon's have overtaken your basement. You want them gone. You call 4 exterminators but nobody could handle the job. But there is this one guy and he guarantees he can get rid of them, so you hire him.

You don't care if the guy smells, you don't care if he swears, you don't care if he's an alcoholic, you don't care how many times he's been married, and you don't care if he voted for Obama...you simply want those raccoons gone! You want your problem fixed! He's the guy. He's the best. Period.
            This is why some people want Donald Trump. Yes, he's a bit of an ass and an egomaniac, but they don't care. They say country is a mess because politicians suck, the Republican Party is two-faced & gutless, and immigration is out of control. They want it fixed! They don't care that Trump is crude, that he insults people, that he had been friendly with Hillary Clinton, that he has changed positions, that he's been married 3 times, that he fights with Megan Kelly and Rosie O'Donnell, or that he didn't know the name of some terrorist.

They believe our country is weak, that it is bankrupt, that our enemies are making fun of us, that we are becoming a nation of victims where every Tom, Dick and Harriett is a special group with special rights. They sometimes don't recognize the country they were born in. AND THEY JUST WANT IT FIXED and Trump is the only guy who seems to understand what these people want. They are sick of politicians, sick of both Democrats and Republicans!  They just want this thing fixed.

They know Trump isn’t a Saint, but he doesn't have lobbyist money holding him, he doesn't have political correctness restraining him, they believe he has been very successful, that he’s a good negotiator, that he’s built a lot of things, and he's NOT a cowardly politician.

And he swears he can fix it. And they believe him because he is too much of an egomaniac to be proven wrong.
They don't even care if the guy has really bad hair!
They just want those raccoons gone. Out of their house. NOW!!
           This is why thousands of people that haven't voted in 25 years are registering to vote this year – because the raccoons have got to go!!

          And there, my friends, is the key! Peoplewho haven’t voted in 25 years are in L O V E with Trump.

As a group they have carried Trump to victory – first, in primaries with many contestants dividing the vote, but recently in contests with fewer candidates. Look Out ! He IS gaining speed.

          Trump’s problem will likely show up in the November election when he has only one opponent and his alienation of groups like females, Hispanics, African Americans, veterans and Muslims will be much more difficult to overcome.  
          In the meantime – look at those raccoons run!

          I’m Steve Sauder

May 2, 2016

Community Comments Edition of Something to Think About


April 28, 2016

Community Comments Edition of Something to Think About

Reading’s Field House by Sherry Ferguson

Generations of Americans have grown up in a throwaway society.  We use it for a while, throw it away and get another one.  I was starting to believe that the following generations were better educated, better informed and cared about such things as the carbon footprint and that they would be a softer, gentler more nurturing generation in regards to our resources.   Some of the responses of young alums in the USD#251 district to the last bond election surprised, and at the same time, saddened me.  

Why should we keep and improve the current buildings?  During the last bond election, I did hear alums say we needed to save our heritage.  The current buildings contain our history.  They are our heritage.  One of those building was built in 1951 in Reading KS; the Reading High School Gymnasium now the Reading Elementary School Gymnasium.  The gymnasium was built during a time when some people referred to them as field houses. 

My history with the building started in 1998 when my daughter entered kindergarten.  In 2007 Mr. J.T. Crawford recognized the importance of the building and had the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students at Reading give the gymnasium a facelift by painting signs that told of the school’s rich history.  One sign told of the league championships of Reading High School.  Another sign told of the league championships of Reading Grade School and a third sign contained some of the academic achievements of Reading Grade School.  

Mr. Crawford was quoted in The Emporia Gazette in 2007 as saying “Reading gym is kind of a blast from the past.  We’re just kind of trying to preserve it……..It’s straight out of ‘Hoosiers.’  Next to White Auditorium, it’s one of the most prized gyms in the area.  It seats over 600 people.”  “The gym was built in 1951 ….. and is one of the last of the old-fashioned gymnasiums, complete with theater-type seating and a raised buffer zone between the basketball court and the spectators……It’s a wonderful place to coach…..There’s not a bad seat in the place.  It’s just wonderful.” 

The kids spent hours working on the project even coming in over their Christmas break to work on it.  Mr. Crawford demanded excellence and they did their best to comply.   My daughter was proud of the signs and after hours of working on the project did what she thought artists did and signed “Jenna” in very, very tiny letters under the tassel of the graduation mortar board on the academic sign so Mr. Crawford wouldn’t notice it.  As a matter of fact, no one knew that the sign contained her name until it was firmly in place high on the wall in the gymnasium.  Even then she only confessed her actions to Mom and Dad.  And that has remained a secret shared between the three of us until now. 

Each time she enters that gym her eyes go to the wall to see if that sign is still there.   Each NLC alum has a similar story, a piece of their heart they left in one of those buildings.

The Capital Outlay Fund provides funds for the purposes of acquisition, construction, reconstruction, repair, remodeling, additions to, furnishing and maintaining and equipping of school district property and equipment necessary for school district purposes.  The Kansas Department of Education website (ksde.org) has the USD#251 July 1, 2015 balance in the Capital Outlay Fund at $1,124,688.  Since Westar came on the tax rolls our district valuation has grown significantly.   PiperJaffray, investment bankers, Mill Levy Impact Analysis (25 year - $30,900,000) for the May 2016 bond election, project the 2016 district’s assessed valuation to be $91,659,760.  To calculate the approximate revenue USD#251 will receive to replenish the capital outlay fund this year ($91,659,760 * 8 mills / 1000) = $733,278.  It will continue to grow as the district’s evaluation grows. 

In that same PiperJaffray Impact Analysis, they project in 2042 our district’s assessed valuation will be worth $153,385,103.   If the mill rate remains at 8 mills ($153,385,103 * 8 mills / 1000) means $1,227,080 would be generated for building repairs in 2042 at our current funding level.    

I hope that someday I can walk into the old brick and mortar field house at Reading listening as my daughter shares her story with a possible future grandchild.  The intrinsic charm of the old field house will never be procured in a new gymnasium constructed of tilt-up brushed concrete.  The new gypsum board classroom walls will contain no history, and their future?  Throwaway people, throw away walls. 

April 27, 2016

Community Comments Edition of Something to Think About