Something to Think About - keep (253)

 Like a majority of Americans I am disgusted with everyone and about everything in Washington D.C. and my distain is not reserved solely for the President and his party.

 Calling myself a Republican these days is pretty difficult. The failed strategy to shut the government down rather than fund Affordable Health Care was silly enough to start with and now looks absolutely ridiculous with the massive failure of Obamacare to roll out in a workable fashion.

 If you are keeping score the Republicans missed an opportunity to tackle President Obama for safety with their actions of the past few weeks.

 What exactly do you think the news the past weeks would have been without the shut down?

 Of course it would have ALL been about the FAILURE of the Affordable Healthcare Plan to work. Without the shutdown to deflect attention President Obama would have been on a hot seat with no other topic to address

 Opportunity lost for the Republicans, but current rhetoric makes me wonder if they learned anything.

 Then there is our President. The morning after he addresses the nation and instead of offering up some type of language designed to heal the wounds he declares victory.

 He described the agreement to re-open government as being passed by the democrats and “responsible republicans.”

 That is not what I expected or hoped for. My hope was he’d say we had our differences, but we found a way to compromise. There are some who still disagree, so we need to reach out to them and a find a way move forward. Instead he calls the irresponsible!

 My thinking is Mr. Obama has to work really hard at leading vs. trying to win battles.

 I guess the good news is after the first of the year they will get to try all this again. Some Republicans say they won’t allow the government to be shut down again. That’s a good start, but not all Republicans are saying that, so hang on.

 Lord help us cause there is not a way to vote all of them out at once. Wish us luck.

 I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to think about.

                                                10-22-14

          The Kansas City Royals are in the World Series! How cool is that?

          Greg Rahe was - right on - yesterday when he suggested to Ron they ought to go back to opening the World Series on a weekday afternoon. 

          Those were the good old days for sure.

          Greg’s comment made me remember as a boy I often developed a stomach ache on the day the World Series started so I could leave school and listen at home.

          Fact is my mom even helped me out once by sending a note to my teacher suggesting “Stevie might be getting sick! “

          What a day yesterday was for the Royals organization?

          How funny was it when owner David Glass was presented the American League championship trophy and the lady said “I never thought 20 years ago when you became an owner this would ever happen?”

          Over the years she was not alone.

          Dayton Moore has had his share of detractors as well. It has taken the Royal’s General Manager quite a bit longer than hoped to realize success, but who’s counting now?

          And of course there’s everybody’s favorite whipping boy - Ned Yost. Not long ago the Royal’s manager was being booed at the “K” on a somewhat regular basis. The Wall Street Journal even called him a dunce! But ‘ol Ned is getting the last laugh. Turns out being a good leader is more important than doing what the experts think you should have done – usually after the fact.

          Yost’s biggest asset in my opinion is he doesn’t get too high when things are good nor too low when they are not so good.

          As I record this on Tuesday afternoon I, of course don’t know what happened last night, but I am sure the Royals played hard and made us proud.

          Predicting baseball is harder than forecasting the weather. ESU’s fine baseball coach Bob Fornelli says it best when he suggests - if his team played the Yankees a hundred times he’d find a way to beat them at least once.

          Baseball is totally unpredictable. Maybe that’s why it’sAmerica’s pastime.

          Don’t get too high and don’t ever give up – it’s baseball and until there’s 3 outs in the ninth you still have a chance. You gotta love our Royals!

          I’m Steve Sauder

         

            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.

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

          “What we have here is a failure to communicate,” Cool Hand Luke once said and if he were in Washington today he’d probably be saying the exact same thing.

          The U. S. Government is shut down again. This is the eighteenth time this has happened. The first shutdown came in 1976 under President Gerald Ford and it was largely over funding for two departments – Labor and Heath, Education and Welfare. The Democratically controlled Congress eventually overrode Ford’s veto. It took 12 days.

          President Jimmy Carter was involved in 4 shut downs of the U.S. government. Issues included Medicaid, abortion and funding for public works and military projects.

          President Reagan is the “Shutdown King” having been involved in 7 such events. The issues ran accross the board with everything from MX missiles to abortion. Reading about the Reagan shutdowns one has to be impressed with how they were resolved.

          Here is an example: In 1987 the Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate. They opposed funding for the Nicaraguan Contras but desired the FCC to start reinforcing the “Fairness Doctrine.” The D’s yielded on Fairness Doctrine in exchange for non-lethal aid for the Contras.

          Do you see my point?

          They “yielded.” There was a compromise. Reagan worked with his political opponents in an amazing manner.

          President George H.W. Bush and Congress worked out a deal in 1990. President Bill Clinton and Congress twice agreed to compromises in order to end shutdowns!

          Amazingly President George W. Bush never had to deal with a shutdown.

          So what about today?

          For starters the fragmentation in the political parties, especially within the GOP, is greater than ever before. Leaders don’t have anywhere near the clout they did a few years ago. Pork Barrel deals and political money are not available to be spread around to help legislators change their minds.

          No doubt the Republicans holding Obamacare hostage will get much of the blame, but President Obama better watch out because eventually a floundering economy will land on his lap.

          Don’t look for much but rhetoric for a few weeks, but on October 24th bond payments will be due and the rubber will start to hit the road. Stay tuned.

          I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to think about.

          This presidential campaign I think you will agree is off the chart crazy. Way to much talk about “rigged media coverage, private e-mails, insults, body parts, Bill Clinton’s behavior, locker room talk and pant suits!”

          Tonight is the last of three “so-called” debates. We are less than 3 weeks from Election Day and Time magazine says 48% of us are disappointed, 46% scared, 23% sad, 16% excited and only 9% satisfied. I guess I haven’t met any of those 9% that are supposedly satisfied with this campaign for president.

          With the debate tonight I thought it might be fun to have a score card listing what should be the top issues in this campaign to see how many times these issues get mentioned.

          During last debate Social Security wasn’t even mentioned! I’m thinking that’s a pretty important topic.

          Here’s the list of issues and the ranking by Time.

          They list Economy and Jobs as Number 1 with a 61% vote.

          Terrorism and National Security is second with a 58% vote.

          Health Care at 38% was third.

          Fourth was Immigration at 28%.

          The Budget Deficit was number 5 at 22%.

          Sixth was Gun Control at 21%

          Social Security was seventh at 19%.

          Climate change and Government regulation round out the top nine with 15% and 12% respectively.

          My question is how much time will be devoted to these nine issues versus, Bill Clinton’s misdeeds or the sorted history of Donald Trump’s activities?

          America has the best record of all countries for peaceful transition of power after a presidential election, but with the volatility of this campaign that may change.

If Donald Trump loses one has to wonder what he will say. Will he concede and throw support to Mrs. Clinton or will he cry “rigged” and fire up his supporters?

It would appear that concern for the future of our democracy after this debacle is not unwarranted.

Again, Heaven help us.

I’m Steve Sauder

           

                                                10-18-17

          Monday it had been 12 days since 4 American soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger and the media obviously hoping to catch President Trump in a misdeed ask him if he had reached out yet to the families?

          President Trump responded that he had penned personal letters to the families over the weekend and they would be mailed that night or soon. He also said he would be calling the families.

          Seems to me the discussion should have ended there, but the President decided to elaborate a little bit and suggested that previous presidents specifically President Obama had not always reached out to families.

          When pushed for details because he was caught in a mistruth he backtracked and used his famous "he didn't know, but he'd been told" President Obama did not reach out.

          When do these types of encounters for Donald Trump end?

          Let me ask you a question. Have you ever heard President Donald Trump say any of these statements?

          1. I don't know.

          2. I was wrong; or

          3. I am sorry.

          Seriously, all mortals are faced with situations where we must admit - we don't know the answer; that we were wrong; or that we are sorry.

          How is it that our President is totally immune to having to say any of those things? Not once can I recall him saying any of these.

          Obviously Trump supporters like his brash and bold style, but even his most ardent supporter must tire of his constant inability to be truthful and his awful habit of always going on attack when challenged.

         

          Four dead soldiers was a question he should have been prepared for, but obviously was not. Trump's Press Secretary had a good explanation he could have used and shut the whole deal down.

          She said any delay in reaching out was based on getting accurate information as to exactly what happened in Niger.  But, President Trump couldn't just say that. He had to go attack dog and impugn his predecessors and make a mountain out of a mole hill.

          Donald Trump is his own worst enemy and becoming a serious embarrassment for our country.

          I’m Steve Sauder and “There’s something to think about.”

       One of our loyal listeners shared a story with me that deserves repeating. Please understand this is not a shot at any athletic team, but just about setting a good example for youngsters.

          Roosevelt, Utah is a town of 6100 near Salt Lake. After Friday night’s game the coach kept the entire squad in the locker room for an hour and a half.

          They weren’t talking about the loss. The coach was more concerned about the way his players were acting off the field: “Skipping classes. Not doing their homework. Bully classmates over the internet and; Disrespecting teachers.”

          “Turn in your jerseys, you are done playing for Union High until you start acting right,”said the coach.

          Each player left the meeting with a letter outlining the problems that needed to be fixed. The most important passage was this: “The lack of character we are showing off the field is outshining what we are achieving on the field.”

          On Monday and Tuesday instead of practicing the team pulled weeds, washed windows and did other jobs at two nursing homes. The coach started study halls for players behind in their classes. Every part of the young men’s lives were called into question including their behavior at home.

          Nearly everyone bought in and most benefitted. Player’s change in attitude was seen at home, at school, and in the community. On Thursday 32 of the 41 players were given their jerseys back. Some played in the JV game that day and all prepared for Homecoming on Friday night. The other nine still had work to do to get the jersey back.

          I’m sure there was resistance, but generally the actions of the coach were well received in the community. The article suggested some thought he was a hero, but others agreed he was just “Coach of the Year.”

          Raising youngsters has never been easy and with things like social media to deal with the job just gets tougher.

          Many times on KVOE I have shared an idea we used in raising our boys. Our rule when they were out was pretty simple. We required them always let us know where they were. Factor in that most of these years were prior to cell phones and you understand my boys had a challenge. We expected them to call us anytime their location changed.

          Not sure if that’s good advice for these times, but it worked pretty well in the eighties!

          I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to think about.

I am 68 yeas old and have been on Medicare for about three years.      Here are three questions for my fellow seniors citizens?

          Are you dissatisfied with Medicare?

Have you had issues with the service or convenience when using federal Medicare?

Are you interested or willing to give up your Medicare in order to sign back up with a private, for profit provider?

My answer to all three questions is a resounding NO!

Medicare actually has been a pleasant surprise. Most of you know my healthcare needs have been significant the past few years and Medicare has been really good in terms of coverage, usability and convenience. No problem with obtaining care, selecting doctors or anything.

So, you may understand my concern when my Governor and the legislature he controls have decided Kansas seniors would be better off without Medicare.

          Governor Brownback’s plan is for Kansas to be in a compact of states where Medicare becomes a state block grant style program run by private, for-profit companies.

          The U.S. Senate will need to agree for this to happen, but the Governor is clearly on a mission.

Medicare is one federal program that works well plus Kansas has a horrible record for taking over federal programs. Take Medicaid for example. The three private companies trying to run KanCare are struggling having lost $110,000 million last year and another $72.6 million so far this year!

          So, Kansas Seniors if you like me are happy with your Medicare the best way to protect yourself is to let Governor Brownback and his buddy Representative Huelskamp know – our Medicare is not broken!

          Seems to me the best way to insure Kansas doesn’t drop out of the Federal Medicare program is to get rid of the people who think it needs to be fixed. Ask every candidates where they stand on this question before you vote.

          Election Day is November fourth. Please take time to register and vote.

          I’m Steve Sauder

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

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