Something to Think About - keep (236)

          I have been characterized as a “sports junky.” So be it as today my topic is Emporia State football and with no apologies.

          Yesterday former Emporia State football coach Jerry Kill addressed my Rotary club.

          Kill coached here in 1999 and 2000 before heading to Division I Southern Illinois followed by Northern Illinois and finally Minnesota in the Big Ten. He has been named National Coach of the Year 3 times and recently was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. 

          Just over a year ago Kill was forced to retire from coaching – walking away from an $8 million three year contract for health reasons. He’s now an Assistant AD at K-State.

          Kill was only at ESU for 2 years winning and losing 11 games, but he played a significant role in the success of Emporia State football today.

          You see, Kill replaced Manny Matsakis after his Hornets were 9-2 in his last of 4 years here -  the Brian Shay years.

          What Kill found upon arriving at Emporia State was program with few players, footballs or scholarships. Matsakis knew he would leave after 4 years and bled the well dry!

          Kill’s leadership restored the program in a hurry and inspired a fund raising campaign known as the “Difference Makers” that still functions today.

          In his talk yesterday Kill lauded the fund raising suggesting the program could have been set back 25 years without it!

          My opinion is the three coaches most important in the history of ESU football are Larry Kramer who did the dirty work of laying a foundation for football here.

Kill who provided needed leadership and knowledge and inspired many even though his stay was short.

And Garin Higgins who now leads the best NCAA Division II program in Kansas.

          Higgins efforts are magnified when you consider the obstacles he has to overcome.

          ESU plays in the toughest Division II conference in America with second lowest athletic budget. Recent efforts including the Now and Forever campaign have increased the budget, but other schools are raising money too.

          Higgins took the job knowing that he would have fewer toys in his toy box than schools like Northwest Missouri, Central Missouri and Pittsburg but he has overcome.

          ESU athletics across the board employs an attitude of “Doing more with less.” The school may be at the bottom of the MIAA in budget, but is way better than that in results.

          Congratulations to ESU football and Coach Higgins on a great season and a great future.

          I’m Steve Sauder

 Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and all across America people will give thanks for their many blessings.

          While Thanksgiving goes all the way back to the Pilgrims at Plymouth in 1620 the official Thanksgiving in America was finally proclaimed as such by President Abe Lincoln in 1863 the same year our university in Emporia was founded.

          Prior to Lincoln’s proclamation this celebration took several turns.

          In 1620 the 56 Pilgrims who made it through the first winter celebrated their survival and their bumper crop. Their celebration included 91 Indians who helped them through the winter.

          During the three day celebration they dined on wild ducks, geese and venison. It’s doubtful if turkey was part of the meal. Confusion may have set in because the term “turkey” was used widely to describe all wild game.

          In 1676 Charlestown, Massachusetts declared June 29 as a day of thanksgiving to express thanks for all their good fortune. Interestingly, their feast did not include the Indians because part of the occasion was to celebrate their victory over those “heathen natives.”

          October of 1777 was the first time all 13 colonies joined in a thanksgiving celebration.

          George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789 although some were opposed suggesting the hardship of a few Pilgrims did not warrant a national holiday.

Later, President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of having a day of thanksgiving.

It was a 40 year campaign by Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, that led to Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863.

Thanksgiving was proclaimed by every president after Lincoln. FDR picked a date creating a longer Christmas shopping period, but the public didn’t like it. Finally Congress made the fourth Thursday in November as a legal holiday.

One has to wonder if our Congress today could even agree on that!

          So here we are. Thanksgiving 2013. While we have many blessings to proclaim we also have a state, country and world in turmoil. Seems like a proper time to say thank you for our blessings and ask for guidance to help us solve our problems. Shall we pray………..

          I am a thankful Steve Sauder.

          Thanksgiving is tomorrow so let’s talk about things for which we are thankful.

          At Rotary yesterday the prayer mentioned things we should be thankful for like family, friends, good health (my thanks is conditional on that one), faith, nice weather, the food, a few other things and health care providers.

          Today let me confirm the prayer list, but to add a couple of local organizations mentioned at the meeting for which Emporians should also be thankful.

          The prayer specifically mentioned health care because our program was presented by Robert Wright the Administrator at Newman Regional Health.

          Bob’s presentation included many numbers – he said “numbers until your eyes cross.” The numbers were from surveys taken to gauge the quality of care and service at Newman. Obviously he would not have presented them if they were not positive.

          What we learned about our rapidly changing hospital is that it has turned the corner on profitability and at the same time maintained and/or improved the level of care.

          Bob bragged about the excellent quality of the current medical staff and the hospital’s efforts to recruit specialists to replace doctors lost over the past few years.

          Newman Hospital is a community asset and we should be exceedingly grateful for people like Robert Wright and his staff and also the hospital’s volunteer Board of Directors who have steered the institution through some very choppy waters.

          Our Rotary Club has a project to improve conditions at one of S.O.S.’s shelters in Emporia. The work S.O.S. does in our community is unnoticed by many, but their efforts make our community a much better and safer place to live. We are thankful for S.O.S.

          And lastly, The Emporia Community Foundation will be holding their Match Day December 1, at the Mall. This unique effort will provide much needed funding for 15 organizations running from our municipal band and animal shelter to Emporia Celebrates the Flint Hills. The Hopkins, Reeble and Trusler Foundations assist and deserve our thanks, but please also remember the silent good works of the Community Foundations.

          We have a lot about which to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving.

          I’m Steve Sauder

It’s Thanksgiving week and I was intrigued by a story on Face Book about 7 year old Jack Swanson from Pflugerville, Texas who reacted to the vandalism of the local Islamic Center by gathering up his savings – twenty dollars he’d been saving towards an I-Pad – and gave it to the mosque.

Jack isn’t a Muslim just a kid who saw injustice and felt a need to help.

An official from the mosque reacted saying, “Jack’s 20 dollars are worth twenty-million dollars to us because it’s the thought that counts. This gives me hope… it’s not one versus the other. Our kids are going to grow up together… if we have more kind hearted kids like Jack in the world, I have hope for our future.”

The mosque reportedly gave Jack a gift for his act of kindness – a brand new Apple I-Pad!

Hope you agree this is a neat story especially in these times of tremendous stress and distrust of our fellow man.

Our world is torn with the threats of terrorism. Our lives have been forever changed. Trust in our world is in short supply. We all have to wonder what’s next. Travel plans are now often based on safety. We have to wonder where is this going and how will it end?

Thanksgiving will be a welcome time. A time to reflect and say thanks for all we have, but also a time to ask for guidance.

As Americans we have so much about which to be thankful, yet attacks like the event is Paris make us unsure of the future.

Maybe we should take the lead from Jack Swanson? Dedicate ourselves to acts of kindness. We all know we don’t need more hate on our world, so why not look for places to be good to our fellow man? Who knows it might start to add up!

Have a great Thanksgiving, I’m Steve Sauder.

Excellent thoughts from a friend via Face Book about Thanksgiving and the situation we are facing in our country and society today. Here’s what Brian posted:

Is love more important than World View?

My unsolicited advice this week is not to go to war at the Thanksgiving table. Value the person sitting across from you. If you are spending your holiday time with someone, then showing them that you care about them personally is more important than proving yourself right about religion, politics, or economic theory.

No one is going to be convinced of anything right now. We’ve all got our lines drawn in the sand, and everyone is prepared for nuclear war with one another at a moment’s notice. It is too early for anyone to declare victory or defeat. Neither candidate met most of our expectations so let’s not lose loved ones over how we ranked them.

Find something else to talk about: Life’s ambition, the year in review, your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Good Luck everyone!

Good advice.

Thanksgiving is a day to show appreciation for our many blessings and despite the turmoil and upheaval we see daily in our world we still live in the best country, in the best of times. Wonderful relationships sometimes can’t stand the discussion of religion or politics, so why take the chance?

At least for tomorrow let’s follow a couple of good ideas: First - Don’t worry and be happy; and quoting my mom again: “If you can’t say something nice about someone - then don’t say anything at all!”

Have a great turkey day! I’m Steve Sauder.

 Webster defines to teach as: to give instruction; to train by example, practice or exercise.

 Wow, that sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?

 This is National Education Week. The Emporia State Federal Credit Union, Country Mart North, the Emporia School District and the Emporia NEA delivered cookies to all USD 253 facilities yesterday to say “thank you” to teachers. That’s a nice touch, but not nearly enough. Teachers deserve more than just a cookie.

 Dan Rather said, "The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.”

 Horace Mann said,     "Teachers teach because they care. Teaching young people is what they do best. It requires long hours, patience, and care."   

 Charles Platt said,   "Compassionate teachers fill a void left by working parents who aren't able to devote enough attention to their children.”

 William Arthur Ward said,     "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."

 Thank a teacher today.

 If you love to read, thank a teacher.

 If you learned a second language, thank a teacher.

 If you can write a good sentence, thank a teacher.
 

 The National Teacher’s Hall of Fame Auction is tomorrow night right here on KVOE. You can go kvoe.com right now and see the items for sale then tune in and support teachers everywhere. It’s a lot of fun.

 Thank you teachers, you are our future.

 I’m Steve Sauder

As messy as the presidential race has gotten we are lucky locally to have clear choices in contested races with the potential to restore our state government to one about which we can be proud.

Today my thoughts on three state candidate races and the Supreme Court Retention question.

In the three races for the state legislature we have excellent choices with experience being the key difference in the contestants.

Jeff Longbine seeks to return to the Kansas Senate. His story is interesting. He grew up in Emporia as a star athlete from a prominent family. He had all makings of a playboy. But, at an earlier than expected age he found himself in the lead position at the family’s automobile dealership. 

Jeff’s performance as an automobile dealer is well documented, but it’s the rest of the story that amazes me.

Slightly over a decade ago Longbine decided to run for the Emporia City Commission where he excelled as a problem solver. When the opportunity to run for the Senate developed he stepped up and he has done well. He is being touted for a leadership position in the coalition designed to fix the damage done by the Brownback administration.

His opponent has tried to paint Longbine as a “Brownback enabler” but nothing could be further from the truth.

Longbine has stayed free from labels and is seen as a solution person by his colleagues. The Emporia Gazette wrote “Jeff has used his negotiating skills to bring parties together on divided issues.”

Emporia will be best represented with one of the leaders in the group shepherding our state’s recovery than by a freshman senator trying to find her office.

Mark Schreiber brings a different kind of experience to his task. He has been working with the legislature for nearly 30 years. He knows his way around the capital and knows most all the people he will be working with. Also amazing is how closely his demeanor resembles that of the person he desires to replace. Maybe that’s why Don Hill was willing to retire!

Make no mistake Schreiber will be his own man, but he does hold the moderate principles we so desperately need in Topeka.

In endorsing Theresa Briggs my choice is for known over unknown. Theresa has proven herself as a leader in difficult situations. Both as the leader for Drug Free Schools and as a Lyon County Commissioner her job had challenges. In both cases she was up to the task. Now living in rural Kansas, Theresa adds a new dimension to her qualifications.

Theresa will be a problem solver in Topeka.

The Supreme Court Justice Retention issue is easy for me. I’ll keep them all because I don’t trust Governor Brownback to appoint their replacements.

Votes for Longbine, Schreiber, and Briggs and “Yes” for the Supreme Court judges will be positive steps in helping Kansas regain its pride.

I’m Steve Sauder

It’s been awhile since the Gazette and KVOE disagreed on anything, so let’s change that today.

The Gazette’s Chris Walker took County Commissioner Scott Briggs to task for voting “NO” on the proposed rezoning of the 318 acre Price tract asking “what was he really thinking…”

Briggs told me he was thinking rezoning the tract to heavy industrial without knowledge of what the use would be was not in the best interest of the people he represents and who own the adjacent property.

An option on the land had been obtained by Emporia Enterprises because a major U.S. company was considering Emporia for a large distribution center. Even though Briggs was not convinced this project was what our area needs – more on that later – he supported the plan until the distribution center people chose another Kansas community.

Emporia Enterprises chose to keep pursuing rezoning because the tract is extremely well situated. It is an especially nice site because rail access and utilities are present. Only roads need to be added.

The rub occurred when residents of the area became uncomfortable with the proposed heavy industrial zoning without knowing the future use of the property.

I am fairly certain Mr. Walker would not be happy if land near his rural property were rezoned heavy industrial without knowing who might be his potential neighbor.

Making Briggs out as the bad guy was unfair. He and his neighbors were ready to support the change with the certainty that a distribution center would be built there. When those plans fell through attitudes changed rapidly.

Briggs mentioned at the Lyon County Commission meeting he’d like to see a new vision for economic development. In a conversation with me Scott suggested while the distribution center would have created jobs he is not sure that’s all Lyon County should be seeking.

His point was this. Lyon County sits near the bottom of the list of Kansas counties when per capita income is ranked. Adding 200 jobs paying below $20 an hour will not move the meter on our per capita income dilemma. That’s what Briggs is talking about when he says we need to examine our vision.

We agree.

We also agree when the Commissions – Lyon County and Emporia City say they want their future economic development efforts to be tied to Emporia State University and the Technical College.

This is not saying the efforts of the RDA are misguided just saying let’s expand our vision. With city-county cooperation at an all time best it’s time for action. A comprehensive plan would be a great place to start.

I’m Steve Sauder and there’s Something to Think About.

The usual rules when it comes to talking with others about religion and politics are “agree to disagree” and “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

This presidential election has certainly not been normal.

Please note there are – of course – historic divisions in the ideas put forth to lead our country. This is not about any of those issues.

Mr. Trump’s campaign featured messages of intolerance of people of other religions, races, and women. He did not adhere to the normal rules of discourse.

Mr. Trump received endorsements from KKK and other white supremacists groups -  he has yet to disavow these associations.

Calls to “unify” and “give him a chance” have been touted this past week. But President Elect Trump is showing little sign of distancing himself from Candidate Trump.

Since the election, he has named Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. Bannon is the head of a neo-conservative media site featuring memes by anonymous white supremacists opposing immigration, multiculturalism, and feminism.

Among the United States core values are “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” and “all people are created equal.” These are not values reflected in what Mr. Trump has said, in his actions, and in the people he’s choosing to assist him lead this diverse country.

Do I want Mr. Trump to fail? As president leading our nation, no – I want his agenda items that push racism and divisiveness to fail.

Mostly I want him to learn. I want him to learn that words mean things and invoke feelings that lead to actions that he can not turn on and off like a tap. Learn that people coming to believe if they don’t think they have it “great” they should blame others – usually those who are different from them. I want him to learn that children are listening and watching.

As a parent, we are always modeling behavior for our children. Just as these behaviors include being respectful and polite, they also include when to stand up and speak out.

Another age old adage is “Respect is earned, not given.”

Laura, give me a call.

          Laura is my stepdaughter by marriage.

Dear Laura,

          Have you ever heard the saying: "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face?"

It’s a warning against pursuing revenge in a way that would damage oneself more than the object of one's anger.

It was one of my mom’s favorites and seems very appropriate concerning the election of Donald Trump.

It has also come into play with Governor Brownback. Rooting for our governor to fail over the last 6 years has had a self defeating quality to it. Kind of like cutting off your nose to…. oh I think you see my point.

Same thing applies to Mr. Trump.

I didn’t vote for him, talked him down both privately and on the radio, but guess what he still got elected. Forget the popular vote that just makes it worse.

But, working against him now becomes counter productive. I think he will fail, but he is my president and I owe him respect just like I respected all the other presidents I’ve lived through. I have often disagreed with them, but have attempted to always show respect in terms of what I called them, etc.

Laura, my biggest concern in suggesting we keep our dislike for Mr. Trump under cover is not as much that either one of us has that much influence except that we do have tremendous influence to some who are close to us – like Eli.

I was so impressed when you became a Bernie Sanders supporter. You knew I didn’t share your enthusiasm, but that wasn’t important. What was important was you got involved and we had great discussions and Eli was with you. There aren’t many six-year-olds as involved as he was!

I have to wonder what Eli’s thoughts were when you had to change to Hillary Clinton because he knew you didn’t like her very much either.

My hope is we can agree that while we aren’t big Trump supporters that refusing to give him a chance is not very smart because if he fails – so does America! Even President Obama is trying to meet him half way.

Which brings me to the other saying my mom was big on that is going to be my rule concerning President Elect Trump: “If you can’t say something nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all?”

Love you guys and hope you will think about this with me. America is so unique and it needs kids like Eli, Henry and Elle and my bunch – Tate, Trey, Alex, Isaac, Scarlett, Brooks and Hudson to see positive examples in their parents.

Today’s lesson: “If you can’t say something nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all.”

I’m Papa Steve

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