Something to Think About - keep (257)

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

November 19th marks the 150 year anniversary of Lincoln’s amazing Gettysburg Address given at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery four and a half months after the Battle of Gettysburg.

It seems proper to hear these words again as we celebrate Veteran’s Day in America.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.

It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The Gettysburg Address

Delivered on November 19, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln.

Visit learntheaddress.org to see Ken Burn’s attempt to memorialize this great speech.

I’m Steve Sauder

EmporiaStateUniversity is Emporia’s most important asset - doubtful anyone would challenge that statement.

          Things are really good at ESU. Enrollment is up, morale has never been better and the school’s Now and Forever campaign is succeeding.

          It is a great honor for me to be Champion for Athletics for the Now and Forever campaign. Champion is code for leader and worker. Under Shane Shively’s leadership and the excellent people at the ESU Foundation and the ESU Athletics department we have been very successful on the athletic side of the campaign. Our working goal was reached quickly and a new one has been established.

          We’ve raised a lot of new scholarship money, finished off the JohnBaxterHealthCenter, funded summer school for many athletes and last week the new Dennis Shogren Scoreboard for Welsh Stadium was announced.

While athletics has exceeded expectations there is still much to accomplish.

We added almost half a million dollars to last year’s ESU athletic budget and guess what that got us?

          We are still 13th out of 14 teams in the MIAA in athletic budget!

          While that doesn’t sound like much it was exactly what we needed to do, but “the rest of the story” is we must keep the pace up or we will become number fourteen.

          The Now and Forever is having a positive effect everywhere. The Deans of the Schools and Colleges at ESU are energized and working closely with Foundation personnel to find ways to move the institution forward.

          President Michael Shonrock’s “can do” attitude is visible everywhere.

          Things are really good now at ESU, but the immediate future is scary.

Despite what Governor Brownback says the increasing revenue deficiencies in Topeka undoubtedly mean new cuts in state support for higher education.

This means our university needs our help now more than ever.

          Lyon County and EmporiaCity leaders have expressed a desire to help. Now is the time for this to happen. Scholarship or marketing dollars or help with financing new living units it’s time for action.

As individuals we can support the school in many ways. Please do what you can.

Emporia State is Emporia’s most important asset, so let’s treat it as

such.

I’m Steve Sauder and I am a Hornet.

         Our choices to represent us in the First Congressional District of Kansas will be: Incumbent Tim Huelscamp, and Challengers: Kent Roth and Alan LaPolice.

          Believe it or not this is an improvement as Rep. Huelscamp, in Congress since 2011, ran unopposed in 2012! He initially won his seat after winning a wild primary with numerous contestants including Dr. James Barnett from Emporia.

          Speaking from a personal point of view Tim Huelscamp has been an embarrassment as my representative in Washington. His ultra conservative positions seem unwavering and only get worse. At a time when gridlock in Washington is one of the biggest problems Huelscamp is exactly the opposite of what is needed, yet no one even ran against him in the last election.

          There would appear to be reason for hope when polling consistently indicates over 51% of First District Kansans do not approve of Huelscamp’s activities.

          Former Kansas legislator Kent Roth from Ellenwood announced his campaign to unseat Congressman Huelscamp months ago. I sent him a donation and he sent me a bumper sticker that says – No Labels – Kick Too Crazy for Kansas Out of Congress.

          Not sure how effective that is, but I did put one on my car.

          Earlier this week Kent Roth solicited me again.

          His letter thanked me for my donation, defined the Federal contribution limits for me, pointed out the polling numbers mentioned earlier and suggested splitting the opposition vote in the primary would not be good. He then dropped the bombshell that truly explains the value of being an incumbent like Huelscamp.

          Kent told me had cash on hand of $15,756; the other person in the race had $14,402 but our incumbent congressman Tim Huelscamp reported cash on hand in excess of $800,000!

          Not exactly a positive message for a want-a-be supporter, huh?

          My question is what can we do about our congressman? He’s a bright guy, PhD in political science, concentrating on agriculture policy from American University, but he does not seem to represent us well.

          If you agree with me the time to take action is now, but fifteen grand compared to 800,000 THAT is a big problem. Any ideas?

          I’m Steve Sauder.

  Today is listener participation day on KVOE so you can be involved.

            Governor Sam Brownback is in the news almost daily. Earlier this week he made news because a waitress in Topeka decided to send the Gov a message. She X-ed out the Tip line on his bill for some bar be- que and then wrote in “Tip the Schools.”

            The waitress was upset because her sister is in “special education” and budget cuts have forced good teachers to move on.

            The waitress used Face Book to ask how best to send a message to the Governor. The rest is history.

            Governor Brownback was asked Monday about the incident. He said “I’m out in the public a lot and I get a lot of people saying they agree with me and I get a lot of people saying they don’t.”

            I applaud the Governor for his honest response.

I further think now is a great time for Governor Brownback to hear from Emporia or maybe more correctly what KVOE listeners think of his leadership.

            Here’s the plan. We are providing 2 ways to send a message to the Governor. We will see that he gets the final results.

1.      Go to www.kvoe.com and answer this question:

DO YOU THINK GOVERNOR BROWNBACK IS DOING AN EFFECTIVE JOB OF LEADING OUR STATE?     YES or NO.

            Straight forward and to the point. This Poll is about as fair as we can be because it limits each device to one vote.

2.      The second way you can participate is by calling 620-208-6316. That’s 208-6316.

At the tone leave your message for Governor Brownback

concerning his job performance. Your comments will be limited to 1 minute and we urge callers to prepare their thoughts in advance and also to stay away from inflammatory comments.

            The opportunity to express your satisfaction for or against our Governor’s performance will stay open until midnight tonight. Results will be discussed on Thursday morning and be transmitted to the Governor’s office.

            OK listeners it’s your turn to be heard. www.kvoe.com and/or 620-208-6316.

5-4-16

          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

            William Martin, better known as Billy passed away last Friday. He was almost 77, but way too young to die.

            Billy was good at a lot of things: among them: being a cowboy, as a commodity broker, investor, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, sportsman, world class cook and story teller.

            His golfing legacy is strong having won multiple championships including the Emporia Country Club and EmporiaCity titles. In the local golfing community when you mentioned "Billy," everyone knew about whom you spoke.

            Billy always had a story to share. Some were true often about hunting or fishing, but his most memorable moments were when he told jokes or tall tales.

            With that in mind the following Forrest Gump story made me think of Billy and how he might have told this story.

            Please don't be confused. I'm not drawing a parallel between Billy and Forrest Gump although Billy could slip into his country boy persona when necessary.

            Seems Forrest Gump died and approached Heaven's Gate where St. Peter informed him there would be a three question test to enter.

            Question #1 was: "There are 2 days of the week beginning with the letter T, name them.”

            Forrest thought and answered “Today and Tomorrow.”

            St. Peter said "Not exactly what I was looking for, but you aren't wrong, so carry on."

            Question #2. was: “How many seconds are there in a year?”

            Forrest took some time on this one and then replied " That's really hard, but it has to be 12."

            St. Pete sighed and said "How did you come up with 12 Forrest?"

            "Well, there’s January second; February second; March second.......

            "O.K. said St. Peter you got me, so here's number three. What is God's first name?"

            Without any pause Forrest Gump replied, "That's easy - it's Andy."

            "Andy" St. Peter gasped, "How did you decide that?"

            Forrest blurted, "It's in the song silly - Andy he walks with me; Andy talk with me; Andy he tells me I am his own.”

            St. Pete opened the gates and said "Run, Forrest, run."

            Billy Martin might very well have told that story!

            Not sure if they get the Golf Channel in heaven, but if they do you can bet Billy has St. Peter watching with him maybe even taking notes.

            Hit’em pure Billy!

            I’m Steve Sauder

            5-31-17

            My mother convinced me to try Debate in high school. It was a great experience.

            Each debate starts with a question. My first one was something like: Resolved: the Federal Government of the United States should provide significantly more support for public education.

            After stating the question the affirmative speaker defines “Terms.”

            In the 1962 question I defined: Federal Government, United States, public education and the Federal Reduced Lunch Program. The last one because it was a part of my “Plan” to solve the problem.

            Let’s fast forward to today.

            Maybe the debate question might be: Resolved: the Republican and Democratic Parties shall be required to disclose the source of all their funding.

            Here’s my point.

            How could you define what is a Republican or Democrat?

            In both Kansas and the USA we have gridlock in our legislative process because neither party stands for any one thing which can be explained.

            How many factions are there in the Republican Party? The Democrats in Kansas are not so split, but on the federal level they are certainly anything but united. Will Rogers’ old thought that he didn’t belong to an organized political party because he was a Democrat is very apt today.

            Another word worth defining is Polarization. It means “a sharp division into opposing factions often on the extreme.”

            This, my friends is public enemy number one in both Kansas and Washington. Elected officials who are so committed to their ideals they are unwilling to even consider compromises that might well be best for their constituents. 

            In Kansas we’ve been constrained by the conservative Brownback led majority that is hopefully about to meet its’ match.

            In Washington the polarization is of a unique nature. Donald Trump has his supporters and he continues to play to them and keep them happy despite a lack of real progress in areas that require more than his group’s support to accomplish.

If President Trump wants long term success he will need to find a way to get some bi-partisan support. So far he’s doubled down at every opportunity to keep the polarization alive. That’s unfortunate.

            Defining the terms in my day as a high school debater was easy. Today it might not be possible.

            I’m Steve Sauder

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