Something to Think About - keep (244)

The internet, Google search, Twitter, Facebook and the hundreds of other search tools are fast becoming a nuisance.

          Consider if you will the following words that appeared on my Facebook yesterday:

          Jane Fonda was on 3 times this week talking about her new book…and how she feels being in her 70’s…She still does not know what she did wrong…       Her book just may not make the bestseller list if more people knew.

          Facts as I believe them are: Fonda has a new book, she is in her 70’s, she likely was on TV 3 times and she doesn’t think she did anything wrong during the Viet Nam war.

          One claim against the former award winning actress is that during a trip to North Viet Nam she turned messages given to her by American P.O.W.’s over to their captors.

          Snoopes, Fact Checker and others have pretty much put that story to rest as being false.

          But, Fonda did go to North Viet Nam and did do several things that seem way beyond acceptable.

The actress and activist, defended her decision to go to Hanoi and said she had no regrets about being photographed with American POWs there or making broadcasts on Radio Hanoi because she was trying to stop the war.

"Well”, she said, “both sides were using the POWs for propaganda. I don't think there was anything wrong with it. It's not something that I will apologize for."

The Fonda Follies even involve President Obama.

        She was honored in 1999 as one of the “One Hundred Women of the Century.”

        You can find internet fiction suggesting Barack Obama had something to do with that honor. It appears he did not nor has he ever honored Jane Fonda.

        Interestingly Barbara Walter hosted the One Hundred Women show and said the following about Fonda:

“Many died in Vietnam for our freedoms. I did not like Jane Fonda then and I don't like her now. Jane Fonda can lead her present life the way she wants and perhaps SHE can forget the past, but we DO NOT have to stand by without comment and see her "honored" as a ”Woman of the Century."

        While it is difficult to separate fact from fiction today it has never been difficult for me to dislike Jane Fonda. She did go to Hanoi and worked against the U.S.A. Some of the stories may not be factual, but I agree with Barbara, I don’t have to stand by without comment.

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

Something to Think About

I wanted to focus this week’s something to think about on the importance of working together to reduce our impact on the environment.  A healthy environment is an important part of human and animal life and a must for our existence. 

The earth is the only known living planet; and it’s because of its special environment and ecology that make it life-supporting.  

Forests are one of the most valuable resources and gifts of nature;  and they play a key role in climate, rain-patterns, water and soil conservation.

They are natural homes of many animals, birds, reptiles and insects. 

So, what is it that you can do?   That question is important as we make choices and decisions that affect our personal lives but also impact the world. 

Our ecological footprint is larger than needed.  So, in other words, we are using resources at a greater rate than nature can absorb our waste, and generate new resources. 

So what is it that I can do? Or what is it that you can do?

You may want to develop a plan for your own backyard to help you apply conservation measures that fit your needs, and bring a little diversity to your yard. 

Whether your yard is measured in acres, feet, or flower pots.  It counts! 

You could do something as simple as planting a tree or adding a birdhouse;  planting nectar rich flowers such as phlox, zinnias and many varieties of native milkweed.

The Zoo for instance is focusing efforts towards helping the monarch butterfly by creating butterfly gardens in and around the Zoo.  It is easy to incorporate these plants into your own flowerbeds and gardens.

To create a habitat for monarchs, we need to provide milkweed for the larvae, nectar plants for the adults, and sufficient vegetation to provide shelters for the larvae.  I promise, if you plant it, they will come! 

Whether you live in town or in the country, you can help! 

For instance, many local farmers and ranchers are installing grass, tree and shrub plantings; ponds; and other wildlife habitat such as buffer strips along waterways, grass areas and native prairie plantings. 

They are also planting or leaving food plots of corn or other grains specifically for wildlife. 

Quail, Prairie Chicken, whitetail deer, turkey and songbirds benefit from the habitat farmers and ranchers leave on their land.  

Bats are another beneficial and interesting mammalian species in your neighborhood.  Bats are among the most important consumers of night-flying insects, including mosquitoes, moths, and beetles.

For example, a single little brown bat can catch more than 600 mosquitoes in an hour.  Watching bats fly around light posts catching bugs can be an interesting nighttime activity for your family.

To help attract bats and provide them with much-needed roosting habitat you may want to consider putting up a bat house in your yard. The houses should be placed on poles or buildings at least 15 feet high in a spot that receives 6 or more hours of sun per day.   

You can find plans to build your own bat house on line by searching websites such as the national wildlife federation or even bat world.

You can join us at The David Traylor Zoo on April 24th  for Party for the Planet from 1-3pm and we will help you find easy ways you can make a difference.   

If you aren’t recycling at this time, Please take the pledge to start by recycling one or two types of product and then increase the number of products every few months.  Before you know it, you will have little trash and a full recycling container!   

If each of us does our part we can help save the world! 

This is Lisa Keith and That’s something to think about!

It is crucial that we take care of our surroundings and help nature maintain an ecological balance so that we can hand over to future generations an environment that is a good or better than we found it.  One person cannot do it alone but working together we can make a difference. 

Good Day!

As one drives into our fine city from just about any direction one cannot miss the large sign advising the reader that he is entering an inclusive city. One also finds the logo of several of Emporia’s fine service clubs.  There are many not listed, but for today let’s talk about the ones that are. Masons meet at their Lodge on the first and third Monday right down the street from the Emporia Gazette. 

The Sertoma Club meets at the American Legion Thursday at noon.  This club puts out the US flags up and down main for every flag type celebration. Oh and if you like model trains, this club runs a pretty big one down in Sodens Grove.

Kiwanis—way more than an annual pancake feed. Kiwanis,  there are three clubs in Emporia, a noon, morning and an evening club they all get together to put on the late winter Pancake Day. Each club helps the community in countless ways. Kiwanis clubs are located in over 80 counties. Go find one of those folks that sold you that ticket and say Hey, tell me more.

Rotary International is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders and problem solvers who come together to make positive lasting change in communities at home and abroad.  Check them out they meet at the Emporia Country Club every Tuesday at Noon. 

The America Legion (2nd Tuesday at 7:30pm) and the American Legion Auxiliary (2nd and 3rd Tuesday 9:00 am) is the only military club listed on our city Marque.  As the home of Veterans Day this and many of our military clubs provide invaluable service to our celebrations that make us uniquely us.

The second row starts with the Lions International sign.  Their web site says they are the largest service club in the world, with 1.4 million members geographic area around the globe.  Sight is a major focus of this local service organization.  They meet 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at noon at Emporia State University Student Union Kanza Room.

Altrusa clubs were founded 100 years ago and several decades later they began to focus on literacy for their organization.  No meeting date or place listed but the Emporia Gazette list all the active service clubs, times, date and place every week in the paper. 

Next on our little sign trip is the LWV the League of Women Voters.  The have been in existence since 1920 just before the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified giving women the right to vote.  This very active local organization does in fact accept men into its ranks. Along in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s all these other service clubs began inviting women into their clubs (Very good move Guys!)

Emporia Garden Club of America disbanded as a non-profit.  Dec 2016

And we come to last listing on our service club snapshot—The Optimist International.  This local club meets at ESU each Thursday at noon just one of 2500 club roster that covers the globe who bring out the best in youth communities and ourselves. 

Your Service Organization not listed—find out why.

A Lion and A Rotarian (bicycle riding buddies) were setting in the Chamber Offices the other day, discussing service clubs.  Jeanine allowed that service organizations add Pride to our community. I absolutely concur.  If you are a service club member ask your friend, coworker, church member, and your spouse, anyone Hey you want to join a really neat club?  Let me tell you more.  If you are new to the community or recently retired or just got an empty nest or whatever and want something in your life that will give you more than the effort—join a service club.

My sincere thanks to KVOE for your Community Service

I’m Gary Post and That’s Something to Think about

 

How about a little trivia to start us out today? 

Can you tell me the significance of the following numbers?

19, 17 of 19, 12 of 17, 6 of 12, 6, 3 and 1 of 5? 

If you guessed they have something to do with Lady Hornet Basketball you would be correct.

No apologies for talking sports today because the success and tradition of Lady Hornet Basketball transcends any criticism you might make.

Nineteen is how many years ago Cindy Stein became the ESU coach and started the modern era of Lady Hornet basketball!

Now before some of you old times get upset we had Lady Hornet Basketball prior to Cindy and it was successful, but Stein raised the bar and got us all involved and the rest is as they say….history.

Those other numbers?

17 of 19 represents the number of times the Lady Hornets have made the NCAA tournament field.

12 of 17 is the incredible number of times our ladies have played in the Regional Championship game!

6 of 12 is the number of times the Lady Hornets have won the Sweet Sixteen game and advanced to the Elite 8.

Six is the number of times our ladies have eliminated the host and number 1 ranked team on their home court in the Regional Tournament!

Three represents the coaches: Stein 3 years, Brandon Schneider 11 years; and Jory Collins completing his fifth year.

And finally 1 of 5 is the number of times the Lady Hornets have won a National Championship – 2010 in St. JoeMissouri.

Those numbers are incredible?

It has been fun reading Posts on social media from Lady Hornets congratulating Jory, his staff and the players.

Emily Bloss Carpenter, a former all everything Lady Hornet remembered when Jory started as a scrimmage player for the Lady Hornets 15 years ago! 

Jory’s rise to the top job has been documented many times and his story is far from complete. I’m thinking it may be difficult to keep him in Emporia.

The Lady Hornet tradition is bigger than life and getting better. 

        It is indeed a great day to be a Hornet!

        Stingers Up!

        I’m Steve Sauder.

As I record this segment I am in a bit of a frump. I woke up this morning and realized that what Hornet Nation experienced Monday evening was real and not a bad nightmare.  Our beloved Lady Hornets lost a basketball game to an outstanding Harding team on Harding’s very hostile home court.  Emporia State went from a stretch in the first half to early in the second half when virtually every bounce went our way to a second half stretch when we could not buy a basket even when getting really good looks.  The Harding Lady Bison who have now won 30 games deserve the opportunity to advance to the elite 8 after their come from behind victory and I hope they win the National Championship.  Just like the football playoff – we may not have celebrated but we were pleased when the team that eliminated Emporia State – the Northwest Missouri Bearcats went on to win the national championship.  Speaking of deserving - the Lady Hornets were again, by circumstance, deprived of playing on their home Slaymaker Court in this regional tournament.  To their credit, I am not aware of any complaints about this situation from Coach Collins or his team.  I am sure that this most difficult scheduling conflict situation will be thoroughly considered one more time as the best possible outcome continues to be sought.

Do we have anything to be thankful for?  The answer to that question is an emphatic yes!!  This basketball loss would not be nearly as difficult if we had not been living the dream during the season.  The success of the Lady Hornets has built to a crescendo – an outstanding season followed by their phenomenal success in winning the MIAA tournament and then dramatic wins in Searcy before losing in the Championship game to Harding.

This team has continued and built upon the Lady Hornet Basketball tradition.  Seniors Kathryn Flott and Kelly Moten will both go down among the very elite group of players who have left a lasting and indelible legacy on this basketball program.  Their basketball prowess goes with their character off the court and their performance in the classroom distinguishes them even further.  Their classmate Megan Holloway joins Kathryn and Kelly as an essential contributor to their career program success.  What Megan may lack in star power she more than makes up in her true grit and her leadership in team defense and blue collar workmanship. These three seniors will graduate from Emporia State and move on from their college basketball experience both better for the opportunities they have been blessed with as well as leaving the program having contributed to an even richer tradition than when they started.

Coach Jory Collins and his staff continue to do an absolutely amazing job.  Jory’s teams’ success in wins and losses certainly tell an impressive story but the quality of the student athletes in the program as individuals tells the real story.  Next year Coach Collins could welcome back 10 honor role student/athletes from this year and new recruits are impressive.

Thank you coaches, players, fans and the entire Hornet Nation for another wonderful year of Lady Hornet basketball.

Finally one more thing I am especially thankful for – when we hit White Auditorium or go on the road we are loyal Hornet fans.  We come out of our conservative or liberal silos, our Donald or Hillary silos, our MSNBC or FOX News silos.  We are all together cheering for our home team and sharing with one another our hoped for success.

Let’s join together in finding more opportunities to share in pursuing the greater good and in celebration of success.

Remember it is always best to LISTEN, TO FIRST INQUIRE, TO SEEK TO UNDERSTAND.

I am Don Hill and that is something to think about.

Recently I attended the Emporia Planning Commission hearing on the proposed development of the Peak land located north of 24th Avenue near Wal-Mart not necessarily to oppose but to express concern about the buffer between the site and our land to the north.

The Planning Commission listened politely to the developers, a couple of supporters, several not very happy home owners, me and then rejected the proposal,  5-2.

This was disappointing because I was hoping for a dialogue about the buffer. My assumption was the Planning Commission would ask questions. Neither they, nor the developers ask anything!

The developer said it isn’t financially feasible for the Peak property to be a residential development. No one challenged that assertion with which I agree.

No one asked the rather vocal attorney who lives adjacent to the Peak property what kind of development he would be willing to accept.

It seemed the purpose of the Planning Commission that night was to find a reason to say “no” rather than to look for a reason to say “yes.” That attitude does not serve Emporia’s needs very well.

Until the Peak property is developed in some manner it appears development in other areas of Emporia will be stymied because potential companies like Hy-Vee or Dillon’s are interested ONLY in that tract.

A good question is what are the Peak family’s desires for the use of their land? My understanding is residential isn’t their choice even though it is zoned that way.

This I believe: If Emporia is to grow we must find a way to increase the size of our retail community.

Leakage, purchases made by local folks outside our area, is a serious problem or maybe better said - a tremendous opportunity.

Leakage is easily documented and Emporia’s is severe. Officials of a large Topeka based company once shared that receipts in their stores from the 66801 zip code annually exceed a million dollars!

No one wants or seeks competition, but without new businesses Emporia will stay as it is – no, that’s not true – without new business growth Emporia will continue to shrink.

Opportunity may be knocking, but at this point I’m not sure Emporia knows what the questions are, let alone the answers.

I’m Steve Sauder.

Monday’s Gazette editorial came from the Salina Journal with the title of: Bleed, Kansas, bleed.

It drew a reference back to the “Bleeding Kansas” days when Kansas became as famous as any state could be in those times because the battle to decide if Kansas would support slavery was raging. Those battles often ended with bloody results and many lives lost. 

Our current political mess in Kansas is also bringing a lot of publicity to Kansas and much like the 1800’s most of the attention is not positive. While lives may not have actually been lost due to the current leadership in our state – lives certainly are being changed by these questionable policies.

Governor Brownback leads a group that controls our state and has implemented tax policies that so far have been nothing but a disaster! The results have created massive shortfalls in revenue even to numbers that had already been adjusted downward!

Despite the obvious gap in funding our Governor pushes forward. Last week he appeared at a gathering in Missouri actually touting the success of his tax plans in Kansas. His answer to questions about the results which are hard to avoid was “we just need more time.”

Meanwhile public school, universities and other Regent institutions make plans to survive with less money and higher tuition (note Flint Hills Techical College’s recent tuition announcement). Farmers fear a major shift in property taxes and our excellent high way program continues to be raided to help make ends  meet for our governor’s pleasure.

Governor Brownback is using his power in many areas making changes that defy imagination. Human rights, moving election, the judiciary, selection of judges and currently the funding methods for public education. He has the power and is wielding it without caution.

Kansas is famous again and much like the 1800’s when the publicity wasn’t all that flattering Kansas is once again a national joke!

The part of this sad story that is so hard to accept is that we not only elected this guy, but we re-elected him despite knowing his tax plans were putting our state in the poorhouse.

How and when will this all end?

The editorial writer suggested the legislature needs to pay more attention to the budget deficit - suggesting “the cuts are just starting.”

And he ends his editorial with “Or, maybe Kansas just needs to bleed some more.”

Bleeding Kansas, same song second verse! Heaven help us.

I’m Steve Sauder.

My how time seems to fly by.  We have torn January and now the February pages off the 2017 calendar.  Emporia has been a beehive of activity as we have observed the 160th anniversary of our founding while seeing signs of vibrancy and growth I have not observed in the 45 years I have spent in our community. 

It is true that there will always be room for improvement but as I look around it is my observation that we are hitting on all cylinders. Lyon County and the city of Emporia are being led by an engaged electorate, quality commissioners and outstanding professional management. Long range strategic plans are in place and tax payer resources are being deployed carefully and wisely. 

Both public and private sector investments are quite evident in the area.  The property tax base is increasing and employment has risen. You can drive around town and observe the building activity which includes homes and businesses, as well as public improvements.

When I served in the legislature I shared that there was not a more education centric district in Kansas.  That district includes three public school districts, private schools, Flint Hill’s Technical College and of course Emporia State University.  These varieties of institutions all face different challenges and are presented various opportunities.  I am so impressed that Superintendants Mike Argebright, Aaron Doty and Kevin Case together with Flint Hills President Dean Hollembeak and ESU President Allison Garret work closely together for the mutual benefit of their institutions and for the greater good of our area and for the state of Kansas.

These education leaders and their governing boards owe their success prominently to dedicated educators and staff. 

The National Teachers Hall of Fame provides depth and additional meaning to our education centric reputation.

As I look around the community at the involvement of volunteer leaders and those civically engaged in any variety of endeavors, I am amazed to see the number of educators, retired educators and students preparing for a career in education.

Emporia has a well diversified economy and has seen the most growth in the agriculture value added manufacturing sector.  With the likelihood there will be more humans and pets to feed in the days and years ahead the food business in less vulnerable to economic downturns and that bodes well for the relative stability of our local economy.  The Regional Development Association continues to market and leverage our attributes to attract new employers and help existing businesses expand.

Emporia has always been a destination city.  This of course is relative but our history as university town, as a center for commerce and banking, our status as a sub-regional medical center. our location and accessibility are all fantastic.  Emporia is within 100 miles of over 90% of the population in Kansas. The number of medical specialties and treatment modalities available at Newman Regional Hospital continue to grow.

Retail, dining and entertainment opportunities are also on the rise and our downtown area and arts and entertainment area continues to grow and improve. Now with cycling and disc golf activities our claim as the best Kansas destination for the active leisure traveler is difficult to dispute.  Our Emporia Main Street organization has been the catalyst for much of the dynamism and vitality we see not only on Commercial Street but throughout the community.

I could go on and on and I probably will in coming weeks but for now I hope you get the impression I am proud of Emporia and grateful to call it home.

That is something to think about.. I am Don Hill.

“One of a kind,” is a massive understatement when talking about Don Ek who passed away on Monday night.

          At Larry Kramer’s funeral they talked about “terms of endearment.”

          Don Ek had more than his share of “terms of endearment” associated with his name.

          First off Don was a great husband, father and Christian. He distinguished himself as a community leader as well giving time to all that ask and volunteered for even more. His success in business is well documented.

          Before getting to those “terms of endearment” let me share about my associations with Don. He was a close friend and the father of a couple of boys who thought my concession stand at the old C of E baseball field was there for their enjoyment.

We were competitors, associates and even co-conspirators a few times.

          We traveled together many times. Most often to Vegas or Reno, but most memorable for me was our trip to Scotland right after the 9-11 attacks. How we avoided an international crisis on that trip escapes me. Don knows no strangers and THAT can be a problem in a foreign country.

          And finally at Lake Kahola where we built a cabin next door to the legendary Ek homestead. We were facing not only a brand new house, but we were new to the lake and we had a new boat. Without Don we might well have sunk the boat and burned the cabin down. The Ek’s were great neighbors. My grandsons knew him as Donsie – a term most women also used. His patience with me and those kids was amazing and when he left the lake, well it wasn’t the same place.

          Now let’s talk about some of those “terms of endearment.”

          Donsie is at the top of the list, but many of us called him Eeeek sometimes followed by you blank, blank, blank usually after he spilled his beer on the table.

          I played a lot of gin and poker with Don Ek and I gave him a name that his poker club buddies remember well. That name was Shakespeare because of his amazing ability with words. NOT!

          My son Jamie called him fondly “the old buzzard” and Don responded calling Jamie “buzzard bait.”

          Now it was pointed out to me that if “buzzard” was going to be mentioned there were other animals Don had an affinity for also – like chiggers, monkeys and turkeys.

          Yes, they definitely broke the mold when they made Don Ek. He lived life at 105 MPH and best of all always made everyone around him feel good about themselves too. He was amazing!

We love you Donsie!

          I’m Steve Sauder

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