Something to Think About - keep (253)

Our friends who reside in the Flint Hills seem to have controversy concerning the environment on an ongoing basis.

Forty or more years ago there was a major discussion about preserving the Tallgrass Prairie with many people from outside coming to the Flint Hills to express their opinions.

More recently and ongoing is the debate about burning the tall grass in the Spring on a regular basis because the smoke from the massive fires cause pollution in far away places like Omaha and beyond.

Now the area is involved in the debate over the injection of salt water from oil wells back into the ground.

Evidence is present that blames the oil and gas industry for the increases in seismic activity in the area.

Amazingly there are an estimated 5,000 Class I saltwater injection wells in Kansas and another 16,600 Class II wells. Morris County and its' six surrounding counties have 121 of these wells.

Oil producers started putting the saltwater back in the ground years ago. It has to go somewhere. My dad was pioneer in using pressure in this process to change the formation underground to make oil pool up and be easier to find and pump. It was called "water flooding" back in the 60's.

Today this process of disposing of saltwater is given a lot of the blame for increases in earthquakes in Oklahoma and Kansas.

The current issue in the Flint Hills is concern over a proposed new injection well in Morris County about 15 miles from Strong City. The owner has filed for a permit to put more waste water than normal back into the ground and at a slightly higher pressure than any of the other wells in the area.

The Kansas Corporation Commission is holding a hearing and will decide how to handle the request. Local folks have organized and hired an attorney.

The Oil and Gas Association of Kansas is asking for common sense especially in light of evidence there are acceptable ways to control this process that are safe without completely denying the application.

KIOGA points out Oklahoma and Kansas officials have been proactive and have a good track record for regulating saltwater injections with positive results in reducing seismic activity.

Hopefully the demands for a complete denial of the application versus allowing it as requested can somehow be compromised.

Common sense has always been a strong trait in the Flint Hills.

This all makes me wonder how ranchers who desire to burn their grass despite existence of pollution feel about the injection process and its effect on the environment.

Guess life in the Flint Hills is not all that simple.

I'm Steve Sauder and I'm betting on a good outcome.

Emporia State Baseball Coach Bob Fornelli is my topic today because he represents a positive attitude most of us would love to possess.

          Bob came to Emporia Statehoping to play for Dave Bingham, but  Bingham took the KU job and Fornelli ended up playing for a different coach.

          Next, Fornelli was the pitching coach at Butler County Community College. The first three years he lived in a room about the size of his current office and showered with the kids. He was promoted to Dorm Director the last two years with an apartment in the dorm. He and new wife Jill lived in the dorm their first year of marriage.

          Bob worked at coaching baseball 24/7/365. Summers inElkhart and Liberal and less exotic places and then Ft. Hays State called. After seven years in Hays the ESU job opened up and Fornelli eagerly took over. This is his eleventh year atEmporia State. His teams have twice been national runners up.

          The Hornets made it into NCAA post season play in both 2010 and 11, but did not advance. 2012 and 2013 were not good years for the Hornets. Winning records yes, but post season action was limited to losing in the first round of the MIAA tournament.

          It may not have been so much ESU having slippage as much as other schools in the MIAA and Region starting to throw money at baseball.

          Fornelli has been offered at least two other MIAA jobs, both with larger salaries and promises of lavish budgets. Fornelli’s response has been “I’m a Hornet and if we can find a little more support I’m not going anywhere.”

          At the mid point of this past season Coach Fornelli had to be questioning those decisions. In early April with an almost entirely new team and one he really liked Washburn handed ESU three straight losses and a season record of 19 & 14.

          Fornelli’s response to Greg Rahe on KVOE was “this is not a time to pout.”

          That so impressed me I traveled to Topeka for the final game of the Washburn series. ESU won starting a 15 game winning streak. The Hornets have now won 21 of their last 24 including 4 in a row to win the MIAA Post Season Tournament. They start play in the Central Regional tomorrow.

          Bob Fornelli is all about playing hard, doing things the right way and having fun. He is the Dean of ESU coaches and someone many other coaches go to when their chins are dragging.

          Fornelli makes his living in a sport where you can be successful even when you fail 7 or 8 times out of 10. Maybe he read Thomas Edison who once said “People are not remembered by how few times they failed, but by how often they succeed.”

          Bob Fornelli is a text book example of never letting failure become permanent. He’s always looking for the next opportunity for success.

          Fornelli is a role model family man too. Jill and delightful daughters Emma, Rylie and Addison are seldom missing when the Hornets are playing.

          Look up positive attitude in the dictionary and you’ll see Coach Fornelli’s picture.

          I’m Steve Sauder

Governor Brownback

241-S Kansas State Capital Building

10th & Jackson

Topeka, KS 66612

                                                                   5-11-15

Governor Brownback,

My name is Steve Sauder and I am President of Emporia’s Radio Stations, Inc. in Emporia.

I do a weekly commentary called “Something to Think About” on KVOE. Last Wednesday you were my topic.

The story about you and the waitress at bar be que place caught my eye. I was especially interested in your statement about being in public and having people telling you they agreed with you and the opposite.

Seemed to me like a good time to find out what people who listen to our three radio stations in Emporia think of your leadership.

We gave our listeners from seven thirty in the morning until midnight to respond in two ways.

They could go on-line at kvoe.com and answer this question:

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

The results were as follows:

There were 81 YES responses and 531 NO responses.

This was a fair poll as listeners were limited to one vote per

device.

Listeners were also given the opportunity leave a recorded

message.

We recorded 55 verbal responses. They are enclosed on a

CD. Nine said you are doing a good job and 46 didn’t think so. You can listen to them if you like.

          I’m not sure what you will do with this information, but my hope is you’ll at least consider that the direction you have our state headed isn’t that popular. At least that’s what a majority of folks from Emporia think. 

                                                Respectfully,

                                                Steve Sauder

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

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

Zero talent is required to:

1.     Be on time.

2.     Have a strong work ethic.

3.     Give effort

4.     Display positive body language.

5.     Exert energy.

6.     Have a good attitude.

7.     Show true passion.

8.     Be coachable.

9.     Do the extra things.

10.   Be prepared.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m Steve Sauder

My plan to today was to help clarify some of the questions about health insurance, but as I compiled ideas it became obvious there is so much information available it is almost impossible to offer anything factual without an opposite idea being available.

So, let me discuss one major facet of the healthcare debate – pre-existing conditions. This is not an endorsement of any plan or change, just something to think about!

ObamaCare addresses pre-existing conditions, but not without difficult questions.

Herman Cain ran for president four plus years ago and now writes a blog. Not sure Cain is an authority, but his thoughts were at least interesting: He wrote:

“One thing that will help a lot is if people realize what a bunch of bullfeathers they’re being fed with this whole business about pre-existing conditions. ObamaCare requires that people with pre-existing conditions who don’t already have insurance be allowed to sign up for it, and be charged premiums no different than those who are totally healthy. While this sounds wonderfully compassionate, it goes completely against everything that makes the economics of insurance work – which is why it’s been one of the leading drivers of soaring premiums since ObamaCare took effect.”

Cain likes the “high risk pools” idea, letting the states be involved and funding the losses by taxpayers.

While my understanding is admittedly limited the strategy here is to carve out those who are sick, but without insurance and let taxpayers finance their care rather than it being a burden on people who already were paying for health insurance.

There are arguments both ways, but for me if we as a nation truly desire to provided insurance for people with pre existing conditions it makes sense to have tax payers cover the losses rather than penalizing those of us who already pay premiums.

Yesterday I heard Senator Bill Cassidy a Republican from Louisiana tell  the Morning Joe just the opposite – that pre-existing costs should be spread over all who purchase health insurance!

My question is this: If paying for pre-existing condition coverage is “the leading driver of soaring premiums” why wouldn’t we choose a different path?

          I’m Steve Sauder

          

Bobbi and I spent January and February in California. More accurately we were in the CoachellaValley which is a desert surrounded by mountain ranges. Los Angeles is about a hundred miles west with San Diego completing a triangle about 120 miles away.

          We picked this area because of an average temperature in the 70’s, 350 days a year of sunshine, 124 golf courses in the valley and the opportunity to leave cold weather behind.

          Our 8 week adventure taught us a lot. We better understand the meaning of “diversity and tolerance.” We know leasing real estate can be fraught with misunderstanding and half truths. We know more about living in a metropolitan area than we expected to – the valley is made up of nine communities and a population exceeding half a million people. Events adding a hundred thousand visitors happen often.

The local newspaper – which was excellent – said the CoachellaValley is home to some of the richest people on earth and also some of the poorest.

          The San Gorgonio Pass the north-west entrance to the valley is thought to be the second windiest place in the country and is home to nearly 3,000 wind turbines.

          This was a shocker for me thinking California would never allow this kind of sight pollution, but I’ve learned these giant windmills have been there for more than 30 years!

          Here are some of the events and things we found interesting during our California stay.

          The Palm Springs Film Festival was amazing. One hundred and thirty  movies were shown several times each over an eleven day run to packed houses. We saw two foreign films. We’ll see more next year.

          The church we attended was amazing.

          The traffic wasn’t bad, but fast. With most areas being gated with no front yard exposures 50/55 mile an hour speed limits were common – in town.

          Name dropping was everywhere. We’d go from I-10 onto Bob Hope Drive then turned on to Ginger Rodgers Drive to go home. Frank Sinatra and Gerald Ford were close by and the Eisenhower Medical facilities were everywhere. Every restaurant had pictures of famous people. I’ll talk about the eating establishments next week.

          There were events of all kinds. The Coachella Valley Music Festival, too many art festivals to count, six casinos in the valley all featuring name stars and shows. Pro golf, pro tennis, D-1 Softball, the NBA Outside Games, the Palm Springs Grand Prix, an 8,000 participant bike race, winter professional baseball league and did I mention 124 golf courses?

          It’s a big agriculture area with 95% of U.S. dates being grown in the valley plus many other fruits and veggies.

          But, with all that said – it is really nice to be home.

          I’m Steve Sauder.

Tyler Curtis

Something to Think About

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March Madness. The Big Dance. Many of us have been enjoying the annual NCAA tournament. The intensity of play during this time of year is unmatched. And true to its name, it can certainly be “maddening” if your team isn’t winning or your bracket is breaking. But even that makes it fun, doesn’t it? Watching a team completely destroy another isn’t nearly as enjoyable as watching a close game full of lead changes, a bad call here and there, and dramatic game winning shots. The Big Dance is about both cheering and yelling - winning and losing.

If I have the chance to select what to view on the household television, odds are that we’ll either have a game on or something political. I like watching sports, and I also enjoy following politics and being involved in political life.

Like March Madness, politics can also be full of “madness” and is downright aggravating at times. Like a great game, politics can be disappointing yet exhilarating, full of emotional swings resulting from both moments of setback and moments of glory.

Recent years have perhaps been more maddening than exciting, though. It seems we’ve allowed our system of politics to replace our system of government; that is, we’ve allowed our political parties and political elections to be the focus of our political culture instead of focusing on the process of policy making and the act of governing.

In politics, the game today is based on the election cycle, not the policy making process. Our culture has moved the game from governmental chambers to ballot boxes, but what do the winners achieve? Merely another opportunity to compete in the next election?

Political candidates certainly have to focus a portion of their attention on winning elections - but that’s when the real game should just be starting - that’s when the winners really go to work.  And that’s not happening. Rather, the winning team gets the parade and victory lap while the loser goes back to find ways to oppose anything the winner wants to move forward between that loss and the next election cycle. So what’s not happening? Policy making. Compromise. In short, governing.

Political parties may be focusing on winning elections, we, the people, end up losing. If we belong to the winning party, we’ve been told we won, but what have we won? When “winners” proceed to narrowly pass legislation staunchly opposed by the “losing” party only to see those policies overturned once that balance of power shifts, then what have we truly won? What progress have we made?

Elections should be a means to an end - a means for electing people who govern - not a game that results in winners and losers who don’t do anything but campaign for the next election. Elections should be the way candidates punch their ticket to the real dance - the Big Dance - the dance of policy making - the dance of governing. That dance requires leadership, and leadership requires listening and learning - cooperation and compromise - give and take - mutual respect and a desire to work toward the common good. One party may lead the dance but the other parties are equally important to ensuring a successful outcome.

As important as it is to vote, it’s equally important to hold our elected officials accountable for action between elections. Even if the candidate you supported didn't win, you still have an elected official representing you. We can’t expect our lawmakers to work as a team if we don’t cheer them on and encourage them to engage in teamwork after taking office.  Do you take the time to respectfully articulate your opinions on policy matters? Do you provide elected officials with both positive and negative feedback?  Do you advocate for compromise? Do you express an expectation that lawmakers work for the common good? Do you let elected officials know that the Big Dance is what happens after the election? 

Ultimately, our political culture mirrors our overall society and its culture. If we don't like what we see, than we have to identify what our part of the mess is.  And that’s certainly something to think about. 

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.

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