Critical Issues Forum (2014) Photo Slideshow

May 12, 2015

From April 3rd to April 7th, I participated in the 2014 Critical Issues Forum, as a part of a team of students from my high school who were able to travel to take part in the conference.

The multinational conference was held in Monterey, California, at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. The main topics of this event were nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament.

My team presented our research on these topics in the from of a news broadcast which outlined the issues associated with nuclear weapons in the modern world.

I met several friends and fellows students from Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States, whom were in attendance of this conference.

To see the photo slideshow, click on the link above.

Mayor Petykiewicz arrested on charge of causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle

March 19, 2015

By Brad Allen, Kittatinny Tribune, Staff Writer

Mayor Petykiewicz

Mayor Gustavus G. Petykiewicz was taken into custody by Kittatinny police on Saturday on the charge of causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.

Petykiewicz had a blood alcohol content of 0.14, and the legal BAC limit while driving is 0.08.

Responding Deputy Gordon J. Slivovitz transported Petykiewicz to Schuykill County Jail, where the Mayor was booked, fingerprinted, and had his mug shots taken.

The car accident had occurred at approximately 1 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 117 and Fonebone Road in the Town of Frontenac, Schuykill County.

There were two vehicles involved in the accident, a 1997 Buick Le Sabre, and the other was a 2006 Ford Explorer. Both vehicles were found upright in a field on the east side of Highway 117. The Ford had sustained serious damage to its front end and was inoperable. The Buick had sustained serious damage to its driver side and was also inoperable.

Deputy Slivovitz identified the driver of the Buick as Robert H. Doane, of 1332 Main Street, Kittatinny, DOB 11-13-1972. The driver of the Ford was identified as Petykiewicz, of 1845 Elm Drive, Kittatinny, DOB 11-16-1958.

Mr. Doane was bleeding profusely from the head and was wearing his seat belt. The airbag had not been deployed. Doane was disoriented, and complained of abdominal pain. Deputy Sliovovitz promptly called for an ambulance.

Petykiewicz was found not wearing a seat belt and was uninjured. The front and side airbags had deployed. An open, half-empty bottle of Fleischmann’s vodka was found on the passenger-side floor.

Deputy Slivovitz inquired if Petykiewicz had been drinking.

“You’d be drinking too, if you were me,” Petykiewicz said, “Do you think we could just keep this quiet?”

Petykiewicz consented to a breath test, which he failed, and he also failed a field sobriety test several times. He was then secured with handcuffs and placed into the Deputy’s car.

A witness at the scene, Alice Q. Magarian, DOB 12-18-1981, who had been travelling behind the Buick, was questioned about where she had been at the time of the accident.

“Several car lengths behind,” Magarian said, “just enough for me to stop safely and pull over.”

The Buick was reported proceeding northbound in a prudent fashion at 55 MPH, and the Ford had approached from the west on Fonebone Road, appeared to hesitate at the stop sign, then pulled into the intersection and T-Boned the Buick.

A county ambulance responded to the scene at 1:23 p.m. and paramedics immediately tended to Mr. Doane, whom they were concerned had sustained injuries to the spine.

A Flight for Life helicopter was summoned and arrived at approximately 2 p.m. The crew extricated Mr. Doane from his vehicle via passenger-side door and secured him to a back board with a head brace.

Doane was flown to Northeast Pennsylvania Hospital and Trauma Center in Wilkes-Barre. A nursing supervisor at hospital said Doane is currently in stable condition with several broken ribs, a broken jaw and various abrasions and contusions to the heads, chest and abdominal area. He did not suffer a spinal injury.

Mayor Petykiewicz exercised the right to remain silent but did not wish to call an attorney. His wife, Gloria Petykiewicz, arrived at the County Jail at 3:02 p.m. to post a cash bail of $500 for the Mayor’s release into her custody.

A preliminary hearing will be held in Schuykill county District Court on Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. according to Schuykill County District Attourney Robert J. Morgenthau.

Petykiewicz will face his charge of causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years, according to Morgenthau.

Steve Jobs graces Stanford University with his precence at commencement



Apple Founder and Entrepreneur Steve Jobs shared three touching stories with Stanford graduates at their commencement ceremony yesterday.

Jobs opened his speech saying that he was honored to be speaking at the commencement of one of the finest universities in the world.

“You have to trust that the dots will connect in the future, because it will give you confidence to continue on, even if that means going off the well-worn path, and that makes all the difference,” Jobs said.

Jobs shared that his biological parents had given him up for adoption, and that his adopted parents promised to get him through college.

“After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it,” Jobs said, “I was spending all of the money my parents had saved up their entire lives, so I decided to drop out, and it was the best decision I ever made.”

He continued to go to classes for another year or so before completely quitting. Jobs described a calligraphy class which led to his creation of Apple.

“If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, then the Mac would never have had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts,” Jobs said.

Jobs spoke of his creation of Apple in his parents’ garage, and how he was fired from his own company later on.

“What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating,” Jobs said.

Jobs shared that he was still in love with his work after this, and he went on to create NeXT, turn Pixar into a huge company, and meet his wife. Apple bought NeXT, and Jobs was back into his own company again.

Jobs described the importance of loving what you do for a living.

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, don’t settle,” Jobs said.

Jobs had been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and was preparing to die. In a later visit to the doctor, it was discovered that his cancerous tumor was removable, and he was given surgery which saved his life.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Jobs said, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become, everything else is secondary.”

Mayor, Police Chief speak in first meeting session on propsed 2016 budget for Kittatinny

Feb. 25, 2015

By Brad Allen, Kittattiny Tribune, Staff Writer

Mayor Petykiewicz
Mayor Petykiewicz

“I come to you with a heavy heart. These are not actions I take lightly. I understand that some people in Kittatiny will be upset or angry about the changes,” Petykievicz said. “But my door is open, let’s talk. We’re going to roll up our sleeves and work together on this.”

The Trade Reassignment alliance will be working with laid-off employees to assist them in finding new work.

“I have been talking with the government about pension programs. There’s not much we can do at a local level,” Petykiewicz said. “Those jobs lost at blast furnace two will probably not come back.”

AFSCME local president Martha Mittengrabben proposes looking into employees’ contracts to make cuts in order to save jobs.

“There must be a spirit of shared sacrifice,” Mittengrabben said.

Mayor Petykiewicz has also proposed to increase tourism spending, in hopes of bringing in more revenue and industry from outside of Kittatinny.

One of the measures proposed to increase tourism is the purchase of a new weed removal machine which clean up the nearby lakes and attract tourists to come to Kittatinny.

In addition, a new policy on waste removal has been proposed.

The budget proposes removing garbage pickup from the city tax levy and instead adding it as a new monthly bill for citizens.

The cost of garbage pickup will be a monthly bill of $30 each month and will continue to be provided by Tyoca Trash Removal Company, according to Mayor Petykiewicz.

Chief of Police Roman Hruska was appalled by the budget’s proposal to lay off two police officers from the Kittatitinny Police Force.

“The current crime rate is lowest between 4 a.m. to noon, but the most dangerous crimes happen in the morning,” Hruska said.

Hruska said that he is concerned about the response times, especially in cases of emergencies, if two police officers were to be laid off.

“I cannot stand idly by and watch a city of this size be deprived of regular police protection for a third of each day,” Hruska said. “We cannot make cuts like this into city police protection, it is simply not responsible.”

Bjarne Westhoff, the President of the Pennsylvania Police Association, is equally concerned about the idea of laying off two police officers.

“I would not be able to sleep at night knowing there are no officers on duty eight hours a day,” Westhoff said. “We have to save that shift.”

“I’m proposing we go from four mills to five mills,” Kittatinny City Council President Denelda Penoyer said. “If we do that, it will give us funds to save our police protection.”

Hruska said that he would be willing to take a 10 percent pay cut if the mayor would do the same.

Penoyer said that she would also be willing to take a 10 percent pay cut.

Petykiewicz agreed to look into a ten percent pay cut as well.

Westhoff says that the utility costs are going up in order to pay for new roads and much needed construction on main street.

Kittatinny City Council President Denelda Penoyer announced that public hearing sessions would begin immediately.

Mayor Petykiewicz invites all citizens to come speak with either him or their representatives about the proposed budget.

“My door is open,” Petykiewicz said. “There is a lot to be done.”

Overcoming Poverty

For the interview assignment, I chose to interview my older brother, Zac. He has always suffered from severe anxiety.

He always found it difficult to focus in school, and throughout much of middle and high school, he was unable to concentrate on his studies.

“There were several teachers in high school who said I wouldn’t graduate,” Zac said.

He failed most of his classed over a span of two years, and near the end of junior year, he began to realize that he had to dig himself out of a hole.

“I got something like 2 credits my junior year,” Zac said.

After his junior year, he knew that he was in danger of not graduating on time, and many teachers doubted if he would at all.

Determined to finish high school and find a job, he signed up for a charter school, where he focused on his work and managed to make up a year and a half of failed credits, as well as completing credits for senior year, all in one school years’ time.

After graduation, he decided to move out and get a job to support himself. He’s always been very independent, and only asks for help if he really needs it.

“I hadn’t had very good experiences in middle or high school, so going on to college was daunting at the time,” Zac said.

He found work at Taco Bell first. His boss liked his work ethics, and the two began to get along very well.

“My boss said that the work ethic I brought to the table had impressed him,” Zac said.

After 3 months as a crew member, he began to really look into applying for a management promotion.

During his training, the standards for management were to be made more restrictive by the corporative level, so he didn’t have much time to get promoted, otherwise he wouldn’t be at all.

“Corporate was trying to tighten its standards for management at the time, and it looked like I was going to pushed out of the running,” Zac said.

The new upcoming requirements included a new rule of having to be an employee for at least two years and being able to take a timed test and score 100% on the menu and service policies.

He and his boss started to focus very hard on the promotion, and they would meet up after work to study up and train constantly while at work.

Not long after, Zac applied officially for the positon, had the interview with corporate, and he was promoted.

“Watching mom struggle to complete more schooling in order to get a better job in teaching while working, and with dad struggling with unemployment during the recession, it helped me stayed on track and focus on why my job mattered,” Zac said.

Often times he would eat only once a day, and it was always cheap food. At one point, a nest of bed bugs had infested his roommate’s bed, and the bugs spread throughout the apartment, and every piece of furniture ended up having to be thrown out, even the beds.

“I was working full time and living in poverty. I didn’t have a car, I walked to work, I had no bed, my roommate could hardly pay his rent, so most of my money went towards the rent, then the rest was for food, and maybe a movie or some soda if I could afford it. I was dirt poor,” Zac said.

Eventually, he decided that he’d had enough, and my parents gladly let him move back in for a little while.

That’s when he decided that he wanted to go on to college and find a job in which he won’t be scraping by just to pay bills and live in poverty.

Right now, he’s planning finish up his work in management and go back to school full time in September to pursue a career.