Mayor Petykiewicz Charged with Felony

Mayor Gustavus G. Petykiewicz, of Kittatinny, was involved in a serious car accident on Saturday. Slapped with a charge of causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, Petykiewicz faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

The Schuylkill County District Attorney, Robert J Morgenthau, states that a preliminary hearing will be held in Schuylkill County District Court on Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

The accident occurred just after 1:00 p.m. at the intersection of State Highway 117 and Fonebone Road in the Town of Frontenac. Both vehicles were upright in a farmer’s field when the deputy came to the scene.

Petykiewicz, 56, was found by deputies behind the wheel of his 2006 Ford Explorer. He was conscious but disoriented and didn’t seem to have any injuries resulting from the collision. It was noted that his speech was slurred, a half-empty bottle of vodka was found on the floor of the passenger-side, and when given a breath test, the blood alcohol content was at .14. “You’d be drinking, too, if you were me.” Petykiewicz responded when asked by an officer if he’d been drinking.

The other person involved in the accident was Robert H. Doane, 42, also of Kittatinny. He was found at the wheel of his 1997 Buick Le Sabre, bleeding from a head wound, and complaining of abdominal pain.

Paramedics, fearing Doane had possible spine injuries, contacted the Flight for Life helicopter. He was pulled from the car, through the passenger-side door, and flown to Northeast Pennsylvania Hospital and Trauma Center in Wilkes-Barre.

A witness at the scene, Alice Q. Magarian, 33, stated she was driving several car lengths behind Doane’s vehicle going northbound on State Highway 117. Doane was travelling a consistent 55 mph, when the Ford came travelling west on Fonebone Road and momentarily hesitated at the stop sign before proceeding into the intersection. The Ford then struck the Buick on its driver side, causing both vehicles to go into a field.

Upon calling the hospital in Wilkes-Barre later that day, it was learned from a nursing supervisor that Doane is in satisfactory condition. He ended up suffering several broken ribs, a broken jaw, and various cuts and bruises to the head, chest and abdominal area. No spinal injury was found.

After the incident, Petykiewicz was taken to the Schuylkill County Jail in downtown Kittatinny, where he was booked, fingerprinted, and had his mug shots taken. An attorney was not called, but he did use his right to remain silent. The mayor’s wife, Gloria Petykiewicz, visited the jail just after 3 and posted the cash bail of $500.

The mayor and his wife have had nothing to say since the incident occurred. A statement of ‘no comment’ was received by phone, and the house was drawn up when visited.

Print versus Electronic Media

In our increasingly technology dependent culture, many people wonder about the future of libraries. Libraries have been gathering more movies and CDs, but even with those features, they still make up the backbone of the print culture. This is especially true for libraries on college campuses. Those campuses are often considered the hub for the future; where students are learning their trade before continuing on to the real world.

In the current times, it seems like everyone has a phone in their pocket with the capability to connect to the internet. Essentially, society is starting to revolve around technology. E-publishing has become more popular over conventional methods and you can find nearly anything you need online. Despite this, libraries are still strong.

Here at the Anderson Library, on the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater campus, the print collection is still running strong. Carol Elsen, reference librarian and collection manager at the library, said that “a lot of students use the books we have over the databases.”

By the numbers, Anderson Library is expending more money on the acquisition of databases than books. Only about 10.8 percent of the just over $1 million budget is going towards purchasing new books while 48.5 percent is being put towards expanding the databases. But there is no worry about the books going anyway, as they are rooted in the system. The databases are a relatively new phenomenon, most having been started in the last 20 years or so. Hence the money set aside for databases will help expand and better those databases.

Journals, too, are kept in hard copy at the library; taking up an entire floor of the library, below the main talking floor. Carol Elsen tells that this won’t be continued. “New issues of journals are going to start being put online, but the archive of physically printed journals will stay in the library for access purposes.”

Daphne Anonuevo, a junior, stated “I grew up with books instead of technology a lot of kids have now. I’d rather take the time to find the book I need on the shelf. Databases are more so secondary to me. If I can’t find what I need anywhere else, I’ll use them, though it’s mostly for articles I might need for classes.”

Another student, Samantha Palumbo, agrees. “I would go for the actual book first. I don’t care that much for the databases. In my experience, I was met with limited available information on my topic for a class. I would definitely use them as a secondary resource if I even needed it.”

Responding to the question on her thoughts of the library’s future, Carol Elsen mentioned that while some libraries are trying to become fully electronic, Whitewater, and all of the UW system school libraries, aren’t likely to do that. Granted, they aren’t getting as many new incoming books, but the collection will generally always be used. And the universal borrowing system, which runs on the physical collection of all UW school libraries, is “still robust.” “While the publishing models will change over time, there will always be a certain quality to having physical books to look through instead of just databases and online books.” Elsen remarked. In short, even with the increasingly tech savvy teens, physical books will still be a part of their education.

Jobs’ Stanford Speech

Today Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Inc., gave the commencement speech at Stanford University. He outlined some advice to the graduates by telling three stories from his life, ‘connecting the dots’, ‘love and loss’, and ‘death’.

Jobs, 50 years old, had never graduated college himself, but had managed to get much life experience in the time when so many others were taking those college courses.

‘Connecting the dots’ regarded the journey to college that Jobs had been given. His biological mother wanted her son to be adopted by college graduates, but once the deal had almost been sealed, it was found that the destined parents were not college graduates. With the promise that Jobs would, in fact, go to college, his birth mother relented. And he did, in fact go to college, but ended up dropping out after the first six months. Without being encumbered by the required classes at Reed College in Oregon State, Jobs was free to take the courses he thought interesting.

That freedom allowed him to experiment and ultimately learn something that he could later put to use in his company, Apple Computer, Inc. “You can’t connect the dots looking forwards, you can only connect them looking backwards.” Jobs advised, summing up the story. In other words, you have to trust that the ‘dots’ of your life will somehow connect in the future. That even if you follow your heart or some feeling in your chest and it leads you off the well-worn path that everyone else uses, you have to trust that new path will lead you somewhere.

‘Love and loss’ has to do with Jobs’ road with Apple, the company he created with a friend and neighbor in his garage. After creating the first Macintosh computer, he was fired from his own company. Even though he had become what some consider a public failure, he realized that he still loved what he did. Instead of taking his firing as a stigma, Jobs took it as a fresh start. He took the ‘beginner’s eye’ again and found new projects to undertake. “Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” Jobs directed. He went on to say that you need to find what you love in life, and it applies to more than just the work sphere, but that sphere is most applicable. ‘Don’t settle’ also came from this story, just after it was recommended that if you don’t at first find what you love, that you should keep searching.

The last story involved death. Jobs detailed how death, or the possibility of, can be life’s change agent. If you aren’t feeling that what you’re doing is worth it when you ask yourself if today was your last day, then it’s worth a change. You need to be happy with what you do in life. “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” Jobs said. He then imparted another reason to follow your heart in life, there was nothing besides death itself to keep you from what you desire to do. Jobs was diagnosed with a supposedly incurable cancer on his pancreas and told to ‘get his affairs in order’. But after going through an operation, the doctors, and Jobs’ family, found out that it was a rare form of pancreatic cancer that could be removed with a surgery. That led him to believe that death clears out the old to make room for the new and that everyone should use the limited time they have; to not ‘live someone else’s life’.

Summing up the points of advice that Jobs gave to the Stanford graduates, ‘follow your heart’ is front and center. He gave multiple points to illustrate that out of his own life. Then at the end of his speech, he mentioned a publication that as a farewell in the last issue wrote “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” He wanted that for himself and then imparted that to all the graduates to follow in their lives.

Beerfest 2014

It’s that time of year; the time for many versions of ‘Oktoberfest’ across the United States. One of those such events was held in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday October 4: Quivey’s Grove Beerfest. Located right on the grounds of the historic restaurant Quivey’s Grove, Beerfest hosted an array of brewers housed under a large tent, distributing samples of their drafts.

The tickets go on sale 4-5 months before the event; no purchasing at the door. This year, then tickets were sold out by September 20 at 4 p.m. At a price of $35 dollars, attendees receive a wristband that grants them access to all of the frothy wonders of the fest.

The purpose of the event is to give the brewers a chance to show off at least two of their beers. Some may have a new flavor to try, or just bring a tried and true brew. There is also a food tent and a band that plays, making it a full five hour festival.

2014 brought the 16th year that the festival has been going on. It started as a small festival that would show off ‘local’ brewers, which meant southern or southeast Wisconsin only. Now, with a whopping 46 brewers this year, the criteria has changed. Now the ‘rules’ for being accepted are that they must be microbrewers and have a local distribution. Most are from Wisconsin or the Midwest, but there were even some brewers from further states this year; most notably Colorado and California.

“The whole thing was started by the then bar manager and owner of the restaurant. There were other events like this around the area, so they decided to make one of their own and focus on local breweries. It started with maybe 5 or 6 local breweries that agreed to participate and it stayed local for the first 5 years or so.” Cited Scott Roe, a planner of the event and a chef at the restaurant.

With around 2200 attendants, not counting the brewers and volunteers working the food tent, the main brewer’s tent could get quite packed. But that didn’t keep people from traversing the brewer’s tables and dancing to the band.

Nicole Wilson, a volunteer who also took a tour around the brewer’s tent remarked “It’s really a nice set up. Especially for people who may not know about most of the brewers that come to the festival. There are those few that almost everyone know, but the festival certainly opened my eyes to some other interesting beers I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.”

The event went off without a hitch, except for the rather cold and damp weather. There were no incidents, the band was good, the beer was flowing and the food was plenty. Next year’s Beerfest is predicted to be the same, seeing as Wisconsinites like their beer.

Kittatinny Budget Proposal

Due to one of the blast furnaces being decommissioned at the Susquehanna Steel Corp., the income of the town is drastically reduced, which means that Mayor Gustavus G. Pettykiewicz had to make some ‘drastic changes’. One major change, and possibly the worst, that will come of the new budget is a reduction in the Kittatinny police force. Two officers will be fired, based on seniority, in the mayor’s proposal. With this reduction of the force, the early shift from four a.m. to noon will not be able to be staffed. Any calls happening in that time period will have to go to the county sheriff’s office. Roman Hruska, the Chief of Police, was quoted as saying “I can’t sit idly by while a city of this size is deprived of regular police protection one third of each day.”

The second possibly distressing matter in the proposal is the property tax increase. To try and make up for the loss in taxable revenue, Pettykiewicz has proposed an increase of .3 mils on all residential property. To try and lessen the blow to the residents of the town, the mayor said “These cuts will affect me as a citizen, too.” And in certain cases, the tax may not affect the prices of houses all that much, but now there are more unemployed people from Susquehanna to think about. Some are even proposing a more radical tax increase of 1 mil, bumping it up to 5 mils of property taxes.

Yet another proposed change in the town’s budget doesn’t seem that big, but will be felt by the townspeople. Garbage take out will no longer be a part of the tax levy of the city. It will still be picked up as it was before, since Tioga Sanitation Company will still be in charge of taking the garbage weekly, but now the charge will be separate. That means that people will need to pay this extra charge out of pocket instead of having it rolled into the tax levy. It’s said that it will be about $200 a week for this new charge, and will help with the deficit created by the loss of 600 jobs at the steel corporation.

The final noteworthy change to the proposed budget is actually not a change at all. The mayor, along with other non-union officials, have opted for a salary freeze. In a time when hardship has hit the town with some real force, there could be more done on these official’s parts. The mayor has been quoted as saying “We’re all in this together” but with a salary $54,000, the mayor could likely afford to take a pay cut, along with other officials, to make it even. But all officials have said “I will take a pay cut if others agree to it, as well.”

Interview Assignment

Adventures in Ireland

The Emerald Isle. Many Americans know of it, but not all get there. One student of University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, Samantha Palumbo, had the chance to go there this past summer as a part of a travel study class. They started by learning about the country, including the history, culture and other necessary aspects. They read through books and even watched movies pertaining to Irish life and culture and customs. The class ran the entire second semester, then mere days after the semester was done, on May 20, they headed out to Ireland from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

Landing in the airport in Dublin, which is the largest in Ireland (both North and South), the class dropped off their bags near the hostel they’d be staying at and were given a scavenger hunt to complete. When later asked about the most interesting thing she saw while there, Samantha cited “One of the things we had to find on the scavenger hunt was a palm tree. I didn’t think they could grow in Ireland and it was right in a business district of Dublin!”

Another thing that Sam hadn’t quite expected was how little rain the country got while she was over there for the trip. It was a classic example of expectation versus reality. Stereotypically, Ireland (and often the entire United Kingdom) is known to be very rainy. Going through the travel study didn’t do anything to dispel those thoughts. In reality, it only rained 5 days out of the three weeks they spent in the country, which included a ring around the entire isle. Sam also found she liked the food more than she thought she would.

In the case of North versus South, or taking 2 major cities from each, Belfast versus Dublin, Samantha found some remarkable differences. First off, there are marked cultural tensions- mostly regarding religion. There’s a forty-foot wall in place to separate the Catholic and Protestant parts of the city. “The North is more rural than the Republic, but Dublin is more of a tourist city. The South has the road signs translated into English, while the North keeps them in Gaelic. And Belfast has laws against public drinking while Dublin doesn’t.” Sam noted in the interview once back. Her view overall of the country was positive and she gladly said that she would love to go back.