Archive for October, 2016

Oct 25 2016

Jobs: Personal life lessons to help graduates

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“I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation,” announced Steve Jobs.

The former college drop-out turned technology tycoon and billionaire, Steve Jobs, attended Stanford University’s graduation ceremony yesterday, Sunday, June 12.

The founder of Apple Computer, Inc. and Pixar, delivered the commencement speech.

The 50-year-old addressed the 2005 graduates with excitement as he discussed how his life has taken him to where his is now. Jobs stated the importance of following one’s dreams, finding what one is passionate about and how time is limited.

During his commencement speech, Jobs laid out his three personal philosophies as lessons that anyone could follow.

Connecting the dots

Jobs was only six months into his college schooling at Reed College in Portland when he decided to drop out. This was a big issue with his birth mother, she made his attendance to college a requirement for his adoption.

Jobs was not sure what he wanted to do with life and felt college would not help in figuring it out. Jobs did not want to waste his parents’ life savings.

“So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out okay,” said Jobs.

For the recent drop-out, it was “scary,” but Jobs claims it was the best decision he could have made.

Jobs was not completely dropped out of school. He stopped taking the required classes and took those of interest to him, including calligraphy. This course explored the different types of fonts and spacing between letters.

Thought to be useless, the class was able to help differentiate Jobs’ first computer, the Macintosh, from others during the time. This was the first computer with typography and Jobs pointed out how others, such as Windows, copied the operating system.

“Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backward ten years later,” Jobs said.

“So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Love and Loss

Jobs was publically dismissed from his job at Apple in 1985 by John Sculley, an executive Jobs himself had recruited and hired. Jobs questioned how he could be fired from a company he started.

Jobs took his mistakes to heart and believed he let his mentors, David Packard and Bob Noyce, down.

“I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley,” said Jobs. “But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did.”

Over the course of five years, Jobs founded NeXT, Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios; he also met his future wife, Laurene Powell. His new companies flourished; Pixar created the “world’s first computer animated feature film, ‘Toy Story.’”

Apple eventually came to the conclusion that they needed Jobs, and they purchased NeXT, which required his return.

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did,” said Jobs.


In the final philosophy lesson, Jobs shared a quote about living each day as if it were you’re last, because it one day, it will be. The quote stuck with him and he followed the mantra for the past 33 years.

The thought of facing death has helped him make all the tough decisions 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” said Jobs. “You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

In 2004, Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Jobs was told that it was incurable and should expect to live no longer than three to six months. After a biopsy, results revealed the tumor was a very rare form of pancreatic cancer “that is curable with surgery.”

This was the closest that Jobs has ever faced death and states in his speech his desire to live longer.

“Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new,” said Jobs.

This generation, this graduating class is the new.

Jobs reiterated the importance making use of your life because time is limited.

Wrapping up his speech, Jobs mentioned one of his favorite publications, “The Whole Earth Catalog.” When the catalog had its final issue, the back cover had a photo “of an early morning country road.”

“Beneath it were the words: ‘Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.’ It was their farewell message as they signed off,” said Jobs.

“And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”

Jobs’ commencement speech was met with great applause and cheers. His speech was inspiring, emotional, and simple.

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Oct 18 2016

Sixth annual pumpkin chucking festival

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Fall is in the air and all of the autumn activities are moving in full swing, specifically at Niko’s Red Mill Tavern. (*)

The bar and restaurant hosted its sixth annual pumpkin chucking festival last Saturday on October 15.

Bands, food and drinks, and pumpkin chucking contests are just a few of the fall festivities that occurred at Niko’s, located at 1040 Lake Ave, Woodstock, Illinois.

Pumpkin chucking was the main event, taking place in the bar’s back yard.

After paying a $15 entrance fee, players paid a $5 sign-up fee to participate throwing 10 plus pound pumpkins over a bar. After each throw going above or over the bar, the bar would rise half a foot. The bar maxed out at 27 feet.

Each contestant would have three tries to make it pass the bar. The top three winners would move on to the championship.

The adults league began at 3 p.m. The championship round was held at 9:30 p.m.

The top three winners, for both male and female, won prizes with first place winning a $200 cash prize along with hats and gift cards.

The highest throw of the day was 25 feet and won the men’s first place.

Niko’s put on the festival to get the town and surrounding communities together to meet and engage.

“This festival is a great way to get the community involved and interacting as well as celebrate the fall,” said special guest MC Christine Bachman.

“We are hosting a great family event with kids’ activities during the day and adult activities at night.”

There was kids’ pumpkin carving and decorating and a children’s league of pumpkin chucking.

“We have everything, you name it, here at Niko’s Red Mill,” said Bachman.

Bands performed all day from noon to midnight. Bands that played were Derringer and Rye Suburban Cowboys, Cinful, Nashville Electric Co., Modern Day Romeos, and Bella Cain, in this order.

Alongside the bands, there were two 10-foot by 10-foot TV screens displaying the Chicago Cubs play-off game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. During the bands’ performances, the singers would shout out the score of the game in between songs.

Dawn Kline, participant of the festival, said “We loved watching the bands and Cubs game at the same time. It was such a good idea.”

The bar and restaurant were open in case festival-goers wanted more than just burgers.

Towards the end of the night, the festival flourished with people. Niko’s started using shuttle busses to take participants to and from their cars.

“It was a great night and very well put together. The staff and everyone did a great job,” said Kline.

The pumpkin chucking festival is one of the biggest events Niko’s put on during the year, and it is highly anticipated.

“I cannot wait for the seventh chuck fest,” said Robert Frank, participant of the festival.

For more information and future events, call 815-338-6455 or visit

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Oct 11 2016

Proposed budget faces criticism

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Mayor Gustavus Petykiewicz released his proposed budget for 2017 yesterday prior to the city council meeting and has faced harsh criticism and backlash.

Tax increases, lay-offs, and additional bills are just a few of the biggest changes that are in the proposed budget for the city of Kittatinny.

“It is with a heavy heart that I propose this new budget for our beloved Kittatinny,” said Petykiewicz while addressing the city council and towns people.

With the decrease in the tax base due to August’s closure of a furnace at Susquehanna Steel Corp., mayor Petykiewicz has proposed to raise taxes from 4 mills in 2016 to 4.3 mills in 2017. This tax increase will add $30 to the end-of-the-year bill.

In addition to the 600 jobs lost with the furnace closure, two police officers and two AFSCME personnel, one city clerk, and one city engineer, will be laid off as well to lower the spending. Schuylkill County sheriff’s deputies will address emergency call when needed in Kittatinny.

To save more money on spending, many city workers will have their salaries froze.

Kittatinny will save about $187,000 on garbage pickup but will no longer have taxes pay for the service. It will become a user fee and be an additional line of $35 per month on each tenant’s water bill. Tioga Sanitation Comp. will continue to provide service.

Petykiewicz believes that the town is in a financial emergency. By adding in tourism and increasing parking fees/tickets and police citations, Petykiewicz said it would help close the budget hole.

Petykiewicz looks to the future by increasing and promoting tourism to rebrand the town.

While Mayor Petykiewicz look to the future, Chief of Police of Kittatinny, Roman Hruska, looks at the present. Hruska opposes the proposal and is unhappy.

“I cannot stand idly by and watch a city of this size be deprived of regular police protection,” Hruska said.

Hruska believes that the lack of officers the town at a higher risk of crime and most importantly, peoples’ lives are in danger.

In order to saves the two officers’ jobs, Hruska said, “I will take a 10 percent cut in pay if the mayor does.”

Denelda Penoyer, president of Kittatinny City Council, wants to challenge the mayor. Penoyer will oversee the budget proposal and changes.

“I think taxes should go higher to 5 mills,” said Penoyer.

Penoyer also wants to raise money to save the police officers’ jobs. Martha Mittengrabben, president of AFSCME Local 644, would like to save the jobs of the city personnel who are in her local union.

“It is our job to protect the interest of our members and our city must sacrifice together in order to rebuild itself,” said Mittengrabben.

Once city council and the mayor can come to agree on terms, the new budget will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

If you would like to know more or share your thoughts, attend the city council meetings held every Tuesday at 6 p.m.




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