Mayor arrested after drunk driving accident

KITTATINNY, Pa. – Mayor Gustavus G. Petykiewicz was arrested on felony charges Saturday following a booze-fueled joyride that resulted in two totaled vehicles and serious injuries to another driver, police say.
According to a report from the Schuylkill County Sheriff’s Department, Petykiewicz, 56, was driving intoxicated around 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, when he drove into the intersection of State Highway 117 and Fonebone Road in Frontenac, striking and seriously injuring Robert H. Doane, 42, of 1132 Main St., Kittatinny.
Concerned that Doane may have injured his spine, paramedics called the Flight for Life to have him air-lifted to Northeast Pennsylvania Hospital and Trauma Center in Wilkes-Barre.
Alice Q. Magarian, 32, was driving behind Doane at the time of the accident. She said that Doane drove north on State Highway 117 at a reasonable speed as Petykiewicz approached from the west on Fonebone Road where he “appeared to hesitate” at the stop sign, crossed the intersection and collided with Doane’s driver’s side door.
The crash left both vehicles upright but decimated in a farmer’s field on the east side of Highway 117.
The collision mangled Doane’s 1997 Buick Le Sabre, causing serious damage to its driver’s side door, trapping him inside. Doane was wearing his seatbelt but had no airbag, police say.
Petykiewicz’s 2006 Ford explorer received heavy damage to its front end. Authorities say that although Petykiewicz was not wearing his seatbelt, he sustained no serious injuries.
Petykiewicz had a blood alcohol content of .14, nearly twice the legal limit, and smelled strongly of alcohol. He also failed a field sobriety test and had a half-empty bottle of vodka in his vehicle, police say.
“You’d be drinking, too, if you were me,” Petykiewicz said with slurred speech when asked if he had been drinking. “Do you think we could just keep this quiet? I’m the mayor of Kittatinny.”
Police transported Petykiewicz to Schuylkill County Jail where he was booked and fingerprinted. Petykiewicz has since been released, as his wife, Gloria Petykiewicz, posted the $500 bail.
According to Schuylkill County District Attorney Robert J. Morgenthau, a preliminary hearing will be held Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. in Schuylkill County District Court. Petykiewicz faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for causing great bodily harm by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.
Doane has several broken ribs, a broken jaw, abrasions to his head, chest and abdomen, but no spinal injury, a nursing supervisor from the hospital said.
Both the mayor and his wife neglected to comment on the accident.

Steve Jobs speaks at Stanford

Addressing an audience of Stanford University graduates, Steve Jobs delivered a commencement speech that centered around three lessons that he learned throughout his life.
Jobs gave his speech on June 12, 2005. Diagnosed with cancer only a year ago, Jobs is now 50 years old.
The first lesson, Jobs said, was about “connecting the dots.” He noted that he had dropped out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon after only six months, although he continued going to class for another 18 months.
He said the reason he dropped out began before he was born. Jobs’s biological mother was an unmarried graduate student, so she decided to put him up for adoption. Placed in the custody of parents who had never graduated college, Jobs’s biological mother made them promise that someday he would go to college.
Jobs did go to college, but he said there was no value for him. All of his parent’s money was being spent on his tuition, so he dropped out.
“It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made,” Jobs said. “The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.”
Reed College offered some of the best calligraphy instruction in the world, Jobs said. He would sit in on calligraphy classes, which didn’t have a practical application in his life until he designed the first Macintosh computer. Jobs said his knowledge of calligraphy allowed him to develop the first computer with beautiful typography.
“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards,” Jobs said. “So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
The second lesson was about “love and loss”. Starting out in their parent’s garage, Jobs and Steve Wozniak had built Apple Computer Inc. into a $2 billion company with over 400 employees in 10 years.
At the age of 30, however, Jobs was fired from his own company in part by John Sculley, a former marketing specialist for Pepsi-Cola, over different visions for Apple’s future.
“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life,” Jobs said.
After being fired from his own company, Jobs started a new company called Pixar and met his future wife Laurene Powell. Pixar would go on to be one of the most successful animation studios in the world.
Jobs said if he hadn’t been fired from Apple, he wasn’t sure if any of this would have happened.
The third lesson was about “death”. Jobs shared his story about being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year ago.
Jobs said that upon discovering a tumor on his pancreas, doctors told him to expect to live no more than three to six months.
After a biopsy, doctors found that Jobs had a rare form of pancreatic cancer that was curable with surgery. Jobs said that his near death experience gave him a new perspective on 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. “You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Death is life’s “change agent”, Jobs said. He concluded his speech by quoting Stewart Brand’s “Whole Earth Catalogue”. On the back cover, Jobs said, were the words “stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

The McCartney Years rock Young Auditorium

To be a cover band is one thing, but to emulate an artist like Paul McCartney note for note is something entirely different. That is exactly what audience members saw as The McCartney Years took the stage at the Young Auditorium Thursday night, plunging into a medley of “Venus and Mars”, “Rockshow” and “Jet”.
* The concert was held on Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Young Auditorium. The concert encouraged students to listen to a more classic side of rock music, said Stacy Sherman, a marketing specialist for the Young Auditorium.
The musicianship was incredible, as every band member brought their own energy to each song. Every note was spot on, and every harmony was in perfect sync.
Front man Yuri Pool said the group has a real bond to one another that brings the songs together.
“We are very much connected to each other and have great chemistry,” Pool said. “It shows in all our recordings.
Pool’s resemblance to Paul McCartney was uncanny. He looked and sounded so much like Sir Paul during the song “Band on the Run” that audience members might as well have taken a time machine back to 1975.
“I am probably the biggest fan of Paul McCartney’s music and life, but then again who doesn’t love his work?” Pool said. “I love his music, and I love going through his work note by note, chord by chord.”
Pool said his dedication to music began at the age of 11 when he persuaded his mother “after many years” to buy him a guitar. Some years later, Pool was playing piano in an art gallery in the Netherlands when the owner told him he had McCartney’s vocal range and tone.
He then auditioned for a touring Beatles production in England and was hired the same night. Pool said that from then on he began thinking of ways to cover McCartney’s post-Beatles material.
Stacy Sherman helped plan the concert and said she appreciates The McCartney Years for their classic sound.
“A lot of the artists that I enjoy now really use those standards to influence the music they make,” Sherman said.
Sherman also talked about the setting that the Young Auditorium provides for concerts.
“With our relatively intimate setting in our theatre, what you can see on stage, the way a band is arranged, the way the sound is projected and the lighting is pretty neat to see,” Sherman said. “It’s not like you’re in some major arena where you’re super far back. There isn’t a bad seat in the house.”
Audience member Max Strehlow, junior, said he enjoyed his spot in the auditorium. Strehlow noted that this is the closest thing his generation will have to seeing a Beatle perform.
“I think Paul and Ringo are still around, but those guys are getting pretty old. It was amazing how much the lead singer sounded like Paul McCartney. I feel like I actually saw Paul perform,” Strehlow said.

Budget slashes police force

Mayor Gustavus Petykiewicz proposed a 2015 budget last week that aims to cut the police force, raise taxes and end free garbage pickup in an effort to balance the $100 million lost in taxable revenue after the decommissioning of a blast furnace at Susquehanna Steel Corp.
While claiming to balance the budget, the mayor’s proposal would reduce Kittatinny’s police force from 10 officers to eight.
The proposal would also end an early shift, 4 a.m. to noon, that would normally be covered by Kittatinny officers. Instead, emergency calls will be handled by Schuylkill County sheriff’s deputies.
“Like a lot of things in this budget, it is not necessarily ideal,” the mayor said. “Response times may be longer. If you have a better idea, come to me.”
Police Chief Roman Hruska took a stand against the mayor’s proposed budget, stressing the dangers of an understaffed police station.
“If this proposal goes through, our crimes will have worse outcomes,” Hruska said. “I cannot stand idly by and watch a city of this size be deprived of regular police protection for a third of the day.”
Bjarne Westhoff, president of Pennsylvania Police Association Local 34, joined the debate against the mayor. He believes that the mayor’s proposal will not go through, and instead suggests higher taxes.
“I think the citizens would be willing to pay extra to keep police on the street,” Westhoff said.
Kittatinny City Council President Denelda Penoyer also believes taxes should be raised to keep police. Penoyer suggested an even higher tax rate than the mayor, opting for a raise from 4 to 5 mills, rather than the mayor’s proposed increase of 4 to 4.3 mills.
“I can’t live with the police situation,” Penoyer said. “If we raise taxes, we would resolve our police staffing issue.”
Along with cuts to the police force and higher tax rates, the mayor’s proposed budget also would remove garbage pickup from the tax levy.
Weekly garbage pickup would not change and it would be handled by the city’s current provider. The charge, however, would be added to city water bills, resulting in about a $200 per year increase for homeowners.
To help balance the budget, Hruska and Penoyer also said they would be willing to take a 10 percent pay cut if the mayor does as well.

UW-Whitewater student finishes album

UW-Whitewater student Connor Novack, junior, has just finished recording an album that he says almost never happened.
“I was just so busy all summer with school and work and girlfriends. I didn’t have a lot of time to myself. I had no time to create,” Novack said.
Novack, a guitarist by trade, has been playing in rock bands since he was a 15 years old. Once in college, Novack said he began listening to folk music and turned his attention to the acoustic guitar.
It was love at first strum. Novack began listening to Bob Dylan, Neil Young and many other famous folk acts. He says they have a great deal to do with the way he sounds.
Aside from musical composition, Novack says he pays special attention to lyrical matter and is always looking for inspiration. On this album, lyrics range from Novack’s former girlfriends, to his alienation as an artist and even include a song about his older brother’s battle with cancer.
“I had a lot of great inspiration for these songs,” Novack said. “Some of the lyrics are a little too personal to get too into, but I really think it’s the culmination of everything I’ve done since I’ve started playing.”
Along with writing all of his own lyrics, Novack also recorded all of the vocals and instruments on his album. Though he likes the musical freedom that this gave him, he says he is not opposed to playing with a band.
“The more artists I have around me, the better chance I have of coming up with something good,” Novack said. “I want to make the big time just as much as everyone else.”
Novack’s album, though yet untitled, is set to release by the end of the semester. It will be released independently on Spotify, iTunes and YouTube. Novack also says he has a Facebook page in the making.