Gymnastics: Lady ‘Hawks Go For Gold

The UW-Whitewater gymnastics team is headed to New York for the National Championship once again.

After winning last year’s regional, the Warhawks, who hosted the meet, finished in second place at the WIAC Championship on Sunday, earning them a trip to the NCGA National Championship on March 21 to 22. UW-La Crosse and UW-Oshkosh also qualified.

The Warhawks’ final score was 188.075, finishing just behind first-place UW-La Crosse, which scored 188.200. UW-Oshkosh finished third with a score of 185.75.

Even though the team won the regional a year ago, junior Hannah Lee said they are not disappointed about their second-place finish.

“I think overall we performed very well,” Lee said. “We had a few different bumps and bruises along the way, but I don’t think disappointed would be the right word to use. It definitely motivated us. We went out there and fought our hearts out.”

Freshman McKenzie Foster and Lee opened the meet with first-and second-place finishes in the balance beam event with scores of 9.725 and 9.625, respectively. Foster’s score was good enough for third in Whitewater’s record book.

Lee said she was proud of her personal performance but claimed she couldn’t have accomplished it without the support of her teammates.

“I would definitely say [my performance] was one of my best. It was nice to have McKenzie standing on the podium next to me,” Lee said. “Working out in the gym lately has really been a team event, so when I got off the beam, it was great having my teammates by my side.”

Three Warhawks, Kelsea Fischer, Courtney Pickett and Katie Fiorilli, tied for fourth on the vault with a score of 9.55.

Junior Cici Talcott scored a 9.525 on the floor exercise, which tied for seventh overall and best on the ’Hawks.

Along with Talcott’s, Lee’s and Foster’s strong performances, senior Allyse Dieringer scored a 9.675 on the uneven parallel bars to repeat as champion. Talcott came in second with a score of 9.650.

+ “Every single turn counts,” Talcott said. “The big scores are always what are really important and not just a few are important. We need a lot of great scores [to win].”

With a score of 37.825, Fiorilli, a freshman, placed first in the all-around competition.

She scored 9.550 on the vault, 9.375 on the bars, 9.425 on the balance beam and 9.475 on the floor exercise.

She joins Justine Weyer for the only all-around titles in school history.

In addition to Whitewater, eight teams competed in Sunday’s meet.

The Warhawks now turn their attention to Ithaca, N.Y., where they will battle the winners of the East Regional in the championship.

Talcott and Lee both think having confidence is crucial to their success.

“One thing we really need to improve on is just putting everything together for every single event,” Talcott said. “Just be confident in ourselves and we [need to focus on] starting the meet really great and continuing it all the way to the end.”

Lee reiterated Talcott’s statement that confidence is going to play a huge role going forward.

“We really need to go in there with confidence and give it our all,” Lee said. “If we just keep the confidence and do what we know how, I don’t think there will be any problems.”

Steve Jobs Speaks at Stanford’s Commencement

Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs gave a commencement speech about his troubles and triumphs at Stanford University on June 12 in front of hundreds of new college graduates.

Jobs, 50, spoke for around 15 minutes about his work history and personal life.

A college dropout, Jobs founded Apple Inc. in his parent’s garage in 1979, along with his partner Steve Wozniak. Soon after, Apple Inc. took off and became very successful in a short amount of time.

“We worked hard and in ten years, Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees,” Jobs told the crowd.

When Jobs was 30, his company released the Macintosh, which Job’s calls Apple’s “finest creation.”

Macintosh received rave reviews, but sales numbers were down. This caused a rift between Jobs and newly-appointed CEO John Sculley.

Sculley, former head of Pepsi-Cola, rounded up the board of directors and fired Jobs from his own company in 1985.

Though it didn’t seem like it then, Jobs said that being fired from Apple was a blessing in disguise.

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me,” Jobs said. “It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

Jobs wasn’t jobless for long. Over the next five years, Jobs started a company called NeXT and another one called Pixar.

Pixar created the first animated feature film “Toy Story,” and is the “most successful animation studio in the world,” Jobs said to a chorus of applause.

Oddly enough, Apple Inc. bought Jobs’ company NeXT, reuniting Jobs with his first creation. Jobs returned to Apple in 1996.

In the beginning of his speech, Jobs talked about “connecting the dots.” He said that you can only connect the dots in the future, and never in the past. If he hadn’t been fired from Apple, Pixar and NeXT probably wouldn’t exist.

“I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple,” Jobs said. “It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.”

“Sometimes life is gonna hit you in the head with a brick; don’t lose faith.”

Jobs’ main point in his speech was about finding something to do that you truly love. He said that if you don’t love your job, you’re wasting your time.

You’ve got to find what you love,” he told the crowd. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

The prospect of death is a huge motivator in Jobs’ life and career. He has lived each day of his life like it’s his last.

He told the crowd that “remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

In 2004, Jobs was diagnosed with cancer. A scan showed that he had a tumor on his pancreas. His doctor told him he had three to six months left to live.

Luckily, Jobs had a biopsy later that day. The doctors grabbed cells from his pancreas, and when they reviewed the cells, the doctor started crying. It turned out that Jobs had a very rare form of cancer, but it was curable with surgery.

Jobs underwent surgery and escaped death.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Jobs said. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of someone else’s thinking.”

Before he left the podium, Jobs motivated the graduates one more time.

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Kittatinny Mayor Releases Proposed Budget

The mayor of Kittatinny released his proposed budget for 2015 on Feb. 20.

Gustavus G. Petykiewicz also held a news conference Thursday, addressing the issues with his budget that will raise taxes and decrease total spending by 2.9 percent this upcoming year.

“I come to you with a heavy heart,” said in front of numerous reporters. “These are not actions I take lightly. The city is in trouble.”

Susquehanna Steel Corp., Kittatinny’s largest employer, recently laid off 600 workers, consequence of the hard times the city is facing.

Kittatinny has lost over $100 million in assessed property value over the last year. Susquehanna Steel Corp. decommissioned its Blast Furnace Unit 1 while the city condemned and razed 11 abandoned houses on the east bank of Loyalsock Creek.

To combat this economic crisis, Petyloewicz is proposing to increase taxes.

Petyloewicz’s plan is to raise the city tax rate by 7.5 percent, from 4 mills to 4.3 mills. This means an owner of a $100,000 house would pay an extra $30 a year.

The mayor has even said he would be willing to take a pay cut.

“I will agree to take a 10 percent salary cut of other officials in this town are willing to do the same,” Petyloewicz said.

But increasing the city tax rate from 4 mills to 4.3 mills might not be enough. Some city officials are wondering if it shouldn’t be bumped up to 5 mills in 2015.

“I would suggest we should maybe look at higher taxes,” president of the Kittatinny City Council Denelda Penoyer said.

Petyloewicz is aware that his proposed budget is flawed and he expects changes to be made.

“We need to talk about this budget because it is not final yet,” he said.

According to many city officials, the biggest flaw in the mayor’s budget is his removal of a police shift.

Petyloewicz plans to remove the police early shift (4 a.m. to noon) completely. Emergency calls that happen during that time period will be handled on a contract basis by Schuylkill County sherriff’s deputies. The city will save $35,332 if this aspect of the budget should pass.

Chief of Police Roman Hruska said that this is unacceptable.

“I am more than concerned. I am angry,” Hruska said. I cannot stand idly by and see a city of this size lose police protection for a third of the day.”

“The police department is unfairly targeted by this plan. I think we are potentially putting the lives of our citizens at risk.”

President of Pennsylvania Police Association Local 34 Bjarne Westhoff echoed Hruska’s statements and said the mayor’s disdain for the police chief is making things worse.

“I’m very upset with eliminating an entire police shift,” Westhoff said. “On the mayor’s part, this is a poor way of solving a personal dispute.”

Petyloewicz is also proposing to lay off two AFSCME workers, one in the city clerk’s office and one on the city engineer’s office. This will save the city $5,091.

President of AFSCME Local 644 Martha Mittengrabben said they are welcome to the idea of opening their contract for discussion.

“We don’t like to see our personnel laid off,” Mittengrabben said. “We will look at the possibility of opening our contract if others will do the same.”

Mittengrabben went on to say that without “shared sacrifice”, they’ll be unwilling to negotiate.

The city of Kittatinny is in crisis mode and the Petyloewicz envisions a tough road ahead. An increase in taxes may be the only solution to get the city out of debt.

“I see a lot of hardships in the years ahead.”

Interview Story

Ever since she was young, Kelsey Kaplan has been interested in the culinary arts. At the age of only five, her parents bought her an Easy Bake oven and her love for baking bloomed.

But it wasn’t until she was 16 years old that Kaplan realized she was passionate about it.

During her senior year of high school in 2012, she joined the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. The FCCLA is an organization with the goal of promoting personal growth and leadership development through family and consumer science education, according to its website.

While with the FCCLA, Kaplan entered a cake decorating contest. In this contest, she, along with the other contestants, was given one hour to decorate a birthday-themed cake.

“I made a girl’s sweet 16 cake and I ended up placing second,” Kaplan said. “I was eligible to compete at a state level but something came up and I was unable to go.”

Because of her baking success, Kaplan decided she wanted to pursue baking as more than just a hobby.

“Baking is a way to express creativity and I wanted to do something more than the basic teacher or doctor route,” Kaplan said. “I also love food.”

Her favorite foods to bake are cupcakes and cookies because she enjoys the decorating aspect.

She is majoring in electronic media communications and minoring in graphic design at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Kaplan hopes to one day to own a bakery, but realizes that’s a long way off.

“I’ve always wanted to own my own bakery, but before that, I would want to go back to school and get a baking and pastry degree. I’m putting that dream on hold for now, but I’m still going to bake whenever I get the opportunity.”

About Me

My name is Justin Schultz and despite being 22 years old, I am a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

I’m a big sports guy. I am a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Clippers, and Duke Blue Devils basketball.

I am the editor of ReviewingTheBrew.com, which is a Milwaukee Brewers blog on the FanSided network. I have five staff writers who write alongside me as well.