Live with gusto, Jobs tells graduates

steve-jobs-stanfordBy JAMES KATES, Bugle Staff

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Passion for one’s work, willingness to take risks and to learn from failure, and an awareness of life’s brevity are keys to success and satisfaction, computer legend Steve Jobs told Stanford University graduates today.

The Apple Computer Inc. co-founder, himself a college dropout, spoke of his numerous successes but also told graduates that he had learned the most from the troubles in his life. Jobs, who is 50, recently survived a bout with pancreatic cancer, and in 1985 he was fired from the company he helped create.

Adopted as an infant, Jobs grew up in California and attended Reed College in Portland, Ore. He dropped out after six months, unsure of his direction. When he “dropped in” to audit a calligraphy class, he discovered a passion for typography that would later inspire the multiple fonts on the first Macintosh computer.

“It’s impossible to connect the dots going forward,” he said, adding that life’s choices often pay dividends in ways that are recognized only years later.

“You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, karma, life, whatever – because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path,” Jobs told the graduates.

He and Steve “Woz” Wozniak founded Apple Computer in Jobs’ parents’ garage in 1976. The Macintosh, introduced in 1984, catapulted Apple into computing’s major leagues, and Jobs wooed John Sculley from Pepsi-Cola to help him run what had become a $2 billion company. Their management styles clashed, and Jobs was forced out by the board in 1985.

It was a catastrophic humiliation for a man who saw himself as heir to Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial tradition, and he even considered leaving the area. “But something slowly began to dawn on me,” he said. “I still loved what I did. … I’d been rejected, but I was still in love.”

Freed from Apple’s corporate infighting, he could enjoy “the lightness of being a beginner again” at age 30. “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that being fired from Apple was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Jobs said.

He channeled his energies into a new computer company called NeXT, which built high-end workstations. He bought a small computer-animation outfit and turned it into Pixar Animation Studios, which has scored a string of hits beginning with “Toy Story” in 1995.

In his years away from Apple, Jobs also met and married Laurene Powell. Apple bought NeXT, hired Jobs back, and in 1997 he became chief executive again. In his dozen-year odyssey away from the company, his zeal for life and work kept him going, he told the graduates.

The lesson from his ordeal? “The only way to love what you do is to do great work – and if you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle,” Jobs said.

A year ago, Jobs was diagnosed with cancer after an early-morning scan revealed a tumor on his pancreas. He spent a day thinking he had just months to live, but a biopsy that evening showed that the cancer was operable. Jobs has since recovered.

That close encounter with mortality underscored another lesson: that the inevitability of death is a powerful incentive to seize and savor each day, Jobs said.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose,” he said. “You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Jobs’ last bit of advice to the graduates was a quote from the Whole Earth Catalog, a bible of the hippie era that he said still resonates with him in the 21st century. Its last issue included a picture of a country road, symbolizing a journey, and the words “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

He concluded: “And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that all for you: Stay hungry. Stay foolish. Thank you all very much.”

Budget would boost taxes, cut cops

By JAMES KATES, Daily News Staff Writer

A tax increase, cuts in police protection and new fees for garbage pickup top the list of potentially painful items in the Mayor Gustavus G. Petykiewicz’s  proposed budget for 2017.

Petykiewicz unveiled the document at a news conference Tuesday, acknowledging that it would upset and anger many citizens. But the city must balance its books after being rocked by the troubles at Susquehanna Steel Corp., the mayor said.

“I come to you with a heavy heart,” he told reporters, adding: “These are not actions I take lightly.”

The mayor’s budget, which now must be weighed by the City Council, includes:

  •  A city tax-rate increase from 4 to 4.3 mills. The owner of a home assessed at $100,000 would pay $30 more per year at this rate. The extra levy would amount to $222,540 for the city at current property valuations.
  •  Elimination of the 4 a.m.-to-noon police shift and the layoff of two police officers. Schuylkill County sheriff’s deputies would handle emergency calls during that period. The move would save the city more than $75,000.
  • A shifting of residential trash collection from the tax levy to city water bills. This would bring a new, separate charge for trash pickup, probably about $360 a year for a typical household, the mayor said. The city paid $186,988 for residential trash pickup in 2016.
  • Layoffs of two unionized personnel at City Hall.
  • Wage freezes for all nonunion City Hall employees, including the mayor, who is paid $54,000 a year.

Even these measures would not fully make up for the economic devastation suffered this year when Susquehanna Steel closed its Blast Furnace Unit 1. The move left 600 of the company’s 1,600 local workers jobless and erased more than $100 million from the city’s industrial tax base.

Overall, the city’s tax base for 2017 is about 10 percent lower than in 2016. The only bright spot is the opening of the Tohickon Creek Plaza shopping center, valued at about $20 million for tax purposes.

The city would raise extra money by writing more traffic tickets, increasing parking meter rates from 10 cents to 25 cents an hour, and boosting permits for city-owned parking lots by $10 a year. Still, its total income for 2017 would be about $100,000 less than in 2016.

City Council President Denelda Penoyer and others suggested that raising the tax rate to 5 mills would save the police shift and alleviate other hardship in the budget. A boost to 5 mills would cost the owner of a $100,000 house $100 more in property taxes a year, compared with the current 4 mills.

An early salvo against the mayor’s budget came from Police Chief Roman Hruska.

“I cannot stand idly by and watch a city of this size be deprived of regular police protection for a third of each day,” the chief said. Without regular officers on patrol, the city would be ill-equipped to respond to emergencies such as shootings or hostage situations, he added.

Hruska, who makes $62,000 a year, offered to take a 10 percent pay cut and challenged the mayor and all other nonunion city officials to do the same.

Bjarne Westhoff, president of Pennsylvania Police Association Local 34, the officers’ union, suggested that the mayor and the chief did not get along and that the mayor’s cuts were “a poor way of solving a personal dispute.”

The police union might be willing to reopen negotiations on its contract, which expires in June 2018, Westhoff said.

Many other city workers are represented by Local 644 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Martha Mittengrabben, president of the local, said workers might be willing to reopen their contract, which expires in March 2018.

“There must be a spirit of shared sacrifice,” Mittengrabben cautioned. “We will not do this unilaterally.”

The mayor’s budget would lay off two AFSCME employees, one in the city clerk’s office and one in the city engineer’s office.

Spending in the mayor’s budget includes a new police cruiser, costing $54,763, to replace a police vehicle with 221,000 miles on it. The city also would spend extra money for a weed-removal machine for White Deer Lake.

Penoyer promised to hold extensive public hearings on the budget. A completed budget must be signed into law by Dec. 1.



Here’s what a good story looks like

This story is good. It’s not perfect, but it’s good. It’s got a compelling lede. The writing is very clear, with no wasted words. There are just two direct quotes here — and they’re both powerful and revealing. The writer follows AP style to the letter (almost). Nicely done. It’s got just a couple of holes (unanswered questions) in it. Anybody know what they are?

Veteran gives unique perspective on military life

When Kayla Williams was walking her three-legged German Shepherd through the park, a stranger stopped her, asking if the dog had formerly worked for the U.S. military. The dog had never seen combat. However, Williams had recently returned from Iraq. One of her pet peeves, she said, is that because of her gender, her dog is assumed to be a veteran more often than she is.

Williams, a former U.S. Army sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division and author of the book “Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army,” spoke at UW–Whitewater on Feb. 6.

Early in life, a military career was never in Williams’ plans. After earning her undergraduate degree in English literature, Williams became increasingly unhappy with her civilian life. “I was devastatingly terrified that I’d end up with a minivan and 2.5 kids,” she said.

When a confrontation with her boss left her unemployed, Williams made the decision to enlist in the U.S. Army. In 2000, an army career seemed lucrative: Williams could be paid to learn Arabic, a skill she coveted, while remaining confident that she would never enter combat.

After 9/11, everything changed. Williams, who had been safely studying Arabic in the U.S., was soon deployed to Iraq, where she worked as an Arabic linguist in a military intelligence unit from 2003–2004.

Being female in the military posed a unique challenge for Williams, since only 15% of the U.S. military was female. The few women in the U.S. Army often faced sexual harassment and assault, she said. After dealing with a particularly alarming incident of sexual harassment, Williams made the difficult decision to act cold rather than friendly to her brothers-in-arms. She said that merely smiling could be taken as a sexual invitation by some men.

Williams’ advice for other women who decide to join the U.S. Army reflects her difficult experiences: “When you cry–and you will cry–do it in the bathroom where you’re alone.”

After returning home from Iraq, Williams married Brian McGough, a former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant who was wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq. She is currently writing a second book about McGough’s recovery from his traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Williams and McGough have a young daughter, who Williams said she would not discourage from a military career despite the hardships she has endured.

Welcome to The Bugle

Hello journalism students! This is our class blog for Journalism 237, Reporting for News Media. I will maintain this blog and post to it regularly. Each of you will set up your own blog on the UWW WordPress site where you will post your class assignments. As soon as you set up your site, send me the address. I will place links to all student blogs on The Bugle.

Some of you probably have blogged in the past. Maybe some of you haven’t. It doesn’t matter much. With UWW’s customized WordPress application, the basic stuff is easy. You can link to news sites such as JSOnline, for example. You can use bullet points and lists to make online reading easier. You can post still photos, videos (via YouTube) and audio clips. We’ll be doing all of that this semester. If you work in media in any capacity, blogging will probably be part of your work. Have fun with this!