My view of Afghanistan today from 32,000 feet.

                                   Column By John Murray

    Afghanistan, Selma, Waterbury….

   Thoughts are weaving and swirling inside my skull, and I’m beginning to sweat. I think about war and skirmishes and people standing up to power and demanding change. I see Afghanistan, I hear Selma, and I’m headed back to Waterbury to continue pushing for change in municipal government.

    I’m onboard a Turkish Airlines flight from Bangkok to Istanbul, and peer down upon a vast landscape of snow and mountains 32,000 feet above Afghanistan. The view is mesmerizing, haunting, heart breaking.

 

The future of a multi-million dollar economic development project on Freight Street rests in the hands of the Waterbury Board of Aldermen on Monday night.

                     Story and Photographs By John Murray

    The members of the Board of Aldermen in Waterbury have a dilemma Monday night when they vote on a $19.5 million bond project that would unlock the redevelopment of 60 acres along Freight Street, and reacquaint the city with the Naugatuck River. At issue is whether to commit $5.1 million of taxpayers dollars to receive a $14.4 million federal grant from the Department of Transportation.

Dr. Peter Morrison, right, handled sharp criticism directed towards his draft map with grace, and afterwards met with State Representative Larry Butler, center, to begin working on a second draft focused on the 2000 state representative districts in Waterbury.

 

Kevin Zak of the Naugatuck River Revival Group has questioned what impact millions of gallons of grey water dumped into the Naugatuck River from a proposed power plant in Oxford will have on the health of the river, and what affect will it have on the millions of dollars of economic development proposed in Waterbury.

Story By Michael Kaneb and John Murray

 Opposition is mounting against the construction of a massive power plant in Oxford that threatens the safety of air traffic at Waterbury-Oxford Airport, and presents a possible threat to the vitality of the Naugatuck River and the economic development projects being planned along its shores (including the W.A.T.E.R. Project in Waterbury).

Demographer Peter Morrison inadvertantly created a a mini-firestorm when he posted his first district plan onto the city website without an explanation that it was only a starting point, and that public input and direction from the District Commission will refine the plan to include neighborhood identity.

                       Story and Photographs By John Murray

 The first district proposal for electing aldermen by district has arrived in Waterbury, and while some outspoken critics of the process are supportive, others see it driven by inside politics, gerrymandering, and a ridiculous concept of joining Bunker Hill and portions of the East End in one district. The plan was created by Dr. Peter Morrison of Nantucket, Massachusetts, described as an impartial demographer with an impeccable record of creating and defending district lines.

   “What we’ve created is simply a starting point,” Morrison cautioned. “At tomorrow night’s meeting I look forward to hearing from the District Commission and the public about how we can refine the plan.”

 

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