A shepherd near the village of Bilisht, Albania. There are an estimated 1000 Albanians from Bilisht that now live in greater Waterbury, most coming to seek economic opportunity in America.
Story and Photographs By John Murray
I rounded a corner in Fier, Albania, and encountered ten police officers standing on the side of the road gesturing towards me. Crap, I thought, here comes the shakedown. I pulled my rental car over and fumbled for my passport and rental agreement. I wondered how I’d manage with the few words of Albanian I knew; mirëdita, (good afternoon), faleminderit (thank you), jo (no) and po (yes).
It was too late to learn, “Hi officer, Albania is a beautiful country and I look forward to writing about my experience with Prime Minister Edi Rama in my newspaper back in America.”
As I watched three uniformed police officers surround my car I wondered how much this was going to cost me.
Former 75th District State Representative Victor Cuevas
Story By John Murray
Federal Judge Jeffrey Meyer sentenced former state representative Victor Cuevas to one-year probation and a $1000 fine for lying on a federal mortgage form. Judge Meyer said Cuevas had made an ill-advised plan to defraud a bank, but also had "remarkable support" in dozens of letters, and that "half the courtroom was bursting" in support of him.
Cuevas admitted guilt on June 20th to lying on a HUD mortgage form stating a $7000 loan from life-long friend had been a gift. As part of the application process for securing a low interest loan backed by the federal government, the applicant had to secure a $7000 non-repayable gift. Ironically, if Cuevas had not repaid the loan there would have been no crime.
Waterbury's Reservoirs have gone below 50% usable capacity due to the dry weather.
The Mayor’s Office and the Waterbury Bureau of Water announced today that the City’s reservoirs have declined to below 50 percent usable capacity due to the continued dry weather conditions. In response to these conditions we are implementing the Drought Warning stage of our Emergency Contingency Plan. Under this stage a number steps will be implemented to respond to the drought including Mandatory Water Use Restrictions that become effective immediately. These Mandatory Restrictions include a ban on all non-essential outdoor water usage such as lawn and garden watering; watering of golf course fairways; non-commercial washing of motor vehicles; hose washing of streets, driveways and sidewalks; ornamental water use such as fountains and waterfalls; the use of hydrants for any purpose other than fire-fighting or as approved by municipal health officials for public health or safety needs; and the serving of water in restaurants or clubs unless specifically requested by a patron.
Dreamgirls, the Tony award winning musical opens this Saturday, October 15th at the Thomaston Opera House at 8pm. The play follows the career of girl group, The Dreams, as they climb the Billboard charts into stardom during the 1960s. Samantha Rae Bass stars as “Effie White,” a role originally played by legendary actress and singer, Jennifer Holliday. Bass a transplant to Manchester, Connecticut from Cookeville, Tennessee most recently took to the TOH stage in Memphis as “Felicia.” As Effie, taking on this “larger than life role” has connected Bass to the character in many ways. Bass says “what people don’t understand about Effie, is that she has tons of insecurities,”“her drive to be the best being her biggest downfall.” This drive and downfall culminate to form the iconic ballad “(And I'm Telling You) I'm Not Going,” at the end of the first act.
Vasilios Kaloidis believes Greater Waterbury has plenty of restaurants with cuisine excellent enough to match the best restaurants anywhere in the state. “We have 25 to 30 great restaurants in Greater Waterbury, just like other areas,” said Kaloidis, who owns two restaurants in the region, Vasi’s Restaurant & Bar and Spartan Restaurant & Bar and chairman of the Chamber’s Restaurant Week Committee. The Waterbury area restaurants, however, “are larger, have better parking, and are centrally located between two highways,” Interstate 84 and Route 8. To help spread the word, the Waterbury Regional Chamber has partnered with many of its member restaurants to create the first Greater Waterbury Restaurant Week, to be held Sunday, September 11 through Friday September 16.
Waterbury is celebrating July 4th a day early this year with music and parties and fireworks on July 3rd.
A free concert, a food truck festival and neighborhood block parties will all precede the scheduled 9:15 p.m. launch of the City’s annual fireworks display on Sunday July 3 from Holy Land.