Community Bulletin Board
- 'Brass Valley: Made in America' Exhibit
- IMTI Installs Solar Panel System
- Local Senators support Firefighter Fundraiser
- Sacred Heart H.S. Names Top Students
- Summer Exhibits at the Mattatuck Museum
- Connecticut Museum Open House Day~June 8
- Waterbury Health Care Council Awards
- NAMI announces T-Shirt Contest Winner
- Dolce Fundraiser for Cardiology Center, 6/29
- StayWell Receives Patient-Centered Certification
- American Jazz at Museum’s 1st Thursday
- Palace Theater's 2013-14 Broadway Series
Column By Kevin Zak
After the recent blizzard of 2013 the state found itself making an unpleasant decision. They allowed towns and cities in the Naugatuck Valley to dump snow directly into the river to clear the streets.
Before I try to answer the question whether we should be dumping snow in the river, let’s put a few things out on the table. The storm is over. The snow is all but gone, and in the river. This is the literal water under the bridge argument. The Mayors of Waterbury and Naugatuck were reacting to an uncommon weather event, their backs were up against the wall and the state bailed them out. However, it will snow again, and it will pile up to levels that will put the cities and towns back in the same situation in the future.
Now is the time to plan for the next event.
Kevin Zak and Sondra Harman
The Naugatuck River Revival Group has won an $11,000 grant from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Public Utilities Regulatory Authority that will enable Kevin Zak and Sondra Harman to intensify their astounding effort to document wildlife in and along the Naugatuck River. The NRRG is purchasing a high definition Canon camcorder with lenses, filters and attachments that will better able Zak, Harman, and other group members to capture and share images of Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Osprey, Great Horned Owls, beavers, foxes, coyotes and bears living in the Naugatuck Valley. These two pioneer spirits have accomplished amazing things cleaning and documenting the river on a shoestring budget. The Observer is looking forward to see what Zak and Harman can accomplish now that they have the tools to match their passion.
A striking image of a pair of nesting Osprey captured by Kevin Zak of the Naugatuck River Revival Group. Zak, and his partner in crime, Sondra Harman, have spent hundreds of hours documenting the wildlife in and along the Naugatuck River. The two have produced a stunning documentary called "The Hidden World", which is playing Thursday, June 7th, at the Naugatuck Historical Society, 195 Water Street, Naugatuck. The movie begins at 6 pm. Check it out!
After a CL&P crew demolished its nest, an Osprey set out immediately to rebuild.
Column and Photographs By Kevin Zak
Is there a problem within the State of Connecticut with Osprey building nests on utility poles? I believe there is, and man vs. nature is again in conflict, and this problem needs direct and immediate attention from our public utility companies, Northeast Utilities (NU) and United Illuminating (UI) and our State Legislature. A state-wide Osprey policy is needed. Osprey are federally protected and the state is not allowed to give permission for nest deconstruction without gaining a federal permit.
(Editor's note - Kevin Zak is the founder of the Naugatuck River Revival Group and has been instrumental in generating awareness of the unique ecosystem that flows directly through Waterbury)
Column By Kevin Zak, Photographs By John Murray
A Red Shouldered Hawk was trapped in the bucket of a cherry picker with water up to its chest. The clock was ticking. How long this raptor was in his watery tomb, or how he got there, was anyone’s guess. The hawk was not going to live through the night. Heavy thunder storms overtook Wolcott the previous week and somehow, bizarrely, this raptor had trapped itself in a narrow bucket and couldn’t spread his broad wings. The sides of the bucket were too steep and there was nothing for him to dig his sharp and powerful talons into so he could climb out. With each day the hawk grew weary and with each new down pour the water got deeper. Without food for days his condition was like a Chinese finger trap - the more he struggled the weaker he became. This magnificent creature was injured, weakened, and about to drown.
Story and Photographs
By John Murray
Back in the 1960s Uniroyal launched an international marketing campaign that asserted Naugahyde was obtained from the skin of an animal called a Nauga. The company, based in Naugatuck, proclaimed that a Nauga shed its skin multiple times a year, so it didn’t have to be slaughtered to collect its hide. The ads stated the Nauga was a squat, horned monster from the jungles of Sumatra, and every customer who purchased a Naugahyde couch from Uniroyal received a small Nauga doll.
It was brilliant marketing - fun, humorous and effective.