Epic Night For Jahana Hayes

First Black Woman Elected To Congress From CT

Photographs By John Murray

Jahana Hayes made an emotional entrance into a crowded ballroom filled with soul music and anticipation. With last night's victory Hayes has made an extraordinary leap from the Berkeley Heights Project in the North End of Waterbury, to the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, to the halls of the United States Congress. Jahana's improbable and fantastic journey captured national attention as very few members of Congress have ever experienced poverty the way Hayes has. Last night she carved her name into history as the first African-American woman to represent Connecticut in Congress, "I'm a history teacher making history," she said.

Ned Lamont Driving Towards Finish Line

Democrat Candidate Tours Waterbury In 1957 Convertible

Before climbing into the 1957 Chevy convertible, Lamont visited Waterbury City Hall to pay his respects to Sam Beamon, whose body was lying in state in Veterans Hall. Pictured here the motorcade cruised past the Anamet Building in the South End of Waterbury.

Story and Photographs By John Murray

   Ned Lamont took a grand tour of Waterbury on Sunday afternoon as he cruised through the streets in a black 1957 Chevy Convertible waving to residents while clutching a small American flag. Lamont is Connecticut's Democrat Party candidate for Governor and he was invited to lead a motorcade through the city by State Representative Geraldo Reyes Jr.

 

Seeking A Demolition Delay Ordinance

To Help Save Waterbury's Historic Buildings

State Senator Joan Hartley listened to Brad Schide from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation explain the demo delay ordinance. Hartley said having a conversation about historic buildings was important and the city should have a process in place to facilitate that discussion on a case by case basis.

Story and Photographs By John Murray

   A group of concerned citizens met tonight with representatives from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation inside the Silas Bronson Library to discuss ways to protect Waterbury's historic buildings from demolition. Wide spread community outrage erupted last month when the Immaculate Conception Church began demolishing the 140-year-old Trinity Episcopal Church to make way for a parking lot.

The Showdown

Two Popular Aldermen Tangle In State's 73rd District Race

Democrat Ron Napoli Jr, left, and Republican Steve Giacomi

Story and Photographs By John Murray

    If you held a crystal ball and peered into Waterbury’s political future it would not be surprising to see a mayoral showdown in the next decade between Republican Steve Giacomi and Democrat Ron Napoli Jr.. They are young, popular and ambitious, and both men were indoctrinated early into the political process as boys visiting their father’s political headquarters.

   Political pundits can put down that crystal ball because the showdown is now in the 73rd District as the two men tangle for the right to replace legislator Jeff Berger, who is retiring after serving 18 years in Hartford. At stake is the right to represent the Bunker Hill, Robinwood, Overlook and Waterville neighborhoods in the state legislature, but the results of this contest could reverberate across the political landscape in Waterbury for decades to come.

Naugatuck Valley Project Awards

   The Naugatuck Valley Project’s annual MICAH Dinner and Awards’ Evening will

take place this Friday evening, November 2, 2018, 5 pm – 8:30 pm at the Crystal

Room, 98 School Street, in Naugatuck, Connecticut,” said Bonnie Odiorne,

President of the Naugatuck Valley Project.  “It is our opportunity, as an

organization, to honor the unsung heroes among us who quietly get things done.”

   She continued, “This year we will be awarding fourteen individuals with our MICAH

Award.  Each award winner is a very special person within their member

organization and to the Naugatuck Valley Project.  A list of all Honorees and their

Presenter at the MICAH Dinner is printed below.” 

Message of Support To Jewish Community

Waterbury Faith Leaders Rally To Support Jewish Community In Wake Of Pittsburgh Murders

Rabbi Aharon Kaufman of Rosh Yeshiva listened to the speakers inside City Hall.

 

Story and Photographs By John Murray

 

   Fahd Syed is a local Muslim activist and a member of the Waterbury Human Rights Commission. When President Donald Trump announced plans in 2017 to ban Muslims from seven countries from entering the United States, Syed felt a warm embrace from the local Jewish community. The show of support from Jewish leaders and other leaders of faith helped Syed and the local Muslim community through a difficult time. After the murder of 11 Jews in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Syed felt compelled to organize a rally of support for his Jewish brothers and sisters in Greater Waterbury.

Gang Member Arrested in Waterbury

   On January 2nd, 2018 the Waterbury Police Department began investigating a shooting incident at 300 and 400 Grand Street in downtown Waterbury.  It was determined that the incident occurred between two known street gangs from Waterbury.  The ATM street gang which has been having ongoing issues with another street gang known as 960.  The issues include numerous incidents involving firearms and incidents in which several people have been shot and even killed.  The Waterbury Police Gang Task Force has been actively investigating these two gangs and have established an extensive list of known members.

Waterbury Triplets Go Off To College

From left to right: Jessica, Haley and Ashley Romaniello.

Talk about family transitions........

The Romaniello triplets from Waterbury moved into their dorms yesterday afternoon at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y.

After attending the same private school through eighth grade, the young women each selected a different high school – and all of them were in the top 10 of their respective classes. On Sunday, their parents, Glorie and Todd, helped to move them into their shared room in the Mount’s Sakac Hall.

The Inside Game

Did Party Insiders Torpedo Jahana Hayes At Convention?

Hayes is challenging Mary Glassman in a Democrat primary Tuesday, August 14th.

 

Story and Photographs

By John Murray

 

   In the current political climate favoring outsiders, there are new allegations that Jahana Hayes’ attempt to win an historic Democrat Party endorsement to Congress this Spring was upended by an inside game.

   Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary has accused two influential Democrat Party leaders of blackballing Jahana Hayes at the 5th Congressional District convention in May. The charges were leveled this week at Tom McDonough who ran the convention, and at Wolcott Democrat town chairman Antony Casagrande.

Brass City BrewFest September 8th

Brass City Brew & ‘Que Saturday, September 8, 12:00 to 5:00 PM, Library Park at 267 Grand Street in Waterbury, rain or shine. The fundraiser event will feature 125+ breweries and brewpubs, 250+ domestic and international brews, live music, barbeque food vendors, pit master competitions, craft beer and barbeque seminars, home brewers competition, and much more. Presented by Main Street Waterbury, hosted by Nutmeg Fine Wines & Spirits and sponsored by Blasius Chevrolet.

33 Recruits Join Waterbury PD

Police Force Back At Full Strength

By John Murray

   With the addition of 33 new police officers the Waterbury Police Department now has 300 officers, a level that residents haven't seen since 2008.

   "This is a really big deal," Waterbury Police Chief Fred Spagnolo said.

Environmental Injustice In Waterbury

   “…no segment of the population should, because of its racial or economic makeup, bear a disproportionate share of risks and consequences of environmental pollution or be denied equal access to environmental benefits.”

      CT DEEP's Environmental Equity Policy, 1993

 

Story and Photographs

By John Murray

   The permitting process to allow F&G to operate a garbage plant in the South End of Waterbury has not met the legal outreach requirements that protect a distressed Hispanic population living within a half mile of the facility.

   Odor and trucks are the hot button issues for the general public, but a little known regulation – the Connecticut Environmental Justice Law – might upend F&G’s dream of garbage expansion in Waterbury.

Naugatuck River Advocate Sues F&G

Story and Photographs By John Murray

   After a decade of plucking garbage and debris from the Naugatuck River, environmental activist Kevin Zak has begun legal proceedings against F&G for being a serial polluter of the Naugatuck River watershed. “I’m suing because I’m angry,” Zak said. “I’ve been picking up their garbage for years. This has to stop.”

Bullying Needs Community Response

                      Column By Danielle Hargrove Albert

   One of the best things I have experienced while living here in Waterbury is the amount of diversity that exists. Being a mother, I believe we should be raising our children to embrace and learn from the differences that exist in one another. When your child interacts with other children who are different from them, those are opportunities for growth, tolerance and respect. Sadly, too often they are overshadowed with bias and antipathy. We can all take part in celebrating diversity at a beautiful event like “The Gathering”.  However when it comes down to basic school days, respectful interactions are not happening. Personal bias and reactive behaviors are manifesting themselves in the form of bullying.

Mustapha Heron Giving Back To Waterbury

Waterbury's Mustapha Heron completed his sophomore year playing basketball at Auburn University and declared for the NBA draft in April. Heron, who led the Sacred Heart High School boys basketball team to three Connecticut State Championships, worked out last week for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and has had contact with the Brooklyn Nets, Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets. Heron told the New York Times last week that he is 50-50 on returning back to Auburn to continue developing his game. He has not hired an agent and he has until May 30th to opt out of the draft process and continue his education at Auburn.

Congresswoman Esty Tours Anamet Site

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty was in Waterbury this afternoon to meet with Mayor Neil O'Leary at the Anamet site on South Main Street to discuss brownfield strategy in cleaning up the property purchased by the city in 2017. The city is currently clearing brush from the site in order to begin demolition of several of the large, crumbling buildings located on the property. Once removed, the city will clear polluted soils and prepare the site to be marketed for redevelopment by private industry.