City To Honor Webster's Jim Smith

   Mayor Neil O’Leary is honoring Jim Smith on Friday night for his long legacy of service to the community, and because his vision and leadership helped shape important changes in the city. Smith was the Chairman and CEO of Webster Bank for three decades and retired on January 1st, 2018. During his time in leadership Webster Bank grew from $500 million in assets to $26 billion, and is now a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Can Waterbury Schools Be The Best?

                            Column By Danielle Hargrove Albert

   As a parent and community advocate, I spend a significant amount of my “free” time attending meetings and community forums. With three children in the school system, I choose to recognize the potential for success that exists in so many school programs here in Waterbury. I have found ways to volunteer and educate myself regarding the goings-on in the city's education system. Like many others, I choose to spend time participating in an effort to be part of creating solutions. Over the years I have encouraged other parents and families to do the same. As parents, we want the best for our children and the “Best” comes with high expectations. If we teach our children that expectations are part of life, then there will always be goals toward which to strive.

The Sacred Heart Basketball Powerhouse

Senior swingman Raheem Solomon leads Sacred Heart into a quarterfinal clash tonight.

          Story By John Torsiello and Photographs by Clay Johnson

   Waterbury’s Sacred Heart High School has a boys basketball team that has developed its own unique brand. polished and dependable, one that has attracted national and even international attention. That’s what winning four straight state titles, producing a slew of college players, and taking on some of the top teams in the nation will bring you.

Murphy To Meet With Macedonia PM

To Discus Treatment Of Ethnic Albanians

   U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, will travel to Belgium and Macedonia this weekend. Murphy will attend the German Marshall Fund’s Brussels Forum, where he will host a discussion with Norbert Röttgen, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag, and meetings in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Murphy will also travel to Macedonia, where he will meet with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and attend the 75th Commemoration of the Deportation of the Jews From Macedonia.

Risk and Reward At Palace Theater

                                         Story By John Murray

   Waterbury is openly wrestling with what it wants out of the city-owned Palace Theater on East Main Street.

   •  Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary has demanded that the theater produce more shows to help stimulate economics in downtown Waterbury.

   • New leadership on the Palace Theater board of directors has challenged theater executive director, Frank Tavera, to take greater risks in booking more shows and keeping the lights on.

Brass City Young Marines

   Members of the Brass City Young Marines, the first unit in the country, received a visit from a former member of Unit, Chief Warrant Officer Fred Hodges. Hodges, a 1982 graduate of Crosby High School in Waterbury, was in town visiting family from his current station at Fort Bragg.

Murder Charges In Gang Shooting

   On February 22, 2018 Waterbury Police took Shan Thompson (09-10-1997) into custody on an arrest warrant charging him with the crimes of 2 counts of murder and 2 counts of conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the November 22, 2017 deaths of Clarence Lewis and Antonio Santos. This is an active and ongoing gang related investigation.  Details will be released as they become available.

Giacomi Launches Bid For 73rd District

   Board of Aldermen Minority Leader Steve Giacomi today officially announced his entry into the race for State Representative for Waterbury’s 73rd district.

   “During my tenure on the Board of Aldermen, I’ve worked hard to try and make Waterbury a better place for all of its residents, and as a state representative I’ll work just as hard. Our families are maxed out and the best the people in Hartford can come up with is to try and squeeze us for more. That’s why it’s time to send people to Hartford who are ready and willing to make Waterbury, and all of Connecticut, a place where working-class families are valued. I’m ready now, just as I was before, to roll up my sleeves and do what needs to be done to turn Connecticut around, because we deserve better.”

JUNETEENTH Celebration Februray 13th

 

  The Waterbury JUNETEENTH Celebration Steering Committee, in partnership with Neighbor Housing Services of Waterbury’s Community Engagement Division, will sponsor several awareness events in 2018 to encourage the observance of JUNETEENTH 2019 with recognition ceremonies and community awareness programs throughout the city. The first event, scheduled for February 13th at 6:30 p.m., will feature a privilege walk, complete with breakout sessions. A privilege walk is an educational activity which shows how groups of people benefit or are marginalized within our society. This event will take place at Naugatuck Valley Community College, Atrium.

Governor Malloy Delivers State of State

  

   Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Lt. Governor Wyman, and my fellow state officials, ladies and gentlemen of the General Assembly, members of the clergy, and all the people of our great state: thank you for the honor of inviting me once again into the people’s House.

   I want to thank the best Lieutenant Governor in the world, Nancy Wyman.

   As always, let us thank Connecticut’s brave men and women serving our nation here at home and around the globe.

Ziggy The Flagman Hospitalized

   Ziggy (The Flagman) Berisha has been in Yale-New Haven hospital for 3 weeks recovering from a lower extremity by-pass surgery in his leg due to complications from diabetes. This image was sent to the Observer by Ziggy's son Ali Berisha and was captured by another son, Richard Berisha. Ali forwarded the image with the message, "I just wanted to share the photo with the Observer family. Ziggy the Flagman will be back soon. He is still waving the flag."

Boys Hoop Team Building A New Legacy Of Excellence at Waterbury Career Academy

WCA Squares Off Against Sacred Heart Friday Night

Junior forward Marquan Watson at 6-2 was All-NVL and All State last year.

        Story By John Torsiello and Photographs By Clay Johnson

   The mid-January late afternoon sunlight filtered through windows located high on the new gymnasium of the Waterbury Career Academy. On the floor, some 20 members of the school’s boys basketball were being put through their paces by head coach Ronan O’Leary and assistants, M.J. DiFazio and Jodie Burns.

School Funding #1 Issue For Mayor O'Leary

                                             Story By John Murray

   Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary visited the Bucks Hill Community Club last night and delivered what amounted to a state of the city address to 20 concerned citizens. The Mayor stood before community club members and uncorked a 90-minute speech that swept through all four quadrants of the city, and touched on major issues and projects in Waterbury.

   Mayor O'Leary zeroed in on the imbalance of education funding as the #1 issue he will champion in the 2018 Legislative session in Hartford. O’Leary said the Waterbury school system continues to grow, while suburban student populations have shrunk by up to 25%.

14-Year-Old Missing In Waterbury

   14-year-old Quiannah Fawcett has been missing for five days and the Waterbury PD has issued a Silver Alert. Quiannah ran away from home on Wednesday night in Waterbury and flyers have been distributed to every patrol car, and the police are actively trying to locate her. If you know her whereabouts please contact the Waterbury Police Department at 1-(203) 574-6920.

The Aftermath

DEEP Troubles On The Naugatuck

A containment boom and absorbent pads at a drainage pipe in Waterbury where an estimated 6000 gallons of hydraulic oil escaped from the Somers Thin Strip manufacturing plant in the South End of Waterbury on January 20th.

                     Story and Photographs By John Murray

   The sky above the Kinneytown Dam in Seymour was battleship grey and environmentalist Kevin Zak was angry. On January 20th an industrial accident at Somers Thin Strip in Waterbury had spilled an estimated 6000 gallons of hydraulic oil into a storm drain that flowed directly into the Naugatuck River. 48 hours later, as Zak watched, the oil was still tumbling over the dam towards the Housatonic River, and onward towards Long Island Sound.
   “This is a disaster and I’m pissed off,” Zak said. “What’s going to happen to the ducks and herons and wildlife that live in the Naugatuck River? This spill is as bad as the 5,000,000 gallons of raw sewage that was dumped into the river in October. It’s a different compound, but it’s just as devastating.”

Industrial Oil Spilled Into Naugatuck River

Oil from an industrial accident created slicks for miles along the Naugatuck River.

                                      Story By John Murray

             Photographs By Sondra Zak and Geraldo Reyes Jr.

  Joe DeMatos was enjoying his Saturday afternoon at the Polish American Club in Naugatuck when he noticed an oil slick on the Naugatuck River floating past. The slick was large and it kept on coming. After several minutes DeMatos decided to contact "the river guy", and alert him to a possible oil spill up river.

Samuel K. Beamon Honored On MLK Day

   Sam Beamon flew helicopters in Vietnam for the U.S. Marine Corps, and after returning home to Waterbury he rose to the rank of Lieutenant in the Waterbury Police Department. For his commitment to community and justice, Sam Beamon today was awarded the Grace Baptist Church's 1st Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award.

   Excellent job by Sam Beamon and the Grace Baptist Church. Dr. King would be proud. Bravo, and Happy MLK Day. Photograph by Geraldo Reyes Jr.