Reader Weighs In On Gun Debate

                                          Op-Ed By Dominick Agron

   Until Sandy Hook, I’ve pretty much stayed on the sidelines on the gun debate; however, after unraveling over 60 pages of complex intertwined regulation that seems to be a chapter right from Mein Kampf which turns the most law abiding grandfather into a criminal and confiscates their personal property, I decided to attend my very first public hearing on March 14th in my entire life. It was an eye opening experience.

Bob O'Rourke Touted As Irish Mayor For The Day

                                        Photographs By John Murray

   Patrick "Bob" O'Rourke got a kiss from his wife Carol after he was officially named Irish Mayor for the Day during a cermony inside Waterbury City Hall yesterday morning, St. Patrick's Day. O'Rourke was born in Waterbury and raised in the Abrigador neighborhood of the city.

Should We Be Dumping Snow In The Naugatuck River? There Are Better Options To Explore

                                          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.

Kick-off For Annual Walk For Autism March 27th

Rain couldn't dampen the spirits of participants last June during the annual Greater Waterbury Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Photo by John Murray

   Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism advocacy organization, is announcing the first 2013 Greater Waterbury Walk Now for Autism Speaks Kickoff event is scheduled for March 27, 2013.  The informational event will take place at the CoCo Key Water Resort Hotel & Convention Center, 3580 East Main Street, Waterbury, Conn. from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Waterbury Welcomes 40 Special Olympics Basketball Teams Saturday


   Ed Generali, Head Coach of Boys’ Basketball at Holy Cross High School, and students from Holy Cross High School have prepared for the arrival of 40 Special Olympics Basketball teams from throughout Connecticut for the 2013 Special Olympics CT Northwest Regional Basketball Invitational.  Coach Generali now in his 27th year as volunteer Event Director reinforces the need for students at Holy Cross to give back to their community. Student volunteers, interacting with athletes with intellectual disabilities, help to create an environment of inclusion. Teams will gather this Saturday, March 16, joined by 55 athletes taking part in dribbling, shooting and passing events as part of the Individual Skills Competition.   More than 400 athletes in total will participate.

YMCA and Waterbury AmeriCorps Clean Berkeley Warner Center

   Waterbury AmeriCorps teamed up today with the Waterbury YMCA to clean up the Berkeley Warner Community Center, located at the Berkeley Heights Housing Project.

   According to John Corcoran, coordinator of the AmeriCorps program, approximately 35 members will help clean and paint the interior of the building beginning Saturday and continuing into next week. The cleanup coincides with national AmeriCorps Week, which is March 9-17. The goal is to have the Center ready for its open house on March 27. Once the Center is open, AmeriCorps members will volunteer afterschool homework help and mentoring.

Skeleton Of Waterbury Slave, Fortune, To Be Examined At Quinnipiac University

   A team of Quinnipiac University diagnostic imaging professors will x-ray the remains of Fortune, an African-American man who was enslaved by a Waterbury bone surgeon in the 1700s, to help determine how he died. The x-raying will be done on Monday, March 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Center for Anthropological Research, Room 108 of the Clarice L. Buckman Center on Quinnipiac’s Mount Carmel Campus. The project is being done in collaboration with the Mattatuck Museum, where Fortune has been the subject of an exhibit since 2003.

Name School After Fallen Hispanic Firefighter


The new career academy is nestled on a hill overlooking the city of Waterbury.

                            Column by Jay Gonzalez

   The city of Waterbury is a diverse melting pot of many different cultures and nationalities. From Portuguese to Lebanese, Latino to Irish, Italian to Albanian and so on, this great city has a plethora of establishments celebrating the unique aspects and traditions of each great culture. The rich heritages of The Brass City can be seen from street corners to festivals. Whether it's the Ponte Feast, Portuguese Club, Mayor for the Day, or Jonathan Reed School that recently opened up, our city honors the sacrifices, hard work, and dedication that these cultures and people have made for their hometown. As the fifth largest city in Connecticut, there are many opportunites we have to pay tribute to a cause or ones beliefs. Just last year in Waterbury, there was tremendous support for the naming of a new school opening up to be dedicated to a black man, first time ever. Really? It was the first public school in the City of Waterbury, a city so diverse, to be named or in honor of a minority. Hundreds turned out, and rightfully so, for Jonathan E. Reed School dedication ceremony as this was a long overdue accomplishment for the city.

Waterbury Alderman Greg Hadley Sworn In As African-American Mayor For The Day

                                              By John Murray

Waterbury Alderman Greg Hadley, left, helps raise a Pan-African flag at City Hall yesterday as part of the ceremony honoring him as the African-American Mayor for the Day. His wife Karen is on the right, and two of his grandsons are lending a helping hand.

Into The Sky

   The spires of St. Anne's Church dominate the Waterbury skyline with the Town Plot neighborhood looming in the background. St Anne's was the center of the French-Canadian community in Waterbury for most of the past century. It has now evolved into The Shrine of Saint Anne for Mothers, and is a place of pilgrimage and worship where the sanctity of life is honored by praying for mothers, grandmothers and godmothers. Photograph by John Murray

Escape Alive Program Being Offered Free In Greater Waterbury This Spring

Danielle Rodgers of Naugatuck slams an elbow into a pad.

   Every two minutes, someone in the United States is raped. The vast majority (nine out of ten) are women; 80% are under the age of 30, 44% are under the age of 18. Since 2009, Jane Doe No More, Incorporated has partnered with the professional team at East Coast Training Systems to deliver self defense classes to women and girls ages 12 and older. Our Escape Alive™ Survival Skills program is designed to give women and girls a fighting chance in the face of attack.

Senator Murphy Named Chairman Of Foreign Relations Subcommittee On European Affairs


  The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced that U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) will chair the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on European Affairs. The subcommittee oversees matters concerning European nations, and focuses on issues related to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Murphy released the following statement on his chairmanship:

   "I’m proud to be a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and I’m honored to be named chairman of the Subcommittee on European Affairs. The United States and the European Union have the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world, and this subcommittee will provide me with opportunities to strengthen this transatlantic relationship. Europe and the United States represent nearly half of the world’s gross domestic product, and nearly one third of the world’s trade. However, there are remaining obstacles to trade that must be removed so that our partnership can be even more robust.

Lithuanians Celebrate Culture In Waterbury

Sarune Macys was born in Lithuania and came to the United States in 1952. She dressed in traditional costume and stood and sang the Lithuanian National Anthem this morning inside City Hall in downtown Waterbury during a Lithuanian Mayor For The Day ceremony in Veteran's Hall. Edward J. Bebrin was proclaimed the ceremonial mayor. Photograph by John Murray

Mayor O'Leary's Snow Brigade Helps Waterbury Turn The Corner In Digging Out From Nemo

   The nearly six hundred members of Mayor O'Leary's Snow Brigade busted their humps today clearing snow from the following schools; Tinker, Gilmartin, Kingsbury, Walsh, Duggan, Maloney, Chase, Reed, Wilson, Wilby, Crosby, Kennedy, Bucks Hill and WAMS. It wasn't all work, however, as kids being kids, they managed to have a few chuckles along the way.

   In this picture Anthony Romero, 16, gives a big smile after being blasted by a shovel of snow from his buddy, Anthony Del Valle. Romero and Del Valle were joined at Reed School by their friend Jonathan Castellar, and they called themselves "The Three Musketeers."

   Thank you Musketeers for working hard, being enthusiastic, and reminding Waterbury that work can be fun.

Enter The Snow Brigade

                                                By John Murray

There was an astounding response to Mayor Neil O'Leary's offer to pay Waterbury youth to help shovel out the schools. At least 500 kids packed the entire upper floor of City Hall, filling both Veteran Memorial Hall, aldermanic chambers, and the hallway inbetween. It's hard to imagine that more city residents have ever been in City Hall at one time. An historic response to an historic crisis. Very cool.

Community Spirit Emerges As Waterbury Digs Out From Nemo, Neighbors Helping Neighbors

                                                By John Murray

   Day #5 of Nemo and inspirational stories are beginning to emerge from the fog. While some frustrated city residents ranted about the lack of snow plows on their street, other city residents decided to take matters into their own hands. A group of ten men formed a snowblower brigade on Woodcrest Drive in the Bunker Hill neighborhood and cleared their road themselves. One of the men, Anthony Engala, told Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary, "after this, we're going to have a block party this summer."