A Lesson In Civics With Denise Merrill

                                             By John Murray

The Connecticut Secretary of State, Denise Merrill, right, was in Waterbury last night to participate in a non-partisan conversation about engaging Hispanics in the voting process. The event "Civic Engagement Matters", was sponsored by the City of Waterbury and the Secretary of State's Office, and was staged at Reed Elementary School on North Main Street. Mayoral aide, Geraldo Reyes Jr., is on the left.

Medicine Drop Box Installed Inside Waterbury Police Department For Public Use

                                              By John Murray

   Waterbury Police Chief Vernon Riddick announced the installation of a medication drop box in the lobby of the Waterbury Police Department yesterday afternoon. Riddick said the public can drop unwanted, unused or expired medications in the box 24/7, 365 days a year, with no questions asked. The box was donated by the Bunker Hill Pharmacy, whose owner, William Summa, is second from the left.

Michael Gilmore Honored By Main Street Waterbury With Sasala Award

   Main Street Waterbury has announced that the recipient of the 2013 Stephen R. Sasala II Community Partnership Award is Michael Gilmore, Re-Investment Manager and Fair Housing Officer for the Waterbury Development Corporation. Gilmore will receive the award on Wednesday May 15th at the Palace Theater at 5:30PM.  Main Street Waterbury created this award to celebrate the leadership and contributions of the late Stephen R. Sasala who was the former CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce and former President of this downtown revitalization program’s Board of Directors.

Waterbury Students Learn About Nutrition And Firefighting On Field Trip

                                      Photographs By Kevin Zak

   Four and five-year old children from Woodrow Wilson Elementary School visited Brass City Market on Field Street yesterday to participate in a nutrition program sponsored by Brass City Harvest, a Waterbury based 501(c)(3) organization committed to supporting local neighborhoods by sponsoring sustainable agriculture programs, farmers markets, education and homeless outreach.  Nutritionist, Nicole Theriault spoke with the children about good eating habits, and they enjoyed fruit and yogurt parfaits made with ingredients from local farms.

Rod Dixon To Launch Running Program In City

Running legend, Rod Dixon, of New Zealand, will be in Waterbury this afternoon to kick off a fitness program he hopes to spread across the world. Dixon is an Olympic medalist, but is best known for his stunning come-from-behind victory in the 1983 New York City Marathon. Dixon will be at the North End Middle School at 4:30 to meet with kids and state and local officials. The public is invited.

Arts Organizations Get Grant $$

   Several Waterbury-based arts organizations have been awarded a state grant . Seven Angels Theatre, Shakesperience Productions, The Mattatuck Museum Arts and History Center and the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra will each receive grants from the Connecticut Arts Endowment.

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.