Democrats Spar For 5th Congressional Nomination

                                                       By John Murray

   Democrat candidates for the 5th Congressional seat squared off last night in a debate at Chase Collegiate School in Waterbury, CT. The debate was sponsored by Connecticut Young Democrats, and lasted 90 minutes. The candidates from left to right are Chris Donovan, Elizabeth Esty, and Dan Roberti. Looming above the candidates was a quote from King James Bible. The full quote is "finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Transformation Of Apothecary Hall Into Luxury Apartments In Downtown Almost Completed

                                   Photographs By John Murray

Developer Parag Mehta, middle, gave a tour of Apothecary Hall today to Waterbury mayor, Neil O'Leary, right, and former governor, John Rowland. Mehta owns the building and has spent the past two years transforming old office space into 12 luxury apartments. The Apothecary Buildng is the focal point of Exchange Place in the center of Waterbury at the intersection of South Main and Bank Streets and was built in 1893, and housed the Apothecaries Hall Pharmacy for over 70 years.

Jane Doe No More Honors Petit Family Foundation

Left to right, Donna Palomba, Dr. William Petit and Dr. Henry C. Lee

   The Petit Family Foundation and Sikorsky Finance Women’s Forum will be honored during Jane Doe No More’s 3rd annual Dr. Henry C. Lee Awards and Recognition Dinner. The event takes place Friday, March 16 at The Waterview, Monroe, CT. Program sponsorships and reserved tables are now available.

Kosovo Independece Celebrated In Waterbury

                                      Photographs by John Murray

Zeqir Berisha, better known in Waterbury as "Ziggy the Flagman", was euphoric during a celebration inside Waterbury City Hall Friday morning to honor the 4th anniversary of independence for Kosovo, and to honor Mhill Velaj being honorary mayor for the day. Berisha was touted by Joe Geary, operations director for the city of Waterbury, as an international icon for patriotism. "Ziggy is known all over the world," Geary said, "I would like to thank him for standing on the street corners in Waterbury celebrating his love of America." 

Danger. Truck Stop Ahead

Several times a year a truck wedges itself beneath the train overpass on West Main Street in Waterbury. Today, this truck rammed into the overpass and came to an abrupt halt, snarling traffic for over an hour. The sign on the right warns drivers of a 12 foot 10 inch clearance, but the frequency of truck/overpass accidents indicates something is wrong with the way the sign is displayed. Maybe the sign should be bigger, and mounted on the middle of the overpass. Something has to change before someone is killed. Photo by John Murray

Ron Pugliese Returns Home To Lead Economic Development Under Mayor O’Leary

Ron Pugliese grew up in the Bucks Hill neighborhood of Waterbury and was a talented athlete at Wilby High School. Four decades later, Pugliese has returned to Waterbury to become the executive director of Economic Development under Mayor Neil O’Leary.

                           Story and Photographs By John Murray

   Ron Pugliese was born and raised in Waterbury and is a firm believer in public service. His father was the assistant city clerk in the 1950s, and all three of his sons have forged a life in the public sector arena.

   “My wife is a teacher and our entire family believes in volunteering and giving back,” Pugliese said. “If an organization asks me for help, I never say no. That’s who I am.”

   Back in November, in addition to being the President of the East Hartford Chamber of Commerce, Pugliese was a board member of the Connecticut State University System, a board member of the Palace Theater, and a recently elected selectman in the town of Southbury.

   And it’s that generous spirit of public service - and a love of Waterbury - that Ron Pugliese an easy mark when Neil O’Leary recruited him to be the city’s new economic development director.

Aldermen Tour Decayed Municipal Stadium To Ponder $4 Million Renovation Project

  If you ever wondered what would happen to buildings and monuments after a neutron bomb vaporized humanity, stop and take a peek at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury, CT. If you thought man-made structures would endure for thousands of years, you'd be wrong. In just a few decades of neglect, Municipal Stadium - made of steel, concrete and granite - has begun to crumble. Water, with the power to carve the Grand Canyon, has seeped through every oriface of the stadium destroying materials in its path.

Jane Doe No More Foundation Hires New Executive Director

Tricia Guiry is the new executive director of the Jane Doe No More Foundation


   A local non-profit foundation attempting to improve the way society responds to victims of sexual assault has hired Tricia Guiry to lead its efforts to grow to regional and national importance. Jane Doe No More was founded by local resident, Donna Palomba, is response to a sexual assault that happened to her in the Overlook neighborhood in Waterbury in September 1993. The incident drew international attention when the case was featured in a tw0-hour NBC Dateline special.

Ideas Flowing For Waterbury Green Redesign

Brad Schide, of the Connecticut Trust For Historic Preservation, explained how other state communities had utilized grants to redesign their community gathering spots.

                        Story and Photographs By John Murray

      If last night’s meeting at the Mattatuck Museum is an indication, the Green in downtown Waterbury is going to be modernized to better reflect the needs and desires of the community in the new millennium.

   Change is the one true constant in life, and in the past three centuries the Green has repeatedly morphed to reflect the vibrancy and identity of the city.

1000 Tickets Issued By Traffic Enforcement Unit At Waterbury PD Since Its Inception In August

Lt. Scott Stevenson is head of the Traffic Enforcement Unit

       Since Waterbury Police Chief Michael Gugliotti formed the Traffic Enforcement Unit last August, well over one thousand tickets have been issued to motorists. Most city residents have been pleased that something is being done to improve safety in their neighborhoods.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate To Be Re-Staged February 10th in Norwich

Naugatuck's Lewis Dube will play the part of Abraham Lincoln on February 10th 

   Enjoy a fun and educational evening of dining that will recreate the famous 1858 debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas on Friday, February 10 from 6 to 8:30 PM at Three Rivers Community College .  Presenters, Lewis Dube and Luke Boyd will encapsulate the series of seven debates, held in various towns in Illinois one year before the future president would campaign in Norwich , CT.   The debates centered around the issue of slavery and the rights of states and communities to control or eliminate it.  The Emancipation Proclamation Commemoration Committee and Three Rivers Community College have teamed up with CorePlus Federal Credit Union, the Norwich Noon Time Rotary Club and the Norwich Historical Society to host this remarkable event at a very affordable price.

Waterbury Students Raising Money To Build Well In Africa, Seeking Community Support

West Side Middle School students with Peter Baker, President/CEO of Crystal Rock.


   Seventh graders at West Side Middle School in Waterbury have spearheaded a fundraiser called "The Water Project" that will run through the first week of February. Proceeds will be used to build a well in Africa that will provide clean and safe drinking water to African children and their families. With a goal of raising $6,000, students have already raised almost $2,000. Donations are offered by staff and students, as well as local organizations ($500 was donated by Crystal Rock). To promote the project, wrist bracelets and 'water droplets' are being distributed to those that contribute. The project is being worked on in Jane Lescoe's reading and language arts class. A website was created for more information:

O'Leary In Washington D.C. Networking At National Mayor's Conference

   Little more than a month after being sworn in as mayor of Waterbury, Neil O'Leary has followed up on a campaign promise to be more aggressive in representing the city on the national stage. O'Leary is attending the 80th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C., January 18th through January 20th.

Public Input Sought For Green Redesign, Meeting January 25th At Mattatuck Museum

A Russian geologist reads a novel  (in Russian) while enjoying a brisk afternoon on the Green in downtown Waterbury . The benches might be replaced, or fully restored. Photo by John Murray

   As part of its Vibrant Communities Initiative, the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation awarded Waterbury a $50,000 grant to create a Master Plan for the downtown Green.  Now, the public has the opportunity to offer ideas to redesign the Green, to make it a real vibrant center to be used by the public.  Some of the things we have a chance to look at is the actual design and layout of the Green, landscaping, art, safety, transportation, parking, monument conservation, benches, seating, electric needs, WiFi etc.  We’ll also decide what kind of events and activities would make the Green a lively and attractive place.

Economic Development Now Funded Out Of Mayor's Office In Waterbury

Waterbury mayor, Neil O'Leary, right, watched as former mayor Mike Jarjura proceeded to the microphone to denounce O'Leary's plans to finance economic development out of the mayor's budget.

                                               By John Murray

   Former five-term mayor, Mike Jarjura made a surprise visit to the Board of Aldermen meeting tonight to speak out against transferring money to the mayor's office to fund two new economic development positions. Jarjura said the move would create a financial burden in tough economic times, and chided the aldermen that they would have opposed the concept had he proposed it last spring.

New State Law Mandates Ignition Interlock System For Repeat Drunk Drivers


   The state has a new weapon in the war on drunken driving. It’s called an ignition interlock device (IID) and it prevents a vehicle from being driven by someone with alcohol on their breath. Legislation was approved by the General Assembly that mandates an ignition interlock for someone who is arrested for the second time for driving under the influence effective January 1, 2012.