Mayor Jarjura's Giant Pencil Swiped From Headquarters On Scott Road

   The symbol of Mike Jarjura's stunning 2006 write-in campaign victory was stolen from outside his campaign headquarters on Scott Road in Waterbury. Jarjura lost in a stunning primary upset to Democrat challenger Karen Mulcahy, but stormed back in November 2005 to become just the fifth politician in American history to win a major political office by having th electorate pencil in his name on the ballot. The mayor's father, J.P. Jarjura, had a six-foot replica pencil made to honor the historic win, and presented to him at his third inauguration. Jarjura told the Observer today that, “I want it back. There will be no questions asked and no consequences. Just leave it outside the door of my campaign headquarters at night and we'll find it in the morning The pencil has great sentimental value to me.”

Wide Range Of Acts Coming To Palace Theater In October; Pixies, Anthony Bourdain

The Charlie Daniels Band is playing in Waterbury October 15th.


   Fall into fun this October at the Palace Theater. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by phone at 203-346-2000, online at www.palacetheaterct.org or in person at the Box Office at 100 East Main Street.  Groups of 15 or more qualify for discounted rates and should call the Group Sales hotline at 203-346-2002.

An Oversized Visitor Frequents Riverside Cemetery

A Great Blue Heron flies in for a landing at the Riverside Cemetery in Waterbury. According to the Cornell University of Ornithology, "The largest and most widespread heron in North America, the Great Blue Heron can be found along the ocean shore or the edge of a small inland pond. An all white form is found from southern Florida into the Caribbean, and used to be considered a separate species, the Great White Heron.

Waterbury's Derek Poundstone Battling For World's Strongest Man Title

Waterbury's Derek Poundstone is in North Carolina this week competing in the World's Strongest Man competition. Poundstone came in 2nd place three years ago, and 4th place two years ago. In the 2010 competition in South Africa, Poundstone was severely injured and didn't place. This year Poundstone is healthy and looking to re-establish himself as a one of the top strongmen in the world. Derek, a three-time winner of America's Strongest Man, has won every prestigious strongman title except the world championship. Poundstone is a police officer in Naugatuck, and is looking to open an old fashioned gym on Baldwin Street in the south end of Waterbury in October. Photograph by John Murray

Lebanese Festival In Waterbury's East End Continues Sunday. Music, Dancing And Great Food

Members of the Mariot Youth Organization from Our Lady of Lebanon Church performed Lebanese folk dances during the annual Taste Of Lebanon Saturday afternoon in Waterbury. The festival is open tonight (Saturday) until midnight, and continues Sunday after the 10 AM Mass until 7 pm. Our Lady of Lebanon Church is located on the corner of Prospect Road (Rte 69 South) and East Mountain Rd., Waterbury, CT. Photographs by John Murray

Jarjura and O'Leary Campaigns Spar Over Print Ads

The Chase Building in downtown Waterbury. Photo by John Murray

   After the last issue of the Waterbury Observer was published our newspaper received a phone call from Steve Gambini, an aide to Mayor Mike Jarjura. Gambini wanted to know if the Observer had fact checked the most recent full page ad in the Observer purchased by Democrat nominee for mayor, Neil O'Leary. Observer publisher, John Murray, told Gambini that the Observer does not fact check political ads, and that the space was purchased by the O'Leary campaign, and they provided the content.

   Two days later the Observer received a press release from the Jarjura campaign that disputed the facts in the O'Leary ad. The following is the release from the Jarjura campaign, and a response from the O'Leary campaign.

Q Poll Indicates It Will Be Murphy Versus McMahon In 2012 U.S. Senate Showdown

Congressman Chris Murphy attends a lot of events in Waterbury and is pictured here receiving an endorsement for the U.S. Senate from the Connecticut firefighters. Photographs by John Murray

Linda McMahon recently paid a visit to a youth blogging program at Waterbury Youth Services.

  Former wrestling executive Linda McMahon thumps former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays 50 - 35 percent in an early look at the 2012 Republican primary for the Connecticut U.S. Senate seat, but she trails either of two possible Democratic candidates, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. McMahon leads 54 - 37 percent among Republican men and 47 - 32 percent among women.

Waterbury Police Looking For Shooter In Hillside Incident

   The investigation into a shooting Tuesday night on Hillside Avenue in Waterbury has hit a roadblock because the victim has refused to cooperate with the police. A 25-year-old man was shot in the leg around 8 PM, but the shooter fled the scene before the police arrived. The victim was taken to Waterbury Hospital and his injury was not considered life-threatening.

Farmers' Market On The Green In Downtown Waterbury Every Thursday Afternoon

Native peaches are ripe and ready to savour. The Farmers' Market continues every Thursday from 11 AM to 3 PM through October 29th.

(editor's note - the following description is from the website buyctgrown.com)

   Farmers' Market on the Green is one of the gems of downtown Waterbury. Situated in the city's historic public green space, the market creates a community center for shoppers and visitors alike. The shady trees and park benches invite market goers to sit and enjoy the colorful activity of the market. Walking paths and green grass let picnickers lounge nearby and enjoy a fresh, delicious lunch courtesy of the local farms that offer their just-picked produce. The market itself is made up of a wide variety of goods, including organic produce, wool and fiber crafts, and flower arrangements. The market even features a regular cooking demonstration and tasting performed by a local chef. Come downtown for lunch or make an afternoon of it. The market is WIC certified and gladly accepts food stamps, so everyone is welcome to enjoy the bounty of fresh, local food.

Respect The Dangers Of The Naugatuck River

 

A kayaker in the annual Naugatuck River Canoe and Kayak Race shows excellent form in navigating through a tricky stretch of whitewater this past May.  Not all boaters on the Naugatuck are as skilled, or prepared.

Column By Kevin Zak and Photographs By John Murray

   Four young adults from a local church group went looking for adventure on the Naugatuck River, and on a bright day in June, they found it. They borrowed four colorful kayaks and headed to the river. None of the four had ever been in a kayak before. They would make no scouting attempts to examine what trouble spots they might encounter. They had no knowledge of the river. No one was wearing a life preserver. No helmets. The only knowledge they had was that there was a way to enter the river in the Platts Mills section above a breached dam. Below the dam were rapids.

Police Confirm Shooting On Hillside Avenue in Waterbury, Victim Shot Once In the Leg

Lt. Chris Corbett from the Waterbury Police Department has confirmed that a 25-year-old male was shot once in the leg last night near the corner of Willow Street and Hillside Avenue in Waterbury. Corbett said the victim was not injured seriously. Photographs by John Murray

Incident On Hillside Avenue In Waterbury

   More than a dozen Waterbury police officers descended on Hillside Avenue in Waterbury Tuesday around 8pm. One Waterbury police officer questioned two young women as four officers scoured a lawn with high-powered flashlights. Neighbors told the Observer they hadn't heard any gunshots, and moments after this image was taken, the Observer was ordered back as the police extended the crime scene an additional 50 yards.  Photograph by John Murray

Paper Dresses and Motorcycles on View at the Mattatuck Museum, October 1st

 

   Join the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury for a provocative and cutting edge cocktail party and exhibit on Saturday, October 1, 2011 from 6:00-8:00pm. This one night only party, “Chrome & Couture, Say Yes to the Paper Dress,” will feature an exhibit of custom, vintage and exceptional motorcycles with an outrageous collection of paper dresses. This festive, interactive event will be enjoyed on all three floors of the museum and includes food sculptures, tattoo models, body art demonstrations, psychic readings and strolling tables. Yes, strolling tables.

Role Of Black Soldiers In The Civil War Discussed At Mattatuck Museum, September 14th

   One of the most profound aspects of the Civil War was the freeing of some 4 million enslaved people in the southern states. The road to freedom was rough, but for none more so than the African-Americans who enlisted in the Union army to help the cause of emancipation. This talk will address the rocky path to the Emancipation Proclamation, which allowed African-Americans to enlist in the army. The experiences of the Connecticut 29th and 30th Regiments will be discussed.

Neil O'Leary Issues Statement About Brothel Controversy In Waterbury Involving The Mayor

Former Waterbury police chief, Neil O'Leary, speaking at the Democrat Convention. 

   (Editor's note - the following statement was issued by the O'Leary campaign in response to an article published in the Sunday issue of the Republican-American newspaper. O'Leary is the Democrat nominee for mayor, and the article was about his opponent, five-term incumbent, Mayor Mike Jarjura, who is seeking a record sixth term in office. The article in the Republican-American documented that Jarjura owned a building at 2154 East Main Street that was rented by a massage parlor.  A FBI investigation later unearthed that the brothel was part of an international human-trafficking operation. Mayor Jarjura told the daily newspaper he was unaware of the the activity going on inside the building. "Everything seemed to be in order," Jarjura told the Republican-American. This is Neil O'Leary's statement about the incident.)

Chinese Exchange Student Introduces Her Parents To Her Waterbury Host Family Via Skype

   Junyi “Evie” Luo, a 15-year-old foreign exchange student from Beijing, China, uses a video chat program on her cell phone to introduce her parents, who were 6793 miles away, to Andy and Carol Michaud, her host family in Waterbury. Evie is attending Holy Cross High School through the International Bridge Group, which is facilitated locally by Norma Jones. Photograph by John Murray

Newspaper Publisher Bill Pape Honored With Museum's Brass Button Award

    The Mattatuck Museum will be honoring Mr. William J. Pape II with the Brass Button Award on Friday September 23rd, 2011.  The award ceremony, sponsored by Webster Bank, will be held at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT from 6:00-8:00pm and will include a cocktail reception, remarks by the museum and close friends of Mr. Pape and the presentation of the award. The Brass Button Award recognizes the outstanding contributions by an individual from the greater Waterbury area to the cultural and social enrichment of their community. 

Bill Rodgers Running Bob Veillette 5K Road Race in Waterbury, Sept. 11

   Marathoner Bill Rodgers will participate in the 2011 Bob Veillette 5K Road Race and Walk in Waterbury on Sunday, Sept. 11.  The event will be held at 1:30 p.m., at Library Park, Grand and Meadow Street in Waterbury; rain or shine. There will be a 5K running route and a 1-mile walking circuit.  In honor of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, there will be a brief prayer, a moment of silence and a special guest will sing the National Anthem just before the runners head off.

WWII Planes At Waterbury-Oxford Airport September 9-12

   The national Wings of Freedom tour will be at Waterbury-Oxford Airport for a unique four-day living history event September 9th-12th. The tour features the iconic B-17 Flying Fortress, the only fully restored and flying B-24J Liberator and the legendary P-51 Mustang. 93 year old WWII Veteran and B-17 crewmember Frank Petrillo will be joining the crew on our inbound flight to Oxford on Friday, September 9th. Last time he was in a B-17 was 1943 when he had to bail out over Germany.