Bringing High Tech Tools And Training To Area Manufacturers

 

Into The Future

Story and Photographs By John Murray

   It’s exactly the sort of deal that many in Waterbury imagined when John Rowland took an influential post at the Waterbury Chamber of Commerce two years ago, and was declared the “economic czar” of Waterbury. Rowland was a three-term Congressman and had been governor of Connecticut for nine years, so clearly the man had contacts in high places.

Celebrating The Revival Of The Naugatuck River

 

The River

Column By John Murray

 

Colored dyes stained rivers throughout the industrial Northeast. By Lynn Cherry

   It was the best day the Naugtauck River has experienced in 100 years. The river received so much attention on February 24th that one could imagine her embarrassed, and blushing red for old time sake. This blush, however, was triggered by admirers gushing at her beauty, not from the red dyes that were pumped into her as industrial waste into a glorified toilet.

Neil O'Leary Takes The Mayoral Plunge

 

Destination...

 

Downtown

(Editor’s note - The following speech was delivered by Neil O’Leary on February 6th, 2011, inside a delapidated store front on East Main Street in downtown Waterbury)

   Let me begin by thanking all of you who have taken time out of your busy schedules to join us today. I want to take this moment to acknowledge my family, my brothers and sisters, their children, my cousins, my brother and sister police officers, firefighters, teachers and all of our friends. I also want to thank and acknowledge all the elected and appointed officials here today. Wow, what an incredible turnout. And, I don’t just mean the size of the crowd, but the diversity of this group as well. We have friends here from all backgrounds, occupations, races and ethnicities. All the folks who make up this great city of Waterbury.

The Rebirth Of The Naugatuck River Triggers Regional Forum

 

Born Again

Story and Photographs
By John Murray

   Back in the 1960s Uniroyal launched an international marketing campaign that asserted Naugahyde was obtained from the skin of an animal called a Nauga. The company, based in Naugatuck, proclaimed that a Nauga shed its skin multiple times a year, so it didn’t have to be slaughtered to collect its hide. The ads stated the Nauga was a squat, horned monster from the jungles of Sumatra, and every customer who purchased a Naugahyde couch from Uniroyal received a small Nauga doll.

   It was brilliant marketing - fun, humorous and effective.

Mayor's Race Heating Up In Waterbury

 

Game On

Column By John Murray

Waterbury Mayor Michael Jarjura is seeking a record sixth consecutive term.

(Editor’s note - the following observations by John Murray were sharpened by dozens of interviews and conversations with political insiders throughout Waterbury)

  After serving ten years as mayor of Waterbury one might think that Mike Jarjura had a firm grip on the local Democratic Party - his party - but you’d be wrong. As we careen towards election day 2011 Mayor Jarjura faces a revolution within the Democratic Party - much of it his own creation.

In Synk By Jim Szynkiewicz, December 2010

 

Pearl Harbor

Did FDR Use It AS Bait?

Column By Jim Szynkiewicz


   Sixty nine years have passed since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Was this a horrendous failure of the Roosevelt administration, or a brilliant political maneuver? The passage of time has not overcome the mystery of that fateful event. I belong to the smaller category of people who believe that FDR masterfully used Pearl Harbor as bait to draw the  Japanese into a military confrontation and justify America’s entry into a war against the Axis Powers. Not everybody in FDR’s administration had been asleep on the dawn of December 7th 1941.

New Support Group Formed In Wolcott To Help Survivors Of Incest and Sexual Assault

Survivor Leads Way

By Debbie Mitchell McCormack

   There is a new Woman’s support group in the Waterbury area called SSING (Sexual Assault and Incest Survivor Support Group). The support group is for women who have been victims of sexual abuse. I’d like to tell you that there are more people out there than you can imagine who have been sexually assaulted as a child. In Waterbury, in Thomaston, Southington, and yes, here in Wolcott too.

Exploring Florence, Italy

 

Ciao Waterbury,

Benvenuti Firenze

Story by Erika Giannelli

   I’m used to the wild hand gestures, 3 course lunches and loud conversation. Growing up with my Italian family in Waterbury was little Italy in itself. I can still smell the meats from the deli down the street, the mayonnaise slathered on crusty Italian bread, the cookies and pastries that lined the aisles. And I remember home, a building we shared with my beautiful great grandmother who cooked steaks and pork chops, escarole and beans. I can smell it today. My entire extended family lived around us, loud and expressive and loving.

Billy Smolinski Was Murdered Six Years Ago. Where Is His Body?

 

The Search

Column By John Murray

Billy Smolinski was murdered six years ago. The effort to crack the case involves local, state and federal police. The Smolinski Family is now working closely with private investigator Todd Lovejoy, pictured above, tracking down leads.

 

   Six years is a long time to hold your breath.

Observations July 2010

 

The Storyteller

Column By John Murray

Dave Howard after a book talk at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia

   One day before Abraham Lincoln was murdered at the Ford Theater in Washington D.C., a soldier from the Union Army entered the statehouse in Raleigh, North Carolina, and swiped one of the 14 original copies of the Bill of Rights. Robert E. Lee had already surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, but word traveled slow, and members of General Sherman’s army continued to plunder the South.

Steve Schrag and WCLEAN Have Green Ideas For Anamet Site

 

Vision Quest  

Story and Photographs By John Murray 

Steve Schrag, center.

   Steve Schrag has spent his life as an organizer and activist fighting for positive change in the work place. For the past 30 years in Waterbury, however, Schrag has repeatedly found himself in opposition to major development projects.

    He was against EWR in the 1980s.

    He was against a super mall.

Wandering Observations February 2009

My Dog Brother

Column By Chelsea Murray

    My house mate Christina and her family are putting their 13-year-old German Shepherd to sleep this weekend after a losing battle with cancer. Christina went home to visit Cheyenne for a final time and is struggling with the impending loss. I live with seven girls in a house at Marist College and we’ve all spent time consoling Christina, and talking to her about this difficult family decision. In the process we’ve all opened up about our own dogs and how they’ve impacted our lives. I’ve come to realize that everyone has a dog story.

Jim Calhoun Swears At His Players, Kicks Chairs, Abuses Referees And Curses At Fans

 

Out Of Control

Is this the price of victory?

Story By John Murray

Photograph originally appeared in the New York Times


   It was a crisp autumn evening in 2006 and Hasheem Thabeet was about to begin his basketball career at the University of Connecticut. Thabeet spent the first 16 years of his life 7,600 miles from UConn, in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where sultry air wafts into West Africa from the Indian Ocean and the average temperature in November is a toasty 86 degrees.

History Of The Brass Industry In Waterbury - Part I

 

Brass Beginnings

Story By Raechel Guest

  Waterbury has been referred to as "The Brass City" and "The Brass Capitol of The World". This article is the first in a four part series written by Raechel Guest exploring the history and legacy of the brass industry in Waterbury, Connecticut.


   Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc (differing from bronze, which is alloy of copper and tin), and it is both durable and reasonably resistant to tarnishing. Adjusting the ratio of zinc to copper changes the color of the brass, adding to its decorative qualities. In ancient Rome, it was known as Aurichalem and was often used for making jewelry. Its popularity increased during the Renaissance, and by the 19th century, brass was used to make just about everything.

Julia Butterfly Hill Talks About The Impact Of Living In An Ancient Redwood

 

Climb Your Own Tree
By Chelsea Murray

Julia Butterfly Hill
   

    Activism isn’t dead.

    While it’s true young people aren’t inspired the way America’s youth were in the 1960s by Bob Dylan, nor are they protesting the war in Iraq with the same passion and conviction that their parents and grandparents opposed the war in Vietnam, by no means is activism dead.