Waterbury Looks To Walking Expert, Mark Fenton, For Inspiration To Exercise

Attention Waterbury.....

Let’s Move

By John Murray

Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura led by example.

   Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura is a great sport. Three years ago he plunged down the Naugatuck River in a canoe, and on April 29th, as part of a Healthy Living community walk, he wiggled and contorted on stage as he stretched out in front of 400 people on the Waterbury Green.

The Scoop On Woodbury's Steamed Hamburgers

Carole Peck's


By John Murray

   In celebration of National Hamburger Month the Observer cruised over to Woodbury, CT, to check out the steamed hamburger at Zeeburger, the new restaurant opened by famed chef, Carole Peck.

  Peck has owned and operated Carole Peck's Good News Cafe in Woodbury for years, and has already made a splash with Zeeburger.

Taser Gun Called "Tool Of Torture"


NAACP Opposes Use

Of Taser Gun

Photographs By John Murray

Connecticut NAACP President Scot X Esdaile addresses a media throng in front of the Waterbury Police Department, May 16th, to call for an investigation into the taser gun killing of Marcus Brown. Esdaile called the taser gun a "tool of torture".

NAACP Launches Investigation Into The Waterbury Taser Death Of Marcus Brown


What Happened?

Marcus Brown died after he was tasered by a Waterbury police officer. 

    The Connecticut State Conference of NAACP Branches President Scot X Esdaile and Waterbury Branch President Victor Diaz will hold a press conference today, May 16th, at 5:30 pm, at the Waterbury Police Station to announce the NAACP's investigation into the Taser Death of Marcus Brown.

Main Street Touted

Main Street Waterbury

Snares Two Awards

Main Street Waterbury was honored for its efforts to restore Waterbury City Hall.

   Connecticut Main Street Center has announced the recipients of its 2011 Awards of Excellence.  Award-winning initiatives and individuals are engaged in Main Street revitalization in New London, Simsbury, Waterbury, Westville Village in New Haven, and Torrington. 

The Buzz, May 2011

It's Time To Start Your

Own Business

By John Rowland

   While many of us may still be chasing those few jobs openings out there, now is the time to start your own business.  The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) here at the Chamber has been sponsoring small business workshops for new startup companies here in the Waterbury area.  The seminars touch on a variety of issues from writing a business plan to securing financing.

Youth Baseball Skills Competition May 7th


Pitch, Hit, Run 

@ Municipal Stadium 

(editor's note - the following letter was written to the Observer by Waterbury resident Bill DeMaida, who is involved in planning and organizing a Pitch, Hit, Run competition at Municipal Stadium)

    Over the years, our Municipal Stadium has been witness to the development of our local sports scene. This venue, after our latest renovation project, will be second to none. We hope to bring attention to this complex with not only scheduled local sports but also with varied programs that might bring more than just local citizens to our home.

David Martin Sworn In As Waterbury's New Fire Chief


A New Day

   David Martin originally wanted to be a Waterbury police officer. In preparation for the police exam, Martin decided to practice by taking a fire department exam. After passing both tests, Martin decided to join the fire department because "no one shoots bullets at a fire scene." Now more than two decades later, Martin was sworn in as chief of the Waterbury Fire Department, on April 28th, in front of a packed aldermanic chambers in the newly renovated City Hall.

Welcome To The Observer's New Website

   The Observer's new website is different than most newspapers on the internet. Instead of cramming fifty stories and tiny thumb nail photographs on the home page, we've decided to publish large, bold photographs to accompany in-depth feature articles. We debut with more than 100 articles and columns, with the promise of hundreds more to come.

Lack Of Enforcement Threatens Quality Of Life In Waterbury Neighborhoods

(Editor's Note - The following letter was written by Joshua Angelus, the President of the Waterbury Neighborhood Council, and sent to community leaders and the media in Waterbury)

Dear Mayor and Aldermen,

   I attached a series of pictures that will assist in making clear the tipping point of Waterbury as a functional city and how we suffer from poor public policy, the lack of enforcement and the coddling and tolerance of those who violate our laws and damage our quality of life. They act with impunity.

The Kent State Massacre

A Tragic Anniversary

Column By Vincent R. Vurchio

   Four dead in Ohio.

   May 4, 1970.  Kent State University campus, Kent, Ohio.  Four students killed and nine wounded by National Guardsmen.

   Let’s back up a bit.

Rocky On Skates

Exploring The Loss Of

The Hartford Whalers

Story By John Murray

Writer Bob Muldoon, a former Whaler employee, writes about loss and redemption in his book, Brass Bonanza Plays Again.


   At the heart of any good book is a writer’s passion, It was French cooking for Julia Child, legal thrillers for John Grisham, and big adventure for Ernest Hemingway.

   For Bob Muldoon it’s ice hockey, specifically, The Hartford Whalers.

Observations April 2011


The Calling

Story By John Murray

  Donna Palomba continues to fight back.

   This time it’s not against a masked rapist, two incompetent Waterbury police officers, or an insensitive newspaper; now Palomba and her Jane Doe No More organization are taking on modern American society, and its response to sexual assault.

Self Defense Course For Women Of All Ages


Escape Alive

Story By Chelsea Murray

Catherine Rodgers of Naugatuck learns to evade a choke hold. Photos By John Murray

   I was robbed my last night in Greece.

  After watching the sunset from the Acropolis, myself and two friends took a short cut back to our apartment. On our way through the cobblestone streets we encountered a young Gypsy couple, who stepped out of the shadows looking for a smoke. My friend gave them a cigarette and loaned out his favorite lighter. After small talk about how quiet the streets were, the man pocketed the lighter. My friend calmly protested and asked for his lighter back. Instead of the lighter, the Gypsy pulled out a switchblade and thrust it against my friend’s throat.

Legislation Triggered By Mysterious Disappearance Of Waterbury's Billy Smolinski


Billy’s Law

Re-Introduced In Congress

Congressman Chris Murphy (left) and Texas Congressman Ted Poe (right) have joined forces to co-sponsor “Billy’s Law”. Murphy said the collaboration on missing person legislation is unusual, as the two men, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, rarely agree on any issue. Janice Smolinski is pictured in the middle. Photo by John Murray

   Last year’s effort to pass Billy’s Law flew through the House of Representatives, but like hundreds of other bills, was gummed up in the United States Senate. Time expired on the bill when the calendar year changed, forcing legislators to re-introduce it in 2011.

Bill and Jan Smolinski Continue To Fight For Legislation To Alter The Way Police Respond To The Report Of A Missing Adult


Keeping On

Story By John Murray

State Rep. Vickie Nardello, left, confers with Jan and Bill Smolinski in Hartford.

   Jan and Bill Smolinski refuse to stop searching for the body of their son, Billy, who was murdered - and buried - in the lower Naugatuck Valley area six and half years ago. During their quest for truth the Smolinskis have clashed with local, state and federal police who have mishandled critical evidence and lost seven DNA samples in the case.

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.