D'Amelio Fights For Small Businesses

Anthony and Joanne D'Amelio inside Verdi's Restaurant in Waterbury.

Column By State Representative

Anthony D'Amelio

Running a business, especially a restaurant, is difficult in the best of times, but during a pandemic with rolling state-mandated closures and constantly changing restrictions and guidelines it has become a nearly impossible task.

Don’t get me wrong, this is the profession I chose to devote my life to when I took a chance and opened my first restaurant in my early 20s. A choice I made believing that with hard work and a quality product I could provide for my family, and help others earn a living while learning new, marketable life skills.  For more than 30 years, I’ve been fortunate to share my success with the customers and staff I love. We know most customers by name - certainly by their favorite dish - and my staff, especially those who have been with me for years, are part of one big, extended family. 

When my family is threatened, I will speak out.

Delivering Food Into the South End

Cars lined down Xavier Street and Washington Street all the way through the intersection of Baldwin Street. The event was scheduled to begin at 11 am and cars began lining up at 8 am. The response was so overwhelming that distribution began an hour early, and in 90 minutes all the boxes were distributed.

Story And Photographs

By John Murray

As the pandemic continues to squeeze America like a python, food shortage is as real a danger to some families as the COVID-19 virus is to others.

In response to the crisis, federal, state and local efforts have collaborated to deliver boxes of food to those in need. Huge lines of cars have waited at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and at Rentschler Field in East Hartford to obtain a box of food.

Locally, the City of Waterbury, PAL, NOW Inc., and three elected officials have sponsored events to deliver boxes of nourishment by tapping into a federally funded Farmers to Families program.

Chase Outpatient Center transitions to StayWell Health Center

StayWell Health Center, Waterbury HEALTH, and Alliance Medical Group are pleased to announce the transfer of the Chase Outpatient Center to StayWell Health Care, Inc. This is an exciting new chapter not only for the Chase Outpatient Center but for StayWell Health Center as well. As a long-time institution committed to serving the Greater Waterbury residents through its commitment to providing community-based medical, dental, behavioral health and social services, StayWell is uniquely qualified to continue the high level of care provided to Chase patients.

Wheeler Family Health & Wellness Center Offers Drive-Through and Walk-Up COVID-19 Testing Starting Aug. 31st

Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Center at 855 Lakewood Road, Waterbury, will offer drive-through and walk-up COVID-19 virus testing for Wheeler patients and the general public, weather permitting, starting on August 31, 2020, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 am to 12 noon. No doctor's note or previous visit is needed for this type of testing, and the public is welcome. Symptoms are not required for testing.

Celebrating Juneteenth In Downtown Waterbury

Hundreds or Waterbury residents marched through the streets of downtown to celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday to celebrate freedom from slavery for Black Americans.


Story and Photographs

By John Murray


   Juneteenth was celebrated with a joyful expression of Black culture by more than 300 marchers who filled downtown Waterbury with songs, poetry, dance, and with demands for equality and justice.


   The Juneteenth Unity Rally was organized by the Waterbury Strong Community Collective whose founders are Demetre Coles, Tyler McElrath, Dwayne Pittman, Jessica Ervin and Jalia West. They are young, they are proud, and they organized a positive expression of Black culture.

Poetic Justice

Ryan Hendricks at the May 31st protest in Waterbury, Connecticut. Photograph by Terrence Bell


Story By John Murray


   Ryan Hendricks lives in the Walnut area in the North End of Waterbury. A vacant lot separates the Hendricks from the back of a bodega, where drug sales are brisk, and sellers have an easy escape route from police.


   It’s a tough neighborhood with boarded up homes, and opportunity and hope hard to come by. The Hendricks have a fence around their yard and they clean and maintain vacant lots on either side of their property. In the summer the Hendricks organize a block party on Walnut Avenue and they dig into their own pockets to feed 500 people BBQ jerk chicken, and they provide music, water slides and a bouncy house to the neighborhood children.

Hayes Champions Crucial Civil Rights Reforms

On Monday, Congresswoman Hayes joined House colleagues in introducing the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, and the Police Training and Accountability Act with Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02). These crucial pieces of legislation are designed to provide needed training, resources, and oversight of law enforcement agencies, while protecting communities that have been subjected to disproportionate levels of police violence. 

Waterbury Strong for George Floyd

Lt. Dan Ferrucci helped escort a non-violent protest to honor George Floyd, and launch a local conversation about racial injustice, from the Green to the steps of Waterbury City Hall.

Story By Gabriel Pietrorazio

Photographs By John Murray

   Waterbury was shaken to its core on May 31st by a series of protests; one sanctioned, and three that were not, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis policeman.

   It all started simply enough with a message on Instagram between two friends 48 hours before the first protest. Jalia West and Alexa Eason, both recent college graduates, wanted to organize a non-violent protest in Waterbury to honor George Floyd, and begin a local conversation about racial injustice.

Waterbury is Blessed

Many Waterburians are familiar with the statue of Father Michael McGivney at the intersection of Grand Street and Meadow Street in downtown Waterbury, but with the news he has moved one step closer to becoming a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, a new generation of city residents will learn his amazing story.

Waterbury native Michael McGivney entered the priesthood in 1877 and founded the Knights of Columbus five years later. Today, the Associated Press is reporting that Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to Father McGivney, moving Father McGivney one step closer to becoming a saint.

Father Ronald Ferraro Honored for 60th Anniversary of Ordination

Father Ronald Ferraro waved to the procession honoring his 60 years in the priesthood.

Father Ronald Ferraro was honored today by the City of Waterbury on the 60th anniversary of his ordination as a Catholic priest. Father Ferraro was the priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on South Main Street in Waterbury, and is still the chaplin for both the Waterbury Police Department and the Waterbury Fire Department. Father Ferraro is currently a resident at the Village at East Farms in Waterbury.

Remembering The Ultimate Sacrifice

Story By John Murray

Look into their eyes. Look hard at the faces of the 30 soldiers from Waterbury who perished during the Vietnam War. They were young and strong and died 8500 miles away from home fighting an impossible war their country asked them to fight.

These men answered the call, like Waterburians have done in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, WW I, WW II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the endless war in the Middle East with Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nursing Home Visits Might Be Possible

By John Murray

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Connecticut have been clobbered by COVID-19. The latest figures reveal that in the past nine weeks 2400 residents in long-term healthcare facilities in Connecticut have died from the virus.

That number would have been even higher if Connecticut wasn't one of the first states to lock down nursing homes during the pandemic. The no-visitor rule has caused emotional anguish for thousands of families as they are unable to visit loved ones during the crisis.

Waterbury Homicide Suspects Arrested

Incident: Homicide – Suspects Arrested  Date & Time of Homicide:  May 14, 2020 / 22:01 p.m.

Location:  Willow Street and Woodlawn Terrace

On May 14, 2020, at 10:01 pm., Waterbury Police were called to the area of Willow Street and Woodlawn Terrace to investigate a report of gunshots. This complaint was called into the police by several people.

CT State Park Beaches Will Be Open Memorial Day Weekend

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that Connecticut state parks that feature beaches along the state’s shoreline will be open Friday, May 22, though with capacity limitations. Visitors are advised to follow social distancing guidelines.

Earlier today, Governor Lamont, along with the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Delaware, announced a multi-state agreement to open beaches in their respective states effective May 22. Connecticut’s shoreline state park beaches were never closed, and have remained open with capacity restrictions, which will remain in place.

Free Legal Consultations to Help Small Businesses Survive Pandemic

Today, law firm Robinson+Cole LLP and the Connecticut Bar Association announced the launch of the Connecticut COVID-19 Small Business Virtual Legal Clinic, offering pro bono legal consultations for small business owners to help them navigate the COVID-19 economic crisis and ensuing relief programs. The Clinic is part of a nationwide program developed by the Lawyers for Good Government Foundation, a non-profit network of more than 125,000 legal advocates with lawyers in all 50 states.

Ram's Clothiers Displays Exceptional Community Spirit

A once in a century pandemic has revealed much about the character of several small businesses in Waterbury. Some price gouged and are now under investigation by the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office. Other’s opened their heart and showed terrific community spirit.

One of the really good ones was Ram’s Clothiers at 579 Wolcott St, Waterbury. Ram’s closed two months ago when non-essential businesses were shut down, but when Governor Ned Lamont ordered residents to wear face masks in public, and they were hard to find, Ram’s began making cloth face masks and distributing them to the community for free. Hundreds of them.

Flyover to Honor CT's Heroes ~ May 14th

A message from Governor Ned Lamont......

"To salute Connecticut's health care workers for the service they are providing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut Air National Guard will conduct Operation American Resolve on Thursday, May 14. This includes the flyover of the Guard's C-130H aircraft over hospitals and other health care facilities throughout the state.

There are many front line workers in Connecticut providing care, and this is our way of saluting them and saying thank you. They are true heroes, and the amount of good they are providing for our state is immeasurable.

Suspect Wanted in Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident

Date & Time of Accident:  April 22, 2020 at 10:27 p.m.

Location of Accident:  Area of 2457 East Main Street                                   


On April 22, 2020 at 10:27 p.m., the Waterbury Police were dispatched to the area of 2457 East Main Street for reported motor vehicle accident involving two vehicles.

CT's Business Reopening 1st Phase Rules Amid COVID-19

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that his administration has released documents detailing specific rules that eligible businesses falling under phase 1 of Connecticut’s reopening plans must follow amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The first phase – which includes restaurants; offices; hair salons and barbershops; retail stores; and outdoor museums and zoos – is currently planned to take effect beginning May 20.

Food Scarcity During Pandemic

By Wayne Simone

Waterbury resident Robert Vonaa is a recovery specialist at Rushford in Meriden. His job is to help residents who have mental health issues or addiction problems recover and return to society.

That's his full-time gig.  Vonaa also helped start New Beginnings, a food pantry for the hungry in New Britain, more than twenty years ago. This was inspired by a brief bout he had with homelessness a few years earlier.  "I was there in the same shoes.,” Vonaa said. “I was lucky and made it out, but many of the people I see don't have the where-with-all to break out of homelessness. Sometimes it’s the skills, sometimes it's the hand that they were dealt, and other times it's their desire or their lack of desire.