Demographer Peter Morrison inadvertantly created a a mini-firestorm when he posted his first district plan onto the city website without an explanation that it was only a starting point, and that public input and direction from the District Commission will refine the plan to include neighborhood identity.

                       Story and Photographs By John Murray

 The first district proposal for electing aldermen by district has arrived in Waterbury, and while some outspoken critics of the process are supportive, others see it driven by inside politics, gerrymandering, and a ridiculous concept of joining Bunker Hill and portions of the East End in one district. The plan was created by Dr. Peter Morrison of Nantucket, Massachusetts, described as an impartial demographer with an impeccable record of creating and defending district lines.

   “What we’ve created is simply a starting point,” Morrison cautioned. “At tomorrow night’s meeting I look forward to hearing from the District Commission and the public about how we can refine the plan.”

 

Johnathan Pape 

   Waterbury Police continue to investigate the discovery of a body on New Year’s Day in the driveway at 34 Mitchell Avenue. The body has been positively identified as Donald Curtis (9/18/64) of Waterbury and the medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide resulting from blunt force trauma to the head and chest.

Dr. Aresta Johnson spoke about the importance of voting during last night's forum that was organized by Pastor Rodney Wade, left, and Pastor Pamela Hughes, middle.

            Story By Robert Goodrich and Photographs By John Murray

   A group of black citizens held an unapologetically honest and unabashedly self-reflective forum on black lives in the Brass City last night inside Waterbury City Hall. Pastor Pamela Hughes of Faith Generation Ministries and Pastor Rodney Wade of Long Hill Bible Church, were co-facilitators and led the discussion by directing poignant question about black on black crime, black owned business, black youth, community activism and what the roles of voting, government, church, pop-culture, education, and personal health should play in building strong black communities.

Charles "Chuck" Pagano was named chairman of the District Commission by Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary. Pagano lives in the Bucks Hill neighborhood of Waterbury and is the Executive Vice President of Technology and Chief Technology Officer of ESPN, and has been with the company since 1979. Pagano is also the President of the Board of Directors for Holy Land LLC, the non-profit group operating Holy Land USA in Waterbury. O'Leary sought Pagano's leadership on the District Commission because Pagano is an unaffliated voter "who is above reproach." 

                    Story and Photographs By John Murray  

   When Waterbury voted to fundamentally change the structure of city government they handed a hot potato to Mayor Neil O'Leary who had less than six months to implement an historic aldermen by district initiative that won by a surprising 2000 vote mandate on November 4th. Legal counsel had to be hired, an eight-person District Commission had to be formed, a demographer had to be hired to analyze population and voting patterns, and most importantly, the city needed to be carved into five voting districts.

   U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced he will join two new U.S. Senate Committees in the 114th Congress. Murphy will join the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, which is responsible for funding all of the federal government’s agencies, departments, and organizations. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Murphy will focus on securing funding for Connecticut’s priorities, such as defense manufacturing, transportation infrastructure, and federal safety net programs. Murphy will also be a strong voice in pushing back against Republican attempts to defund the Affordable Care Act, anti-gun violence programs, and U.S. diplomatic efforts abroad. Connecticut has not had a U.S. Senator on the Appropriations Committee since 1987.

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