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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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