(Editor's note - the following column was written by Observer publisher John Murray in October 2003, on the 10th anniversary of the newspaper. Eight years later the newspaper has transitioned into the digital world with new computers, digital cameras and a bustling website. The drama for survival, however, continues)

  The Waterbury Observer recently celebrated it’s tenth anniversary, and although this column may appear to be the sound of one hand clapping, I’m going to stop and celebrate some of the highs and lows along the journey.

   Any newspaper across America has the responsibility to reflect the community back upon itself, and somewhere along the way the Observer morphed into the chaos of the city. As Waterbury struggles and groans to transition itself from an industrial giant there has been an explosion of social problems that has permeated the community, problems that the Observer absorbed.

   Illness and mayhem seeped through our door.


Passion To Dance

Story By Maryanne Moon Boyen

   Angelo Bonasera was ahead of his time.

   In the early 1970s, before it was culturally commonplace to eat on the run, Angelo grabbed a bite to eat quickly three nights a week, so that he could drive his teenage daughter, Donna, to dance class in Hartford. Though he had already driven two hours round trip to Pratt & Whitney in Windsor Locks for work, he never balked at another two hour journey to bring Donna from their Torrington home to the Hartford Conservatory.

   Angelo was the only adult driver in the family of four and he was glad to help his youngest daughter follow her heart.


Across Thin Ice

Story and Photographs By John Murray

    Momentum is a curious and powerful force.

   After traveling 48 hours non-stop from Waterbury, Connecticut, to a small Tibetan refugee camp tucked into the southwest corner of India, I felt like I was hanging ten as I surfed a large wave of momentum towards the beach. The 13,000 mile journey had taken me through barrels of bureaucratic red tape, through New York City, Newark Airport, Milan, Italy, Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) and into Goa, a resort town on the west coast of India. There had been visa headaches, ticketing problems, frantic last second packing, buses, taxis, three flights and finally a six hour drive from Goa along a treacherous mountain road frequented by monkeys, cows, buses, motorcycles, and thousands of Indians carrying water, wood and rocks on top of their heads.

 S.O.S. - Save Our Souls

Story and Photographs by John Murray

   The Soldier's Monument was cloaked in brilliant orange light from the late afternoon sun. After working out at the YMCA I headed up West Main Street and came to a stop at the first traffic light. When I turned to check out the monument I saw Waterbury Mayor Phil Giordano heading the other way on a motorcycle.


   Nobody seemed to know her name, and in an odd way, it didn’t matter.  She needed help, and even though the two doctors spoke no Spanish, their actions transcended words and cultural barriers.  The little girl was hurt and these gringo doctors – National Guardsmen in camouflage fatigues – were there to help.

Q&A With Governor John Rowland

Q&A with Governor John Rowland

John Rowland isn't just the Governor. Like everyone else, he's a man with dreams, hopes and tastes. The following interview offers a peak at Rowland's inner workings.


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