Today, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) met with local service providers, law enforcement, health care advocates, and patients to discuss the growing heroin epidemic in Connecticut. Over the last decade, heroin use has nearly doubled in the United States. In Connecticut and other states in New England, deaths related to heroin use have spiked in the last year. On average, one person dies every day in Connecticut from an opioid overdose.

   Main Street Waterbury has announced that the recipient of the 2014 Main Street Waterbury Stephen R. Sasala II Community Partnership Award is Frank Tavera, chief executive officer of the Palace Theater Group, Inc. Tavera will receive the award during a presentation Thursday, May 15 at the Palace Theater between 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Award was created by Main Street Waterbury to celebrate the leadership and contributions of the late Stephen R. Sasala, former CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber and former president of Main Street Waterbury Board of Directors.

 

  The Observer received this essay from Waterbury resident Vilem Fruhbauer, and it's entitled "The Daily Riddle". 

   "I went the other day to my bank on Chase Avenue and they had a board there with a Daily Riddle on it that went like this: "It belongs to you, but others use it more. What is it?" Being March, my answer was obvious, so I went to the teller and told her: "I know the answer - it's my tax money". She said: "That is not the right answer - the right answer is YOUR NAME."

                                               By John Murray

   Macedonians and Greeks have responded to the news that Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary, above right, is traveling to Struga, Macedonia, this summer, to cement a sister city agreement between Struga and Waterbury.

   The Balkan Peninsula has long been mired in border disputes and ethnic tension, and O'Leary's strong relationship with the local Albanian community in Waterbury led to the sister city relationship. Struga's mayor, Ziadin Sela, above left, is an ethnic Albanian, and 60 years ago Struga was officially a part of Albania. As borders shifted, Struga is now a part of Macedonia, a country that didn't exist decades ago. Greece opposed the use of Macedonia as a name for the new country (which declared independence as Yugoslavia broke apart) and has opposed Macedonia's efforts to join the European Union entirely based on the name dispute.

   To say the situation is complicated is as understated as saying New England has had a tough winter.

Tom Foley threw his hat into the political ring yesterday, and by chosing a VFW hall in the South End of Waterbury to make the announcement that he is running for governor, he cast a bright spotlight on Waterbury, and the role the city will play in this year's election.

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