Waterbury native Ryan Gomes, middle, played high school basketball in the city and now stars in the NBA, joined Mayor Michael Jarjura, left, and representatives from the city’s health and emergency services organizations in celebrating Waterbury’s recent designation as a HeartSafe Community by the state Department of Public Health. The event took place Thursday, October 27, at Waterbury City Hall. Along with Gomes and the mayor, representatives from the state Department of Public Health, Waterbury Hospital, the Heart Center of Greater Waterbury, Saint Mary’s Hospital, AMR Ambulance, Campion Ambulance and the Waterbury Fire and Police Departments were on hand to mark the occasion. The HeartSafe designation is awarded to communities across the state that have demonstrated that they are properly equipped and trained to both prevent and respond to cardiac emergencies. 

State Senator Joan Hartley greets Naugatuck Valley Community College President Daisy Cocco De Filippis moments before an historic ride through the city marking the start of evening bus service in Waterbury. Politicians and community activists have been lobbying for evening bus service in Waterbury for nearly 20 years. The event took place October 24th. Photographs By John Murray

    The expanded hours were made possible through a collaborative formula including state funds and a voluntary fare increase for NVCC riders. President De Filippis and James Troup, dean of administration, met with North East Transportation representatives back in fall of 2008 to establish the College’s concerns. In spring 2010 the transportation issue became a part of NVCC’s Strategic Plan, which prompted the development of a leadership committee in September. To help defray the financial burden, NVCC students voted last spring to install a $10 per semester transportation fee that would account for approximately 17% of the $900,000 annual cost. The remainder will be paid by the state through a federal grant.

Waterbury's police chief, Mike Gugliotti

   Waterbury Police Chief Michael Gugliotti announced today that his officers have begun issuing new Municipal Citations to violator’s of the City’s Blight Ordinance. Gugliotti stated that this new process has many benefits. “First of all, we anticipate that the resolution of these complaints will be much faster than before, as the accused must pay his/her fine, or request a hearing with a City Hearing Officer within 10 days of ticket issuance. Additionally, since the Municipal Citations are issued to enforce the City’s Blight Ordinance, Waterbury keeps 100% of all fines collected.”  The Police Department’s Community Relations Division currently responds to and enforces blight related complaints. They notify property owners when a violation has occurred and allow a reasonable amount of time to address the violation. If no action is taken, citations will be issued, with fines beginning at $100/day.

                                    Photographs By John Murray

Efforts by Post University to install 75-foot tall lights on its renovated sports complex triggered a proposed zoning change and an outpouring of opposition by residents of the Country Club neighborhood in Waterbury. Last night at a Zoning Commission meeting in City Hall Andrew Dyjak of Musco Sports Lighting made a presentation to the commission and stated that city zoning laws that cap the height of lighting now at 35 feet is inadequate to illuminate the sports complex and would create unsafe conditions for athletes. The Country Club neighbors are opposing the zoning change, and Post University's plan citing it would destroy the character of the neighborhood and create unwanted light pollution. The Zoning Commission did not render a decision last night.

                              Photographs By John Murray

   Waterbury mayor Mike Jarjura laughed at a point being made by Democrat challenger Neil O'Leary during a spirited debate sponsored by the Greater Waterbury Chapter of the National Congress of Black Women last night in the NOW auditorium, on North Main Street, in Waterbury. In an evening filled with political theater, the three candidates vying for mayor verbally jousted for nearly two hours. At one point during the debate Mayor Jarjura blamed O'Leary, who is a school board commissioner, for the fact that 21 schools in Waterbury have failed to meet state and federal standards. O'Leary, in the photograph above, reminded Jarjura that he is also a member of the board of education, and as the mayor, Jarjura should accept ultimate responsibility for the conditions in the schools.

A Western Express truck got jammed beneath the railroad overpass on West Main Street in Waterbury Monday night. The truck blocked traffic for over an hour before Town Plot Towing winched it along West Main Street. The driver, pictured below, smoked a cigarette as the tow truck maneuvered into place. Photographs by John Murray

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