Linda McMahon, a former candidiate for U.S. Senator, visited our blog program at Waterbury Youth Services and made an extraordinary impression.

Column by Chelsea Murray

  This summer instead of basking in the sun or traveling, I have had the pleasure of spearheading a blogging program with a group of amazing young women at Waterbury Youth Services.

   The program evolved out of an argument with my father, who owns the Waterbury Observer, and who drives me crazy sometimes. Frustrated that day, I picked up the phone and called Kelly Cronin, the executive director of Waterbury Youth Services, and asked if I could invent a program for the summer. I felt the need to do something different with my life and wanted the opportunity to help others. I wasn’t sure what her response would be. I was young, practically just-out-of-college, and she could have told me to get lost. Instead, Kelly invited me down to her office and asked me to propose a program.

   (Editor's note - Kevin Zak is the founder of the Naugatuck River Revival Group and has been instrumental in generating awareness of the unique ecosystem that flows directly through Waterbury)

Column By Kevin Zak, Photographs By John Murray

   A Red Shouldered Hawk was trapped in the bucket of a cherry picker with water up to its chest. The clock was ticking. How long this raptor was in his watery tomb, or how he got there, was anyone’s guess. The hawk was not going to live through the night. Heavy thunder storms overtook Wolcott the previous week and somehow, bizarrely, this raptor had trapped itself in a narrow bucket and couldn’t spread his broad wings. The sides of the bucket were too steep and there was nothing for him to dig his sharp and powerful talons into so he could climb out. With each day the hawk grew weary and with each new down pour the water got deeper. Without food for days his condition was like a Chinese finger trap - the more he struggled the weaker he became. This magnificent creature was injured, weakened, and about to drown.

   The Chef Series at the Mattatuck Museum continues with Chef Richard Morotto of Bin 300 Restaurant in Wolcott on Monday, August 29th, 2011 from 6:00-9:00pm. With Chef Richard watch and learn how to make seasonal dishes as he creates an amazing meal of Apple and Brie Turnovers with Port Reduction, Lobster Cappuccino with Vanilla Bourbon Chantilly and Wild Mushrooms in a Red Wine Sauce with Pappardelle Pasta and Manchego Cheese. Learn valuable cooking techniques and tips then enjoy the meal in the elegant museum setting.

    

Story and Photographs By John Murray

   J. Paul Vance Jr. has been appointed Claims Commissioner in Connecticut and has dropped out of the 2011 mayoral race in Waterbury. Although he accepted the job three weeks ago, Vance didn’t get his official appointment until Monday, August 15th, his first day on the job.

   On Monday, September 12th, New Opportunities, Inc. will hold their 17th Annual Bobby Bonds Memorial Scholarship Classic at The Country Club of Waterbury.   Registration/Lunch begins at 11:00am with Shot Gun Start at 12 Noon. 4-man Team. Scramble format. Cost is $200 per golfer with Sponsorship options starting at $150.

When serious leads aren't followed up by law enforcement, Bill and Jan Smolinski scour the woods for the remains of their missing son Billy, who was murdered in August 2004.

Story and Photographs By John Murray

   Picture the murder of Billy Smolinski as a crystal vase. Hold it in your hands. Spin it around. Now drop it on the kitchen floor and watch it shatter into a thousand pieces. Each shard of glass represents a clue into who killed Billy on August 24th, 2004. When patched together the vase reveals the gruesome truth of who murdered Billy, and why. The vase points to the spot Billy is buried in the Naugatuck Valley.

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