Community Bulletin Board
- UNICO Scholarship Awards Dinner, May 28
- Post University partners with Masonicare
- Crosby H.S. in CT Innovation Exposition
- Award Winning Musical, Jersey Boys, at Palace
- CT Law Firm Joins Driver Safety Campaign
- Farm Viability Grant for Brass City Harvest
- State Grant to Revitalize Vacant Parcels
- Gallery Tour at Museum~ April 23
- Palace Theater Announces May Line-Up
- Rep. Cuevas appointed to M.O.R.E. Committee
- Annual Arts Show in Naugatuck
- Fulton Park Clean-up And Restoration April 21
By John Murray
Lugging a dream around in your head for 15 years is tiring. The only path to freedom is to hurl yourself towards the fire and either transform the dream into reality, or fail trying. A dream without effort will never materialize, so it was with a sense of relief that I unchained one of my dreams last Autumn, and set out to create a multi-cultural festival in Waterbury celebrating the extraordinary diversity of the people living and working in the city.
Spending a year in Greece was a dream realized. I had the extraordinary opportunity to explore Greek culture, tour the islands and the mountains, and discover buried secrets in my family's past.
Story By Chelsea Murray
That was the question people asked relentlessly, eyebrows raised, when I stuffed my possessions into a backpack and broken suitcase and jetted off to Greece for a year to study abroad. Greece is a foreign country, but my study abroad plan sounded especially foreign to my inquisitors. Why not London? Why not Spain?
My answer was simple, “I’m Greek.”
On a rolling hill of red dirt, burnt grass and bristles, we arrived at Alfalfa Bill Murray’s grave in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, with a bag of ice, a bottle of blended scotch whiskey, and a sweet potato pie. My daughter and I had sliced our way south from Connecticut through Washington D.C., the Blue Ridge Mountains, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, and into Oklahoma in two days. We set a blistering pace and stopped to eat, refuel, sleep, and occasionally pose for ridiculous photographs with a ten-inch chalk bust of our deceased ancestor that I had purchased on ebay.
Albert Einstein said, "look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." So look into this tranquil scene along the Naugatuck River in Waterbury, and see if Einstein was correct. Photograph by John Murray
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was in Waterbury 12 days ago to campaign for Linda McMahon's bid for the U.S. Senate. Photograph by John Murray
By John Murray
One hundred years ago a newspaper’s endorsement of a political candidate moved the electorate. Today it only reveals the political bent of a news organization and amounts to yet another political flyer at your doorstep. Consider that the New York Times and the Hartford Courant – newspapers driven by liberal agendas - both endorsed three Democrats; Chris Murphy for Senate, Elizabeth Esty for Congress and Barack Obama for president. In the other corner, locally, we have the Republican-American newspaper – a bastion of conservative Republican ideals - grinding out endorsements for the GOP; Linda McMahon for Senate, Andrew Roraback for Congress and assuredly, Mitt Romney for president.
Is anyone surprised by these endorsements?
My nephew, George Murray, exploded in joy when Ohio State scored the winning touchdown on a 72 yard pass with three minutes left in the game against the University of California. George graduated from Ohio State in 2011 and is now in his second year of law school at Ohio State.
By John Murray
I went to church Saturday afternoon in Columbus, Ohio. The pews held 105,000 rabid fans of Ohio State and it was an afternoon of family and football wrapped in God and country. It was an unparalleled spectacle almost impossible for a Connecticut boy to fathom. UConn football? Not even close. UConn basketball? Nope. The Giants, Patriots, Jets, Yankees and Red Sox can put on a good show, but not like football in Ohio with 105,000 of your best friends.
Paula Bell, left, and her parents, Bill and Janice Smolinski, at the vigil on the Green in Naugatuck.
(Editor’s note - A vigil was held on the Naugatuck Green, August 26th, to mark the 8th anniversary of the disappearrance of Billy Smolinski. Congressman Chris Murphy, Waterbury police chief Michael Gugliotti, CT’s Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz, the Smoliniski family, and Waterbury Observer publisher John Murray all spoke. The following are the remarks Murray delivered at the vigil)
Photographs By John Murray
While much of Connecticut enjoyed another glorious summer day in New England, I spent most of mine trying not to vomit as I closely read through the verdict in the civil trial between Madeline Gleason and the Smolinski family. The lawsuit, filed by a named suspect in the disappearance of Billy Smolinski, took six years, tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and three days in court. After all of this, Superior Court Judge Thomas Corradino ordered Janice Smolinski and Paula Bell to pay Madeline Gleason $52,000 in damages for allegedly harassing her, defaming her, and falsely accusing Gleason of having anything to do with the disappearance of Billy Smolinski.
Local Writer Joan Lownds Tackles Honeymoon Cruise Murder, And Billion Dollar Cruise Industry, In Her New Book, "Man Overboard"
Journalist Joan Lownds, of Naugatuck, CT, took on the billion dollar cruise industry while researching her book "Man Overboard".
Column By John Murray
Harrison Salisbury was one of the greatest journalists in American history. He was the first American journalist to report on the Vietnam War from inside North Vietnam. Salisbury had been invited to North Vietnam by the Communists in 1966, and his dispatches from Hanoi shook the world. While the United States insisted it’s bombs were micro-targeted to military posts and ammunition factories, Salisbury documented that errant U.S., bombs had destroyed schools and orphanages. Salisbury took considerable heat from President Lyndon Johnson for reports the U.S., government called treasonous, but Salisbury’s dogged reporting triggered opposition to the war, which pressured our eventual withdrawal.
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.
Bill and Jan Smolinski Continue To Fight For Legislation That Would Alter The Way Law Enforcement Officers Respond To The Report Of A Missing Adult. Slowly, and Against Strong Police Resistence, It Appears Progress Is Being Made