Community Bulletin Board
- Educator Appreciation Days at Barnes & Noble
- A.L. Davroe Book-signing
- Hartley on Manufacturing
- Easter Bunny Express
- Love a Lilac
- Improving Air Quality
- What's Happening in Waterbury and Beyond
- TURN to a Historian at the Litchfield Historical Society
- A Night at the Boys and Girls Club
- Call for Hall of Fame Nominations
- President Trump Signs Two Esty-Authored Bills
- Safety Classes at Railroad Museum
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
Column By John Murray
Dave Howard after a book talk at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia
One day before Abraham Lincoln was murdered at the Ford Theater in Washington D.C., a soldier from the Union Army entered the statehouse in Raleigh, North Carolina, and swiped one of the 14 original copies of the Bill of Rights. Robert E. Lee had already surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, but word traveled slow, and members of General Sherman’s army continued to plunder the South.
Angry At A System They Trusted To Help Find Their Missing Son, Jan and Bill Smolinski Seek Federal Reform
Story By John Murray
Fire makes steel.
For Jan and Bill Smolinski a fire of angst and pain engulfed their lives after their 31 year old son Billy vanished six years ago. The fire is so hot it could shatter friendships and destroy their marriage, Left alone, the fire would consume them.
Penpa Tsering sings Tibetan songs with great joy as he fights to keep his endangered culture alive. Penpa, pictured below, is one of 200,000 Tibetan refugees scattered around the world, and thoughts of his homeland are never far from his mind. Growing up in Tibet was difficult for Penpa - can a seven year old boy ever forget the horror of seeing the naked body of his murdered father?