Community Bulletin Board
- 'Brass Valley: Made in America' Exhibit
- IMTI Installs Solar Panel System
- Local Senators support Firefighter Fundraiser
- Sacred Heart H.S. Names Top Students
- Summer Exhibits at the Mattatuck Museum
- Connecticut Museum Open House Day~June 8
- Waterbury Health Care Council Awards
- NAMI announces T-Shirt Contest Winner
- Dolce Fundraiser for Cardiology Center, 6/29
- StayWell Receives Patient-Centered Certification
- American Jazz at Museum’s 1st Thursday
- Palace Theater's 2013-14 Broadway Series
The Waterbury Observer
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.
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.
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?
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.
Billy Smolinski Jr. vanished eight years ago and his family's relentless search to find answers has led to his mother Janice, middle, being arrested, and his mother and sister being sued.
Story By John Murray
The Smolinski family is headed to New Haven Superior Court today in what may be the final chapter in a bizarre civil lawsuit filed against them by a named suspect in their son's disappearance. Billy Smolinski Jr, vanished from his life on August 24th, 2004, and when local law enforcement were sluggish to respond to pleas for help, Billy's family and friends launched their own search.