Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Romeo & Juliet in Library Park

Shakesperience Productions' Second Annual Shakespeare in the Park.
Picnic on the lawn with the timeless tale of love, action, and family feud, Romeo and Juliet. Resident artists join with actors in our community to bring this classic work to life.

A unique sound design, the Waterbury Clock Tower, and a warm summer evening provide the perfect backdrop for our innovative and visceral production. Bring your own picnic or reserve a box dinner from the John Bale Book Company & Café by calling (203) 591-1801.

Library Park, Grand Street, Waterbury
Thursdays - Saturdays, June 22 - July 1st
Free Admission
($5 Suggested Donation)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Minimum Wage

This isn't really local news, but it certainly affects a lot of people in Waterbury. Congress voted against raising the minimum wage in the US. Minimum wage has been stuck at $5.15 an hour for nine years. Nine years. Think about it. The price of gasoline has doubled in the past three years. Over the past nine years, the cost of living overall has increased. Nine years ago, a nice two bedroom apartment in this area could be rented for $500 a month. Now it's more like $800 a month. Electricity costs more. Heating fuel costs more. I think it's safe to assume that costs will continue to rise, yet our Congress thinks it's acceptable to keep people at $5.15 an hour. If you work 40 hours a week at minimum wage, your annual income is just over $10k. Guess what? That's officially poverty! Kind of makes you wonder why anyone would bother getting a legitimate, legal job.

Meanwhile... this same month, the same Congress decided that it was perfectly okay to take their automatic pay raise of $3,300. In the past ten years, their salaries have increased 26% (according to USAToday). They give themselves 26% more, while giving the struggling poor nothing.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Flood Damage

I'm sure there's more to the story than I know about, but as I've driven through Waterbury since June 2, especially in the days immediately following the flooding, it seems like the trouble was with the city's sewer system. The places where I've seen parts of the road washed out look like the wash-outs occured along the drain system. On some streets, it was almost like sinkholes developed every place where the road had a patch (in other words, places where utility crews had opened up the road to do maintenance work). Earlier this spring, before the big June 2 storm, other heavy rain storms were pushing the sewer system past its capacities. I saw a lot of manhole covers with water bubbling out of them. This season's rains didn't seem to be particularly worse than any other year (not counting 1955!), so why was there so much damage?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Make Way

I went to Walmart about a week ago, and took the road entrance that slopes around and down, taking you directly to the Walmart. As I drove down that road, I suddenly saw a mother duck and her babies crossing the road. I stopped my car so I wouldn't risk running them down, and then I watched while the babies tried to get up over the curb. It's a relatively high curb, not a problem for the mother duck, but the little ducklings had a hard time. There were maybe a dozen of them, and for the most part they were able to swarm up over the curb by jumping up on each other's backs. The last duckling, however, had to make it up over the curb on his own. The mother duck and her swarm started walking away, but then she realized that one of her babies wasn't there. The poor little duckling was distraught and panicky. He kept jumping, but couldn't make it up over the curb. At one point, it looked like he was going to run back across the road, where they had come from. I honked my horn, and he went back to the curb next to his mother. The mama duck, realizing what the trouble was, settled down on the grass to watch and wait, while the rest of her babies squirmed around next to her. Finally, after many, many tries, the little duckling managed to scrabble up over the curb and rejoined his family.

If only I'd had my camera with me!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Waterbury's National Guard unit is having a send-off ceremony on Thursday before they leave for Fort Dix and then Iraq. Also on Thursday, there will be assorted ceremonies in Waterbury to commemorate events from the Revolutionary War (someone dressed as George Washington will show up at the Green on horseback and give a speech, wreaths will be laid on the graves of two soldiers buried at East Farms Cemetery, etc.).

Sort of a weird coincidence of events.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Guard Deployment

About 70 National Guard members from Waterbury are about to be deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

A send-off ceremony for the 143rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion is scheduled for Thursday at the Waterbury Armory. The soldiers are expected to be deployed for up to 18 months.

The battalion, which deployed to Bosnia, provides support to combat-ready forces such as personnel administration support and operational and logistical support.

More than one thousand Connecticut National Guard soldiers are deployed in the U.S.-led coalition's war on terrorism.
(from WTNH)

Good luck!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Last day...

Today I move to my new apartment. Earlier in the week, AT&T assured me that my internet connection would work as soon as I moved in. A couple days ago, a different rep from AT&T called to say that DSL service is not guaranteed and that they weren't sure if I would have DSL at all in the new apartment. It's in Waterbury! in the city! not out in the boondocks! Because someone at AT&T filled out the wrong form, or punched the wrong button, or maybe because they're crazy, the earliest I will have my service restarted is on the 14th. So today is my last day with internet access at home. I'm already having withdrawal pains. Yes, I am addicted. Maybe a few days without internet will help me beat the addiction. Probably not, though. I'll just get hooked again as soon as I have DSL again.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Power Outage

Portions of downtown, most noticeably around the intersection of West Main Street and Thomaston Avenue, are without power today. I'm guessing this is why there aren't any copies of the Republican-American available anywhere in town, and why their website is down. Normally I don't buy the paper, but today is the first day I start apartment-hunting, so I was really eager to pick up a copy. Hm. Maybe if I drive up to Torrington I can find one. I think they have a separate press there.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Just before the storm...

Storm clouds rolling in from the right... lightning, thunder, torrential downpour about five minutes after this photo was shot.

First Thursday Music at John Bale

Ahab at John Bale

Black Hole of Calcutta
Black Hole of Calcutta at John  Bale

Bela Kiss
Bela Kiss at John Bale

"Civilized Disobedience"

Outdoor dining & drinking on West Main Street, courtesy of Main Street Waterbury, La Cazuela and Boru's. It started at 5pm. This photo was taken at 7:45, as a thunder storm slowly rolled up the river valley.