Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Palace Block Fest

Summer Launch '07 -- Sunday, June 3rd, 12-6pm
Music, Food & Brew on East Main Street
Six hours of music in the afternoon, Blues Traveler in the evening at the Palace Theater.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Main Street Waterbury Earns National Recognition

Main Street Waterbury Website

Connecticut Main Street Center

Press Release
Waterbury & Winsted Named National Main Street Communities

(Hartford, CT - May 8, 2007) Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) announced that Waterbury and Winsted have been named 2007 National Main Street Communities by the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street Center. Friends of Main Street, Winsted and Main Street Waterbury, both nonprofit organizations, have been recognized for outstanding accomplishments toward the goal of revitalizing their historic downtowns.

National Main Street Program Accreditation is a partnership between Connecticut Main Street Center and the National Trust's Main Street Center to establish standards of performance for local Main Street programs and provides accreditation to those that meet the standards. The National Accreditation designation process evaluates established commercial district revitalization programs according to 10 performance standards. These standards provide benchmarks and guidelines on how Main Street organizations should be functioning and serve as incentives for improvement.

Connecticut Main Street Center

Connecticut Main Street Center, a statewide nonprofit corporation funded by The Connecticut Light and Power Company and the State of Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development, is dedicated to economic and community development within the context of historic preservation. CMSC is committed to bringing Connecticut's commercial districts back to life socially and economically by providing education and training, resources and technical assistance, and advocacy.

Since the Connecticut Main Street program began in 1995, participating communities have generated over $487 million in public and private reinvestment in their downtowns. Over the same time, 340 net new businesses have opened and 1,886 net new jobs have been created. For every $1 spent on a local Main Street program, $65.93 has been reinvested in Connecticut Main Street downtowns, making the Main Street initiative one of the most successful economic development programs in the country.
Website: http://www.ctmainstreet.org

Connecticut Main Street Center
Kimberley Parsons-Whitaker
Associate Director
email: kim@ctmainstreet.org
phone: 860-280-2556

May is National Preservation Month!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Springtime Blooms

Waterbury is beautiful this time of year, with flowers and new greens everywhere. Lots of sunshine, blue skies, low humidity and temps in the 70s. For about two weeks now, I've been intending to walk or ride my bicycle through the city to get photographs of some of the more beautiful sites. Unfortunately, it looks like I won't have that kind of free time for another couple of weeks, by which point the flowers will be mostly gone.

Today, in lieu of a good walk/ride, I snapped a few photos from my car while running errands.

A flowering tree alongside the post office. All the cars spoil the view--the white minivan pulled in just before I took the photo, making the shot much less appealing than it was before.

Tulips on Grand Street. I like them, but I really wish they had chosen a different color combination. Red and yellow remind me of McDonald's. McTulips!

More McTulips (although the white tulips do help diminish the McEffect), and many dandelions, in front of the Victory House at Hamilton Park. The Victory House was positioned on the Green during WWII and was used for Bond Rallies; it served a similar purpose during WWI, when it was the Liberty House. I forget which war the cannon is from. If I had been walking instead of driving, I could have looked to see what the signage says.

The Courtyard Marriott does a nice job with their landscaping. A much better job than their neighbor across the street, Webster Bank, does. Webster has good community spirit, but they really need to get a new landscaper.

A gorgeous flowering tree near the Tower Grill on Freight Street.

Friday, May 04, 2007

It's About Time!

One of my biggest complaints about Waterbury has been the total lack of enforcement of driving regulations. When driving past Fulton Park, for example, I always keep to the speed limit because there are so many kids crossing the road. But whenever I keep to the speed limit in Waterbury, I end up with a driver behind me who becomes completely enraged and usually decides to pass me illegally and then go racing up the road at twice the speed limit. There also seems to be a tendency for Waterbury drivers to completely ignore stop signs and red lights.

The Waterbury police department has finally decided to crack down on speeders. According to today's paper, police have stopped 950 vehicles, issued 550 tickets and 250 verbal warnings. It also suggests that they are going to start going after the excessively loud cars (when I lived over on Willow Street, there was one car that drove by frequently that had speakers so loud they made everything rattle).

The downside to this police effort is that they will stop on Nov. 1st and then conduct a study to see if there were fewer crashes. Ugh. First off, I'd say most crashes in Waterbury are never reported. Second, in the past few years there have been a couple of rare fatal accidents that might never have happened if the drivers hadn't been speeding. Third, it's not just about crashes. There's a very serious quality of life issue involved. There are a lot of times when I don't feel safe walking in Waterbury, because I'm worried about getting run over by reckless drivers. Heck, I've had drivers yell at me for riding my bicycle on the side of the road, but that's the only legal place for me to ride.

I sincerely hope they decide to keep up the effort permanently.

Also, you can call the police superintendent's office at (203) 574-6906 to request traffic enforcement in your neighborhood.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Roz Russell

One of Waterbury's native celebrities is Rosalind Russell (1907-1976), who grew up on Willow Street and later went on to star in great movies including His Girl Friday (with Cary Grant) and Auntie Mame. Her last visit to Waterbury, for the premiere of her film The Girl Rush, ended with the catastrophic flood of 1955.

The Silas Bronson Library will be hosting a celebration of her 100th birthday on Monday, June 4 at 7pm. Mayor Jarjura will make a proclamation about "Rosalind Russell Day"; there will be a book talk & signing by Bernard F. Dick, author of recent publication Forever Mame: The Life of Rosalind Russell; and birthday cake.