Posts tagged ‘Waterbury’

December 21st, 2013

Holy Land Cross Installed Above City

by Christopher O'Brien
Photo

A crane operated by Industrial Riggers hoists the cross onto rocky Pine Hill Friday afternoon. View from East Mountain. | Photo: Leslie Wolfgang

 

By Chris O’Brien | The Wolcott Whisper

WATERBURY  –  Steelworkers and welders worked past sunset to ready the unveiling of a 16 ton Christmas gift to the Brass City Friday evening. The landmark Holy Land cross will be formally lit on Sunday evening at 6 pm, although thousands of area residents got a sneak preview as builders briefly tested the LED lights on the cross.

Welders from Pisani Steel work weld a supporting frame onto the cross late Friday

Welders from Pisani Steel work weld a supporting frame onto the cross late Friday

The cross – 16 tons with 5,000 LED’s and made entirely through donated time and money – was welded together on Thursday and hoisted onto an 8 foot thick cement base Friday afternoon. Pisani Steel of Naugatuck donated the steel and welding for the project, estimated at $300,000. This is the fourth cross to stand at the site originally built by John Greco, an attorney who’s dream was to transform Pine Hill into a diorama of the real Bethlehem and Jerusalem to embody the life of Jesus Christ from 2,000 years ago. Hundreds of buildings dotted the hill, made largely from donated and recycled steel and cardboard. Chicken wire, used heaters, cement and former appliances from friends contributed to other areas of the site. Statues from a Worlds Fair, as well as one blessed by the Pope were installed at the site. Despite the humble beginnings and dream of one man, HolyLand became a popular attraction for over 40,000 pilgrims every year. A devout Catholic, Greco enlisted his family in building the religious attraction as an act of devotion. A sign placed on the site read:

“A group of dedicated men present a pictorial story of the life of Christ from the cradle to the Cross—it is our prayerful wish that the project will provide a pleasant way to increase your knowledge of God’s Own Book and bring you closer to Him.”

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December 17th, 2013

Cross Lighting in HolyLand Sunday

by Christopher O'Brien

HolylandCrossThe day has fianlly arrived.

Waterbury’s landmark beacon of hope to thousands in the region will finally be installed this week and its new LED lights will be turned on Sunday evening. Everyone is welcome to attend a dedication mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on South Main Street on Sunday, December 22nd at 4:30 pm. Following the mass, crowds will gather behind the church on South Elm Street at 6:00 pm for the lighting. Afterwards, the public is invited for food and refreshiments at the Maloney Magnet School which is also on South Elm Street.

The organization restoring the Holy Land site is also selling ornaments online and at retail locations around the area.

Online orders for the pewter and  brass ornaments can be placed here.

Vendors selling the ornaments can be found here.

November 13th, 2013

Landmark Cross Removed from HolyLand

by Christopher O'Brien
Pine Hill's bare top is missing the landmark Cross area residents are used to.

Pine Hill’s bare top is missing the landmark Cross area residents are used to. Photo taken from Baldwin St. by Chris O’Brien

By Chris O’Brien

It was Halloween morning when many of the City’s residents drove past I-84 and the mall, glancing upwards towards the familiar landmark seen throughout town as a sign of hope, faith, and comfort.

Mayor O'Leary looks on; photo: Jennifer Rose

Mayor O’Leary looks on; photo: Jennifer Rose

The large cross that beckoned travelers passing through Greater Waterbury or just running an errand or two that Thursday morning was just absent, giving way to a grey overcast sky.

It just wasn’t there.

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August 21st, 2013

Holyland Restoration and Fundraisers Planned

by Christopher O'Brien

HolylandCrossWaterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary and businessman Fritz Blasius are spearheading efforts to purchase Holyland on top of Pine Hill in Waterbury. The once thriving tourist attraction with the landmark lit cross seen for miles along I-84 has deteriorated into shambles by vandals over the past 30 years.

The new owners intend to purchase the property through donations and restore the old and brighter lit cross. The property will be for the community’s use. Volunteers and donations are being solicited for the effort.

A community picnic fundraiser at the Ponte Club will be held this Sunday, August 2tth from 12- 5 pm.

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February 11th, 2013

Youth Jobs: Waterbury Needs Shovellers

by Christopher O'Brien

Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary is calling upon any youth at least 14 years old and older who wants to earn minimum wage on Tuesday. After 34 inches of snow fell on the Brass City, the City’s public works crews still haven’t had a chance to dig out the thirty-odd schools in town.

Any person interested should show up at City Hall at noon on Tuesday dressed warmly and with a shovel. City Hall is at 235 Grand St., downtown Waterbury. 203-574-6712

The notice was posted to the Waterbury Police Athletic League’s Facebook page and reposted on the Mayor’s Facebook page Monday evening.

November 28th, 2012

State’s Insurance Exchange Seeks Input Thursday Night

by Christopher O'Brien

Connecticut’s proposal to have insurance coverage for all residents will have a hearing at Waterbury’s City Hall Thursday night. The forum will be from 5:30-7:00.

The Insurance Exchange will be required to cover each of about a dozen required coverage areas, with regulations within each of these. Any member of the public can pose questions to the panel or give their opinion.

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November 4th, 2012

State Senate, House Candidates Q & A

by Christopher O'Brien

The candidates for State Senate and State Representative attended a forum two weeks ago on moral and ethical issues they may need to vote upon if they are elected to represent Wolcott and Southington next week. The forum was held at St. Pius X Church and was sponsored by a coalition of local churches and the Connecticut Catholic Conference.

Participating in the forum were State Representative candidates Rob Sampson (R, I), and Charles Marsella (D, WF). Also were State Senate candidates Joe Markley (R) and John “Corky” Mazurek (D, WF).

Below are some of the positions outlined by the candidates:

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June 12th, 2012

Will Hospital Merger Limit Emergency Care?

by Christopher O'Brien

By Dan Lovallo

As plans move forward for the merger of St. Mary’s and Waterbury hospitals, under the umbrella of the LHP Hospital group, a new report claims, if the merger is allowed, it could lead to job loss and limit the number of people  treated at the emergency room.  The study was written by Dr. Fred Hyde, a clinical professor of health policy and management at Columbia University and former CEO of Windham Hospital in Willimantic.  He is also part of Fred Hyde & Associates of Ridgefield, CT.   The study was paid in part by the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut.

But leaders of both hospitals labeled the study “one man’s opinion,” and claimed the concerns raised have already been addressed.

What’s your opinion?

Continue reading at Dan Lovallo’s website, or comment below.

 

November 7th, 2011

O’Leary Endorsed By Rep-Am

by LonSeidman

Neil O'Leary

After about a week’s worth of stories attacking Neil O’Leary’s bid for Waterbury mayor, the city’s daily newspaper endorsed the former Wolcott and Waterbury Police Chief. The articles ran the gamut from an open rift with Hispanic leaders, the possibility of election fraud by a campaign worker, and his innermost thoughts on ‘hating’ the chairman of the Board of Education. We were about to write our thoughts explaining how dangerous such minutely unbalanced reporting on inside baseball matters can be in the hands of the media. But now we ask – has Jarjura been fairly treated? And if things are that bad, what about that DePillo guy?

Or is it all about newspaper sales?

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November 5th, 2011

Santopietro: Wait… The Former Waterbury Mayor?

by LonSeidman

Joseph Santopietro... Not the Mayor

Board of Assessment Appeals candidate Joe Santopietro gets alot of looks when people see his name. “Most people think I’m the Waterbury Joe Santopietro,” he tells the Whisper.

Indeed. So did we.

“When I call people while campaigning, they think I’m calling the wrong town,” he tells the Whisper.

THAT Joseph Santopietro was a former Republican mayor of Waterbury from 1986 until 1991.

fmr Waterbury Mayor Joseph Santopietro (source: courant.com)

THIS Joseph Santopietro was just graduating Wolcott High School in 1989. THAT Santopietro was arrested and convicted in a savings and loan scandal in 1992. This Santopietro can’t remember if he had a bank account back then.

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