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Hillside's famous newspaper now online

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Cyberhood News Archives

Please be patient with us, we have only been online since January, 1999
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02/12/08 11:39:23 AM

Millionaire Game Winner
Friday the 13th proved to be a lucky day for New York City Resident Edward Bergin, as he reportedly became the first known winner of Hillside's online Millionaire game.
Mr. Bergin admitted to Hillside's webmaster that some of the questions were pretty tough and that he had to make a total guess on the million dollar question itself. He knew he guessed right as the balloons floated up the screen and the music played on.
Ed Bergin spent many years as a Hillside resident, and is the son of Patrick Bergin of Buckingham Street.  Ed and his wife Shirley now reside in Manhattan.
Mr. Bergin was pleasantly surprised to find his name included prominently as a possible answer to one of the questions, and is not telling anyone if he is the correct answer or not.
The Hillside Millionaire game does not generate prizes, but the Hillside Website awarded Edward one of the much talked about "Not Just for Hookers ... Anymore" T-Shirts that the website is selling "for fun and for funds".
Test your knowledge ... Play the Game Here!

Community Policing Tough on Blight

3-6-02  Tim Bachand has been the neighborhood officer for almost two years now, and addressed the issues of the neighborhood at the March 5 meeting of this Association.
In February, this area had 4 drug related arrests, 12 citations for DMV violations, 12 arrests for blighted properties and 16 abandoned vehicles towed.
He fielded resident complaints of parking problems on Kellogg Street, and  other area complaints of parking on sidewalks, ignoring 30 min and 1 hr posted parking areas, loud noise (music) and horns.
Later on in the meeting, the Chief of Police, Ed Flaherty, disclosed that the problem of towing abandoned vehicles from private property has just been resolved, so these vehicles may also now be ordered removed by our local officers starting immediately.



Former Hillside resident and actor Peter Judd will present "Peter's View" of his recollections of Hillside in a June 6th presentation by the Hillside Association at the Benedict-Miller house on Hillside Avenue.
Mr. Judd, a resident of NYC is a regular visitor to the Mattatuck Museum and avid historian.
A Neighborhood walking tour will be conducted by the Mattatuck Museum before the presentation at 5:30 and immediately after at 7:30.
 Mr Judd will present from 6:30 to 7:30.
Refreshments will also follow.

JUNE 6, 2002
5:30 - TOUR
6:30 - Mr. JUDD
7:30ish - TOUR

for full story and press release


APRIL 20 - 9AM
The traditional Hillside clean-up is scheduled for Saturday, April 20th at 9am-ish weather permitting.
Volunteers will be divided into two groups, one departing from the corner of Cliff and Hillside and the other from the Prospect Street Gate of the Rose Hill Mansion.
Volunteers should bring their own gloves.  Trash bags will be supplied.  Residents will wander (with direction) throughout the Historic District collecting light and "unoffensive"  trash.
It is a well known fact that we do not work or play in the rain and there is no rain date.  If it is raining ... stay home :)
If you wish to join us, send us an email and we will contact you ... or ... just show up at 9 am Saturday April 20th.
That is all!


Newly elected Mayor Michael J. Jarjura will focus on three topics as he addresses the Hillside group on March 5 at the UConn Library.
The transition of the UConn campus will be the primary issue as it impacts Hillside and the properties being leased to the rabbinical school. Campus issues center on grounds and buildings maintenance, historic preservation, and campus access by Hillside and the Waterbury public.
Community policing and Police vehicles as well as Litter and Trash issues will be the other two topics of presentation.
The event is opened to all Hillside Residents.
Neighborhood meeting begins at 6:30 and the Mayor is on at 7PM.


By Brenda Marks
© 2001 Republican-American
Jamison C. Bazinet / Republican-American
WATERBURY  11-03-01— Taxpayers won't be footing the bill to move a 120-year-old Queen Anne-style Victorian house on East Main Street to make room for the $112 million downtown redevelopment project.
Instead, the 188 East Main St. building, which is owned by the Greater Waterbury Board of Realtors, will be bought and demolished for an undetermined amount of money.
(See full Republican-American reprint below)

Eatin' & Talkin'
and Action Planning Meeting

(Waterbury-HH, Oct. 20, 2001 6:40 PM)
Judy Cowan of Cowan Consulting will facilitate the special Nov. 8th meeting at Driggs School Gym which will begin at 5:30 sharp with a Pot luck Supper.
The planning meeting will begin at 6PM sharp and last not later than 8PM.
Ms. Cowan is being paid with a grant from Neighborhood Housing.
The planning will focus on improving the neighborhood in the areas of Public Safety, Health and Housing as outlined in the Hillside NRZ.
Meeting is open to all neighborhood residents, friends and relatives and strangers :)
Bring a dish ready to serve with utensils (no kitchen).  Cider and paper goods provided.
This will hopefully recharge the group and centralize focus for the coming year or two.
For additional information call Marianne at 757-9901 or Shirley at 574-1441 or email us: Hillside@Waterbury.com

Waterbury historic house to be razed
Structure coming down to allow for construction of magnet school
Saturday, November 03, 2001
By Brenda Marks
© 2001 Republican-American
Jamison C. Bazinet / Republican-American

WATERBURY — Taxpayers won't be footing the bill to move a 120-year-old Queen Anne-style Victorian house on East Main Street to make room for the $112 million downtown redevelopment project.
Instead, the 188 East Main St. building, which is owned by the Greater Waterbury Board of Realtors, will be bought and demolished for an undetermined amount of money.
The Naugatuck Valley Development Corp. had proposed spending $800,000 to move the house and pay for related expenses because the house is in Waterbury's historic district, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The three-story structure is known as the Edward McDonald House and was once used as a doctor's office by Arthur F. McDonald, according to records at the Silas Bronson Library. It was also a Spanish-American restaurant at one time.
The house, which was recently assessed for revaluation at $117,880, will come down to make way for a new arts magnet school being built along East Main Street near the Palace theater.
The project's price tag was a sticking point for the NVDC.
"It just gets to the point where it's out of control," said Harold Smith, an NVDC board member. "I believe in historical preservation, but not at tremendous cost to taxpayers when the benefit is negligible. That building could be replaced at less than what it would have cost to move it."
The Connecticut Historical Commission agreed to allow the realty group's building to be torn down because it agreed "there is no feasible and prudent alternative to demolition." It had been proposed that it be moved a half-mile to a vacant lot at 195 North Main St.
The commission had been talking with the NVDC, the city's economic development agency, and the state Department of Economic and Community Development, in an effort to save the building.
"Due to the complexities, which have arisen related to the proposed move of the structure and its critical location within the project boundaries, this office concurs with the department that under the present circumstances there is no feasible and prudent alternative to demolition," John W. Shannahan, commission director and state historic preservation officer, said in a letter this week to Peter Simmons of the DECD.
Whether the house is moved, or bought and demolished, the budget for the project stands at about $800,000, according to Michael O'Connor, NVDC executive director. That would include money to either buy the lot the house sits on, the price of moving it and relocating the board twice, or buy the lot and the house and demolish it while relocating the board.
The board already moved out of the house. It is in temporary space at 95 Scovill St. in the Croft Commons and will relocate to a permanent home with the help of state tax funds.
"We're not happy about it because we're up in the air," said Stephen Briotti, chairman of the realty board's facilities advisory committee. "We liked our building. It gave us an identity. Problem is, we're in limbo right now. It's too bad we didn't know this a year ago."
The board, which is still paying a mortgage on the 3,700-square-foot house, wants to stay downtown because it has been downtown for 85 years, he said.
"They should have done their homework ahead of time," Briotti said. "Parking is expensive. Right now St. Mary's Hospital parking is the only game in town for that area."
The issue of what to do with the house arose at an NVDC executive committee meeting Friday. The nonprofit agency is overseeing the downtown revitalization, which is being paid for mostly with funds from the DECD. The project includes a renovated Palace theater and a new University of Connecticut branch, which is slated to be built across the street from the arts magnet middle and high school.
The NVDC will now have to negotiate a price to buy the house from the board. After it buys the building, it will have to get proper permits to knock it down, said Daniel Sahl, NVDC deputy director.
It was unclear Friday exactly why it would have cost $800,000 for the entire project. According to John Nelson, owner of 1-800-LIFTERS Inc., a Milford-based house-moving company, it would cost between $60,000 to $80,000 to jack up and move a house of similar size. "That's site unseen," he said Friday.
Susan Chandler, historical architect with the commission, said she's still hoping the building could be saved, but realizes the larger issue is the overall good of the downtown revitalization.
"At the moment, it doesn't look like there are any other options, but until it's down there is always a last-minute chance," Chandler said. "It's obviously a tremendous loss, but not every historic building can be saved."

Winter's chill blown away by coats, kindness
Teacher's letter, store program put coats, smiles on students
Thursday, November 15, 2001
By Randal Edgar
© 2001 Republican-American

WATERBURY — They stood side by side, shopping bags in their hands and smiles on their faces. 
Together, on their teacher's signal, they shouted two words: Thank you.
For employees of Charming Shoppes Inc., lined up on the other side of the Driggs Elementary School gymnasium, the looks on the students' faces were more than enough.
In each student's bag were a hat, mittens, umbrella, school supplies and a basic item some were getting for the first time: a new winter coat.
"They just gave it to me," said third-grader Calvin Dunbar, whose new coat was red — his favorite color. Never mind that it fit properly and had a hood — unlike his old coat.
Charming Shoppes was drawn to Driggs by a teacher's essay, one of nearly 3,000 the company received in its annual Keeping Kids Warm contest. Submitted by special education teacher Brenda Falcone, the 108-word essay described the school's efforts to provide hats, mittens and classroom supplies to its 600 students, with help from local companies. It also told the contest judges that the one thing Driggs hasn't been able to provide for its students — most of whom walk to school — is winter coats.
"These children often have to go without," Falcone said. "A lot of them have never had a new coat."
The essay was strong enough to make Driggs one of three winners nationwide. The others were in Indianapolis, Ind. and Rochester, N.Y.
To receive their new coats, Driggs students visited the gymnasium one class at a time Wednesday, handing copies of their already-submitted order forms to some two dozen Charming Shoppes employees, who came from the company's corporate office in Pennsylvania and stores throughout New England. The company also brought 200 extra coats, for cases in which the ordered size wasn't the right fit.
Linda Edwards, director of the Keeping Kids Warm program, said Charming Shoppes purchases the coats from vendors with money that vendors donate for the program. She estimated the value of the coats given away at Driggs to be at least $30,000.
Edwards said the Keeping Kids Warm program tries to help schools like Driggs, where nearly nine out of 10 students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
"You have to go where the need is greatest," she said.
The need at Driggs was such that two people submitted entries for the school — Falcone, and Janet Licese-Ciarleglio, coordinator of the Driggs school health center. Both learned of the contest through comedian Rosie O'Donnell's magazine, Rosie.
Falcone, in her ninth year at Driggs, said she wants to stay there until she retires some day.
"The children here really need adults who care for them, and they appreciate what you do for them," she said. "When you give them hats and mittens each year, it's like you're giving them gold."




for Driggs School Kids

(Waterbury-, Sept. 24, 2001 8:45 PM)
Waterbury's poorest school displays the most teacher enthusiasm, as proven this week when the school beat out  over 3000 national entries and won new winter coats for each of its 598 students.
 For many years, Special Ed teacher, Brenda Falcone, has led the effort to provide gloves, mittens and hats to those kids who needed them in the winter months.  This year she submitted an entry to the "Charming Shoppes' Keeping Kids Warm Contest".  
Rosie O'Donnell announced the three national winners on her TV show today, Oct. 24th. and Driggs School was indeed one of them.
Hillside salutes the dedication and innovation of the staff at Driggs school, especially Brenda Falcone for her continuous efforts throughout the years.
Driggs School is located on Woodlawn Terrace in the Hillside Historic District.
See Republican-American Article  Below


Neighborhood Officer Tough on
Blight & Drugs


Tim Bachand has been the neighborhood officer for over a year now, and has certainly addressed the issues of the neighborhood.
He has worked with Willow-Plaza's Ed Palermo in clearing the streets of prostitutes and "johns", aggressively attacked the abandoned car issue, towing over 100 of them,  and is "in your face" if you are guilty of Blight related issues affecting the quality of life for Hillside residents.
Most recently, he has been working various nights with the task force that roams the city hot spots, and numerous arrests for drugs have been made on Willow and Hillside and Willow and Woodlawn.
He has requested of his department to do a slight shift rotation to work during the changing of the shifts (between 3:00 and 4:00) to stop the small flurry of prostitute activities that is sporadically arising.
Officer Bachand has made a difference ... his way!



Oct.  21st
@ 12 Noon
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Friends of Fulton Park will hold a clean-up on Sunday, October 21, 2001 at 12 noon.  Those interested in a fall stroll through the scenic park, designed by Frederick Olmstead, can assemble at the stone bridge opposite the 7-11 on Cooke Street at noon.
Please bring a trash bag, and gloves if you need them. We have just begun as a group and have no funds yet for supplies.
If you are interested in joining, or attending our next meeting, call Marie Hayes 573-1061 or Nancy Cebik 597-9403 or watch for the announcement in Robin Adam's column in the Republican -American.


A Summer Delight
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Forty plus neighbors and friends relaxed in a warm sun during the annual Hillside Picnic hosted by House on the Hill Bed and Breakfast in the Hillside Historic District.
Elected officials included Lisa Mason, Ron Napoli and John Sarlo who maintained a vigorous discussion about the city, while a visiting Warner Bros. Producer from California and her family held court at the other end of the patio area. Between the two groups residents mingled and engaged in leisurely chat and great food.
The Pot Luck affair featured Barbeque beef and pork, and filled sixteen feet of table space.  Needless to say, there was plenty for all, and enough leftovers to ensure no neighbor would have to cook for a week.
Table settings were beige tablecloths and white flower centerpieces.  Reds, Whites and Blues carried out the balance of the adornments.
... and of course there were Mrs. Reynolds secret family recipe baked beans, even though she and the Dr. were unable to attend.

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Spring Planting

According to the funding request for park improvements, another 50 rose bushes are scheduled for planting this spring. 
Drainage in the center fountain area continues to be non-existent and much of the rest of the north area is mostly sand fill. The Park certainly creates horticultural challenges.
The lower bank on Grove Street is being overrun with a bamboo like weed that defies elimination, but Dave is working with the UConn extension service to establish a way to best chemically eliminate the nuisance so plantings in this area can continue in years to come.
The Earth Day cleanup of the park has been cancelled and the activities will do service elsewhere in the neighborhood.

April 28th
Litter and light trash pick-up on the Hillside streets was the order of the day On April 28th as the neighborhood part of the Earth Week functions.
All residents were urged to pick-up trash in front of their houses and organized groups  attempted to cover the entire Historic District that day.
The annual Hayden Park clean-up originally planned for that day was postponed so all efforts and resources could be devoted to sprucing the neighborhood up for the meeting of the Ct. Trust for Historic Preservation at the Benedict Miller House on May 18th.A great job was done by all and the "hood" looked pretty good for the grand tours on May 18th.
Special thanks to Stepping Stone and Community solutions for their "volunteers".

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For a change of pace, the monthly Hillside meeting was moved from the Hillside Campus to local establishment, Drescher's Restaurant.
A private area was provided in the atrium and dinners and drinks proceeded throughout both executive Board and Regular meetings.
Food was good, service was good, atmosphere was good.
Nice change of pace, and a great reminder of the great little gems that rest at the very borders of our Historic District.

Community Court Not
for Prostitutes!
In a recent move by some lawmakers and citizens, inclusion of Prostitution as a crime eligible for Community Court has been proposed.
As Prostitution is not simply a nuisance crime, Hillside has taken the stand that this crime is serious and ultimately life threatening.
Over the years, Hillside has worked with the State Prosecutor to maximize the Bail Bonds to an amount requiring a full $499 be paid for release, and the group has worked with the courts in establishing that Hillside residents are true victims of the crime.  In several court cases, Hillside has been awarded damages to be paid by the "johns" arrested for soliciting the women.
Hillside is not opposed to genuine Alternative Incarceration for these women to deal with drug and psychological problems, but reduction of Prostitution to Community Court status is unacceptable.
Hillside is spreading the word that prostitutes arrested for disorderly or other negligent offenses can be referred to community court, but when specifically charged with Prostitution, they are to be tried with the full power of the system.
Hillside will be represented on April 11 in Superior Court to protect the interests of the residents at the public hearing before a judge for new crime categories to be added to Community Court.



Haggis, Pipes and Dancing 
Highlight Burns Night 

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Scotland's National Poet
Burns night at House on the Hill Bed and Breakfast was held Saturday, January 20, 2001 celebrating the birthday of Scotland's National Poet, Robert Burns.
The event included a traditional Scottish dinner, complete with haggis, a favorite of the poet, as well as traditional Scottish bagpipes and Scottish dancers.
The Piping in of the Haggis was performed by Jeff Miller of Bethlehem, Ct.( Pipe Major for Litchfield Hills Pipe and Drum Corps).
Opening Toast and Salute to the Haggis was executed by local Scotsman Peter Hanley.
Later in the evening following the meal was more piping and traditional scottish dancing.
This was the first in the 2001 concert series at House on the Hill, 92 Woodlawn Terrace, Waterbury, Connecticut.
Call Marianne at (203) 757-9901 for information on future programs.
Another great Historic Hillside Happening!

December 8, 2000 
The mansion was indeed beautiful with fires roaring in the massive 19th century fireplaces, and the catering by Aventuras quite delicious.
Chet and Lisa have done a remarkable job of restoring one of the most lavish mansions in Waterbury and must be commended for sharing it with the neighbors. They have taken a neglected building and turned it into a warm and friendly home ... a very large warm and friendly home!  Because of their efforts and generosity, this years Christmas Party was certainly the most splendid ever!
The trolley had had been replaced by a school bus resulting from mechanical problems, but who cared.
On piled 50 or so of the party goers and off we went "a-carroling"!
Our most appreciated stop was definitely the Rose Hill AIC Center for teenage girls.  Though separated by a 10 foot fence, we sang together and shared in the holiday spirit.  Our folks
were touched, and the kids seemed to have a great time ... for them it was something different indeed.

As the Hillside Party was going on, several mischievous elves deposited several 3 foot high nativity figures on the entrance porch of House on the Hill, a neighborhood Bed and Breakfast.  The figures of Mary, Joseph, a large cow and little lamb rested comfortably in front of a sign that stated "No Room At The Inn!
While the rest of the neighborhood was finishing its Christmas Shopping, Hillside's own Santa paid a visit to the Stepping Stone program at Rose Hill and spent over an hour with 14 of the young residents passing out gifts and sharing the frivolity of the season.  Interesting that Rebecca (the director) suggested Santa show up AFTER dinner!

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Dave Walford to be Hillside Person of the Year
Hillside Vice President, Dave Walford has been unanimously selected to receive his honors at this years Neighborhood Council Awards Dinner.
Dave is a Charter Member of the Hillside Association and has served in countless positions and on numerous committees in almost to two decades of neighborhood involvement. He has been Vice President of the group for several years, and is seeking re-election in October.
"David deserves this award", states President Eleanor Herbst , "He has done a yeoman's share of the work that needs to be done daily to get projects completed".  "He knows the people to contact in the city departments. He is persistent, gets on the phone and gets things done."  "We want him to know how much we appreciate his hard work."
In addition to his duties as VP, Dave has coordinated the majority of neighborhood clean-ups over the past several years, coordinated the improvements in Hayden Park, secured abandoned buildings, conducted fact finding for zoning issues, persistently continued the NRZ process towards the Plan's completion, and above all, has always been a neighbor willing to serve and help.
Dave Walford, Hillside's Person of the Year!

State Representatives
Jeff Berger WINS easily over Awwad
Tom Conway Triumphs over Gimelli
Other winners: Beamon, Damelio, 

Senate Results
Hartley Defeats McDonald
Soma Defeats Rinaldi
Deluca wins by landslide
U.S  Senate
Maloney eases past Neilson
Lieberman crushes Giordano 2:1
Alderman by District
NO 10,732   Yes 10,194
Other State Results from ABC


NRZIssues2.gif (1765 bytes).

Issues of Lower Willow
Remain Top Hillside Priorities in Y2K

466 West Main Street
466 West Main Street has gone from an unknown building to one of great notoriety in y2k for Hillside residents as a local developer has attempted to locate some 30 vouchered Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units in the structure.
The Planners working on the Lower Willow Street Initiative have formally opposed the project in writing and Hillside residents have formally opposed the project.
What now amazes everyone is how HUD, who funds the low income housing units, has allowed these housing vouchers have been out there with the developer for 10 years and never been used.
When looking at Waterbury, a glut of SRO units created in the 80's currently exists and remains vacant.
Within a block of the location of 466 West Main Street, well over 100 SRO's are located already within a one block proximity of the intersection of Willow and West Main Streets.
This same developer attempted to slide in a similar project last year on the corner of Willow and Hillside and was defeated.

The developer for 466 West Main Street withdrew his proposal from the Board of Aldermen as all funding was not in place, a requirement for approval by the Aldermen.
Be watchful as the project could resurface any time.
Congressman James Maloney has contacted Ray  Jordan's office (HUD) concerning this matter and now HUD is questioning the project.
Our thanks to the Waterbury Aldermen and Jim Maloney for standing up for Waterbury.

NOW Building - Lower Willow Street
A second NRZ issue concerning the neighborhood is the proposed relocation of the Adult Education machine Training Shop to the vacant car dealership building (owned by NOW, Inc) at the bottom of Willow Street. (picture to follow - maybe) Building is the red brick two story 20's style structure with red boards over windows 2nd building on the left as you start up Willow from West Main.
Tom Ferrare had toured the current Adult ED Machine Training site and reported it efficient, neat and clean, but other than the fact that Adult Ed plans to tear down the Shores Auto Parts building behind and make parking, little else was known of the plans.   Shep Wild raised the key issue from a visual perspective asking what the exterior planning was regarding the Willow Street facade, a critical issue with respect to the Lower Willow Street Revitalization Program.
Marianne Vandenburg questioned how the use conformed with the work being done on the Lower Willow Street initiative plan.
These were among the issues to be returned to Adelle at Neighborhood Housing via Tom.
NOW, Inc, who received the building as a gift, reportedly was asking $250,000 for the building some years ago.   What no one has asked is, "How much will Adult Ed be paying out of taxpayer dollars to buy and renovate this structure?"


Someone in the City has ... 

Editorial comment by JR

Hillside Avenue (between Pine and Prospect) used to be a wide stretch of tree lined street with facets of Victorian architecture peeking from between the foliage.  Someone in the City decided that a hideous set of yellow traffic lines down the middle of the road would be a neighborhood improvement?
Now you  look down Hillside Avenue and it looks more like a commercial  thoroughfare ... lined with trees and as your eye follows the bright yellow line, you never notice the houses :(
Nice going Waterbury leaders!


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Two years worth of plantings in an area of Hayden Park designated as the Lilac Memorial Garden have been completely destroyed either by accident from unwatched children or intentionally by persons old enough to know better.
All recent lilac plantings have been trampled, stripped of all foliage and ripped apart to the base.
Hillside leaders were devastated to learn of the damage on September 30, and must now reconsider future plans for the isolated park.

Hayden Park
A recent letter to the parks Director, Sam Leisring from Hillside details work yet to be completed at hayden park, asking that the following select projects be completed in time for the Lilac Festival in May.
The water line has been completed by the Water Department, and now awaits the Parks Department to install the drinking fountain and hose attachments so the system can be activated.
Electrical lines have been routed through the conduits under the park to two of the lamp posts, and needs only to have outlets installed for activation.
The three new trash containers purchased through the trust need yet to be installed within the park grounds,  and that the repairs needed for the past two years be made to the roof of the utility shed.
Paving of the drive and walks will be completed sometime early this summer.

Click Here for Hayden Park on the Web.

Zoning Issues Concern Neighbors
Dormitory and d.o.c. center
In the heart of Hillside, Community solutions opened a residential AIC facility for women and Hillside has worked well over the past couple of years with the women population on cleanups and the like.  The original proposal was for some 20 or so women and children and maybe twice that size in coming years.  No problem with the plan so far, but ...
In a connecting building of the old convalescent home, the same center opened a male Dept. of Corrections program, more in the residential nature where the fellows would work days and return at night.  We now have reports that the male population is over 40 and neighborhood leaders will be asking city officials to check it out to see if all is in compliance with zoning and fire regulations.  Will update!

On the corner of Pine and Buckingham is the old Monagan homestead, more recently the Willis family.  Sold to parties involved in the new Jewish school reportedly as a great home for the new rabbi of the school.
Neighbors happened upon more than 30 beds being brought in and other neighbors learned it was being used as a dormitory.
on Wednesday,  Sept 6th, City zoning officer inspected and found 36 mattresses on the floors to serve as dormitory bedding and told them to remove the bedding, there was a zoning violation.  Fire Marshall inspected a couple of hours later and issued the same order as it was a fire code violation.  Both municipal officers were told to speak with their attorney.
On Friday, Sept 8th, a truckload of dressers arrived, indication the group intended to take no action to remediate the problem.
Hillside remains committed to zoning policies that will maintain current listed properties and reduce neighborhood density as outlined in the Hillside NRZ Plan.

New Neighborhood Officer

Tim Bachand has been on the job for about a month now as the new Hillside Neighborhood Officer, and has made a significant difference in the quality of life in the area.
Officer Bachand prefers to patrol by bike and has been busy moving abandoned vehicles, having vacant buildings secured and keeps the "undesirables" on the move, generally out of the area!
Tim is an eight year veteran of the force, and has a good understanding of the city and its neighborhoods, both presently and historically.  He should be a great asset to the area, and we welcome him to "The Hood".
Officer Bachand has been trying to make contact with residents and Association officers and if you want to meet him personally, either come to the September Meeting or send us an email.


Return to grandeur

Chase mansion being restored for adolescent girls

Tuesday,April 04, 2000

By Peg Ford Pudlinski
© 2000 Republican-American


For nearly 100 years, the future of the Chase industrial family came to maturity at Rose Hill, the family home on Prospect Street.
Today, futures will continue to be molded there as the grand estate becomes a residential educational center for adolescent girls. By May, Northeastern Family Institute, a non-profit human services agency, hopes to open its doors and once again fill the home with vision and hope.
Built in 1852 for William H. Scovill by architect Henry Austin, the magnificent residence was also the home of Joseph Welton. It was, however, the Chases' near 100 year reign there that dominates its history.
Referred to as "Cottage Architecture," the masonry home has elements classic to the Newport, R.I., "cottages" of the golden era. Grand entrances, sweeping porches, high ceilings, marble baths and intricate carved and pierced crown work are just a few of its details. There is a feeling of empowerment and success in the rooms, an image undoubtedly left behind by the last Chase resident — Lucia Chase Ewing. "Miss Chase," as she was referred to throughout her life, made Rose Hill a mecca for the arts. Already a wealthy woman, she compounded her fortune when she married Thomas Ewing Jr., a carpeting scion, in 1928 when she was only 19 years old.
Unfortunately, he died only five years later at the age of 35 after a bout of pneumonia, leaving her with two young sons. With one love lost, she threw herself into her second love — ballet. For years, she studied with the renown Mikhail Mordkin, and in 1940, founded the American Ballet Theatre. She remained artistic director and primary benefactor for 30 years. Reportedly, it was her personal fortune and infusion of $3 million to $5 million that kept it operating through the lean years. Her work to bring ballet to American audiences in a manner they would enjoy ultimately earned her New York City's highest cultural award, the Handel Medallion. That was to be followed by the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, in 1980, recognizing her powerful influence on ballet in America.
Although her work with the American
Ballet Theatre frequently kept her in her 22-room Park Avenue duplex in New York, she retained Rose Hill for all family gatherings. An annual Christmas reunion would find 60 to 100 relatives in attendance. t was only after her death in January 1986 that the New York property, along with a large family compound of 138 acres and four summer homes in Rhode Island and Rose Hill in Waterbury, were sold.
Fortunately, no significant structural changes took place during the years that the house served as office space. Consequently, when Northeastern Family Institute representatives saw it about a year and a half ago, they immediately recognized its potential.
"It was a beautiful location, with access to the people and services of the community," said Marsha Meade, director of facility services.
Working with Michael Whitmore Architects of Cambridge, Mass., and associate architect Clifford Cooper of Litchfield, Northeast Family Institute is making sure the fabulous details of the house will remain intact.
Paul Mattson of F.B. Mattson, general contractors for the job, has worked on a number of historical projects and understands the value of early craftsmanship.
Working around such elements during a major renovation can present challenges, but Mattson meets each challenge with a confident smile.
Plywood shelters cover all the highly detailed mantels and decorative doorways while they work. A two-story stained glass window detailed with roses that is the hallmark of the house is currently invisible beneath heavy protection.
"It's an incredible window and will be absolutely beautiful when the project is complete," Mattson said.
"The question is how to recreate the original fabric of the house," Cooper said.
"The work has to fit the needs of the year 2000 without sacrificing those details, yet still being fully up to code," Mattson said. Some of the code requirements include sprinklers, mechanical upgrades, fire alarms and bath and kitchen modifications.
Meade is confident that the finished product will distract the eye away from the modern necessities. "We will go back to the original colors," she explained, "as Mike Peters, our project manager has been salvaging old wallpapers he comes across."
"We don't usually do renovations this size, but the structural condition was phenomenal," she said. "We've also been working closely with the Hillside Neighborhood Association and have members on our advisory board. We don't want anyone to feel this is an intrusive project."
On the contrary, with plans to restore the grounds as well, and to return to the original exterior color, Rose Hill will once again provide a powerful foundation for futures.

Hillside's most elegant and historic mansion has reopened its doors after months of extensive rehabilitation, and now serves as a residential facility for youthful offenders between the ages of 12 and 16.
All "residents" are referred from Long Lane School and are supervised constantly 24 hours daily, including 15 minute intervals at night.
The program is funded by the State Department of Children and Families (DCF).
The program of the facility is named "Stepping Stone" and is an operation of North American Family Institute, Inc.
"Stepping Stone" staff, particularly Amy and Rebecca have joined with Hillside and promoted community involvement since the programs initiation and are seeking Board Members and volunteers from throughout the city to totally blend the operation into the community.
Persons interested in helping should call Rebecca Stirk, program director at 596-1177.
We must note and commend this group for extensive efforts and expense in preserving the architectural heritage of this dwelling both inside and out.
All preliminary indications reveal "Stepping Stone" should be a great Hillside neighbor!

Go to Related Stories

For troubled girls, a Waterbury home

GIRLS: Troubled teens heading to Waterbury facility

Tuesday, June 22, 1999

By Robyn Adams
© 1999 Republican-American

WATERBURY — In the fall, a miniature version of Long Lane School will open in Waterbury.
Troubled girls who are paroled from Long Lane will live in a 22-bed unit in the Rose Hill mansion in the historic Hillside District.
Unlike Long Lane, however, the Waterbury facility, called Stepping Stone, will not be run by the state but by North American Family Institute Inc. of Massachusetts. The institute operates programs for juvenile delinquents in 12 states, including three in Connecticut, said Gayle Brooks, a juvenile justice planning specialist for the state Department of Children and Families.
The state will pay the institute $1.5 million to run Stepping Stone. It will send weekly reports to DCF.
"The funding includes a special education program at the site because they will be in a secure setting and cannot leave the premises," Brooks said. "When they come to Long Lane, we get them into a routine and before they we are ready to move them into community programs specifically designed for them."
The girls' stay at Stepping Stone will depend on their progress. Typically, they will be in the program for no longer than nine months, she said.
The state has tried to open similar facilities elsewhere, but so far, Waterbury is the only city receptive to the idea, said Rudolph Brooks, bureau chief for Juvenile Justice at the state Department of Children and Families. State officials still are seeking small sites around Connecticut to house troubled boys and girls, saying the plan is the only way to take the burden off of Long Lane to make it a more efficient facility and the best way to help youth.
Katharine "Kay" Wyrick, youth coordinator for the Pride Cultural Center, is encouraged by the idea. Wyrick ran a similar 10-bed home for girls in the mid-1970s, called Pride House Group Home, out of her home. She bought the old car barn from Scovill Manufacturing Co. on Caroline Street and converted it into office and living space to accommodate troubled girls referred to Pride House by the state.
"We had seven bathrooms, which came in handy when the girls got ready for school," Wyrick said.
Wyrick was a foster child between ages 9 and 11, when she was sent to Long Lane to live for three years. When she was released, the state brought her to Waterbury to work as a domestic, a job she held until she was 18. She was considered a ward of the state until her 21st birthday.
Currently, Long Lane School is the only state-operated juvenile correctional facility for youth who have been ordered by courts to live under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Children and Families.
Long Lane consists of 30 buildings on 60 acres of a 200-acre state-owned site on Long Lane in Middletown. Youngsters live in two-story cottages built in the 1920s and '30s.
It opened in 1870 as the Long Lane Farm and later became Long Lane Industrial School for Girls, for girls who committed crimes or who were banned from their home because they were pregnant. In 1972, Long Lane became co-educational when the Connecticut School for Boys in Meriden closed.
There are 45 girls and 160 boys now at Long Lane. The focus now is on the boys, and programs for girls fall short, said John LaChapelle, superintendent of Long Lane since 1990.
"We are not able to plan for their specialized needs that they have a right to," LaChapelle said.
The campus has more youth than rooms. The facility has 176 beds, with 56 beds in a secure area. The average population at Long Lane is 235 youth, ages 12 to 16, said John Wiltse, a spokesman for DCF.
Youth are committed to Long Lane for violating court orders or probation, and for conviction of assault, selling drugs, criminal mischief, burglary, larceny, and possession of dangerous weapons.
Eighty percent of the Long Lane residents suffer untreated health problems such as poor vision and poor hearing, anemia, and lack of immunizations. At least 75 percent have dental problems and 99 percent have a history of being sexually active. Other problems the children suffer include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anger problems and insomnia, according to a DCF report.
Ideally, youth should stay at Long Lane at least a year, LaChapelle said. That would give staff time to help them develop academically and emotionally, he said.
About 10,000 to 12,000 juveniles are arrested annually statewide, and Long Lane ends up with "those who fall through the bottom of the funnel," LaChapelle said.
"We deal with a couple hundred of the most challenging group of teens in Connecticut. If we can have any impact on their lives at all, their stay needs to be for at least a year."
The 20-bed residential program that will open in Waterbury this fall will house girls who have similar problems as those committed to Long Lane.
John Boyd, executive director of the Connecticut Junior Republic in Litchfield, a 84-bed residential facility specifically for boys, also operates a similar group program for boys in Waterbury as well as in East Hartford, Bridgeport and Hartford.
Boys are committed by the courts to CJR's Litchfield site for up to a year. They go to school, have chores, and time to engage in recreational activities.
In 1997, the state provided CJR with a $750,000 grant to open a Juvenile Supervision and Reporting Center for 20 boys and girls in the old YWCA building on Prospect Street. It is an alternative to incarceration in the juvenile system. It requires juveniles to report to the center every day for education and other services.
CJR's Waterbury facility has seven beds for juveniles who need to get away from their homes. But most live at home and report daily.
The center was the fourth in the state to open that year. The others are in Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford. The focus is on keeping troubled youth in the community while providing education, family work, discipline, productive recreation and constant supervision.
Boyd, a member of the Long Lane advisory group, said separate facilities for boys and girls is ideal, but "I think we get too fixated on the building. It is more important not to look just at the building, but will girls receive the programs they need."
"My impression is that (the state needs to ) look for ways to develop separate sites for the girls. To me, the crisis at hand now is (current) facilities are too old and rundown, and not safe. We need to deal with that and not get bogged down in other issues we can work out as we go along."
The state is trying to expand Long Lane and is trying to find small sites for girls and boys, said Kristine Ragaglia, commissioner of DCF.
Some people believe the state is rushing to build a new school because of the death of Tabatha Brendle, 15, of New Britain, who hung herself there in September.
"The new facility is designed with clear line of sight in mind," said John Wiltse, spokesman for DCF. said. "So we can look into the room, and God forbid, see someone hanging or having a problem."
In April Ragaglia went before the Judiciary Committee at the State Capitol for $39 million in bond money to build a new 240-bed Long Lane campus. The campus would cost $53.8 million. DCF already has $11.3 million in previously allocated funds.
Wesleyan University in Middletown would buy the old Long Lane property for almost $16 million, which will be used to help pay for the project. Wesleyan borders the Long Lane campus.
The age, design and configuration of the existing Long Lane presents safety and security concerns, state officials said. As of October 1998, 48 children tried to run away from the campus. Fifteen were successful.
Ragaglia told the legislators that residents of Middletown deserve some peace of mind about runaways and property damage. The need for a new Long Lane was identified 13 years ago in reports that date back 20 years ago, Ragaglia said.
Wyrick said she saw problems at Long Lane 22 years ago.
After attending a public hearing on Public Health and Safety in March 1977, she sat down and wrote a letter to then Gov. Ella D. Grasso. Wyrick outlined the 30 years she and her husband had taken wayward children into their Waterbury home.
She told Grasso that she developed a work ethic while at Long Lane, which was called Long Lane Farm when she lived there.
"In those days, it was truly a training facility. We girls were taught to do all of the work around the campus. We learned good working habits, the value of money, and were well-equipped to be good citizens when we left."
DCF is proposing to build a new six-building campus on the grounds of Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown. The campus would be surrounded by a security fence. It would be designed with the ability to open and close multiple units with different security levels as populations change.
It would allow for more segregation of residents, whether by gender or behavioral problems. And it also would provide space for vocational training and recreational activities, something Wyrick said she would really like to see at Long Lane again. Wyrick has spoken to state officials about her concerns.
Last month, the state Senate and House approved money to fund construction of a new Long Lane.
The bill would expedite the project and exempt it from standard rules for bidding, land conveyances and environmental reviews.
The bill requires DCF to develop new programs to go with the new facility and to treat teenagers for a year instead of the average six months.
Wyrick's letter to Grasso also emphasized that youth facilities had shifted away from rehabilitation and had become holding tanks devoid of human concern.
"It saddened me to learn a security building had to be built at Long Lane. It seems to me that such a building sounds rather penal. Certainly in my day, we were all too busy to get into trouble."


Picnic Rescheduled
to August 5th

In May of this year the Hillside Lilac festival was totally rained out and the  the annual picnic met the same fate and was cancelled from its July date and rescheduled for August 5th at the home of Andrea Pape, 137 Woodlawn Terrace.
Neighborhood organizers took heed of early weather warning for the date of the original picnic and cancelled days before, and predictions proved true as monsoon rains ruled the day.
In the event Aug 5th proves to be a rainy day, a rain date of Aug 6th will be the groups final attempt to convene the festivities.
Hot Dogs and Hamburgs and soda will be provided by the Association and each guest is expected to bring some type of consumable.
Call BJ Wesson or Dave Walford to coordinate your dish and provide your RSVP.
Dave's number is 574-1441.

June 3, 2000

June 1st was the date on which Hillside's senior residents, Dr. & Mrs. Reynolds,  marked their 60th wedding anniversary celebrating with a splendid reception for close friends at their Hillside Historic District residence the weekend following.
60 or so guests, catered by House on the Hill, enjoyed the gourmet cuisine and viewed a display of original day wedding items such as certificates, original wedding gown, photos, wedding cake adornments and the like.
The home, one of Hillside's more elegant, was built in 1898 for Mr. Griggs, who lived there a very short time before selling to Charles Grannis in the beginning of the century. Wilfred Theroux owned it during the war years, and Dr. & Mrs. Reynolds are the 4th owners and have resided there since 1946.
Photos of the event click here.

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Dr Joseph Reynolds will share the date of Hillside's annual picnic with his own celebration of his 90th birthday.  Turning 90 on Aug 3rd, the family will host a small family gathering at the family homestead on Saturday, August 5th.
In Hillside, one would not be surprised to find the picnic walking up the street (only two houses away) to wish "Doc" a Happy Birthday, or the reverse of finding the entire assembled clan cutting through the back yards enroute to visit the picnic.
Whatever the day brings, your neighbors wish you a happy birthday and good health.
Earlier this year, June 1st, Dr. and Mrs. Reynolds celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

LilacFestival2Logo.jpg (61402 bytes)

The Lilac Festival was a tad on the damp side and most of the activities cancelled.
Before the heavier rains, Hillside residents, with umbrellas, did manage to enjoy some pleasing melodies of the Happy to be Here Barbershop Quartet.
Best quite of the day came from the Judge's sister, "This is a great idea, maybe next year it might be a little earlier so the lilacs are out."
Whatever the event is next year, Hillside must bring back the very personable "Happy to be Here" singers.  They had style with personality!


Governor's Pledge to Hillside
UConn will move ONLY IF  a suitable occupant is found for current campus

In a private meeting with the Hillside Board, lasting two hours at House on the Hill several weeks ago, Governor John Rowland made specific statement that UConn will be relocated ONLY IF  a suitable occupant is found for the current Hillside Avenue Campus.
The City of Waterbury  Department of Education, and the proposed Jewish School are two published options to date for ultimate use of the Hillside Avenue Campus.   Hillside has gone on record with great determination that the City of Waterbury shall NOT become the landlord or tenant.   Waterbury's record of basic maintenance is dismal on its best day and a highly unacceptable alternative for the property of the Benedict Miller House. The Benedict-Miller House is not only the focal point of the Hillside Historic District and the center of the UConn campus, but also one of New England's finest examples of Victorian Architecture.
The Hillside group has requested additional options from the Naugatuck Valley Development Corporation (NVDC) for campus tenancy in the heart of the Hillside Historic District.
The Hillside UConn Committee, comprised of Andrea Pape (Chairperson), Marianne Vandenburgh, Tom Nalband and Shep Wild, will continue to meet with Michael O'Connor of NVDC and the representatives of the Jewish School searching out answers to basic questions and receive additional proposals for use of the property.
Viable funding becomes a top concern of any tenant or occupant, as maintenance of this property and historic preservation are of utmost concern to both Hillside residents and residents of Waterbury.

Of primary consideration of the physical aspects, Hillside has expressed concern that whatever the end result, that the Benedict Miller House remain accessible to the public, and made such concern an integral part of any negotiations on the property by NVDC.
The Governor, in additional comments at the meeting several weeks ago, clearly stated that without the relocation of the Waterbury UConn Campus to the downtown location, the campus would most likely be closed within the next few years.  What remains a major question is why there is not as much emphasis on meaningful  4 year degrees and other curriculum enhancements to increase enrollments and  solidify the campus in the area.
The Governor has continuously alluded to the fact that the new building is the only thing that will save UConn and keep it in Waterbury.  There is still something major missing here!  And the discussions go on ... and on ... and on ...

Historic district makes an impression

DISTRICT: Work to be done

October 26, 1999

By Peg Ford Pudlinski
© 1999 Republican-American


During a private tour of homes in the Hillside Historic District Saturday, doors swung two ways.

The tour was arranged for Rep. James Maloney, D-5th District, some of his staff, and Gregory Zeliff, assistant vice president of American Bank. The tour gave Maloney and Zeliff a glimpse of the magnificent craftsmanship in Waterbury's turn-of-the century homes, which are steeped in the history of industry giants.

The homeowners also lobbied for more funds to help rehabilitate the Hillside district, Waterbury's version of Newport without the ocean view. Like the mansions in Newport, Hillside homes reflect the story of a powerful time in American history.

Maloney and Zeliff were impressed with what they saw: from the hand-planed woodwork aglow with the patina of devoted homeowners to a bevy of cabinets recycled from the old Howland-Hughes building.

The homeowners are not only proud of their historic renovations, but of their contributions to Waterbury's future. Not just admirers of the past, they are also the flagmen of the future.

Although well-acquainted with the neighborhood professionally, this was Maloney's first up close and personal look.

"This is really a great neighborhood," Maloney said. "These houses are truly priceless. If they're not preserved now, they'll be lost forever."

Dave Schemenaur, one of the owners, noted that the homes are remnants of Waterbury's history, and they are especially precious now that many old buildings have been lost to new development.

Sheila O'Malley, special projects coordinator for the congressman, is looking into whether federal funding is available for buying and/or renovating Waterbury's historic homes. As for her visit Saturday, O'Malley said she and the congressman "were delighted to be invited" to get a closer look at the efforts residents are making to improve Waterbury's image.

Opportunities still abound to be a part of

the city's glory days in what was once a premiere neighborhood. Boarded up homes of

several sizes still exist, and a number of smaller properties are available at relatively low

prices for those who have the commitment to renovate and the desire to participate in what has become a vibrant neighborhood.#EHEAD#


Continued from 1B

Tom Nalband, a Hillside resident and member of many neighborhood groups, said he knows that everyone has the means to tackle complete restorations, but he points out that every little effort makes a difference. He marveled at how one neighbor spent hours digging out an old tree stump by hand. On Saturday, the little strip of lawn was prepped for seed, its other half, done earlier, already a well-tended square of green.

To gather more information on making Hillside vital again, Nalband is attending a seminar sponsored by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Training Institute next month in Oakland, Calif.

He'll focus on community building, he said. Encouraged by the efforts of residents of Bethlehem, Penn., to restore its inner city neighborhoods, and inspired by the re-emergence of a threatened Vancouver, Canada, neighborhood, Nalband sees great promise in the work that has already been done.

"Vancouver started with restoring porches, getting people back out on them and talking to each other as neighbors, " he said. Nalband said he is inspired by Jane Jacobs, who wrote "The Death and Life of Great American Cities." She saw porches as "social vehicles," encouraging conversation and discouraging crime as people began to learn who's who in the neighborhood.

The efforts of the Hillside Historic District Neighborhood Association have been noticed. White Flower Farm in Litchfield just donated 5,000 bulbs for the Hillside district, said Marianne Vandenburgh, owner of House on the Hill bed and breakfast in Hillside.

Zeliff was delighted to confirm the bank's commitment to the area as well. "We've invested in this area before," he said, but a new program working with the Neighborhood Housing Services holds even more opportunities. Twenty-one applicants who jumped at the chance to finance or rehabilitate their home in several Waterbury neighborhoods, including Hillside. Neighborhood Housing Services, is coordinating the program, called MaxValue, in which American Bank would lend a mortgage or loan at 5.9 percent for targeted areas. Applications still are being accepted for the program, but all the money has been applied for.

Hillside isn't laying down to die. Instead, with a determination inherent to Waterbury, it's standing up again, brushing off the dust of drearier days and coming back bright and strong.

Old Victorian taking on new life New owners saw the potential in a neglected house

October 19, 1999

By Peg Ford Pudlinski
© 1999 Republican-American





Photos by Peg Ford Pudlinski Republican-American

The arbor entrance to the backyard patio of the home owned by Tom Nalband and Tom Ferrare is an inviting respite in the inner city. Above, Nalband, left, and Ferrare stand on the front porch of the Victorian home that has taken them three years to renovate.


If you crave the opulence of the Victorian era, but think your budget puts such grandeur out of reach, think again. A number of architectural jewels waiting for a little polish — at a fraction of the expected cost — can be found in what was once one of Waterbury's finest neighborhoods.

Two young professionals, committed to recovering Waterbury's architectural past and one of its neighborhoods, have restored a Victorian home in the Hillside District.

"Every time someone buys a home here, they're also buying a part of Waterbury's history," said Tom Ferrare, one of the owners.

The Hillside area was once home to many of Waterbury's early industrial barons, whose homes still reflect the elegance, however dimmed, of the era. It was that quality of craftsmanship that attracted Ferrare and Tom Nalband, who had been renting the house next door, to buy their current home three years ago.

It was love at first blight, for although the house was dismal, its fine craftsmanship was evident throughout.

"The minute we saw the front door, we knew it could be wonderful," Nalband said, now enjoying their meticulously restored 1888 Queen Anne Victorian.

The house had been converted into a four-apartment complex and had become "an eyesore just short of demolition," Nalband said. Now, as a single family home and 85 percent renovated, it stands as a model for the neighborhood.

The original front door is a shining star. An intricate, stained glass panel comes to life in an afternoon sun, spilling brilliance into a dramatic foyer.

"The walls are marquetry," Nalband said of the unusual geometric pattern of inlaid mahogany, oak and poplar.

The angular geometric pattern of light and dark woods marches boldly toward a full wall Eastlake style fire

#HEAD#URBAN: Victorian held promise#ESUB#

place with incised floral designs that are typical of the period. The fireplace is as much a destination as it is a divider of formal parlor and dining room. It is one of three working fireplaces in the home. Its unusual feature lies in its flue construction.

"I understand that Mark Twain conceived the design for this type fireplace, as he wanted to have a window above, so he could watch it snow while enjoying the warmth," Nalband said.

The fireplace flue is set off at an angle, permitting the space directly above the fireplace to house a stained glass window. In keeping with the era, "all the fixed windows in the house were originally stained glass," Nalband said.

Nalband and Ferrare hired an expert in the restoration and design of such objects. She was one of the many experts they found in the three years of work on the house.

The home had been originally built as an 11-room structure by George Abbott. Using clues from existing woodwork, along with basic common sense, the new owners began re-establishing the original lines of the house. To restore it to a single family home, Nalband and Ferrare removed four kitchens along with added pantries, baths and closets, to reveal an original home of generous proportions.

When they finished knocking down the 20th century additions, "it was as if the house took a great breath of air and gave a huge sigh of relief to be opened again," Nalband laughed.

As restoration progressed, people began to stop by to admire the work, and they met their neighbors.

"One fellow even returned the original brass fireplace fender as well as an Eastlake brass doorknob from when he had lived here, he was so happy to see the house being properly restored," Nalband said.

They kept the tile floor in the small bathroom on the first floor and resurrected as an alcove bar off the library.

"I wanted a bungalow feeling here," Nalband noted of the warm and cozy space that presents a second first-floor fireplace.

Besides the physical restorations Nalband and Ferrare are seeing elsewhere in the neighborhood, there is a rejuvenation of spirit as well. The Hillside Historic District Neighborhood Association, open to all residents of the area, whether they be homeowners or tenants, meets monthly. Its members address issues of concern, share ideas, and provide support, encouragement, and suggestions for improvement projects.

"More and more people are taking the path we did, in helping to make this area a clean and safe place to live," Nalband said. As more people, including those from smaller towns where real estate prices have soared, are becoming aware of the value these inner city homes offer, demand may soon exceed supply. "We encourage people to see the beauty and potential in these homes, to recognize that they are irreplaceable," Nalband said.

Word is getting out. Currently, the state of Connecticut is involved in a $700,000 exterior renovation of a mansion on the UConn campus in Waterbury in the Hillside District. Also, two other homeowners are involved in major home renovations. Those neighbors left Woodbury and Southbury for the Hillside District.

Nalband and Ferrare bought another house on their block. They also are renovating that house.

"We want guests to see our home and yard and come away with the realization that this is a beautiful area, " Nalband said.

Neighborhood Council honors city's servants


September 28, 1999

By Terry Corcoran
© 1999 Republican-American







WATERBURY — A few hours before the Waterbury Neighborhood Council honored him with its first-ever Person of the Year award, Gov. John G. Rowland entertained a group of second-graders from Rocky Hill in his Hartford office Monday afternoon.

Rowland told the kids how a bill becomes law and discussed such things as the state flower and the state bird. And when he was done, Rowland, feeling quite proud of himself, asked the children if they had any questions.

That's when what he described as "the cutest little girl you ever saw" posed a question ever so softly.

"When," she asked, "do we get to meet the governor?"

"I said to her, ‘What do you think I am, the warm-up act?'" Rowland recalled Monday night while telling his tale to more than 400 people who packed the Pontelandolfo Club on Farmwood Road for the Neighborhood Council's first awards dinner.

Of course, the story drew raucous laughter. But even more importantly, every one in the room knew who Rowland is, so much that when he entered the banquet hall unannounced, the crowd rose and gave an impromptu ovation to the man who put Waterbury on the map — smack dab in the center of the universe.

Although some second-graders from Rocky Hill may not know who he is, there was no mistaking the city's favorite son Monday night.

In honoring Rowland with its first Person of the Year award, the Waterbury Neighborhood Council, which represents the many individual neighborhood groups throughout the city, sought to recognize "a true public servant and a governor of the people," council member Kathleen McNamara said in introducing Rowland.

The council's decision to bestow the honor on Rowland had a lot to do with "the feeling of respect and earned trust" members have for him, McNamara said. But it was also for the concrete things Rowland has done for his hometown, such as helping pass a law that regulates where asphalt plants can be built. That law was passed after such a plant was proposed for land on East Aurora Street. McNamara also said Rowland was honored for his inner-city initiatives and efforts as governor to revitalize Waterbury's downtown.

In accepting the award, Rowland said the honor was not about him, but rather about the leadership Waterbury's neighborhood organizations have provided over the past few years.

When Waterbury people ask him how, as governor of Connecticut, he can stay abreast of so many local issues, Rowland said it's because he gets The Republican-American delivered daily to the governor's mansion.

"If I just read the Hartford Courant and stopped there, I'd go back to bed," he said.

Monday night's turnout testified to the strength Waterbury's neighborhood groups have gained by banding together to work for issues that affect every resident of every neighborhood, as well as the respect they have earned from local and state politicians for flexing their muscles.

"I think our time has come," Overlook resident Ron Capaldo said in explaining the crowd. "The Neighborhood Council's been in existence four years, but we've really come of age in the last 12 to 18 months, and this is our way of demonstrating it. It's been a matter of organizing. We took a bunch of parochial groups, decided on four issues that affect everyone, then went to work on those issues."

The issues are cleaning up the city, the environment, education and downtown revitalization, said Elaine Denze, one of several people the council honored.

In addition to Rowland, the council gave City Service Awards to James Gatling of New Opportunities for Waterbury, state Rep. Joan Hartley, D-73rd District, veteran Republican-American reporter Robyn Adams, downtown advocate Hank Paine, and Fred Luedke for years of service to the city and its communities.

Each of the Neighborhood Council community associations also selected a person to receive a Community Service Award, recognizing the dedication and hard work residents have contributed to their neighborhoods.

The winners were: Arlene Lucian of the East End, John Hychko Sr. of Waterville, Antoinette Covino of Brooklyn, Gene Schmidt of Bucks Hill, Joe Caiazzo of Bunker Hill, Fanny Marone of Crownbrook, Janet Hertzmark of Country Club, Mike Gilmore of Hillside, Susan Celgelka of Mohawk Park, Randy Poulter of Overlook, Elaine Denze of Town Plot, and Ray Sharpless of Walnut-Orange-Walsh.



Taxing Be the Issue
Hillside/Neighborhood Housing Partners in Reform
Hillside/Neighborhood Housing Partners in Reform
Tom Nalband reported that Neighborhood Housing Services would like to host a meeting where Ms. Spencer of the Connecticut Historic Commission would speak on the new Historic Restoration Tax Credits available commencing January 1, 2000. This idea drew much interest and Tom will inform Adele we are interested and that perhaps Overlook should also be notified.
Tom also reported he has met with Senator Tim Upson and is exploring legislation for a pilot program in Waterbury to make low interest loans available to persons restoring buildings in one of our historic areas. He also discussed reforming Connecticut’s municipal tax lien statute to make it more responsive to rehabilitating the properties affected. This would be done by limiting the amount of time a corporation buying the liens has before returning the properties to the tax rolls.

White Flower Farm donates thousands of daffodils to Hillside:
This year may be known as "The Year of the Daffodil" in the Hillside Neighborhood, thanks to the donation of several thousand Daffodil bulbs by White Flower Farm. Intended for use in both Hayden Park and throughout the Historic District, the areas of plantings were laid out by the Neighborhood Association.
The daffodils have been planted on private properties throughout the Hillside area, and thousands more on the Hillside and inner circle of Hyden Park.

As you drive Hillside this Spring, thank the generousity of White Flower Farm for their continuing contributions to Hillside.
Daffodils should be in full bloom the second week of April.

Visit White Flower Farm on the web:

Hart House
Concern of Hillside
At his first meeting with the Hillside Neighborhood Association, Fran Brennan, interim director of the Waterbury UConn Campus, stated that he had plans to demolish the Hart House located on the North East corner of the UConn Campus.
Residents jumped as if electrically shocked and resisted any such move.
Hillside had assisted UConn in the original purchase of this property several years ago, and Hillside had sponsored a fundraiser with guest host Pat Sheehan of Channel 3.   The funds raised were to be used for restoration of the facility planned to be a student center.
Hillside Residents were most distressed that Brennan intimated that State funds were going to be used to demolish a sound historic structure defined as a contributing structure in the National Register of Historic Places.
It is the understanding of Hillside that State and Federal funds cannot be used to demolish National Register properties.
Again at a meeting with the Hillside Board last week, Brennan was asked about the Hart House and responded it was not of any use to Brennan's concept of the campus.
Hillside is seeking rulings from the State Historical Commission and National Register regarding the possible demolition.


Hillside Makes

on UConn Issue ...
General Membership Surprised by Move

In the final moments of the March Meeting of the Neighborhood Association,   officers of the Association passed out copies of a proposed motion in via which Hillside would no longer oppose the relocation of the Waterbury U-Conn Campus to another downtown location proposed by the Governor.  The motion was made to pass the resolution, written by Andrea Pape, and discussion followed to broaden the scope and include a more community oriented position of Hillside.
Several neighbors expressed concern after the meeting that after all the hard work and time that had been spent trying to preserve the campus in Hillside, the project had been abandoned by the executive board exclusively, with no discussion with membership as a whole. Discussion of the proposed motion did not avail itself to any concesus of membership on the abandonment issue itself.
Some members later questioned the timing of the rushed motion, being that it came only weeks before the State Bonding Commission was set to vote on the $20 Million in funding for the project.
UConn faculty, which had worked with Hillside to preserve the campus on the Hillside Avenue location were shocked at Hillside's sudden abandonment of the committment
Government leaders of both the City and the State found Hillside's move "amusing".
The several members who did voice strong concern over the narrow scope of the resolution were able to at least convince all present to expand the concept of keeping the Benedict-Miller House available to the community as a whole, whereas the original wording only referred to Hillside's use of the mansion.
A second issue defined at the meeting was a committment by Hillside to attempt to insure that, should UConn actually move, they move into a completed facility before Hillside agrees to any new tenants of the property, thus insuring UConn would not be lost to the community, or forever trapped, in portable or temporary facilities.  Details of Motion are in Minutes - Click Here.

Jewish School Proposal
Central Discussion at Meeting

This process actually began before the UConn Committee ever began and one of the last questions asked was by Carol Marshak questioning why the Jewish leaders are putting so much effort into a diminishing and relatively small Jewish Community in Waterbury.   This last of questions was answered by Joe Reynolds who represented Hillside at the first meeting with the Rabbi on June 20, 1999 explaining that the Jewish school concept was conceived for Waterbury to save the dwindling congregation from extinction.  The school would serve to infuse the local Jewish population and prevent the loss of what may well be the last Synagogue in the town.
The Committee report, though somewhat weak in specifics did serve as a catalyst for discussion of the group.
The UConn Committee began its research with Gary and Michael O'Connor and the Rabbis at the NVDC offices, learning of the plans for the proposed Jewish School and revealed that 10 families must be relocated before the deal can be made and that at least 100 families will buy homes and move into the "area" within the next 7 years.    The proposed Jewish School is prepares to start in a temporary location (one being considered is the Beth-El Synagogue on Cooke Street), and grow the high school population while waiting to move to the UConn campus.  The "area"   referenced for establishing residence would be a one to two mile radius of the B'Nai Shalom Synagogue on Roseland Avenue.  From Beth-El officials this editor has   learned that the potential of B'Nai Shalom buying the Cooke Street Synagogue have been seriously discussed.
NVDC plans to create a long term lease on the property if the school were to be the final occupant, explaining that they preferred to retain "control" of the property, perhaps requiring a maintenance escrow", to insure ongoing upkeep of the property and compliance with the terms of growth, use and home purchases required by the lease.
Final discussions were generally in agreement that all other issues aside, the presence of such a Jewish School would have little effect on the overall area.
The neighborhood Association did agree to expand the information seeking process and hold an open forum with representatives of NVDC, UConn, the Jewish School, and perhaps representatives of the UConn Board of Trustees to present and discuss the entire concept and issues still unresolved.
In addition to hearing the issues related to the establishment of the Jewish School, Hillside should also plan a forum on the UConn proposal in total.   Have the State bring in the planners, the architects, the physical and curriculum plans so we may consider the future of UConn as a part of this project as a whole.
We will be detailing this more in the days to come.


Candlelight Vigil Draws Enthusiastic Supporters.

Emotion filled both the air and the voices at the Candlelight Vigil at the Hillside Avenue entrance to the UConn Waterbury campus.  Milling leisurely on Hillside Avenue, closed to vehicular traffic by the Waterbury Police, some 300 people cheered and jeered holding lighted candles and hand made signs as speakers expressed sentiments both pro and con.
At issue if the Governor's proposal to relocate the entire Waterbury UConn campus to a new facility to be constructed a few blocks east, and the Mayor has taken it upun himself to ofer the current location to prospective tenants.  Hillside is opposed to the State spending over $20 Million to build a new campus when the State has just spent millions renovating buildings atthe current campus.
Hillside believes that if the State is truly nterested in investing in UConn Waterbury, monies would beter be spent improving technology and programs at the current picturesque four acre campus.
The scene was quite dramatic with lighted candles stretching half a city block down the sidewalk at the beginning of the event and extending upwards on the hillside towards the Benedict-Miller mansion as the evening progressed.
Perhaps to the advantage of the event, the campus lighting on the lengthy staircase ascending  the campus was inoperative, leaving the proceedings to limited lighting available from a nearby street light.
Marianne Vandenburgh, primary organizer of the event, led the introductory remarks then turned the program over to Jim Senich of WATR.  As Marianne always has to have the last word, she also delivered concluding remarks. (Kidding here Marianne ... sort of :)
Speakers ranged from long time Hillside residents including Maxine Watts and Shep Wild, UConn representatives Prof. Avitable and Dorothea DiChecco following opening remarks by interim director Fran Brennan, and political figures including Phil Giordano Waterbury's Mayor,  and Democrat contendor for the Mayoral position Larry Depillo.  While the Mayor favors the relocation plan, Depillo believes business should be downtown and wants to see the current campus remain where it is and upgraded to become a four year campus with viable majors.
Other speakers included neighborhood leaders Eleanor Herbst of Hillside, Kathy McNamera of Bunker Hill and Ron Capaldo of Overlook..
A small contingent of Repubicans showed up with the Mayor and remained for a brief duration of time as he remained and spoke.  This was in sharp contrast to  the majority of the democratic slate who all stayed the duration of the event.
The Mayor and Interim Campus Director Brennan  were the only two speakers favoring the move of the Waterbury UConn Campus to the East Main Street Location and the Mayor was the target of heckling,  jeers and rebuttal remarks . The Mayor's remarks were terminated as the crowd erupted in a chant, "Improve it!  Don't Move It".  Refering to improvement of the current campus and not moving it to the proposed East Main Street location.  Another advocate of the relocation of the campus, State Rep. Joan Hartley arrived late and did NOT speak!
One Hillside resident asked a friend, "Do you think the Mayor has a clue as to what we are talking about?"  The friend responded, "Not at all".
All other speakers were met with enthusiastic response, and as one participant exclaimed, "applause was difficult with a lighted candle in hand".
Master of Ceremonies for the event was Jim Senich, news director for radio station WATR and primary TV coverage was provided by WTNH Channel 8.
The vigil lasted about one and one half hours and concluded with unlimited portions of fresh cider and doughnuts, getting Yankee fans home in time for game three of the World Series :)


Hillside to Mayor and Governor:
Improve It!   Don't Move It!
With growing support from throughout the neighborhood, City and State, The Hillside Historic District Neighborhood Association has scheduled a candlelight vigil to be held on the U-Conn Campus at 7PM on October 26th.
The purpose of the vigil is to send a message to city and state leaders that the U-Conn Campus is a critical element of stability and prestige of the district, comprised of several historic structures.   The Benedict Miller House serves as a focal point of the entire district.
The Mayor and Governor have revealed plans to move the entire campus into the center of downtown to revitalize the urban center.
Hillside has been trying to make one very simple point ... Hillside to Government leaders ... News Flash ... the Waterbury U-Conn campus is already downtown.   The Waterbury campus sits almost the identical distance from the center of the Green in it's current location as the distance to the proposed site on East Main Street ... 2 or three blocks to be exact!
Waterbury residents should question very seriously the proposed multi million dollar plan to build a new college building, when an improved campus on Hillside with upgraded facilities would be much more reasonable and preserve the "Campus" environment.
Let us not rape neighborhoods of resources and assets to simply supplement a blighted area elsewhere.
Spread the word, and bring a friend.  Refreshments will be served


U-Conn Professors statewide Support Hillside!
Believe U-Conn Campus should NOT be moved.
Statewide members of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have voiced formal opposition to the relocation of the Waterbury U-Conn campus to a different downtown location. In a recent edition of the AAUP newsletter, the Professors Union Publication expressed concern for current under funding for the operations of the Waterbury campus, a 20 year old condition blamed on the excuse that the campus would one day be moving to the Higher Education Center on Chase Parkway.
The AAUP Publication directs readers to look at the recently opened "Stamford Edifice Experiment", which relocated the Stamford branch of U-Conn from its rural location to an urban setting. The campus was relocated, but there has been no increase in operating budget. The building is new ... nothing else, and the project in Stamford has yet to increase enrollment or stimulate businesses.
The publication for AAUP members calls the Waterbury proposal "costly and pointless" and called on membership to stand united and strong in their opposition.
The AAUP will present a definite presence at the Candlelight Vigil planned by the Hillside Neighborhood Association on Tuesday, October 26, 7PM at the U-Conn Campus.


Civil Servants are generally taken for granted and their invaluable services considered as no more that "part of the job we pay them to do".
At the first Neighborhood Council Awards Dinner, in the shadow of awards to the Governor and other high profile politicos, Mike Gilmore was the  shining light recognized by Hillside.  Gilmore, a resident of Town Plot, was the only recipient of individual recognition from neighborhoods to be chosen from outside the ranks of any neighborhood membership.  While the other Neighborhood Associations selected a recipient from within their own ranks, the Hillside Board elected to choose Mike for his unending efforts to help Hillside grow and prosper.
Mike has worked weekends (no overtime for this lad) to help with provisions for neighborhood clean-ups.  He has climbed through abandoned houses with and without Police to clear them of occupants and get them boarded up. In conjunction with the Mayor's office Blight Crew, Mike has effected the boarding of many abandoned properties within the Hillside Historic District. 
We cannot count the number of times Mike rushed a little late into the night meetings of Hillside to update us on this or that  after having spent a couple of hours tending his new baby.  It was appreciated Mike!
To name just a few of the other "Mike" contributions through the Community Development Office, the sidewalks and driveway of Hayden park will be paved soon,   new sidewalks have been installed on Hillside Avenue, and his tireless work with the City blight team has cleared lots, yards and produced a cleaner and healthier neighborhood.
All of Hillside wishes to thank Mike for his unending assistance, and look foreword to a continuing effective relationship.


2-2-99 update 4-6-99
Over $750,000  has been set aside by the State of Connecticut for a complete restoration and repainting of the Benedict-Miller mansion, the focal point of the Hillside Historic Neighborhood.
Not since Shep Wild led the private fund raising restoration program over 15 years ago has the mansion been worked on, and is now in much need of exterior repainting.
Professors and other staff now occupying the building are in the process of moving to the "Smith" house on campus to make way for Asbestos Removal.  Campus plans for the facility after renovations are unclear, but rumor has it that faculty offices will NOT be moving back in.


The State Department of Mental Health has awarded $200,000 to Family Services for the rehabilitation of 14 Buckingham Street.  Informed sources have informed us that absolutely no work will be initiated until a signed contract is in hand between the State and the Family Services Agency.  Lessons on broken promises of State Funding are not unknown to Waterbury enterprises.

Another residential facility is attempting to move into Hillside into the House at the corner of Cooke and Buckingham Streets (Formerly owned by Lorraine Craig).  The "Home" is being planned by Family Services and will be leased from the new owner (Michael Telesca).  The new owner had reportedly told area residents he was buying the house for his mother, but it turns out he bought it in his mothers name only.   His mother is a Florida resident.  As the house is HUD financed, the building cannot be sold for one year.
The Family Services program is to house foster children for a period of up to 45 days transitional living, and will serve children up to 12 years.
Money for restoration of the building will be raised privately by Family Services, and historical integrity is planned to be maintained.
The building has been vacant and boarded up for years and remains that way today.   Extensive renovation will be required to overcome the neglect.


Rowland-GiordanoTrash NRZ Process
At a recent Chamber of Commerce Breakfast, Mayor Giordano happened to mention as an aside that there were plans to relocate the Waterbury Campus from its Hillside Avenue location to a new downtown center, located across from the Palace Theatre on East Main Street.
He had stated at a Hillside pot luck supper only weeks before that the Governor was about to announce a great proposal that would have Hillside residents dancing in the streets with joy.  This was that announcement, and when questioned the Governor stated that Giordano apparently had a case of premature verbalization and that the Governor had no plans to make any such announcement, though such a "Plan" does exist..
The Governor has publicly stated he will be meeting with the Hillside group, though no meeting has yet been scheduled and the Mayor's office has stated that the Mayor will not be available to discuss the issue until some time in July.
Also announced at the same time was a "Plan" to relocate a private Jewish school on the Hillside Campus, though the "Plan" seems to  lack any substantial specifics and at this time is irrelevant to Hillside's fight to have the City abide by the NRZ process and attempt to retain UConn at the Hillside Avenue Campus.
At the heart of the matter is the recently compiled NRZ plan, completed by Hillside and approved by the Board of Aldermen and voted into the City Plan by the City Plan Commission and the Aldermen.  The NRZ is a State generated process to develop neighborhoods through self determination of issues by the respective neighborhoods.  Any planning process involving the Hillside neighborhood must be routed through and incorporated into the Neighborhood NRZ process.  In this instance, the NRZ process was trampled by both City and State officials.
Andrea Pape, principal spokesperson for the NRZ process has responded to date via open letters in the Waterbury Republican and a small group meeting with Fran Brennan, interim Director of the Waterbury Campus.
Additional information and expanded coverage of the process will follow.
A special web site section is currently being developed and should be on line by the end of June.
Other Related Stories: B'Nai Shalom Meeting of 6-20-99


4-8-99  updated  4-15-99 &- 8-11-99
Duckpin Bowling at Sena's
Keeping activities within the boundaries of the 'hood' a couple of members of Hillside took to the lanes at Sena's on North Main Street for a little duckpin bowling.
One Co-President was recuperating from a hand injury and the other brought her own shoes and balls.  Quite a contrast.  Besides the Presidents participants included the Walfords, Marianne, Dave & BJ, the two Toms, Chris, and Georgia Sharon.  Shirley Walford proudly received her award for lowest score.
Play resumed the following Thursday in Sena's lower level for the celebration of BJ's birthday (28).  Harold joined the group and BJ stole the coveted "lowest Score" from Shirley in the first game and in the second game a surprised Joe Reynolds was High Score (all of 86 pins).
More play scheduled next Thursday (April 22) at 7pm.
Aug 11
In a small bowling session a couple of weeks ago, Shirley and Dave were treated to a bowling game as a pre farewell present before they departed for London.
Dave slipped ... Dave fell ... Dave banged up his knee ... Dave brought crutches and a cane on his London trip.
Dave is still convinced that the residents of the neighborhood ary trying to slowly kill him  :) (just a neighborhood joke)
Next bowling Aug 12th.

The recent dinner held for Tom Ferrare was attended by over 200 people and thus far has netted over $8,800 to assist with medical bills for the good neighbor.
Mr. Ferrare had received numerous hand injuries in a table saw accident.
The dinner featured Roasted chicken and Marianne Vandenburg's famous chili ...HOT!  The Waterbury Republican Newspaper misunderstood the dinner menu over the phone and listed the meal would be Chilean Chicken.  Lot of folks were real curious as to what Chilean Chicken was.
Donations were plentiful including yellow roses for all tables by O'Rourke & Birch   Florist, Cookin' by Marianne of House on the Hill, assisted by Harold, Dave, BJ and Shirley.  Dave Walford kept the organization pre-event moving, and assisted in the coordination of raffle prizes being donated.
Contributors for the raffle included Photographer Georgia Sharon, Jimco Windows & Doors, Alplex Automotive, Lisa Mason, White Flower Farm and neighbor Shep Wild.
Also contributing were Quassy Amusement Park, and eateries including Cafe at the Mattatuck Museum, Roma's, Aldo's, Diorio's, Faces, Phil's Steak House and Hometown buffet.
Contributors for food items included Hart's Market, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Quick Mart,   Jarjura's Market, Danbrook Packing of New Milford, Antonelli's Market, Stop & Shop and Shop Rite and Dumouchel Paper.
Special appreciation goes to St. John's Church for donating the Hall space, and the DJ's "Music by Four on the Floor" must also be thanked for their contribution.
Tom Ferrare was definitely overwhelmed with the success of the evening and extends his appreciation to the 350+ supporters of the cause.

"Chillin' & Grillin'  '  be at the House on the Hill Bed & Breakfast again this year.  Date: June 13th.  Contribution of food and small cash fee.  Open to all "Friends of the 'Hood".  details will be made available as received.

The May Meeting of the Hillside Neighborhood Association will include both a Pot Luck Supper and speech and Q&A session by Mayor Phillip Giordano.
Members are being encouraged to bring both a pot luck item AND another person.   Half the intent of this "eatin' meetin' " is to involve more members in the association.
Meeting is scheduled for:
MAY 11 at 6PM
Note this change of both date and location from regular meetings.

Hayden Park Update:
Hillside members met with Judge James Lawlor (trustee of the Hayden Park Fund) and Park Dept staff (Sam Leisring, Director and _______)

Over one-half million dollars has been set aside by the State of Connecticut for a complete restoration and repainting of the Benedict-Miller mansion, the focal point of the Hillside Historic Neighborhood.
Not since Shep Wild led the private fund raising restoration program over 15 years ago has the mansion been worked on, and is now in much need of exterior repainting

On the job only five weeks as the new Director of the Waterbury Branch of the University of Connecticut, Francis Brennan announced to the Hillside membership that future campus planning seemed to include the demolition of the "Hart" house, an historic structure on the Waterbury campus. It is the red house directly at the top of Prospect Street.
Taken by surprise by this revelation, mentioned in conjunction with numerous other plans for restoring the campus, members of the neighborhood association literally brought the speech to a halt to obtain clarification of the issue.
The Hillside Association had sponsored a fund raiser some years ago which involved house tours in the area and a special presentation by Pat Sheen of Channel 3, all directed at providing funds for the purchase and restoration of the "Hart" house.
Andrea Pape and others detailed for Mr. Brennan the fact that the dwelling is specifically listed as a "contributing structure" of the designated Hillside Historic District and could not be torn down with State Funds.  Mr. Brennan did agree to look into the matter and was genuinely surprised at the level of opposition and possible technical problems of trying to dismantle an historic structure.
In other matters, Mr. Brennan announced that U-Conn had closed on the "Smith" house directly across the street for about $175,000.  The "Smith" house is the weathered shingle home with white trim at the corner of Prospect and Buckingham Streets.


Ye Older News

Over one-half million dollars has been set aside by the State of Connecticut for a complete restoration and repainting of the Benedict-Miller mansion, the focal point of the Hillside Historic Neighborhood.
Not since Shep Wild led the private fund raising restoration program over 15 years ago has the mansion been worked on, and is now in much need of exterior repainting

On the job only five weeks as the new Director of the Waterbury Branch of the University of Connecticut, Francis Brennan announced to the Hillside membership that future campus planning seemed to include the demolition of the "Hart" house, an historic structure on the Waterbury campus. It is the red house directly at the top of Prospect Street.
Taken by surprise by this revelation, mentioned in conjunction with numerous other plans for restoring the campus, members of the neighborhood association literally brought the speech to a halt to obtain clarification of the issue.
The Hillside Association had sponsored a fund raiser some years ago which involved house tours in the area and a special presentation by Pat Sheen of Channel 3, all directed at providing funds for the purchase and restoration of the "Hart" house.
Andrea Pape and others detailed for Mr. Brennan the fact that the dwelling is specifically listed as a "contributing structure" of the designated Hillside Historic District and could not be torn down with State Funds.  Mr. Brennan did agree to look into the matter and was genuinely surprised at the level of opposition and possible technical problems of trying to dismantle an historic structure.
In other matters, Mr. Brennan announced that U-Conn had closed on the "Smith" house directly across the street for about $175,000.  The "Smith" house is the weathered shingle home with white trim at the corner of Prospect and Buckingham Streets.

Power was officially cut at the pole for 93-95 Hillside (the property with the massive white columns that resembles the Leaning Tower of Pisa) on Friday afternoon.
Power was officially cut at the pole for 93-95 Hillside (the property with the massive white columns that resembles the Leaning Tower of Pisa) on Friday afternoon.
A brief flurry of activity indicated personal belongings may still be inside.   The building is supposed to be vacant.  The Bank has not yet taken possession according to Dave Walford.

by 7of 9 
Thanks to intervention by neighborhood type persons, our neighborhood officer, Juan Rivera, now has a permanently assigned real Police vehicle.  Car is numbered 59, is dark blue will be noticeable around the neighborhood.  For "scanner" like persons, his "designation" is RX8.
(For those who may not be familiar with neighborhood history, Hillside was the first neighborhood in Waterbury to promote and receive a full time neighborhood officer and Hillside utilized grant funds to purchase the first Hillside RX vehicle, thanks to then President Michael Moriarty.)


Urban Gardening seemed to be an appropriate topic for the urban dwellers of Hillside, and the neighborhood's own Marie Hayes will make just such a   presentation at the February meeting.
Ms. Hayes has supported a variety of gardening projects in the area over the years from our formal garden party  to window box instruction.  Her efforts and expertise have developed a scattering of bloom throughout the hill,  including the addition and planting of some 800 daffodil bulbs in Hayden Park this Autumn past.  Don't miss it!

Zoning Board of Appeals Approves Variance Request for Rose Hill Property

A residential type program for delinquent teens (12-16) may soon be the new occupant of the historic Rose Hill Cottage.
Architects for the project committed to preserving the grounds and historical integrity of interior and exterior detailing.  Windows will be replaced with "Breakproof" glass.
Sale to the hopeful agency is not complete at this time.


Voting by members on a motion by Treasurer Tom Nalban, the membership list for Hillside shall not be available to persons outside the association.  This vote was also conveyed to Neighborhood Housing as they maintain the list for mailings.

Based on a "No Overtime" memo from the Mayor, Neighborhood Officers were denied overtime to attend the neighborhood meetings in January.
Taken from the perspective that these few hours are required to meet with the communities and fulfill the mission of Community Policing, , both the Mayor's Office and the Police Dept. have agreed to reinstate this specific time for future meetings.

Gardening Presentation Rescheduled to February Meeting
The late hour of the January meeting generated an agenda change to reschedule the presentation of Marie Hayes.  Marie will be presenting a brief program in "Urban Gardening" during the 2nd half of the meeting on February 2nd.

January 12, 1999:

By an majority of the cast votes at the January 14th meeting, Hillside Residents voted to allow the petition to convert Rose Hill into a placement and treatment facility for minor female offenders. The zoning variance for the church at the corner of Willow and Hillside was not on the agenda.

January 12, 1999: (pm)  Neighborhood Association meeting convened at 7pm and after treasurer's report and other general business was completed, presentation for the conversion of the Rose Hill property revealed the plan with photos, architectural diagrams and the like.  Representatives included a representative of State Department of Children & Families, an architect, the (to be) director of the program of Rose Hill and several other persons involved in the program.  Alice Ferraro, seller of the property also appealed to the group to help her financial difficulties in allowing the sale to proceed.
The integrity of the architectural structure and features of the building were proposed as being key to preservation regarding any work being done to the property for the conversion, and the age group being served will be 12 through 16 or so females only.   Additional papers may be separately published herein detailing the entire proposal and when completed will be linked through this article.
Vote of 5 to 4 by the membership prevents the group from formally speaking against the proposal at the Board of Zoning Appeals regarding the requested zoning variance.
Individuals may speak as residents, but may not claim to represent the group at the hearing. The majority of members abstained as they felt there was insufficient information on which to base a decision.
The second presentation was made by the Hispanic church group wishing to move into the old store at the corner of Willow and Hillside. The Neighborhood Association will not contest their variance request as the property is not in the Hillside District and the parking issue appears to be non existent as the church uses vans to transport parishioners.
Marie Hayes presentation on gardening was deferred to the next meeting as the hour was approaching 9pm.
Neighborhood Police Officers will again be attending Neighborhood Meetings beginning next month.  After sufficient communication from our Vice President, David Walford, the City decided that it is an essential part of community police functions to meet with the community :)
An affirmative vote was also taken to not make the mailing list of members public or to release it to any non member.

January 12, 1999: (am)  The City of Waterbury has ordered a severe cut or elimination of all overtime.
As a result Neighborhood Officers will no longer be attending the evening meetings of the neighborhood groups.
Neighborhood Vice-President David Walford has been in contact with the Mayor's office and the Police Dept.  The Waterbury Republican American (our competitor newspaper) is also investigating both the general cessation of overtime citywide and the reduction of Neighborhood Police overtime in all forms.

January 11, 1999:  City Plan Commission Meeting -
NRZ Adoption on the agenda.  Commission did not have enough members in attendance to conduct a full meeting, but did have enough members present to hold the Public Hearing portion of the process.
Public hearing speakers in favor of the adoption of the Hillside NRZ Plan were Vice-President David Walford and Immediate Past President Andrea Pape.  Also in attendance from the neighborhood Association were Marianne Vandenburgh and Joe Reynolds.
City Planner Keith Rosenfeld supported the adoption of the plan as he spoke from the well of the chamber.
A full meeting of the City Plan Commission will be scheduled within the next couple of weeks to pass the resolution to incorporate the Hillside NRZ Plan into the Waterbury City Plan.

January 1, 1999: Happy New Year from the Officers and members of the Hillside Historic District Neighborhood Association.
Elected in the waning months of 1998, the newly elected officers of the Hillside Historic District Neighborhood Association assumed their duties as of January 1, 1999.
Andea Pape, outgoing president, is passing the gavel to a team of co-presidents, being Tom Ferrare and Eleanor Herbst.  David Walford, vice president for many years was also re-elected for another term.  A new secretary also begins duties with the election of Tom Nalban a public Defender in the Waterbury court system. Eleanor Herbst, a Certified Public Accountant will serve double duty covering the office of Treasurer for the organization in addition to the co-president post.
Next Meeting:
Tuesday, January12, 1999
7 PM
Neighborhood Housing Services Conference Room
139 Prospect Street
As all know
, Rose Hill Mansion is up for sale, and at the January 12th meeting, the proposed developers for a project to convert the property into a "secured" housing facility for delinquent females will be presented.
Hillside residents have learned that interior structural changes are planned to create a "non-escapable" building.  As this structure may be one of the most architecturally elegant structures surviving the romantic Victorian era, the structural changes are of equal concern to neighbors as the type of "resident" who would be in "need" of "secured" treatment.
Also being presented at this meeting will be a proposal by a group desiring to create a storefront church in the building at the corner of Willow and Hillside.  The Neighborhood Association previously petitioned against a store at this facility based on traffic and parking concerns.
Marie Hayes, our resident Master Gardener, will also be making  a presentation on Urban Gardening for residents in attendance.

& Caroling Extravaganza
The Annual Hillside Historic District Christmas Party and Caroling Extravaganza was held on 
Dec. 8th @ 6PM.
Schedule for the evening was:
Gathering & Reception: 6:00 PM
Caroling Extravaganza:  6:45 PM
Pot Luck Supper: (after Caroling)
Wine, Beer and Soda provided.
Event was held at 67 Hillside Ave.
Joined by several residents of Rose Hill, Hillside carolers journeyed on foot, in a light mist, to the traditional convalescent home on Pine Street and the two on Cliff Street.  After that the singing expedition traveled to First Ave, Stopping by the Tom's and then specially to carol for Natalie.
Rain precipitated  the end after that and all returned to the party at 67 Hillside.
The girls from Rose Hill had a rockin' good time, as did the Hillside partiers.
The Pot Luck supper was interesting and good, and a great casual night set a great holiday tone for Hillside.
Hilside thanks Rob and Josh for the use of their home ... it was a great central location.

Police seize computer from Pakistanis' apartment in Hillside
(Waterbury-AP, Sept. 20, 2001 6:40 AM)
The FBI has reportedly seized a laptop computer, cell phone records and an aviation school pamphlet from a Waterbury apartment rented by two Pakistani nationals earlier this year.
The Waterbury Republican-American cites sources who also say the two men made thousands of dollars worth of phone calls to Canada.
Neither the FBI nor Waterbury police would confirm what items were seized or whether they were related to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.
Paul Legasse Senior is the owner of the Alma apartment building on lower Willow Street.  He says one man rented the apartment in March with $800 in cash but failed to pay rent in April and May.
Legasse says a second man took over the lease in June for $1,200 in cash but failed to pay rent in July.
Legasse says he had the apartment packed up in July because he believed it was abandoned.
After the terrorist attacks, Legasse called police and turned over the items.

Hillside Archives

April 20, 1998:  Board of Aldermen scheduled to vote on removal of the "no further property subdivisions" in the NRZ Plan and change the proposed minimum lot size to a plan to present a minimum lot size to the City Plan Commission.

  Board of Aldermen scheduled to vote on removal of the "no further property subdivisions" in the NRZ Plan and change the proposed minimum lot size to a plan to present a minimum lot size to the City Plan Commission.

April 20, 1998: Zoning Board of Appeals scheduled to hear variance requests to operate small grocery store on Grove Street (as nonconforming use of structure that had one years ago) and hearing additional variance request from Convalescent home at 187 Hillside Ave, needed for parking variance.

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August 17 - 25, 2001
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