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Koch Endorses Baker-Polito For Re-Election

Quincy Mayor Tom Koch endorsed Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito for re-election while joining the two state leaders who greeted voters at local businesses Sunday.

Koch also publicly supported Baker and Polito in 2014 when he was a Democrat crossing party lines to endorse the Republican gubernatorial team. Koch has since left the Democratic Party and is now registered as an unenrolled voter. Quincy city elections are non-partisan meaning candidates do not run along party lines.

In announcing his endorsement for Baker and Polito, Koch said:

“Massachusetts’ cities need leaders like Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito who understand the importance of collaborating with local government to help our communities grow and thrive, and that’s why I’m proud to endorse their re-election campaign.

“They’ve demonstrated a consistent willingness to reach across the aisle to make progress on important priorities that make life better for our constituents here in Quincy, like revitalizing our downtown, boosting support for local public schools and investing in our future workforce. Their collaborative, community-oriented approach is working for Quincy and Massachusetts, and it’s crucial we continue that positive momentum for four more years.”

Baker said he and Politio are grateful for Koch’s support and the strong partnership they have formed with the city’s mayor who has served since 2008.

“Lt. Governor Polito and I are grateful to have had a strong partnership with Mayor Koch as we work to advance policies that make life better for the people of Quincy, and we’re honored to have his support as we begin our re-election campaign,” Baker said“As former local officials ourselves, we have a deep appreciation and respect for the work of municipal leaders, and are proud to have pursued a collaborative approach with our cities and towns. As we launch our re-election campaign, we’re proud to stand on that record of supporting Massachusetts’ communities from one end of the Commonwealth to the other.”

Polito added:

“Since taking office, we have prioritized building strong relationships with leaders in local government like Mayor Koch, and we’re proud to have him on our team as we seek re-election. “From implementing the Community Compact program, to following through on our promise to boost local aid for cities and towns, we have worked to ensure state government is a true partner and resource for local leaders. We look forward to continuing that commonsense approach in a second term.”

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Two-Alarm Fire Torches North Quincy Auto Shop

By SCOTT JACKSON

A two-alarm fire caused “significant damage” at a North Quincy auto-repair shop Thursday, said Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Jackson.

The fire was reported shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday at T-T Repair, located at 431 Hancock St. Jackson said damage to the building was significant, and several cars on site were damaged as well.

No injuries were reported.

Firefighters remained on scene for more than two hours and were able to contain the conflagration to the auto shop, Jackson said. The deputy chief credited the firefighters for their efforts, given the density of the neighborhood and the day’s hot and humid weather.

“These guys, they made it look easy,” he said. “They did a really good job.”

The fire started accidentally, Jackson said, as an employee was working on a vehicle.

“The guy was changing out a fuel pump and it ignited somehow,” he said.

The Quincy Police Department closed off a section of Hancock Street for about two hours as firefighters battled the flames.

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Quincy Police Increasing Impaired-Driving Patrols

By SCOTT JACKSON

The Quincy Police Department will step up patrols meant to catch impaired driving using grant funds received from the Highway Safety Division of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

Quincy police will be joining local police throughout the state, as well as the Massachusetts State Police, in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement mobilization and public information campaign.

This year’s campaign will urge drivers drinking alcohol or using marijuana and other drugs to plan ahead and designate a sober driver, use a ride-share service or take public transportation.

“Impaired drivers create a dangerous situation for everyone around them, threatening the destruction of lives and entire families,” Police Chief Paul Keenan said in a statement. “This grant will help increase our efforts during the busy summer travel season to keep our roads free of impaired drivers and avoid the tragedy they wreak.”

“Getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, using marijuana or both is one of the most dangerous things drivers can do,” said Jeff Larason, director of the Highway Safety Division. “A little planning can save your life or someone else’s.  Regret or remorse won’t bring someone back.”

Marijuana or marijuana-type drugs were the most prevalent types of drugs found in people killed in crashes from 2011 to 2016 in Massachusetts, Quincy police said. Alcohol impaired driving fatalities increased 9 percent – from 109 to 119 – in the state between 2015 and 2016. Between 2011 and 2015, 82 percent of impaired drivers in fatal crashes were men and 45 percent of all alcohol-related driver fatalities were ages 21 to 34.

Nationally, about one-third of all traffic crash fatalities involve drunk drivers, police added. More than 10,000 people die each year in drunk-driving related crashes.

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Corporal Robert (Bob) Gerard Noble, Sr.

Robert Gerard (Bob) Noble of Quincy, MA, passed honorably in his sleep on Aug. 7, 2018. He was 92.

Born Dec. 16, 1925, Bob was a World War II Veteran of the United States Army Air Corps, 87th Infantry “Golden Acorn” Division, United States Air Force Reserve, Ex-Prisoner of War, and a Bronze Star recipient.

Robert Noble
Robert Noble

He was captured by the Germans two days before his 19th birthday on Dec. 16, 1944 in Alsace-Lorraine, France.  He was liberated by the British Army 122 days later on April 16, 1945.  He was a proud veteran and served as Past Commander of the Massachusetts State and Southeastern Chapter of the American Ex-POW Organization and was a member of the Cyril P. Morrisette Post 294, American Legion.

Bob returned home to Dorchester, MA where he met and married the love of his life, the late Gloria A. Noble (Dunn).  They were married 63 years.

He was a proud and active alumni member of the Boston College Class of 1951.  In his professional life, Bob was an industrial engineer and an employee of the United States Postal Service.  In 1952, they crossed the bridge and raised their family in Quincy, MA.  Bob was the patriarch of his family and we all learned from his example.

He was the loving father of Robert Noble, Jr. (Donna), Alicia Gardner (late William Sr.), Nancy Noble (Charles McLaughlin) and Andrea White (Roger Sr.).  He was the treasured grandfather of Christopher Noble (Kelly), Elizabeth Gatz (Steve) Nancy DeLisle (Eugene), Kathryn Noble, William Gardner Jr. (Haley), Robert Gardner (Caroline), Julia White, Roger White Jr, Matthew McLaughlin (Beth) and Peter McLaughlin (Lauren), great-grandfather and friend of Macayla Noble, Devon and Meredith Gatz, Andrew and Nathan DeLisle, Desmond and Quinn Gardner, Baby Gardner due in November, Ben, Tyler, Emily, Ansley, Louisa, Winn and Johnny McLaughlin and great-great grandfather of Aliyah Noble.

He is predeceased by his loving parents Raymund and Agnes Noble and his brother and sister-in-law Paul and Fran Noble.  He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law Marie and Frank Stapleton, sisters-in-law Josephine Noble and Alicia Coletti (late David Sr.) and adored by 19 nieces, nephews and their children.

Bob truly loved and believed deeply in his faith, community and country.

He was a proud and faithful parishioner of Saint Albert the Great Parish in Weymouth, MA where he was a member of the Voice of the Faithful and an active participant of their successful perpetual vigil to keep the parish open.  Bob could regularly be found at their Saturday evening Mass and other various events.

Always with camera in hand, there wasn’t an event in the City of Quincy that Bob missed.  For almost 30 years Bob documented both Quincy’s history and current events through his work for the Quincy Sun, Quincy Access Television and for his own personal joy.

He was an active participant in many civic organizations including the Quincy Christmas Parade Committee (35 year members and 2014 Grand Marshal), Quincy First Night Committee (10 years), Quincy City-Wide and Ward 2 Democratic Committees (life-long member), Quincy Access Television Board of Directors, Quincy Historical Society and the Friends of the Thomas Crane Public Library.

Together, Bob and Gloria were the recipients of many awards, including the Jewish War Veterans Citizen of the Year, Quincy Sun Citizen of the Year, Elks Distinguished Citizen Award, Paul D. Harold Award, Elizabeth Betty Swanton Community Service Award and the Dennis F. Ryan Democrat of the Year Award.

On National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, April 9, 2015, Bob had the honor of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.  Surrounded by 40 family members, friends and hundreds of spectators, Bob proudly remembered and represented his fellow Ex-POWs in what was moving and proud moment in Bob’s life.

Friends and family are respectfully invited to attend the visiting hours on Sunday, 3-7 p.m. at Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock St., Quincy.  A Celebration of Life service will be held at the funeral home on Monday at 10 a.m. prior to the Funeral Mass in Saint Albert the Great Church, 1130 Washington St, Weymouth, MA at 11 a.m. followed by a burial with full military honors at Mount Wollaston Cemetery, Quincy, MA.

Due to family allergies, in lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the Cyril P. Morrisette Post 294 Attn: Robert Lewis, 81-83 Liberty St., Quincy, MA 02169 (donations will benefit their scholarship fund) or St. Albert the Great Parish, 1130 Washington St., Weymouth, MA 02189.

A remembrance of Bob’s life will be held immediately following the burial at The Neighborhood Club, 27 Glendale Rd, Quincy, MA.

See www.keohane.com or call 1-800-Keohane for directions and online condolences.

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November Opened Eyed For Independence Ave Gate

By SCOTT JACKSON

City officials are aiming to open the Independence Avenue entrance to the Quincy Adams MBTA station in November.

The city plans to implement a new residential parking program in the abutting neighborhood and install a new traffic signal at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Verchild Street ahead of the gate opening.

Ed Grennon, a junior traffic engineer for the city, shared those details with the dozen residents who attended a community meeting Wednesday on upcoming garage improvement projects the MBTA will begin in the coming weeks at the Quincy Adams and Braintree stations.

A meeting to discuss the gate opening is set for Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m. inside the First Presbyterian Church at 270 Franklin St.

Mayor Thomas Koch had announced earlier this year he would re-open the gate, which has remained locked since the 1980s, this fall based on feedback the city received from residents. The Penn’s Hill Neighborhood Association hosted an online survey on the gate last year and held a pair of community meetings on the topic then as well. Five hundred four people responded to the survey, with 80 percent in favor of re-opening it and 18 percent opposed. The other 2 percent were undecided. The neighborhood group took no position on opening the gate.

The gate’s closure has meant that residents living in the neighborhood to the east of Quincy Adams have no direct access to the station, requiring them to walk 30 minutes or more each way to and from the station on a daily basis.

The gate re-opening has not been without controversy, with some residents concerned T commuters will park on residential streets in lieu of the Quincy Adams garage. Ron MacDonald, a Penn’s Hill resident, said he was concerned the T’s decision to increase parking rates at Quincy Adams starting next month would provide an additional incentive to park in the neighborhood.

“Increasing the fees encourages people to go around the other side and find a parking space on Independence Avenue,” he said. “My question for the T is this: What are you going to do proactively to help the city and stop that kind of parking going on on that side of the station?”

Rick Colon, the public affairs director for the state Department of Transportation, said the T would cooperate with city officials as they have done during the closure of Wollaston station and other projects.

Grennon said the city would enforce existing parking restrictions in the area and the new residential parking program, which the City Council must approve before it can take effect, will help mitigate concerns about parking as well. The Traffic, Parking, Alarm and Lighting Department will also increase enforcement in the area following the hiring of two new parking control officers, one of whom will be assigned to the neighborhood.

“We already have some restrictions in place over there, which will allow us to enforce people parking all day in zones that they shouldn’t be parking. The additional residential program will broaden those restrictions even further to give us a wider reach to where we can keep people out of,” Grennon said.

“We did add more parking enforcement. We are going to focus our efforts over there.”

Residents with concerns about commuters parking in their neighborhood and walking to the station should contact TPAL, he added. The department would then be able to determine if there were restrictions in place that could be enforced, or if new restrictions would be required.

Councillor Anne Mahoney said the city should reconsider trying to implement the gate opening, the new residential parking program and the new traffic signal at the intersections at roughly the same time.

“If you’re going to open the gate and have a residential parking program happen at the same time and the traffic light happen at the same time that could be a disaster,” she said. “If you’re onboarding everything at the same time, you’re not giving anybody time to learn the traffic patterns for what’s coming.”

The T will begin its $64.3 million project to overhaul the Quincy Adams and Braintree garages in late August or early September, according to project manager Steven Belanger. The work will be substantially complete by October 2021 and entirely finished by the end of that year.

The project is intended to extend the lifespan of the two garages, both of which opened in the 1980s, by 40 years.

The work at Quincy Adams will include improvements to the Independence Avenue entrance, including new lighting, new pavement and tree trimming.

Up to 300 parking spaces total between the two stations will be unavailable on any given weekday, Belanger said. To mitigate that impact, the T will make available more than 400 spaces – 88 at Quincy Adams and 313 in Braintree. The new spaces at Quincy Adams will be created within the current parking area, while privately owned lots will be used near the Braintree station.

Beth Larkin, an assistant general manager for the MBTA, said the transit agency had reached out to Home Depot to use spaces in its parking lot near Quincy Adams. Those spaces are not available, however, because Home Depot has an agreement with a developer in place for that lot.

There are currently more than 2,500 parking spaces available at Quincy Adams, and more than 1,300 at the Braintree station.

Some residents at the community meeting questioned the timing of the garage projects given that the Wollaston station will be closed through next summer as it is rebuilt, a mixed-use project will soon break ground at North Quincy, resulting in a loss of parking spaces there, and the Quincy Center garage is now being demolished, which could set the stage for development there.

Sen. John Keenan said those projects and others to improve the Red Line by replacing entire fleet of trains and upgrading signals are competing for funding against other transit proposals around the state.

“I have colleagues in the state Senate who are very aggressive in seeking funding for their projects, particularly for rail to go from Boston to Springfield and for rail to go from Boston to the South Coast – Fall River and New Bedford,” Keenan said.

“They are very aggressively seeking funding and we’ve got the funding, so we’ve got to take advantage of it and use it while we do have it and that may mean, as it does, that everything is going to happen quickly at once, but we’re just going to have to do it that way and get through it.”

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