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Hancock Park Bake Sale Nov. 21

Hancock Park Adult Day Health Center will hold its annual Thanksgiving Bake Sale, Lottery Turkey and Wine Basket Raffle Wednesday, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the main lobby, 164 Parkingway, Quincy.

Raffle tickets can be purchased in the lobby.

All proceeds will benefit the ADH recreation program.

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Councillors Divided On Kincaide Plans

Plans for Kincaide Park in South Quincy include a new FIFA-regulation soccer pitch, a sprint track, a walking and running trail, bocce courts, basketball courts, play and exercise equipment and a new splash pad. The City Council is weighing a $5.3 million to pay for the project. Rendering courtesy City of Quincy.

Plans for Kincaide Park in South Quincy include a new FIFA-regulation soccer pitch, a sprint track, a walking and running trail, bocce courts, basketball courts, play and exercise equipment and a new splash pad. The City Council is weighing a $5.3 million to pay for the project. Rendering courtesy City of Quincy.

By SCOTT JACKSON

City councillors were divided on a proposal to renovate South Quincy’s Kincaide Park, with some saying it would reinvigorate a neglected neighborhood while others balked at the $6.3 million price tag for the project.

The council’s finance committee voted 5-3 on Tuesday to give a positive recommendation to Mayor Thomas Koch’s request to borrow $5.3 million to cover outstanding costs of the project The full council did not vote on the measure, however, to give the mayor time to review alternative ways to pay for the project.

Plans for the park – located on Water Street between the Lincoln-Hancock and Sterling schools – include a FIFA-regulation soccer pitch that could be utilized for other sports as well, a splash pad, basketball courts, bocce courts, a spring track, a trail for walking and running, new play and exercise equipment and ropes course. New lighting and stormwater systems would also be installed, along with a net of 96 new trees.

A $27 million park improvement bond approved by the council in 2017 set aside $1 million for Kincaide Park; the bond will be paid for with hotel tax receipts, which Quincy collects when guests stay overnight in a hotel or motel in the city.

Based on community feedback, Koch proposed bigger changes for the field earlier this year, and proposed paying for them with the $5.3 million bond the council is now considering, which would be paid out of the general fund.

Ward 4 Councillor Brian Palmucci said the 5.2-acre park is underutilized, with existing facilities that are often empty. The proposal before the council, he said, would draw in people from all walks of life.

“It’s an incredibly underutilized area in the city…this really just reimagines it in an enormous way that brings people in from the community – all sorts of people from the community,” Palmucci said. “It’s very impressive.”

Councillor Noel DiBona said he understood the need to improve Kincaide Park, but was concerned about how much the city would borrow in the near future to pay for other capital improvements, including new seawalls and a public safety headquarters. DiBona proposed cutting $4 million from the bond request, leaving $2.3 million to renovate Kincaide between the bond under consideration and the one already approved.

“I feel that in a time like this we have to be a little bit more on the conservative side when it comes to appropriating funding, especially when it comes to bonding,” he said.

In response to those concerns, Chris Walker, Koch’s chief of staff, said the city has applied for six grants to pay for part of the project’s cost and is eying additional ones as well. He was optimistic, but not certain, the city would receive a grant of up to $1.2 million from the state for the project; the other grants would be from private foundations. Walker said the grants could pay for between 25 and 50 percent of the project cost.

Councillors rejected the proposed cut in a 5-3 vote, with Ian Cain and Brad Croall joining DiBona in favor of it. William Harris, Kirsten Hughes, Anne Mahoney and David McCarthy joined Palmucci in voting against the cut. Nina Liang was absent from the meeting.

The 5-3 vote to pass the item out of committee would be along the same lines.

Mahoney said the park project could help improve the surrounding neighborhood as a whole.

“You could actually see growth from more than just a park, because you would be reinvigorating, reimagining and reinventing an area that has been left to kind of fall in on top of itself,” she said. “There are families over there that are trying to really reinvent this area, but they need help and this is how you do it.”

McCarthy said the neighborhood has been neglected over the years, with projects in other parts of the city given higher priority.

“It know it’s a lot of money, but that area is way overdue,” he said.

Harris said he would support the project because it has the backing of Palmucci, the neighborhood’s ward councillor.

“I believe in supporting the ward councillors in their areas because they’ve supported me,” he said.

Cain, the finance committee chairman, said the city needs to do a better job of prioritizing projects.

“You can’t just keeping going on using daddy’s credit card. That’s just not the way it goes,” Cain said. “Sometimes you actually have to sit back and say, ‘this is more important than that, people need this more than that.’ Nobody is doing that.”

Croall, the council president, asked if the mayor would be open to using other sources of funding to pay for the project. Croall suggested the city could use the $4.7 million it has in state-certified free cash, money from the Community Preservation Committee, or $2 million he said is now available in hotel tax receipts.

“There is some funding in play that lies outside the taxpayers’ pocketbook,” Croall said.

Walker said he would be willing to look into using money from those sources between Tuesday’s meeting and the council’s next session on Nov. 26.

“I would obviously be happy to spend the next two weeks working with Councillor Palmucci, working with our team, to see what potential is there for other funding sources in addition to what we have in front of us today,” Walker said.

Cain then asked Palmucci if he would amenable to tabling the discussion until Nov. 26. Palmucci said he wanted the item voted out of committee but could wait until the next meeting for a final vote on the matter.

“My vote wouldn’t change based on where the money comes from,” Palmucci said. “I’m on board with what folks are saying, but I support it either way.”

Councillors did approve one amendment, offered by Palmucci, before voting the bond order out of committee. The amendment states any other funding source the city receives for the project would be deducted from the total amount borrowed against the general fund.

That amendment was approved in a 7-1 vote, with Croall opposed.

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Quincy Bay Seawall Plan Gets First OK

By SCOTT JACKSON

The Quincy Conservation Commission approved plans to replace 8,000 linear feet of seawall running from Adams Shore to Houghs Neck, the first of several permits the project will need before work can begin.

The commission approved the plan in a 4-0 vote Wednesday night following a public hearing that lasted more than an hour. Some of the residents who spoke at the hearing urged the city to build a higher wall than the current design calls for, though engineers working with the city said the height has yet to be determined.

Ward 1 Councillor David McCarthy said construction could start as early as next spring provided the permitting process is complete and the project receives financing. City officials will seek grants for the project, which does not yet have a final price tag. Additional community meetings on the plan could be held early next year as the design is finalized.

The city plans to replace the seawall along Quincy Bay in two phases. The first phase – which the Conservation Commission approved at its meeting – is the 8,000 linear of seawall between Chickatabot Road and Babcock Street. The second phase would go from Babcock Street to Bayswater Road. David Murphy, an engineer with the firm Tighe & Bond, said the second phase is currently being designed.

The current seawall along the area of phase one is about 11 feet above mean sea level, Murphy said. The plan proposed at the commission hearing calls for the seawall to be raised an additional two feet with an optional two-foot extension that could be added in the future.

Some area residents felt doing the four-foot increase at once would be too much, Murphy said.

“One of the feedbacks we received was doing the four-foot increase that was tossed around was too high. We believe the four-foot [increase] adequately address long-term sea level rise and increased storm surges, but that’s going out 50 to 75 years,” he said.

“We believe a two-foot increase is sufficient for the near future, but the design is including the ability to add a two-foot extension on top of it in the future.”

As part of the project, Murphy said the 14 stormwater outfalls that run under the seawall to Quincy Bay would be improved. Replacement outfalls will be installed capable of handling rain from a 100-year-storm, and designed so that water in the outfall can flush out any sediment in the pipe. The outfalls would also include check valves to prevent seawater from surging inland.

The seawall blocks themselves will also have drainpipes installed in them to let any water drain out to the sea. Those would also include check valves to ensure the water would only flow out to sea.

Some of the residents who spoke at the hearing were concerned the new seawall would only stand two feet higher than the one currently in place.

Bernie Rines, a Terne Road resident, said she was concerned a two-foot increase in the seawall height would not be enough as sea level rises in the future.

“It’s going to come up more and more and I don’t want to have to worry about moving my house up or anything else. I’ve been talking to a lot of my neighbors and most of them say four feet – there are a couple that say two feet,” Rines said. “I say go for the four feet now.”

Lillian Austin, a Sea Street resident, likewise said she wanted to see the seawall height raised by four feet, not two.

“If we don’t do it right and these water levels keep getting higher and higher, it’s a waste of money,” Austin said. “Do it right the first time.”

Murphy said the application before the Conservation Commission and other state and federal permitting agencies would allow for either a two-foot or four-foot increase in seawall height. The environmental impact would be the same for either design because only the height of the block placed atop the new concrete base would change, he explained.

“We’re not asking you to make the decision on the two or four,” Murphy told commission members. “That will be a city decision outside this commission.”

McCarthy, the Ward 1 councillor, said the new seawall could have different heights depending on the topography of the neighborhoods behind it. Lower-lying areas – like the Post Island Road and Terne Road neighborhoods – could see a four-foot increase, with a two-foot increase in other areas. Additional community meetings will be held to help determine the final height of the seawall.

“I think the two/four option should stay, because we’re probably going to go up in those low areas after we have probably a few more [meetings],” McCarthy said, noting he previously held four community meetings on the proposal since August.

“We’ll come back again once we’re about to start this whole project.”

Murphy said the height of the seawall would not have to be consistent because the size of waves varies.

“Common sense says to put the same elevation along the entire stretch. Engineering and science says in Boston Harbor…the wave fetch is different some areas,” he said.

Commission members said they supported giving the engineers designing the new seawall flexibility to determine its height.

“If that flexibility is there, I think that’s great,” said Maureen Glynn.

“I’m inclined to go with the experts,” added E. James Iorio. “My opinion on that is you give them the option of two to four depending on where they have to do it. Let the experts – the engineers – decide where it has to be one height and where it has to be anothe

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South Quincy Lowe’s To Close

By SCOTT JACKSON

The Lowe’s store in South Quincy is set to close, the home-improvement chain said Monday.

The Lowe’s store, located at 599 Burgin Parkway, is one of 51 locations the company will close throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is the only one in Massachusetts that will be shuttered.

The Lowe’s on Burgin Parkway is located on a 12.81-acre site in a planned-urban-development zoning district, according to the city’s GIS property viewer. The land and buildings on site have an assessed value of $16.35 million.

James Fatseas, Quincy’s planning director, on Tuesday said Lowe’s had yet to reach out to city officials about the future of the property.

“There has been no dialogue whatsoever with the city yet,” he said. “We have to respect that it’s private property, so the first move will be made by them.”

Fatseas said it was likely the property would be sold to another retail user, given the building on site is eight years old and the lot has ample parking.

“It is a beautiful big-box store with a large parking lot. If I’m Lowe’s and I’m trying to flip this, that’s the first place I’m going,” he said.

Because the site is in a PUD zoning district, Fatseas noted other types of development on site would require approval by the City Council acting as the special permit granting authority. The council had approved the construction of the Lowe’s store in 2008.

Ward 4 Councillor Brian Palmucci said the said council approval might also be needed if a different type of retail user were to move in, except for another home-improvement store.

“If it’s any other type of user – another retail use – my understanding if they’d have to come before the City Council,” he said.

Palmucci said he had spoken to the owner of the property earlier in the day and asked for updates on the site as they become available.

“As soon as there is a determination about the site, I will hold a community meeting to discuss it,” the councillor said. “People don’t have to worry about something moving in overnight.”

Lowe’s, Palmucci noted, still has 13 years remaining on its lease for the property.

The company announced all the impacted stores would close by Feb. 1 of next year, though some U.S. stores could close immediately. Closing sales are anticipated at the affected stores.  The company said employees of the closed stores could be transferred to other locations.

“While decisions that impact our associates are never easy, the store closures are a necessary step in our strategic reassessment as we focus on building a stronger business,” Lowe’s president and CEO Marvin Ellison said. “We believe our people are the foundation of our business and essential to our growth, and we are making every effort to transition impact associates to nearby Lowe’s stores.”

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Carl V. Valenti, 90, Retired Quincy Fire Chief

Carl V. Valenti, Chief, Quincy Fire Department, Retired, age 90, of East Bridgewater and formerly of Cape Cod and Quincy, died peacefully, Sunday, November 4, 2018 at his daughter’s home, surrounded by his loving family.

Carl V. Valenti

Carl V. Valenti

Carl was born in Quincy to the late Michael A. and Domenica A. (DiScuillo) Valenti. He was raised in Quincy and was a graduate of Quincy High School and attended Northeastern University. He had lived briefly in East Bridgewater, previously over twenty years on Cape Cod and most of his life in Quincy.

He was a retired Chief of the Quincy Fire Department.  Carl was appointed to the Quincy Fire Department on December 7, 1957. He was promoted to Lieutenant on May 2, 1970, to Captain on February 16, 1974 and to Deputy Chief on July 22, 1978. On August 5, 1985 he was promoted to Acting Chief and then to the rank of Chief on May 4, 1987. He retired on June 24, 1988 after thirty-one years of service.

Carl was a proud World War II veteran having served in the U.S. Coast Guard as a Seaman 2/c, aboard the USS Eugene (PF-40), a Tacoma-class frigate.

As a young man, Carl was a successful stock car racer with the nickname “Speedy Fireman.”He won many races in his number “36” racecar at various tracks, including Seekonk, Westboro and Norwood.

Later in life, he was well known for his karaoke skills and was called the “Ambassador on the Cape.”

Most of all, Carl’s passion was for his family and especially to his grandchildren and great grandchildren, supporting all their many activities and accomplishments.

Beloved husband of the late Emily A. (Grant) Valenti. Devoted father of Teresa M. Valenti of Weymouth, Cynthia J. Murrin of East Bridgewater and the late Michael A. Valenti II. Loving grandfather and Papa of Michael A. Ostman, Jr. and his wife Valia of Westford, Timothy Carl Valenti of Holbrook, John A. Murrin of East Bridgewater, Michael A. Valenti III and his wife Kaitlin Lightfoot of Irvington, New York, Christopher J. Valenti and Kara Geromini of Franklin, Jennifer Valenti Eori and her husband Christopher of Plymouth. He was the cherished Papa of seven great grandchildren.

Dear brother of Mary R. DiRado and her late husband Victor of Rockland, Theresa L. “Terry” Pasquale and her husband Lou of Braintree, Phyllis A. Parker and her husband Jack of Merrimack, Anna L. Rao and her late husband Atilio of Malden, Barbara M. Bucchianeri and her late husband Ralph, Quincy Fire Department, Retired of Quincy and the late Joseph M. Valenti. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. Longtime companion of Marion Valenti of California.

Funeral from the Sweeney Brothers Home for Funerals, 1 Independence Avenue, Quincy, Thursday, November 8th at 9 a.m. Funeral Mass in Saint John the Baptist Church, 44 School Street, Quincy at 10 o’clock. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting Hours at the funeral home on Wednesday from 4 – 7 p.m. Interment with Military Honors at Mount Wollaston Cemetery, Quincy.

For those who wish, donations in Carl’s memory may be made to Old Colony Hospice, 321 Manley Street, West Bridgewater, MA 02379 or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverly Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452.

You are invited to visit thesweeneybrothers.com or call 617-472-6344.

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