With the end of the Massachusetts Legislature’s 2017-2018 formal sessions on July 31, several major pieces of legislation were passed by the House and Senate and sent to Gov. Charles D. Baker for his review.
In addition to balancing the $42 billion fiscal year 2019 state budget, the Legislature authorized over $1 billion in economic development funds, passed a $2.4 billion environmental bond authorization, created an automatic voter registration system, enacted comprehensive addiction prevention and treatment legislation to address the opioid epidemic, increased benefits to veterans and their families, created a requirement to teach civic education in schools, increased the age to purchase tobacco products to 21, and expanded the amount of renewable energy used in the state.
As a whole, the FY19 budget, signed into law by Baker at the end of July, increases Chapter 70 education funding by 3.4 percent to a total of $4.9 billion and commits $319.4 million to the special education circuit breaker. In substance abuse prevention and treatment, $142 million was allocated for direct treatment assistance, $1 million for Narcan used by first responders, $5 million for community-based treatment programs and $4.9 million to step-down recovery services. The Legislature also funded the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program at $100 million. The early childcare rate reserve will receive $20 million. Additionally, the state was able to increase the stabilization “rainy day” fund to over $1.7 billion. This money helps the state’s bond rating and creditworthiness and is a safety net for state services if the economy takes a downturn.
Quincy will receive $27,395,085 in Chapter 70 education funding and $19,743,316 in unrestricted aid. Of the $310.8 million city budget, approximately 15 percent is directly from the state.
The following are additional funds allocated to Quincy in the FY19 budget:
Norfolk County Agricultural School: $1,251,353 in education funds.
Manet Community Health Center: $100,000 for their behavioral health program.
Four-hundredth-anniversary celebration for the city of Quincy: $30,000 for planning purposes.
Quincy’s Department of Elder Affairs: $25,000.
State Police seasonal overtime patrols of Quincy Shore Drive and Furnace Brook Parkway: $95,000.
Quincy Fire Department hazmat team: $50,000.
Final resting places of John Adams and John Quincy Adams: $30,000 for building safety. improvements.
Germantown Neighborhood Center: $50,000.
Quincy Asian Resources, Inc.: $100,000.
Quincy Housing Authority: $75,000 for upgrades to the senior housing security system.
Fore River Club House and Fore River Field: $75,000 for continued upgrading and maintenance.
“The Quincy delegation deserves credit for passing a responsible and fiscally sound budget and successfully advocating for additional Quincy funding over the governor’s veto objections,” said House Majority Leader Ron Mariano. “It was a productive session, which will help to ease the burden on the city and improve the quality of life for our residents.”
“The budget process this year focused on increasing opportunities for all the residents of Massachusetts, through efficient and effective programming at the state level, and with a strong commitment to providing funding to our local communities,” said Senator John Keenan. “Working with Representatives Chan, Ayers, Hunt and Majority Leader Mariano, we were able to provide increased funding for Quincy, which will be used for schools, police, fire, local libraries, and critical infrastructure, all of which will strengthen our neighborhoods.”
“I’m proud of the work the Quincy delegation did to ensure continued state funding for human service programs, our public safety offices, health care, and local infrastructure projects, among many other critical pieces of legislation enacted this year,” said Rep. Tackey Chan. “The FY19 budget demonstrates a continued investment in our local communities and recognizes the critical role each of these programs and organizations continue to play in Quincy residents’ daily lives.”
“I was proud to work with the members of the delegation to advocate for these important budgetary protections for the city of Quincy and its residents,” said Rep. Bruce Ayers.
While Baker vetoed a number of line items that provide financial assistance to Quincy, including funding for public safety and local human services, the legislative delegation worked to achieve an overwhelming override of the governor’s vetoes. In total, over $47 million of direct funding is committed to the city of Quincy from the fiscal year 2019 state budget.
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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.