By SCOTT JACKSON
The Quincy Police Department said the death of a 31-year-old woman whose body was found in the waters off of Squaw Rock early Tuesday does not appear to be suspicious.
The department received a call shortly before 4:30 a.m. Tuesday morning from a female caller who reported that she and her friend were at Squaw Rock in Squantum, police said. The caller told police her friend had entered the water and she was unable to locate her.
The Quincy Police and Fire Departments, Brewster Ambulance and the U.S. Coast Guard all responded to the scene. The woman’s body was found shortly after 5 a.m. about 40 yards from shore.
The woman’s name had not released as of 10 a.m. Tuesday, pending notification of her next of kin. Police said her death did not appear suspicious.
“It does not appear suspicious at this time,” the department said in a statement.
Construction activities along the MBTA Red Line in Quincy are underway, including weekend construction activities. The North Quincy to Braintree Shuttle bus service will be in place starting at 9 p.m. Friday until last train on Sunday night to allow construction work at both Quincy Center and Wollaston Stations to proceed.
See mbta.com/wollaston for more travel information.
Here are some activities you should be aware of:
Wollaston Station Work
Work this weekend is scheduled for Saturday from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday September 23, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Reconstruction of the parking lot got underway this week (see here), and structural steel framing of various components of the station is proceeding on schedule.
Quincy Center Garage Demolition
Work this weekend is scheduled for 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
For safety reasons, construction activities on/or near the railroad right-of-way must be done during nighttime and weekend shifts. We will be working on the weekends through October 22, so please check the project websites – Wollaston and Quincy Center – for more information on work hours and
Quincy Center: .
The project team is aware that construction noise is an issue for the neighbors and will continue to work with our contractor to better manage the tasks required. As you know, there are a number of Red Line Station Improvements underway; the recent MBTA presentation to the Wollaston CAC for your review and information can be downloaded here.
Should you have questions or concerns, please continue to contact the project team at: Wollaston@MBTA.com.
By SCOTT JACKSON
Quincy voters who hope to avoid long lines on Election Day will have a chance to cast ballots at the Richard J. Koch Park & Recreation Complex and North Quincy High School starting on Oct. 22.
City Clerk Nicole Crispo announced those two sites haven chosen as the location for early voting ahead of the Nov. 6 general election.
The Koch Complex, at 1 Merrymount Parkway, will be open to early voting on the ten weekdays starting Monday, Oct. 22, and ending Friday, Nov. 2. Early voting will take place there each day between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Crispo said she decided to use the building for early voting because it centrally located in the city, near the MBTA bus lines that run along Hancock Street, has parking spaces available and a community room where the voting can take place.
Early voting will also take place at North Quincy High School on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Voters will use the Hunt Street entrance that day.
Massachusetts offered early voting for the first time in the weeks before the November 2016 presidential election. Communities were required to have early voting for ten days before the election that year and will be required to do so again this year.
In 2016, 14.32 percent of Quincy’s registered voters – 8,535 of 59,613 – opted to vote early at either City Hall or North Quincy High School, according to Secretary of State William Galvin’s office.
This year’s election includes contests for federal and state offices. Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, are both facing challengers in their bid for second terms. Democrat Jay Gonzalez is challenging Baker and the GOP state Rep. Geoff Diehl is running against Warren, as is unenrolled candidate Shiva Ayyadurai.
There will also be contested races for secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer and auditor.
U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch is running unopposed in November after beating two challengers in this month’s Democratic primary.
Three of the five members of the Legislature who represent Quincy on Beacon Hill, all Democrats, will face challengers in November. Sen. John Keenan is opposed by unenrolled candidate Alexander Mendez in a rematch of their 2016 contest. Rep. Ronald Mariano is opposed by Republican Stephen Tougas, who unsuccessfully ran for a Quincy City Council seat in 2017. Rep. Tackey Chan is opposed by Republican William Burke, who ran unsuccessfully against Lynch two years ago.
The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election is Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Wednesday announced Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus has been detected in a mosquito in Massachusetts for the first time this year, following testing completed at the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory.
The mosquito samples were collected on Sept. 17 in the town of Lakeville in Plymouth County. This single finding does not indicate elevated risk from EEE at this time, but personal protection from mosquitoes remains a high priority. Mosquito trapping and testing will continue in the area to monitor risk.
There have been no human cases of EEE so far this year and none acquired by a Massachusetts resident in 2017.
“We have been fortunate over the last several years to see little evidence of EEE activity,” said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel. “Despite that, we know EEE occurs in Massachusetts and this is a timely reminder of that fact.”
“The drought in 2015 through 2016 reduced the species of mosquitoes that are responsible for amplifying EEE virus in the bird population,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. “The last couple of years have been rebuilding years and our job will be to continue to closely monitor EEE activity through the mosquito surveillance done in conjunction with the Mosquito Control Districts.”
EEE is a rare but serious and potentially fatal disease that can affect people of all ages. EEE is generally spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes.
To minimize the risk of exposure to EEE, the DPH recommends the following steps:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label.
DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours.
The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites.
Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Mosquito-Proof Your HomeInstall or Repair Screens.
Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.
Protect Your Animals
Horse, llama and alpaca owners should keep animals in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is suspected of having WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800.
More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at mass.gov/dph/mosquito or by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at 617-983-6800.
By SCOTT JACKSON
The City Council has voiced its support for locked-out National Grid workers, urging the utility company to end the labor dispute.
The council approved the resolution on Monday, its first meeting after a three-month summer recess. Mayor Thomas Koch on Aug. 14 informed National Grid had his administration had stopped issuing permits for gas line work in the city – except for emergency work – after the lockout began and would not do so until the lockout is lifted.
The resolution passed by the council, introduced by Councillor Noel DiBona, urges the company to come to an accord with the two unions it has locked out. The resolution also endorses Koch’s decision to stop issuing permits for non-emergency gas line work.
“The United Steelworkers Local 12003 and United Steelworkers Local 12012 service new and existing gas line customers within the city of Quincy. The lockout with National Grid raises safety concerns to the general public, as the work should be performed by qualified and well-trained National Grid employees,” DiBona said.
“On July 1, 2018, National Grid terminated the medical benefits of 1,300 united steelworkers. The city of Quincy urges in good faith that National Grid come to an agreement with fair benefits and wages with United Steelworkers Local 12003 and Local 12012.
“Therefore, let it be resolved that National Grid come to an agreement with the 1,300 National Grid employees by the United Steelworkers Local 12003 and Local 12012 to end the lockout. Be it further resolved that the city of Quincy continues to not issue any new permits for new gas line construction, as our concerns are for the safety of the customers in the city of Quincy and the wellbeing of the workers of United Steelworkers Local 12003 and Local 12012.”
Councillors approved the resolution in a 6-0 vote. Brad Croall and Brian Palmucci were not present for the meeting and Kirsten Hughes had left the chamber several minutes before the resolution was introduced.
National Grid began its lockout of the two unions on June 25 after the utility company and the unions failed to reach an agreement during contract negotiations. The two sides were at an impasse over a number of issues, including health care plans, pensions for new hires and the outsourcing of work to private contractors.