Quincy Woman, Weymouth Man Facing Drug Charges

By SCOTT JACKSON

A Quincy woman and Weymouth man will be arraigned Friday on drug and other charges after they were allegedly caught preparing to inject heroin in the vicinity of a Quincy Point beach.

Gregory Cranshaw, age 24, of Green Street in Weymouth, is facing charges of possession of a class A substance, assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, and tampering with evidence.

Mary Paul, age 36, of Broad Street in Quincy, is facing charges possession of a class A substance, resisting arrest and tampering with evidence. Police said she also had an outstanding arrest warrant.

A Quincy police officer was on patrol in the south area of Mound Street Beach shortly after noon on Thursday when he saw the male and female in the bushes preparing to inject drugs The male, identified as Cranshaw, and the female, identified as Paul, observed the officer and immediately stood up, began to dump the drugs, and started to run, according to police.

The officer ordered both parties to the ground. Both refused at first, but eventually complied. The officer ordered Cranshaw to put his hands behind his back, but he refused, police said. The officer attempted to gain control as Cranshaw jumped to his feet and punched the area in the chest area before fleeing towards the baseball field located on Harrison Street.

The officer pursued Cranshaw as he ran down the hill towards the Bay Pointe Marina.  The male attempted to climb an eight-foot fence with metal barbwire on the top, but was unsuccessful. The officer deployed his OC spray. Cranshaw, police said, continued to ignore the officer’s demands to turn around and get on the ground. As the male was facing away from the officer, he crouched down and attempted to take a small black item from his waistband.  As he did this, a witness who was standing on the opposite side of the fence, looked at the male, put his hands in the air and backed away. Fearing Cranshaw had reached for a firearm, the officer immediately began to strike Cranshaw until he dropped the black item and the officer was able to place the suspect in custody. Upon closer inspection, the black item was determined to be a cell phone. Cranshaw was transported to Quincy Medical Center for injuries received while resisting arrest. He was released a short time later and booked at the Quincy police headquarters.

A detective who had arrived on scene observed Paul, the female suspect, running along the beach. He was able to catch up to her and place her in custody.

The officer searched the area where he first made contact with Cranshaw and Paul. He located a plastic corner bag with brown powdery residue as well as items used to inject the alleged heroin.

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Quincy Eyes Seawall Replacement

By SCOTT JACKSON

Quincy is planning to replace 8,000 linear feet of seawall between Adams Shore and Houghs Neck with a taller structure meant to better repel the ocean, but some residents say the current plan does not go far enough.

City officials and representatives from Tighe & Bond, the engineering firm working with Quincy to design the new seawall, outlined their plans for the project during a community meeting Wednesday at City Hall. More than 100 residents were in attendance.

The seawall along Quincy Bay would be done in two phases, with the first phase taking place from Chickatabot Road to Babcock Street. The second phase goes from Babcock Street to Bayswater Road.

The project requires approval from seven different federal, state and local permitting bodies, including the Quincy Conservation Commission, which is slated to hear the proposal at its meeting Sept. 5. Chris Walker, the chief of staff to Mayor Thomas Koch, said there is no timeline yet for construction given the number of permits the city must obtain.

“The construction timeline will come when design and permitting are several steps down the road,” Walker said.

David Murphy of Tighe & Bond said the first phase is expected to cost up to $8.5 million. The total cost for both phases could exceed $15 million, Walker said. The city will seek state and federal money to complete the project – a state grant and matching funds from the city are paying for the design of the new seawall – but Koch is committed to the replacing the seawall even if no outside funding is secured.

“It’s not contigent on state or federal funding,” Walker said. “Whatever level of state and federal funding we get – that’s terrific. If there is no state or federal funding, the mayor fully intends to be in front of the City Council with a borrowing request for whatever needs to be done.”

The current seawall and stands, on average, 11 feet above mean sea level. Initially, Tighe & Bond planned to construct the new seawall two feet higher, Murphy said, but Koch asked the seawall be built four feet higher – a total of 15 feet above mean sea level – following this winter’s severe nor’easters.

Murphy said the worst predicted annual high tide – also known as a king tide – is 6.9 feet above mean sea level. The storm surge from the Jan. 4 nor’easter – the highest high tide Boston has seen – was 9.5 feet above mean sea level, with another four feet of wave action on top of it.

The proposal would include a leveling slab of concrete on top of the revetment currently in place, up to the elevation of the existing wall, Murphy said. The base would be six-feet wide. A seven-foot-tall, 12-inch wide section of pre-cast concrete would then be bolted to the outside of the wall facing the sea to provide the extra four feet of height. That would also create a 4.5-foot-wide walkway along the inside of the seawall on top of the concrete slab; railings would be installed on the walkway.

To provide access to the waterfront below the seawall, cut outs would be made in the wall itself, leading to staircases. The Department of Public Works would be responsible for inserting storm boards into the cutout sections ahead of storms if wave action were expected to surpass 11 feet above mean sea level. The number of such access points is still being determined.

The proposal would also include pipes every 30 feet along the seawall to drain floodwater into the ocean. The pipes would have one-way valves to ensure seawater does not permeate the wall.

Residents who spoke at the meeting said they were concerned about the design and whether it would be strong enough.

Dan Shea, an Adams Shore resident, said a wider wall without the railings and walkway would provide better protection while also minimizing maintenance costs in the future.

“I’m not sure this design is the right design,” he said. “You’re creating more maintenance for the city and more money down the road with the railings because we know they all fail within 10 to 15 years with the salt water hitting them all the time.”

Stuart Schrier, who also resides in Adams Shore, wanted to know if seawalls with a design similar to the one proposed along Quincy Bay have been constructed elsewhere.

“I think everyone is underestimating the power of the ocean,” he said. “We don’t want to be the guinea pig. Can you give us the history of those scrawny little blocks? If they’ve been in place for 20 years and they’ve withstood some storms, that might give us some confidence that that system could work.”

Duncan Mellor, an engineer with Tighe & Bond, said a similar seawall is located in North Hampton State Park in New Hampshire.

Murphy, in response to questions from residents about whether it would be possible to construct a new “jersey barrier” type seawall like the one in place now, but taller, said that would be feasible.

“That’s feasible to do,” he said. “We can increase the size of this leveling slab, bring that up to this elevation, and put new blocks like that – the ones you see all along – on top. That’s a design that is possible.”

Ward 1 Councillor David McCarthy said he plans to hold several meetings on the seawall to help come up with the best design possible.

“We live on the water, we live on the marsh, and it’s never going to go away,” McCarthy said. “We’re here to help, we’re here to defend it the best we can. Mother Nature might not care about anybody’s design in here and we’ll all be back here in a while, but we hope one design…will come out of all this and we can move forward.”

 

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Federal Cuts Force Agency To Downsize

The City of Quincy Workforce Development Department announced Thursday (Aug. 16) the layoff of employees and the downsizing of the Plymouth Career Center. These actions were the result of continued reductions in allocations received from the U.S. Department of Labor. These allocations are determined for the most part by the unemployment rate in the region.

“When the unemployment rate goes down, our allocations go down.” said Ron Iacobucci, director of the Workforce Development Department. “Unfortunately, our reward for doing a good job is that we receive less money,” Iacobucci said.

The Workforce Development Department will continue to operate a full-service One-Stop Career Center in Quincy located at 1515 Hancock St. “With significantly less funding our strategy now is to create career center access points throughout the region and we are committed to creating one in Plymouth to continue to serve our customers in the greater Plymouth area,” said Iacobucci. The access points will utilize current technology to connect its customers to the career center.

“We are not going to let these reductions affect the quality of the services and programs that we provide,” said Iacobucci.  “To promote a strong workforce for our South Shore Region, we will regroup to get the best use of our resources in order to continue to make a difference for job seekers and businesses,” Iacobucci said.

The Workforce Development Department oversees federally-mandated workforce development activities in the South Shore region.

The Department creates connections with local businesses, educational institutions and community partners ensuring the alignment of strategic, market driven workforce goals and initiatives to support the 22 cities and towns in the South Shore.

The One-Stop Career Center is a place where businesses, job seekers and youth can directly access career development services and resources as part of the “One-Stop” network across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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Construction Activities Along MBTA Red Line In Quincy

WORK HOURS FOR QUINCY CENTER DEMO AND WOLLASTON STATION

Day shift: 

Monday - Friday 7 AM - 3:30 PM

Night shift work: 

LMH, MBTA’s Contractor will resume night work on Monday, August 20. Night work is scheduled from Sunday through Thursday, 9 PM – 5 AM. See Red Line service alerts for most up to date information: https://www.mbta.com/alerts/subway#alerts-Red.

Weekend work: 

Shuttle buses replace Red Line service between North Quincy and Braintree on Saturday, August 18, from start of service to 7 PM for construction. See Red Line service alerts: https://www.mbta.com/alerts/subway#alerts-Red.

Future weekend work will occur on four weekends in September beginning September 7th and the first three weekends in October, beginning October 5th.  This weekend work is scheduled from Friday at 9 PM through Monday morning at 5 AM.

We acknowledge that night and weekend work can be disruptive, please feel free to contact the Project Team at:Wollaston@mbta.com with any concerns.

QUINCY CENTER GARAGE DEMOLITION

Demolition of the existing garage structure continues. Updates to the project can be found on the MBTA site here: https://www.mbta.com/projects/quincy-center-station-improvements. The contract also includes two important upgrades to the existing station.

New elevator

The existing elevator was closed on August 6th. A brand new elevator will be constructed in its place. The scope of work for a new elevator is greater than that of an elevator repair job. The new elevator will be completed by December 2018.  For those needing to access the MBTA or Commuter Rail by elevator, there is an alternative mode of transportation in place:https://www.mbta.com/projects/quincy-center-station-improvements/update/quincy-center-elevator-shuttles.

Accessible walkway

Currently those with mobility issues cannot access Quincy Center Station from the Burgin Parkway side of the station.  The contract calls for the construction of  an accessible walkway. Work is underway, foundation piles are in place and construction of the walkway continues.

Additional temporary bike racks

Two additional bike racks have been installed at Quincy Center and North Quincy Stations. More permanent bike shelters at North Quincy, Wollaston and Quincy Center will be installed as part of the Wollaston Station Improvement Project.

WOLLASTON STATION

Construction activities at Wollaston Station continue on schedule. Work on the platform, east headhouse, stairways and lobby areas are on schedule. The contractor will be removing the remaining trees in the parking lot area, in preparation for landscaping improvements required in the parking lot area.  The Project Team posts updates to construction activities and progress photos on line:https://www.mbta.com/projects/wollaston-station-improvements.

ACTIVITIES AT NORTH QUINCY STATION

The MBTA is reconstructing an underground electrical duct bank that runs from Hancock Street to the Red Line Substation located adjacent to the Red Line tracks. Construction work is underway and is anticipated to be complete within the next few weeks.

To facilitate construction, the Hancock Street entrance to the easterly parking lot has been temporarily closed to vehicular access. Customers have been directed to enter the lot through a newly opened temporary entrance at the extreme northerly end of the lot.  The Hancock Street lot entrance should be reopened to customers by Monday 8/20.

For those who have an interest in the Quincy Adams and Braintree Garage Projects, check out the web site: https://www.mbta.com/projects/south-shore-garages.

This information was provided by: Joe Sgroi and Tom Lindberg, Public Outreach, Wollaston Station & Quincy Center Garage Demolition Projects

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Quincy Receives $47M In FY19 State Budget

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.

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