Local Taxi Driver Saves Elderly Resident From Being Victimized By ‘Grandparent Scam’

Quincy Police are praising a local taxi driver for helping to prevent an elderly resident from being scammed out of several thousand dollars.

According to the Quincy Police Facebook page, on Thursday, Feb. 7, while working his shift for Yellow Cab, Richard Spencer picked up an 87-year-old female who requested to be taken to Walmart. While enroute, the victim told Spencer that she needed to buy more gift cards for her grandson that was in trouble. Another cab driver had told Mr. Spencer that the elderly female had gone to a location earlier in the day and bought two separate gift cards each for $2,000.

Spencer, believing the elderly passenger was being scammed, brought her straight to the Quincy Police Station.

The victim told officers that she received a phone call from a male, who identified himself as her grandson. The caller stated he was in a car accident and needed the victim to send him gift cards so he would not go to jail. This male gave the victim specific instructions on how to call a cab, go to a certain location, purchase two gift cards, call the number back and provide the gift card and pin numbers.

“This, ladies and gentlemen, is a text-book ‘Grandparent Scam,’” stated Quincy Police on its Facebook Page. “While the victim in this scam may be out $4,000 (which is a substantial amount of money), it could have been much, much worse.”

Police had this advice:

“Cashiers, etc: If you work in an environment that sells gift cards, take a moment to ask yourself – Does this make sense? Why would an 87-year-old individual need $4,000 in gift cards to this particular store/app. Ask questions. Sure, there may be a legitimate reason, but if you take the time and ask the questions, you just might prevent someone from falling victim.

“Thank you Mr. Spencer for caring,” Quincy Police said. “You could have chosen to remain silent and ignore the signs. But you didn’t. And for that we say thank you.”

 

Share Button

South Shore, Brigham And Women’s Hospitals Plan Quincy Center Presence

FoxRock Properties plans to construct three new buildings on the site of the Ross Lot - a hotel, residences and medical office space. South Shore Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital announced plans to move into the medical space Thursday.

FoxRock Properties plans to construct three new buildings on the site of the Ross Lot – a hotel, residences and medical office space. South Shore Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital announced plans to move into the medical space Thursday.

By SCOTT JACKSON

The approval process for a new medical office building in Quincy Center has yet to begin, but the developer of the property has reached an agreement with two local hospital groups who would share the new space.

Mayor Thomas Koch on Feb. 7 announced South Shore Health System – the operator of South Shore Hospital – and Partners HealthCare’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital would rent the space in the 200,000 square foot building that will be constructed on the site of the city-owned Ross Lot. Quincy-based FoxRock Properties will construct the new building, along with a 140-room hotel and a third building with 110 units of workforce housing.

Construction on site could start as soon as the spring of 2020, the mayor said, and would take about 18 months to complete.

Koch said the closure of the Quincy Medical Center in December 2014 left a void the new building in Quincy Center would fill.

“We saw the demise of Quincy Medical over the years, and since that time we’ve had a tremendous vacuum of medical services. People have to leave the city to get some very basic medical needs taken care of. That’s about to change,” Koch said.

“This will be a fulfilment of the transformation of the downtown and the return of some excellent, professional medical services for the residents of the city.”

Rob Hale, the founder of FoxRock Properties and the President and CEO of Granite Telecommunications, said his company is proud to be part of the resurgence in Quincy.

“Quincy a couple hundred years ago was an important part of America. For a couple decades, it hasn’t run as augustly as it used to be, but in the last five years it has had a resurgence,” Hale said. “We want to be part of that resurgence and we’re honored to be part of that resurgence.”

Dr. Gene Green, the president and CEO of the South Shore Health System, said the mix of medical offices coming to the new building has yet to be determined. He said it was unlikely the facility would include an emergency department, trauma center or maternity ward.

Before development of the new site can begin, the City Council will have to approve a land disposition agreement (LDA) authorizing the sale of the land to the developer. Koch said he plans to submit the LDA to the council for approval on Feb. 25. The project would also require approval from the Planning Board.

Part of the agreement with FoxRock will include tax benefits for the medical space, Koch said, but not the hotel or residential buildings. South Shore Health System and Partners HealthCare are both non-profit companies.

“They will certainly be paying on the hotel and the residential,” the mayor said. “The question is what would they pay for the medical, if anything. Generally, medical business is non-profit and doesn’t pay taxes, and I’m willing to forego that to bring medical uses back to the city.”

“We’re still working out the numbers so I can’t really say what the numbers are at this point,” Koch added.

He will also introduce on Feb. 25 a new bond for downtown improvements in the range of $25 million. That bond will include funding to design a new public parking garage in the area of the Ross Lot; Koch expects state money would be used to fund the garage’s construction. The bond will be paid for using the district improvement financing (DIF) program, which means new tax revenue from Quincy Center would pay back the funds borrowed.

In addition, Koch said he plans to introduce a new amendment to the Urban Revitalization and Development Plan for Quincy Center during the Feb. 25 meeting.

South Shore Health System also plans to move into the second and third floors of the office building at 1495 Hancock St. in Quincy Center, which is also owned by FoxRock, this summer. A primary care practice will operate inside that building.

Officials on hand for Thursday's announcement included (from left): FoxRock Properties owner Rob Hale; Mayor Thomas Koch; Dr. Betsy Nabel, president of Brigham Health; Dr. Gene Green, president of the South Shore Health System; and Jason Ward, managing partner for FoxRock Properties. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth.

Officials on hand for Thursday’s announcement included (from left): FoxRock Properties owner Rob Hale; Mayor Thomas Koch; Dr. Betsy Nabel, president of Brigham Health; Dr. Gene Green, president of the South Shore Health System; and Jason Ward, managing partner for FoxRock Properties. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth.

Share Button

June 3 Opening For New Middle School

By SCOTT JACKSON

The replacement for Quincy’s 92-year-old Sterling Middle School is tentatively scheduled to open on June 3, school officials announced Wednesday.

The South-West Middle School, as the building will be known, was set to open following April vacation, but was delayed by National Grid’s six-month lockout of union workers. The lockout meant the school’s natural gas service could not be connected, and certain interior work could not take place until that connection was made.

Superintendent Dr. Richard DeCristofaro announced the new tentative opening date in an email Wednesday.

“There are many details still to be finalized for the transition, but we are all looking forward to this exciting event for the staff, students, and families of Southwest Quincy!” he said.

The new school, with a cost of $59 million, will be located on the same site as the present Sterling, 444 Granite St., but set further away from the road. It will stand three stories tall, with only the top two floors visible from Granite Street because of the site’s topography. The first floor would house academic neighborhoods for students in grades five and six with seventh and eighth graders on the second floor. The lower level of the building, accessible from the Roberts Street side, will include the gym, music room and a 280-seat auditorium.

The 95,155 square foot facility will have room for up to 430 students in grades five through eight. A total of 61 parking spaces would be provided – 50 for staff on the Roberts Street side of the building and 11 visitor spaces on the Granite Street side. There are 29 spaces on site currently. A drop-off/pick-up lane would also be added on the Granite Street side, where two entrances would be available for students – one for those in grades six through eight and the other for fifth graders.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority has pledged $28.52 million toward the construction of the new facility.

Share Button

NQ Station Project Starting Feb. 17

By SCOTT JACKSON

Half the parking spaces at the North Quincy MBTA station will close the week of Feb. 17 as the first phase of a mixed-use development on site begins.

Quincy residents and several elected officials raised concerns about the plan during a community meeting Wednesday, saying the T should provide a shuttle service from Squantum Point Park to the station to mitigate the loss of parking.

Two firms, Atlantic Development and Bozzuto Development, plan to construct a mixed-use development with 610 apartments and 45,000 square feet of retail space on site. Their plan also includes a parking garage, which will include 852 spaces dedicated for MBTA commuters – equal to the surface spaces that will be removed during the project. Seven hundred other parking spaces are included in the plan for residential and retail use.

The garage and one of the mixed-use buildings would be built during the first phase of construction, which is expected to take 18 months. The second phase, with the remaining portions of the development, will take another 18 months.

Starting the week of Feb. 17, access to 600 parking spaces on the Hancock Street side of the lot will close as construction begins. T officials on Wednesday said more than 600 other spaces would remain open between the Hancock Street side of the station and the lot on Newport Avenue. Additionally, those officials said more than 400 spaces go unused on a regular basis at Wollaston station, which is currently closed and scheduled to re-open in August. The shuttle service between Quincy Center, Wollaston and North Quincy will continue to run until Wollaston re-opens.

Evan Rowe, the MBTA’s director of revenue, said more than half of the commuters who use the North Quincy lot are from Milton and communities south of Quincy. He suggested those commuters could divert themselves to other Red Line or Commuter Rail stations once the North Quincy project begins.

“Less than 50 percent of the folks who park at North Quincy are actually from Quincy,” Rowe said. “What that means is there are other options that we can publicize to the folks who are coming in from Milton, who are coming in from Braintree, Weymouth, Hingham and the other South Shore communities that make up a substantial percentage of the parkers in the North Quincy facility.”

Several residents asked the T officials if they had looked into using other parking lots near the North Quincy station to accommodate commuters once the construction project begins. Rowe said alternatives were looked at but no additional lots were available.

Linda Lund, a North Quincy resident, was the first resident to ask about the shuttle service between the North Quincy station and Squantum Point Park. T officials told the City Council in April 2017 that would be a fallback option if no other parking lots were available.

Rowe said that option had not been explored because it would be difficult to implement.

“That’s not really an option that’s been explored,” he said. “The frequency of buses we’d have to run to make a shuttle functional would be challenging to implement.”

Kevin Coughlin, a former Ward 3 councillor, said he been given assurances the shuttle service would be in place to mitigate the project’s impact on neighborhoods near the station.

“When I was on the council my last term, the proposal before us tonight was in its infancy and I was given assurances at that point that there would be a shuttle bus running from Squantum Point Park because of the concerns that have been raised with neighborhoods both on the North Quincy High side of West Squantum Street as well as the Montclair area,” Coughlin said.

“I’m a little disappointed to hear that has not been further pursued.”

Councillor Nina Liang said the project should be delayed so T officials could further consider using Squantum Point Park for shuttle service.

“Hold off construction until you can come back to us with real answers,” she said. “If you’re saying to me right now, ‘I can’t do anything – construction is going to start,’ then I don’t know why I wasted my time coming here.”

Jeff Cook, the T’s chief real estate officer, said he could not delay the project. He said it would take about two weeks to study the shuttle service to and from Squantum Point Park.

Rick Colon, a MassDOT official, noted the extension of Commander Shea Boulevard to Squantum Point Park would be constructed this spring; the shuttle service could not be implemented until the extension is done, unless private roads in Marina Bay were used for access.

Share Button

Fund Established To Help Family Of Former Quincy Man Who Died From Injuries Outside Legion Post

Chris McCallum (center) was inducted into the Quincy-North Quincy Football Hall of Fame in 2016. Here he is escorted by then Red Raider seniors  Brendon Ganno (#29) and Liam O'Connor (#22). McCallum, a 1992 graduate of NQHS, died earier this week from injuries he sustained while trying to break up a fight outside the Nickerson American Legion Post in Squantum. A GoFundMe fund has been established to benefit his wife and their three sons. Quincy Sun Photo/Larry Carchedi

Chris McCallum (center) was inducted into the Quincy-North Quincy Football Hall of Fame in 2016. Here he is escorted by then Red Raider seniors Brendon Ganno (#29) and Liam O’Connor (#22). McCallum, a 1992 graduate of NQHS, died earlier this week from injuries he sustained while trying to break up a fight outside the Nickerson American Legion Post in Squantum. A GoFundMe fund has been established to benefit his wife and their three sons. Quincy Sun Photo/Larry Carchedi

By ROBERT BOSWORTH

A fund has been established to benefit the family of a former Quincy resident who died from injuries he sustained while trying to break up a fight earlier this week outside the Nickerson American Legion Post in Squantum.

Christopher W. McCallum, a husband and father of three from Bridgewater, was found injured early Sunday outside the post on Moon Island Road following a report of a large disorder. McCallum, 44, was rushed to Boston Medical Center after being found unconscious and bleeding outside the post shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday. McCallum was treated at BMC before succumbing to his injuries there Monday afternoon.

Quincy Police, along with State Police detectives assigned to the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office, are investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.

Anyone with information they believe may assist in the investigation is urged to contact detectives at 781-830-4990.

McCallum’s passing has saddened the community especially friends who knew the young husband and father from youth and high school football in Quincy.

McCallum was a 1992 graduate of North Quincy High School and served as a captain his senior year on the 1991 Red Raider football team. He was inducted into the Quincy-North Quincy Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

“As a husband, father, friend, engineer, and teammate, Chris was the real deal,” said Sean Glennon, a longtime friend and fellow NQHS Red Raider. “There was no role he didn’t excel at and there was no chance he’d ever boast of it either. The night Chris was inducted into the Hall of Fame he spent most of his speech praising another inductee (Graham Chevry) who he had played against because it was never about Chris.”

Ryan Craig, another friend and Red Raider head head football coach, said:

“Chris McCallum was a great man. I have come across many people in my life and have never met a better person than Chris. As we all try and process what has happened to Chris and his family, please take a little time to say a prayer for them all, and if possible please donate what you can to help them out in this very difficult time.”

McCallum was married for 20 years to his wife, Kathy (Doyle) McCallum, who is also originally from Quincy. They have three sons: Ryan, a junior at Bridgewater-Raynham High School; and 13-year-old twin boys, Michael and Christopher.

McCallum was also the captain of the 1991-1992 North Quincy hockey team. He played for the Squantum Sailors Youth Football team and after graduating NQHS played football for Mass. Maritime Academy from 1992-1995.

He graduated in 1996 and went on to work as an engineer.

To make a donation to the Chris McCallum Family Fund, visit: gofundme/chris-mccallum.

There is a link to make a donation to assist the family.

Also posted is a message which appears below:

“In the early morning of Sunday, January 27th, Christopher W. McCallum of Bridgewater, MA sustained a life-threatening head and brain injury while trying to break up a fight outside of the Nickerson Post in Quincy, MA. Chris was transported to Boston Medical Center where their trauma team worked tirelessly to try and save him but unfortunately, the injuries were too severe. Chris passed away Monday afternoon, Jan. 28th surrounded by his family and his closest friends. Chris was the quintessential good guy, passionately willing to help anyone in need whenever possible. He was a fiercely devoted husband, father, son, brother, and friend. Also beloved by nieces and nephews, there was no audience that didn’t see the overwhelming good in Chris from first blush.
At this time, we are reaching out to the community for prayers and strength for the collective family he leaves behind.  As we mourn this sudden and tragic loss, we ask that you give the family space and not reach out to the immediate family as we mourn. Chris worked tirelessly to provide for his family and the void he leaves today and forever is immense. Recognizing the family’s long-term needs, prayer posts and well wishes are more than welcome on this go fund me page that we established to help Kathy and the boys grieve this tremendous loss.”

Below are some Quincy Sun archive photos of Christopher McCallum from his high school days.

received_366936400763867

received_229397678008842

received_536100966893878received_605054469955758

Share Button