Neighborhood Meetings Planned On Independence Ave. Gate

By SCOTT JACKSON

A local neighborhood group will host community meetings over the coming weeks concerning the possible re-opening of the Independence Avenue gate to the Quincy Adams MBTA station, and residents on both sides of the issue are invited to express their opinion.

The Penn’s Hill Neighborhood Association will hold meetings on May 31 and June 14 at the First Presbyterian Church, 270 Franklin St., concerning the gate re-opening. Both meetings start at 7 p.m. A third meeting is tentatively set for the church at 7 p.m. on June 28 as well.

The Penn’s Hill Neighborhood Association is not taking a position on the issue.

“We are agnostic on it,” Robert Buchholz, the group’s treasurer, said. “We see our role as providing a forum for people to say if it should be open or not.”

When the Quincy Adams station first opened in 1983, commuters could access it through entrances on Burgin Parkway and Independence Avenue. The Independence Avenue entrance, which served pedestrians, was closed in the late 1980s after Quincy residents complained about T passengers parking on residential streets near the station and using that gate, instead of parking in the MBTA lot accessible through Burgin Parkway.

The transit agency is set to begin a $42 million project to renovate the garage at the station beginning this September and continuing for 39 months, which will include work to prepare the Independence Avenue entrance for a possible re-opening. T officials told the City Council in April the city would have the final say on whether it re-opens. Chris Walker, a spokesman for Mayor Thomas Koch, said at that time the administration would need to gather public input before a decision is reached.

The issue of the gate is one that arises frequently, Buchholz said, but doesn’t get far because there has been no venue for people on either side to express their opinion. The MBTA held a community meeting in April on the planned renovations to the Quincy Adams station and many residents there that night wanted to discuss the gate, for example, but couldn’t.

“We figured we should provide a forum to have a conversation, Buchholz said.

The upcoming meetings will be open to all Quincy residents in Wards 2 and 4.

“Although we only represent a small portion of Ward 2, we want these to be open to folks outside our boundaries in Ward 2 and also in Ward 4,” Buchholz said.

City and MBTA officials will also be invited to the meetings.

The PNHA has also created an online survey residents can fill out.

While the neighborhood association is staying neutral on the issue, Buchholz, who walks to the Quincy Adams station each day, said he is in favor of opening the gate.

“Personally I am in favor of the gate opening. I walk to and from the train station every day, about 1.3 miles in each direction whereas if the gate were open it would be about a half mile, so it adds considerable time to my day,” he said.

“It would be nice to find a way to alleviate legitimate concerns about the gate opening and create benefits for the neighborhood at the same.”

Buchholz said Quincy, like many communities near Boston, is becoming a more popular place to live but remains affordable for people to purchase homes.

“But people moving to the Boston area expect train access,” he said.

“I understand there are legitimate concerns on the other side of the issue,” Buchholz added. “It is important they have their voices heard as well.”

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Life Sentence For Quincy Murder

By SCOTT JACKSON

A Germantown man will serve a sentence of 15 years to life after being convicted of killing a man in an unprovoked attack two years ago inside a Quincy Center barroom.

Judge Thomas Connors handed down the sentence to Paul J. Fahey, 43, formerly of Lind St., Thursday morning in Norfolk County Superior Court. Fahey was sentenced two days after a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Keith W. Boudreau.

The mandatory sentence for murder in the second degree is life in prison with eligibility for parole after 15 years.

Fahey was convicted of killing Boudreau, age 42, in an unprovoked attack in the now-closed Home Ice Sports Bar on Washington Street on March 23, 2015. Fahey knocked Boudreau to the floor with a punch to the head, and then stomped on his head, according to prosecutors. Boudreau died in a hospital two weeks later.

“The witnesses in the bar that day made it very clear that this attack was entirely unprovoked. The witnesses saw as he struck Boudreau, sending him to the ground, and then stomped on him while he was on the ground,” Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey said in a statement following the conviction. “He was immediately hospitalized and died on April 3.”

Fahey’s trial lasted a week. A jury found him guilty after 90 minutes of deliberation. Morrissey said Boudreau’s family and friends were extraordinarily supportive and involved in the process.

“On any given day, 40 to 50 of Keith’s friends and family were sitting in the courtroom,” he stated. “It was quite a testament to who Keith was and what he meant to those around him.”

The district attorney credited police and prosecutors for their role in convicting Fahey.

“Quincy detectives and State Police detectives put together a very thorough and strong case here,” Morrissey said. “Assistant District Attorneys Craig Kowalski and Laura McLaughlin and Victim/Witness Advocate Pamela Friedman did excellent work preparing and trying the case. I thank them for their hard work and diligence.”

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AAA: Memorial Day Travel At Highest Level Since 2005

AAA projects that 39.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend. That is one million more travelers than last year taking to the roads, skies, rails and water, creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005.

More than 900,000 Massachusetts residents are estimated to be traveling, close to 820,000 of them by car. Both are up close to three percent over last year, and are the largest numbers seen locally since 2005.

“The expected spike in Memorial Day travel mirrors the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs for AAA Northeast. “Higher confidence has led to more consumer spending, and many Americans are choosing to allocate their extra money on travel this Memorial Day.”

By the Numbers: Memorial Day Travel Forecast

  • 2017 will mark the third consecutive year of growth in Memorial Day travel with 2.7 percent more travelers than last year.
  • 34.6 million Americans (88.1 percent of travelers) will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.4 percent over last year.
  • 2.9 million Americans are taking to the skies this Memorial Day, increasing air travel by 5.5 percent over last year.
  • 1.75 million travelers, an increase of 2.9 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses. 

AAA to rescue more than 330,000 motorists this Memorial Day
            AAA expects to rescue more than 330,000 motorists this Memorial Day weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. AAA recommends motorists have their vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the more than 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.

Download the AAA Mobile app before a Memorial Day getaway
              Before setting out for Memorial Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find nearly 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

About the travel forecast:
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.

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Isola Not Seeking Re-Election To School Board

By SCOTT JACKSON

Barbara Isola

Barbara Isola

Voters will fill at least one open seat on the School Committee this fall because two-term incumbent Barbara Isola is not seeking re-election.

Three of the six school board seats – those held by Isola, Emily Lebo and Anne Mahoney – are up for grabs in the fall. Lebo has said she will run again while Mahoney has yet to reach a decision on her plans.

Isola, first elected to a four-year term in 2009, announced on Monday she would not seek re-election.

“It has been my honor and privilege to have served on the Quincy School Committee since January of 2010, and as vice-chair from 2012 to 2013,” Isola said in a statement.

“I ran for School Committee because I believe that public schools are the backbone of our city. There is no higher calling than educating our children and doing it well. This belief was reinforced and strengthened during my two terms in office. It was rewarding to collaborate with my colleagues and the superintendent to effect positive change. The superintendent, his leadership team, our principals and teacher, our paraprofessionals and support staff are second to none. I strongly believe that the collaboration between the School Committee and these professionals helps to foster creative ideas and provides rich opportunities for our students.

“It is my hope that a broad and diverse field of candidates will run for School Committee in the upcoming election and this will lead to robust debate and the presentation of new ideas.

“Thank you to all of the people who supported me over the years. Your generosity will never be forgotten and I pledge to continue to support education in Quincy.”

Two residents have pulled papers to run for School Committee: Anthony Andronico of Charles Street and David Jacobs of Dunns Court. Both did so last week, before Isola announced she would not run again.

Two City Council seats are also open this fall. At-large Councillor Joseph Finn, the longest-serving current member of council, announced last Monday he would not run again for his seat. The following day, Ward 1 Councillor Margaret Laforest announced she would give up that seat to run for one of the three at-large spots.

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Finn Not Seeking Re-Election This Fall

By ROBERT BOSWORTH

Eight-term incumbent Councillor at-Large Joseph Finn will not seek re-election this fall citing personal and professional reasons.

Joseph Finn

Joseph Finn

Finn, the dean of the council who was first elected in 2001, made the announcement at the May 1st council meeting.

Finn, who served as Council president in 2014 and 2015 and topped the at-large field in winning an eighth term two years ago, told his colleagues at the meeting:

“I am announcing this evening that I will not seek nomination or reelection as Quincy councillor at-large in the November 2017 election. I am not seeking reelection for personal and professional reasons.

“I believe in the old adage ‘never say never’ and I do not exclude the possibility of running for public office at some future point, but I am now excluding myself from reelection neither for that reason nor to assume any other office.

“It will be 16 years that I have served as Quincy city councillor at-large.  I can think of no greater privilege or honor than it has been to serve in this position. My life has been influenced by the wonderful, generous, committed men and women whom I have had the honor to serve with. My respect for all those who hold public office has grown immensely over this time.

“I had the honor to serve with two mayors for whom, despite their doubts at times, I had tremendous respect for their courage and sacrifice. I thank them both for what they have taught me about courage and commitment.

“My colleagues over the years on the City Council have made the deepest impression upon me: To have the courage, the spirit of sacrifice and the willingness week after week to be a decision maker committed to the people of this wonderful city takes far more than most will ever know.  As I have said in the past, it is a great challenge to surrender the luxury of opinion for the reality of deciding.  Thank all of you for your service and commitment.

“I would like to thank the Auditor, the Clerk, and the Clerk of Committees and all of the staff that make our jobs much easier and say what an honor it has been to work with you. I hope I can learn to operate the Tablet before December ends!

“Finally, I want most of all, to thank all of those people who serve the City of Quincy that I have had the honor to work with.  You get up every day, go to work without notoriety or status and keep the City moving. From department heads, to public safety, to our incredible school personnel, to the DPW and Park laborers, to the clerks, to all those who have had to deal with my often annoying phone calls, thank you. I know it is popular today to deride public service, but I can say first hand you are an honor to this City and worthy of great praise.

“When I first sought office in 1999, I did so with the conviction that new voices had to be heard.  When I first won office in 2001, I never intended to stay as long as I did. It seems fitting at this point to note that I am returning to that fundamental principle that led me to pursue election.  Our electoral process is the way for new voices to be heard and I encourage anyone who feels called to seek public office to go for it. I honestly can say at this point, I can think of no greater, no nobler calling or service to your community to both seek election and serve the great people of Quincy.

“Finally, let me say, I am committed to serving out what remains of my term with great vigor.   I will continue to uphold the sworn responsibility of this office for as long as I serve.  Thank you very much.”

The nine city council positions – three at-large and the six ward posts – along with three school committee seats will be on the ballot this fall. The mayor’s seat – held by Thomas Koch – is not on the ballot since the term is now four years and is at the mid-point.

Nomination papers for nine city council and three school committee seats are available at the City Clerk’s office starting Tuesday, May 2.

 

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