‘American Pickers’ To Film TV Episodes In Bay State

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Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are returning to Massachusetts to film episodes of the hit TV series, “American Pickers” throughout the region this fall.

American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The show follows Mike and Frank, considered two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They seek sizeable, unique collections while learning stories behind them.

Mike and Frank are on a coast-to-coast mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.

American Pickers is looking for leads of “hidden treasures.” These collections can be anything from old vintage cars to sheds filled with large vintage neon signs.

Anyone with a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques or knows of such a collection is asked to send their name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-old-rust.

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Cagney’s To Open 50-Seat Patio

By SCOTT JACKSON

The owner of a Quincy Point restaurant has received permission to open a patio with seating for up to 50 patrons.

The Board of License Commissioners on Tuesday approved a request by Mark DiBona, the owner of Cagney’s Restaurant at 214 Washington St., for an alteration of premises to open the new patio space.

The 1,200 square foot patio will be located in what is now a driveway space off Washington Street next to Cagney’s and the breakfast place located in the same building. DiBona said he expects to spend $75,000 to convert the space into a patio and it will take about three weeks to do so.

DiBona said the success of Cagney’s 25th anniversary celebration in July – which included a temporary outdoor space on Washington Street – led him to pursue the construction of a permanent patio.

“We had great feedback from the neighborhood, great feedback from patrons,” DiBona said. “It worked out well for everybody.”

Outdoor patios are allowed to remain open in Quincy between Patriots Day and Columbus Day, which falls on Oct. 10 this year. DiBona said he hopes to open the patio this season to get a better understanding of what changes may be needed before next year. He could ask the license board for permission open it in October after Columbus Day.

Health Commissioner Drew Scheele, the chairman of the license board, said food service on patios must end at 10 p.m. each night – Cagney’s plans to offer a limited menu outdoors – and the patio must be cleared by 11 p.m.

Cagney’s will be allowed to play background music on the patio, but no live entertainment or television screens will be allowed there. Scheele said only three restaurants in the city with patio spaces have TVs, and said they could lead to patrons being too loud.

“My concern is next year we have a Sunday night Patriots game in early September at 8 o’clock at night and people are out yapping,” Scheele said. “I sympathize with the neighbors on that aspect because I scream at the TV all the time when I’m watching them.”

DiBona said those conditions were fair.

Scheele also asked DiBona if he had consider starting on a smaller scale – setting up a handful of tables on the Washington Street sidewalk – to see how successful outdoor seating would be for a season before deciding to renovate the 1,200 square foot space.

“I hate to see you invest $80,000 and not have people be out there,” Scheele said.

DiBona said his staff would be able to handle the new patio space next to the restaurant. The sidewalk directly in front of Cagney’s, he added, would not be the ideal location for outdoor seating while the proposed location would separated from the public with fencing and shrubbery.

“I’m confident we can run it well – my staff can handle it well,” DiBona said. “I actually think it’s less invasive where I’m proposing than on the sidewalk.

“When you’re on that sidewalk, I’m trying to say this as politely as possible, there is a lot of foot traffic and it’s not you and your wife walking by at 9 o’clock at night. It’s not going to be the most idealistic place to sit – in front of Cagney’s on the sidewalk – and have a nice glass of wine with your wife.”

Ward 1 Councillor Margaret Laforest voiced her support for DiBona’s request at the board meeting, noting Cagney’s is located in a business b zoning area.

“This is an allowed business use and this is an opportunity for this business owner to optimize their business use,” Laforest said, adding that she has received no complaints about noise at other outdoor patios that have opened in her ward.

“I’ve permitted about five of these patios for businesses in my district…Noise has been a concern in every single board meeting. I have yet myself to receive one complaint now that all of these have been implemented.”

Kerry Byrne, a marketing and hospitality consultant for the city, backed the proposal as well.

“Open air hospitality, I think, is essential to the image and perceived quality of life of any community,” he said. “Livening up that corridor between Quincy Center and the South Shore, I think, makes Quincy just look better and more livable, a more vibrant place to live, which is good for anyone who lives here.”

Also in favor of the proposal was John Rodephele, a Grenwold Road resident.

“I’m not usually in support of anything, but I’m in support of this because Cagney’s is a good neighbor,” he stated.

Paul Chenette of Chenette Plumbing, located at 204 Washington St., said he was “strongly opposed” to the plan. He was concerned about several issues including smoking on the patio and the loss of the driveway,

“It’s going to be disruptive,” Chenette said. “There is going to be drinking, there is going to be commotion and there is going to be smoking out there.”

David Chenette, Paul’s brother and a Moffat Road resident, likewise voiced his opposition to the project, as did Martin Gordon of Rock Island Road.

Conor Sullivan, an Edwards Street resident, opposed the proposal in a letter to the licensing board, saying he and his wife were concerned about noise.

“My house is set on a hill on Edwards Street and it is noisy enough with all of the traffic on Washington Street, which is below my house. The echo can be really loud at times and our bedroom is in the back of the house near Washington Street,” Sullivan said in the letter, which Scheele read out loud.

“My wife and I really enjoy Cagney’s, but the added outside noise would be too much.”

In other business Tuesday, the Board of License Commissioners:

Approved a special use permit for the Let’s Stop Cancer Foundation for a 5K family fun run in Squantum on Oct. 23.

Approved a special use permit for Little Hearts Inc. on Oct. 22 at The Irish Pub, 51 Billings Rd.

Approved a special use wine and malt license for the Quincy Historical Society’s Sept. 29 fundraiser, which will be held at the Adams Academy at 8 Adams St.

Approved a transfer of the retail alcohol license for Old Colony Liquors at 637 Southern Artery. The license will be transferred from Fouad Yasmine to his son, Edy.

Received a notification from the state lottery commission about a Keno display at the 7-Eleven at 721 Hancock St., and did not object to its installation there.

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Mayor Seeks Uniform Trash Collection Containers

Mayor Tomas Koch said he will propose to the City Council a broad overhaul to how the city collects trash and recyclables, including issuing uniform covered barrels to all households in the City.

The measure aims to dramatically increase the amount of waste residents recycle and in turn reduce other trash –  providing the cost savings to pay for the new household containers without any additional fees passed on to residents.

Eliminating uncovered barrels – and plastic bags – left curbside will also reduce litter citywide and curb food sources for rodents, Koch said.

“We spent a lot of time looking at this and exploring a number of different ideas, and the benefits to efficiency, cost, cleanliness, the environment and neighborhood quality of life issues created by uniform collection will be substantial,” said Koch. “We expect to have a thorough conversation with the City Council and the community in the coming weeks and months and work through the inevitable challenges that will arise.”

The Koch administration expects to have a formal proposal submitted to the City Council this fall, with any changes likely not taking effect until the start of a new fiscal year next July 1.  Under the concept, about 28,000 households in the City would be provided one covered barrel for trash and one for recycling at a cost of an estimated $3 million.

The City does not pay to have recyclables processed, but pays for every ton of garbage. The state Department of Environmental Protection said a recycling program with large uniform containers could double the amount the City recycles every year to 10,000 tons. That would save more than $300,000 in annual trash collection costs, savings that would be used to offset the costs of purchasing new containers for households across the City.

The program would be similar to the standardized container program now in in place in a number of Massachusetts communities, including Weymouth and Braintree.  City officials have been studying programs in those communities to get a feel of the challenges that Quincy will face if it moves forward.

Among them are the size of the containers, the availability of additional containers for larger households, and enforcement policies for property owners who refuse to abide by new rules.  A standard program would provide households with a 96-gallon container for recyclables and a 64-gallon container for trash.

Koch said those details of the proposal continued to be fleshed out, adding he would like to see option for seniors and some other households for smaller containers.

Some communities also charge a fee for additional containers or bags, although Koch said he’s more apt to pursue an option that will allow residents to just buy their own extra containers that meet the specifications of any new program.  In many cases, existing containers used by homeowners, known as totes, would meet the requirements.

“Recycling is important to our environment. Providing a standard, uniform means of collecting trash and recyclables in covered containers is important for our neighborhoods,” Koch said.

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Quincy Awarded $28.5M For New Sterling

By SCOTT JACKSON

The Massachusetts School Building Authority voted July 20th to award Quincy up to $28.52 million for the construction of the new Reay E. Sterling Middle School.

The final price tag for the new facility has yet to be determined. One of the next steps in the process will be for the city and MSBA to enter into a project funding agreement, which will detail the project’s scope and budget, along with conditions under which Quincy will receive its grant from the state agency.

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, the chair of the MSBA, and MSBA CEO Maureen Valente announced the $28.52 million in a statement.

“Upon completion, this project will provide a new, 21st century for our middle school students in Quincy,” Goldberg said. “Our goal is to create the best space to deliver the district’s educational commitments and goals.”

“Students will soon have a beautiful new space which will undoubtedly enhance and improve their ability to excel in the classroom,” Valente added.

The new Sterling – a 95,155 square foot facility – will have space to accommodate up to 430 students in grades five through eight. The school had an enrollment of 341 students in those grades at the start of the 2015-2016 school year, and has accommodated as many as 353 students in recent years.

The new facility will be built on the same site as the current school, set back further from Granite Street.

The current Sterling Middle School first opened its doors in 1927. The building suffers from deficiencies in major building systems including mechanical, electrical, envelope, windows and accessibility, according to the MSBA; the existing school also does not support the delivery of its educational program.

The new Sterling is following on the heels of the $50 million Central Middle School that opened in 2013 and the $126 million Quincy High School that opened in 2010. The city has already begun the process to replace the 97-year-old Squantum Elementary School as well.

 

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BBB Offers Tips On Summer Solicitors

With the summer door-knocking season underway, Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT (BBB) is warning consumers about deceptive sales tactics. BBB urges consumers to stay alert for unreliable solicitors and to have a plan in place when it comes to door-to-door salespeople.

Though many door-to-door salespeople operate honestly and represent reputable businesses, there are others who are only looking to make a sale and move on as quickly as possible – often leaving customers wondering if they’ll receive the product or service they’ve paid for or if they’ve just been scammed.

“Summer is here and the warm weather will bring salespeople to our front doors offering home improvements, alarm systems, and more,” said Paula Fleming, spokesperson for the local BBB. “It’s important to inquire about licensing and research the business before signing any contracts.”

BBB offers the following tips on door-to-door solicitations this summer:

Inquire about licensing. Many cities require door-to-door salespeople to have a solicitor’s license. Ask the salesperson if they’ve checked in with the city and obtained proper licensing. If you’re unsure if your city requires a permit, contact your city offices.

Massachusetts Licensing

Maine Licensing

Rhode Island Licensing

Ask for identification. A reputable seller will provide you with all of the information you request, including a photo ID and a business card.

Verify the individual and the business. If you’re interested in doing business with the solicitor, get everything in writing. Tell the solicitor you will look into it and get back to them. Research the business and contact them directly to verify the salesperson is an employee. Be sure to research the business at bbb.org.

Read the contract. Make sure you understand all of the terms and conditions before signing a contract. Watch out for high-pressure sales tactics and be aware that anything you sign could be viewed as a contract.

Know your rights. The Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the business to cancel the agreement. By law, the business must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.

Steer clear of scams. A classic tactic of less-than-reputable solicitors is to tell consumers they have extra product leftover from a job down the street and will perform the work for a minimal cost. Professional contractors typically know how much product is needed for a job and rarely have material leftover.

Consumers who have issues with door-to-door salespeople can contact their BBB at bbb.org, as well as with their local law enforcement, and the state Attorney General’s office.

For more information you can trust, visit us at bbb.org/boston or like us on Facebook.

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