Post Island Residents Hear Seawall Plans

By SCOTT JACKSON

Residents of the Post Island neighborhood want the city to further investigate the installation of pump stations in the area before committing to a new seawall height.

About 30 residents, many from Post Island Road and nearby streets, attended a community meeting on the new seawall Tuesday in the Coddington Building. Residents spent more than two hours discussing the seawall design with city officials and engineers from Tighe & Bond.

Tighe & Bond is working with the city to design a new seawall that would stretch along Quincy Bay from Chickatabot Road to Babcock Street, covering some 8,000 linear feet of coastline in total. The replacement of the seawall will require various federal, state and local permits, including approval from the Quincy Conservation Commission. The commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal Nov. 7.

The seawall currently in place along Quincy Bay sits, on average, 11 feet above mean sea level, according to Dave Murphy of Tighe & Bond. Tighe & Bond had initially planned to raise the height of the entire seawall to 15 feet above mean sea level, Murphy said, using the same design as the seawall that stands there now.

Based on feedback from some residents worried the four-foot increase in the seawall height would impact their view of the waterfront, Murphy said the plan, which is not yet set in stone, now calls for a two-foot increase in the seawall height with the option of adding an extension up to two feet tall to the top of the wall in the future.

“It’s a compromise between going too high and blocking people’s visual view. It allows us to go back to the standard block, which the city has used all along…that block design will be modified so that we can properly dowel into an extension block above,” Murphy said.

Thirteen feet above mean sea level is equal to the height of the storm surge and wave action seen during the Jan. 4 nor’easter, which brought the highest high tide Boston has ever seen, according city engineer Paul Costello said.

As part of the project, the city will also replace the 14 outfall pipes that drain stormwater from the areas behind the seawall into Quincy Bay. Ken Mavrogeorge, an engineer with Tighe & Bond, said the new outfalls would be placed at the proper grade to allow stormwater to flush any sediment out of the pipe. The new outfalls will also have one-way valves inside to stop seawater from surging up the pipe onto land.

The outfall pipes will be wide enough to handle the rainfall from a 100-year storm event, which is about 8 inches of rain in 24 hours.

The seawall itself would have drainpipes, with one-way valves, to allow water to drain back to the ocean.

City officials and Tighe & Bond are also eyeing pump stations for the Post Island neighborhood, Murphy said, separately from the seawall and outfall project.

“Even by raising the seawall, even by adding the drain-back pipes through the seawall, even by increasing all the outfall pipes to a much, much larger size to handle one-year storm events – even with all that there will be conditions of flooding,” he said.

“That therefore concludes that the city needs to work towards having in this particular area…some sort of an intake structure that is designed for emergencies only.”

The permitting process for a new pumping station is less stringent than the process for a seawall, Murphy added.

When residents were asked towards the end of the meeting if they would prefer the new seawall be built two or four feet higher than the existing barrier, they said their answer depends on whether or not the pumping station were built.

“The pump station is tied to the height of the wall,” said Post Island resident Bill Bowen. “We can’t come to a decision on the height of the wall until we figure out can we do the pump station.”

“Our decision is not aesthetic,” said Ann Donovan. “Our decision is if we want to have a house in 10 years.”

Another resident, who declined to give her name, compared asking residents what size seawall they would like to see built without knowing more about the pump station to answering a marriage proposal without knowing if the other person was already married to someone else.

The city received a $441,000 state grant in 2016 for design and engineering costs related to the new seawall and outfall pipes, which are estimated to cost between $15 and $20 million. Murphy said the city would apply for state and federal grants for the seawall project, and the pumping station project, later this year or early next year.

Ward 1 Councillor David McCarthy said he planned to meet again with residents to discuss their concerns. Mayor Thomas Koch, McCarthy, is committed to seeing the project through.

“I’m sure we’ll have another powwow as we talk to the mayor and others about the funding and our options, and I’m sure he’s going to fix the problem,” McCarthy said. “He knows what the problem is and he’s going to fix the problem.”

The meeting for Post Island residents is the second of three seawall meetings McCarthy will host. The third and final meeting, for those living in Adams Shore, will be held Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. at the Coddington Building.

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New Recycling Guidelines Announced

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The Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has announced a statewide recycling education initiative to reduce contamination in recycling by asking residents to “do their part and recycle smart”.

Fifty percent of America’s recycling once was transported to China.  In recent months, China has raised its quality standards to a highly selective system resulting in millions of tons of recycling sitting unsold around the world.  Unfortunately, the burden of this change has come back to communities in the form of processing charges and contamination fees.

Recycling is a process of converting waste materials into reusable objects to prevent waste of potentially useful materials and reducing the consumption of energy usage and pollution.  Citizens can help fight the rising cost of recycling by carefully adhering to the guidelines in place currently.

“The situation is still in flux as waste management assesses the world standards,” said Mayor Thomas Koch.  “This latest information is a helpful reference for all of us in the community.”

Four categories of materials are identified that every materials recovery facility (MRF) across the state accepts.  They include mixed paper and cardboard, metal food and beverage cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, jars, jugs and tubs.

The top five contaminants that MRFs do not want in recycling loads include bagged recyclables and bagged garbage, loose plastic bags/plastic wrap, food and liquids, clothing or linens, “tanglers” like hoses, wires, chains, strings of lights, etc.

Recyclables should not be bagged in plastic.  They should be placed directly in recycling bins.  All recycling items must be cleaned of all food and liquids and all caps must be replaced before recycled.

For a full list of recycling guidelines, visit RecycleSmartMA.org. that features the “Smart Recycling Guide.”

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Michael Bellotti Named Interim Quincy College President

By SCOTT JACKSON

Norfolk County Sheriff Michael Bellotti will leave the job he has held for the past two decades to become the new interim president of Quincy College.

Michael Bellotti

Michael Bellotti

The college’s Board of Governors on Wednesday voted 11-0 to appoint Bellotti the school’s interim president for the next 18 months. The board also voted to launch a search for a full-time president.

Bellotti will resign from his position as the county’s top cop to take the reins of the school by Nov. 1. Bellotti, age 55, was elected sheriff in 1998 after spending six years as member of the state House of Representatives. A Squantum resident, Bellotti is a son of Francis X. Bellotti, who served as the state’s lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Bellotti said he will work to bolster the image of the school over the next 18 months.

“I’m humbled and appreciative,” he said following the board’s vote. “It’s an opportunity to lead an institution knowing that there are folks here with more subject-matter expertize than I’ll ever have. I’m hoping to bolster the image of the college by working with all the stakeholders throughout this area as I have for the past 26 years.”

Bellotti said it was too early to know if he would put himself into consideration for the position on a permanent basis.

“Honestly, I have to get in here, see what I can do, how I can work with folks – faculty, students, the deans – and then I’ll assess that as I go along,” he said.

Robert Harnais, who is a special sheriff in Bellotti’s office, will become acting sheriff immediately upon Bellotti’s resignation. Harnais, a Braintree resident, is a former president of the Massachusetts Bar Association and is currently the chairman of the Braintree Planning Board.

Under state law, Gov. Charlie Baker would have the ability to appoint a new sheriff who would serve until a 2020 special election. The winner of the special election would serve out the remaining two years on Bellotti’s term, and could seek re-election to a full six-year term in 2022.

An email to Lizzy Guyton, Baker’s spokeswoman, was not returned Thursday morning.

Mayor Thomas Koch, who has been the principal executive of Quincy College since May, recommended the Board of Governors name Bellotti interim president at Wednesday’s meeting. Koch said it was important to hire someone with the right skill set, a passion for the job and a sense of loyalty to the city and college.

“When I hire a department head on the city side, it’s the skill set. What’s the qualifications? What kind of passion do they bring to the job? What kind of loyalty do they have to the city?” Koch said. “I would add the same on this side of the street, except I would say the loyalty to the college, which in turn quite frankly is the city.”

“It’s the management ability that counts,” the mayor added. “We’ve been through a rough stretch, but I believe we’re going to be in good shape.”

The Board of Governors named Koch principal executive of the school in May, following the resignation of Peter Tsaffaras, the college’s president since 2011. Koch was named principal executive for up to six months.

The board approved the creation of a new provost position since then. Koch said the new provost would handle the academic side of the school, leaving the president to handle the business side. Koch in July announced Gerald Koocher, formerly a dean at DePaul University in Chicago, had been hired as provost.

Following the board’s vote, Koch said he considered no one besides Bellotti for the interim presidency.

“I felt he was a perfect fit – his skill set, background, passion for the college and city,” Koch said of Bellotti.

The mayor said no one approached him about the opening either.

“Think about that – people knew I was going to be up in six months. That was very public,” Koch said. “No one called or reached out or put an application in to be in the interim president.”

Quincy College has gained a large amount of independence from the city since its founding in 1958, but remains one of the few municipally owned schools of its kind in the country. The college does not receive funding from the city or state, however.

Bellotti told the Board of Governors he would continue to run the school independent of the city, but in partnership with it and other stakeholders.

“We can’t succeed unless we work independently, but in partnership with all the stakeholders in Quincy and beyond. The mayor – the good news is we know he is with us on those issues that we need, but certainly from my relationship with him, I know he’s not going to try to micromanage. I won’t have to check in with him on matters,” Bellotti said.

“It’s a supportive relationship, but I would never, never come here unless I thought I had the freedom and independence to do it. I’m not going to ruin my reputation or this college’s reputation…because of politics.”

Several board members lauded Bellotti for the work he has done as sheriff prior to their vote.

The Rev. James Hawker said Bellotti has approached him in the past to find ways to improve the lives of inmates in his custody.

“Michael is a very intriguing guy,” Hawker said. “He has always been looking to improve the lives of the inmates. Michael has looked upon the inmates as equals in the sense of all being children of God.”

Dr. Thomas Fitzgerald said he knows several people who work at the sheriff’s office, and they all speak highly of Bellotti.

“All of them have always said one thing – they enjoy working there,” Fitzgerald said. “They don’t work for you, they work with you. They feel that they are really respected – their opinions mean something.”

One resident, Bob Clarke, the husband of board member Barbara Clarke, spoke during the open forum portion of Wednesday’s meeting.

“I’d like to express concern over the fact that the mayor’s temporary position as principal executive of the college is supposed to end fairly soon and so far, to the general public, there has been no information whatsoever for a search for a president of the college,” he said.

The college’s budget for the fiscal year that started July 1 includes a salary of $245,670 for the president. The county sheriff’s salary is $150,000.

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John Steele Promoted To Police Captain

JOHN STEELE (center) was promoted to the rank of police captain at a City Hall ceremony. Pictured with him are (from left) Mayor Thomas Koch, son John, wife Jessica, and Police Chief Paul Keenan. Quincy Sun Photo/Scott Jackson

JOHN STEELE (center) was promoted to the rank of police captain at a City Hall ceremony. Pictured with him are (from left) Mayor Thomas Koch, son John, wife Jessica, and Police Chief Paul Keenan. Quincy Sun Photo/Scott Jackson

By SCOTT JACKSON

John Steele, a 25-year veteran of the Quincy Police Department, was promoted to the rank of captain during a City Hall ceremony.

City Clerk Nicole Crispo swore in Steele, age 50, in front of a room full of fellow police officers Thursday morning. Steele’s wife, Jessica, pinned the captain with his new badge.

Following the promotion ceremony, Steele thanked department leadership and his fellow officers for their support, and said he would put his best foot forward.

“It’s something you work very hard for during your career,” Steele said of becoming captain. “It’s a huge step forward for my family. I promise I will put my best foot forward.”

Steele joined the department in 1993 and become one of its first community police officers, assigned to the Germantown area. He spent two years as a community police officer, and then five as a patrol officer across the city.

Steele was assigned to the Community Services Unit, now known as the Special Investigations Unit, as a detective from 2000 to 2002. While there, he investigated sex crimes and juvenile offenses.

Steele was promoted sergeant in 2002 and was assigned to patrol. He stayed there until 2005, when he was promoted to lieutenant. As lieutenant, he served as day patrol shift commander from 2005 to 2008, when he was reassigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations. Steele remained there until his promotion to captain.

Mayor Thomas Koch said Steele is well liked and respected within the department.

“I know Lieutenant Steele, about to be Captain Steele, has been a big part of the department for a long time and he’s well respected and well liked,” the mayor said. “We’re certainly proud of him and his family quite proud of him. It’s a good day for him certainly and a good day for the department. I congratulate you and your family and certainly wish you all the best.”

Koch also credited the police department for the work it does throughout the city. After the recent dedication of the Hancock-Adams Common, the mayor said the owner of a long-time business in Quincy Center remarked that he has never had to pull down a steel grate over his storefront at closing time, unlike businesses in other cities.

“He largely attributes that to the great department we have – you folks – and I absolutely agree with that,” Koch said. “You guys put it on the line every day and we’re a better community for that.”

Police Chief Paul Keenan said Steele is an outstanding police officer.

“John has been a good friend of mine for a lot of years. We’ve worked together in a number of different roles. He’s always been outstanding. I’ve always respected his judgment, without question, unless it comes to fantasy football,” Keenan said.

“John has been great leader in the Quincy Police Department and I really look forward to having him join the upper command staff and be part of the day-to-day operation.”

Keenan, age 60, said he has no plans to retire soon, but the department would be in good hands when he does because of Steele and officers throughout the ranks.

“When I do decide to retire…whenever that may be, I know I’m going to hand off the reins to a number of different men and women in this audience and the Quincy Police Department is going to be in great hands under the leadership of John and a number of the lieutenants, captains and sergeants who do a great job every day,” Keenan said.

Steele was promoted to captain because of the upcoming retirement of Capt. Anthony DiBona at the end of September, Keenan said. DiBona is retiring because he will reach the mandatory retirement age of 65.

The police chief said he is in the process of reviewing the assignments for his five captains with DiBona retiring, and would determine Steele’s assignment as part of the process.

Sgt. James Flaherty will be promoted to the rank of the lieutenant in the near future, Keenan said; Flaherty will receive the promotion while he is on active-duty military leave and will be formally sworn in once he returns.

James Greene was promoted to sergeant this March to fill Flaherty’s sergeant position, Keenan said.

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Hancock, Adams Legacies Honored At Common Dedication

A crowd of several thousand beneath an oversized American flag gathered Saturday for the dedication of the new Hancock Adams Common located between the James R. McIntyre Government Center (left) and United First Parish Church. The two-hour ceremony featured music by the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and Quincy Choral Society and the unveiling of bronze statues honoring two favorite sons, John Hancock and John Adams. Gov. Charliie Baker and Pulitzer-Prize historian David McCollough helped unveil the two statues that bookend the new park space which was once a part of Hancock Street. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

A crowd of several thousand beneath an oversized American flag gathered Saturday for the dedication of the new Hancock-Adams Common located between the James R. McIntyre Government Center (left) and United First Parish Church. The two-hour ceremony featured music by the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and Quincy Choral Society and the unveiling of bronze statues honoring two favorite sons, John Hancock and John Adams. Gov. Charlie Baker and Pulitzer-Prize winning historian David McCullough helped unveil the two statues that book-end the new park space which was once a part of Hancock Street. Mayor Thomas Koch, the guiding force and visionary of the new common, served as master of ceremonies. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

New bronze statue of John Hancock, the first signer of the Declaration of Independence and former Massachusetts governor, is unveiled during the Hancock-Adams Common dedication Saturday. From left are Ben Adams representing the Adams Memorial Society, sculptor Sergei Eylanbekov, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian David McCullough, Mayor Tom Koch, Gov. Charlie Baker and Cong. Stephen Lynch. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

New bronze statue of John Hancock, the first signer of the Declaration of Independence and the first governor of Massachusetts, is unveiled during the Hancock-Adams Common dedication Saturday. From left are Ben Adams representing the Adams Memorial Society, sculptor Sergey Eylanbekov, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian David McCullough, Mayor Tom Koch, Gov. Charlie Baker and Cong. Stephen Lynch. The Hancock statue is located at the southern end of the common near Hancock Cemetery and Temple Street and Hancock Street. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Dignitaries stand with the John Hancock statue after its unveiling Saturday at the dedication of Hancock-Adams Common. From left: Ben Adams of the Adams Memorial Society, sculptor Sergei Eylanbekov, Mayor Tom Koch, historian and author David McCullough, Gov. Charlie Baker and Cong. Stephen Lynch. Baker paid tribute to Hancock's legacy during his remarks. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Dignitaries stand with the John Hancock statue after its unveiling Saturday at the dedication of Hancock-Adams Common. From left: Ben Adams of the Adams Memorial Society, sculptor Sergey Eylanbekov, Mayor Tom Koch, historian and author David McCullough, Gov. Charlie Baker and Cong. Stephen Lynch. Baker paid tribute to Hancock’s legacy during his remarks. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Statue honoring the common's other namesake, John Adams, is unveiled by historian and Adams biographer David McCullough and Mayor Tom Koch at Saturday's dedication. Also admiring the bronze statue are from left Gov. Charlie Baker, Cong. Stephen Lynch and at the right sculptor Ben Adams of the Adams Memorial Society and sculptor Sergei Eylanbekov. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Statue honoring the common’s other namesake, John Adams, second President of the United States, is unveiled by historian and Adams biographer David McCullough and Mayor Tom Koch at Saturday’s dedication. Also admiring the bronze statue are from left Gov. Charlie Baker, Cong. Stephen Lynch and at the right are Ben Adams of the Adams Memorial Society and sculptor Sergey Eylanbekov. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Dignitaries stand with the newly unveiled bronze statue of John Adams at Hancock Adams Common. From left: Cong. Stephen Lynch, Gov. Charlie Baker, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian and Adams biographer David McCullough, Mayor Thomas Koch, sculptor Sergei Eylanbekov and Ben Adams representing the Adams Memorial Society. McCullough, in his reflection of Adams during the ceremony, noted Adams was not a slave owner unlike other Founding Fathers.

Dignitaries stand with the newly unveiled bronze statue of John Adams at Hancock-Adams Common. From left: Cong. Stephen Lynch, Gov. Charlie Baker, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian and Adams biographer David McCullough, Mayor Thomas Koch, sculptor Sergey Eylanbekov and Ben Adams representing the Adams Memorial Society. McCullough, in his reflection of Adams during the ceremony, noted Adams was not a slave owner unlike other Founding Fathers and was the author of the Massachusetts Constitution, the oldest such state document in the country, which was written in Quincy.

    Howitzers fire a volley during the 1812 Overture capping off Saturday's glorious and patriotic Hancock-Adams Common dedication in Quincy Center. In the background is one of two water fountains  featured in the new park. More coverage of the dedication in next week's Quincy Sun.

Howitzers fire a volley during the 1812 Overture capping off Saturday’s glorious and patriotic Hancock-Adams Common dedication in Quincy Center. In the background is one of two water fountains featured in the new park. More coverage of the dedication in next week’s Quincy Sun.

 

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