Courtney Madden Democratic Candidate For Norfolk County Register Of Probate

Quincy resident, attorney and community strategist Courtney Madden announces she is running for the open Register of Probate and Family Court seat in Norfolk County. The seat is being vacated by Patrick McDermott.

Courtney Madden

“The Office of the Register of Probate and Family Court serves a vital role in our community, protecting our most vulnerable residents in some of their most difficult times of need. That’s why I’m tossing my hat into the ring” for Register of Probate, Madden said in her announcement release.

“After careful consideration, I am announcing my candidacy for Register of Probate because families in need deserve to have a system and government that works for us. When a loved one passes away, or families require government intervention, residents of Norfolk County need to know they have an advocate on their side who is dedicated to cutting red tape, ensuring fiscal responsibility and modernizing the Office of Probate and Family Courts in Norfolk County to better serve residents.

“I am proud to announce my candidacy for Register of Probate because all Norfolk County families deserve dignity and respect when entering the Family and Probate courthouse,” Madden said. “I am running, not because I want a title, but because this is home and home matters. My professional career has always been focused on bringing people together, empowering them, and most importantly building bridges so that government can be a partner in solving problems and helping families – and not an obstacle. Family and Probate court touches all our lives and I am ready to be your Register who knows how to navigate judicial waters and will always put Norfolk residents first.”

Madden is a seasoned political professional and lawyer focused on increasing civic engagement and empowering everyday citizens. As executive director for New Leaders Council, Courtney manages the recruitment, training, and promotion of young leaders in over fifty markets around the country.

While speaking to voters at a recent kitchen table talk in Quincy, Madden explained the importance of the role of Register of Probate and Family Courts telling attendees, “The Register of Probate and Family courts is a servant leader position and it’s where I can contribute the most to the community I care so deeply about. It’s where my talent for building coalitions and public private partnerships can fill in the gaps in resources to our families. The Register of Probate needs to be a leader, a servant, and an advocate. I am all of the above.”

Madden, a Democrat, is asking voters for their support in the primary election on Sept. 1st “because this election is about protecting families and Norfolk County needs a tireless advocate who will always put the people of Norfolk County first.”

Learn more about Courtney Madden and her campaign by visiting her Facebook page @MaddenforProbate.

Madden is the fourth candidate to take out nomination papers for Register of Probate. The others are Quincy City Councillor Noel DiBona, Quincy School Committee member Kathryn Hubley and Michael Walsh, a Westwood selectman.

35 Quincy Fire Recruits Sworn In At City Hall Ceremony

Thirty-five new Quincy firefighters were sworn in Feb. 21st at a ceremony in the Great Hall at the James R. McIntyre Government Center (old City Hall). Pictured with them are interim fire chief Joseph Jackson (standing, left) and Mayor Thomas Koch (standing, right). The new hires will begin their 10 to 11 weeks of training Monday. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth


The Quincy Fire Department’s 35 newest members were sworn in Feb. 21st before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 family members, friends and firefighters.

The class of new recruits is the largest in the history of the department, according to Joseph Jackson, the city’s interim fire chief.

“There are more firefighters in this class than most departments in the commonwealth have on the job,” Jackson said. “It’s a huge, huge class.”

The firefighters were sworn in during a ceremony in the Great Hall of the James R. McIntyre Government Center. City Clerk Nicole Crispo administered the oath of office to the firefighters in two groups.

The first group included:

Matthew Cardarelli, David Duong, Shawn Grady, Matthew Brouillard, Eric Weissmeyer, Rory Mulrey, David Atkins, Derek Murphy, Brendan Forde, Justin Drum, Roy Muller, Alfred Trinh, Andrew Moccia, Mitchell Law and James Vialpando.

The second group included:

Tyler Lagrotteria, Matthew Lawlor, Michael Granahan, Derek White, Robert Connell, Austin Granger, Jeffrey Belovarac, Jon Banuk, James Fitzpatrick, Brian Byrne, James Mullaney, Evan Darcy, Ryan Brennan, Nicholas Manning, Ryan Dunne, Benjamin Ronan, James Cedrone, Shawn Clancy and Collin McCarthy.

Jackson congratulated the new recruits on joining the department.

“Congratulations to you and your families. This is a great day for you guys and you guys are going to do great,” he said. “You guys are going to make a lot of connections that you are going to carry with you, not just in your career, but for the rest of life.”

Mayor Thomas Koch said each firefighter has his own story.

“Each of you have your own story,” he said. “Some of you served in the military. Some of you have had ancestors serving in the department or the city in some form. Some of may have dreamed of being firemen since you were a kid.”

Koch reminded the new recruits the public will call on them in times of need.

“You’re going to be called upon in a lot of different circumstances,” the mayor said. “People that call for your help are in deep need, whether it’s medical, whether it’s a fire, whether it is a number of possible issues, you are going to be responding.”

Being a firefighter in Quincy, Koch continued, is a great job that also comes with great responsibility.

“This is a great job. The city provides good benefits. We expect service and dedication from you as well,” Koch said. “Any time you come in contact with the public, treat them like they are your mother, your sister, your family member.

“They are our clients, they are our residents, they are citizens of this great city.”

The new hires will bring the number of personnel inside the department to 236 including all firefighters and officers. That is the highest number of firefighters in the department since Proposition 2 ½ was approved 40 years ago, Koch said.

“[That] means every piece has good coverage – every piece of apparatus, every neighborhood of our city and every station has excellent coverage,” he said.

Sixteen of the new hires are funded through a federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, Koch said. The remaining new recruits will fill positions created by retirements.

Koch thanked Patricia McGowan, the city’s human resources director, for her work in hiring the new recruits, as well as the investigators in the Police Department who helped vet the candidates. He also thanked city councillors for their support of the department and U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch for helping secure the SAFER grant and other federal funds for the city.

The firefighters will begin their training Monday inside the former St. Mary School in West Quincy. Koch had purchased the site previously and aims to build a new elementary school there.

“These guys that we’re swearing in on Friday on Monday will start their classroom work in what is the basement of the old rectory and they will use the old school for a lot of different types of field work and exercises they do,” Koch told The Sun in an interview.

“They won’t be doing any burning there, but they do all kinds of things to train the guys in different situations.”

Jackson said the training will last ten to eleven weeks and will also include sessions at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in Stow. The firefighters will be on probation for their first year with the department.

Hands-Free Mobile Telephone While Driving Law In Effect

The Baker-Polito Administration reminds motorists that the hands-free law goes took effect Feb. 23. Signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in November, the new law is intended to reduce the number of people injured or killed because of distracted driving, and levies penalties that will be enforced by local and state police.

The new law, An Act requiring the hands-free use of mobile telephones while driving, stipulates that operators of motor vehicles cannot use an electronic device unless the device is being used in hands-free mode. Operators cannot read or view text,  images or videos, unless what is being viewed is helping with navigation, and the device is mounted in an appropriate location. Motorists also cannot make phone calls unless they can do so without holding their phones, by utilizing technology such as Bluetooth. The law also requires law enforcement officers to report data on violations that will be shared with the public.

The use of phones and all electronic devices, including phones in hands-free mode, remains illegal for drivers under the age of 18.

Under the new law, vehicles without built-in GPS, Apple Car Play, or Android Audio must be equipped with a phone mount on the dash or windshield for GPS navigation. Acceptable options to equip your vehicle for hands-free phone use are listed below.

For vehicles with Bluetooth, a phone mount is all that is needed for GPS navigation. All phone communication can be routed through the Bluetooth connection.

For vehicles with an Aux port but no Bluetooth, operators can purchase a Bluetooth adapter that plugs into their vehicle’s cigarette lighter and includes a cable for connecting to the Aux port for phone audio. Some include microphones and a dash-mountable button to answer calls, while some others rely on the phone’s microphone.

For vehicles without Bluetooth or an Aux port, the following options are acceptable:

  • Standalone hands-free device with built-in Bluetooth, speaker and microphone
  • Bluetooth adapter with FM transmitter to use car speakers for audio
  • Single-ear earpiece that can connect to phone via Bluetooth
  • Replacement head unit that includes either Apple CarPlay, Android Audio, or Bluetooth (must be professionally installed)

To fully comply with the law while using any of these options, the use of a voice assistant on the phone or through the car’s infotainment system is required. Apple’s Siri or Google Assistant must be enabled and used to issue commands to place calls, and listen to and respond to text messages.

For motorists not using hands-free technology, the EOPSS Office of Grants and Research offers these additional tips:

  • Before driving, please turn your phone off and put it out of reach.
  • Set your mobile phone to “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode.
  • Let your friends and family know that you’ll be driving and can’t take their calls or texts.
  • If you have to make a call or send a text, pull over.
  • Watch for pedestrians and bicyclists – especially at night.
  • Remember to buckle up! Seatbelts are your best defense against a distracted driver.

“The hands-free law will help increase road safety for all users, including pedestrians and bicyclists, who have the fastest growing rate of crashes caused by inattentive drivers,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “If you are behind the wheel, your attention should be on the road.”

“Nothing you text, watch, or search for on your device is more important than your safety, the safety of your passengers, and everyone on the road around you,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Thomas Turco. “Even when you’re stopped at a traffic light, you need to put your device away and focus on the road.”

Punishment for violating the hands-free law includes a $100 fine for a first offense, a $250 fine for a second offense, and a $500 fine for a third or subsequent offense. Operators who commit a second or subsequent offense are required to complete an educational program focused on distracted driving prevention. A third or subsequent offense will count as a surchargeable incident.

Traffic safety experts believe driver inattention is a contributing factor in the following trends:

  • Between 2012 and 2017, nearly 20,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver in the United States. 9.5% of all fatal crashes in this time frame involved a distracted driver (NHTSA).
  • Total traffic fatalities in Massachusetts increased 12.8% (345 to 389) from 2015 to 2016, more than double the national rate of increase of 5.6% (FARS).
  • Between 2014 and 2018, 233 people in Massachusetts died in crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • In Massachusetts, annual crashes involving a distracted driver have risen 35.7% from 28 in 2014 to 38 in 2018.
  • Distracted crashes in which a driver was “manually operating an electronic device” rose 70% from 2014 to 2016.
  • Distracted driving crashes resulting in injury have increased by nearly 170% from 2014 to 2016.
  • 78 pedestrians were killed in Massachusetts in 2018; this represents an increase of 8.3% from 2017 (FARS).
  • 17% of children 14 and younger killed in traffic crashes in 2018 were pedestrians (NHTSA).

Kathryn Hubley Democratic Candidate For Register Of Probate

Quincy School Committee Member Kathryn Hubley announces her candidacy for Norfolk County Register of Probate.

Kathryn Hubley

If elected, Hubley would be the first woman to hold the office since 1954. Hubley says her experiences as a foster parent, teacher, family advocate, school committee member, and office support specialist make her uniquely qualified to serve in the position. She says her background brings a perspective that the Register of Probate position hasn’t seen in decades.

“The Register of Probate helps people who are dealing with challenging times, such as divorce, adoption, custody arrangements, and bereavement,” said Hubley. “The job requires an empathetic, personal perspective and a true understanding of these challenges.”

Among these challenges, foster care and adoption are deeply personal to Hubley and her family. When she was young, her parents opened their home to children in need, which inspired her to become a foster parent. In addition, her husband, Walter, was adopted through the foster care system. His parents similarly opened their home to dozens of foster children over the years. Hubley says their upbringings made foster care a very natural decision.

“Families come together in many different ways and every family deserves to be supported with care and respect,” Hubley said. “I will work to ensure that the Probate Court serves the families of Norfolk County with compassion and efficiency. At the same time, I will aim to increase the availability of education on important topics such as elder abuse and domestic violence. At some time in their life, most people will need a strong level of support from the office.”

Hubley says that she commends the job that the current Register of Probate, Patrick McDermott, and his team have done over his 19-year tenure and is looking to build upon the work they have put in place.

“Patrick and his staff have done a great job and I know he’ll leave behind a stellar operation, but there’s always more we can do,” said Hubley.

Hubley was first elected to the Quincy School Committee in 2011 and topped the ticket in her re-election bid for a third term last November. She says that if elected as Register of Probate she will fulfill her commitment to the Quincy Public Schools and complete her third term which expires at the end of 2023.

Before serving on School Committee, Hubley was a teacher of preschool through kindergarten for nine years where she achieved a Director II certification from the Department of Early Education and Care. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and an Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education as well as coursework in domestic violence. Hubley also worked as an office support specialist and other administrative roles over the past several years. She lives in Quincy with her husband Walter and their children Victoria, a senior at Lesley University and Nathan, a senior at North Quincy High School.

Hubley says she is energized and excited to meet voters from across the county over the next eight months. Hubley said, “There’s a long journey ahead and I’m looking forward to connecting with the voters of Norfolk County to earn their vote and the opportunity to serve.”

A lifelong Democrat, Hubley will run in the primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 1st. The Committee to Elect Kathryn Hubley will be holding a campaign kickoff event at Cagney’s Pub at 214 Washington St. in Quincy on Thursday, March 5th from 5:30  to 8 p.m. You can also support the campaign via PayPal at

Hundreds Celebrate Presidents’ Day At Family Winterfest

Sasha the Snow Princess Stilt Walker strikes a seasonal pose at Quincy’s annual Presidents’ Day Family Winterfest Feb. 15th in Quincy Center. Events and activities for folks of all ages were held outside at the Hancock-Adams Common as well as inside the James R. McIntyre Government Center (Old City Hall) and United First Parish Church. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Karin Sanborn, a teacher naturalist with the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, handles a 5-year-old Broad-Winged Hawk for an audience in the lower level of the James R. McIntyre Government Center during Saturday’s Winterfest. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Among the children’s activities at this year’s Winterfest was a popular race car track where children competed against each other operating toy race cars. The Presidents’ Day celebration Saturday drew several hundred people of all ages including many families. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Op – Ed: The Fight To Save Our Memories


State Representative

Nearly 20 years ago, my family and I received the news that my mother, Beverly, was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

That diagnosis changed everything for us. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are all-encompassing, not just for the person diagnosed, but for their loved ones. All of a sudden, at the drop of a dime, our lives revolved around taking care of our mother in her time of need.

The struggle of watching a loved one lose their memory before your eyes is unthinkable for most of us. It is a process that robs you of everything. But on top of the emotional toll it extracts, it also creates significant obligations that many people simply cannot meet.

At least in this regard, my brother Chuck and I were the lucky ones. We both lived close by, and we were able to ensure that our mom could stay in the comfort of her own home throughout her battle. We arranged our schedules so one of us would be with her at all times, switching off nights sleeping at her house, spending mornings and afternoons driving her to appointments, and making sure for all the time in between that she was never alone. When she succumbed to her illness in 2009, she did so in the home where she built a life and raised her family.

Unfortunately, due to astronomical financial obligations that come with a diagnosis, that simple dignity is one that many people battling Alzheimer’s or dementia do not receive.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that over 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the country, with 1 in 3 seniors dying with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Alzheimer’s is among the most expensive diseases in the entire country, with the average lifetime cost of care for an individual with Alzheimer’s or dementia estimated at $350,174.

In Massachusetts, the most recent data shows that over 130,000 people live with Alzheimer’s. This places the burden of the disease not only on the person diagnosed, but on an estimated 337,000 family caregivers.

As a State Representative, my legislative agenda has been shaped in large part by my personal experiences. The issues I saw my mom face, as well as the issues I’ve encountered in my 35 years as a business owner converting vans for handicapped individuals, are why I always request to serve on the Committee on Elder Affairs.

However, it’s not only my personal experiences that shape my work on Beacon Hill, but the experiences my constituents bring to me as well. In 2017, I met with Mr. Jerry Ceurvels, and with his permission, would like to recount his story.

Jerry had worked for many years as a Quincy firefighter, and with his wife Jeanne had raised two kids. His life was turned upside-down when Jeanne was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, at just age 51.

Jeanne’s diagnosis changed her life and the lives of her entire family. Instead of planning their retirement together, Jerry and Jeanne were forced to make plans for her impending medical needs – with scarce options. Their struggle uncovered a loophole in Massachusetts law that does an injustice to those who face the greatest challenge of their lifetimes.

MassHealth operates the “Frail Elder Waiver”, which helps cover costs for residents who require nursing home-level care; it allows them to receive those services at home, rather than in a nursing or assisted living facility. However, it sets a minimum age requirement of 60 years old – a threshold Jeanne still had 9 years left to meet at the time of her diagnosis.


Jerry and Jeanne were faced with even more complications in an already unthinkable situation for their family. Aside from the age requirement, Jeanne met all other criteria to receive services through the Frail Elder Waiver. When they asked MassHealth whether there was anything they could do, they were informed that the only way Jeanne could qualify under the age of 60 was if she were single.

In other words: get divorced, or don’t receive coverage for the services you need.

For Jerry, divorce was not an option. He used up all of his paid leave at the fire department, and had to take an early retirement as Jeanne’s disease progressed. He faced significant financial struggles that will impact him for the rest of his life – and while he kept his wife at home for as long as he could, she is now in a full-time care facility.

Jerry still visits his wife every day. Her condition continues to decline, while the services she needs drains her loved ones of their financial stability.

After hearing Jerry and Jeanne’s story, I filed bill H598, “An Act relative to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease”. This bill would simply get rid of the age requirement of the Frail Elder Waiver, so those diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s or dementia under the age of 60 would not be left behind.

This is a small population, but one that is desperately in need. They deserve to stay in their homes – and their loved ones deserve a safety net to ensure they don’t experience significant financial hardship.

To date, 119 of my colleagues have joined me as co-sponsors of my bill – the 98 State Reps and 22 State Senators who have attached their name in support reflect a majority in both chambers. The bill was heard before the Committee on Elder Affairs, and I joined Jerry Ceurvels in providing testimony; it has since received a favorable report, and is moving forward in the legislative process.

There is further reason for optimism, as in 2018 Massachusetts passed a first-of-its-kind omnibus bill that devotes significant funds to Alzheimer’s and dementia research. While we still have a long way to go to find a cure, we inch closer and closer every day.

If you believe, as I do, that people impacted by early-onset Alzheimer’s disease deserve better, we need your help: now is the time to spread the word. No family deserves to lose a loved one this way, and insurmountable medical expenses simply add insult to injury.

I know from personal experience that Alzheimer’s is a thief with a 100% success rate. It has stolen loved ones and irreplaceable memories from countless people, with millions more still to be impacted. We cannot let it steal their financial stability as well.

Brad Croall Democratic Candidate For County Treasurer

Quincy city councillor Brad Croall announces he is running for Norfolk Country treasurer.

Brad Croall

Croall has served on the Quincy City Council for nearly 10 years and just completed his term as council president. He has worked his entire professional career in the financial services industry.

“The combination of his extensive experience in both the public and private sector makes Councillor Croall uniquely qualified for the position of Norfolk County treasurer,” said Quincy City Council President Nina Liang. “He will serve the county with integrity and make the position more than just balancing a check book.”

Croall lives in Quincy, where he grew up, with his wife Lori Croall and their two young sons.

“I am running for Norfolk County treasurer because I believe that this office can do more to help people in the county,” Croall said. “Through increased community engagement and implementing programs around financial literacy, as county treasurer, I am committed to making a difference in the everyday lives of the people I will serve while protecting the interests of the pensioners who depend on their retirement paycheck.”
Croall added, “The county treasurer’s role would allow me to bridge my financial services expertise with my unwavering passion for public service. I look forward to meeting folks over the next several months as our campaign kicks into high gear.”

Croall will be seeking the Democratic nomination in the race for county treasurer. If elected county treasurer this fall, Croall said he would fulfill his current term as Ward 2 city councillor which expires at the end of 2021.

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