16-Story Building Proposed For North Quincy

RENDERING showing a proposed 16-story building that would be located on the corner of Hancock and Newbury streets in North Quincy. The project has been approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals and is awaiting review from the Planning Board. Rendering courtesy CUBE 3 architects.

By SCOTT JACKSON

The Zoning Board of Appeals has given its approval to a developer’s plan to construct a 16-story building with 240 residential units on Hancock Street in North Quincy – a proposal the applicant said would rehabilitate a gateway to the city.

The plan still requires approval from the Planning Board before the project can commence.

The developer, Tremont Quincy 1 LLC, is seeking to construct the new building at 71 and 61-69 Hancock St. The two parcels contain 0.82 acres of land, according to the city’s online property records, and are currently home to Bert’s Electric Supply, Domino’s Pizza and a single-family home.

The applicant went before the Zoning Board of Appeals on May 11 and received the go-ahead from the board for the project that evening.

Sam Slater, the principal of the company seeking to construct the new building, told the board the proposal would greatly improve the surrounding area.

“I just wanted to say how committed we are to the city of Quincy and how confident we are that this is a project that brings tremendous value to the community,” Slater said, adding the project would be a “huge improvement to the community and to the neighborhood.”

During their presentation, the applicant’s team said the new building would enhance a gateway to Quincy.

“We are really excited about the building,” said Brian O’Connor, an architect with the firm CUBE 3. “The idea here is really to treat this as a gateway into the city and think about how we can start to combine some very traditional Quincy materials, the red brick and the masonry, on the front edge of the building with some really more modern materials towards the back.

“We really want this building to not only reflect and bring forward some of the language of downtown Quincy, but also to be a very overtly modern building that really welcomes sort of where the city is going.”

The first four floors of the building would serve as parking garage, with 204 total spaces available. Vehicles would enter and exit the garage on Newbury Street. The remaining 12 floors would house 240 residential units – a mix of studios, and one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

The top 12 floors would be constructed in an L-shape, leaving room for a 6,800-square-foot elevated courtyard on the fifth floor on the side of the building opposite Hancock Street. Other amenities would include a dog park for residents at the ground level and a sky lounge on the 16th floor of the building with views of Boston and Boston Harbor.

O’Connor noted there are other high-rise buildings in the area, including the 12-story Neponset Landing building and a 10-story building at 100 Hancock St.

“There are some larger buildings in the area and all three buildings that we are taking down are low-rise,” he said. “We think putting something a little bit more substantial here has an opportunity to really anchor the northern edge of the city.”

David Mahoney, the attorney representing the developer, noted the city currently collects $37,000 annually in property taxes from the two parcels. Once the new building is complete, the city could collect up to $800,000 annually in property taxes.

Shaun Kelly, the applicant’s traffic engineer, said 16,000 vehicles travel each day along the elevated section of Quincy Shore Drive near the project site, and the peak hourly traffic is about 1,400 vehicles. Some 3,000 vehicles traverse the section of Hancock Street adjacent to the project site on a daily basis, Kelly said, with up to 180 cars an hour during peak periods.

The new building would generate 60 to 70 vehicle trips during the busiest hour each morning and evening, he said.

“In terms of an increase, it is about a trip per minute coming and going from the site,” Kelly stated. “This project, in the immediate vicinity of the site where the impacts are most focused, it’s about a 5 percent increase in traffic – and I would point out that is assuming there was no traffic activity at the site today.”

Mahoney said there would likely be a shuttle bus to bring residents of the building to and from the North Quincy MBTA station.

Two residents spoke against the project during the May 11 ZBA meeting, both citing concerns about traffic and the size of the building.

“I’m very concerned about this 16-story building…the impact of the traffic flow,” said Pat Lescinskas, a Hancock Street resident. “I can’t see why they can’t do the building either eight or ten stories high. It shouldn’t be higher than that.”

Board members voted unanimously in favor of the project.

“I think it is a beautiful building,” said Martin Aikens, the board’s chairman.

“I would love to see people come into Quincy and see that baby right there telling them that is what we’re about and that is what this city is about – having something really nice when you come into the city. I want to thank the applicants for taking the time to go through the whole thing and really build something really nice.”

Board member John Himmel said he was concerned about vehicles using the intersection of Hancock Street and Newbury Street to access the site, but said that could be reviewed as part of the Planning Board’s process.

North Quincy Electric Project Begins This Month

National Grid on Thursday announced plans for an expedited construction schedule for a portion of its North Quincy Cable Replacement Project, a $92 million investment to modernize and strengthen its electric transmission network in Quincy.

Over the past year, National Grid has worked closely with and received extensive input from municipal officials and other local stakeholders. The project will help improve safety and reliability and provide the area’s transmission grid with greater operational flexibility, the company said in a statement. It will also improve the system’s ability to support new customers, large and small, allowing National Grid to provide continued service for residents and businesses in the region.

The North Quincy Cable Project will replace the 115kV underground electric transmission cables located between National Grid’s North Quincy Substation and National Grid’s Field Street Substation. The existing cables are nearly 50 years old, and in recent years National Grid has made numerous repairs to ensure continued reliable delivery of electricity to customers. The old cables will be replaced with new modern cables installed within a concrete duct bank and manhole system.

National Grid will begin construction activities during the week of May 17, with work taking place on Newport Avenue around Stratton Way, West Squantum Street, and a privately-owned parking lot on Newport Avenue Extension. Work was initially slated to begin in 2022, but National Grid sought a 2021 start while traffic levels are reduced because of COVID-19. The company will utilize a horizontal directional drilling construction method to install a conduit of about 1,800 feet in length between these two work sites, which will reduce traffic impacts to the greatest extent feasible.

This phase of construction is expected to be complete by the end of July 2021. All other construction will begin in 2022, with the full project completion expected by the end of 2023.

“The North Quincy Cable Project will improve our ability to serve our customers and allow us to support continued economic growth in Quincy and surrounding communities,” said Tim Moore, vice president of electric project management and construction, National Grid New England. “We’re proud to be investing in improving and strengthening our existing systems which will allow us to continue to provide the electricity our customers depend on well into the future.”

Project benefits include: a safer, more reliable and resilient electric transmission system to support our customers in Quincy and surrounding communities; enhanced ability to meet growing electric energy needs; modern cables protected by concrete duct bank; more efficient means of maintenance and repair; and increased property tax revenues for Quincy.

National Grid has hosted two online open house events and is conducting a comprehensive community outreach and communications program to ensure neighbors in Quincy can participate, obtain answers and plan around construction impacts. Company representatives will regularly communicate with stakeholders.

Interested parties can learn more by visiting northquincycableproject.com, calling 1-800-358-3879 and emailing info@northquincycableproject.com. In-person community outreach began in March and will continue through all phases of construction to share the latest project information.

Coronavirus Vaccinations For Adolescents Could Begin Thursday

By SCOTT JACKSON

Children as young as 12 in Massachusetts will able to get vaccinated against the coronavirus starting Thursday, pending federal authorization, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday.

The FDA on Monday authorized the Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds. A CDC advisory panel is scheduled to meet Wednesday to review the use of the vaccine for that age group.

Baker on Wednesday morning said the 400,000 children in that age group in Massachusetts would be able to get Pfizer shots as soon as Thursday assuming the CDC green lights the vaccine.

“We are working with our providers and mass vaccination sites and others to put plans in place to vaccinate this group once we receive word of a final approval. The Department of Public Health has already reached out to the primary care community and to the pediatric provider community in order to discuss with them a process for ensuring they are part of administering the Pfizer vaccine throughout their practices,” Baker said.

“Pending the CDC’s approval for this group, people age 12 to 15 will be able to book appointments or access a walk-up appointment beginning on Thursday, May 13.”

Baker spoke to reporters after touring the Norwood facility where a second company, Moderna, manufacturers its COVID-19 vaccine.

“Now, more than ever, we are enormously proud to be able to call Moderna a Massachusetts-based company,” the governor said.

“It goes without saying we are all so grateful for the innovation that happens here at Moderna and the fact that on a very complicated and difficult task, with very short time frames, this company delivered – not just for the people of the commonwealth, but for people all over the world.”

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said the federal government could clear his company’s vaccine for use in 12- to 17-year-olds in the coming weeks.

“We are not talking months – we are talking weeks away,” he said. “Safety is priority number one, and when the FDA will feel comfortable, we will get the vaccine authorized.”

Moderna and Pfizer are both studying their vaccines in children under the age of 12 as well.

It is important for children to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to help stop its spread, Bancel said.

“If you think about herd immunity…we think it is important as we know children, because of a strong immune system, a lot of time don’t get disease but can transmit the virus,” he said.

“With the spread of variants of concern, I think it is important to vaccinate as many people as we can, but I leave it to state officials to dictate the right policy for the state.”

Moderna is also working on plans to provide booster shots as soon as the fall using one of three approaches, Bancel said. One is a shot of the original vaccine, the second is a vaccine tailored to the South African variant of the coronavirus, and the third is a 50-50 mix of the two. The company will choose one of those candidates based on clinic data and then conduct an additional study over the coming months.

“We are hoping that toward the end of the summer or early fall we should be able, if the data is good, to have an authorization for a booster to be used in the fall to protect all of us so we can have a good fall and a then next a good winter,” Bancel said.

Moderna hopes to test “mixing of vaccines, meaning regardless of what vaccine you got initially in early 2021, when it is time to get a booster, you can mix the products,” he stated.

More Bay State Businesses Can Open Monday

By SCOTT JACKSON

Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday said additional phase four industries will be able to reopen next week as previously announced.

Amusement parks, theme parks and outdoor water parks will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity as of Monday after submitting safety plans to the Department of Public Health.

Road races and other large, outdoor organized amateur or professional group athletic events will also be permitted to take place with staggered starts and other safety measures in place after submitting plans to the DPH or local health officials.

In addition, large capacity indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks will see their capacity increase from 12 to 25 percent; youth and adult amateur sports tournaments will be allowed for moderate and high-risk sports; singing will be permitted indoors with strict distancing requirements; and grocery stores and retailers will no longer be required to offer special hours for seniors, though they are encouraged to do so.

Additional changes are expected to come into effect on May 29, provided public health and vaccination data support them.

Parades, street festivals and agricultural festivals will be allowed as of then, after appropriate safety plans are submitted to local health officials. In Quincy, Mayor Thomas Koch has announced he plans to hold the annual Flag Day parade and fireworks on June 12.

Bars, beer gardens, breweries, wineries and distilleries will also be allowed to reopen, subject to restaurant rules with seated service only, a 90-minute time limit and no dance floors. Restaurant guidance will also be relaxed to allow the sale of alcohol without food and the maximum table size will increase to 10.

Gathering limits will increase to 200 people indoors and 250 outdoors for event venues, public settings and private settings.

Massachusetts entered the fourth phase of Baker’s four-phased reopening plan on March 22. Since then, daily new COVID-19 cases have dropped by 45 percent, hospitalizations have dropped by 23 percent, and deaths have dropped by 69 percent, state officials said. All these metrics have fallen by around 80 percent or more since the beginning of 2021.

The state also remains a national leader in COVID-19 vaccinations, officials said, with 3.9 million residents having gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.

A full reopening is planned for Aug. 1.

11 Residents Have Pulled Nomination Papers

By SCOTT JACKSON

Eleven Quincy residents have taken out nomination papers to seek municipal office in this fall’s election as of the end of the business day on Thursday

All nine seats on the City Council will be up for grabs this year along with three of the six seats on the School Committee. There is no mayoral election this year in Quincy.

Six of the residents have pulled papers to run for School Committee.

They include all three incumbents: Douglas Gutro of Arnold Street, Emily Lebo of Highland Avenue, and Courtney Perdios of Ruggles Street. Joining them are political newcomers Ellen Patterson O’Donnell of Hatherly Road, Liberty Schaaf of Howe Street and Elizabeth Speakman of Merrymount.

The other five residents have pulled papers to run for City Council. Four are incumbents seeking reelection: At-large Councillor Noel DiBona of Chickatabot Road; Ward 3 Councillor Ian Cain of Forbes Hill Road; Ward 5 Councillor Charles Phelan Jr. of Fenno Street; and Ward 6 Councillor William Harris of Ashworth Road. Joining them is Steven Perdios of Ruggles Street, who is seeking the Ward 2 seat.

The deadline to return the nomination papers to the Board of Registrars is 5 p.m. on July 27 and certified nomination papers, including a statement of candidacy, must be submitted to the city clerk by 5 p.m. on Aug. 10.

The signatures of 50 registered voters are required to run for each office in a municipal election. Residents seeking one of the six ward councillor seats must obtain the signatures from within their ward.

If necessary, a preliminary election would be held on Sept. 14. A preliminary election would be required if more than two candidates run for one ward council seat, or if more than six ran for either councillor at-large or the school board.

Ballot position for the preliminary election would be determined during a drawing at 10 a.m. on Aug. 13. The deadline to register to vote in the preliminary would be 8 p.m. on Aug. 25, the deadline to apply to vote by mail in the preliminary election – assuming state lawmakers allow mail-in voting this fall – would be Sept. 8, and absentee balloting would end at noon on Sept. 13.

The final election will take place on Nov. 2. The deadline to register to vote in the November election is 8 p.m. on Oct. 13, the deadline to apply to vote by mail is Oct. 27, and absentee voting ends at noon on Nov. 1.

No Bail For Suspect In Quincy Triple Stabbing

By SCOTT JACKSON

The Weymouth man accused of stabbing three people outside a Quincy tavern will remain behind bars following a dangerousness hearing.

Tyler MacLean, age 24, was deemed dangerous by Judge Mark Coven following the hearing at Quincy District Court on Wednesday, according to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office. Coven ordered MacLean be held without bail.

MacLean is due back in Quincy District Court on June 2 for a probable cause hearing.

Quincy police had charged MacLean with stabbing three individuals, all 21-year-old males, outside Rags Tavern on Washington Street after they responded to a report of a disorder there at 1 a.m. on April 25. One of the men was taken to Boston Medical Center in serious condition while the other two were taken to South Shore Hospital in Weymouth.

MacLean was charged with three counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon (a knife) and one count of disorderly conduct. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf during his arraignment on April 26 at the Quincy District Court and MacLean was ordered held without bail at that time pending the dangerousness hearing.

State To Allow Walk-In Appointments At 6 Mass Vax Sites

By SCOTT JACKSON

Walk-in appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccine will be available at six of Massachusetts’ seven mass vaccination sites starting next week, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday.

Walk-in appointments will be available starting May 10 at the Hynes Convention Center and Reggie Lewis Center, both in Boston, the DoubleTree Hotel in Danvers, a former Circuit City in Dartmouth, the Natick Mall and the Eastfield Mall in Springfield. Gillette Stadium in Foxborough was not included in the list of locations where walk-in appointments would be available.

“The walk-up option will certainly make it easier for people to access vaccines,” Baker said following a visit to the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Everett, where the Cambridge Health Alliance is operating a vaccination clinic.

“This could be a great new chapter to the program overall, and paired with that targeted, community-based effort we’re pursuing, like this one here at Encore, we should be able to reach many more of our residents and build on the national leading success we’ve had in distributing vaccines so far, which will help us further reopen our economy and protect our communities, and fundamentally provide a safe solution to so many people here in Massachusetts so that we can get back to normal.”

The governor said the hours for each of the six locations would be posted online at vaxfinder.mass.gov. Residents can continue to book their appointments in advance by using the same website or by calling 2-1-1.

Walk-in appointments are also available at other locations across the state, including CVS and Walmart pharmacies.

Baker on Monday had announced that four of the seven mass vaccination sites – the Hynes Convention Center, Gillette Stadium, and the locations in Danvers and Natick – would close by the end of June as the state refocuses its vaccine efforts to target harder-to-reach populations. On Wednesday, the governor said anyone who gets a first dose at one of those four sites would be able to get their second dose at the same location.

“The sites will stay open to make sure that everyone who go their first dose can come back and get their second,” he said.

As of Wednesday, 3.9 million of Massachusetts’ 7 million residents have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Baker said, and the state has already met President Joe Biden’s goal of providing at least one dose of the vaccine to 70 percent of adults by July 4.

“Here in Massachusetts, thanks to the ton of work that was done by so many, we have already surpassed that milestone and look forward to working with our partners to make even more progress in the weeks ahead,” Baker said.

The governor noted that 2.6 million Bay State residents were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday, meaning they have received both doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Quincy Is A City On The Move, Markey Says

U.S. Sen. Ed Market (center) was in Quincy Monday to discuss the city’s infrastructure needs. He met with state Sen. John Keenan (left) and Mayor Thomas at the Quincy Center MBTA station as well as the nearby Hancock-Adams Common. Markey said he wants communities to be in the best position to use money from a proposed $2 trillion federal infrastructure bill. Quincy Sun Photo/Scott Jackson.

By SCOTT JACKSON

The changes seen in Quincy over the past decade are example of what can happen with investments in public transportation and infrastructure, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey said during a visit to the city on Monday.

“This is a city on the move. This is a city with a boomtown environment and people wanting to move here,” he said. “This might be the greatest era in Quincy’s history.”

Markey, a Malden Democrat, met with Mayor Thomas Koch, state Sen. John Keenan, and members of Quincy’s Planning Department Monday afternoon. The group visited the Hancock-Adams Common before moving on to the nearby Quincy Center MBTA station.

Markey’s visit to Quincy comes as Democrats on Capitol Hill work to pass President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure package. Markey said the city’s investments into Quincy Center over the past decade – more than $200 million in public money – are an example other communities could follow.

“This is like a model city capturing the benefits of public transportation and infrastructure investments,” Markey said. “If you build it, they will come.”

Markey was optimistic Democrats would be able to work with Republicans to pass the infrastructure package.

“We’re just going to have to work with Republicans to get their votes by tailoring it in a way that elicits their support, but we can’t be cutting back the size of it because we know the magnitude of the problems we’re trying to solve,” he said.

“It is going to be a tricky political terrain that we are walking, but ultimately I think we can be successful in solving that problem.”

Senate Democrats are prepared to use reconciliation to pass the bill without GOP support if necessary, Markey added.

“We can use the 51 votes under the reconciliation rules to pass an infrastructure bill,” he said. “We would prefer to work with Republicans on a bipartisan basis to get more than 60 votes for a package, but if not…ultimately we have to move forward with 51 votes and pass it like that.”

Massachusetts could get between $25 and $30 billion from the federal government from Biden’s proposal, Markey said, including funds for the state to use and money to be distributed to cities and towns. A member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Markey said he wants to make sure communities are in the best position to use those funds.

“I want to be as helpful as I can be,” he said. “We want to be your partners in any way we can.”

Koch said he was hopeful the federal government would give communities leeway on how they spend the infrastructure money.

“I hope they give us the flexibility we have had with other money,” he said, adding that no two communities have the same needs.

Koch said there are a number of infrastructure projects in the pipeline in Quincy. Those include fixing streets and subsurface infrastructure, building a new public safety headquarters on Sea Street and a new firehouse on Quincy Avenue, replacing the Squantum Elementary School, adding two or three more garages in Quincy Center, and constructing a new municipal building to house Quincy College and the offices now in the city hall annex building.

Koch also provided Markey with an update on the plans to redevelop the Quincy Center MBTA station. Atlantic and Bozzuto, the two firms chosen to oversee the project, remain committed to it, he said, but the plans are on hold as the T tries to work out the improvements needed to the station itself.

In the end, the mayor said the project could include 500,000 to 1 million square feet of housing and commercial space.

Four Mass Vaccination Sites Closing By End Of June

By SCOTT JACKSON

Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday announced four of Massachusetts’ seven mass COVID-19 vaccination sites will be closing by the end of June as the state refocuses its inoculation efforts to target harder-to-reach populations.

The sites scheduled to close include the Hynes Convention Center in Boston and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, as well as locations in Danvers and Natick. The remaining three sites – Boston’s Reggie Lewis Center plus locations in Dartmouth and Springfield – will remain open.

Speaking at a State House press conference, Baker said 3.95 million Bay State residents have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. With 180,000 individuals slated to get their first dose this week, the state will reach Baker’s goal of fully vaccinating 4.1 million residents by the start of June.

“This represents an incredible achievement. The people of Massachusetts are outperforming the rest of the country by leaps and bounds,” the governor said.

“Now that we believe we are going to hit the 4.1 million goal we started with over the next few weeks, it is time to adapt our vaccination effort to make sure we get to some of the harder-to-reach populations.”

As part of that effort, Baker said the state would “shift vaccines to smaller-scale operations that can focus on particular communities or particular populations.”

“By bringing the vaccine to where people are so that everyone knows they have an easy opportunity to protect themselves and their families, we hope to make this process more convenient, more accessible, and continue to add to the count of those who are already full vaccinated here in Massachusetts,” he said.

Baker said more doses would be provided to the state’s 22 regional collaboratives. The number of doses allocated to the state’s 20 hardest hit communities will be doubled, he said, and mobile vaccination clinics will be expanded.

The governor also noted that physicians are “one of the most trusted sources to administer the vaccine.” To that end, the state is working with the Mass Medical Society to give more primary-care providers the ability to administer the vaccine by the middle of this month.

“This isn’t easy and will require everyone working out the complex storage and scheduling logistics to ensure all doses are put to good use,” Baker said.

All Massachusetts residents ages 16 and up are now eligible to get the vaccine. Residents can schedule an appointment to do so online at mass.gov/covidvaccine or by calling 2-1-1.

The governor said anyone who had been waiting to schedule an appointment should do so now, because there are plenty of slots available statewide.

“There is no more waiting or hassle, you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to schedule an appointment, and you can protect yourself, your family and get back to normal by getting vaccinated soon,” he said.

Dr. Paul Biddinger, the chief of the Center for Disaster Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, urged residents to get vaccinated if they have not already done so. All three vaccines cleared for use by the federal government are safe and effective, he said.

“These vaccines are more than 90 percent effective in the real-world settings all together at preventing infection with COVID,” Biddinger said.

“Just in the past couple of weeks, we have seen data that have showed that people over the age of 65 are 94 percent less likely to be hospitalized…if they are fully vaccinated. And in all age groups, we see data that shows that fully vaccinated individuals have a decreased risk of dying, by more than 29 times what it would be if they are un-vaccinated.”

Biddinger also encouraged younger people, who might be reluctant to get vaccinated because they are less likely to be hospitalized or die from the disease than older adults, to get their shots because those younger individuals are still susceptible to long-haul COVID-19.

“Approximately 10 percent of individuals who get infected from COVID may have ongoing symptoms – of respiratory, of cardiac, of neurologic illness – that persists after their acute infection with COVID is over,” he said.

“The best way to avoid these extended symptoms, no matter what age range you are in, is to get vaccinated against COVID.”

Quincy Tree Alliance Announces Student Winners Of Logo Contest

By Quincy Tree Alliance

Three local high schoolers have won $350 for logos they designed for the Quincy Tree Alliance, a new volunteer group dedicated to protecting and expanding the city’s urban forest.

First Prize – designed by NQHS senior Chloe Chin.

North Quincy senior Chloe Chin won the top prize of $200 for her logo, which incorporates a Quincy Center skyline; Quincy High sophomore Christiana P. Nguyen won $100 for a design featuring a leafy letter “Q”; and Quincy High sophomore Josephine Leung won $50 for a tree featuring heart-shaped leaves.

The contest, sponsored by members of the Quincy Tree Alliance (QTA), asked high school and college students in or from Quincy to design a logo for the new community organization. Fifteen entries were received by the contest deadline of April 1, and the designs were featured on QTA’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and in The Quincy Sun. Members of the public voted for their favorite entries on social media and by email, and the top six vote getters were then voted on by members of QTA, which announced the results on April 30, Arbor Day.

“We were so impressed with all of the entries,” said QTA chair Maggie McKee. “The contestants clearly put a lot of thought and effort into their designs, and that showed in the quality of the work. It made for a very difficult decision.”

In the end, the group chose three simple and striking logos for its cash prizes, with the grand prize going to a stand of trees surrounded by three historic buildings in Quincy Center: United First Parish Church, the Granite Trust Company building, and old City Hall. “We wanted our logo to have a connection to the city, and this one did so in a bold and beautiful way,” said McKee.

Chloe Chin, the logo’s creator, said she values the trees in our city. “It is important that we take care of our environment so it can take care of us,” she said.

Second prize – designed by Quincy High sophomore Christiana P. Nguyen.

Chin taught herself graphic design as a passion project this past year, inspired by her artistic older sister, Brenda. She did not expect to win the contest but entered because she figured she had nothing to lose. “There were so many amazing entries,” said Chin. “I felt so happy and honored to have mine chosen.” She plans to use her winnings to buy textbooks at Babson College, where she will head after graduating from North in June.

Christiana P. Nguyen, winner of the second prize and a QHS sophomore, said she is also honored to have won a prize in a contest that featured so many “unique and innovative submissions.” She is active in various environmental and social justice groups, including the Quincy High School Green Team and the QYouth Climate Movement. “I hope that we as a community can unite in the continued support of local environmental organizations like the Quincy Tree Alliance,” said Nguyen. “We need to protect and conserve the greenery and wildlife that make Quincy beautiful. This is our home.”

QHS sophomore Josephine Leung said she is grateful to have won third prize in the contest, which she entered “for fun, to experiment with something new.” Her design struck a chord with people for its warmth and simplicity. One Facebook commenter wrote, “There is power in its simple beauty. The leaves as hearts is just genius.”

Third prize – designed by Quincy High sophomore Josephine Leung.

The Quincy Tree Alliance is a new group that came together after concerned residents noticed mature street trees being cut down around the city in recent years. The group plans to work with local government, other community groups, and individuals to protect and grow Quincy’s tree canopy. If you’d like to learn more about QTA, visit facebook.com/QuincyTreeAlliance, instagram.com/quincytreealliance, or email quincytreealliance@gmail.com.