Quincy Youth Softball Clinic Nov. 23

Quincy Youth Softball will be hosting a skills clinic on Saturday, Nov. 23, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. for interested players ages 8 to 18. The clinic will be held at the Marina Bay Sportsplex.

Members of local high school softball programs will also be providing instruction.

The cost for this clinic is $20 and payments can be made at the door. Payments can also be made in advance through Venmo @quincyyouthbaseball.

If your child attended the October clinic, the cost is only $10.

For additional questions, please email quincyyouthsoftball@gmail.com.

Developer To Alter South Quincy Condo Plan

By SCOTT JACKSON

The applicant seeking to replace a South Quincy barroom with a 48-unit condominium building will go back to the drawing board after the initial proposal got a chilly reception from area residents.

The owners of Southside Tavern, located at 73 Liberty St., had proposed building the six-story, 48-unit building on site. Ward 4 Councillor Brian Palmucci hosted a community meeting on the proposal Wednesday at the Morrisette Post; some 45 residents were in attendance.

Robert Harnais, the attorney representing the site’s owner, said they would go back to the drawing board after residents raised concerns about the size of the project during the hour-long meeting.

“We obviously have to go back and rethink this,” Harnais said at the close of the meeting. “Your job was to do exactly what you did – beat some sense into us to say, ‘OK, we have to look at this differently,’ and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Harnais said he would reach out to Palmucci once the new plan comes together and would be open to a second community meeting to go over the new concept.

“I can commit to you that, before we move forward on anything, we will go back to Brian, let him know the changes, and we will run it by you again,” Harnais said.

Harnais had opened the meeting saying he wanted the community’s input into the project before it goes before city boards for approval.

“I personally do not believe in putting a square peg in a round hole. You people have to help us make that square peg fit nice and properly,” he said. “I know what they are proposing here is a large project, but I also know what they are proposing here isn’t going to be what they get. We have to propose something to get people to the table.”

The Southside site, Harnais added, provides an opportunity for transit-oriented development given its proximity to the Quincy Adams MBTA station.

“Personally, the bar shouldn’t be there anymore,” he said. “It should change.”

Mark Sullivan, the architect who designed the proposal, said the building would stand six stories tall. Seventy-one parking spaces would be located in the building’s ground floor and a below-grade level. The lower garage level would be accessible from Quincy Street and the ground floor garage would be accessible from Liberty Street.

The residential units would be located on the upper levels – 10 units per story on floors two through five, and eight units on the sixth floor. The building would include four single-bedroom units, 40 two-bedroom units and four units with three bedrooms.

The project would require approval from the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. Sullivan said the initial proposal would requires variances from the ZBA for floor-area ratio, height, setbacks, open space and parking. Harnais said the project would need 1.5 parking spaces per unit, a total of 72 spaces for a 48-unit building, under the city’s code and his client was seeking to include fewer spaces because it is a transit-oriented development.

Several residents in attendance for the meeting said the project would be too big for the area and wouldn’t provide enough parking. Anthony Sansevero said he was circulating a petition opposing the proposal because of those concerns.

“I can tell you that 100 percent of the people I did get to talk to, they don’t want it,” he said. “They would much rather have a bar there than make a six-story building.”

Rosemarie Martin suggested the new development should be reduced so that it is similar in size to a six-unit building built recently on Penn Street.

“You take out about 42 [units], I think everyone in here would be happy,” she said. “The bar is annoying, it’s noisy in the summer, but I would rather have that noisy bar all summer long than this.”

“We need to work with you, but you need to cut that building, take out about four floors and about 40 apartments and we will all be happy with you,” Martin added.

In response to residents’ concerns about traffic and parking in the area, Chris Cassani, the head of the city’s traffic department, said his office has drafted a plan to make Liberty and Trafford Streets one-way roads between Brooks Avenue and Centre Street, with traffic flowing in opposite directions on Liberty and Trafford. Cassani said that would allow parking on both sides of Liberty and Trafford, with one 12-foot travel lane on each road.

Residents were lukewarm to the proposal Cassani unveiled; he said he would attend a community meeting in the future to further discuss traffic and parking woes in the area.

One resident, who did not give his name, said he was in favor of the proposal. He asked the building owner, Lou Bertucci, how much the bar pays in property taxes and how much the new building would pay.

Bertucci said it pays $10,400 in real estate taxes today while the new building would pay $240,000 annually.

Harnais fielded a number of questions from residents during the meeting. In response to one question, Harnais said it could take up to a year to permit and construct the new building. Another resident asked if a shuttle service could be provided between the new building and the train station, which Harnais said would be a possibility.

“When we start looking at places like this near a train station far enough that it’s not walk across the street like Deco, you start looking at some sort of shuttle back and forth to make it easier,” he said.

Harnais was also asked if the owner planned to offer any mitigation; Harnais said it would be provided in some form.

“Mitigation is usually part of it – it has to be,” he said.

Palmucci said area residents would help determine what that mitigation is.

“That’s part of what this is,” the councillor said. “You guys come up with a wish list.”

Feedback from residents, he added later, would be important during the permitting process before the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.

“They take your input seriously,” Palmucci said. “It’s not a done deal…You have a voice. You have a chance to shape. You have a chance to defeat the project. You have a chance to support this project if you love it.”

DPH Officials Announce Third Death From Vaping-Associated Lung Injury

A third person has died of a vaping-associated lung injury, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced Wednesday (Nov. 6).

The patient, a man in his 50s from Worcester County, reported vaping both nicotine and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an ingredient found in marijuana. The patient is among more than 200 suspected vaping-associated lung injury patients that have been reported to DPH since September when Massachusetts clinicians were mandated to report any unexplained lung injury in a patient with a history of vaping to the department.

Since the state began mandating the reporting of vaping-associated lung injuries on Sept. 11, DPH has received 220 reports from clinicians of suspected vaping-associated lung injuries, 127 of which meet the criteria for investigation by DPH. Ninety-five investigations have been completed and 21 confirmed and 47 probable cases have been reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). DPH will report this third confirmed death from a vaping-associated lung injury to the CDC next week.

Last month, DPH reported the state’s first two deaths from a vaping-associated lung injury, a  woman in her 40s from Middlesex County and a woman in her 60s from Hampshire County, both of whom vaped nicotine.

“My condolences go out to the family of this patient who has died from a vaping-associated lung injury,’’ said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “This disease is serious and potentially fatal and we are continuing to investigate the cause.”

Governor Baker declared a public health emergency on September 24 and temporarily banned the sale of vaping products and devices, in response to the growing number of cases of severe lung injuries associated with the use of e-cigarettes and cannabis and nicotine vaping products in Massachusetts and nationally.

Massachusetts clinicians are asked to report to DPH any individual experiencing otherwise unexplained progressive symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, cough, or weight loss, of any severity, and an abnormal chest imaging study, who also report vaping within 90 days before the onset of symptoms.

In an updated DPH clinical advisory sent this week to Massachusetts clinicians, those who identify a patient with vaping-associated lung injury should ask the patient to retain any vaping material including the device and any partially used vaping product. Patients determined to be confirmed or probable cases will be contacted to see if their products meet the criteria for testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Of the 68 Massachusetts confirmed or probable cases that have been reported to the CDC, 31 are male and 37 are female. Fifty percent are under the age of 30 and 50 percent are 30 or older.  Thirty-one percent of the people vaped only nicotine, 38 percent vaped only THC, and 25 percent reported vaping nicotine and THC. DPH’s online dashboard provides detailed information on vaping cases that DPH has reported to the CDC. It is updated each Wednesday.

As a result of the vaping ban, the Commonwealth has implemented a statewide standing order for over-the-counter nicotine replacement products that allow adults to access products like gum, lozenges, and patches as a covered benefit through their insurance without requiring an individual prescription.  The Massachusetts Smoker’s Helpline (1-800-QUIT NOW) has doubled free over-the-counter nicotine replacement products from four weeks to eight weeks, once a person receives counseling by phone.

Individuals who are vaping are encouraged to call the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit makingsmokinghistory.org or Mass.gov/QuitVaping to connect to treatment.

Thursday Meeting On Trolley Proposal

By SCOTT JACKSON

A request for a permission to fuel, maintain and store trolleys at what is now an ambulance depot in North Quincy was put on hold so the applicant can further reach out to area residents.

Ward 6 Councillor William Harris is set to hold a community meeting on the proposal Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Kennedy Center at 440 E. Squantum St.

Old Town Trolley Tours sought a fuel storage license and an automotive repair license for the premises at 199 Commander Shea Blvd. during the Board of License Commissioner’s meeting on Oct. 22. No vote was taken at that meeting after board members suggested further outreach was needed; the matter will be back before the board on Nov. 12.

The site at 199 Commander Shea Blvd. includes 3.29 acres of land in a Business B zoning district, according to the city’s online database. The property is owned by Hudson Media, which formerly used the warehouse on site to distribute newspapers before leasing it to Fallon Ambulance a decade ago.

Fallon in 2008 received permission from the licensing board to store ambulances and fuel on site, as well as a repair license for Central Ave Auto Service, according to Edward Fleming, the attorney representing Old Town Trolley Tours.

Fallon was allowed to store more than 2,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel in an underground tank on the site, Fleming said, plus 3,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel above ground in 45 or more ambulances and 500 gallons of miscellaneous fuel.

Fallon now plans to move out of the site and sublease the property to Old Town Trolley Tours, Fleming said. The trolley company would move into the site in September 2020.

The applicant plans to store 3,000 gallons of diesel an above ground tank while using the site to fuel and repair its trolleys; the company’s trolleys do not run on gasoline. Central Ave Auto would remain on site, with the building modified to separate it from the trolley depot.

Old Town Trolley Tours and Hudson Media are in talks to remove the below-ground fuel tanks on site, Fleming added.

Robert Gibson, the trolley company’s commercial fleet manager, said trolley drivers are not allowed to the fuel the vehicles. The company would employee five mechanics who would be the only ones allowed to do so.

“They are the only people who come in contact with that fuel pump. None of the drivers are allowed to touch it,” Gibson said. “The vehicles come in, they are shut off, my mechanics fuel [them]. We record how much fuel that we install in the vehicle. The vehicle is then driven around the building and put to sleep at night.”

The tanks on site presently are 19 years old, Gibson said; a tank’s lifespan is between 20 and 25 years. He suggested the tanks could be filled with water until they are removed, but Fire Chief Jack Cadegan said the underground tanks cannot be abandoned in place and must be removed.

Fleming said the company would follow up with the property owner about that concern.

Richard Williams, the management agent for the SeaWinds Condominium trust at 90 Quincy Shore Dr., raised several concerns about the storage of fuel and operations at the trolley depot in a letter to the board, according to City Clerk Nicole Crispo. Crispo said those concerns could be addressed by the Fire Department.

Williams also raised a concern that notice was provided to the condominium association, and not the owners of the 150 condos in the building, Crispo said.

Fleming said it was his position that notice to the condo association, and not the unit owners, was proper.

“It still remains my position that the unit owners don’t own the land, they own units within the building, and they actually assign the control and management of the facility to the condominium association, i.e. the management company, and they are entitled to notice,” he said.

In addition, Fleming said it would be cumbersome to send notice through registered mail to each of the unit owners and would cost $2,700 to do so.

Pat Desmond, a resident of 90 Quincy Shore Dr., said each of the building’s unit owners should have received notice from the applicant.

“Our position is that this is not sufficient,” she said. “If they are going to quibble over $2,700 as the reason to not send out this to all of the owners, how are we going to get these things done that need to be done safely, like the tanks removed?”

Two other residents of the same building voiced similar concerns during the public hearing.

Following their comments, Crispo suggested the board continue the hearing on the matter until its next meeting on Nov. 12 to give the applicant time to reach out to neighbors.

“I appreciate everything that you’ve put together today. I think it’s solid, but I just worry about notification,” Crispo said.

Fleming agreed to the continuance and said he would work to arrange a meeting for neighbors before the next license board hearing.

Residential Development Proposed For Southside Tavern

By SCOTT JACKSON

Ward 4 Councillor Brian Palmucci will host a community meeting Wednesday to discuss a developer’s proposal to build a 48-unit residential building on the site of Southside Tavern on Liberty Street.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Morrissette Post, located at 81-83 Liberty St.

Attorneys Robert Harnais and David Mahoney said the owners of the site hope to construct a six-story building on the site the bar now occupies. The first two floors would include 71 parking spaces with the 48 residential units located on the upper floors.

“We feel that due to the proximity of the [Quincy] Adams train station, this would be consistent with the transit-oriented development (TOD) that is presently needed,” the applicant’s attorneys wrote in a letter to Palmucci.

The parcel at 73 Liberty Street contains 0.39 acres of land in an Industrial A zoning district, according to the city’s online property records.

The project would require approval from both the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, Palmucci said in a letter to resident.

Quincy Man Acquitted On Charges Of Killing Ex-Wife

By SCOTT JACKSON

A Norfolk Superior Court jury on Tuesday found a Quincy man not guilty on charges he killed his former wife by driving over her in the driveway outside of their shared home.

Yan Long Chow, age 57, was facing a charge of murder in the death of his former wife, Zhen Li. The jury began its deliberations Monday afternoon and returned its verdict before noon on Tuesday.

David Traub, the spokesman for Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey, said the DA’s office “respects the jury’s verdict but has no further comment.”

Quincy police responded to 21 Philips Street, where Chow and Li resided, on Sept. 2, 2016 on a report of a single-vehicle collision within the driveway involving a pedestrian. Li, age 52, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A grand jury indicted Chow on the murder charge in March 2017.

The indictment alleged Chow drove over Li four separate times in the driveway on Sept. 2, 2016. Police said Li became stuck under the minivan the first time Chow struck her while driving forward up the driveway. Chow then put the Sienna into reverse, dragging Li underneath; Li’s body then came out from under the vehicle in front of the van, at which point Chow drove forward over her body and then drove over her body again while backing up.

During the investigation into Li’s death, police learned from family members and neighbors that she and Chow often argued, primarily about Chow’s gambling, the indictment stated. They said Li had indicated to her mother she was upset with Chow the day before her death because he had not returned home for two days because he was gambling in Boston.

Chow and Li had been married in China before moving to the U.S., according to the indictment. They were divorced in 2005 while living in New Hampshire, but continued to live and work together until Li’s death. Chow and Li had two adult children and shared ownership of a Boston restaurant.

Armed Robberies Linked, Police Say

By SCOTT JACKSON

Police believe one suspect is responsible for robbing at four convenience stores in North Quincy and Wollaston at gunpoint since the middle of August.

Quincy police released a surveillance image showing the suspect who robbed Five Corners Market in August. Police believe the same suspect is linked to three similar crimes since then.

The first of the four armed robberies took place at the Five Corners Market at 161 Newbury Ave. on Aug. 17, Sgt. Karyn Barkas said. The next took place on Aug. 20 at Mullaney’s convenience store, 205 West Squantum St. The third happened on Sept. 21 at Everest Market, 121 Standish Ave., and the fourth took place on Oct. 17 at Sam’s Variety, 125 Billings Rd.

Police believe the same person is responsible for all four of those armed robberies because the suspect descriptions and the manner of the crimes are similar, Barkas said.

“We do believe it is the same suspect,” she said.

The suspect is described as a six-foot-tall black male with a thin build, she said. The suspect has been covering his face with a hood and mask, Barkas said, which means investigators have been unable to put together a sketch of him.

The weapon used in at least two of the robberies – the ones at Everest and Mullaney’s – was described a two-toned black and silver semi-automatic handgun.

Barkas said patrol officers in the area have been made aware of the series of armed robberies.

Det. Jim Menz is leading the investigation into the armed robberies and anyone with information is asked to contact him at 617-745-5768 or via email at jamenz@quincyma.gov. Residents can also call the detectives’ main line at 617-745-5764 or leave tips through the MyPD smartphone app.

$16,000 Raised To Benefit Late Quincy Firefighter’s Family

A fundraiser has been organized to benefit the family of a Quincy firefighter who died suddenly earlier this month.

By SCOTT JACKSON

An online fundraiser to benefit the family of a late Quincy firefighter raised more than $16,000 in its first day.

The fundraiser in memory of Jonathan W. O’Driscoll went online Tuesday on the website GoFundMe. More than $16,600 had been raised as of Wednesday afternoon.

O’Driscoll, age 34, died suddenly on Oct. 9. He is survived by his wife Alyson and their young son, Nolan.

O’Driscoll was born in Ireland and was a 2004 graduate of North Quincy High School. He then served four years in the United States Marine Corps.

O’Driscoll had been a Quincy firefighter for the past six years. He was a member of the Nickerson Post in Squantum and a former the Carpenters Union, Local 33.

‘Christmas Around The World!’ Selected Parade Theme

“Christmas around the world!” will be the theme of the 67th annual City of Quincy Christmas Parade.

In what is believed to be a parade first, Dolly Di Pesa – who had her entry selected from 46 possible themes last year – came out on top again from the list of 31 entries submitted this year as part of the annual theme contest. The selection committee make their selection without knowing who submitted the entry.

The theme is an important part of the parade as it is used in the design and building of floats by the many community groups and schools who compete for prizes in a number of categories. The theme is also used for the poster contest, which is sponsored by QATV in all of the elementary schools in Quincy.

Community groups, nonprofits, and schools are eligible to participate in the parade by building floats which are judged for cash prizes. Commercial floats pay a fee to enter floats and are judged in a separate category and are awarded trophies. Persons interested in entering a float for this year’s parade should contact the committee at pdoherty@quincyma.gov.

Di Pesa, who is well known community volunteer and is active in the Quincy Rotary Club and other nonprofit organizations, is a CPA with an office at Marina Bay.

As the theme winner, Di Pesa a Quincy resident will have the honor of riding in the parade with some guests and will be presented a plaque at an awards ceremony at the conclusion of this year’s parade. The parade will be held on Sunday, Dec. 1.

Koch Announces 30 ‘Neat Neighbor’ Winners

Mayor Thomas Koch announces the winners of the City’s 2019 “Neat Neighbors”, a program that aims to recognize those residents that maintain their yard and property in a manner consistent with the themes of a cleaner and greener Quincy.

The 30 winners were chosen at random from more than 150 nominations from throughout the city’s many neighborhoods. The winners had to meet the qualifications of maintaining their yard and property and the program does not do comparative judging. Winners will receive a $30 gift certificate from a local garden center to help with their continued efforts next year.

“I want to thank all of the residents who were nominated this season,” Koch said. “Most of our residents do a fantastic job in keeping up their properties. This is our way of saying thanks and hopefully encouraging more people to do the same. The city can plant flowers, trees, and make our public property look nice but we need the cooperation of our residents to truly maintain the beautiful character of our city’s great neighborhoods.”

The 2019 “Neat Neighbors” are:

135 Sea Ave. Lois Murphy; 208 Merrymount Rd. The Cosgroves; 66 Edwards St. Tony Viapiano; 44 Cherry St. Mrs. Tinkham; 59 Bird St. John Keefe; 22 River St. Barry Wood; 65-67 Hughes St. Rick Wuori; 46 Curtis Ave. Dina Kyller; 33 Edison St. Janet Ochs; 44 Spaulding St. Marshall Whitehurst; 240 South Central Ave. Jeff and Deidre Hannon; 103 Grand View Ave. Mr. Patrick Curran; 69 Grandview Ave. The Boreks; 120 Farrington St. Donna Brown, 29 Eddie St. Frank Casper; 20 Taylor St. Kathleen Ryan; 35 Taber St. The Gaudianos; 88 Shirley St. Paul Cronin; 21 Presidents Ln. The McPhersons; 72 Elm Ave. Will and Susan Porter; 165 Fenno St. The Wilcoxens; 144 Marlboro St. Dave Hennessey; 118 Atlantic St. Kenny Xiong; 7 Andrews Rd. The Morrisseys; 39 Newbury Ave. Barbara Cilliland; 65 Colby Rd. Peter Regele; 71 Colby Rd. Susan Regele; 7 Sonoma Rd. Candace Golden; 619 Quincy Shore Dr. Eric Stoeckel; and 45 Marshall St. Dan Walty.