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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.”
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.
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.
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 email@example.com. Residents can also call the detectives’ main line at 617-745-5764 or leave tips through the MyPD smartphone app.
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.