Quincy Food Festival Truck Cancelled

By SCOTT JACKSON

The annual Quincy Food Truck & Music Festival scheduled for Saturday has been cancelled because of inclement weather, city officials announced Friday on social media.

“Due to this afternoon’s changing weather forecast for Saturday, the food truck and music festival is cancelled for tomorrow,” officials posted on the city of Quincy Twitter account.

“Stay tuned for the City’s upcoming November/December events schedule to be confirmed soon.”

The remnants of Hurricane Ian are expected to move into the region on Saturday, bringing rain and gusty winds to the area south of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Andronico, Cain Want To Explore Residency Requirement For New City Hires

By SCOTT JACKSON

Two city councillors on Monday will put forward a resolution asking the Koch administration to consider potential avenues for enacting a residency requirement for new municipal employees in Quincy.

Councillors Anthony Andronico and Ian Cain will introduce the resolution asking about the residency requirement when councillors meet Monday evening. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. inside City Hall.

In their resolution, the two councillors note the council on Sept. 19 passed a separate resolution calling for a compensation review of all city employees. Further, they state that Quincy’s population has surpassed 100,000 residents, more than 40 percent of whom belong to a minority group, and that the city has taken steps to diversify its workforce in recent years.

“It is crucial for public employees to be knowledgeable about and engaged in the community in which they work,” the councillors wrote in the resolution. “[And] public employees who live and work in the same community are more likely to support the local economy than those who do not.”

To that end, the resolution calls upon the administration to “explore potential avenues to enact a residency requirement for all new employees as part of any compensation review of all city employees.” It goes on to add, “the City Council understands that any residency requirement should include exceptions for positions that may require significant area expertise.”

The US Supreme Court has held that municipalities may enact residency requirements for their employees.

The city of Boston maintains a residency requirement for its municipal workers, for example. Anyone can apply to work for the city of Boston, but employees must reside in the city on their first day of work. Workers have to verify their residency annually and must remain a Boston resident as long as they are employed by the city, but certain unions have different rules.

In other business on Monday, Public Works Commissioner Al Grazioso will provide councillors with an update on various projects in his department’s purview. Mayor Thomas Koch will also put forward a $23 million bond to fund the construction of the public safety headquarters on Sea Street and nearby infrastructure improvements; the new bond is on top of the $152 million in bonds already authorized for the project.

Abigail Adams Statue Dedication Nov. 5

WORKERS POUR concrete for a footing that will support the new bronze statue of Abigail Adams at the Hancock-Adams Common adjacent to United First Parish Church in Quincy Center. A dedication ceremony for the new statue will be held Saturday, Nov. 5 at 11 a.m. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Mayor Thomas P. Koch and the City of Quincy will honor the legacy of the Second First Lady of the United States of America, Abigail Adams in a statue dedication ceremony to be held on Saturday, Nov. 5th at 11 a.m. on the Hancock Adams Common, 1305 Hancock St. in Quincy.

The 7-foot bronze statue will hold a place of prominence in the Hancock Adams Common to honor Abigail and her role as a defining voice of the Revolutionary Era. Wife of second U.S. President John Adams and mother of sixth U.S. President John Quincy Adams, Abigail was a farmer, writer and patriot.

“Abigail is most likely the most important woman of her generation, whose actions and words continue to hold great influence even today,” Koch said. “Her statue belongs on the Common near her husband. There is not a marriage that, as a couple, has had a greater influence on who we are as a people than John and Abigail Adams, and the Common is absolutely the right place for both of their contributions to be recognized.

“Working with a group of Quincy advocates helped bring the project to life,” the mayor added.

Sergey Eylanbekov, the same renown sculptor responsible for the John Adams and John Hancock statues on the Common, created a statue of Abigail on the same scale as his existing sculptures. An area of the park has been redesigned for her to be placed along with the interpretive artwork detailing her legacy.

Keynote speakers for the event include two prominent political and historical authorities on Adams and her legacy. Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard’s Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics,  and Catherine Allgor, the President of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The event is open to the public.

WORK CONTINUES at the site of the new Abigail Adams Statue that will be located at Hancock-Adams Common adjacent to United First Parish Church (background). This photo was taken Sept. 23 and shows workers pouring concrete for a footing that will support the 7-foot bronze statue. The statue honoring the second First Lady of the U.S. will be dedicated Saturday, Nov. 5 at 11 a.m. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Man, Woman Found Dead On Red Line Tracks Identified

By SCOTT JACKSON

Officials on Tuesday identified the man and the woman who were killed Monday in Quincy after apparently coming into contact with the electrified third rail of the MBTA’s Red Line.

The Norfolk District Attorney’s Office identified the individuals as Klyer Granada, age 20, a resident of South Boston and Tanairy Rodriguez, age 20, a resident of Lowell.

The DA’s Office added that, “the investigation has not produced any evidence of foul play in the deaths.”

An operator of a Red Line train first spotted the two bodies around 6 a.m. on Monday, MBTA officials said. In a statement later Monday, MBTA Transit Police said they believe the man and woman were electrocuted after they came into contact with the third rail.

“An adult male and female while trespassing along the right of way between North Quincy and Wollaston Station intentionally placed their bodies between the outside running rail and the third rail. This is a limited confined space and our preliminary investigation suggests both individuals came into contact with the third rail,” the statement said.

“Speaking on behalf of the Transit Police and the MBTA organization we express our sincerest condolences to family and friends of the decedents.”

Service on the Braintree branch of the Red Line was suspended on Monday morning following the discovery of the two bodies, with shuttle buses brought in to replace trains. Train service resumed around 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

Quincy Christmas Parade Theme Contest Underway

The Christmas Festival Committee announces that the Theme Contest for the Quincy Christmas Parade is now underway.

The Committee is seeking public nominations for the theme of the 69th annual parade which will be held on Sunday, Nov. 27.  As previously announced this year’s parade will feature the University of Massachusetts Marching Band.  The highly acclaimed award-winning band is over 380 strong and has appeared in events all over the United States.

The parade theme plays a significant role in float preparation for the annual event and is an important step in planning of each year’s parade.

The contest is open to all and the winner will receive a gift and be invited to ride in a convertible in the parade on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

All entries must be received no later than Friday, Oct. 7.

Entries should be mailed to Christmas Festival Committee, One Merrymount Parkway, Quincy, MA 02170

Hyde Park Man Arrested In NQ Road Rage Stabbing Incident

Quincy Police announced Tuesday morning that Zakar Bell-Warren, 20, of Hyde Park was taken into custody on an outstanding arrest warrant relative to a stabbing that occurred on Sept. 15.

According to police, during a thorough investigation, detectives learned that Bell-Warren and the victim were involved in a road rage incident that started in the area of Quincy Shore Drive and Sea Street. The incident continued down Quincy Shore Drive and ended in the area of Glover Ave and Pierce Street, where the victim was stabbed.

Two independent witnesses observed that the suspect was also in possession of a firearm. Based on this information, and other information obtained during this investigation, a detective assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations applied for and was granted a search warrant charging Bell-Warren with armed assault to murder (knife) and assault with a dangerous weapon (firearm).

At approximately 7 a.m. Tuesday morning (Sept. 20), the Weymouth Police Department located and arrested Zakar Bell-Warren on the outstanding arrest warrant. Search warrants of Bell-Warren’s vehicle and home are also being executed and additional charges may be filed at a later time.

The defendant is expected to be arraigned in Quincy District Court Tuesday.

“This should be a strong reminder that if you find yourself in a road rage incident, contact 9-1-1 right away. Follow instructions of the 9-1-1 operator, and never exit your vehicle to engage the other individual,” Quincy police said.

DCR Traffic Advisory: Chickatawbut Road in Milton and Quincy

Effective immediately and continuing through Friday, Sept. 30, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will implement a closure of Chickatawbut Road from Randolph Avenue in Milton to Granite Street in Braintree, and Wompatuck Road from Chickatawbut Road to Willard Street in Quincy to accommodate drainage improvement work.

Traffic patterns will be clearly marked, and a police detail will be on site.       

Orange Line, Green Line Extension Service Resumes on Schedule Sept. 19

The MBTA Sunday announced that Orange Line and Green Line Union Square service will resume on Monday, Sept. 19.

The MBTA initiated the 30-day full-closure of the Orange Line on August 19 to complete five years of improvements in 30 days and bring track and signal infrastructure into a state of good repair, while also addressing safety actions identified by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Orange Line track replacement work addresses FTA Special Directive 22-4 which mandates that the MBTA take actions related to maintenance of way. In Directive 22-4, the FTA noted that defective track conditions had forced the MBTA to implement slow zones where trains had to operate at restricted speeds. By replacing thousands of feet of rail during the Orange Line closure, the MBTA is eliminating the slow zones, and providing riders with faster and more reliable service.

“A tremendous amount of choreography, coordination, and hard work has been accomplished during these 30 days, including over a dozen projects to replace rail, track, signals, rail fasteners, and more that would have taken the T five years of nights and weekends to accomplish,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “We’ve also met our goal of eliminating six slow zones along the Orange Line, which creates faster and more reliable commutes for customers, and surpassed our goal for new vehicles with 72 new Orange Line cars ready to serve riders. Thank you to all of our partner municipalities along the Orange Line for collaborating with us throughout the entirety of these 30 days; to the MBTA workforce, contractor crews, shuttle bus operators, Transit Ambassadors, in-station personnel, and more for their dedicated work, skill, and service; and especially to our Orange Line riders – we’re excited to welcome you back to a faster, safer, more reliable ride tomorrow on a line comprised of predominantly new cars.”

“The 30-day Orange Line shutdown was a monumental opportunity which allowed the MBTA to conduct critical maintenance operations aggressively to help ensure travel on the MBTA is safe, accessible, smooth, and convenient,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler. “This historical undertaking would not have been possible without thorough and thoughtful multi-level coordination and collaboration, and I would like to thank MassDOT’s Highway Division for all their support, everyone who worked hard and spent countless hours helping to bring this project to fruition, and members of the public for all of their continued patience.”

“The MBTA’s Capital Transformation program has successfully applied its experience and lessons learned from previous surges as we brought together multiple other MBTA departments to continue the transformation of the Orange Line,” said MBTA Chief of Capital Transformation Angel Peña. “Our work during the Orange Line shutdown was rooted in our devotion to riders and their safety. This devotion will continue to drive our focus on quality, accessibility, modernization, and service for years to come.”

Work accomplished during the 30-day Orange Line closure includes:

·       Elimination of six slow zones to allow for faster service at Jackson Square and Stony Brook, State and Downtown Crossing, Tufts Medical Center and Back Bay, Community College and North Station, and two slow zones between Assembly and Wellington along the Dana Bridge.

·       Replacement of 14,000 feet of rail and more than 2,800 rail ties.

·       Replaced 3,500 feet of track.

·       Installation of 400 rail fasteners called “Cologne Eggs,” which dampen vibrations and noise for a more comfortable ride.

·       Upgraded signals at Oak Grove and Malden Center from analog to digital to reduce time and maintenance.

·       45,000 feet of new signal cable was laid within the Southwest Corridor, which will be activated in 2023 as part of the Signal Upgrades project when the new system is placed in service.

·       Repaired and weatherproofed Sullivan Square station’s roof and canopy to protect it from the elements and the roadway above.

·       Forest Hills station is now fully accessible from both the Washington Street and Banks Place entrances. New granite tiles have also been installed at station entrances along with a new skylight. Additional improvements include the polishing and sealing of the terrazzo, painting lobby ceilings, and completing construction of the redundant lobby elevator.

·       Upgraded two Crossovers at Ruggles and Jackson Square so trains can seamlessly move between tracks.

·       Updated Oak Grove’s accessibility by replacing the roof, doors, windows, stairs, granite, pavers, terrazzo flooring, and elevators.

·       Readied 72 new Orange Line cars, an increase from 30 cars when the Orange Line shutdown first started.

Riders should be aware that slow zones will remain in place for about a week after service resumes. This is because it takes time for the new track and ballast to settle as trains repeatedly run over the areas where the slow zone removal work was done.

The Orange Line provides approximately 101,000 trips each day with ridership approximately 49% of pre-pandemic ridership.

With the reopening of the Orange Line, the CharlieCard Store located within Downtown Crossing will increase its business hours to better serve MBTA customers. On Mondays, the CharlieCard Store will be open by appointment, and Tuesday through Friday it will be open 8:30 AM to 5 PM, serving all transactions.

Commuter Rail Updates Effective Sept. 19:

 Because many Orange Line riders chose the Commuter Rail during the Orange Line closure, the T will add Oak Grove station to the Haverhill Commuter Rail Line schedule as a Zone 1A stop to offer riders an additional choice to their daily commute. Nine train stops at Forest Hills station that were added during the Orange Line shutdown will also continue on the Franklin and Providence/Stoughton Commuter Rail Lines, ensuring two trains an hour in the weekday morning inbound peak at that station. Passengers are reminded that regular fare collection will resume for Zones 1A, 1, and 2. Amended schedules can be found online at mbta.com/CR.

Green Line Extension Service:

 Green Line service between Union Square and Government Center stations will also resume at the start of service tomorrow. The T suspended service last month to facilitate the opening of the Medford Branch of the Green Line Extension in late November 2022 and to allow for continued work at the Government Center Garage project.

Completed work on the Green Line Extension includes:

·       Adjustments to the overhead wire on the East Cambridge Viaduct that eliminated a temporary slow zone, allowing trolleys to operate at the system’s designed speed of 25 mph on a permanent basis.

·       Final testing and integration of track switches, power lines, signal equipment, and digital communications between the Green Line’s Union Branch, the soon-to-be-operational Medford Branch, and the MBTA’s Operations and Control Center.

·       Installation of the last remaining sound wall panels along the Union Branch and additional work items along the Union and Medford Branches’ including track, stations, and rights of way.

As with the Orange Line, Green Line riders should note that slow zones will continue to be in place temporarily for about one week where the work was performed.

For more information, visit mbta.com/BBT2022, mbta.com/OLT, mbta.com/GLX, or connect with the T on Twitter @MBTA, Facebook /TheMBTA, or Instagram @theMBTA.

Treasurer Goldberg Announces Latest Release of Unclaimed Property Listings

Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg announced Friday (Sept. 16) the latest grouping of names that have been added to the state’s list of unclaimed property owners. Over 51,000 new properties worth millions of dollars are owed to individuals and businesses throughout the Commonwealth.

“So many people do not know they have unclaimed property waiting for them,” Goldberg said. “It is our goal to help return these funds to the rightful owners. Claiming property is fast, easy, and free, so visit FindMassMoney.com or call our office to see if you have anything waiting for you.”

The Unclaimed Property Division currently holds over $3.4 billion in unclaimed property. Unclaimed property includes forgotten savings and checking accounts, un-cashed checks, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, dividends, and the contents of unattended safe deposit boxes. Most accounts are considered abandoned and are turned over to the state after three years of inactivity. Last year, Treasury processed over 122,000 claims and returned over $163 million in property to its rightful owners.

This newly released list includes only individuals and businesses with unclaimed property over $100. Treasurer Goldberg urges all citizens to check the comprehensive list for all amounts at www.findmassmoney.com or call our live call center at 888-344-MASS (6277).

The full list of the new individuals and businesses added to the unclaimed property list was published in the Boston Globe on September 11th and will be in the Boston Herald on September 18th. In addition, the list of names will be published in over 30 regional and local papers.

The Treasury releases an updated list of unclaimed property assets every six months as the new accounts are turned over to the Commonwealth. There is no time limit for a person to claim this property and, in many cases, claimants will receive interest.

Massachusetts Residents To Get Additional Tax Refunds Starting In November

Following the State Auditor’s certification on Thursday that Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) net state tax revenues exceeded allowable revenues per Chapter 62F by $2.941 billion, the Baker-Polito Administration has announced details regarding the return of this excess revenue to taxpayers.

“Stronger-than expected state tax revenues have led to a major surplus for Fiscal Year 2022, and we are pleased to be able to return nearly $3 billion in excess revenue to the taxpayers,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With families facing continued pressure from high prices and inflation, these returns will provide some needed relief.  Even with nearly $3 billion going back to taxpayers, significant state and federal resources remain, and we look forward to working with the Legislature to invest this funding into our economy, communities and families.”

“Strong economic growth throughout our Commonwealth, combined with careful management of state tax dollars, has resulted in a significant surplus this past fiscal year,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “In the coming months, our administration will work diligently to distribute these funds back to taxpayers, and we look forward to working with the Legislature to invest additional surplus dollars in local economies across our state.”

In accordance with the statute, the $2.941 billion will be returned to eligible taxpayers by the Department of Revenue in proportion to personal income tax liability in Massachusetts incurred by taxpayers in the immediately preceding taxable year – Tax Year 2021. In general, eligible taxpayers will receive a credit in the form of a refund that is approximately 13% of their Massachusetts Tax Year 2021 personal income tax liability. This percentage is a preliminary estimate and will be finalized in late October, after all 2021 tax returns are filed. To be eligible, individuals must have filed a 2021 state tax return on or before October 17, 2022. An individual’s credit may be reduced due to refund intercepts, including for unpaid taxes, unpaid child support, and certain other debts.

Individuals eligible for a refund will receive it automatically as a check sent through the mail or through direct deposit. Distribution of refunds is expected to begin in November 2022.

“While the exceptionally high tax collections we saw in FY22 are a testament to the strength and resilience of the Massachusetts economy, we are pleased to be in a position to return a substantial portion of this revenue back to taxpayers,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “With many feeling the strain of rising prices, these refunds will be a welcome source of relief for more than three million hardworking individuals across the state, and we look forward to executing on the delivery of the refunds in the coming months.”

In total, $41.812 billion was collected in FY22, representing overall revenue growth of more than 20% above Fiscal Year 2021. After accounting for the Chapter 62F refunds and the recently filed $840 million final FY22 supplemental budget, a surplus of $1.5 billion remains available to support permanent tax relief measures and other critical investments pending in the FORWARD/economic development bill, in combination with $2.2 billion in remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Additional information about Chapter 62F taxpayer refunds, including Frequently Asked Questions and a refund estimator, is available at www.mass.gov/62frefunds. This website will be updated as additional information becomes available in the coming months. A call center will also be available to answer questions about 62F refunds beginning Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 877-677-9727 and will be open Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm. The call center will not be able to provide exact refund amounts – however, the estimator on the FAQs page can help individuals calculate a preliminary estimate.  

About Chapter 62F

Chapter 62F is a Massachusetts law enacted by voters in 1986 via a ballot question that requires the Department of Revenue to issue a credit to taxpayers if total tax revenues in a given fiscal year exceed an annual cap tied to wage and salary growth in the Commonwealth.

The law requires that the Department of Revenue submit a report to the State Auditor on the net state tax revenues and the allowable state tax revenues for each fiscal year by September 1st. The State Auditor then makes the determination of whether net state tax revenues exceed allowable state tax revenues – and, if so, by what amount – on or before the third Tuesday of September. View the State Auditor’s report for Fiscal Year 2022.

The Chapter 62F process has been triggered once before, in 1987.

View the full statute: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleIX/Chapter62F.