Mahoney releases comprehensive policy agenda for Quincy ahead of mayoral election

Councillor Anne Mahoney has released a comprehensive policy agenda, outlining her priorities and vision for Quincy ahead of the mayoral election this November, according to a press release from her campaign committee emailed to The Sun.

Her plan was informed by residents, stakeholders, and experts she has met during her time in public service. It covers a variety of key concerns for residents including city finances and operations, development, housing affordability, climate infrastructure and resiliency, public safety, city infrastructure and transit, economic development, education, government accountability, and equity-focused initiatives for key populations.

You can read the full plan here.

“I am running for mayor because I believe in the face of persistent challenges, we need leadership in the executive office that is tireless and focused on the people we serve. I am proud to share my policy vision for Quincy, inspired by the conversations I have had with residents across our City, as I believe it outlines key strategies to keep Quincy on the right track and secure a brighter future for our residents,” said Mahoney. “I believe voters deserve public commitments from their leaders, so that they can make informed decisions about which candidate best represents their values and addresses their concerns.”

Anne Mahoney has served as an at-large councilor since 2018. Prior, she served on the Quincy School Committee. Mahoney is a lifelong Quincy resident, former small business owner, and marketing strategist. She lives in West Quincy with her husband Kevin. They have three children who all graduated from Quincy Public Schools.

Cong. Lynch Hosting U.S. Service Academies Information Session Oct. 1 At Braintree Town Hall

Cong. Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08) will host an information session at Braintree Town Hall Sunday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon for all high school students interested in applying to one of the United States Service Academies. All students and their families are welcome to attend.

Representatives from each of the following academies will make brief presentations and be available for questions:

United States Military Academy at West Point, NY

United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD

United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO

United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY

United States Coast Guard Academy at New London, CT

Massachusetts Maritime Academy at Buzzards Bay, MA.

The information session will take place in the Cahill Auditorium in Braintree Town Hall, 1 JFK Memorial Dr., Braintree.

For those unable to attend, more information on the Service Academy nomination process is available on Cong. Lynch’s website: https://lynch.house.gov/service-academy-nominations.

Bicyclist Struck, Killed By Vehicle

By SCOTT JACKSON

Quincy police are investigating after a bicyclist was struck and killed by a vehicle Friday morning on Southern Artery.

First responders were called to 479 Southern Artery at 11:17 a.m. on Friday after receiving several calls reporting a bicyclist had been struck by a motor vehicle, police said in a statement.

Emergency personnel arrived on scene and found the victim, later identified as 86-year-old Li Dain Wu of Quincy, with serious injuries. Firefighters and EMS treated Wu on scene and transported him to South Shore Hospital. He was later pronounced deceased.

The operator of the motor vehicle remained on scene following the collision, police said.

No charges have been filed and the crash remains under investigation by the Quincy Police Collision Reconstruction Unit and the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact Quincy police at 617-745-5824.

State Health Officials Announce Third Human Case Of West Nile Virus In MA

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) on Friday (Sept. 8) announced the third human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in a Massachusetts resident this year. The individual is a male in his 50s who was exposed in Hampden County.

The risk of human infection with WNV is moderate in the Greater Boston area (Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk counties), and in parts of Berkshire, Bristol, Hampden, Hampshire, Plymouth, and Worcester counties. There are no additional risk level changes indicated at this time.

“This is the third person with West Nile virus infection identified in Massachusetts this year,” said Public Health Commissioner Robert Goldstein, MD, PhD. “It continues to be important for people to take steps to prevent mosquito bites, including by using a mosquito repellent with an EPA-registered active ingredient, draining standing water around their homes, and repairing window screens. Risk from mosquito-borne disease will continue until the first hard frost.”

In 2022, there were eight human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts. WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.

People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes.

Avoid Mosquito Bites

Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient (DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-Menthane-3,8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535) according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning in areas of high risk.

Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty unused flowerpots and wading pools and change the water in birdbaths frequently.

Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly fitting screens on all windows and doors.

Protect Your Animals

Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is suspected of having WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to the Department of Agricultural Resources, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795, and to the Department of Public Health by calling 617-983-6800.

More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at Mosquito-borne Diseases | Mass.govwhich is updated daily, or by calling the DPH Division of Epidemiology at 617-983-6800.

Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony Monday

By SCOTT JACKSON

The Quincy Fire Department will hold solemn ceremony Monday morning to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The ceremony will begin at 9:55 a.m. at departmental headquarters at 40 Quincy Ave.

Fire Chief Joseph Jackson said this year’s observance will be similar to those held in prior years. The ceremonies have traditionally included the lowering of the station’s flag to half-staff, a minute-long moment of silence, the recitation of the Firefighter’s Prayer, the tolling of a bell, and bagpipes.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks claimed the lives of 2,977 victims at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Virginia and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  Among those killed were 343 members of the New York City Fire Department and 72 law enforcement officers.

Quincy Christmas Parade Theme Contest Underway

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

The Committee is seeking public nominations for the theme of the 70th annual parade which will be held on Sunday, Nov. 26th.

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

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

All entries must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6.

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

Councillors OK Sea Street Takings

By SCOTT JACKSON

Quincy city councillors on Tuesday approved the taking of easements along a portion of Sea Street, setting the stage for a state project to make improvements to the thoroughfare.

Councillors approved the takings along the stretch of Sea Street between Samoset Avenue and Palmer Street in a 9-0 vote during a special session on Tuesday evening. In a separate 9-0 vote, councillors awarded the impacted property owners a total of $1.13 million in compensation.

Ward 1 Councillor David McCarthy noted the upcoming roadwork is the second phase of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation project to upgrade Sea Street. The first phase of the project took place in the vicinity of the intersection of Sea Street and Quincy Shore Drive.

“That was a great success,” McCarthy said of the first phase of the project.

“What this is is phase two that runs from Ginger Betty’s all the way down to Palmer Street, which is much larger,” he added. “This is the same type of approach that we had with phase one where we are looking at sidewalks, handicap accessibility, ADA compliance, et cetera, poles that are in the way.

“Sea Street hasn’t had a facelift forever, so this is some great improvements for the residents all the way down to Palmer Street.”

Council President Noel DiBona said the project would be beneficial to all those who use Sea Street.

“As a Ward 1 resident myself that lives two houses away from Sea Street…this will be very helpful for not only the folks driving in their vehicles but the pedestrians as well as the business owners,” DiBona said.

“I think this is going to be a great project and kudos to everyone involved. At the end of the day, it’s about public safety and I’m glad the stakeholders, the federal and the MassDOT, is investing their monies to the city of Quincy.”

McCarthy said an open house was held at Quincy High School on Aug. 9 so area residents could meet with him, City Solicitor Jim Timmins and representatives from MassDOT to learn more about the takings. McCarthy called the open house “very successful.”

“A lot of the residents, as always when you start off with a project, have questions and there’s some concern, but once they understood that this is phase two of an improvement of Sea Street…everyone was on board,” he said.

Councillor Anne Mahoney asked if the design for the improvements along that section of Sea Street had been discussed during the August meeting because, she said, residents had expressed some concerns about the proposal during a 2019 community meeting. McCarthy said last month’s meeting was held to discuss the takings, not the improvements themselves. He said that “not much has changed” since the 2019 meeting and he would “have another meeting before the end of the year and bring everyone in and take a look at it one more time.”

Councillor Nina Liang asked for an explanation about the types of easements the city would be taking. Craig Sheehan of MassDOT said three different types of easements are needed for the project.

The first type is temporary easements during construction. Those easements will allow, for instance, the contractor to go onto private property to install sidewalks and then, once the sidewalks are finished, restore the land to its original condition. There are also temporary easements for driveways during construction. Equipment cannot be kept on the temporary easements overnight, Sheehan said, but items like pipes may be stored there.

The second type of easement is for utilities. Sheehan said utility poles would be relocated as part of the project and the utility easements will allow the wires that run between them to pass over private property.

The final type of easements are permanent ones. Sheehan said that in some cases permanent easements are needed so that ramps could be installed in compliance with ADA standards. In other cases, sidewalks were installed years ago on private property and the permanent easements are needed to rectify those situations.

Liang also asked about the timeline for the work on Sea Street. Sheehan said work on the project, which still has to go out to bid, would likely begin next March or April depending on the weather. He noted the contractor would set the schedule for the project, meaning they would determine where along Sea Street the work would begin and whether to start with sidewalks or the roadway first, for instance. The temporary easements are for five years, Sheehan stated, but he was optimistic the work would not take that long to complete.

Additionally, Liang asked if there would be a central point of contact for residents during construction. Sheehan said MassDOT assigns a resident engineer for each project to fill that role and, because of how large the Sea Street project is, two may be assigned in this instance.

 

City-Wide Tree Inventory Underway

The Department of Natural Resources is currently overseeing a city-wide inventory and survey of Quincy’s more than 20,000 street-trees, Mayor Thomas Koch announces.

Tree Warden Dan Cathcart is working with CN Utility Consulting (CNUC) to identify the size, species, and condition of every street tree in Quincy.  The data will be collected and shared with the public through the Natural Resources’ Urban Forestry Management System webpage.

The project was made possible by funding provided by Mayor Koch and approved by the Quincy City Council.  Certified Arborists from CNUC will be canvassing neighborhoods, wearing identification and bright vests to make them easily identifiable. The street survey work should wrap up in late September.

“Our street trees are as important as any other public asset in the city, if not more so,” Koch said.  “They provide oxygen, sequester carbon dioxide, provide shade and cooling, alleviate stormwater, offer habitat, and provide incredible beauty throughout the year but especially in the Fall.  Quincy’s neighborhoods are defined by our street trees and they help make a city feel like a small town.  Its not enough just to plant more trees every year, we should set out to protect these incredible natural assets that we already have.”

Working with the City’s GIS team, Natural Resources’ Urban Forest Management System aims to provide as much public information as possible on Quincy’s urban forest.  The public will be able to identify key factors on all trees throughout the city.  Residents can even plug those data points into an app to estimate the value of the tree.

“We are fortunate to have a mayor that cares so much about trees and natural resources,” said Commissioner of Natural Resources Dave Murphy.  “He has made parks, trees, and open space protection and enhancement a priority and it shows with the many upgrades that we have seen in recent years.  In addition to the more than 2,500 new trees we have planted in recent years, we are now elevating the protection of our existing street trees to a level this city has never seen.

“I want to thank our GIS team, Steve Washburn and Jacqui Devin, for their incredible work with our urban forestry webpage; hopefully it fosters a stronger understanding of the importance of our street trees and creates new stewards of our local environment,” Murphy added.

State Health Officials Announce First Two Human Cases Of West Nile virus In Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced Tuesday (Aug. 29th) the first two human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in state residents this year. One individual is a female in her 70s who was exposed to the virus in another part of the country. The second individual is a male in his 40s who was exposed in Middlesex County, an area already known to be at moderate risk.

The risk of human infection with WNV is moderate in the Greater Boston area (Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk counties), and in parts of Berkshire, Bristol, Hampden, Hampshire, Plymouth, and Worcester counties. There are no additional risk level changes indicated at this time.

“This is the first time that West Nile virus infection has been identified in Massachusetts residents this year,” said Public Health Commissioner Robert Goldstein, MD, PhD. “August and September are the months when most people are exposed to West Nile virus in Massachusetts. Populations of mosquitoes that can carry and spread this virus are fairly large this year and we have seen recent increases in the number of WNV-positive mosquito samples from multiple parts of the Commonwealth.”

In 2022, there were eight human cases of WNV infection identified in Massachusetts. WNV is usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe disease. Most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. When present, WNV symptoms tend to include fever and flu-like illness. In rare cases, more severe illness can occur.

“We are coming to the unofficial end of summer but mosquitoes with West Nile virus will persist for several more months,” said Dr. Catherine M. Brown, State Epidemiologist. “To avoid mosquito bites, use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient, wear clothing to reduce exposed skin, drain standing water and repair window screens. We also encourage everyone to regularly visit DPH’s mosquito-borne diseases web pages to stay informed on when and where WNV activity is occurring.”

People have an important role to play in protecting themselves and their loved ones from illnesses caused by mosquitoes.

Avoid Mosquito Bites

Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient (DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-Menthane-3,8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535) according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning in areas of high risk.

Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty unused flowerpots and wading pools and change the water in birdbaths frequently.

Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly fitting screens on all windows and doors.

Protect Your Animals

Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent WNV and EEE. If an animal is suspected of having WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to the Department of Agricultural Resources, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795, and to the Department of Public Health by calling 617-983-6800.

More information, including all WNV and EEE positive results, can be found on the Arbovirus Surveillance Information web page at Mosquito-borne Diseases | Mass.govwhich is updated daily, or by calling the DPH Division of Epidemiology at 617-983-6800.

Man Escapes From West Quincy House Fire

By SCOTT JACKSON

Quincy police officers were able to help a man escape from a burning home in West Quincy early Tuesday morning.

The house fire on Rodman Street was called in shortly before 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, police said. The Quincy Police Department, Quincy Fire Department and Brewster Ambulance all responded to the scene.

Flames were visible in the front windows of the house when police officers Michael Brokmeier and Sean Fitzgerald arrived on scene, police said. The officers ran to the back of the house, forced open a door and alerted a man who had been sleeping in a bedroom.

“QPD Shift Commander Lt. Dave Pacino credited Officers Brokmeier and Fitzgerald with saving the resident’s life,” police wrote on Facebook.

Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control before it could spread, police stated. No injuries were reported.