Thomas Crane Public Library Online Events In April

The staff of the Thomas Crane Public Library will host many online events throughout April that give members the opportunity to explore many different topics from the comfort of their own homes.

Registration is required for each event to receive the Zoom link.

Celebrating a Book Birthday with Author Megumi Inouye: “The Soul of Gift Wrapping”

  • Tuesday, April 2 from 7-8 p.m.

In her book, “The Soul of Gift Wrapping: Creative Techniques for Expressing Gratitude, Inspired by the Japanese Art of Giving,” Megume Inouye invites readers to transform gift-wrapping into a gratitude practice through inventive wrapping designs, inspiring personal essays, and step-by-step techniques. Drawing on the gift-giving traditions of her Japanese heritage, Inouye explores how the act of giving a thoughtfully wrapped gift can be a creative, caring act for both the giver and the receiver. Register here to receive the Zoom link.

Art Across Asia: Persia – Crossroads for Art and Culture

  • Sunday, April 14 from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Community members are invited to learn about the arts of Asia from experts at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Each month will focus on a unique topic from this vast, diverse and ever-evolving continent.

This month, attendees will uncover the unique artistic elements of ancient Middle Eastern art and its influence on art across Asia and Europe. Register here to receive the Zoom link.

A Brief History of the Coast Guard with Retired Captain Greg Ketchen

  • Tuesday, April 16 from 7-8 p.m.

Retired United States Coast Guard Captain Greg Ketchen will discuss the history of the Coast Guard, as well as those who have served in the Coast Guard in Massachusetts and made significant contributions to its history.

Captain Ketchen is a volunteer at the Coast Guard Heritage Museum and has served as its president for the past six years. Register here to receive the Zoom link.

Q&A with C.S. Harris: Author of the “Sebastian St. Cyr” Historical Mystery Series

  • Tuesday, April 23 from 7-8 p.m.

Join USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Candice Proctor for a Q&A about her novels, including the Sebastian St. Cyr Regency mystery series written under the name C.S. Harris, the C.S. Graham thriller series co-written with Steven Harris, and seven historical romances. Proctor is also the author of a nonfiction historical study of women in the French Revolution. Her books are available worldwide and have been translated into over 20 languages. Register here to receive the Zoom link.

To learn more about events at the Thomas Crane Public Library, visit the library’s Events Calendar, Facebook, or Instagram.

MBTA Board Approves Low-Income Fare Program To Benefit Riders In 170+ Communities

Building upon the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s FY24 budget that includes $5 million for the MBTA to develop a low-income fares program, the MBTA announced March 28th that the MBTA Board of Directors has unanimously approved the MBTA’s plan to implement a reduced fares program for riders with low-income. In addition to the low-income fare program, the Board also approved two smaller changes.

The new program will provide riders who are aged 26-64, non-disabled, and have low income with reduced fares of approximately 50% off on all MBTA modes. Program participants will demonstrate eligibility via existing enrollment in programs with a cutoff of 200% of the federal poverty level (or lower).

The new program also applies on the Commuter Rail, unlocking affordability for residents along those corridors and in the Gateway Cities. On the RIDE, the MBTA’s paratransit service, senior and low-income riders will be eligible for half price ADA and Premium trips.

“Expanding low-income fares will help to ensure that our transportation system is more equitable and more affordable, which supports the mission to give everyone greater access to mobility options, especially community members depending on transit,”said Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt.

“This is an important step towards making mass transportation more affordable for those that need it the most and I thank the Board of Directors for their support and approval of the new low-income fare program, especially MassDOT Secretary Tibbits-Nutt for her years of advocacy. I applaud the Governor and the Legislature for their foresight to include funds in our FY24 budget to enable us to develop this program, and we thank the Governor for her proposal in the FY25 budget in support of this program, which will benefit so many across all modes,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “The MBTA is committed to making meaningful improvements for riders, including making fares more affordable, which will improve quality of life, boost economic mobility, and encourage more riders to return to the system.”

 The fare changes will go into effect in summer 2024.

 The MBTA estimates the cost of the program to be approximately $52-62 million (including administrative costs, operating costs to meet induced demand, and fare revenue loss). According to prior research, riders with low income are expected to take 30% more trips with a reduced fare, significantly increasing mobility while saving on transportation costs. More than 60,000 riders are expected to qualify for and enroll in the program, which is expected to result in up to 8 million more trips per year.

 The program for riders with low income is a multi-secretariat effort with the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). Existing MBTA reduced fare programs already provide support to students, seniors, riders with disabilities, and young people aged 18-25 with low income. These programs provide half-priced fares and passes. 

 To make the program further accessible throughout Massachusetts communities, the MBTA will partner with third-party Community-Based Partners to manage in-person customer service and eligibility verification. These efforts include providing physical in-person locations where people can receive support with their applications and offering additional support whenever automatic systems are unable to successfully process applications.

 Two additional fare changes include: 

Replacing “Change Tickets” with CharlieCards: As of March 1, 2024, the issuance of paper CharlieTickets with stored value as change (a “Change Ticket”) was phased out. This is due to limitations in the fare collection technology. Riders are encouraged to load stored value on plastic CharlieCards. 

Permanently expanding the $10 Weekend Commuter Rail Pass to include federal holidays: The $10 Weekend Commuter Rail Pass will now include federal holidays. This pass allows for unlimited Commuter Rail trips on all three days of federal holiday weekends. For federal holidays that are observed mid-week, passengers can purchase a $10 Holiday Pass for that day. 

For more information, visit mbta.com/2024FareChanges or connect with the T on X (the site formerly known as Twitter) @MBTA and @MBTA_CR, Facebook /TheMBTA, Instagram @theMBTA, Threads @thembta, or TikTok @thembta. 

ENC Men’s Volleyball Upsets No. 7 Springfield

The Eastern Nazarene College men’s volleyball team pulled off the biggest win in program history Wednesday evening, upsetting No. 7 Springfield 3-2 at the Lahue Athletic Center. The Lions clawed back from an 0-2 deficit to claim the program’s first-ever victory over a nationally-ranked opponent.

With the win, ENC improved to 14-6 on the season. The Pride dropped to 17-4.

Springfield rolled to a 25-13 win the opening set for a 1-0 lead. The Pride then posted a 25-9 victory in the second game for a 2-0 advantage.

ENC began its comeback rally with a 25-22 win in the third game to narrow the deficit to 2-1. The Lions took the fourth set 25-18 to tie the match at 2-2 and force a winner-take-all fifth set.

In the decisive fifth game, ENC emerged with a 15-10 win to cap off the reverse-sweep.

For ENC, Alejandro Garcia Fernandez (San Juan, P.R.) had a match-high 2o kills with four aces and five digs.

Delfry Solder (Lawrence, MA), notched 11 kills and eight digs and Jacob Lotts (Mission Viejo, Calif.) had six kills in the Lions’ comeback victory.

Two players from Quincy also had big games for ENC. Jacob Zarges tallied nine kills while Aaron Huang finished with 39 assists and eight digs.

Eastern Nazarene hosts Endicott April 4 in a crucial New England Volleyball Conference showdown.

Quincy College Nursing Program Granted Full Approval Status

At its March meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (BORN) voted to grant full approval status to Quincy College’s nursing programs.

“Obtaining full BORN approval for our nursing programs has been a top institutional priority,” said Quincy College President Dr. Richard DeCristofaro.  “It reflects the dedication of our academic leadership and nursing faculty in assuring that the programs on our Quincy and Plymouth campuses provide the optimal learning environment for nursing students and prepare them with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve licensure and enter the workforce,” he said. “It’s also a tribute to the students themselves who have successfully completed those programs, earned licensure, begun their nursing practice and now proudly count themselves as Quincy College alumni.”

When BORN withdrew full program approval in 2018, the College closed its nursing program and designed and implemented a comprehensive new curriculum focused on assuring that graduating students would consistently attain passing grades on the national NCLEX exam (acknowledged as the most reliable measure of a quality nursing education program).  Since 2019, students in the College’s 10-month Practical Nursing Certificate program and its two-year Associate of Science in Nursing degree program have consistently achieved passing NCLEX exam results – a testament to the quality of the program.

The full approval status of the Quincy College nursing programs now provides accessibility to military veterans through the GI Bill.

“I’m deeply grateful for the tireless work of our nursing leadership, faculty and staff as well as the practical experiences provided by our clinical partners, all of which have been instrumental in this success story,” said Dr. Servet Yatin, Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Quincy College.  “Individually and collectively, there has been a deep commitment to delivering the highest-quality nursing education that our students deserve in order to position them for success in the nursing profession.”

“Full approval of our program will continue to provide Quincy College the opportunity to educate more nursing students,” said Dean of Nursing Dr. Diane Gillis. “We’re eager to build on this new foundation and create additional opportunities for those seeking an accessible, affordable pathway to a rewarding nursing career. Whether in our PN or ASN program, on our Quincy campus or in Plymouth, there has never been a more opportune time to enroll and experience the value of a Quincy College education.”

Free Jacks Rugby Host Miami April 6 At Veterans’ Memorial Stadium

Four games into the 2024 Major League Rugby (MLR) season, the New England Free Jacks are again proving they belong atop the MLR’s Eastern Conference. They lived up to their reputation on Sunday, besting the Chicago Hounds 22-17 at SeatGeek Stadium in Chicagoland.

Following a 27-21 victory over a NOLA squad on their home turf last week, the Free Jacks were ready for round four, where the Hounds hosted their first home game. SeatGeek Stadium was sure to evoke positive memories for the Free Jacks as their previous appearance at this venue was during the MLR Championship last July.

“We’ve made a habit of coming out of the blocks slow the past two weeks, a trend we will need to rectify this week. We will need to address our breakdown and general physicality in order to give ourselves the opportunities we are looking for,” said head coach Scott Mathie.

Reversing their slow start trend was in evidence as Jayson Potroz scored the first try and conversion of the match to make 7-0 at 17 minutes. Chicago responded with a push down the field that led to a Reece MacDonald yellow card and a penalty try to the Hounds, evening the score at 7-7.

Though the Free Jacks were left with 14 players, that didn’t stop Potroz and Danyon Morgan-Puterangi who teamed up for a try off a midfield lineout at 37 minutes. Going into halftime, the Free Jacks led the Hounds 12-7.

Following the break, a Potroz penalty kick increased the Free Jacks’ lead to 15-7. Chicago reduced the deficit with a penalty kick, tightening the score to 15-10 with 10 minutes to play. Five minutes later, the Free Jacks pushed the lead to 12 points with a Malakai Hala scored a try. A try by Chicago in the last minute narrowed the final margin to 22-17.

Potroz was named of the player of the match for contributing 15 out of the Free Jacks’ 22 points. Fellow Kiwi Hala added the only other points.

Following the win, the Free Jacks hold a 3-1 record, maintaining their position at the top of the Eastern Conference standings with 15 points. NOLA Gold remains close, with a 15-point tally. The Free Jacks lead with a substantial point differential of 43.

Going into a bye week, the Free Jacks next play at home on Saturday, April 6, at Veterans’ Memorial Stadium in Quincy, against the fifth-place Miami Sharks at 4:30 p.m.

Thomas Crane Public Library Seeks Public Input For Strategic Planning Process

As part of the Strategic Planning process, the Thomas Crane Public Library is seeking community input on what visitors think about the library and how it can be improved.

The Library will host two public listening sessions at each of the library’s locations to hear residents’ thoughts. Listening sessions are commonly used to hear what’s on people’s minds and engage people in emerging or important topics. Library staff will facilitate these listening sessions with some guiding questions about the library space and services.

Public listening sessions are scheduled for:

Public libraries have always been adaptive organizations, functioning at various times as book repositories, information providers, educational institutions and social advocates.
The Thomas Crane Public Library periodically engages in a wide-ranging community-based planning process that elicits input from city residents and stakeholders and then adapts services to meet current and anticipated community needs.
A Strategic Plan articulates overall service priorities and specific goals and serves as the library’s organizational compass for the next five years, guiding the development of annual action plans and helping to provide exceptional services. Strategic planning makes it possible for the library to make a real difference in the everyday lives of Quincy residents.
There is also an online community survey to further share your thoughts! Print copies of the survey will be available at all Quincy Library locations. Translations of the survey (Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish) will be available soon.
Any updates will be posted on the Strategic Planning webpage and through social media.
The Thomas Crane Public Library thanks the community for their ongoing support.

Department of Public Health Advises Consumers Not to Drink Bottled Water from Easton-based Simpson Spring Due to PFAS Contamination

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) advises consumers not to purchase or consume bottled water or fill containers from self-serve water vending machines operated or distributed by Simpson Spring Company in Easton after per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination exceeding drinking water standards was found in water bottled and distributed by the company. Consumers are urged not to consume any Simpson Spring products until further notice.

If you have Simpson Spring water in your home or establishment:

  • Do not consume the product.
  • Pour the water down a drain and recycle any plastic receptacle.
  • Do not buy or consume new products from Simpson Spring until further notice.

PFAS are a group of manufactured chemicals used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s. Current scientific research suggests that exposure to certain PFAS may lead to adverse health outcomes.

Since 2021, DPH has conducted surveillance sampling and testing for emerging contaminants, including PFAS, in bottled water as part of its surveillance program.

DPH’s Food Protection Program collected water samples from Simpson Spring’s Easton facility on February 21, 2024 and collected confirmatory samples on March 11. Test results found that samples exceeded the MA drinking water standard for PFAS. On March 1, Simpson Spring advised DPH that it would voluntarily cease bottling operations temporarily and disconnect its vending machines until the issue is resolved. Sanitary violations of DPH’s Good Manufacturing Practices for Food regulations (105 CMR 500) were documented during the inspections, and DPH issued a cease-and-desist order.

DPH’s Food Protection Program will continue to monitor the situation and work with Simpson Spring to correct the violations. For more information on bottled water alternatives with no PFAS exceedances, visit PFAS in Bottled Water Pilot Program. You can access bottled water testing data, which includes brand names through this link.

For information related to the risks of PFAS in drinking water, visit Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in drinking water | Mass.gov or contact DPH at 617-624-5757. If you have any questions about this notice, call the main Food Protection Program number at 617-983-6754 or email FPP.DPH@mass.gov.

If you are a clinician, and have any questions about the health effects of PFAS, visit https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/docs/PFAS-info-for-clinicians-factsheet-508.pdf

Pooch Playoffs National Competition And Fundraiser Voting Starts March 23

Wendy Adams, owner of Wendy Adams Fine Art Photography, has always loved pets. So when the opportunity to help the Quincy Animal Shelter presented itself, she jumped on it.

Adams photographed 16 pooches for a $150 fee, donated to the Quincy Animal Shelter.  Contestants received a complimentary key chain portrait of their choice and a fun swag bag of goodies from some generous local businesses. There will be prizes for first, second and third place winners.  And an additional prize for the winner of the national competition.

The bracket style competition has been unleashed and they are about to face off in an online vote.  Voting is open to the public and free, everyone is encouraged to vote.  The winners of each round advance with the goal to be voted the Ulti-mutt Cutie of Norfolk County. The winner will move on to a national winner takes all competition where one pooch will be crowned.  Voting starts March 23rd.

The national competition will be a one-day vote, winner-takes-all on April 7th.  The winner of the national competition will receive an engraved Yeti bowl and their charity will receive an additional donation.

“I’m really hoping everyone will come back and vote for our winner in the national competition on April 7th. I’m competitive and I want to see the Quincy Animal Shelter win that extra donation,” Adams said.

To vote and find Pooch Playoff information visit Wendy’s website www.WendyAdamsFineArtPhotography.com and click on Pooch Playoffs.

Edward DeWitt Named Head Coach Quincy High Football

Quincy High School announces Edward DeWitt has been named the Presidents’ new head varsity football coach.

DeWitt is a 2004 graduate of Quincy High School and member of the Quincy/North Quincy Football Hall of Fame. He has an extensive coaching background at the collegiate, high school, and youth levels. Most recently, DeWitt has been the head coach at Oliver Ames High School for the past five seasons.

His coaching roots started in Quincy with the Quincy Point Panthers youth team. He was an assistant coach at Curry College from 2010-2012. He also has experience at the high school level with Canton High School, Sharon High School and Hingham High School. He is currently a history/physical education teacher in the Sharon Public Schools.