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Fourth Resident Pulls Papers In Ward 5

By ROBERT BOSWORTH

A fourth resident took out papers Wednesday for the Ward 5 city council seat, bringing the number of potential candidates for that ward seat to four.

Joseph Graham, 90 Wendell Ave., pulled nomination papers Wednesday afternoon, according to the Quincy Election Department.

Three other residents in Ward 5 have also taken out papers and two of them have already qualified for the ballot.

Qualifying for the ballot are:

Incumbent Ward 5 Councillor Kirsten Hughes, 116 Willow Ave., with 77 certified signatures and Gina Ostis, 57 Estabrook Rd., with 93 certified signatures. Fifty signatures are required from registered voters in the ward to qualify for the ballot.

Gordon DeCambra, 64 Dickens St., has also taken out nomination papers but as of Wednesday afternoon had not returned any.

The deadline to submit nomination papers is next Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 5 p.m.

If three or more candidates qualify for the ballot in a ward council race, there would be a preliminary election Tuesday, Sept. 22. The top two vote-getters would square off in the final election Nov. 3.

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Dennehey Withdraws From Mayoral Race

By SCOTT JACKSON

The Willard Street resident who pulled nomination papers to run for mayor has announced he will not seek to serve as the city’s chief executive.

Charles Dennehey Jr. announced his withdrawal from the race in a prepared statement Wednesday afternoon; his withdrawal leaves four candidates – each current or past citywide office holders – vying for the first four-year mayoral term in Quincy’s history.

In his statement, Dennehey said he gathered the requisite 50 signatures to appear on the Sept. 22 preliminary ballot but will not turn them in as he feels he is not qualified to serve as mayor.

“My name is Charles Dennehey Jr. and I was a candidate for mayor of this city of Quincy.” Dennehey stated. “I do have the requisite signatures to submit to the city clerk’s office, but my conscience won’t allow me to. My conscience has been bothering me for over a month regarding this election, and I realized I don’t have the qualifications for that office. I do have a conscience as well as common sense; both are not allowed for that office. Also, I am not a politician by any stretch of the imagination.

“I am sorry for being a disappointment to my fellow overburdened taxpayers for removing my from consideration from mayor.

“I do love this city and it hurts me to see what the politicians are doing to it. The so-called Adams Green is putting about five more stores out of business, with the no parking out front. Like I said, no common sense, as well as no conscience, I have, they don’t.

“I do wish the candidates well but I will not endorse anyone for mayor; again, my conscience won’t allow it.”

The four candidates remaining are incumbent Thomas Koch, who was first elected in 2007; Councillor Doug Gutro; School Committee member Anne Mahoney, who challenged Koch in 2011 and lost; and former Mayor William Phelan, who was elected to three terms as mayor in 2001, 2003 and 2005 before being ousted by Koch in 2007 and losing a rematch in 2009.

The candidates for mayor and other municipal offices have until 5 p.m. on Aug. 4 to submit 50 signatures from registered voters to the Election Department in order to qualify for the ballot.

As of Wednesday, Gutro had qualified for the ballot with 468 signatures and Phelan qualified with 315.

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Quincy Youth Soccer Registration Now Open

Online registration for Quincy Youth Soccer’s fall 2015 season is now open for all returning players.

Registration for first time players, who need to bring proof of birthdate, will be held Friday, July 31, from 5 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at Veterans’ Memorial Stadium, corner of Hancock Street and Merrymount Parkway/Southern Artery.

Please check quincyyouthsoccer.com for more information.

The eight-week fall season will begin in the second or third week of September.

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License Board Closes Quincy Bar

By SCOTT JACKSON

The Board of License Commissioners on Tuesday ordered the immediate closure of an East Howard Street bar, days after a man was stabbed on the premises.

The board voted 5-0 in favor of revoking all licenses – CV all alcohol, entertainment and pinball – granted to Yaz’s Place, located at 132 E. Howard St., effectively immediately. The revocation followed a 90-minute hearing, during which neighbors complained of repeated problems at the establishment. The attorney representing the bar’s owner argued the decision was predetermined – then walked out before commissioners took a vote.

The most recent incident took place during the early morning hours of July 24. Quincy Police Officer Dwayne Goldman told the board he was on patrol in Quincy Point that night when he received a request for backup from another officer who was assigned to monitor Yaz’s Place at closing time. Goldman said he found a chaotic scene when he arrived at the parking lot; the crowd prevented officers from aiding a 27-year-old man who had been stabbed.

“When I arrived on scene I observed a chaotic scene of well over 100 people in the parking lot. There were several fights going on and countless people yelling and screaming,” Goldman said. “There were so many people acting aggressively toward the police on scene it was impossible to render any sort of medical aid to the victim.”

In total, nine police units responded to the scene that night along with three ambulances and it took about a half-hour to clear the parking lot, according to Goldman. The victim was taken to Boston Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries.

Police Lt. Peter Turowski, the department’s liquor inspector, said the response required so many officers almost none were left to service the rest of Quincy.

“Until this was brought under control, it basically left the rest of the city without police coverage,” he stated.

Officers were able to recover a razor blade from the scene. Goldman said the patrons in the parking lot, as well as the victim, were able or willing to provide information to police. Turowski said two men who identified themselves as promoters inside the bar told an officer who attempted to question them that he had no business being inside the venue.

“It was quite obvious these two men who were employed by Yaz’s Place willfully and deliberately interfered with this police investigation,” Turowski said.

Turowski also noted the board had sanctioned Yaz’s Place three times prior since it opened in 2009. Shortly after it opened, the bar received a written notice for failing a compliance check. In 2012, it received a one-day suspension after gunshots were reported in the parking lot. Most recently, last fall the board handed down a five-day suspension for a failed compliance check. That suspension is under appeal before state regulators.

Turowski said the manager of record for the bar, Yaser Mohamed, was not present for any of those incidents nor had he seen Mohamed on site since it opened in 2009.

Ward 2 Councillor Brad Croall said any action short of revocation of the licenses would be a “slap in the face.” Residents near the bar, he added, have had enough.

“You’ve heard the testimony. I know I’ve dealt with all of you for the last several years regarding this establishment. I could probably boil down the sentiment from the neighborhood into several words, which is quite frankly we’ve had enough,” Croall said.

Three residents who live near the bar all spoke in favor of revoking the license, as did Rob Corley, executive director of NeighborWorks Southern Mass. They complained of unruly patrons who go to Yaz’s Place.

“We’re here to discuss an incident that occurred this past weekend, which has honestly been the culmination of what can only be described as a living hell for those of us who live near this establishment,” East Howard Street resident Heather Edison said.

Several people who could not attend the meeting urged the board to revoke the license, including Mayor Thomas Koch. The owner of the property also wrote to the board, saying the lease with Yaz’s Place would not be renewed when it expires Nov. 30.

Attorney Rudy Miller, who represents Mohamed, said the manager did not receive proper notice of the violation and that the commissioners had already made up their minds before the meeting. Miller, his client and other bar employees then left the meeting.

“It is clear and transparent that this is predetermined and I will not participate in something that is predetermined. If I had confidence that this matter was actually subject to debate and true consideration, I would remain here, but this is offensive,” Miller said.

“We’re all offended by someone being slashed with a razor blade. We’re all offended by outsiders coming in and creating all sorts of havoc in the city. I don’t want you to misunderstand. That is troublesome on every level for someone who is reasonable.

“I’m offended by the process and subverting the process, because win, lose or draw, the only thing someone from my background demands if fair play and an even playing field…at some point, when we get back into my world, this will be back for a true, fair hearing.”

Turowski said he notified a manager at the bar in writing of the hearing later in the day on July 24 and also spoke to Mohamed on the phone about the meeting. Police Chief Paul Keenan – who later made the motion to revoke the licenses – said a special board meeting was called because of concerns over public safety.

“This is a public safety issue. We can’t allow this to continue down at that establishment. Someone is going to get killed down there – not under my watch,” Keenan said.

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Boston Ends Bid For 2024 Olympics

By SCOTT JACKSON

Boston is longer in the running to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh confirmed Monday afternoon that the United States Olympic Committee had dropped Boston’s bid to host the games. Earlier in the day, Walsh said he would not bow to pressure to sign a host contract, which would have left Boston responsible for any cost overruns.

“I strongly believe that bringing the Olympic Games back to the United States would be good for our country and would have brought long-term benefits to Boston,” Walsh said in a statement Monday afternoon.

“However, no benefit is so great that it is worth handing over the financial future of our city and our citizens were rightly hesitant to be supportive as a result. We always anticipated having the time to do our due diligence on the guarantees required and a full review of the risk and mitigation package proposed last week. This is a monumental decision that cannot be rushed, even if it means not moving forward with our bid for the 2024 Summer Games.”

Boston 2024’s plans for the games included an Olympic stadium in Widett Circle and an Olympic village for athletes in Columbia Point. Venues would have been spread throughout the state; beach volleyball events were proposed for Squantum Point Park in Quincy.

The USOC in January selected Boston over three other American cities – Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. – who applied to host the games. Los Angeles previously hosted the 1932 and 1984 games.

The USOC has until Sept. 15 to submit a bid to the International Olympic Committee. The IOC will select a host for the games in 2017. Rome, Paris, Hamburg and Istanbul are among several international cities that may apply.

The last U.S. city to host the Summer Olympics is Atlanta, which hosted the 1996 games. Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Games.

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