Quincy Man Facing Sex Trafficking, Armed Assault Charges

By SCOTT JACKSON

A 29-year-old Quincy man was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing next week following at his arraignment Thursday on a number of charges, including sex trafficking and armed assault.

Robert Bozeman, a resident of 25 Buckley St. #3, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Quincy District Court on charges of human trafficking, assault with a deadly weapon, armed assault to murder, threats to commit a crime, possession of a firearm without an FID, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, possession of ammunition without an FID, possession with intent to distribute a class B substance (cocaine), and possession of an electric stun gun without an FID.

Judge John Stapleton ordered Bozeman held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing Oct. 23.

Prosecutors said a woman, who identified herself as Bozeman’s girlfriend, told investigators Bozeman had trafficked her for sex in Boston more than 40 times. She also told investigators Bozeman had punched her in the face and fired a gun inside their apartment, according to prosecutors.

Bozeman was arrested early Thursday morning following a weeklong investigation. A SWAT and crisis negotiation team assisted in the arrest. Prosecutors said he had crack cocaine and a stun gun, which he did not have a license for, in his possession at the time of the arrest.

Bozeman’s attorney, John Stevens, said investigators were unable to find the weapon, and added that some of the witnesses had incentives to implicate his client.

Quincy police began investigating Bozeman Oct. 10 after a woman entered the police station to report a larceny.

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Quincy Approves Funding For L.I. Bridge Dispute

By SCOTT JACKSON

City councillors approved Mayor Thomas Koch’s request for $250,000 in funding for the ongoing litigation over Boston’s proposal to rebuild the Long Island Bridge.

The council approved the request in an 8-0 vote on Monday, with Ward 5 Councillor Kirsten Hughes absent.

City Solicitor Jim Timmins, in a memo provided to the council, said the $250,000 would cover the anticipated costs of hiring engineers and legal counsel to make Quincy’s case against the bridge during the current fiscal year, which continues through the end of June 2019. About $150,000 of the money is expected to go towards engineering experts, with the remaining $100,000 for legal expenses.

“Boston’s attempt to reconstruct the Long Island Bridge involves multiple-agency permits: local, state and federal. Each of those permits involves processes that the city of Quincy will participate in, and that participation requires significant engineering expertise and the guidance of legal counsel experienced in this particular area of the law,” Timmins said in his memo.

Chris Walker, Koch’s chief of staff, previously said the city has spent $150,000 to date related to the bridge dispute. The funds spent so far have come from various line items in the budget, such as those for outside counsel in Timmins’ budget and a contractual item in the city engineer’s budget.

Quincy has retained the services of engineering firm Tighe & Bond and law firm Mackie Shea as consultants in the dispute over the bridge.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in January announced plans to rebuild the Long Island Bridge, the superstructure of which was demolished in 2015, and place a recovery campus on Long Island. Boston had hoped to start construction on the bridge next year and complete it within three years at a cost of $92 million.

Koch and other Quincy officials were quick to oppose the plan, citing the traffic impacts in Squantum.

The bridge project has already received approval from the Boston Conservation Commission, while the Quincy Conservation Commission rejected a permit for the new span. Both decisions are being appealed to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; those appeals have been consolidated, meaning they will be heard together, Timmins said.

Matthew Beaton, the state’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs, has determined the project does not require an environmental impact report pursuant to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act. Beaton, in his Sept. 21 ruling, said the project is similar enough in scope to the 2015 demolition of the bridge that it does not require a further MEPA review.

Quincy officials are looking to appeal Beaton’s decision, Koch said previously.

Ward 6 Councillor William Harris expressed displeasure with Beaton’s ruling at Monday’s council meeting. He questioned how the project could pass the MEPA process without Boston providing any details on what it plans to do on Long Island, which includes some 225 acres of land.

“I have to express my disappointment with the governor’s people for not going through a full environmental review and the decision made by MEPA,” Harris said. “That is one reason why the city has to pursue all legal options.

“There is a section of the MEPA law that you cannot segment a project. That is what Boston appears to be doing by attempting to rebuild the Long Island Bridge and not talking about all the other impacts that will occur when they develop the island.”

Harris said he planned to request Quincy’s delegation on Capitol Hill launch a full congressional investigation into the state’s decision. Harris wants a “thorough investigation of the possibility of any inappropriate action, or lack of proper actions, by state officials involved in the making of the decision.”

The project also requires a Chapter 91 license from MassDEP and a federal consistency review from the state Office of Coastal Zone Management. The U.S. Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers also have a role in the permitting process. In addition, Boston must go before the Quincy Planning Board and obtain a building permit from the Inspectional Services Department.

 

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Early Voting For Nov. 6th Election Begins Oct. 22

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Parks & Rec. Merger Sought

By SCOTT JACKSON

Mayor Thomas Koch is seeking to place Quincy’s parks and recreation departments under the umbrella of a new commissioner of natural resources.

Koch filed an ordinance to create the Natural Resources Department at Monday night’s City Council meeting, along with a related budgetary item. The council’s ordinance committee will meet at 7 p.m. on Oct. 29 to review the proposal.

The new department would include five divisions: parks, forestry, recreation, cemeteries and conservation.

Koch, in a letter to the city councillors, said the new department would ensure the city’s parks would be better maintained.

“As you know, I have made no secret that I expect more – and residents deserve more – from our Park Department,” Koch said. “We have among the best park facilities and most beautiful open spaces of any community in the commonwealth, but the day-to-day maintenance operation needs improvement.

“I strongly believe that this reorganization – even this first step that adds no spending – will create the operational environment to get us where we need to be.”

In the related budgetary item, Koch has proposed eliminating the position of executive director of parks, forestry and cemeteries, which has a $108,000 salary. The salary for the recreation director’s position would be reduced from $102,000 to $90,000.

The parks and recreation departments currently have their own program managers, each with a $77,000 salary. Koch is seeking to merge those positions together into a single program manager’s position, which would report to all divisions, with a $90,000 salary.

The savings from those changes would be used to fund the new commissioner’s salary, which would be set at $150,000 in the current fiscal year’s budget. Koch, in his letter, said he wants to provide the commissioner of natural resources “a salary commensurate with the experience and skill set that will be required in this position.”

The position’s $150,000 base pay would be the third highest of any city department head, trailing only School Superintendent Dr. Richard DeCristofaro’s $245,000 salary and the $172,000 salary for the city’s fire chief, a position that is currently vacant. The mayor’s salary in the current fiscal year is $151,000.

Koch has also proposed creating two new positions that would not be funded until the start of fiscal year 2020 next July.

The first would be a tree warden to supervise the employees of the forestry division and who would be responsible for planning and overseeing the trimming, removal and planting of trees in the city.

The second would be an earth scientist, who would be responsible for the stewardship, maintenance and improvement of the city’s ecological resources, such as marshes, Sailor’s and Butler’s Ponds, and other conservation and open space areas.

The move to create the new department comes after the announcement that Barry Welch, Quincy’s longtime recreation director, will retire in the coming months. The city is also without an executive director of parks, forestry and cemeteries, following Koch’s decision to reassign Donald Martin out of the department head’s role back to his previous post in the Department of Public Buildings.

Chris Walker, the mayor’s chief of staff, on Monday said Martin was reassigned to the project manager position in Public Buildings Department in August. The decision was unrelated to delays with capital projects the Park Department is overseeing, such as the installation of new turf at Veterans’ Memorial Stadium.

“The mayor felt his talents would be better used in the Public Buildings Department in the role that he filled previously,” Walker said following the council meeting. “Projects that he managed previously included the move from old Quincy High School to new Quincy High School, the move from old Central Middle School to new Central Middle School, and, as luck would have it, we’re about to start a move this spring from old Sterling Middle School to the new South-West Middle School.

“That is job number one, managing that, which is…a pretty heavy lift to move a whole school.”

Paul Doherty, a program manager for the Parks Department, and Helen Murphy, Koch’s director of operations, have been overseeing the department since Martin was reassigned, Walker said, along with the mayor himself.

The decision to create the new Natural Resources Department was made following Welch’s decision to retire, Walker added.

 

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Community Meeting Oct. 16 On Beachcomber Site

By SCOTT JACKSON

The new owners of the former Beachcomber on Wollaston Beach plan to tear down the shuttered bar and replace it with a new building featuring a restaurant, retail space and residences.

Ward 5 Councillor Kirsten Hughes will host a community meeting on the plan will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Beechwood Knoll School, 225 Fenno St.

Edward Fleming, the attorney for the owners of the property, 797 Quincy Shore Dr. LLC, on Wednesday said his clients hope to go before the Board of License Commissioners in November for a transfer of the liquor license held by the former owner of the Beachcomber. Plans will be filed with the Planning Board around that same time.

The owners of the new property acquired the site for $1.45 million in May. The new owners of the property are Jacky An Xie of Saugus, Lin Y. Xu of Amesbury and Zhong Wen Huang of West Squantum St., according to certificate of organization filed with the state in March.

In a letter to Hughes, Fleming said the property owners have determined the present building on site will not serve their needs.

“Since acquiring the site, my clients have conducted a thorough examination of the property and existing building and have determined that the existing structure is in need of substantial renovation and will not properly serve their needs for the new restaurant,” Fleming said.

“As a result, my client intends to remove the existing Beachcomber building and construct a new building in the middle of the site with a newly designed parking area and substantial drainage control measures.”

Plans call for a three-story building constructed in a traditional beach style. The first level would include the main restaurant’s main entrance – including a reception area and small sushi bar – and two 1,800 square foot retail areas. The second floor would include the main restaurant space, function room and kitchen. Six residential units – Fleming said Wednesday it has not been determined if they would be apartments or condos – would be located on the third floor.

The parking lot, accessible only from Quincy Shore Drive, would have spaces for 88 vehicles.

The Beachcomber opened its doors in 1959. The once-booming nightclub closed for good in 2015.

 

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