Parade, Fireworks Celebrate Flag Day

Quincy celebrated Flag Day at the city's 67th annual parade followed by a fireworks display at Pageant Field Saturday. Here fireworks light up the sky and illuminate a 30-foot by 60-foot American flag hoisted by two city fire ladder trucks. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Quincy celebrated Flag Day at the city’s 67th annual parade followed by a fireworks display at Pageant Field Saturday. Here fireworks light up the sky and illuminate a 30-foot by 60-foot American flag hoisted by two city fire ladder trucks. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Cong. Stephen Lynch (left) and Mayor Thomas Koch lead a contingent of elected officials in Saturday's 67th annual Quincy Flag Day parade. The flag day celebration was initiated by Koch's father, the late Richard J. Koch, Sr. The tradition has been carried on by the Koch Club, Mayor Koch and the City of Quincy over the years. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Cong. Stephen Lynch (left) and Mayor Thomas Koch lead a contingent of elected officials in Saturday’s 67th annual Quincy Flag Day parade. The flag day celebration was initiated by Koch’s father, the late Richard J. Koch, Sr. The tradition has been carried on by the Koch Club, Mayor Koch and the City of Quincy over the years. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Quincy-North Quincy Marching Band and color guard are a patriotic site as they march along Hancock Street near Veterans Memorial Stadium in Saturday's 67th annual Quincy Flag Day Parade. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Quincy-North Quincy Marching Band and color guard are a patriotic sight as they march along Hancock Street near Veterans Memorial Stadium in Saturday’s 67th annual Quincy Flag Day Parade. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

A variety of groups marched in Saturday's Flag Day Parade including colonial militia who fired volleys along the parade route from Coddington and Washington Street to Hancock Street and Southern Artery before disbanding at Pageant Field for a giant flag raising and fireworks display. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

A variety of groups marched in Saturday’s Flag Day Parade including colonial militia who fired volleys along the parade route from Coddington and Washington Street to Hancock Street and Southern Artery before disbanding at Pageant Field for a giant flag raising and fireworks display. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

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Boy Scouts were among the youth marching in Saturday's Flag Day Parade.

Boy Scouts were among the youth marching in Saturday’s Flag Day Parade.

Youth representing various sports leagues also marched in the Flag Day Parade paying tribute to Old Glory. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth More photos shown below and in this week's Quincy Sun.

Youth representing various sports leagues also marched in the Flag Day Parade paying tribute to Old Glory. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth More photos shown below and in this week’s Quincy Sun.

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Quincy Man Arrested For Trafficking Multiple Women For Sex

A Quincy man has been arrested and arraigned for trafficking multiple women at a residential brothel in Allston and at a so-called “massage parlor” in Stoneham, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Friday.

Geekin Ng, age 59, of Quincy, was arrested on Wednesday without incident in Allston by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and the Boston Police Department’s Human Trafficking and Special Investigation Units and District 14. Ng was charged with Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude and Keeping House of Ill Fame and was arraigned Friday in Brighton District Court.

At the arraignment, Ng pleaded not guilty to the charges and bail was set at $250,000 cash with the conditions of release that he surrender his passport and be subject to GPS monitoring. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for June 27.

This arrest is the result of a months-long joint investigation by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and the Boston Police Department.

During the course of the investigation, authorities developed evidence indicating that Ng ran a profitable and organized criminal enterprise through a residential brothel in Allston and Lucky Star Body Work in Stoneham, which were set up as fronts for human trafficking.

At these locations, Ng allegedly offered sexual activity between women and buyers in exchange for a fee. He delivered food and other supplies to the locations and advertised sexual services to buyers. Ng allegedly received the majority of the profits from these sexual encounters.

AG Healey’s Victim Services Division is working with victim service organizations to ensure victims have the assistance and services they need.

The investigation remains ongoing. These charges are allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

AG Healey has a dedicated Human Trafficking Division that focuses on policy, prevention and prosecution and includes a team of specialized prosecutors, victim advocates and Massachusetts State Police troopers who handle high impact, multi-jurisdictional human trafficking investigations and prosecutions across the state. Through the Human Trafficking Division, the AG’s Office has charged more than 40 individuals in connection with human trafficking since the law was passed.

As part of her commitment to reduce the demand for illegal sex and raise awareness about sex trafficking, AG Healey joined Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the business community in May to announce that 23 businesses adopted zero-tolerance policies on sex buying for their workplaces as part of a new initiative called Employers Against Sex Trafficking (EAST).

This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Chief of the AG’s Human Trafficking Division Jennifer Snook and Assistant Attorney General Thomas Caldwell, with assistance from Victim Witness Advocates Rebecca Quigley and Megan Murphy and Financial Investigator Kit Metoyer. The investigation was handled by the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab, and the Boston Police Department’s Human Trafficking and Special Investigation Units and District 14, with assistance from the Stoneham Police Department.

 

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Quincy’s 50 Days of Freedom, 50+ Free Events, June 16 – Aug. 4

Starting with the city’s Signature Flag Day Celebration on Saturday, June 16, Discover Quincy is partnertng with many local organizations to showcase Quincy’s arts and culture, community, educations, historic and recreational assets.

Each day will feature at least one free event, while some events may accept donations and others may have an admission fee.

Click here to review the 2018 schedule of events.

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Deer Spotted In Hancock Cemetery

A deer was spotted Wednesday in historic Hancock Cemetery adjacent to City Hall. Animal control officers were enroute to relocate the animal. The deer attracted a few folks who stopped to get a glimpse of the animal. Quincy Sun Photos/Robert Bosworth

A deer was spotted Wednesday in Hancock Cemetery adjacent to City Hall. Animal control officers were enroute to relocate the animal. The deer attracted a few folks who stopped to get a glimpse of the animal as it wandered throughout the historic burial ground. Quincy Sun Photos/Robert Bosworth

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Forum Looks At Impact Of Public Programs On Poverty In Quincy, South Shore

More than 10 percent of Quincy households had incomes below the federal poverty level in 2015, the most of the five communities in QCAP's core service area. Graphic courtesy QCAP.

More than 10 percent of Quincy households had incomes below the federal poverty level in 2015, the most of the five communities in QCAP’s core service area. Graphic courtesy QCAP.

Effective programs that help families to make ends meet, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, SNAP, fuel assistance, school lunches, Head Start, and Social Security cut the number of people in Massachusetts living in poverty by almost half and reduce the number of children living in poverty by more than half, according to a new report on poverty called “Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward Together,” which was discussed at a Quincy forum Tuesday.

The report was commissioned by the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) and written by Nancy Wagman, Kids Count director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget).

“There are myths out there about whether or not public programs reduce the number of people living in poverty – this report shows that the programs that community action agencies administer help vulnerable residents of Massachusetts stay out of poverty,” said Joe Diamond, MASSCAP’s executive director. “But it also provides valuable data on the obstacles we see towards helping move others out of poverty.”

The study notes that while the incomes of the highest income households have grown considerably over the past several decades, the same cannot be said for low-wage workers. According to the study, “national economic policies stopped emphasizing wage growth, Congress allowed the real value of the minimum wage to decline, and labor law enforcement agencies weakened protections for workers.” The positive news is that well-resourced communities in Massachusetts can help to counteract these national trends by lowering the  barriers to opportunity. Still, communities withfewer resources and higher concentrations of poverty are challenged to help residents living in poverty.

“In the past several decades, Quincy – and the surrounding region – has seen a marked increase in income inequality, with both increasing wealth and increasing poverty,” said Beth Ann Strollo, CEO of Quincy Community Action Programs. “We work every day on the front lines and we see the impact of such changes on children, families, seniors, people living with disabilities, and others who face the challenges of not having enough money to pay basic living expenses. A family earning a minimum wage cannot afford the high cost of housing and child care in our community. We are hopeful that this study will help us continue to promote economic stability and have a better understanding of the challenges low-income residents face.”

The report was discussed at a forum in Quincy co-sponsored by QCAP and the United Way of  Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley along with MASSCAP, who commissioned the study as an update of findings that the agency released in 2014. MASSCAP is the statewide association   of 23 Community actions agencies operating in Massachusetts.

“Policies that help make work pay—such as the minimum wage and the earned income tax credit—and those that help people balance the demands of work and family—such as paid family and medical leave, earned paid sick days, and affordable child care—help working families find a way forward,” Wagman said in the report. “Policies that help families make ends meet—such as those that help put food on the table or provide other income supports—can help families through hard times. Policies that help communities thrive—such as those that support safe, healthy, and affordable housing, and that support high quality local education from the earliest days and into young adulthood—help give every child the best chance at a bright future.”

Chazy Dowaliby, the former editor in chief of the Patriot Ledger, moderated a panel discussion at the event, which took place at the Quincy Chamber of Commerce. In addition to highlighting the findings in the report, participants focused on the advocacy strategies that those working to end poverty should pursue.

Panelists included Quincy Chamber of Commerce President Tim Cahill; Michelle Elias Bloomer, dean of professional studies and workforce development, Bunker Hill Community College; Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Milton President and CEO Richard Fernandez; Gail Sokoloff, senior director for community impact, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley; and Strollo.

“United Way believes in creating positive, lasting change for people in need,” said Michael K. Durkin, president and CEO of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “The report and today’s event allow us to better understand the barriers that create income inequality so that we can focus awareness and resources on the most effective strategies and solutions. Together, we can fight to ensure individuals and families have access to safe, affordable housing, earn a wage that allows them to support themselves, help them manage their finances and build a future.”

This landmark report is underwritten by United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley along with The Boston Foundation, Cambridge Community Foundation, Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, Eastern Bank, Essex County Community Foundation, Lowell Community Foundation, United Way of Pioneer Valley, and Worcester Community Action Council.

The report was released in May at an event in Boston. Subsequent forums will take place in Worcester and Western Massachusetts this fall.

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