NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

November 2, 2012

New deputy fire chief no stranger to department

Seabrook Town Notebook Angeljean Chiaramida
Newburyport Daily News

---- — The town has a new deputy fire chief in veteran firefighter Koko Perkins.

An 18-year veteran of the department, Perkins has an associate degree in fire science from Laconia, N.H., Community College and is also a certified hazardous materials technician as well as an emergency medical technician.

As deputy chief, Perkins will assume responsibility for fleet and building maintenance as well as personnel issues, he said.

“I’m hoping to hit the ground running in being deputy chief,” he said yesterday.

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Tuesday is election day and voters will go to the polls to make their choices for national offices, such as president and U.S. representative for the 1st Congressional District, as well as statewide offices, such as governor, senator and representative.

There are also three ballot questions. The first seeks to amend the state constitution to prevent the implementation of an income tax. The second aims to alter the powers of the state Supreme Court. And the third asks voters if they would like a Constitutional Convention to be called.

Constitutional ballot questions require a super majority of two-thirds of voters to gain approval.

Seabrook’s polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Community Center on Route 1. Those who are not yet registered to vote may do so at the polls by bringing proof of age and residency.

Voters are reminded that this is the first election in which voters should bring a picture ID with them to expedite the voting process.

When going to the polls, voters on Tuesday can also help those less fortunate in town by contributing to the Seabrook Lions Club food and winter clothing drive. Lions Club members will be in the lobby outside the polls all election day to collect nonperishable food items as well as gently worn, warm winter clothing for families in need. Warm gloves, hats, jackets and coats, boots and winter sweaters and snow suits are needed.

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It took years of permitting and even court challenges prior to its final approval, but the 500,000-square-foot shopping center destined for the Route 1/107 intersection in town is ready for construction.

Ohio shopping center developer DDR pulled building permits in September to begin constructing the retail outlet, which is expected to offer a 196,000-square-foot Wal-Mart as its anchor as well as 10 other stores.

The permit was for commercial site work and utilities to support its anchor tenant. The estimated cost of the construction work is $9,800,000, according to town records.

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Christopher Pope, the state’s emergency management director, is warning property owners to be wary of scams in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

“Unfortunately, scam operators quickly move in after disasters to prey on people when they are most vulnerable,” Pope said in a press release. “We urge everyone to avoid giving out personal or financial information to people they don’t know and to only deal with reputable, licensed contractors.”

Pope said property owners with damage from the storm should:

— Ask for identification from anyone who claims to represent the Federal Emergency Management Agency, state or voluntary agencies or insurance companies. State and federal disaster officials work in teams and always carry identification.

— Insurance policy-holders should contact their agents to verify the identity of insurance adjusters.

— Individuals should get several written bids from contractors and check references; only agree to have work done based on written contracts.

— People should make sure contractors are licensed in New Hampshire and that they carry general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.

— Avoid dealing with anyone who demands payment in cash or to be paid in advance.

— Don’t give cash to anyone who claims to be collecting for hurricane relief. Make contributions by check through established voluntary agencies.

Anyone with questions or complaints should call the Consumer Protection Bureau of the New Hampshire attorney general’s office at 603-271-3646 or the New Hampshire Insurance Department at 800-852-3416.

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Angeljean Chiaramida covers Seabrook for The Daily News. She can be reached at 978-462-6666, ext. 3271, or at achiaramida@newburyportnews.com.