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TTC_01_10_18_Vol.14-No.11.p1-12

TTC_01_17_18_Vol.14-No.12.p1-12

The Region's Largest Weekly Distribution Stay connected with... The Town Common You'll "flip" over the digital edition at TheTownCommon.com AMERICAN ARCHITECTURAL GENERAL CONTRACTORS L.L.C. Consultation to Project Completion . Carpentry . Masonry . Landscaping . Roofing . Basements . Water Entry . All Phases of Construction . Commercial/Residential . All Maintenance Work . OVER 25 YEARS of All Types of Restorations . Free Initial Consultation . Project Management “In the Field” Experience PROPERTY MANAGEMENT/CONSTRUCTION SUPERVISION All Types of Property Repairs Vincent A. Iafrate, G.C. (617)835-3550 AMERICAN PRST STD. U.S. POSTAGE PAID NEWBURYPORT, MA PERMIT NO. 51 ____________ LARGEST DISTRIBUTION ACROSS THE NORTH SHORE OF MA & COASTAL NH www.thetowncommon.com January 10 - 16, 2018 Vol. 14, No. 11 FREE Handmade Signs Frank Cousins’ First Days as Chamber President Enjoy a Comeback By stewart Lytle, reporter ––––––––––––––––– Victor De Luna holds a walking stick in front of his donut sign Photo by Stewart Lytle AMESBURY -- Handmade signs have long been part of the American landscape. In the past, every parking sign, street sign, business sign were hand-painted and hand-carved. With the advent of computer technology, giant printers and vinyl cutting machines making signs by hand took a major hit. But it appears hand-made signs are making a comeback. At the forefront of the trend is 72-year-old Victor De Luna, a stalwart in the industry since he left the Navy after serving on a ship deployed to the Tonkin Gulf during the Vietnam War. Continued on page 3 The boardwalk isn’t the only thing expanding in Salisbury Dr. William Jackson proudly welcomes Dr. Kenneth McWha to the Salisbury practice. Now accepting new patients, 978-462-3009 Coastal Medical Salisbury, 46 Toll Road, Salisbury, MA 01952 AJH_McWha ad_5.04x2_11.17.indd 1 Dr. William Jackson NEWBURYPORT – Usually it takes some time, even years, for the head of a public organization to face calls to leave office. Not Frank Cousins, Jr., the new head of the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce. Before Cousins showed up for work on the first day at the Chamber last Wednesday, a city councilmember sent a letter to the chamber board, saying, “It is truly puzzling how you can overlook or cover-up his involvement with sexual harassment, escape cover-up, abuse of sick time, and campaign finance laws.” At large councilmember Bruce Vogel, who owns three downtown businesses, resigned his membership in the chamber over his “concern, deep disappointment and solemn displeasure” with the chamber board for hiring Cousins. “As a person, Frank may be a ‘nice guy’; as a public servant his indiscretions are inexcusable and offensive both to me as a business owner and as an elected official sworn to uphold the law,” Vogel wrote. Taking time from a meeting on his first day as chamber president, the former Essex County Sheriff was upbeat about the position and seemingly unconcerned about the criticism from Vogel and a state inspector general. “I am willing to work with anybody,” he told The Town Common. “I learned a long time ago not to take things personally.” In a public letter, Cousins called the accusations against him “very one-sided” in singling out “the Essex County Sheriff’s Department’s response to a severe fiscal emergency occurring after the world financial crisis of 2008.” Dr. Kenneth McWha 11/20/17 1:51 PM By stewart Lytle, reporter ––––––––––––––––– Frank Cousins At issue is a report issued by state Inspector General Glenn Cunha in mid-December. That report said Cousins allowed 82 employees of the county corrections department to call in sick on days they were healthy, use time off to work other jobs and claim holiday and vacation time they were not entitled to. That practice cost taxpayers more than $1 million, Cunha wrote in the report. Vogel, who owns Plum Island Coffee Roasters, Commune Café POSTAL CUSTOMER Photo by Stewart Lytle and Soufflés, wrote to the chamber board after the report was issued: “Essentially, by appointing him, you are saying such gross and illegal indiscretions are ‘OK’ — which, unfortunately, seems to be in line with the national mood. Such ‘OK’s’ are extremely contrary to my moral structure and to the expression of excellence we strive for at my businesses.” In his public letter, Cousins responded: “While I am no Continued on page 3

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