Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Facing Addiction Across America (Part 3 and 4 - YouTube series)

"In recovery, community and support are such major factors"

"Join Ryan Hampton and Garrett Hade on their journey into Denver, CO in Part 3 of our Facing Addiction Across America docuseries. Watch and meet even more inspiring individuals at Young People in Recovery and Peter Hamilton from Freedom From Addiction. Tune in now and join their#ISupportRecovery movement. Learn more: http://bit.ly/29QcpCu"

Ryan and Garrett arrive in Texas where they meet with Michael Dadashi and KC Davis of Infinite Recovery, both people in long-term recovery. Watch and comment.

I'll continue to post a pair of episodes until the series completes. If you want to feel free to find the next in the series by clicking through to YouTube.

You can help support the SAFE Coalition which works to provide support for those of our neighbors who need it.  http://safecoalitionma.com/

S.A.F.E. is a coalition of community partners who have come together to provide support, education, treatment options, and coping mechanisms for those affected by substance abuse disorder.
S.A.F.E. is a coalition of community partners who have come together to provide support, education, treatment options, and coping mechanisms for those affected by substance abuse disorder.

FPAC Announces Open Auditions For 26th Season

The Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) will hold open auditions for several fall and holiday productions featured as part of the company’s 26th season. FPAC proudly presents the musical theater masterpiece Fiddler on the Roof, Neil Simon’s hilarious The Odd Couple, Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet The Nutcracker, the FPAC family-favorite musical Humbug!, and an original American panto with a twist on a fairy tale classic.

Opening FPAC’s season, Fiddler on the Roof will be presented on October 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 at THE BLACK BOX, FPAC’s home and performance venue in downtown Franklin. The iconic musical, winner of nine Tony Awards for the 1964 premiere production, features the beloved classics “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Miracle of Miracles,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Tradition,” and “Matchmaker.” Auditions will be held on Wednesday, September 7 at 5:30 p.m. for children ages 8 and older (limited roles), 6:00 for teens, and 7:00 for adults. Please prepare 16 measures of a legitimate musical theater song in the style of the show. A dance combination will be taught at the audition. 
Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC)
Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC)

The Odd Couple auditions will take place on Tuesday, September 13 at 8 p.m., with performances scheduled for November 4-6 at THE BLACK BOX. The two-person comedy is an epic mismatch of personalities as an incompatible pair of suddenly single pals becomes roommates. Please be prepared for cold readings; a monologue is optional.

Presented with live professional orchestra on December 3 and 4 at the Franklin High School auditorium, FPAC’s magical journey of The Nutcracker features more than 100 area dancers and special guest artists. Open auditions for The Nutcracker will be held on Sunday, September 18. Students, ages 6 and older, from all area dance schools are welcome. Ballet attire is required. Audition times are 9:30-10:00 a.m. for ages 6 and 7, 10:00-10:45 for ages 8 and 9, 11:00-11:45 for ages 10 and 11, 11:45-12:45 for ages 12 and 13, 1:00-2:00 for ages 14+ (off pointe), and 2:45-3:45 for ages 12+ (pointe audition; must be on pointe for at least one year). Off-pointe callbacks are scheduled at 2:00-2:30 p.m., with pointe callbacks from 3:45-4:45.

FPAC’s original American panto follows in the British tradition, retelling a well-known fairy tale in an exaggerated style filled with audience participation, popular songs, slapstick comedy, jokes, dances and more. The production will be staged at THE BLACK BOX on December 10 and 11. 

FPAC’s large-cast holiday musical, Humbug!, will be presented on December 17 and 18 at Franklin High School auditorium. A family favorite since debuting as part of the company’s 2008 season, Humbug! is a contemporary adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Open auditions for both holiday musicals will take place on Saturday, October 8 at 1 p.m. for ages 6-8, 1:30 for ages 9 and 10, 2:00 for ages 11 and 12, 2:30 for teens, and 3:30 for adults. Students must be 6 years of age or older on the audition date to participate. Beginners and all levels are welcome. Please prepare 16 measures of a musical theater or pop song. A simple dance combination will be taught at the audition.

All FPAC auditions will take place at THE BLACK BOX, located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin. For more information, call (508) 528-3370 or visit www.FPAConline.com

Welcome back to School

The 2016-2017 school year begins today. 

"The first day of school for Grades 1 - 12 is Tuesday, August 30, 2016 
First day for Kindergarten is Wednesday, August 31, 2016 
Please note that Friday, September 2nd is a Professional Development Day for all staff and there is no school for students."

The school calendars can be found here

Other information about the Franklin School District can be found here

Remington-Jefferson School sign on Washington St
Remington-Jefferson School sign on Washington St

School Committee begins search process for new Superintendent

My coverage of the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, Aug 23 was interrupted by my own work commitment. (Yes, I do this part time in my spare time and sometimes my work for a global company takes priority). 

I did catch up to the Franklin TV recording of the meeting to view the remainder of the ECRA presentation and then the balance of the committee meeting.

The Committee decided to 

  • have Central Office do some reference checks on the two companies that presented. 
  • find out why MASC did not show up and have them try again at the next meeting
  • adjust the next meeting agenda to split the school improvement plans (FHS and middle schools one night, elementary schools, the next)

ECRA Group – John Connolly
ECRA Group – John Connolly

Dr Carolyn Burke, Dr. Art Bettencourt, Executive Director, Dr Sally Diaz - NESDEC
Dr Carolyn Burke, Dr. Art Bettencourt, Executive Director, Dr Sally Diaz - NESDEC

"4. Action Items
a. I recommend moving the following policies to a second reading at the next School Committee meeting: 
  1. DJE – Bidding Requirements
  2. DKC – Expense Reimbursements
  3. JJF – Student Activity Accounts
  4. JJF-R – Student Activity Accounts
  5. JJFG – Disposition of Student Activity Accounts"
motion to move to a second reading, seconded, passed 7-0

b. I recommend approval of the budget transfers as detailed. 
motion to approve, seconded, passed 7-0

c. I recommend acceptance of a check for $2705.29 from the Parmenter PCC for supplemental supplies at Parmenter Elementary School. 
motion to approve, seconded, passed 7-0

5. Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report 

  • Enrollment Update
enrollment down in Elementary and up in middle and high school as expected
3 days of academic training conducted last week for administrators, budget balancing exercise was revealing and worthwhile
worked on the District and School improvement plans

new staff orientation begins, instructional expectations being set
total of 41 new staff starting this year, one of the smaller groups in several years
a really engaged group, wide range of experience some new and some with 10-15 years elsewhere

Transportation update
2681 to be bussed as of 8/20/16
160 signed up in the prior 14 days, 50 on waiting lists (primarily on FHS buses)
1832 in 'pay to ride'; 849 are bus eligible
reduced ridership brought about consolidation of some routes
responding to changes and requests as soon as possible 
probably additions can be made towards the end of September as bus counts normalize

School Committee Sub-Committee Reports 

  • Community Engagement

Policy sub committee to meet on Monday, Sep 19 to address the dress code policy

274 backpacks were prepared and 170+ distributed already
Y and Elks coordinated with the School District
backpacks going to schools in the Hockomock area
thanks to the community for stepping up to make a difference for the kids

7. Motion to Adjourn 
– Dr. O’Malley 
approved, 7-0

Note from the earlier sections of the meeting can be found here:

You can view the Franklin TV video

Walgreen’s Pharmacy to receive award from SAFE Coalition and Norfolk County DA

WHAT: Community Participation Award to Walgreen’s
WHERE: 160 E CENTRAL ST in Franklin MA
WHEN: 1:30 pm, Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The S.A.F.E. Coalition of MA and Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office are pleased to present the first award for proficiency in providing Narcan to the community to Walgreen’s Pharmacy in Franklin, MA. 
The presentation will occur at 1:30 PM, Tuesday August 30, 2016 at the Walgreen’s Pharmacy, 160 East Central Street, Franklin MA. S.A.F.E. goals are to empower those affected by substance abuse disorders, including their families, with the tools necessary to succeed on their journey to recovery. 
Walgreen’s is a primary example of community involvement in providing the tools for medical detoxification by health professionals. Representatives S.A.F.E. Coalition will be present.

The S.A.F.E. Coalition of MA is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization.

S.A.F.E. is a coalition of community partners who have come together to provide support, education, treatment options, and coping mechanisms for those affected by substance abuse disorder. We do so by empowering those affected, including their families, with the tools necessary to succeed on their journey to recovery. We understand that while I can't, we can.
S.A.F.E. is a coalition of community partners who have come together to provide support, education, treatment options, and coping mechanisms for those affected by substance abuse disorder. We do so by empowering those affected, including their families, with the tools necessary to succeed on their journey to recovery. We understand that while I can't, we can.

Representative Roy and fellow members of the SAFE coalition will be hosting a small event on Wednesday August 30, 2016 at 1:30PM to honor the Walgreens in Franklin. Walgreen’s is being honored for their dedication to safety and well-being of their community and for receiving the Naloxone “Best Practices” award. Representative Roy and the coalition will be joined by Norfolk County District Attorney, Michael Morrissey. 
“The amount of support that everyone in Franklin has shown in combating the Commonwealths opioid epidemic has been truly remarkable,” said Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin) “I am pleased to be able to acknowledge the hard work that another local group is doing to keep our community safe and healthy.” 
The Franklin Walgreens is located at 160 East Central Street. Anyone interested in celebrating Walgreens achievement are welcome. 
Store manager: Brian Votolato, Pharmacy manager Tricia Ngyuen.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Pick a date/time to hear about Easy Walks in MA

Leaf peepers in south Central Massachusetts can learn about the best places to admire the fall colors, from local cemeteries to off-the- beaten-path hideaways, when Bellingham author Marjorie Turner Hollman visits eight libraries in September.

Hollman's slide show features photos of vivid fall color, and she will point out simple things to look for while exploring, and the best places to take the kids and the dog. Peak color in eastern Massachusetts is generally the first two weeks in October.

"Seek out local cemeteries," she said. "You will often find spectacular sugar maples that look like they're ablaze. No power lines to obscure the view, the neighbors are peaceful, and the walkways are often paved."

Here's the schedule:

  • Douglas Sr. Center/Douglas Library, 331 Main St. Douglas, MA slide show, brownbag lunch, then take an Easy Walk on the SNETT in Douglas, Sept. 12, 11AM
  • Upton MA Library, Upton Town Hall, slide show of Easy Walks Sept. 14, 6:30PM
  • Medway MA Library, 26 High St., slide show of Easy Walks Sept.15, 7PM
  • Blackstone, MA Library, 86 Main St., slide show of Easy Walks, Sept. 20, 1PM
  • Franklin, MA Library 25 Kenwood Circle, slide show of Easy Walks, Sept.20, 6:30PM
  • Milford, MA Library, 80 Spruce St., Foliage detectives slide show of Blackstone Valley and Upper Charles river watershed, Sept. 21, 7PM
  • Weston, MA Library, 87 School Street, “Fall Foliage is right around the corner” slide show of Easy Walks in the Upper Charles, Neponset and Sudbury River Watersheds, Sept. 22, 2:30PM
  • Millville, MA Library, 169 Main St. Slide show of Easy Walks, Sept. 28, 6:30PM

Easy Walks in MA
Easy Walks in MA

Her favorite spot for leaf peeping?
"An overlook in the Blackstone Valley National Historical Park," she said. "It's an easy quarter-mile walk from parking to the overlook, then a little scramble onto the rock to enjoy the view. I’m a sucker for a view, even if it's a little challenging."

Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed two guides to easy walking trails in Massachusetts: the just released, Easy Walks in MA 2nd edition https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Massachusetts-2nd-Northbridge/dp/0989204340 ($21.95) and More Easy Walks ($20), both available on Amazon. The two books together include location maps, information on where dogs are welcome and much more about 80+ local trails in 31 surrounding communities. Hollman will sign copies of her books at each library.


Franklin Garden Club meets Sep 6

The Franklin Garden Club, which is now affiliated with the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, will hold its first meeting of the 2016-17 season on Tuesday, September 6 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Franklin Senior Center, located at 26 Daniel McCahill Street. Membership is open to all members of the community. Those interested in joining the club are invited to attend this meeting to learn more about the club’s activities and services. Attendees are encouraged, but not required, to bring a perennial to swap with others.

A highlight of this year’s programming will be a joint program with the Millis and Norfolk garden clubs on November 1 that will focus on “Pots with Pizzazz,” presented by Enchanted Gardens. Other programs scheduled for this year are: October 6 - Native Plants and Pollinators; February 7 – Cooking with Winter Vegetables; March 7 - A Sustainable Enough Garden; April 4 – Pruning 101; and May 2 – Cooking with Gardening Herbs. Other activities for the coming year include field trips to Borderland State Park in Easton, MA and Blithewold Mansion and Gardens in Bristol, RI.
Franklin Garden Club
Franklin Garden Club

The Franklin Garden Club was founded in 1987 and became a member of The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, Inc. in 2015. Activities include a combination of education and service. Speakers provide information on different garden related topics. Members volunteer to plant and maintain the Veteran’s Memorial Garden at the Town Common, distribute pine tree seedlings to all first graders in Franklin schools, and provide a scholarship to a graduating senior pursuing an education in horticulture or environmental studies. Members also participate in a yearly fundraiser, enjoy field trips to area gardens, plan a holiday dinner and auction and provide helpful support to each other with gardening problems and questions.

In the News: Sep 8 turnout, FDP plans Gala, Principal Peri ready for FHS new year

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"With few contested races across the region, area town clerks anticipate a light turnout for next month’s state primary, but some candidates are hopeful lots of voters will cast their ballots Thursday, Sept. 8. 
Across MetroWest, only a handful of contested races will appear on voters’ ballots. In the 7th Middlesex District, Phil Jack, Jack Lewis and Brett Walker are vying to represent the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives. The winner will face Republican Yolanda Greaves in the general election."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The sample ballot for Franklin shows no contested races.

"The Franklin Downtown Partnership will host an anniversary fundraiser gala on Saturday, Nov. 12, 6 to 11 p.m. at THE BLACK BOX, 15 West Central St., Franklin, to celebrate 15 years of service to the residents and businesses of Franklin. 
Franklin Downtown Partnership logo
Franklin Downtown Partnership logo
Participants will enjoy entertainment, dancing and mingling, and a chance to win auction and raffle items from local merchants as they view the new look of downtown Franklin. Meet FDP members, learn more about the non-profit organization, and see what future plans hold for downtown Franklin. 
Tickets are $100 per person and will go on sale in September. Sponsorships are welcome; contact the FDP office at downtown.franklin@yahoo.com if interested."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"It was just short of a week before the start of school, and new Principal Paul Peri was walking the halls of Franklin High School, stopping to talk and joke with students preparing for tests, football players taking part in early practices and alumni readying the building for the school year. 
He had to be careful of where he walked, however - a complete cleaning of the building was in progress, and parts of the first floor were still being scrubbed down. 
Peri is excited - though he admits to a few "pregame jitters" - as he prepares for his first year at the helm of the school, which officially commences Tuesday. He said he's inspired by the sheer number of opportunities available."
FHS in the rain which we have not had, sorely need and is not in the forecast
FHS in the rain which we have not had, sorely need and is not in the forecast

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

10th Annual WMRC Radiothon to Benefit the Oliva Fund for Cancer Care

10th Annual WMRC Radiothon to Benefit the Oliva Fund for Cancer Care
WMRC Radiothon

"The Oliva Fund for Cancer Care was established in honor of the Milford’s Oliva family for their ongoing commitment and generous support to Milford Regional Medical Center, Milford Regional Healthcare Foundation and our community through charitable donations. 
The Oliva Fund for Cancer Care helps support expenses related to services beyond medical treatment for cancer patients at Milford Regional Medical Center and the Dana-Farber Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center at Milford Regional."


10th Annual WMRC Radiothon to Benefit the Oliva Fund for Cancer Care
10th Annual WMRC Radiothon to Benefit the Oliva Fund for Cancer Care