Thursday, July 19, 2018

FAB funding not so 'fabulous' at this point in the budget cycle!

Did you know Franklin is served by a Regional Transportation Authority? The Franklin Area Bus (FAB) is operated by the Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA).

"Among the budget items being negotiated on Beacon Hill are increases in funding for the state's Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs). 
The RTAs have not received an increase in state assistance or an inflation adjustment in more than three years, though they have seen increases in operating costs for negotiated wages, health care, fuel, and insurance. Governor Baker has proposed level funding at $80 million, the House version of the budget calls for $82 million, and the Senate's version calls for $88 million. 
Regional transit administrators and their supporters say that if they don't receive the proposed $88 million, there will be further service cuts for the more than 32 million riders who use the 15 RTAs throughout the Commonwealth. Most riders are low-income or elderly people who have few, if any, alternative transportation options."

Continue reading the article online

Franklin Area Bus
Franklin Area Bus
What is the FAB schedule?

The archive has several articles on GATRA/FAB going back to 2009

The GATRA home page can be found

THE BLACK BOX presents Steven Kirby’s “Illuminations” Project - Friday, July 20

THE BLACK BOX third annual Summer Concert Series presents “Jazz in July,” featuring Steven Kirby’s “Illuminations” Project on Friday, July 20. The show begins at 8 PM at the downtown Franklin theatre, music and event venue.

Steven Kirby is an award-winning guitarist/composer and an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music. He has appeared on more than 25 released recordings and toured in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., the Caribbean, Europe, China and Africa. Kirby’s music is most categorized as contemporary jazz, but it is influenced by a variety of genres. His compositions have won awards in the International Songwriting Competition, Billboard Song Contest and DownBeat, and his music has been played on over 100 radio stations in this country and internationally.

The “Illuminations” Project is Kirby’s newest compositional and performance endeavor. Described as “richly textured, multi-layered, ebullient and lyrical jazz,” it showcases original compositions and arrangements, as well as some creative arrangements of standard tunes, using a quintet of instrumentalists and a singer performing both wordless and lyrical vocals. “Illuminations” was an Editor’s Pick in the prestigious jazz publication, DownBeat.

Tickets for the event are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. THE BLACK BOX, home of the Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC), is located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin. A cash bar is available. For tickets and more information, visit or call (508) 528-3370.

THE BLACK BOX presents  Steven Kirby’s “Illuminations” Project - Friday, July 20
THE BLACK BOX presents  Steven Kirby’s “Illuminations” Project - Friday, July 20
(night time photo of THE BLACK BOX marque taken by yours truly)

In the News: MA budget goes to Governor; Dean conducts forensic program for high school students

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

"The $41.88 billion budget deal that was filed Wednesday morning and quickly approved by the Legislature includes no new fees, according to the lead House negotiator, and relies on an unusual eleventh hour revenue projection upgrade to boost spending to levels higher than either the House or Senate approved this spring. 
The budget (H 4800), which is on track to reach Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk by the end of the day, was filed 17 days after the start of the new fiscal year, and 13 days before the end of formal legislative sessions, during which recorded votes can be taken. 
House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sanchez told reporters Wednesday that he did not think there was “any one thing” that kept negotiators from producing an on-time budget, saying he and his counterpart, Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka “kept on going back and forth.” 
“They weren’t simple policy pieces,” Sanchez told reporters. “At times you have to dive in in these policy pieces, and you really get stuck in the woods sometimes. I’m just happy and proud we got out of the woods and we have a budget before you that does have significant policy pieces in it.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

An email from Representative Jeff Roy on the just passed budget adds:
"Yesterday, the Budget Conference Committee released its FY19 report and it was enacted by the House and Senate. I am pleased to say that all of the local amendments for Franklin were funded fully and included in this report. 
These include:
  • $50,000 for the Franklin Veterans' War Memorial Parkway
  • $200,000 for King Street Park in Franklin
  • $100,000 towards the New England Center for Children Partner Program at Parmenter Elementary in Franklin
  • $25,000 for the Franklin Downtown Partnership 
  • $50,000 for an Accessible Van for Tri-County"
The budget now is in the Governor's approval queue. He has ten days to approve or reject a specific line item. This also leaves some time for the House and Senate to take action on override items before their session closes for the Summer.

 - - - - -
"Now in its second year, Dean College’s Pre-College Summer Forensic Program is nearing its end, but will be back again next summer. The program lasts two weeks, costs running from $1,250 for commuters and $1,950 for students who choose to catch an early college dorm experience and remain on campus. 
With so many crime dramas saturating cable and streaming services, it’s hard not to take an interest in the investigative process, according to Dean Paul Resten. 
“In many cases these are students that have an interest in the science behind it,” he said. “It’s a very popular topic, and they get to understand what they see on TV, but also from a scientific level as well.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Dean conducts forensic program for high school students
Dean conducts forensic program for high school students

You can help the Butterfly Garden for Ryan and any lost to substance abuse

"My name is Mikaela DeMaria and my boyfriend Ryan Trant lost his battle with addiction September 13, 2017.  
He left behind his mother, three siblings, our son and many other family members and friends. We, together with Fatima Shrine in Holliston, are creating a Butterfly Garden of Remembrance in Ryan’s memory along with all those who have been lost to substance abuse.  
We would like to get the word out to as many local families who have been affected as possible, especially Franklin as Ryan lived in town for about ten years and his twin brother still resides there.  
Below is the link to the article I had asked about sharing and also the link to the garden’s Facebook page. Thank you for all your help!"
Milford Patch article

The Facebook page for the Butterfly Garden

There is an email set up for any questions (including how to donate to this cause)

Butterfly Garden of Remembrance
Butterfly Garden of Remembrance

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Second Sunday Speaker Series: Maureen Taylor – The Photo Detective - Aug 12

Author, speaker, blogger, noted researcher and expert on solving photo mysteries, Maureen Taylor returns to the Franklin Historical Museum Sunday, August 12 at 1:15. The Wall Street Journal called her ‘the nation’s foremost historical photo detective’. 

Wedding Gown display
Wedding Gown display
Join us for Maureen’s presentation ‘Telling the story of wedding photos’ as our speaker series once again relates to our summer Wedding Gown display. The 14 beautiful gowns will be on display until August 26th.

Immediately following the presentation, the public is invited to bring in their vintage family wedding photos (up to 3) to be scanned and become part of the museum’s permanent photo collection. 

All photos brought in for scanning must have a tie to Franklin through the Bride, the Groom or the location of the ceremony. Dig out those photos and let your family take their place in Franklin history.

The Franklin Historical Museum is located at 80 West Central Street, is ADA accessible and admission is always FREE.

Shhh, I Make More than My Husband

A puzzling thing can happen when wives earn more than their husbands do.

united states census bureau

America Counts: Stories Behind the Numbers

Shhh... I Make More than My Husband

Shhh... I Make More than My Husband

When wives earn more than their husbands do, a puzzling thing can happen: Husbands say they earn more than they are and wives underreport their income.

Read More

New Census Bureau research shows that the incomes couples report on Census Bureau surveys do not always match their IRS filings. The Census Bureau is working to improve the quality of reported earnings by comparing an individual's survey response with their reported response from another source.

The America Counts Team
If you like this story, use the hashtag #AmericaCounts to share it on social media. 

About America Counts

America Counts tells the stories behind the numbers in a new inviting way. It features stories on various topics such as families, housing, employment, business, education, the economy, emergency preparedness, and population. Contact our Public Information Office for media inquiries or interviews. 

Support Franklin area non-profits with Smile Amazon!

Did you know that you can support the SAFE Coalition (or the Franklin Food Pantry, or the Random Smile Project, or HMEA, etc....) with anything and everything you buy on Amazon every day of the year? 

All you have to do is click on, place your order, and indicate that you want to support the SAFE Coalition (or the Franklin Food Pantry, or the Random Smile Project, orHMEA, etc....).

It really is only a little amount that ends up going for each purchase but as we all know, every little bit counts!

Support Franklin non-profits with Smile Amazon!
Support Franklin non-profits with Smile Amazon!

In the News: Senate Ways and Means endorsed opioid legislation

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"A powerful Senate committee on Tuesday endorsed legislation giving those addicted to opioids new access to medically assisted treatment in prisons and creating harm-reduction sites for people to use drugs while advancing several other ideas to curb the deadly scourge. 
The Senate Ways and Means Committee version of the bill in many ways follows the broad contours of legislation (H 4742) that the House passed unanimously last week. The bill would shift pharmacies over to electronic prescriptions, establish a standing order to make overdose-reversing medication available to well-meaning members of the public, and allow patients to fill part of a prescription and then go back to get the rest. 
A Ways and Means poll on the bill closed early afternoon on Tuesday, and the bill was reported favorably, according to an aide."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The bill likely would move to conference committee to resolve the differences with the House on a similar measure.