Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Concerts on the Common - 6:00 PM

6:00 PM
Ethan Rossiter and the Jamberries (Children's program)

6:30 PM
Sharon Band

Concerts on the Common
Concerts on the Common

Next week - July 30th
6:00 PM - Electric Youth

Have you considered helping the Neighbor Brigade?

Hi Friends,

In an effort to keep people informed of Franklin Neighbor Brigade, we are reaching out in all ways we can to keep people informed.  Franklin became a chapter brigade a couple of years ago and we love the work we do in our community. 
Franklin's neighbor brigade
Franklin's neighbor brigade
Our non-profit organization offers Free help to our Franklin neighbors experiencing sudden crises such as cancer treatment, illness, accident, or other tragedy.  Our volunteers provide critical support services such as home delivered meals, transportation to and from medical appointments, and home maintenance help. 
We utilize online management tools to alert our volunteer base of recipients’ needs and our volunteers sign up if and when they can help out.

We are looking to grow our database of Franklin resident volunteers during the summer in anticipation of a busy fall/winter season.  If you or anyone you know might be interested please check us out at 
Or, if you know of a recipient who might need our services please let us know.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Linda Gagnon and Cheryl Ferri, Co- Leaders
Neighbor Brigade Inc.
Like Us On Facebook!

MassBudget: MA Kids Rank #1 according Kids Count Data Book


Massachusetts kids lead nation in well-being, 
but even here far too many live in poverty
Children have a greater opportunity to thrive and succeed in Massachusetts than in any other state, according to the 50-state ranking announced today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT project (click HERE for full report). Because of our Commonwealth's long record of making effective investments in the education and health of our children, they lead the nation in educational achievement and are less likely to be without health insurance than children in any other state.
Nonetheless, one in seven Massachusetts children lives in poverty. While that's better than the national rate of about one in five, it's not a number to be proud of, and we have much work to do to provide every child with a real opportunity to succeed.
"The investments we have made in our children have helped them to be better prepared to succeed than children anywhere else in America," said Noah Berger, President of MassBudget, the Massachusetts KIDS COUNT group. "Yet, far too many of our children are still being left behind. Working together, through our government, we can make sure that all of our kids have access, from their earliest days, to the basic supports they need to thrive."
The report highlights progress we have made in Massachusetts, but also the work still to be done:
  • A nation-leading 47 percent of our fourth graders are proficient readers. Unfortunately, that means 53 percent are not. We can give those students a much greater opportunity to succeed by expanding access to high quality early education and strengthening the capacity of our schools in every community.
  • Nearly all of our children -- 99 percent -- have access to health insurance. But health challenges remain. For example, our children are about as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as kids everywhere.
  • We have one of the lowest child poverty rates in the country. At the same time, many of our families struggle to pay for basic necessities. Over one-third of our children live in households that struggle to afford housing.
Dismantling the barriers to success that are holding back too many of our children will not be easy. It requires improving our schools and the array of supports our kids need to be ready to thrive in school. It also requires strengthening our systems for supporting the most vulnerable children in the Commonwealth, especially those at risk of abuse and neglect and those involved in our juvenile justice system.
"We can also pursue economic policies that help low-income families earn decent wages and have incomes that let them provide a better life for their children," Berger said. "In the long run, expanding economic opportunity for all of our kids and families is likely the most effective way to build a strong economy that works for everyone."

For the full report, please click HERE.
Quotes from other leaders and experts

"We have achieved this success and more thanks to a lot of hard work and collaboration from diverse partners throughout the state. I am proud of the progress Massachusetts has made in creating greater opportunity for our children to thrive and succeed, from affordable health care coverage to access to high-quality education, but there is still more work to do. We will continue to invest in our children to help shape the future they deserve."  
-Governor Deval Patrick

"Here in the Commonwealth, we have made a strong commitment to the well-being of our children, and this is largely due to our emphasis on education and healthcare. This report shows that these investments have paid off and we remain national leaders in child achievement standards. However, we also have a responsibility to continue finding ways to improve the lives of children and to recognize that their success is absolutely essential for Massachusetts' success as a whole."
-Senate President Therese Murray

"Massachusetts has a steadfast tradition of investing in education and health care to ensure that children can grow up to lead fulfilling lives. As we celebrate this distinct honor, we must refocus our attention so that we can continue to improve the circumstances of children and families across the Commonwealth."
-House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo

"Celebrating what's going right in Massachusetts helps reinforce the importance of making sure these best practices and high achievement rates reach all children and all sectors in our state. The Nurtury is a great example of the good work happening in the Second Suffolk District to invest in children. Many actors have roles to play in further improving the lives of Massachusetts' children. As a legislator, investment in the well-being of children and their families is in the fore of my mind as I have been fighting for priorities like a higher minimum wage, increased funding for early education, asset development programs for parents, and progressive revenue reform."
-State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz

"The data have us arriving at some good milestones -the lowest rate among the 50 states for children without health insurance, for example. But in other respects we're settling for less than we're capable of."
-State Senator Mike Barrett

"It is a promising achievement to see Massachusetts ranked #1 among all 50 states in the 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book. It is encouraging to know the public investments we have made in education and health care have put us on the right path- our children have higher educational attainment and are less likely to be without health insurance than most other states.  However, we know there is still progress that can be made to remove barriers that some of our most vulnerable children face.  We aspire to live in a Commonwealth in which every child has an opportunity to reach his or her potential, and we will continue to work towards that goal here in the Legislature."
-State Representative Kay Khan

"Massachusetts has a long record of investing in the well-being of our children, and I am pleased to know that those investments are paying off. Nevertheless, this year's KIDS COUNT Data book also highlights the need for us to continue these targeted investments to ensure that every child in the Commonwealth has the opportunity to succeed and thrive."
-State Representative Alice Peisch

"Being the number one state in education in America is a tremendous accomplishment and cause for much celebration for a job well done but we can do better.  We can start by investing in early education and care for zero to 5 year olds where it will make the difference between a child being ready to learn or being trapped in the achievement gap before they even start kindergarten."
-Jane Tewksbury, Executive Director, Thrive in 5

"Despite Massachusetts' number one ranking in education and overall child well-being in the latest Kids Count Data Book, we still have persistent achievement gaps that take root in the early childhood years. We must continue to invest significant resources in high-quality early education if we hope to close the achievement gap and give children in every community the strong start they deserve."
-Christopher Martes, President and CEO, Strategies for Children

"Reliable access to healthcare helped raise us to first place.  In order to stay there, we also need free and universal early childhood education."
-Philip Edmundson, Chair, Alliance for Business Leadership

"We are pleased to see that Massachusetts does well in this survey relative to other states, but that is not enough. We must continue to work so that every child in the Commonwealth experiences economic security and a high-quality education. There are some very practical steps that the Legislature can take, such as increasing funding to allow more families access to preschool. We must continue to fight for small class sizes and the resources that high-poverty communities need to provide a great education to every student. The state must also tackle head-on the economic injustice that limits possibilities for too many of our children."
-Barbara Madeloni, President of the Massachusetts Teachers Association

"The 2014 KIDS COUNT ranking of Massachusetts as first in the nation on overall child well-being, and a leader education and health, underscores that effective public investments make a difference.  However, challenges remain for children in the Commonwealth.  The report finds that 1 in 7 children in our state live in poverty.  The KIDS COUNT report also reports that in Massachusetts, and across the country, African-American and Latino children are disproportionately living in communities of concentrated poverty.  The future of our Commonwealth depends on providing all children and their families an opportunity to thrive and succeed. This will require greater investments in programs and interventions that we know work--for example, access to safe, stable and affordable housing, child care and transportation, paid sick leave, a living wage, skills training for 21st century jobs. The long-term return on investments that lift children out of poverty will be significant. In addition, as a Commonwealth, we need to develop an integrated, multi-agency, cross-sector approach to poverty alleviation that focuses on family stability, economic mobility and access to opportunity."
-Georgia Katsoulomitis, Executive Director, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

"It is not an accident that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is first in the country in the well-being of children. The Kids Count project rankings show that the investments we are making to support our children are paying off.  However, many of our children continue to lack access to affordable, quality early education opportunities and other supports that they need; as long as that it is the case, we have more work to do."
-Jay Gonzalez, President & CEO, CeltiCare Health and Member, Board of Early Education & Care

"The Commonwealth's focus and forward-thinking financial investments are paying off for our children. Covering 99% of our children with health insurance as part of our commitment to providing comprehensive, affordable, accessible high quality care for all is unprecedented and unparalleled in the country," said Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, Executive Director of Health Care For All. "Yet the Kids Count report also highlights the work yet to do. We must close the gaps for non-English speaking children and for immigrant communities across the Commonwealth. We must uproot the entrenched causes of poverty that make being born in certain zip-codes a health hazard.  We must continue to push so that our world class health delivery system to which nearly every child in Massachusetts has access, translates into having the healthiest children in our nation."
-Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, Executive Director, Health Care for All

"The continued decline in the teen birth rate in Massachusetts is a testament to the potential of youth, the strength of communities, and the positive investments in teen pregnancy prevention by policymakers. However, the state wide average ignores the inequities in health outcomes for underprivileged groups in our state. We have a responsibility as a state to structure resources so that they more equitably serve communities and racial/ethnic minorities with teen birth rates well above the state average."
-Elizabeth Peck, Public Policy Director, Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy

"It's wonderful that Massachusetts is doing great things for many of our kids -- now we have to make sure that our outstanding educational and health care systems are available to all the youth in our Commonwealth equally.  A large number of the young people who enter our juvenile justice system have unmet educational needs or unaddressed trauma. We need to make investments in these and our other most vulnerable children so that they can reach their potential."
-Naoka Carey, Citizens for Juvenile Justice

"We can rightly celebrate our leadership in supporting our children in Massachusetts. We should also examine new opportunities to innovate and to invest wisely to achieve our aspiration of opportunity for all."
-Chris Gabrieli, Chairman, Massachusetts 2020

"The good news in the Kids Count Data Book is that, in the aggregate, Massachusetts does well by children because we have invested in education and health care. The bad news is that an opportunity gap exists for poor children and children of color-they need early education, small class sizes through the third grade, and learning experiences that support the needs of the whole child. This report demonstrates that government investment of our taxes in children produces results-now is the time to expand that investment to include those who have been left behind."
-Ann O'Halloran, President, Citizens for Public Schools

"It is a great accomplishment and that we lead the nation in overall child well-being and, specifically, that almost every child in Massachusetts has health insurance. Now we need to redouble our efforts to improve in other areas, such as access to healthy, affordable food, teen drug and alcohol abuse, and preventable childhood chronic disease.  These are issues that have a disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable residents.  Being satisfied with a #1 ranking and responding by sitting back and not addressing these issues will cost us considerably in the short and long term."
-Rebekah Gewirtz, Executive Director, Massachusetts Public Health Association

 "This report shows that when Massachusetts makes a commitment to invest in important areas, such as healthcare and education, we come out on top. It is now the time to apply that same commitment to our child welfare system, to make it the strongest and safest it can be, across all regions of the Commonwealth. The children in our care cannot wait for us to make this a priority; they need our attention and investment now to ensure they become healthy and productive citizens in the future."
-Erin G. Bradley, Executive Director, Children's League of Massachusetts  

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108
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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

Absentee Ballots Are Now Available At The Town Clerk’s Office

TIME: 6:00a.m. – 8:00p.m.

August 20, 2014 at 8:00pm at the Town Clerk’s Office, First Floor, 355 East Central Street, Municipal Building.

Absentee Ballot Information: Absentee ballots are now available in the Town Clerk’s office. A registered voter who will be unable to vote at the polls on election day due to the following reasons may vote absentee up to 12:00 noon Monday, September 8, 2014.
(1) absence from your city or town during normal polling hours; or
(2) physical disability preventing you from going to the polling place; or
(3) religious belief.

All absentee requests must be made in writing with an original signature (no faxes or e-mails are accepted). If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call Deborah L. Pellegri, Town Clerk, at 508-520-4900.

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building

This was shared from the official Franklin webpage (link opens as a Word document)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam

A Facebook message from a regular Franklin reader warns:
"Steve, please let the community know that the IRS does not call anyone directly to collect outstanding tax bills. That's just not how they do business. I just got a call and the person became belligerent when I called them out. The phone number on caller ID came up as 415-251-9782."
A quick search on IRS phone calls brought this information from the webpage

IRS logo
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
  • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS. 
The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to
More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website,
The IRS posted this message in October of 2013.

Raise high the roof beams, carpenters!

The new Franklin TV studio is under construction at 23 Hutchinson St (between Union and Wachusett) . It will be transforming what was most recently an Indian market to a start of the art TV and radio production studio. Operated by the community TV group as a 501(3) organization it may be ready open later this year.

The interior of the main building is being re-done. There will be a garage and more studio space added for the addition in the back. Franklin.TV is currently operating from the mobile trailer on site while the construction is underway.

On July 15th progress is visible outside

concrete laid and ready for the walls to be framed
concrete laid and ready for the walls to be framed

side view of rear entrance
side view of rear entrance

footing laid out for the walls to rise
footing laid out for the walls to rise

By Saturday, July 19th the walls had risen!

walls framing up
walls framing up

side view of new walls for addition
side view of new walls for addition
And by Monday evening, the buildings are being connected and ready for the roof beams!

rear studio with garage entrance
rear studio with garage entrance

side view of rear entrance - 2
side view of rear entrance - 2

roof sections being prepared
roof sections being prepared

Photos from a walk by during April can be found here (there was snow on the ground at the time, so in the warmth of July the snow may have a cooling effect!)

With apologies to JD Salinger for borrowing the title of his novella

Electric Youth to Perform Free Outdoor Summer Concerts

Just back from a three-week concert tour of Austria and Italy, Electric Youth (EY) will perform free outdoor summer concerts on Wednesday, July 30, from 6-8 p.m. on Franklin Town Common and on Thursday, July 31 from 6:30-8 p.m. on Norfolk Town Hill.

Electric Youth’s 11th European tour featured shows in Vienna, Melk, Obergrafendorf and Steiermark, Austria, including a benefit concert at Vienna’s historic 19th century Odeon Theater and workshop with students at the Amadeus International School. Performances in Italy featured a return Fourth of July show for U.S. Troops stationed at Aviano Air Force Base, multiple shows in Lignano and Bibione along the Adriatic Coast, a concert in the medieval Umbrian hilltop town of Todi, and shows in Montecatini Terme, Tuscany and at Lake Como. 
Electric Youth shows deliver high-powered family entertainment with exciting choreography and impressive vocals for audiences of all ages. This season’s wide-ranging repertoire includes hits by Aerosmith, The Beatles, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and Carrie Underwood. 
Electric Youth performing during the group's summer 2014 13-concert tour of Austria and Italy
Trained at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA), Electric Youth is backed by an eight-piece band of Boston musicians who've performed, recorded and toured with such music legends as Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, Diana Ross, The Temptations and Van Morrison. 
Electric Youth 2014 debuted at Showcase Live, Patriot Place in February and returned on June 13 to perform a Bon Voyage concert. EY recorded the group’s 6th professional album, Power Chord, at Mansfield’s MockingBird Studios in May. As with EY shows, the studio album includes unique renditions of timeless hits. Electric Youth’s music is available on iTunes and CD Baby. 
Electric Youth members are chosen annually by audition for superior musicianship, stage presence and triple threat accomplishments in voice, dance and acting. Many members are preparing to pursue a career in the performing arts, while all are gaining valuable life skills through their participation, extensive training and travel experiences with the ensemble. Electric Youth 2014 includes Madison Asgeirsson, 16, Kendra Dombroski, 15, Ali Funkhouser, 18, Graham Hancock, 17, Jocelyn Jones, 15, and Shaina McGillis, 15, from Franklin; Michael Fajardo, 15, from Hopkinton; Sam Evans, 14, from Medfield; Maddy Williams, 15, from Medway; and Jenna McDermott, 15, from Wrentham. 
EY’s show band features Kenny Hadley on drums, Arnie Krakowsky on tenor saxophone, Artie Montanaro on trombone, Walter Platt on trumpet, Bill Miele on bass, Ken Reid on baritone saxophone, Mark White on guitar and Raye Lynn Mercer on piano. Under the direction of Mark Poniatowski, musical arrangers for Electric Youth are Rick Hammett, Jeff Perry, Walter Platt, Poniatowski, Mark White and Ben Whiting. Choreographers include Mercer, Casey Andrade, Cheryl Madeux, Nick Paone and Kellie Stamp. 
For more information about Electric Youth or the EY summer Concerts on the Common, call FSPA at (508) 528-8668 or visit

Franklin Library: Swimmy

A shadow puppet show bringing to life characters from Leo Lionni's book Swimmy is scheduled for Wednesday, July 23 at 1:00 PM

shadow puppet show - July 23  1:00 PM
shadow puppet show - July 23  1:00 PM

This was shared from the posting on the Library page

More about author Leo Lionni can be found here and here

Monday, July 21, 2014

What does 10,000 look like?

A milestone of sorts happened this past weekend when the 10,000th post was shared here on Franklin Matters. This is not something you would normally see as it is an internal counter when I sit to write out what will be posted.  

You can see it if you scroll through the archives and open a year to see the monthly totals. You did know there is an archive. Visible on the front page right column underneath where you can subscribe to receive the update daily via email or immediately when posted via RSS.

As you can see the archive goes back to Nov 2007. There is a whole lot of good information here. Day by day what happens is recorded. 

Regular readers will recall that I sometimes suggest to pick a day, say today. And then go back into the archives one year at a time to see what was posted on that date in 2013, 2012, etc... It usually is an interesting exercise!

more than 10,000 posts on Franklin Matters
more than 10,000 posts on Franklin Matters

Thank you for helping me create these 10,000. The meeting reporting and photos are mostly mine but you contribute much of the rest. All the questions you ask either lead to follow up info for a prior post or to a new post.

Renata Gilarova gets a special thanks for helping me with the weekly calendar of events. You all help both of us by letting us know that your group will be holding an event.

As always - 

  • If you like this, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like this, please tell me.

This feedback loop is so important.

And for some fun. What does 10,000 iPhones look like when set up as dominos? 


FHS Last Tour: Corridors and Student Art Work - part 12 (photos)

Let's continue the walk through the corridors of Franklin High School on the 'last tour.' I'll share photos of student art work and other significant items of interest picking up from where we left off last time.

Student art 1
Student art 1

Student art 2
Student art 2

Student art 3
Student art 3

Student art 4
Student art 4

Student art 5
Student art 5

Student art 6
Student art 6

Student art 7
Student art 7

Photos shared earlier can be found here:

Note: all the photos will be posted to Facebook and to Flickr for anyone to view in a single place. The locations are already established and photos will be added to them over time.

Facebook album       Flickr album

Zoning Board of Appeals - Agenda - July 24

The published agenda for the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting scheduled for Thursday July 24 can be viewed in this document:

Agendas for the Zoning Board of Appeals can be found on the Franklin website

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the document

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building