Friday, March 27, 2015

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 3/27/15 - THU 4/2/15

FRI 3/27   9am-1pm   Tri-County Regional Children’s Center Open House and Registration
FRI 3/27   6-9pm   Daddy Daughter Dance (gardes K-4) at Annie Sullivan MS
FRI 3/27   7 and 9pm   Electric Youth at The Black Box
FRI 3/27   8-9:50pm   Frozen Friday DJ Public Skate at Pirelli Arena

SAT 3/28   3:30pm   iStories at Franklin Public Library
SAT 3/28   8pm   Peter Yarrow Concert at Circle of Friends Coffee House

SUN 3/29   3pm   Broadway in Franklin at The Black Box

MON 3/30   7pm-8:30pm   Small Business Round Table with Jeff Roy, location TBD, follow this Facebook link to join #ShopFranklin community

TUE 3/31   7pm   Music and Art Appreciation Night at Franklin HS, presented by Lifelong Learning

WED 4/1   12-2pm   Adult Painting at Franklin Art Center
WED 4/1   6:30pm   Franklin Art Association Public Meeting with Oil Stick Demonstration, Franklin Senior Center

THU 4/2   8:30am   Franklin Downtown Partnership Meeting - public welcome! Golder Room, Dean College Campus

For all the Town of Franklin Public Meetings click HERE.

For event details click HERE.

*If you have any suggestions or events for the calendar, please email

FM #110 - Audio recording of the Economic Development Committee meeting Mar 25

The audio recording from the Economic Development Committee meeting held Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

The meeting runs just about 1 hour.

audio file link

The traffic report can be viewed here

My set of notes reported live during the meeting can be found here


As I close this special session, let me remind you that

  • If you like what I am doing here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don’t like something, please tell me

It is through this feedback loop that you can help me improve the information I provide for you.

Thank you for listening!

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark and Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission

I hope you enjoy!

You can also subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes = search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

Teen Movie at the Library "If I Stay' - Fri 5:00 PM

Friday evening at 5:00 PM teens are invited to view the movie "If I Stay" at the Franklin Library.

If I Stay - Teen movie at 5:00 PM Fri 3/27
If I Stay - Teen movie at 5:00 PM Fri 3/27

This was shared from the Franklin Library webpage here

The movie trailer:

MassBudget: The Massachusetts Film Tax Credit - Is it worth it?

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

The Massachusetts Film Tax Credit

State policy can help build an economy that works for everyone. With high quality education and training opportunities for all, and with functioning core public structures like a reliable transportation system, our entire economy grows stronger. States can also support families across the Commonwealth by setting a fair minimum wage and establishing other policies that improve working conditions and help ensure that everyone who works for a living can afford to pay for life's basic necessities.

As part of our efforts to grow the economy, our state spends close to a billion dollars a year on special business tax breaks. We have no process, however, for systematically assessing this type of economic development spending against our goals. Special business tax breaks apply to specific industries or reward specific activities. In many cases there is no evidence that they are a cost effective way to achieve legitimate public purposes. Yet these tax breaks live on from year to year, partly because - unlike items in the state budget - they are not subject to regular scrutiny through the annual budget process.

Our new factsheet, The Massachusetts Film Tax Credit, describes one of the state's most generous tax breaks. This program provides movie producers with a tax credit of 25% of the cost of making a movie in Massachusetts, meaning that if a company spends $20 million shooting a movie here, it receives a tax credit of $5 million. If a movie star is paid $10 million, the state reimburses $2.5 million of that cost through our tax code - even though most of that $10 million in salary will likely leave the state economy and be spent where the star lives.

Studies by the state's Department of Revenue have detailed the results of providing film tax credits:

  • The economic activity generated by film tax credits between 2006 and 2012 led to $55.1 million in tax revenue for the state. But that is substantially less than the $411 million cost of credits the state issued in those years.
  • Almost two thirds of the wages paid in connection with the film tax credits went to people who are not Massachusetts residents - including large salaries to movie stars from other states.
  • The cost per Massachusetts job created was about $119,000 a year.

To read the report, please click HERE.

MassBudget chart on film tax credit  

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

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

Charter School News: Support Music Merit award, Science Fair awards

Support Music - 2015 Merit Award
Support Music - 2015 Merit Award
The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School has been honored once again with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. BFCCPS joins 120 schools across the country in receiving the prestigious award in 2015. 
The SupportMusic Merit Award is awarded to individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
Continue reading about the award on the BFCCPS  webpage here

Science Fair

Four students recently represented BFCCPS during this year’s Regional Science Fair. We are thrilled to share the results with you today! All four of the students who participated in the event are now eligible to participate in the upcoming middle school Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair (MSSEF) which will be held on June 6th at the Worcester Technical High School in Worcester, MA.
science fair awards - BFCCPS photo

Continue reading about the Science Fair recognition here

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Broadway In Franklin - : A Weekend with the Stars at THE BLACK BOX

Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) presents Broadway In Franklin: A Weekend with the Stars on March 27-29, featuring Broadway headliners Sara Jean Ford and Tyler Hanes in a Broadway Revue of show-stopping numbers from the Great White Way. Bringing the magic of 42nd Street to Boston's MetroWest suburbs, the Broadway Revue will be presented at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 29, at THE BLACK BOX, FPAC’s new theater, music, and event venue, located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin. The show also features appearances by young musical theater students and by Electric Youth. 

Electric Youth (EY), a dynamic ensemble of talented singer-dancers trained at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts, will kick off the weekend with two performances on Friday evening, March 27, at THE BLACK BOX. Backed by an eight-piece band of Boston musicians who’ve performed with music legends Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Diana Ross and many others, EY delivers high-energy music, including contemporary pop, classic rock, Broadway and country hits. The two shows, at 7 and 9 p.m., will feature fully choreographed performances of Adele, The Beatles, Imagine Dragons, Jason Mraz, Frank Sinatra, Styx and more.

Guest artists Ford and Hanes will lead a series of musical theater master classes at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) on Saturday, March 28, that will include dance workshops and coaching on song interpretation. Rehearsals for Sunday’s revue will round out the weekend programming with the Broadway performers.

Sara Jean Ford
Sara Jean Ford

Sara Jean Ford starred as Christine DaaĆ© in Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera, with additional Broadway credits including How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Little Night Music and Finian's Rainbow. She starred off Broadway as Luisa in The Fantasticks. National tours include Wicked (Glinda/Nessarose cover) and The Phantom of the Opera (Christine DaaĆ©). Sara Jean Ford can be heard on Michael Jackson’s HIStory album, Harry Connick Jr.’s When My Heart Finds Christmas, and the revival cast recordings of Finian’s Rainbow and The Fantasticks.

Tyler Hanes
Tyler Hanes
Tyler Hanes' numerous Broadway credits include A Chorus Line (Larry), Hairspray (Fender, Link Larkin), Sweet Charity (Charlie), The Frogs with Nathan Lane, The Boy from Oz with Hugh Jackman, Urban Cowboy and Oklahoma! (Jake). National tours include Fosse (first national) and The Will Rogers’ Follies (Will Rogers, Jr.). Broadway cast recordings include The Boy from Oz, The Frogs, Sweet Charity and A Chorus Line.

Electric Youth has released six professional albums and toured Europe 11 times, with performances at England’s Arundel Festival, Disneyland Paris, professional theaters in Bristol, London and Windsor, and such renowned venues as Sanremo’s Ariston Theatre and Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Musikverein and Schonbrunn Palace. EY has also headlined Fourth of July shows for U.S. troops and their families stationed in Italy at Camp Ederle, Camp Darby, and Aviano Air Force Base. The ensemble has performed on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, on Fox-TV and WBZ Radio, and at Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, Mechanics Hall, the Smithsonian Museum Theater and the United Nations. EY’s music, including the 2014 album, Power Chord, is available at and iTunes. Electric Youth 2015 will tour England and France this summer.

Proceeds from Broadway In Franklin weekend support Electric Youth’s 2015 European summer concert tour and EY’s mission to give back through musical performance, education and ambassadorship. For additional event information about Broadway In Franklin or to purchase tickets for Friday’s Electric Youth shows or Sunday’s Broadway Revue, call (508) 528-3370 or visit

"there’s a problem today"

BETA’s traffic engineer, Greg Lucas, used previous traffic studies – including one by the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization - in analyzing the affect a future Pond Street development would have on the Franklin Village intersection. 
“The reports tell us there’s a problem today with the left turn there onto Rte. 140 eastbound,” Lucas said. “And it’s a problem for whatever you consider in the future with the Pond Street development.” 
The best way to address the issues at the intersection would be to widen the left turn lane to allow for two lanes of vehicles to queue at the traffic light, Lucas said.
Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News

traffic study map used in the discussion Wednesday
traffic study map used in the discussion Wednesday

For the complete set of notes from the Economic Development Committee meeting you can find them here

For the full copy of the traffic study

Franklin Library: Genealogy Club - 3/26/15 - 6:30 PM

The next Genealogy Club meeting is Thursday evening March 26, at 6:30 pm

Genealogy Club
Genealogy Club

this was shared from the Franklin Library page here

MassBudget: Massachusetts's Earned Income Tax Credit


Massachusetts's Earned Income Tax Credit  

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) improves the economic security of working families by increasing the after tax incomes of low and moderate wage workers. Massachusetts's Earned Income Tax Credit explains how the tax credit works, describes how many families and individuals it helps in Massachusetts, and examines the long-term effects of the EITC on families and children.

To read the factsheet, please click HERE.

Recent research has linked EITC increases to a number of positive outcomes:
  • Improved college attendance and graduation rates and better test scores, particularly in math.
  • More work and higher earnings as adults for children raised in these low income families.
  • Reductions in the early onset of disabilities and illnesses that often afflict poor children.
Over 400,000 working people in Massachusetts benefit from the state EITC. Most of them are supporting families. Increasing the state EITC helps those working people make ends meet and pay for basic necessities. The increased income can also make it more likely that their children will be able to reach their full potential. When low income working people have more purchasing power, and their children can grow up to contribute their full potential to our economy, that is good for all of us.

Below is an infographic detailing the lifelong effects of the EITC, produced by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. MassBudget is affiliated with CBPP as a member of the State Priorities Partnership.

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

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

"We want that site environmentally cleaned"

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday proposed adding a former manufacturing property on Fisher Street to its list of federal Superfund sites. 
The designation would make the polluted 18-acre property eligible for funding for the cleanup. The agency could announce the addition of the site to its National Priorities List as early as this fall. 
The Superfund law provides the EPA with the funds to clean up the sites and gives it authority to force the polluters to lead the efforts or reimburse the government for the work. There are 38 sites in Massachusetts listed on the National Priorities List.
Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News here

This is no surprise. Franklin has been aware of the site for some time and working through the process to get it added to the listing to be eligible for government funding of the clean up required.

The EPA and MassDEP made a presentation to the Town Council July 9, 2014 in preparation for yesterday's announcement

Where is the property located?

image of superfund site
image of superfund site

Additional details can be found here

The original press release can be viewed here

TeamFitness Franklin: Kids Klubhouse

Welcome to Team Fitness and CrossFit Franklin

Please see details below regarding our Kids Klubhouse Child Care!

Kids Klubhouse Child Care:

Due to popular demand, we are now offering evening Kids Klubhouse hours! We will start on Monday March 30th, and the hours will be Monday-Thursday, 5:00-7:30 PM. Please sign up online and bring in those kiddos. 

Cathy (from BSC's child care!) and Eden will be welcoming them with open arms! 

Any questions, email

As time progresses, and if we have enough demand, we will consider Saturdays, too.

In Health and Fitness,

The Team at Team Fitness and CrossFit Franklin
Forward this email

Team Fitness Franklin | 100 Franklin Village Drive | Franklin | MA | 02038

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Live reporting: Town Council workshop

Present: Dellorco, Kelly, Bissanti, Vallee, Padula, Feldman, Williams, Pfeffer
Absent: Mercer

Planning Board: Halligan
Finance Committee: Dewslap, Conley
ZBA: Hunchard

Copy of handout to be added later
Note: while this session is being recorded, I won;t be able to participate for the full session due to a work commitment).

1 - neighborhood commercial zoning district
discussion on addition of small pockets of commercial to allow for neighborhood milk, convenience stores

2 - multi-family zoning
multi-family by law means apartments not just condos
we don't have anything to address 3 unit or more except in Downtown C1
we had an old zone 6
I am not arguing about writing it, where do you want to put it

Kelly - put it near the train stations to enable walk to the train to go to Boston
Nutting - down by Thompson Press, where there is an industrial zone including the lumber yard

the sense is in the downtown area
take zone 6 out of your head, you can still have multi-family but not do what that did which doesnt work

could change to zone 5, 1,000 sq ft per unit
that is one option for housing

what about Cottage/Union St?

changing the zoning would allow the owner to bring in apartments
multi-family by law is either or condos or apartments

zone 7 forces the developer to build separate building rathe than all attached in the same building

Kelly - I am trying to drive more traffic downtown, by putting more apartments there you get the downtown busier

there are two things economic development or property taxes; that is the question for the Council
concensus to consider this? yes

Live reporting: Economic Development Council - Mar 25, 2015

Commmittee: Bissanti, Kelly, Padula, Vallee
Planning Board: Halligan
Planning Dept: Taberner
Town Administrator: Nutting

Beta Engineering - did a revision to the traffic studies done previously
Greg Lucas - presenting

found earlier studies had under represented traffic
there is a problem today with the intersection and left turns into Pond St

so no matter what goes into the area will only increase the problem

option to increase the turn from single lane to double lane
explored option of using Old West Central St but it doesnt help the situation
the most viable solution to address existing problems and future development
would be to widen the left turn to two lanes

there is a PM peak problem, page 6

2020 base is the current traffic including the Starbucks study
2020 base w/Development is the study plus the scenarios for the Pond St options

Starbucks assumptions

  • 45% would come up to turn left into the site
  • 35% would be moving west to turn right
  • 20% would come on Pond St to Starbucks

The State owns the intersection and would be in charge of the widening and any other adjustments

Q on lengthening the single lane
A - it would be bettet to do the double lane turn to handle the traffic, you'd get more cars through the turn

Q - question on taking out the media divider
A - the three options were the MPO recommendations. They use crash data to look at areas for traffic improvement. It could be eligible for funding due to the high crash location at the intersection itself.
The signalling should be adjusted, they should all be implemented.

Q - How do we get the State to get this moving
A - Nutting - We would have to call MassDOT to see

We have an established need and given the development there is an increased risk

Q - do the Starbucks numbers accoutn for freeway traffic
A - Good question, doesn't specifically address that

Q - was Pond St traffic included
A - Pond St traffic was not included in the current studies, it would need to be depending upon whatever would be going into the Pond St site

Table 1 - on page 5
trip generation numbers changed from prior studies
previous studies were general office not a medical office; traffic differs significantly not so much in the peak hours but in the overall traffic by day

assumed 86% occupancy for the hotel but the traffic is not reduced by the volume expected by the hotel

There would need to be some study epending upon what goes in there, there may be some treatment, i.e. a left turn lane into the Pond St property.  Pond St is a 60 ft right of way so there is plenty of room.

Discussion on the potential of a left turn lane, not a light. If a light was there it would need further study and could help traffic coming out of Rolling Ridge to Pond St

Discussion on utilization of Old West Central, it provides some relief to two of the traffic flows but would not help the overall intersection as it would also degrade a couple of other traffic flows.

Q - Nutting - When does the intersection failbeyond what it is already doing? what could go in to the property to see what could 'live' within the traffic service levels
A - It is a balancing act with signal timing and turning lanes

Even without Pond St, we should be calling MassDOT to get this started?

Q - Padula - this was an F prior to this?
A - yes, it was an F prior to Starbucks coming in (in afternoon)

Thanks to Greg, good presentation

Discussion on whether to consider the RFP
Bissanti looking to move it forward
Nutting, no conensus of the committee on use other than no apartments
Kelly - I would like to include some solar interest for the space
Nutting - if you're going to do solar, you might want to lease the property rather than sell the property for a hotel. Are you suggesting putting out a separate solar? You may lose a few months but the mix-match can get confusing

Bissanti - where this was going and I thought it had more steam, with a residential component; I think it is too small to fit all three uses. I think we should go with the existing RFP and the residential component

Padula - I am not in favor of the solar piece, it is too late and not enough for what we need. The traffic study doesn't talk about this.

Note: Vallee had moved to the back of the room for a private conversation and missed the discussion points. Vallee returns as Kelly speaks for solar

Kelly - I wouldn't be so fast to count the solar out. I dont want to be left with I wish we had

Bissnti - We did put it out for solar and we got someone coming in with an aerobic digester

Williams - you have not yet decided the percentages of what the space would be designated as

Bissanti - would another study be needed?
Lucas - we did not have data from Pond St, that study would need to be done depending upon what is proposed

Halligan - if you put the RFP out the Council doesnt have to accept anything that is proposed

Kelly - if we put anything out, we can like it or not. I am not the smartest guy in the room and someone might come back with something we haven't talked about

Williams - you as a committee haven't decided that, if we know we wnt less traffic there shouldn't we spell it out?

Bissanti - there are specified uses in the RFP, we got to get something going

We wanted to restrict the develop to the number of units that could be built, if you leave it open, we have lost what we came to agreement on

Dellorco - I dont know why we can't limit it

trying to wrestle with the balance between revenue and impact

the community understands the biggest money maker for the Town, so scale back the residential component. the last time we were together, there were a number of suggestions made but we haven't seen those implemented

two of the other recommendations were already in the RFP, the only one not there was the set back from Pond St

I would appreciate it if you looked at it with an open mind, the community would be more supportive

Let's move this to the April 8th meeting. The only way we'll know is to see what we get back. I would love to see a general RFP and that can't be done

6:00 PM at April 8th

meeting adjourned

Best Buddies to be 'a zip code event' for Franklin

Franklin is leading the way in expanding the Best Buddies program to the entire school district. The program began at FHS in 1997, expanded to the middle schools in 2007 and now to the elementary schools. Keller will begin a pilot this year for 3rd and 4th graders, and continue in September with those students in the 4th and 5th grade.

image from Best Buddies website
image from Best Buddies website

Assuming all goes well with the pilot, as early as September 2016 the program could begin expansion to other elementary schools in the district.

Dean College is looking to create their program so this would be "a zip code event."

Additional info on the program will be discussed at the Keller PCC meeting on Apr 9th.

After the Best Buddies presentation and discussion, the School Committee heard the latest stats on school choice (17 students remaining the program) and the recommendation not to open the program up. School Choice is the option for students from other communities to attend in Franklin. Due to capacity issues, the school district has not opened the program and the students who were part of it are allowed to complete their schooling. The peak was about 90 students several years ago.

The capital budget was adjusted to meet lower expectations on what funds would be available. The Franklin capital budget is funded by 'free cash' however the free cash is used to make up any shortfall in the snow/ice budget first. With the record winter this year, the snow/ice budget is about $500,000 over what was allocated. That is $500,000 less to fund our other capital requirements.

photo of presentation page touting the Dodgeball Tournament
photo of presentation page touting the Dodgeball Tournament

The Best Buddies 25th anniversary video shown during the meeting can be viewed here:

My details notes reported live during the School Committee meeting can be found here:

Antique Appraisal Day - April 12

Antique Appraisal Day

Sunday, April 12, 2015


The Franklin Historical Commission invites you to have your collectables and antiques appraised by certified appraiser Nancy Wyman of Coyle’s Auction Gallery of Bellingham. 1 to 3 items per person will be appraised at a rate of $5.00 per item.

Items to be appraised include Decorative Stoneware and Pottery; Vintage Clothing and Costume Jewelry; Fine China, glass and art glass; Oriental Rugs; Paintings and Prints; Lamps, Clocks, Decorative Accessories; Hummels and Music Boxes; Sterling Silver, Pewter and Brass; American, Victorian and Country Furniture and Accessories.

NO fine jewelry, no coins, no stamps and no weapons.

All proceeds to benefit the Friends of the Franklin Historical Museum

Franklin Historical Museum - maybe most of the snow will be gone by Appraisal Day?
Franklin Historical Museum - maybe most of the snow will be gone by Appraisal Day?

Franklin Art Association - Spring Show - Apr 18 and 19

2015 Spring Members Show and Sale will be held at the Black Box Theater, 15 West Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038

Saturday, April, 18th 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Sunday, April, 19th  12:00 pm to 3:00 pm

The exhibit is free and opened to the public
* Exhibit of original works of fine art and photographs 
* Bin sales of original works of art and prints 
* Complementary food and beverage 
* Clothes line art sale
Franklin Art Association - Spring Show
Franklin Art Association - Spring Show

Awards ceremony Saturday evening at 7:00 pm

The Franklin Art Association since 1971
Sponsored in part by the Franklin Cultural Council

For further information please visit our web site at