Sunday, November 23, 2014

DelCarte Recreation

On my walk Saturday, I went out to DelCarte Recreation to walk some of the trails. There are three marked trails; red green and blue markers. With the leaves down, it can be a challenge to find the trail as the markers are posted on tree at about 8ft high. Most trails I have been walking usually have the trail markers more in normal eyesight 5-6ft off the ground. 

close up showing the key to the trail marking and length
close up showing the key to the trail marking and length
full trail map (with unavoidable glare and shadows)
full trail map (with unavoidable glare and shadows)

the new floating bridge was pretty solid in the ice on Saturday
the new floating bridge was pretty solid in the ice on Saturday

the swans and some ducks found some open water in the distance
the swans and some ducks found some open water in the distance

What is Juice Plus?

From Dashe Videra

What is Juice Plus?

Different than a multivitamin, Juice Plus+ provides concentrated farm fresh nutrition from 30+ different fruits, vegetables, berries, and grains daily. It helps bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat. Juice Plus+ gives even a healthy diet more added nutrients from fruits and vegetables that you may not be getting every day. Everything labeled on the bottle is exactly what you get. 
They are NSF certified (National Sanitation Foundation which is higher than organic - tests for mold, yeast, pesticides, herbicides, and ALL heavy metals), non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, peanut free, egg frees, and soy free (except our 100% non-GMO plant based protein powder). 
With every one adult purchase, you can sponsor a child for free and up until 4 years of age (ages 4 through college), has the highest level of Gold Standard Research (30+ peer reviewed studies), and safe for breast feeding mothers, pregnancy, and children. There is no one who cannot take Juice Plus.

Proven Research

JP+ is bioavailable (goes straight into the bloodstream)
JP+ helps enhance immune function (cold and flu protection)
JP+ helps protect DNA integrity and repair DNA damage (anti-aging)
JP+ helps maintain normal blood flow (cardiovascular health)
JP+ helps reduce inflammation (Celiacs, Chrons, Fibromyalgia, ect.)
JP+ reduces oxidative stress
JP+ supports healthy skin
JP+ supports healthy gums

What is Juice Plus Complete?

Juice Plus+ Complete is made of a cold water washed non-GMO soy (most soy is alcohol washed). It is half protein - soy, peas, chickpeas, tofu, rice, and algae; and half carbohydrates - ancient grains, organic quinoa, amaranth, and millet, broccoli sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, radish sprouts, pumpkin, pomegranate, spirulina and yucca.

Complete is sweetened with stevia, monkfruit and organic cane sugar. Its is also egg free, dairy free, gluten free, nut free, and peanut free.

How to Sponsor a Child?

With every 1 adult purchase; either Orchard Garden (2) or the Trio (3), you can sponsor a kid for free from age four through college.

Complete Video -

Nutritionally Fit, April 2014 from jan roberto on Vimeo.

YouTube Video - Next Best Thing

If Juice Plus is for you, you can visit Dashe's website -

Franklin Liquor: Thanksgiving Food And Wine Pairings

Franklin Liquor has suggestions on what to serve with the bird this Thanksgiving:

Franklin Liquors Thanksgiving suggestions
Franklin Liquors Thanksgiving suggestions

Find out more about Franklin Liquors on webpage 

Good reading from the websites

A quick set of three recent postings on preparing for Thanksgiving travel, winter driving tips and preparing for winter overall.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, meaning people across the country will gather together to celebrate with friends and relatives. While getting ready for your Thanksgiving festivities, it’s important to be mindful of safe practices when preparing your holiday meal and making travel plans. The Department of Public Health (DPH),Department of Fire Services (DFS), and the Department of Transportation (DOT) want to ensure that you have a fun and safe Thanksgiving. Taking a few minutes to read these tips can lead to a more enjoyable holiday.
Continue reading the article to find tips on traveling, food safety and more

screen grab of webpage
screen grab of webpage

It's never just "another day"

#GivingTuesday Inspiration 
from individuals supported by HMEA

Now, that you know what #GivingTuesday is all about, 
it's time to start thinking about what you would like to 
give on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014!

We recently asked some folks from our Hopedale Employment Program what "giving" means to them.  Their feedback was so insightful; we decided to share their responses with you as inspiration for your #GivingTuesday considerations.

To view the full slideshow of #GivingTuesday inspiration photos, please click here.
 What does "giving" mean to you? Their answers: 

Give Back
Give Time
Give Skills
Give Talent
Give a Smile
 Give Support
Give Guidance
Give Friendship
Give a Helpful Hand
Give Community Service

If you find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more, feel free to share your story with us! 

Post your story on our 
Facebook page or email us at:

In case you missed last week's email introducing #GivingTuesday, here is a quick explanation about this special. Learn more by visiting:

There's Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and now #Giving Tuesday - a global day of giving on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving dedicated to giving back.

On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

If you spend on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, please consider kicking off your holiday giving season with an end-of-year charitable gift on #GivingTuesday. Thank you!


 STAY CONNECTED   Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn    

| 8 Forge Park East | Franklin | MA | 02038

Turkey Time Hours For Team Fitness and CrossFit Franklin

November 2014
Happy Thanksgiving
Club Hours for Thanksgiving Time

Thanksgiving Hours 
Team Fitness and CrossFit Franklin

Monday and Tuesday, November 24 and 25: 
Hours and classes are as normal: 5 am - 9 pm

Wednesday, November 26: Club and Box Hours: 5 am - 3 pm 
Morning classes ONLY.

Thursday, November 27 -THANKSGIVING 
Club and Box Hours: 7 am - 11 am
Morning Spin @ 7:15 am ONLY. 
(Please reserve your bike early.)

Also: November 27- CrossFit Franklin
Special Turkey Day WOD! 7 am - 8 am.  

Click here to RSVP with HCMC prior to date.


Friday, November 28.-Regular Hours from 5 am - 7 pm.  

NO 5:30 am circuit class at Team Fitness Franklin. 
We are holding ALL other scheduled classes.
All CFF classes held as scheduled.

What are you thankful for? Let us know. Grab some window paint near the front door and write your gratitude.  Lets fill in the door for all to see and enjoy!
We are grateful for all our dedicated members and staff.
Thank You ALL!
Forward this email

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

In the News: Senior Centers, Maria Circle fire

The new seniors coming to centers are often still working, or looking to make their golden years long and fun. Baby boomers don’t want to feel old, Festa said, and look to their senior centers to help them. 
Franklin Senior Center director Karen Alves said she fields a lot of requests from seniors relating to health. 
“One of the biggest things we do is wellness and fitness,” Alves said. “Tai chi and yoga are popular. Any of the fitness programs are popular.”

Continue reading the full article in the Milford Daily News (subscription may be required)

A two-alarm fire gutted the garage of a Maria Circle home Saturday afternoon and caused some damage to the attic. 
Franklin firefighters responded to the two-story Colonial at 1:13 p.m., encountering heavy fire in the garage with flames already licking the side of the home and reaching up toward the attic. 
“The fire was going into the second floor and up into the attic,” Fire Chief Gary McCarraher said.

Continue reading the full article in the Milford Daily News (subscription may be required)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holiday Craft Fair - Nov 22 - Franklin VFW

Please visit the Craft fair at the VFW Post - 1034 Pond Street, Franklin, MA. 
The Friars Floral's will have a booth with silk floral arrangements to sell as a fund raiser for our ministry thanks to the generosity of the VFW auxiliary and members, in addition there will be multiple vendor tables offering homemade items including honey, wooden toys, knit and crochet clothing and accessories, handmade quilts, holiday decorations, snowmen, and stained glass. 
A Farmers Market area will be available and a physical therapist will offer massages starting at noon time. 
Please visit us Saturday November 22, 2014 9 AM to 4 PM:
Franklin VFW Post1034 Pond Street in Franklin, MA 
The profits from the Friars Florals sales will benefit Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans of Divine Mercy

Franklin VFW Post 1034 Pond Street
Franklin VFW Post - 1034 Pond Street

Pax et Bonum
Peace & All God's Goodness be with you
Rev. Fr. Bob Johnnene OFD
Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus
Divine Mercy Old Catholic Parish
Independent Catholic Church of the Americas
Link to Fr. Bob's Weekly TV show
Our Facebook page:
Mission Web Site
Franciscan Web Site
ICCA Seminary Link
Diocese Office:

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School and the Franklin School for the Performing Arts Collaborate to Offer Expanded Arts Curriculum

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School and the Franklin School for the Performing Arts have worked in collaboration to offer students in grades six through eight access to classes in Dance and Introduction to French Melodie, musical theater and opera. Both programs are offered to students on site at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts during the school’s Classical Arts Block period.

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School’s Arts Block offers students a choice of 33 programs throughout the year, each of which has been designed to provide students with opportunity to gain exposure and experience with a specialized topic. The French Melodie class at FSPA builds upon students existing knowledge of the French language, culture and history, gained through French instruction, which commences in Kindergarten at BFCCPS. Dance is a beginner/intermediate jazz class that introduces basic dance vocabulary, technique and combinations; no prior dance experience is required for students to participate in the program.

Students will have the opportunity showcase the techniques that they have learned this trimester in a short morning program to be held at 11am on November 24, 2014 at THE BLACK BOX, the newly opened home of the Franklin Performing Arts Company.

“We are incredibly fortunate to be able to offer these classes to our students thanks to the generous support of the staff at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts,” says Heather Zolnowski Head of School at the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School. “The staff at FSPA share our vision and dedication to provide classical arts and character education. This is a remarkable opportunity for our students.”

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School has been in operation since 1995 and will celebrate its twentieth anniversary this spring. The school provides a well-rounded, rigorous academic program designed to educate the whole child. BFCCPS’s educational philosophy, which is centered around strong core academic subjects, as well as yearlong courses in art, music, languages, technology, and physical education, integrated character education and community service, and strong parent partnerships, has lead to local, state and national recognition.

If you'd like learn more about the educational mission of the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School, or if you have enrollment related questions please contact the school’s Marketing Coordinator, Joanne Basile at or 508-541-3434 x140. For more details
about the Franklin School for the Performing Arts, please contact Jackie Evans, Marketing and Public Relations at 508-528-8668 or

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School

About the Benjamin Franklin Charter School

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School’s mission is to assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children by providing students with a classical academic education coupled with sound character development and community service. Our mission is supported by four distinct, yet interconnected pillars that provide for a collaborative, rigorous education for all students. These pillars guide, direct and define the school in all it does.


About the Franklin School for the Performing Arts

Since 1985, the Franklin School for the Performing Arts has been dedicated to the enjoyment of music, dance and drama for all ages and to the artistic growth and development of young people. Founded by Director Raye Lynn Mercer and built upon the notion that arts experiences are an integral part of a wellrounded education, FSPA provides a nurturing environment where students grow skills for the stage – and for life. With a distinguished faculty of Boston-area artists, expansive roster of classes and extensive calendar of wide-ranging performance opportunities, FSPA serves students of all ages and levels of ability, whether for recreational enjoyment or serious study.

City & Town - November 20th, 2014

The formatting of the newsletter gets 'funky' in places but the section on "Post-Great Recession General Fund Spending" is worth reviewing.

City &Town - November 20th, 2014
Local Officials Directory
City & Town is published by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue's Division of Local Services (DLS) and is designed to address matters of interest to local officials.

Editor: Dan Bertrand

Editorial Board: Joe McDermott, Robert Bliss, Zack Blake, Tony Rassias, Tom Dawley, Linda Bradley and Patricia Hunt
In this Issue:
Welcome, Joe McDermott
Division of Local Services

The Division of Local Services would like to welcome Joe McDermott as its interim Deputy Commissioner of Local Services and Director of Municipal Affairs.

Joe has been with the Department of Revenue for 29 years, holding a number of critical leadership positions in several divisions including Taxpayer Advocate, the Collections Bureau and the Problem Resolution Office. He most recently served as Deputy Commissioner of Audit.

Joe also has a deep local government background and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Town of Walpole's Finance Committee. He also previously held positions on the town's zoning board and as an elected town meeting member. We welcome Joe aboard and wish him all the best going forward.

Local Aid Impacts of 9C Reductions

Using his authority under MGL c. 29, s. 9C, Governor Patrick has reduced various state appropriations to executive department agencies, including some minor reductions to cherry sheet appropriations. The Division of Local Services has reviewed these reductions and concluded that they will not impact previous cherry sheet estimates materially given the magnitude of the reductions and the normal variation in some of these accounts during the course of the year. Therefore, DLS will not be revising cherry sheet estimates as a result and does not anticipate that these reductions will impact the ongoing municipal tax rate setting process.

The Governor has also filed legislation seeking permission to reduce Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) by $25.5 million. This reduction will not take effect until it is approved by the Legislature.

For additional information regarding these reductions and related actions, click here.

By the Numbers

In order to provide an update on the progress of the ongoing tax rate and certification season, below please find an overview of the ongoing process. The following information is accurate as of close of business on Tuesday, November 18th, 2014:

Preliminary Certifications: 82 Communities Approved (97 Submitted)

Final Certification: 48 Communities

La4/ New Growth: 214 Approved (271 Submitted)

Tax Rates: 80 Approved

Balance Sheets: 225 Approved

Aggregate Free Cash Approved Total: $833,725,918


This month's Ask DLS is a follow-up question on excess levy capacity. Please let us know if you have other areas of interest or send a question to We would like to hear from you.

I just read the City & Town publication titled "Will Fiscal Prudence Grow with Excess Levy Capacity?" It was very interesting. I have been researching excess levy and am trying to determine the pros/cons of excess levy and how much (if any) is too much. I understand that not having any levy capacity is not good because a town cannot handle sudden budget increases without an override but I was wondering the opposite. Does having too much excess levy negatively impact a town? Would a town get less state aid? Does it affect the awarding of grants?

There are several issues that might influence decisions about building excess levy capacity as a fiscal strategy. Among the factors that should be considered are the community's particular financial needs, the array of revenue sources available to fund services and the existence of accumulated reserve balances such as free cash and stabilization funds. Excess levy capacity can be particularly useful when budgets increase since it represents a recurring revenue source that can be tapped in subsequent years as well. However, if an unexpected expense occurs after the annual tax rate is set, there is no way to access excess levy capacity and the community must rely on reserves on hand such as free cash and stabilization funds. Though excess levy capacity affords a community additional fiscal flexibility, it is best viewed within the context of a more comprehensive reserve policy. In situations where reserves are healthy and can be replenished each year, a strategy to lower property taxes and build excess levy may be more achievable. Despite general interest in reducing property taxes though, close to 60 percent of cities and towns have found this to be difficult to achieve given ongoing spending pressure and finite revenue.

You also ask whether substantial amounts of excess levy capacity will have a negative effect on a town's state aid or grant funding. In general, excess levy capacity has no impact on the amount of local aid received by a community since distribution formulas rely on property wealth and resident incomes. For example, the Chapter 70 education aid formula, which constitutes about 76 percent of all municipal cherry sheet aid, uses total property values and resident income levels to calculate a municipality's ability to pay for education and determine the corresponding amount of state aid. The equalized property values adjust for differences in local assessing practices and are produced every even numbered year by the Division of Local Services.

The other major local aid distribution is Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA). Together with Chapter 70 aid, these two programs account for about 95 percent of total municipal cherry sheet aid. Although funds have not been added to the UGGA account by formula since its creation in FY2010, previous reductions have been restored proportionately subject to the availability of funds. Much of the funding for the UGGA account was from the old lottery local aid account. The lottery formula used equalized property valuations and population to award new funds. So while there is no current distribution formula for UGGA, a formula that uses equalized value, population and perhaps income appear to be the most likely future formula options. Most of the remaining cherry sheet accounts reimburse municipalities for costs previously incurred such as property tax exemptions, veterans' benefits and foregone taxes on state-owned property. None of these payments are influenced by a community's excess levy capacity. We are also not aware of any grant funds that may be impacted negatively by excess levy capacity.

A Look at Post-Great Recession General Fund Spending

Tony Rassias - Deputy Director of Accounts

Nationally, from 2009 to 2013, Moody's has had a negative outlook on the U.S. local government sector. Even as municipal finance officers reported that the fiscal condition of cities in 2013 was improving, Moody's continued its negative outlook "due to revenue constraints and expenditure demands." In early 2013, one Moody's senior analyst said, "Overall, the economic recovery remains sluggish despite some bright spots, and looming federal spending cuts may exacerbate weak growth rates."

In recent years, a national concern has been the increased number of bankruptcy filings and debt payment defaults. During 2013, Detroit, Michigan became the largest city in the country's history to file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 9.


This article will report on General Fund municipal spending(1) by Massachusetts cities and towns from FY2009 to FY2013, the end of the post-Great Recession period to date. The General Fund is the largest of the municipal funds, accounts for the majority of municipal spending and represents outlays derived from the property tax levy, state aid and other locally generated revenue sources.

The data is compiled from Schedule A(2), the annual report of revenues and expenditures submitted by municipal accounting officials to the Bureau of Accounts.

Total General Fund Spending

Chart 1 shows that total General Fund spending began this period at $17.6 billion, remained about steady in FY2010 and then began a climb through FY2013.

Total General Fund Spending by Function

Table 1 shows General Fund spending in millions of dollars by function from FY2009 to FY2013. The table further shows that spending for Education remained the greatest in dollars through this period, followed by spending for Fixed Costs. Spending for Police which was third greatest in spending from FY2009 to FY2011, fell fourth to Debt Service in FY2012, but returned to third place in FY2013.

The greatest percentage increase from FY2009 to FY2013 was in Fixed Costs, followed by Intergovernmental then Education. The percentage for Other Expenditures was the only function category that decreased during this time period.

A review of the data behind the statistics reveals that Public Works, although neither the greatest dollar nor percentage change during this time period, had the greatest percentage changes between each fiscal year shown (down 19% from FY2009 to FY2010, up 9% from FY2010 to FY2011, down 13% from FY2011 to FY2012, up 32% from FY2012 to FY2013).

Fixed Costs include court judgments and employee benefits such as health insurance, retirement, unemployment comp and workers comp. Other Expenditures include expenditures which cannot be properly categorized into one of the specified functions.

Intergovernmental costs include any federal, state or other governmental assessments and charges. The high percentage increase in this category was mostly due to cherry sheet assessments for school choice and charter school sending tuition.

Percentages of Spending by Function

Table 2
shows that as a percentage of total spending per fiscal year, both Education and Fixed Costs spent the greatest for the fiscal years shown. It is interesting to note that most percentages for these function categories remained about steady despite increases in total spending shown in Table 1. The exceptions appear in Public Works, Debt Service and Fixed Costs.

Spending Per Capita(3) and by Function

Table 3
shows that total General Fund spending per capita increased from $2,729 in FY2009 to $2,961 in FY2013. The only reduction in spending per capita was between FY2009 and FY2010.

By function, the Table shows that each category except Other Expenditures increased from FY2009 to FY2013. Eight function categories, however, had a decrease in per capita spending at least once during this time period.

General Fund Spending Per Capita and by Population

Table 4
shows that total General Fund spending per capita and by population increased from FY2009 to FY2013. Three population categories, however, had a decrease in spending per capita in at least one fiscal year during this time period.
It shows that spending was consistently greatest in the 2,000 to less than 5,000 population category. Spending in the other categories during this time period only reached $3,000 per capita in FY2013 for the 10,000 to <20,000 population category.

A review of the data behind these results reveals that several communities in the 2,000 to less than 5,000 population category have exceptionally high spending per capita amounts and are located on Cape Cod and the Islands.


Additional Note

In December of 2013, Moody's revised its outlook for the U.S. local government sector from negative to stable meaning that conditions are not getting worse and that credit risks are more "visible and predictable."

General Fund spending does not include appropriations transferred out of the General Fund for expenditure by another fund.

The report includes Schedule A data from 350 communities only between FY2010 and FY2013.

Per capita spending applies the population data used in the particular fiscal years to distribute cherry sheet aid.
. .
November Municipal Calendar
November 1 Taxpayer
Semi-Annual Tax Bill - Deadline for First Payment

According to MGL Ch. 59, Sec. 57, this is the deadline for receipt of the first half semi-annual tax bills or the optional preliminary tax bills without interest, unless bills were mailed after October 1, in which case they are due 30 days after mailing.
November 1 Taxpayer Semi-Annual Tax Bills - Application Deadline for Property Tax Abatement

According to M.G.L. Ch. 59, Sec. 59, applications for abatements are due on the same date as the first actual tax installment for the year.
November 1 Taxpayer Quarterly Tax Bills Deadline for Paying 2nd Quarterly Tax Bill Without Interest 
November 1 Treasurer Deadline for Payment of First Half of County Tax 
November 15 DESE Notify Communities/Districts of Any Prior Year School Spending Deficiencies

By this date, or within 30 days of a complete End of Year Report (see September 30), DESE notifies communities/districts in writing of any additional school spending requirements.
November 30 Selectmen/Mayor Review Budgets Submitted by Department Heads

This date will vary depending on dates of town meeting.
Final Day of Each Month State Treasurer Notification of monthly local aid distribution.

Click to view distribution breakdown.
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