Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Administrator's Message - Feb 5, 2009

A Message from the Administrator

Punxsutawney Phil reportedly saw his shadow on February 2. If you believe Phil, we are in for six more weeks of winter. That is unfortunate, in my opinion. However, New Englanders understand, perhaps better than some, that changing seasons parallel the cycle of life. We know and are comforted by the knowledge that winter will slowly yield its icy grip to reveal the rebirth of spring. While we clear snow from our driveways, slip and slide on ice-covered everything, and fight the bitter cold, we understand that somewhere in our future, the beautiful colors and warmer, longer sunshine –filled days of spring will follow.


The economy mirrors our seasons. Whether it is the revolving seasons or the current state of our economy, we know that “change happens” and on a regular basis. When the economic forecast is calling for cold bleak times, the eternal hope that is recovery seems so far away. But as are the changing seasons, the economy is cyclical. 2009 will be an economically challenging year for the nation. Daily forecasts reveal more bleak economic news. With job losses, mortgage foreclosures, and disappearing savings and retirement funds plus soaring energy and food costs and rising debt, we are certainly in the winter of our economic cycle.


There is “good news” and that is what New Englanders know well: things will eventually get better. While it seems that winter is longer than spring and summer, and bad times last longer than good times, they are both part of a continual cycle.


Franklin will follow a similar path. We face difficult choices. We will be saddened to lose hard working, dedicated employees through jobs cuts, we will suffer reduced municipal services and a changing school system. Yet, working together, united as a community, we will weather this storm. We will do our best to continue to ensure public safety and public services. We will educate our children and support all our residents. You, the citizens, I am confident, will unite to support and encourage each other.


Spring is coming, and so will better times. The Staff and I and your elected officials remain dedicated to serving you, the citizens of Franklin.


Respectfully,
Jeff Nutting



“There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means - either may do - the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Town Council - Agenda - 7/1/09

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – June 3, 2009, June 10 & 11 Budget Hearings

B. ANNOUNCEMENTS

C. PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS
  • Franklin Veterans Memorial Foundation

D. CITIZEN COMMENTS

E. APPOINTMENTS

* Council on Aging
* Cultural Council
* School Building Committee

F. HEARINGS

G. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS

H. PRESENTATIONS/DISCUSSIONS
  • Charter Commission Report
  • Update of FY 2010 Budget

I. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

J. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
  1. Resolution 09-45: Grant of Utility Easement – Upper Union Street
  2. Resolution 09-46: Rescission of Library Authorization
  3. Resolution 09-47: Purchase of Land off Mechanic Street
  4. Bylaw Amendment 09-633: Amendment to Sewer Rates- 2nd Reading

K. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

L. OLD BUSINESS

M. NEW BUSINESS

N. COUNCIL COMMENTS

O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required

P. ADJOURN

"be part of the Putnam family"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 30, 2009 @ 01:04 AM

FRANKLIN —

Putnam Investments will shut down its Franklin facility by year's end, but will offer "virtually all" of its 500-plus employees jobs at the company's Andover and Boston locations, said a company spokesman.

The company made the announcement to employees yesterday morning.

Putnam will phase out use of the Franklin facility at 100 Financial Park, which it is renting, "in an orderly way" now through December, said the spokesman, Jon Goldstein.

"It's really about space consolidation. This is really about Putnam optimizing its facilities to best serve clients and best position us for future growth," Goldstein said.

Assistant Town Administrator Maxine Kinhart, who worked for Putnam in Franklin years ago, called the closing "devastating."

Read the full article about the Putnam facility closing in the Milford Daily News here.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Farmer's Market

The Framer's Market operates every Friday on the Town Common from noon to 6:00 PM.

FarmersMkt_90626 007

The market will not operate on Friday July 3rd but will return on Friday July 10th.

"They've done a lot for the town"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 28, 2009 @ 11:33 PM

FRANKLIN —

Town Clerk Deborah L. Pellegri and former Lions Club President Charles Oteri will lead Franklin's Fourth of July parade as grand marshals.

Pellegri and Oteri, a Vietnam War veteran, have kept the parade afloat in years when the town couldn't do it, said Michael Kelly, co-chairman of the Fourth of July Coalition.

A large contingent of veterans will be right behind the grand marshals, said coalition secretary Warren Revell.

The parade, whose theme is "Celebrate Franklin," will start at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Cross Street and Milliken Avenue on Sunday.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

For additional information on 4th of July visit the new website

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"great for sharing ideas with fellow educators"

GHS
Posted Jun 27, 2009 @ 11:53 PM

FRANKLIN —

If Jim Schliefke ever had the chance to go to space, he'd jump at the chance.

"I'd definitely go," he said this week , affirming the declaration with a nod.

It was a courageous statement coming from someone who, just the week before, had crash-landed the space shuttle in water.

But then, it was only his first landing, clarified the nine-year Horace Mann Middle School science teacher as he sat in his classroom recalling the incident - and nobody was hurt.

It was all part of a simulation, with Schliefke cast as space shuttle pilot, at the Space Academy for Educators, a program offered at Space Camp.

The Franklin resident was among 16 educators from around the globe who spent a week in astronaut-style training, and discovering new ways to inspire their students.

Read the full article about Space Camp in the Milford Daily News

The article announcing Jim Schliefke's trip can be found here

"encouraged residents to conserve water"

GHS
Posted Jun 27, 2009 @ 11:36 PM

After weeks of rainy weather, many residents may wonder why their towns are instituting water bans.

Franklin, Hudson, Ashland, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway, Wayland and Southborough have all implemented bans on outdoor water usage for various reasons.

A reason for many of the bans is a requirement by the Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees public water supply use in Massachusetts, that towns with public water systems maintain certain usage limits.

"If (the town) has a permit from us, they are going to be doing some kind of restriction year in and year out," said Duane LeVangie, chief of the DEP's Water Management Program.

....

Franklin gets its water from 12 wells and implements a water ban every year, usually from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with an option to extend the ban if supplies are low.

"We have every intention of lifting the ban on time this year," said Robert Cantoreggi, Franklin's director of public works. "All of the (rain) this year is helping a lot."

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News

Looking for your help

Train depot building gone

Additional photos from my phone camera (hence lesser quality).

The empty concrete platform

Franklin: train depot building gone

Breaking up the concrete platform

Franklin: breaking down the concrete

Repeating questions from yesterday's post:

Does anyone know when this building was last in operation?

Did anyone have relatives who worked there loading freight to/from the trains?

Franklin 4th of July celebration schedule

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Wicked Local Franklin News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 6/25/09

The town's 4th of July Celebration Committee is gearing up for the town's annual Independence Day festivities on the town common, which begin next Wednesday and run through July 5. Below find the schedule of events.

Wednesday July 1
6-10 p.m.: Booths (optional) and rides open; Okey Dokey DJ.
Thursday July 2
6-10 p.m.: Booths and rides open (no children's entertainment)
7-1o p.m.: Local youth bands
10 p.m.: Fireworks at Franklin High School, Oak Street (Rain date: Monday, July 6)
Friday July 3
10 a.m.-10 p.m.: Everything Open
10 a.m.: Children's parade at town common
11 a.m.-7 p.m.: Children's activities
12-2 p.m.: Okey Dokey DJ
2-5 p.m.: Random Play
5:30-6:30 p.m.: Okey Dokey DJ
7-10 p.m.: Digger Dawg
Saturday July 4
Children's Day
9 a.m.: Road race registration
10 a.m.-10 p.m.: Everything open
10 a.m.: Children's road race
11 a.m.: Adult road race
11 a.m.-7 p.m.: Children's activities
12-12:45 p.m.: Jamie Barrett performs
12:45-2 p.m.: Okey Dokey DJ
2-4 p.m.: Franklin Idol under 14
4-6:30 p.m.: Franklin Idol 15 and up
7-10 p.m.: Corvairs
Sunday July 5
1-7 p.m.: Everything open
1- 2:30 p.m.: Parade
3-7 p.m.: Children's activities
3-5 p.m.: Interfaith music concert
6 p.m.: Franklin Idol winners announced
7 p.m.: Closing ceremonies (Raffle drawings and lowering of flag)
CHILDREN'S ACTIVITIES
Friday July 3: Children's parade at 10 a.m., Parrot Lady at 11 a.m., Lunch with Elmo at 12 p.m., SpongeBob Craft at 1 p.m., Cinderella Story at 2 p.m., Photo with Elmo at 3 p.m., Creature Teachers from 4-7 p.m.
Saturday July 4: Children's road race at 10 a.m., Photo with SpongeBob at 11 a.m., Lunch with Cinderella at 12 p.m., Story with Elmo at 1 p.m., Franklin Idol (under 14) 2-4 p.m.; Princess Photos, 4 p.m., Dinner with Super Heroes, 5 p.m., Snow White Story, 6 p.m.
Sunday July 5: Parade, 1-2:30 p.m., Regal Reptile from 3-5 p.m., Super Hero Phohtos at 5 p.m., Snow White Craft at 6 p.m., Franklin Idol winners announced at 6 p.m.

Things you can do from here:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Franklin: train depot eye sore no more

The old and falling apart railroad building next to the Agway on Cottage Street near the corner of Union is no longer.

The demolition crew was working on breaking up the concrete foundation on Friday. What remained of the red painted boards were in some large dumpsters waiting to be trucked away.

I have an interest in the old days and particularly in the way things were done. I managed to work in a steel mill in RI for a couple of summers between college before the mill closed.

Does anyone know when this building was last in operation?

Did anyone have relatives who worked there loading freight to/from the trains?

"designed to give them experience"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 26, 2009 @ 10:55 PM
Last update Jun 26, 2009 @ 11:43 PM

FRANKLIN —

In response to the deflating summer job market for teenagers, the Bernon Family Branch YCMA is starting a new training program to help teens become more marketable.

The Teen Corps volunteer workplace skills program will train teenagers who had planned to get jobs this summer, but who have been unable since many companies have stopped hiring - particularly inexperienced teens for summer-only work, according to the program's coordinator, Christina Puleo.

"We put this program together in response to the lack of jobs in the area for teens," Puleo said. "I actually have had a couple of parents that have called me that planned for their children to get jobs and they've said many of those jobs have gone to adults."

Read the full article about this youth program in the Milford Daily News here


Commuter rail seeks customer feedback

In an effort to be more responsive to customers, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad today introduced a program to solicit feedback from customers and to better inform management on all areas of performance including fare collection, cleanliness and on-time performance.

In a press release, Richard A. Davey, general manager of the commuter railroad, said, "It is critical that we hear from customers about our performance and that we remain accountable through providing accessible performance statistics are to riders.

"By putting our on-time performance on the internet and in stations, we will ensure riders have every opportunity to know about our efforts to provide safe and reliable commuter rail service."

The commuter rail company is asking customers to grade performance, by signing up to take part in a week-long electronic survey about the service they have experienced on their train. Customers completing this survey will be entered into a drawing to win a free monthly pass. As part of its customer information efforts, the company will post monthly on-time performance numbers online at www.mbcr.net and at South, Back Bay and North stations.

This is the latest MBCR effort to better understand the service their customers receive and to provide customers with easily accessible performance records for all commuter rail trains operated by MBCR on behalf of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), Davey said.

The program is part of MBCR's ongoing effort to raise awareness of the company's goal to achieve at least 95 percent on-time average performance throughout the system and to improve the traveling experience.

MBCR operates and maintains the fifth largest commuter rail network in the United States under a contract with the MBTA. MBCR provides service to 40 million passengers a year in nearly 80 cities and towns in Massachusetts, as well as Providence, R.I.

This was originally posted on the Franklin/Wicked Local Gazette

My 2 cents: If the MBCR/MBTA really wants to listen to the riders, all they need to do is pay attention to what the riders are already saying on their blogs or in Facebook, Twitter, etc. about the performance. Even Clever Commute is a better peer-based information delivery system on what is hapening with the schedule than the current T-Alerts.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cafe Dolce offers catering

Cafe Dolce, the new coffee shop in downtown Franklin is expanding into catering. Open since April, Cafe Dolce has established a good morning and lunch business. After 3:00 PM, things tend to get quieter. Catering is one way to leverage the business operation that owners BJ Carlucci and Dave Purpura are exploring. They have promoted Lisa Hall to Director of Catering to focus on this effort.

Lisa has a good background in catering and event planning. She started her first operation (Little Feast Catering and Events) as a part-time effort and grew the business to a full time profitable operation. She operated in New York City beginning in 1991 and then in Burlington, VT. She relocated to Holliston early this year, where she answered a Craigslist ad for Cafe Dolce. Her email response lead to an interview and to being hired. Lisa was behind the counter when Cafe Dolce opened.

Lisa and I sat down at Cafe Dolce recently to review her plans. A meeting, event, or party for 10 or more is what Lisa will look to help you with. She is looking to use the sandwiches and salads that Cafe Dolce offers as the starting point. The customized menu would include food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It can be extended as far and wide (within reason) as necessary to create a great experience.

She wants to make the presentation appropriate for a catered event by serving in fine crafted wicker baskets in addition to trays. Call Lisa and she will work out the menu together with you. What is the occasion? How many people? What special dietary requirements are there?

Lisa hesitates to provide per item pricing for catering. “Say you have had the Cranberry Turkey Breast Panini and wanted to serve that at your event. You don't need to order 10 individual paninis for the group. I prefer to price for the total quantity of the food provided rather than by the piece. This method will work out better for you in the long run,” she explains. There is a formula to determine how much food per person would be required adjusting to cover portions for any kids.

When asked who she considers her competition, Lisa answered that, “I really don't worry about the competition. We are here to provide the distinct Cafe Dolce difference. Good food, pleasant presentation, priced to meet your needs.”

The catering package can either be delivered or picked up. Depending upon the type of drop off, or drop-off/setup, there may be a delivery charge included. You could also rent the space at Cafe Dolce to hold your event.

When your next catering event comes up, consider contacting Lisa Hall, Director of Catering at 774-571-1805 or via email at dolce dot catering at live dot com.


Note: Cafe Dolce is also exploring social media tools to spread the word on what they do and to help communicate with their customers and fans. You can join Cafe Dolce on Facebook here


Prior writing about Cafe Dolce:
  1. My talk with BJ and Dave prior to opening
  2. My write up about the opening
  3. Picture slide show from the grand opening

"It's all about information"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 25, 2009 @ 11:54 PM

FRANKLIN —

Bent on getting their message out regarding the town's precarious finances, the long-range financial planning committee is considering hitting the streets to personally deliver their report to residents.

Hand-delivering the report instead of mailing it would also act as a symbolic gesture, showing how the town is willing to go the extra mile to save money, Doug Hardesty, the group's vice chairman, said at a committee meeting last night.

Getting the 34-page report to every resident should be a top priority, said Councilor Stephen Whalen, a member of the committee.

Among other topics, the report analyzes Franklin's recurring fiscal deficit and a few starting points for fixing the problem.

Next year, the town is looking at a $6 million deficit, Whalen said.

Read the full article about the Financial Planning Committee meeting in the Milford Daily News here.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

"go after cars that are unlocked"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 25, 2009 @ 12:43 AM
Last update Jun 25, 2009 @ 12:58 AM

When the economy goes south, thieves come out - or the desperation that lures otherwise law-abiding people to crime, area police say.

Franklin Deputy Police Chief Stephan Semerjian believes the upswing in car break-ins this year can be attributed, at least in part, to the recession.

Since March, Franklin neighborhoods have been hit with batches of car break-ins and vandalism, with dozens of residents reporting thefts or attempted thefts for the past three weekends, he said.

"Kids probably have less to do, and want more and they don't have the funds, so this is what they do," Semerjian said.

Read the full article about car break-ins in the Milford Daily News here

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"We need to let parents know, nothing is a done deal yet"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 24, 2009 @ 12:28 AM

FRANKLIN —

The school district will rehire 21 to 23 teachers who received pink slips this spring, said Assistant Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski, but another 40 jobs are still in limbo.

School leaders had been hoping to bring back more of the 60 educators who received notice of possibly being laid off this fall, but the state Legislature's budget threw a monkey wrench in that plan, said School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy.

Roy said the state has cut Franklin's Chapter 70 school aid by 2 percent, or by $574,000, and its stimulus funds by $219,000.

And on Monday, Sabolinski learned that the town's circuit breaker reimbursement is going to be reduced by $275,000, for a total loss of nearly $1.1 million, Roy said. Circuit breaker money is for extraordinary special education expenses.

School Committee member Cora Armenio said she is frustrated that information regarding local aid "is changing hourly."

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Read all the live reporting from the School Committee meeting here


"It's really the Medway-Franklin library"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 23, 2009 @ 08:30 PM

MEDWAY —

Franklin's library director will take on a second directorship at Medway Public Library next month, the first step in regionalization efforts between the two towns, said Selectman Dennis Crowley.

In three separate votes, Medway Town Meeting opted to appropriate money for its library, to hire Franklin Public Library Director Felicia Oti as Medway's library director, and regionalization costs, Crowley said.

The separate votes were intended to protect funding for the library, in case the town voted down regionalization, he said.

Oti will work 16 hours per week for Medway, and her duties are still to be determined, Crowley said, "but she will be the library director for the town of Medway."

"This really is all about regionalization. Cities and towns can't continue, with taxes (as they are), to be the lone wolf any longer. We need to find a way to cut overhead," Crowley said.

read the full article on the regionalization effort for the library in the Milford Daily News

We were the first public library in the USA, we might as well be the first regional library in MA.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

School Committee Mtg 06/23/09

This is the collection of live reporting from the School Committee meeting held on Tuesday, June 23, 2009.

Live reporting - Closing

6. New Business
To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

Cafasso - compliments to the Teachers union for accepting the sacrifice, to the negotiating committees for working out the deal. Now that that has been completed there are somethings that have been on my mind. The School District is under intense stress about time, no less responsibilities. Tried to avoid reductions in staff but haven't been able to. It is all about time, the teachers are seeking what they need, the principals are seeking to fulfill their needs. I urge the Administration and the Committee to make an interested based, collaborative discussion to discuss budget savings, to see what can be done. Pursue an interest based problems to resolve rather than looking to strike certain language. There has been a lot of rhetoric. We need to change our mindset to come around to the new reality.

One thing I found upsetting were the personal attacks on the Committee Chair. I will not put up with these. Jeff ROy has done more for this committee, this district than anyone. For people to hide behind their anonymous comments in chat rooms and blogs, I do not approve it.

Roy - a note of thanks from Patrick Slight
Trahan - we got personal notes from Brittany McLeod

Sabolinski - thank you, this is our last meeting for the school year, thankyou for all you do for the kids and the community.

7. Executive Session
Contractual Negotiations - motion to enter, not to return to public session
approved 6-0

Live reporting - Superintendent update

Superintendent’s Report
  • MSBA - letters provided to Town Administrator, Building Committee has been established, feasibility study to be funded by Town Council, project manager to be on the approved listing from the State, if we go a different way it would need to be justified
  • Stimulus Money - were counting on $448,000 now down to 218,000; may not comeback as the foundation money total had been reduced and the stimulus money was to help bring us to the foundation level
  • Special Education - Supreme court case on Special Ed funding is interesting and troubling

Live reporting - action items

4. Action Items
  1. I recommend acceptance of three checks from the Remington PCC totaling $376.76 for field trips as detailed. motion to accept, approved 6-0
  2. I recommend acceptance of the donation of the installation of a flagpole from the 5th grade students for the Parmenter Elementary School. motion to accept, approved 6-0
  3. I recommend acceptance of a check for $800.00 from the ASMS PCC for buses for an 8th grade field trip. motion to accept, approved 5-0, 1 abstention (Rhorbach)
  4. I recommend adoption of the Town-School Agreement as detailed. motion to accept, approved 6-0
  5. I recommend acceptance of a Japanese Maple Tree from the FHS Young Democrats Club. motion to accept, approved 6-0
  6. I recommend approval of Budget Transfers as detailed. motion to accept, approved 6-0

Live reporting - Audit actions, budget, FY 10

3. Discussion Only Items
  • Town – School Agreement
  • Budget to Actual
  • FY10 Budget
Notes on #1

Goodman - review of the agreement between the Town and School to formalize and eliminate the forensic audit recommendation.

For example; custodial expenses by the Town for the schools behalf have been formalized to be charged appropriately. The Technology staff is paid initially by the Schools and charged across to the Town. Both sides should be reviewing this agreement on an annual basis.

The end of year report will be used to calculate the "net school spending" amount that the State uses to track how well we are doing. As referenced during the budget discussions, this amount is getting close to the State minimum required level.

Rohrbach - where does the Charter School fit in?
Goodman - it is a factor on the Town side for the "net school spending" calculation. Let me get a better analysis of how it fits. It is a pass through charge that we don't control.

Sabolinski - we think this is a fair representation of the operations and shared expenses between the Town and Schools.

Cafasso - You're coming up on a year?
Goodman - just over a year, we have a good healthy working relationship and I look to see it maintained.
Cafasso - Thank you, I feel more comfortable with the finances you have presented this past year.

Rohrbach - it is great to have this down and documented, it will be a good reference for future.

#3 - State level updates
Chapter 70 cut 2%
Stimulus funds were also cut
Town needs to determine how to split/absorb the cuts between the Town and Schools
Circuit breaker reduced from 60% to around 38-42% that's another $274,000 cut
Since these numbers are still fluid, the budget sub-committee needs to continue to review and await some unanswered questions before making final decisions

Cafasso - we need to see a kind of menu of items and associated dollars that could be considered.

Roy - with the Teachers agreement we were getting down to about 500,000

Sabolinski - it looks like we can add back about 23 positions based upon money that is confirmed and not changing.

Sherlock - I am a little confused. Is the 800,000 shortage Jeff Nutting had referenced now closer to the 1.1 million just discussed, or if this was in addition to the 800,000. If I understand it correctly, it is now closer to a 1.1 million short fall to the total Franklin budget. It remains to be see how it gets split between the Town and Schools.

Roy - good point, there were 60 notified, based on the numbers this far, approx 23 may be able to be returned leaving still 40-plus would be lost positions

My explanation added after the meeting: The School Committee and Administration were talking of adding teachers back based upon the consideration that 60 had been notified and were being cut. I had been working from a difference reference point. So if the School Committee had gotten their piece of the budget shortfall reduced to about 500,000 and the Town now needs to split the 1.1 million (up from the 800,000 previously discussed), then the School side could end up with another 550,000 to look to adjust the budget to cover. Coincidentally, that works out to be about 1 million to cover which could mean those teachers (that Sabolinski mentioned) aren't coming back. With such a fluid situation, all I can say is stay tuned in.

Armenio - parents should plan on program fees could still be increased and additional programs could still be cut until we have that final number.

Trahan - I agree we should keep things open until we have a final number, they should stay tuned.

Live reporting - Community Health Council update

Community Health Council Update – Michele Kingsland-Smith




Here is the summary report that Michele referenced as providing to the School Committee:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io
#

Live reporting - Presentations

2. Guests/Presentations
  • Sam Scoba – Chosen All-American by the USLA (United States Lacrosse Association) and Hockomock League MVP

    SchCom_Scoba

  • Plaque for Senior Project – Sascha B. Werner


  • SchCom_Werner

There is a Creative Commons license attached to this image. AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike

Live reporting - School Committee Meeting

Attending: Armenio, Cafasso, Kelly, Roy, Rohrbach, Trahan
Missing: Mullen


1. Routine Business
  • Citizen’s Comments - none
  • Review of Agenda
  • Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the June 9, 2009 School Committee Meeting. approved 6-0
  • Payment of Bills - Mr. Kelly
  • Payroll - Ms. Armenio
  • FHS Student Representatives - none
  • Correspondence: Letter from FSC to Mr. Peter Light

This needs a caption

are these

Secret burial pods?

What would you say?






Initial survey responses to share

Here are two of the survey comments thus far that I'd like to share in answer to the question "What about Franklin matters to you?"

It's alive. It's current. You do a great job with pictures and updates. Better than the local paper.

....

Everything you have been providing ... local politics, schools, local business events ... it's been wonderful having you as a resource. Thank you!

Please consider adding your own comments on the survey. I'll keep the survey open through Sunday, June 28th.

Thank you for taking the time to help!

In the News - Food Pantry, car break-ins

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 22, 2009 @ 11:25 PM

FRANKLIN —

The Franklin Food Pantry, which was almost homeless this summer before being saved by Rockland Trust Bank, has opened the doors to its new building, said pantry Director Linda Pouliot.

"We are open for business. The freezers were delivered this morning, and we're still waiting for more, but we couldn't wait any longer," as the pantry has been closed for more than a month, Pouliot said.

"At least we're not in limbo anymore - there is a home, there is a place to stay," said Pouliot.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

----------------

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 22, 2009 @ 08:14 PM

FRANKLIN —

Police are urging residents to lock their cars, as the rash of break-ins that began in March hasn't stopped despite several arrests, said Deputy Chief Stephan H. Semerjian.

For the past three weekends, police have received many reports of car breaks in the Kennedy School area, including Pond Street, Charles River Drive, Maple Street, Baron Road and the surrounding neighborhoods, Semerjian said.

In some cases, the thieves have gone onto people's property and into garages to access cars, he said.

Some residents have reported seeing and hearing young people on their property and near their cars, who run off through yards and the roadway when seen, Semerjian said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Twitter search

The folks at Common Craft have released another great explanation video. This time they explain how searching Twitter makes the information more valuable.



This is another in the continuing series on Web 2.0 tools.

Thanks to the folks at Common Craft for helping to make this possible.

MADD Legislative Update

enews logo

MADD LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

June 19, 2009
Greetings!

Last week MADD testified in support of House Bill 1925 (Rep. William Brownsberger) in front of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Under Massachusetts' current underage drinking laws (Chapter 138 Section 34) it is illegal for persons under 21 to purchase, possess and transport alcohol. However, the law does not include the consumption of alcohol by minors.

Underage alcohol use is the number one drug problem among Massachusetts' youth. Although it is illegal to sell or give alcohol to people under the age of 21, approximately half of MA high school students have drank alcohol in the past month. Underage alcohol use plays a major role in the top 3 leading causes of deaths among young people: unintentional injuries/motor vehicle crashes, homicide and suicide.

The National Academies of Science noted underage drinking as a national problem in its 2003 report to Congress, "Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility." One of the reports many recommendations is replacing criminal sanctions with civil penalties to reduce societal opposition, and to increase enforcement of the Uniform Minimum Drinking Age.

House Bill 1925 closes a significant loophole in our underage drinking law by adding consumption to the law and offering a civil option in addition to the current criminal options. the bill would also establish a Youth Alcohol Education Program in the Department of Public Health. The civil sanctions would include a citation given to the youth, copied to parents/guardians of those under 18, and a fine or appropriate brief alcohol screening and intervention.

House Bill 1925 offers a uniform statewide response to possession, attempt to purchase, purchase, consumption, and transportation of alcohol by those under age 21. This public health program would not be offered to youth involved in impaired driving, other acts of violence, or youth with a prior criminal record. This legislation promotes a public health approach to underage drinking instead of a criminal justice approach.

The bill creates a positive and effective alternative for law enforcement to hold youth accountable for their action and also helps alert their parents or guardians of the high risks associated with underage drinking.

Please take a moment and use the link below to contact your legislators and the members of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse and ask them to support House Bill 1925.

Please click here to contact your legislators and the Committee.

Click here for a copy (.pdf) of HB 1925.

Thank you for your time and if you have any questions about this legislation, please contact our office at 1-800-633-MADD or by emailing us at ma.state@madd.org.
Sincerely,

MADD Massachusetts


Monday, June 22, 2009

FM #42 - This week in Franklin

FM #42 - Give me ten minutes and I'll let you know what matters in Franklin, MA for the week ending June 21, 2009.

Time: 6 minutes, 46 seconds



MP3 File

Session Notes:

Music intro
My intro
FM #42

This Internet radio show or podcast for Franklin Matters is number 42 in the series.

You give me ten minutes and I'll let you know what matters this week in Franklin, MA.

We'll start with a quick review of what happened this past week

1 - Third Thursday had another good turnout
“girl's night out”
July will likely be around a beach party theme

2 - The Strawberry Festival was a success despite the weather
good strawberry shortcake
Franklin Area Bus available
have you ridden the bus yet?

3 - Rep Vallee and Sen Spilka's offices had presence at the Festival
This was good to see that our local officials had a presence
I talked with Michele Goldberg from Sen Spilka's office

4 - United Regional Chamber of Commerce
Jack Lank, Jen Osojnicki, Claire Latino, Irene Polley
doing good things for business in the area

And the outlook for the week ahead:
  • school year comes to a close
  • School Committee meets 6/23
  • Farmers Market operates Friday's from 1:00 to 6:00 PM on the Town Common
The top post for this week will continue to be the survey to enable you to provide your feedback on what you think matters in Franklin. I'll use your input to bring forward additional and simple surveys to refine and define how to make this site work for you.

---- ---- ----

This podcast has been a public service provided to my fellow citizens of Franklin, MA

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.blogspot.com/

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The musical intro and closing is from the Podsafe Music Network
Jon Schmidt - Powerful Exhilarating Piano Music

School Committee - Agenda - 6/23/09

1. Routine Business
  • Citizen’s Comments
  • Review of Agenda
  • Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the June 9, 2009 School Committee Meeting.
  • Payment of Bills - Mr. Kelly
  • Payroll - Ms. Armenio
  • FHS Student Representatives
  • Correspondence: Letter from FSC to Mr. Peter Light

2. Guests/Presentations
  • Sam Scoba – Chosen All-American by the USLA (United States Lacrosse Association) and Hockomock League MVP
  • Plaque for Senior Project – Sascha B. Werner
  • Community Health Council Update – Michele Kingsland-Smith

3. Discussion Only Items
  • Town – School Agreement
  • Budget to Actual
  • FY10 Budget

4. Action Items
  1. I recommend acceptance of three checks from the Remington PCC totaling $376.76 for field trips as detailed.
  2. I recommend acceptance of the donation of the installation of a flagpole from the 5th grade students for the Parmenter Elementary School.
  3. I recommend acceptance of a check for $800.00 from the ASMS PCC for buses for an 8th grade field trip.
  4. I recommend adoption of the Town-School Agreement as detailed.
  5. I recommend acceptance of a Japanese Maple Tree from the FHS Young Democrats Club.
  6. I recommend approval of Budget Transfers as detailed.

5. Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report
  • MSBA
  • Stimulus Money
  • Special Education

School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business
To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

7. Executive Session
Contractual Negotiations

8. Adjourn

"be careful about how much you delay"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 21, 2009 @ 11:40 PM

Last year's losses in the state's pension funds raise the possibility towns might have to contribute more to their retirement systems in the coming years to compensate.

There isn't necessarily a direct correlation, as many factors influence how much money a town spends annually to fund its pension obligations, and funds have more than 20 years to make up for their losses.

However, while pension systems' lifetime returns are still around where their officials expect them to be, losses from 2008 have left returns in the past 10 years well below projections.

"The more the pension system earns less than we expected, the more taxpayers have to top it off," said Steve Poftak, research director at the Pioneer Institute, a Boston think tank. "It gives one pause to see 10-year returns so far below the expected rate of return because the unfunded liability would be very large if you were assuming a 4 percent rate of return instead of an 8 percent rate of return. It's a big difference."

Read the full article on funding pension obligations in the Milford Daily News here

I disagree with "may". It is only a question of "when" that the pension obligations need to be funded. Franklin has not done much in this area of funding. The Town Council just authorized to spend $14,000 for a current actuarial analysis at the June 3rd meeting. The analysis is required every two years. Knowing what the analysis is is important, actually budgeting for it will be required some day soon.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

special wishes to all the fathers on this day:

Letter H letter A P letter P letter Y
F A is for amore letter T h29 spaghetti letter E letter R letter S
D letter A letter Y


Thanks to Erik Kastner for Spell with Flickr

News roundup: elderly transportation

Alternate forms of transportation for the elderly

When it comes to the debate on elderly drivers and safety on the roads, Franklin senior center Director Karen Alves wants to ensure one point is not lost in the shuffle: adequate public transportation alternatives.

"Otherwise, you're condemning them to life in their apartment or house," she said, given an embarrassing loss of independence and a desire to avoid becoming a burden. "These folks do not want to ask people to help them, and who can blame them?"

----------------

Seniors weigh in on driving restrictions

With Massachusetts lawmakers considering more stringent regulations on drivers over the age of 85, area residents who would be affected had mixed feelings about how additional tests should be implemented.

Richard King, 87, did not give a second thought when he drove to the Fairbank Senior Center in Sudbury on Wednesday.

"I'm almost 90 and still driving, and you better believe it," he said while stuffing envelopes for the Center's weekly senior bulletin.

---------------

What age is too old to drive?

With recent accidents by elderly Bay State drivers a hot topic of conversation among her senior center clientele this week, Director Joanne Duffy sat in her Ashland office this week and contemplated new licensing proposals.

"I don't know the answer," she said. "I'm torn. A lot of people are OK with it. They're confident in their driving abilities and feel they'll pass. At the other end, they feel they're being singled out."

Concern over physically or mentally impaired older drivers has resurfaced this month after a trio of serious accidents.

------------

My two cents: There should not be a specific age test requirement, age is only one factor. The ability to drive safely is really the concern.

"The reluctance to admit it's time, that is an issue,"

What do you think about elderly drivers?


Saturday, June 20, 2009

"It's well attended and promotes downtown business"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 19, 2009 @ 11:44 PM

FRANKLIN —

Seven-year-old Rebecca Natale nicely summed up the main feature of yesterday's Strawberry Festival: strawberry shortcake.

"It's really, really, really, really, really yummy! I love it," she said, kicking her legs up in excitement.

Her 5-year-old sister, Megan Natale, agreed: "I love it," she said, taking another heaping bite.

It was the family's first time at the town's annual Strawberry Festival, said their mother, Tracy Natale, and the girls couldn't wait for their next bit of festival fun.

"Face painting," they exclaimed.

The sidewalks were full of kids with freshly painted faces, holding balloons in one hand and a parent's hand in the other, happily heading to their next activity.

Read more about the Strawberry Festival in the Milford Daily News here

For my Strawberry Festival photos check here and here


Wells Thompson at Strawberry Festival

New England Revolution midfielder Wells Thompson stopped by the Strawberry Festival in Franklin, MA on Friday afternoon.

StrawberryFest_WellsT_DustinH

Wells and friend Dustin Hinkley liked the strawberry shortcake!

Strawberry Festival Sampler

The forecasted rain may have forced many of the tables indoors but did not dampen the spirits of those attending the Strawberry Festival in downtown Franklin on Friday, June 19th.

The CVS crew were handing out balloons and gift bags. Enzio DiMartino and Lucy LaFreniere were bringing smiles to the kids.

StrawberryFest_90619 017

Megan Ellis and Julie Eppus provided gift bags with smiles!

StrawberryFest_90619 019

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce has a good contingent of their staff looking up! From left to right: Jack Lank, Jen Osojnicki, Deb Cote, Claire Latino and Irene Pelley.

StrawberryFest_UnitedRegCC

Jane Curran at her table outside Jane's Frames.

StrawberryFest_JaneCurran

John Kinney provided some music outside Cafe Dolce.

StrawberryFest_JKenny

Lisa Jessick of Dream Dinners put some smiles on kids faces by helping them prepare a bag of their personal trail mix.

StrawberryFest_90619 053

The Franklin Area Bus also provided a free shuttle ride. Had the rain allowed for the original set up on the Common, this would have been a much utilized feature to bring folks from the Common downtown and return.

Friday, June 19, 2009

"developed powerful programs to address these needs"

Horace Mann Middle School science teacher James Schliefke is at space camp this week after earning a scholarship from Honeywell.

Schliefke, a resident of Franklin, was one of 288 teachers from 16 countries and 47 states chosen to take part in the Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy programs at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy programs provide teachers with new and innovative techniques to educate their students about science and math.

The programs focus on space science and exploration in a variety of classroom, laboratory and real-life astronaut training, including: a high-performance jet simulation, scenario-based space missions, land and water survival training, and state-of-the-art flight dynamics programs.

Schliefke is the only teacher from Massachusetts chosen to attend.

Read more about this visit to Space Camp on the Wicked Local site here

Schliefke will be posting "Letters from Space Camp" and those can be read here.


"People forget who is downtown"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 18, 2009 @ 10:58 PM
Last update Jun 18, 2009 @ 11:10 PM

FRANKLIN —

Free champagne, brownies, doughnuts, massages, art and lots of gabbing - that's what you missed out on if you didn't go to "Girls Night Out" last night.

The ladies - and a fair share of men - seemed delighted as they perused downtown businesses and partook of freebies from 6 to 8 p.m. during the Franklin Downtown Partnership's "Third Thursday" event.

"The goal is really education. It's like a giveaway night: Come get something for free and learn about us," said Jane Curran, owner of Jane's Frames and president of the partnership.

As part of the event, a number of businesses offered 15-minute specials, like a 15-minute massage at Salon Sorella, 9 Summer St., lessons on how to design earrings at Sarapan, a bead store at 16 East Central St., or making quilt squares at Emma's Quilt Cupboard, 12 Main St., and proper picture framing at Jane's Frames, 11 East Central St.

Across the way at 9 Summer St., Pretty is Pink owner Lori Rosenberg, who always keeps jars of chocolate kisses and candies throughout the store, gave out bubbly and sweets, and Artbeat Creativity Store staff showed people how to make a beaded votive candle.

Cafe Dolce, 17 East Central St., which hosted a reception for Franklin artist Susan Sheridan's art show and served lattes and desserts, was clearly the hub of last night's activities.

Read more about Third Thursday in the Milford Daily News here


Strawberry Festival - TODAY - 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Due to the rain predicted for the next few days the
Strawberry Festival will be moved inside!

The festival will be Friday the 19th -Rain or Shine

New Location:
Inside Depot Plaza Building (Acapulco's) on 15 Main Street




There will be over 30 crafters, artisans, community groups, vendors, free entertainment, music, crafts, balloons, give-aways and, of course, the Downtown Partnership’s Famous Strawberry Shortcakes!



Some of the highlights include Zumba demonstrations by the YMCA, Punk jump rope, and face painting. ArtBeat will offer free balloons and a children’s “Trash to Treasure” art gallery show. Salon Sorella will offer hair braiding and color hair spraying.

According to Mary Graff, the Festival Chair, “This festival has grown over the years and we have great entertainment lined up. There will be something for every age group!” This year there will be live music at three locations including the East Central Street patio at CafĂ© Dolce and the Summer Street Patio. The popular band “Nothing To No One” will perform at the Festival at West Central. “Knuf Said” John Kinney and Jessi Fanuele will be entertaining crowds, as well as “Tunes by Tina” a festival favorite.

Garelick Farms is the Platinum sponsor for this year’s festival.
  • Silver sponsors: Dean College and Franklin Newcomers and Friends
  • Bronze sponsors: Berry Insurance, Comcast, CVS, Chestnut Dental Associates and Keefe Insurance

A grant from the Mass Cultural Council will help fund the entertainment, and “Ever So Humble” will provide the shortcakes this year! “We really could not have the festival without our generous sponsors,” commented Lisa Piana, Executive Director for the Downtown Partnership.

If it rains the Festival will be held on Saturday from 1:00-6:00. The Farmer’s Market will also be held on Friday and the Garden Club will join the market with their plant sale on the town common. There will plenty of parking available at municipal lots and at Dean College Campus Center.

Visitors this year can ride the “Strawberry Express Bus” provided by GATRA. Pick ups will be at the Town Common at High Street and the Dean College Campus Center.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Strawberry Festival moves indoor!


Due to the rain predicted for the next few days the
Strawberry Festival will be moved inside!

The festival will be Friday the 19th -Rain or Shine

New Location:
Inside Depot Plaza Building (Acapulco's) on 15 Main Street

practical wisdom


Obama appealed to virtue. And I think he was right. And the virtue I think we need above all others is practical wisdom, because it's what allows other virtues -- honesty, kindness, courage and so on -- to be displayed at the right time and in the right way. He also appealed to hope. Right again. I think there is reason for hope. I think people want to be allowed to be virtuous.

In many ways, it's what TED is all about. Wanting to do the right thing in the right way for the right reasons. This kind of wisdom is within the grasp of each and every one of us if only we start paying attention. Paying attention to what we do, to how we do it, and, perhaps most importantly, to the structure of the organizations in which we work, so as to make sure that it enables us and other people to develop wisdom rather than having it suppressed.

The BOLD was added for my emphasis. This is from Barry Schwartz's TED Talk presented in February 2009. He talks about the need for "practical wisdom".

"Practical wisdom," Aristotle told us, "is the combination of moral will and moral skill." A wise person knows when and how to make the exception to every rule...

Here is the full TED Talk:



Should we reconsider "zero tolerance" rules?

Plastic on the windows. What's this hole for?

Big pile of dirt being removed

from the Four Corners lot to make room for Walgreens

It's not to late to celebrate summer!



3 Restaurant
eat ¢ drink ¢ celebrate summer
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Sealed Envelope
Celebrate Summer with 3!
It's not too late to celebrate summer at 3! For the entire month of June, dine at 3 and receive a sealed envelope. Inside the envelope is a surprise gift voucher valid on your next visit to 3 before August 31, 2009. The voucher may be for a complimentary appetizer, an entree, or maybe even dinner on us! So come see us soon, and celebrate summer with 3!
Envelopes will be given out during lunch and dinner from June 1 to June 30, or while supplies last. One envelope will be given per table, per visit, in the dining room only. Envelopes must be presented by August 31, 2009. Vouchers are not valid unless envelopes are opened with your server present. This offer is valid at 3 only. Vouchers must be redeemed at time of reveal. No substitutions are available on this offer, and vouchers are not redeemable for cash. Tax, gratuity, and alcohol are not included on any voucher offers.
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461 West Central Street (Route 140), Franklin, Massachusetts www.3-restaurant.com

Visit our other Let's Eat, Inc. restaurants: SKY, Norwood, MA www.sky-restaurant.com
and Sudbury, MA
www.sky-restaurant.com

3 is a member of the United Regional Chamber of Commerce and hosted a recent Chamber "Open House". The Chamber staff were on hand to meet and greet with all participants. The Chamber has grown from three different chamber groups merging into one.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

what catches your attention?

From TED Talks, this one is on a listing of top talks recommended for educators and school administrators by Dr Scott MacLeod. David Perry is a very successful video game designer. His presentation reviews the development of video games. One of the highlights for me was the video within this presentation; a creative autobiographic essay on why a student is addicted to video games.

If you are looking to understand what catches someone's attention, I think that the video game industry is one that we can learn from.




Does that help you understand the attraction of video games?

What catches your attention?

"the day the boys had been waiting for"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 16, 2009 @ 09:54 PM

FRANKLIN —

Local twins John and Austin Brown brought something much more exciting than their favorite toys to school for show and tell yesterday.

They took Bruins forward Phil Kessel.

"This is our buddy Phil Kessel," Austin said to a crowd of his fifth-grade classmates gathered in the auditorium at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School.

The Browns were the winners of the "Show and Tell" experience sponsored by the Boston Bruins Foundation. According to the boys' father, Dan Brown, the family was looking to donate to the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon and saw this as the perfect way to contribute.

"I just thought it would be a great way to support a great cause and my kids are more than excited," Brown said.

Read the full article about Bruin Phil Kessel's visit to Franklin in the Milford Daily News here

Treesavers - Jan Bornstein, book signing



Jan Bornstein will be at Treesavers Books to sign on June 20th from 1:00 to 3:00 PM

For more about Jan's books visit her web site