Friday, December 31, 2010

MBTA Tests Commuter Rail "Quiet Cars"

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 12/31/10

On Monday morning, January 3rd, the MBTA and MBCR will begin the "Quiet Car" program on rush-hour trains on the Fitchburg and Franklin commuter rail lines.


The pilot program is to run for 90 days, during which time riders on the two lines will be asked to provide feedback on their experience with the program. Depending on customer response to the pilot program, the MBTA and MBCR will consider the deployment of "Quiet Cars" on all thirteen Commuter Rail lines.


MBTA General Manager Richard Davey said the program is the result of a recent survey, which indicated significant demand for passenger coaches free from cell phone chatter.


The car closest to the locomotive will be designated as the 'quiet car.' Customers using it will be asked to refrain from cell phone use; keep pagers, cell phones, laptop and PDA sounds off or to vibrate; and speak in whispers. Riders seated in a quiet car who need to use the phone will be asked to move to another car for the duration of their call. Conductors will make normal announcements during the trip. Conductors will be authorized to lift quiet car restrictions during any periods of service disruption or heavy passenger volume.


For more information, as well as tips for riding the "Quiet Car," please visit www.MBTA.com.

Things you can do from here:

Franklin wants your business

The one page summary of benefits for businesses to locate in Franklin, MA:

Franklin Wants Your Business



Franklin, MA

Sample Census Data for Franklin, MA

The NY Times has a pretty slick interactive map tool based upon sample Census data. Input the Franklin zip code (02038) and see the results:

http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/explorer?hp




Franklin, MA

In the News - train schedule, Shell Station, Trash system, Donny Drive fire

Franklin train schedule changed for New Year's Eve

by 


Franklin Shell broken into




New Franklin trash system withstands snow challenges



Two children escape fire in Franklin




Franklin, MA

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Public Meeting regarding the PWED Project Draft Plan - Jan 10, 2011


Important Downtown Franklin Project in Need of Input
Public Meeting regarding PWED Project Draft Plan

The Town of Franklin is holding a public meeting in order to obtain comments and suggestions on the Public Works Economic Development (PWED) grant funded portion of the Downtown Franklin Roadway and Streetscape Improvement Project. The meeting will be held on Monday January 10, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Dean College’s Alden Center (S11) located in the Arthur W. Pierce Center for Science and Technology.

Parking will be available in the Dean Hall Lot located off Emmons Street behind Dean Hall.

The focus of the meeting is to obtain input from the general public, government officials, Downtown business owners, property owners, and other individuals and organizations on draft plans for the PWED project area, which includes the following:
  • Emmons Street between Main Street and Hillside Road
  • Dean Avenue between Main and Ray Streets
  • Ray Street
  • Depot Street
  • The Town of Franklin’s Depot Street Parking Lot

The goals of this project are to improve the deteriorated conditions of these secondary roadways, create a safer pedestrian friendly environment, stimulate private sector investment, and improve the overall appearance of Downtown Franklin.

The meeting will be a hands-on workshop, where meeting attendees will have the opportunity to review draft plans, ask questions, exchange ideas, and provide suggestions. If unable to attend the public meeting, draft plans are available for review in the Town of Franklin’s Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD).

To make it easy for individuals to submit comments and suggestions, the Department of Planning and Community Development has created the Downtown Improvement Project webpage on the Town’s website: http://franklinma.virtualtownhall.net/Pages/FranklinMA_Planning/dtimprovement

Please utilize the website to provide input and look for other ways to participate in this important project. DPCD asks that the public utilize the website whenever possible to provide input, however input in any format (direct mail; email; telephone; fax) is welcome.

Feel free to contact Franklin’s Director of Planning and Community Development, Bryan W. Taberner, at 508-520-4907 or btaberner@franklin.ma.us if you have questions or require additional information. We look forward to hearing from you.


Note: There are two projects that have been funded for Downtown - This is funded separately from the Downtown Improvement Project. The two projects are related in that they cover adjoining sections of Franklin and will be worked on a similar schedule.

Franklin, MA

"It's probably a good thing to do"

Some charities, including the Franklin Food Pantry, will send donors letters acknowledging the gift rather than hand out receipts.
Anne Marie Bellavance at the Franklin Food Pantry said donations being dropped off and coming in the mail have picked up in the past two weeks.
"It's definitely on the minds of people the week before Christmas to ensure it does get credited as a tax donation (for this year)," she said. "We actually have a major donor who comes every year on Christmas Eve or it's mailed around that time and he does it partly to make sure it counts on that year's taxes."
The Franklin pantry is open until 2 p.m. Friday. Food donations are not assigned a monetary value but are listed by weight in a donation letter, Bellavance said. It's up to the donor or accountant to assign a value.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News



Franklin, MA

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Downtown Parking - is there enough or not?

Parking, is there enough or not? Is it convenient or not?

What was the study done that leads folks to conclude "there is no parking issue downtown"?

How do you count to get over 2,000 parkings spots downtown?

These and other questions are answered in this document that summarizes the study conducted in 2008 by the Department of Planning and Community Development.

Franklin Downtown Parking Study 2008

This continues the series of additional information from the Franklin Dept of Planning and Community Development on development of downtown Franklin, MA. Look for more over the course of the week to help prepare for the Public Meeting Monday, Jan 10th.

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


Franklin, MA

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School (BFCCPS), a highly successful charter school, was founded in 1995. We are located on the town common in the building which previously housed St. Mary’s School. The mission of BFCCPS is “to assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children by providing a classical academic education integrated with sound character development and community service.” The founding parents established a public school that emphasizes character education, community involvement, service and academic dept with outstanding MCAS performance. BFCCPS is a free, public school open to all Massachusetts students in grade K-8 by lottery.

Our students consistently score above average on MCAS and other standardized exams. We have already met the NCLB National Standard for ELA due in 2014. In addition to the MA Curriculum Frameworks, BFCCPS also incorporates the classically oriented Core Knowledge Sequence, created by nationally known author E. D. Hirsch, Jr. All students take French beginning in Kindergarten an all take Latin beginning in Grade 3 on. Other school successes include three French Gold Medals out of fifteen awarded nationally and excellent Latin scores on the respective National Exams.

A sophisticated system of eighth grade individual Capstone student presentations are required as part of our Community Service initiative. Students in all grades participate in community service programs.

A special effort to include parents in the life of our school community as Parents as Primary Educators enriches our school’s culture and supports the parents role as the first educator of their child. Parents can volunteer in and out of the classroom. They are active members on our Board of Trustees and participate in the many overnight and daily field trips.

Another pillar of BFCCPS is Character Education. Character education is infused into the daily education of our students through responsive classroom techniques, academic advising, and integrated curricular lessons.

Our Classical approach to educate the whole child includes: French, Latin, Art and Music. We have been recognized as one of America’s 100 outstanding music schools with over 80% of our students in grades 4-8 participating in one of our four music ensembles. Our grade 6-8 “Arts Block” offers include: Jazz, Drama, Architecture, Graphic Design, Cartooning, Guitar, Songwriters Workshop, Printmaking, Creative Writing, Photoshop, Keyboard, and Film to name a few.

Sophisticated teacher evaluations and teacher empowerment initiatives give way to teacher creativity in the classroom. With the three computer labs, computer projectors installed in all classrooms, and interactive white board technology, we are able to provide cutting edge Technology classes to all students.

As a K-8 public school we service over 440 students. We are now in our 15th year educating students. We are proud of our past and confident of our future as a charter school of excellence. We invite your questions and interest as we continue to serve students in the Town of Franklin and the eleven surrounding districts.


Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School
201 Main Street
Franklin, Massachusetts 02038
508.541.3434 www.bfccps.org


From the 2010 Franklin Annual Report

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Transit Oriented Development

Transit Oriented Development. What is that?

This document from 2006 should help shed some light on the term and the principles that are continuing to help drive the development efforts for downtown Franklin.

Franklin, MA: Transit Oriented Development Study - 2006


This continues the series of additional information from the Franklin Dept of Planning and Community Development on development of downtown Franklin, MA. Look for more over the course of the week to help prepare for the Public Meeting Monday, Jan 10th.

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

Franklin, MA

The British are coming to Franklin, Massachusetts!

What: British Beer Company opening in Franklin, MA
Where: 280 Franklin Village Dr. (Franklin Village Plaza)
When: December, 28 2010
Why: For the enjoyment of all in and around Franklin
What else: 36 tap lines, 91 bottled beers and 1 cask




In Great Britain, Ireland and across Europe, the pub or “local” is the center of town life: a place to relax, refuel the body and spirit, share news and be entertained. The British Beer Company is excited to bring this same atmosphere and service to the community of Franklin.

The BBC offers an eclectic menu, unparalleled beer, wine and cocktail choices and an array of free live entertainment at all their locations. Settle in to one of the several snugs (a private cozy booth) and enjoy a traditional flaky Pasty Pie (chicken and leek perhaps), a crisp Wensleydale salad or a tasty bar pizza (traditional, gluten free or with multi grain dough). Most important; the BBC wants customers to relax and enjoy themselves. At the BBC servers don’t throw a check on the table before the meal is done and rush customers out the door.

Massachusetts owned and operated, the BBC is a refreshing alternative to the surrounding cookie cutter chain restaurants. It’s easy to see why they’re growing so fast - with Franklin being the tenth BBC location to open in Massachusetts since being founded in 1997. Each location has a unique vibe and personality all its own, yet shares its best features with its other siblings – for example, the carefully crafted mahogany bars shipped in from the UK. The BBC in Franklin boasts 36 tap lines of imported brews and specialty craft beers, 91 bottled beers from around the World and Franklin’s first cask conditioned ale. Live entertainment at the BBC is always free with live bands Friday and Saturday nights. Unique lunch and dinner specials are available daily (a couple weeks after the opening).

Whether it’s a business lunch, an after work get-together, a family dinner in friendly surroundings or a late night soirĂ©e fueled by great music over pints with friends…the BBC is destined to be Franklin’s new and only local.


British Beer Company
Open Sun-Wed 11:30am – Midnight.  
Thur – Sat 11:30am – 1am

Cask Conditioned Ale





Franklin, MA

In the News - storm, labyrinth, softball, library


A quiet storm




New Year's Eve labyrinth walk planned in Franklin




Franklin Girls Softball Association plans pitching, catching clinics




Friends of Franklin Library slate meeting, Jan. 5




Franklin, MA

Monday, December 27, 2010

When do I put the trash out?

What happened to the trash pickup scheduled for today?

Mother Nature took care of altering the schedule. Per email with Jeff Nutting, those with Monday AND Tuesday pick up should put their carts/barrels/toters out on Tuesday. They may not get to them all on Tuesday. So if they don't, leave the carts out. They hope to catch up by Weds.



The posted trash schedule showing the locations for each day of the week can be found on the DPW website (PDF)

Franklin, MA

The plan for Franklin Center - 2003

The plan for Franklin Center was developed and published in 2003. You can view the presentation document here:

Franklin, MA: Center Plan - 2003

Additional information from the Franklin Dept of Planning and Community Development will be highlighted here over the course of the week to help prepare for the Public Meeting Monday, Jan 10th.

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

Franklin, MA

RIBBON CUTTING AT TEN KEY IN FRANKLIN

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting event at Ten Key Inc., a Franklin-based accounting and bookkeeping firm, on Dec. 21. Owned by Stephanie Robl, Ten Key celebrated its relocation to a new office in the Hayward Mill Complex at 31 Hayward St., unit 2A - Room 205.

Ten Key, Inc. provides financial services, including accounting and bookkeeping, to both individuals as well as small and large businesses. For more information about Ten Key, visit www.tenkeyinc.com.


Members of The United Regional Chamber of Commerce and local officials welcomed Ten Key to its new Franklin office space. Pictured from left to right are: Franklin Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, The United Regional Chamber of Commerce President Jack Lank, Ed McDonough of Executive Coaching, Thomaz DeMoura of Digital Federal Credit Union, Carl Scheinman of Dean Bank, Danielle Grueter of Ten Key, Nancy Quigley of Century 21 Commonwealth, Owner of Ten Key Stephanie Robl, Bob Arena of Personalized Computer Care, Chris Pintarich of Berry Insurance, Allison Delaney of Ten Key, Donna Goulart of William Palumbo Insurance Agency and Faith Macia of Ten Key. Photo courtesy of Jen Osojnicki, Professional Photographer.


Franklin, MA

In the News - Tri-County, toddlers

Franklin member retiring from Tri-County school board

by 



Franklin class designed for toddlers, parents


Franklin, MA

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Parking Ban Activation


Section 170-62 Effect of Parking Ban. The parking of any motor vehicle within the layout or right-of-way of any public street or any roadway open to the public is prohibited between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. while a winter storm parking ban is in effect.

You can subscribe to receive your own news via email

FM #81 - Second Half 2010 Summary

This internet radio show or podcast is number 81 in the series for Franklin Matters.



MP3 File


In this session, you give me about ten minutes and I'll fill you in on what matters in Franklin as the 2010 calendar year draws to a close. This segment will review the major events that occurred each month from July through December. The notes that go along with this segment will contain links rich with the details.

July

The introduction of the new trash/recycling process
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/03/franklin-ma-trash-collection.html/

Third Thursday occurred on July 15th
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/07/third-thursday-july-15th_16.html/

The Affordable Housing Strategy and Plan was out for review
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/07/affordable-housing-strategy-and_28.html/

The Native Plants of Franklin series by Michelle Clay was introduced
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/07/whats-your-name-summary.html/


August

opened with Bill Glynn of the School Committee holding a “Sit and Chat” on the Town Common
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/08/bill-glynn-sit-and-chat-summary.html/

Town Council meeting on the 4th
Affordable Housing Strategy approved
Economic Development Areas established along Grove St
DelCarte house purchased on Prospect St
The Spanish War Memorial gun was removed
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/08/town-council-080410-notes-from-meeting.html/

School Committee meeting of the 10th covered the District Improvement Plan amongst other items
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/08/school-committee-081010.html/

The Franklin Matters survey on the trash/recycle process results were published
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/08/new-trashrecycle-status-survey.html/

Town Council meeting on the 18th
Underground utilities for downtown were discussed
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/08/town-council-081810.html/

Third Thursday occurred Aug 19th
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/08/third-thursday-august-19th.html/

School Committee meeting on the 24th
Middle School Improvement Plan was reviewed amongst other items
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/08/school-committee-082410.html/

The survey results to pay for the underground utilities were published
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/08/franklin-ma-underground-utilities.html/

The School Committee added a meeting on Aug 31 due to late word on the receipt of additional stimulus funding which they chose to spend part of reserving part for next years budget cycle..


September

Finance Committee and Town Council initially looked at a proposal for funding the design and permitting for repairs of the dams on the DelCarte property
http://franklinmattersweekly.blogspot.com/2010/09/fm-72-week-ending-91210.html/

School Committee on Sep 14th
Elementary school Improvement Plans amongst other items
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/09/school-committee-091410.html/

Town Council meeting of Sep 29, 2010
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/09/town-council-092910.html/

Executive summary for the Traffic Changes
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/09/improvement-project-traffic-changes.html/

Project presentation from May 2010
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/05/downtown-improvement-project-live.html/

Downtown Partnership letter in underground utilities
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/09/franklin-downtown-partnerships-letter.html/



October

Town Council meeting of 10/6/10
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/10/town-council-100610.html/

DelCarte - Town Council discussion
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/10/live-reporting-delcarte-proposal.html/

Where is the DelCarte property?
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/10/where-is-delcarte-property.html/

Photo tour of the DelCarte property in May 2010
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/10/franklin-ma-delcarte-tour.html/

Economic Development Summit fostered by Councilors Jones and Powderly along with the Dept. of Planning and Community Development
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/10/franklin-economic-development-summit.html/


The School Committee met on Tuesday 10/12

Most of the night was spent on the high school reviewing
The school improvement plan
The senior project
The school discipline process and statistics showing the improvements

Copies of the presentations are posted to Franklin Matters.
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/10/school-committee-101210.html/

Town Council meeting 10/20
a bunch of presentations from the DPW on their operations (water, sewer, and snow/ice storm preparations.)
The Council also completed the public hearing on the underground utilities, determining not to pursue putting them underground due to the expense
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/10/town-council-102010.html/

On the weekend prior to Election Day, November 2 I spent time on the weekly podcast providing information on the ballot questions, in particular the two charter questions
http://franklinmattersweekly.blogspot.com/2010/10/fm-75-charter-changes-vote-nov-2.html/


November

The election of Nov 2 resulted in one of the two charter changes passing. The technical changes passed, the proposal to move the Treasurer/Collector to an appointed position failed.
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/11/charter-question-4-yes-question-5-no.html/

Town Council Nov 3, Senator Richard Ross came to visit and speak with the Council, Jeff Nutting spoke to provide an extensive outlook on the FY 2012 budget
http://franklinmattersweekly.blogspot.com/2010/11/fm-76-fy-2012-budget-outlook.html/

School Committee meeting on Nov 9th
heard the capital budget as well as the DPW presentation on snow storms
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/11/school-committee-110910.html/

School Committee meeting on 11/16 - Mostly about MCAS
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/11/school-committee-111610.html/

Town Council 11/17 - heard about the proposal to form a cable access non-profit to run the cable TV operations on behalf of the Town. The second major item on the agenda was the initial presentation on the proposal for a new zoning district downtown along with a host of changes to bylaws and signs, etc.
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/11/town-council-111710.html/

I took the opportunity to provide feedback to both the SchCom and TC on back-to-back nights encouraging their outreach efforts and also reviewing their attendance records which I have been updating and publishing with each meeting.
http://franklinmattersweekly.blogspot.com/2010/11/fm-77-franklin-ma-mid-term-review.html/

December

Town Council met three times this month
on the 1st to approve funding to continue the water and sewer repairs
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/12/town-council-120110.html/

On the 8th, the tax rate hearing was formally held to set the tax rate for 2011 at $12.95/thousand and keep a single rate
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/12/town-council-120810.html/

I had updated my numbers and analysis on the tax information prior to the hearing
http://franklinmattersweekly.blogspot.com/2010/12/fm-79-slidecast-tax-hearing-info-for-fy.html/

and on the 15th the third and final meeting to renew the liquor licenses for 2011
and hear a revision of the downtown zoning proposal
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/12/town-council-120810.html/

The School Committee met only once, on the 14th
The anti-bullying plan was reviewed and approved
http://franklinmatters.blogspot.com/2010/12/school-committee-121410.html/

So we bring a close to 2010, this will be the last of the weekly summaries this year. There will be more in 2011.

The year ahead looks to be a challenging one. The budget situation will likely result in an override vote sometime in May or June. The high school renovation project is also on schedule to come before the voters late next year. The Town Council, School Committee and other Franklin elected positions will be up for vote in November. Whether the high school project will make it to the same ballot remains to be seen.

So fasten your seat belt, the information train here at Franklin Matters and Franklin Matters Weekly will continue.

In case you missed the mid-year (Jan to Jun) review, you can find that here
http://franklinmattersweekly.blogspot.com/2010/07/franklin-ma-2010-midyear-review.html/


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

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but I can't do it alone. I can use your help.

How can you help?

If you have an interest in covering the Planning Board and or the Zoning Board of Appeals meetings, please let me know.

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

Thank you for listening.


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 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 & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission

I hope you enjoy!

"We need some serious money"

"It's a wooded environment and it's nature," said David Labonte, chairman of the Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee. "We need to do a little sweat equity in paying for this thing upfront to have something for generations of people of all ages."
But, it could cost $2.8 million to improve and pave the 1.4 miles of trail in Franklin, which needs drainage work, grading and signs. A tunnel must also be designed and built under Prospect Street, Labonte said. Costs could be reduced with volunteer labor.
The path, which goes from Grove Street to Prospect Street before entering Bellingham, is mostly on state Department of Conservation and Recreation land and is open to the public. But many sections are overgrown, filled with ruts and otherwise unsuitable for bicycling, he said. 
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News or visit the Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee website here.

Franklin, MA


"Public safety is usually at the top of the list"

In Franklin, the minimal staffing level is 10, which allows the department to staff two rescue engines and two ambulances, McCarraher said. The department has lost three firefighters and three administrative positions in the last several years, and the chief said federal stimulus grant money has allowed it to keep the staffing where it is the last two years.
McCarraher said Franklin's town government has worked hard to spread budget cuts fairly, and knows they are in a difficult position trying to decide where to save money.
"We're in the worst economy of our lives, and there are many competing interests," he said. "They heard the message, and they hired more people (when needed). They understand what's going on, and I think they have a very difficult job."

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News


Franklin, MA

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas - 2010

Merry Christmas!



In the spirit of all that is good around us, I hope you enjoy your holiday with family and friends!

Franklin, MA

Friday, December 24, 2010

Public Meeting regarding the PWED Project Draft Plan - Jan 10, 2011


Important Downtown Franklin Project in Need of Input
Public Meeting regarding PWED Project Draft Plan

The Town of Franklin is holding a public meeting in order to obtain comments and suggestions on the Public Works Economic Development (PWED) grant funded portion of the Downtown Franklin Roadway and Streetscape Improvement Project. The meeting will be held on Monday January 10, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Dean College’s Alden Center (S11) located in the Arthur W. Pierce Center for Science and Technology.

Parking will be available in the Dean Hall Lot located off Emmons Street behind Dean Hall.

The focus of the meeting is to obtain input from the general public, government officials, Downtown business owners, property owners, and other individuals and organizations on draft plans for the PWED project area, which includes the following:
  • Emmons Street between Main Street and Hillside Road
  • Dean Avenue between Main and Ray Streets
  • Ray Street
  • Depot Street
  • The Town of Franklin’s Depot Street Parking Lot

The goals of this project are to improve the deteriorated conditions of these secondary roadways, create a safer pedestrian friendly environment, stimulate private sector investment, and improve the overall appearance of Downtown Franklin.

The meeting will be a hands-on workshop, where meeting attendees will have the opportunity to review draft plans, ask questions, exchange ideas, and provide suggestions. If unable to attend the public meeting, draft plans are available for review in the Town of Franklin’s Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD).

To make it easy for individuals to submit comments and suggestions, the Department of Planning and Community Development has created the Downtown Improvement Project webpage on the Town’s website: http://franklinma.virtualtownhall.net/Pages/FranklinMA_Planning/dtimprovement

Please utilize the website to provide input and look for other ways to participate in this important project. DPCD asks that the public utilize the website whenever possible to provide input, however input in any format (direct mail; email; telephone; fax) is welcome.

Feel free to contact Franklin’s Director of Planning and Community Development, Bryan W. Taberner, at 508-520-4907 or btaberner@franklin.ma.us if you have questions or require additional information. We look forward to hearing from you.


Note: There are two projects that have been funded for Downtown - This is funded separately from the Downtown Improvement Project. The two projects are related in that they cover adjoining sections of Franklin and will be worked on a similar schedule.

Franklin, MA

"It's as clear as mud, as it always has been"

As public employees, teachers fall under the state's ethics reform law that was created in July 2009. That law prohibits public workers from accepting gifts valued at more than $50, and requires written notification of any gift that might lend an appearance of impropriety, according to the Ethics Commission.
"Most of the gifts that the teachers receive wouldn't fall into the category where they need a disclosure form," said David Giannotti, an Ethics Commission spokesman. "They're baked goods, or they're homemade holiday cards, or something small like that. You have to look all the facts, and whether a reasonable person would think the teacher could be influenced by the gift. Nobody is going to conclude that a teacher is going to go into the tank for someone for less than $10."
Earlier this month, the Ethics Commission revised the regulations to allow teachers to receive a gift from the entire class up to $150, so long as the gift amounts of each student or parent remained anonymous.



Ethics law means teachers must disclose gifts over $10



Franklin, MA

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Make your partner a real partner" (video)

From this 15 minute TED Talk, we gain insights from Sheryl Sandberg on women in the work force. She has three messages: one, sit at the table; two, make your partner a real partner; and three, don't leave before you leave.



Enjoy!

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

Franklin, MA

"It's the really mundane things that you miss most"

Staff Sgt. Johnny Saldana, a Franklin resident whose 11- and 5-year-old sons attend the school, donated the flag while he was home on leave after spending much of the fall in Afghanistan serving with the Massachusetts Army National Guard.
"This school was founded on the principle that serving other people does matter," Head of School Kevin O'Malley told the students before the flag was raised. "Sgt. Saldana has given us a flag we can all be proud of."

U.S. soldier donates flag that flew in Afghanistan to Franklin school

from The Milford Daily News News RSS


Franklin, MA

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Individual mandate penalties proposed for tax year 2011

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Revenue by Robert Bliss on 12/21/10


The Department of Revenue has posted the proposed 2011 penalty schedule for those who are able to afford the purchase of health insurance but fail to do so. The Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act of 2006 requires most adults 18 and over with access to affordable insurance to obtain it, and requires DOR to announce a penalty schedule for individuals who do not comply with the law.

The penalties for individuals between 150.1 percent and 300 percent of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are equal to half the cost of the lowest priced Commonwealth Care enrollee premium as of Jan. 1, 2011.

For those between 150.1 percent and 300 percent of FPL (up to $32,496 for an individual or $66,156 for a family of four) the annual proposed penalty is unchanged from last year. For example, an individual who is between 250.1 percent and 300 percent of FPL paid a maximum penalty of $58 a month ($696 annually) in tax year 2010 and is proposed to pay the same penalty in tax year 2011. The same penalty is proposed for a family of four with earnings not in excess of $66,156; however, the penalty is multiplied by two if both parents are uninsured.
Individuals with incomes up to 150 percent of FPL (or less than $16,248) are not subject to the penalty and are not required to pay an enrollee premium for Commonwealth Care health insurance. Neither is a family of four whose income does not exceed $33,084.

For those ages 18-26 whose income exceeds $32,496 or 300 percent of FPL, the penalty for tax year 2011 is proposed to equal to half of the lowest priced individual Commonwealth Choice Young Adult Plan premium without drug coverage or $72 per month ($864 annually), up from $66 per month ($792 annually) in tax year 2010.

For those ages 27 and older whose income exceeds 300 percent of FPL, the proposed penalty is equal to half of the lowest priced individual Commonwealth Choice Bronze premium with drug coverage or $101 per month ($1,212 annually), up from $93 per month ($1,116 annually) in tax year 2010. Again, this penalty is multiplied by two if two parents are in the family.

Things you can do from here:

Franklin Food Pantry - receives grant

The Massachusetts Bankers Association (MBA) Charitable Foundation has announced the recipients of its annual community grants for 2010. The 32 grants are a record number and total $128,500, also a record amount for the foundation, which now has provided gifts totaling $1.3 million over its 14-year history.
The foundation, supported by the nearly 200 member banks of the MBA throughout Massachusetts and New England, is distributing the grants over eight geographic regions in Massachusetts, giving awards to deserving social service agencies.
“There is terrific need all across the region,” said Norman S. Seppala, chairman of the MBA Charitable Foundation and president of Granite Savings Bank, Rockport, “and there are so many deserving social service agencies. We’re pleased to be able to help support the work of so many individuals and organizations in their time of need.”
The Franklin Food Pantry is blessed to be amongst the grant recipients.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I'd like to thank the Massachusetts Bankers Association for this grant. It will help the Pantry continue its work.

The full announcement of the Massachusetts Bankers Association can be found here



Franklin, MA

In the News - dancers, schedule, art


Dancers from Franklin center to open for Rockettes





Franklin High looks to change class schedule





Franklin Art Association meets


Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Kindergarten registration

Hold the dates to register for kindergarten:


February 1st, 3rd, and 7th
4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
Horace Mann Middle School – Cafeteria
224 Oak Street, Franklin, MA


All the details on the forms required and how to obtain them to have them filled out before arriving at registration can be found in the flyer here:

Franklin, MA - Kindergarten Registration

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


Franklin, MA

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Traffic Sample on RT 140 (video)

While running Tuesday morning (12/21/10), I stopped to record with my Android phone this video segment of traffic on RT 140 in front of the former KofC building.

Not a great time to sample the traffic as neither the Taco Bell nor Wendy's would be open at this time (about 8:30 AM). A better time would be around lunch or in the evening rush hour.

The traffic was also somewhat slower today due to the snowy road conditions. It would be quicker if the roads were dry.

Would MA Highway consider lowering the speed limit from 40 to 30? I figure that would help. Most folks tend to go over the speed posted limit anyway so if it is posted at 40 folks will go 45-50. If posted at 30, folks will go 35-40. Getting the traffic to go slower would allow more time for a decision on when to safely turn.



What do you think?



Franklin, MA

In the News - traffic study, safety grant, blue Christmas


Franklin board calls for review of traffic study




Franklin gets fire safety grant to teach students




Franklin church holds 'Blue Christmas' service




Franklin, MA

Monday, December 20, 2010

Inside the chicken and egg story

Christopher L. Foote, a senior economist and policy advisor in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, currently serves as advisor to the Center for Behavioral Economics and Decisionmaking. Chris covers the "Great Recession" in a series of segments from one talk for the Boston Fed with good insights specifically for MA and New England.


The first of the series is available at this link. The remainder in the series can be found within the video player on the Boston Fed Reserve website. The player allows for linking but not embedding.

http://www.bos.frb.org/videos/index.htm?bcpid=645289453001&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAGFYn89E~,aFDfVsMsQ7Xbd2TWIkONvAkTltKaGd6w&bclid=701977326001&bctid=704600475001




Franklin, MA

"heroes need to be honored and remembered"

The signs, expected to cost $1,800, will be placed on Franklin streets where the soldiers were born or lived. The town's Rotary Club has pledged $1,000 toward the project and former Town Councilor Chris Feeley has offered to cover the remainder of the cost, said Town Councilor Tina Powderly.
"What this really allowed us to do is focus on the lives and legacy of these men rather than raising funds," Powderly said, adding she and lifelong Franklin resident Rose Turco have spent several months examining scrapbooks and newspaper clippings that reference the soldiers. "This community very, very much supports its veterans and that says a lot about the character of the residents."


Franklin WWII heroes sign project gets a big boost

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 



Franklin, MA