Sunday, July 31, 2011

PanMass Challenge: Franklin riders

To help with the fund raising efforts of the Franklin riders for the PanMass Challenge, here are the links to their individual fund raising pages (in alphabet order by last name):

Tim Brightman

Peter Lounsbury -

Paul Metcalf

Martin Middelmann

Jeff Nutting

Ethan Pearl

Michele Pearl 

Jeff Roy

If there are other Franklin riders, please let me know and I'll add them here.

PanMass Challenge rides through Franklin Saturday

The Remington Jefferson School complex will be busy Saturday morning. The site is a rest stop on the course for the PanMass Challenge. Hundreds of bike riders will roll through, take a quick break, some refreshments, pose for pictures with friends and family and ride on!

Slide show of photos from 2009:

The site lays out the purpose of the PMC in plain words - "When cyclists register for the PMC, they are signing up for a fundraising mission first and a bike ride second. ... Raising money for cancer research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is the core of the PMC mission." 
"We're remaining true to the mission," said Starr. 
Riders settle into their own methods of raising money. Most send out letters each year, via email and the Postal Service, but their recipients vary from 50 people who give much, to 200 people who give what they can. Some letters are personalized, some are identical form letters. Some have heart-wrenching stories, while others simply remind loyal followers that it's the time of year to give again. 
To donate to any of the riders or teams in the PMC, check and plug a name or team into the search bar.

Read more:

To help search for Franklin riders, I have a page set up with the links to their individual fund raising pages.

If there are other Franklin riders, please let me know

"The drug containers work like a mailbox"

Medway and 12 other Norfolk County towns are using the drug containers after Morrissey wrote the county police chiefs in May and asked them to participate in the program. 
Franklin and Wrentham also have the boxes, and about 300,000 people will have access to the containers across the county, Morrissey said. 
Franklin Police Chief Stephen Williams said a container has been at the station for about a month. 
"I think prescription drug abuse is endemic almost everywhere," Williams said. "We're seeing many of our young people become involved in it, and where are they getting the drugs from? From their mom and dad's prescriptions and friends."

Read more:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stepping up to fill in the gap

Look closely. Franklin ball field, A sign clearly stating that the backstop was donated by the fence company to the Franklin Girls Softball Assoc. The property is owned and maintained by Franklin but as the budget shrinks from year to year, organizations and companies are stepping up to fill in the gaps. This is happening all over town. It is the little things like this that make Franklin a good place to live.

Thank you Mr Fence and Franklin Girls Softball Assoc

Other recent examples:

1 - Eagle Scout project

2 - Downtown Partnership

Are there other examples, you can share?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Franklin/Dean Station looks better now!

Local Eagle Scouts from Franklin organized a beautification project with the help of the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company for the Franklin/Dean College commuter rail station. Scouts and MBCR staff planted shrubs and flowers as part of the project. 
MBCR operates the commuter rail system under a contract with the MBTA.

Thanks to the Eagle Scouts!

Photo 1 (L-R): Molly Dickenson, Samantha Conway, Patrick Cunniff, Cathy Tomaso, Grant Conway, Cameron Cawley, Mike Miga and Chris Gerber – all of Franklin.

Photo 2 (L-R): Molly Dickenson, Grant Conway, Cathy Tomaso, and Samantha Conway

Farmers Market Open Today !

Franklin Farmers Market,  Friday,  12:00pm to 6:00pm

Located on the Town Common

Franklin: Farmers Market

Reminder that the Farmers' Market now accepts SNAP dollars and can double your purchasing power.

Visit the Food Pantry tent at the Farmers' Market for details.

In the News - Milford Trail, tornado cleanup

For those who like to ride their bikes

Milford trail work almost done

Volunteers needed for tornado cleanup this weekend

Mower n More summer 2011 closure

How about a lawn mower service that you can request via the web? You can pick a date/time to set the appointment and then they appear in your driveway? Such a service does exist. I was surprised to find them but have used the website and find it quick easy to use.

The following email was just received:

Hi Steve,

Please be advised that Mower n More will be closed for vacation from August 11, 2011 to August 29, 2011.

Until then, we are happy to offer a deep discount on mower tune-ups:

$20 off up to 22 inch = $59 (a regular walk-behind)
$40 off 23-42 inch = $159 (most common riding mowers or wide walk-behind)
$50 off over 42 inch = $189 (Garden tractors or commercial walk-behind)
$29 off Extended-area surcharge  = $0 (with a minimum purchase of $150, except Sharon and Mansfield)

Our experience shows that most major repairs are a direct result of under-service: Lack of lubrication, components out of adjustment, restricted cooling air flow (engine, deck spindles), rubbing parts, dirty air filter, low oil etc...

Use promo code 811

  • Offer is only valid as long as appointment slots are available by August 10, 2011.

This message is sent to you as a customer of Mower n More. We believe the content to be beneficial to you, but if you would like to be removed from future mailings,  click here to send us a removal email.

Mower n More, P.O. Box 201, Hopedale MA, 01747. (508) 478-2004

The Mower and More website can be found here:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wachusett St - final paving layer added

The final layer of paving was added early this week to Wachusett St.

No puddles appeared after the rain went through the area Tuesday night so that is a good sign.

They still need to finish the driveway for the Parmenter School as show in this photo.

"for a lot of reasons it's the best choice"

Town officials originally thought to make repairs to the high school, which has so many problems that a national school accreditation agency put Franklin on warning status. To make the necessary repairs, workers would need to gut the school as the whole building would need to be brought up to the current building code. 
A new building is expected to be constructed atop the current tennis courts, a baseball field and a softball field, putting the school closer to the football field and track. 
Construction would take two years; renovation would have required four years of work, officials have said. 
School leaders have said a key benefit of a new school would be that students could make use of the existing structure while a new one is being built. 
"I think for a lot of reasons it's the best choice, not the least of which (is) there will be no disruption of the educational process," said Thomas Mercer, chairman of the town's School Building Committee.

Read more:

In the News - Farmers' Market, Dean Bank

Franklin Farmers Market accepts food stamps

Additional details on this program can be found here:

Dean Bank to host free workshop

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In the News - 'Beauty and the Beast', food pantry, post offices

Franklin arts school to perform 'Beauty and the Beast'

Summer donations needed at local food pantries

Today in the news: About 3,700 post offices may close

MBTA: New Locomotives, New Look

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 7/26/11

MBTA Train New Logo

The MBTA has unveiled the new look for the new generation of Commuter Rail locomotives.  Nearly 14,000 people responded to three design choices in a two-week online survey.  The design chosen above got 50% of the vote.   The chosen design has the largest T logo on the side- three times the size of the current logo.
You'll begin seeing the new locomotives with the new look in the winter of 2012-2013, when the first of 20 new locomotives purchased are delivered from the manufacturer, Motive Power Inc. of Boise.
The $114 million investment represents the MBTA's first major locomotive procurement in more than 20 years.

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Christmas in July Patio Party - BBC Franklin

Ohhhhhh - the weather outside is delightful…so let's celebrate with a
Christmas themed outdoor patio party!  On Thursday July 28th the
British Beer Company in Franklin will be decking out the patio to
celebrate Christmas in July.  Twinkling lights, stockings hung with
care…dig out your fluffy Santa hat from the closet and join the
celebration.  Fun for the kids for sure (face painting, cookie design,
crafts), but more importantly this party will benefit children in need
through the Franklin Police Department's Toy Drive which is associated
with the Santa Foundation.  Everyone who brings an unwrapped gift to
put under the glorious fake Christmas tree will be entered into a
raffle with some great prizes.  Adults will be able to enjoy a secret
stash of seasonal winter beers that the BBC has been cellaring for a
special occasion along with some Christmas themed (cold) cocktails.
Come join BBC staffers and members of the Franklin community as they
sing along to their favorite Christmas carols under a beautiful summer

British Beer Company
280 Franklin Village Drive

In the News - stabbing, Planning Board, pole fire

9-year-old stabbed in Franklin

Franklin officials favor latest plan for former Knights property

Pole catches fire in Franklin

Monday, July 25, 2011

Living in the cracks

Yes, they are healthy. An unintended consequence but a wonderful one. The Franklin Downtown Partnership (a non-profit organization of business folks and citizens) raised money to adorn the downtown area with flower pots.

If you are not familiar with Franklin, this is the triangle downtown. The railroad runs underneath the bridge. Main St is behind you to the left. West central changes to East Central on the right. Also referred to as "the Triangle" this is a centerpiece for downtown.

Just off to the left of these flowers making their life among the cracks in the cement, are several of the flower pots. The pots contain a full collection and colorful assortment of flowers. How these migrated (via seeds maybe?) as runoff when the pots got watered to the cracks is open to speculation.

I'll leave the speculation to any of the CSI-wannabes around. The thought I would leave you with today is simply, when something good happens (as in the Partnership coming together to create a welcoming downtown for Franklin), more good happens!

Note: I am a citizen member of the Franklin Downtown Partnership

Note Worthy: Library grants, animals at the Library

State defers libraries’ grants

Live animals Wednesday at Franklin Public Library

In the News - helping dogs

Franklin kids sell flowers to help dogs

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"the building cannot provide an adequate level of education"

And that's just the science department. 
The high school has been on warning status from its accreditation organization, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, for years, especially because it does not comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. 
In response, several members of the School Building Committee recently took a tour of four high schools in the state that were built on different state-approved model school designs. 
The committee voted Monday to request a place in the state's model school program, which allows towns to build new schools based on pre-designed plans and be reimbursed by the state 58 percent of the estimated $97.9 million total cost of a new school. The state is expected to make a decision about Franklin this Wednesday.

Read more:

Franklin model school choices

"a perfect location for a station"

... many factors have changed in the past 14 years. Population in towns west of Milford has grown significantly and the owner of the Grafton & Upton Railroad has begun restoring track in Hopedale and Milford to use for freight service, reducing the capital costs to add passenger trains. The owner, Marlborough developer Jon Delli Priscoli, has said he would be willing to work with the MBTA if the project moves forward, Moore said. 
The study will examine Hopedale's Draper mill complex as the last station on the line with the possibility of adding stops between Franklin and Hopedale including in Milford, Moore said. 
The Draper complex is a privately owned 1.5 million-square-foot former mill in downtown Hopedale that has been mostly vacant for years. 
"Freight alone servicing the old Draper facility makes that facility far more attractive to development," said Moore, a former Hopedale selectman. "If there's also commuter rail, it's a tremendous opportunity."

Read more:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Depot St construction

If you haven't been downtown to the train station, you might not have noticed that Depot St has been torn up. The municipal parking lot is also torn up. All as scheduled as part of the PWED project funded by a State grant.

Additional info on the two projects downtown can be found on the Franklin Downtown Partnership webpage here:

In the Globe: local meals tax

In case you missed it, the Boston Globe West section on Thursday ran an article on the local meal tax option. Franklin obtained 347,000 revenue from this during the past fiscal year. With continued growth in restaurants, this can be a continuing source of revenue. Not enough to solve our systemic problems, but substantial none the less.

Related post:
The State announced the totals for local meal tax revenues earlier in July

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"cyberbullying feels like something they can't get away from"

While the foundation sponsors surveys every two years among the region's middle and high schools, it had never before asked its consultant to look at overlap between categories - in this case students who reported mental health problems and those who identified themselves as bullying victims. 
The prompt, Donham said, is a lingering perception among some parents - and even a few teachers - that bullying is something students usually work their way through, more an obnoxious rite of childhood than a serious danger. 
There have also been questions about why the foundation is treating bullying as a health issue deserving grant money, and questions about whether bullying is a classroom issue when much of the harassment takes place off school grounds.
But the data show a clear picture of mental health harm likely to impede learning, harm that includes stress, symptoms of depression, self-injury, serious consideration of suicide - and even attempted suicide, among roughly 578 students.
"I think that's alarming," Donham said of the suicide numbers. "I think that warrants some looking at."

Read more:

Another report, another view, this time from the Boston Globe:

Sharply contrasting findings, from a Globe survey of the state’s 10 largest school systems, casts light on a lingering controversy over the Massachusetts law: What, if anything, should schools report about bullying among their students to authorities at the district or state level?
Read more at the Boston Globe.

"The state will cover 58 percent"

"It seems like an absolutely slam-dunk no-brainer," said Town Council Vice Chairman Stephen Whalen, of building a new high school instead of renovating the current structure. 
The town will make use of the state's model-school program, in which the building committee would pick one of four state-approved options for a school that's already been designed. Building a new school under the model-school program will cost the town roughly $40 million, only about $3 million to $4 million more than gutting and renovating the existing building. 
"The most telling endorsement we got was from the architect who's going to lose his job if we get accepted into the model-school program," said Chairman Scott Mason, who also serves on the building committee. "For him to stand up and say, basically, this is a no-brainer, says a lot."

Read more:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Franklin Farmers Market DOUBLES Food Stamp (SNAP) Dollars

Do you or someone you know receive Food Stamps (SNAP benefits)?

The Franklin Farmers Market new Produce Points program, will DOUBLE your Food Stamp (SNAP) dollars to increase access to fresh, local produce every Friday from 12 noon – 6 pm at the Town Common.

Thanks to a grant received from the MetroWest Community HealthCare Foundation, the Franklin Food Pantry and the Franklin Farmers Market are partnering to offer a new Produce Points Double your Dollars program to anyone who receives Food Stamps (SNAP benefits).

Visit the Produce Points table at the Franklin Farmers Market to convert SNAP dollars into Produce Points dollars. Double your Dollars allows Food Stamp customers to purchase twice as much fresh, local produce. For example, if a customer wishes to spend $5 in food stamps (SNAP), the Produce Points table will exchange the $5 EBT amount for $10 in Produce Points dollars to spend at the Franklin Farmers Market.

Under the Produce Points program, people who qualify for federal food stamps pay for their goods with their electronic benefits cards at the Produce Points table. They will then receive double their dollar amount in Produce Points dollars to use at the Franklin Farmers Market that day or in the future. Vendors are reimbursed for the Produce Points by the Franklin Food Pantry, which received grant funding for this program from the MetroWest Community HealthCare Foundation.
  1. The Franklin Farmers Market is only the second farmers market in Norfolk County to accept food stamps (SNAP benefits) (first was Dedham, over 22 miles away)
  2. Nearly twice as many MA residents rely on food stamps (SNAP benefits) today as did just 4 years ago (from 238,000 in January 2007 to 440,000 in January of 2011, an 85 percent spike)
We believe everyone has the right to access healthy, affordable food choices. The intent of the Produce Points Double your Dollars program is to provide SNAP beneficiaries with an incentive and access to healthy, local food choices. We also hope this program will make the Franklin Farmers Market more accessible to everyone in the community.

For more information, please contact Anne Marie Bellavance at 508-528-3115 or Tim Grebowski at 508-446-5806.

Budget Monitor: The Fiscal Year 2012 General Appropriations Act

Explore our online budget database
Budget Browser

Is our research helpful to you? Support our work
Donate to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center

Find us on facebook


Forward to a Friend

Contact Info

  Noah Berger
  (617) 426-1228 x102 

Budget Monitor: The Fiscal Year 2012 General Appropriations Act   

July 19, 2011 
The Governor and Legislature have now finished work on a budget for Fiscal Year 2012 that addresses a $1.9 billion gap primarily with a combination of cuts and reforms. The outlook for the future remains uncertain.  On the bright side, state tax revenue collections have been significantly exceeding projections.  (Data released today indicate that the FY 2011 tax revenue total was $723 million above the revised estimate).  But there are also reasons for concern:  the national economic recovery remains fragile; while the FY 2012 budget relies on less temporary revenue than the FY 2011 budget, it still relies on close to half a billion dollars of such revenue; and the budget assumes significant Medicaid savings that will be very challenging to achieve in full.   
The FY 2012 budget includes deep cuts in a number of areas including $24 million from the Judiciary (including probation) and over $60 million in public higher education.  The final version of the budget also includes $460 million less in local aid in FY 2012 than in the original FY 2009 budget, after accounting for inflation.
This Budget Monitor discusses in more detail several reform initiatives, the funding proposals in the state budget, and the temporary and ongoing revenue initiatives on which the budget depends. The Monitor also compares proposed funding levels for FY 2012 to the FY 2011 levels, and, in some cases to previous years' funding levels.
The report is available at or by clicking here.    

See MassBudget's Budget Browser to explore Massachusetts state budgets from Fiscal Year 2001 to the present, as well as budget proposals for the next fiscal year as they are offered by the Governor and the Legislature.    

MassBudget provides independent research and analysis of state budget and tax policies, as well as economic issues, with particular attention to the effects on low- and moderate-income people.

This email was sent to by |  
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

Y World of Tots Nursery School

The YMCA has registration open for their World of Tots pre-school program. Details are contained within the document attached that you can scroll to read, or download to keep.

Y World of Tots Registration for Fall Preschool

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