Monday, March 31, 2014

Finance Committee - Agenda - Apr 1, 2014

The Finance Committee will meet on Tuesday night to vote on the FY 2015 budget. They completed their series of budget hearings last Thursday. With their vote, the next step would be for the notifications and schedule for the Town Council to hold their two budget hearings (likely early in May). The Council usually votes for the budget during their second meeting. The overall budget for 2015 needs to be approve before July 1, 2014 when it is needed to support the daily operations.

The agenda document can be found here:

Franklin, MA - Municipal Building
Franklin, MA - Municipal Building

Budget hearings

#1 -

#2 -

#3 -

#4 -

Franklin Public Schools - FY 2015 Proposed Budget

The School Committee voted to accept their proposed budget last Tuesday (Mar 25). The full budget document can be found here

You need to use at least version 9 of the Adobe Reader to view the workbook format for the budget documents.

The presentation with the highlights of the budget can be found here:

new Franklin High School under construction
new Franklin High School under construction

Franklin Schools - Last day of school update

So far this year we have had 4 snow days. Also, the Keller/Sullivan Complex was closed one day for a facilities issue. The last day of school is as follows:

  • All Schools except Keller/Sullivan: Friday June 20, 2014 - half day
  • Keller/Sullivan Complex Monday June 23, 2014 - half day

pending any other snow/emergency days of course.

Keller-Sullivan sign from July 2013
Keller-Sullivan sign from July 2013

This was shared from the Franklin Schools page here

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Apr 2, 2014

– February 12, 2014 Regular and Executive Session- To be released

– This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29. This meeting may be recorded by Franklin Matters.






Senator Spilka and Representative Roy
150 Emmons Street


1. Resolution 14-05: Appropriation: Fire Detail Account – Continue until May

2. Resolution 14-15: Request for Special Legislation, Re: Local Sales Tax on Sale of Medical Marijuana

3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 14-728R: Changes to Chapter 185 – 5, Zoning Map: Industrial to Single Family III(Washington St.)-Referral to Planning Board

4. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 14-732:Changes to Chapter 185-21, Parking, Loading, and Driveway Requirements – Referral to Planning Board





– Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required


The documents released with this agenda can be found here

Franklin, MA - Municipal Building
Franklin, MA - Municipal Building

Franklin Walk - Saturday, Mar 29

I did have some company for the walk Saturday morning (thank you!) and hopefully will have some more as the public walk and continues next month. The weather cooperated nicely for the walk which started on the Town Common at 8:30 AM and finished there about an hour later.

tree lined walkway on the Town Common
tree lined walkway on the Town Common
We started from the bandstand on the Common and walked by the Senior Center, Oak St/Horace Mann complex, between the new and current high school, down Panther Way to the Sculpture Park and then reversed the route to return.

bandstand on Franklin Town Common
bandstand on Franklin Town Common

About 2.5 miles in just under an hour. Conversation along the way with stops for photos here and there.

wrought iron flowers
wrought iron flowers
 One of the flowers has fallen off this work. It doesn't appear to be malicious but rather the results of a poor welding connection. The snow and wind this winter apparently loosened it.

I call this one 'five fingers'
I call this one 'five fingers'
I am curious to find out what the official name is for this piece (above).

railing shadows
railing shadows
the fence railing along the edge of the wall at the former town pool castes its shadow in the morning sun.

2 faced, or split personality?
2 faced, or split personality?
 When I was last at the park, the white of this piece against the snow was impressive. The white against the winter foliage color is stark.

the bear rages on
the bear rages on

Conversation piece: is he raging for joy or frustration/anger? I think it is for joy!

pond reflection
pond reflection
 Completing the loop around the sculpture park you come upon more pond reflections.

If you haven't been to the Sculpture Park yet, I would encourage you to stop by sometime. On Panther Way just before the Police Station. There is parking and the loop through the park is a brief and easy walk. I'd estimate about a quarter of a mile.

I'll schedule another Franklin Walk and Talk for April. We'll check the weather to see which Saturday seems most likely to provide some good weather.

Franklin Voices: Property on Corner of Emmons Street

Hello everyone -

I am writing you because, in the past, you have been kind enough to be open to information on various issues in the Town.  Currently, the Town Council is considering what to do with the old Town Hall, which now houses the Rec department, at the corner of Emmons and 140.  This building is next to Davis Thayer, Dean College and is truly the "front door" to downtown.

There are basically two options: sell the property now or wait.  The attached petition from the  Franklin Downtwon Partnership makes a compelling argument for waiting, including the need to gather community input into what ultimately sits on this important piece of land as well as considering the needs of downtown businesses during the upcoming construction.

Please read the following petition and sign it electronically if you agree with the message. This petition is necessary because at both public meetings and in news interviews, a few members of the Council have indicated that they will move forward with commercial development despite protest from the community, concerns from businesses in the downtown, and other Councilors who expressed issues with rushing into commercial development without further research.

Please take a moment to support this message to the Town Council. 

Thank you.

Tina Powderly

150 Emmons St, the building under discussion
150 Emmons St, the building under discussion

Kindergarten Registration

The Franklin Public Schools announces

April 7th       4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
April 10th      4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Horace Mann Middle School – Cafeteria
224 Oak Street, Franklin

Children who will be 5 years-old on or before August 31, 2013 are eligible to attend kindergarten during the 2014-15 school year. 
Parents or guardians should plan to attend one of the two registration sessions, however children need not attend. 
Required forms (available 3-3-14), as well as additional information, can be found on the ECDC website  or by contacting Kelty Kelley, ECDC Principal @ 508 541-8166 or

Oak St - Horace Mann Complex
Oak St - Horace Mann Complex

In the News: Charter school expansion, Chargers football registration

State education officials this week gave the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School the green light to double its enrollment and expand its district to encompass 13 other towns. 
Among the first charter institutions to open in the state, the school won approval for two amendments allowing it to increase its enrollment by 450 pupils over the next 10 years and extend the district beyond Franklin's borders.
read the full article here (subscription required)

Registration is now for the Franklin Chargers football and cheer programs and will close April 12. 
Football and cheer paperwork is due, and football equipment fitting day will be held that day, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Franklin High School auxiliary gym. 
Attendance is required for participants. Piesco Sports will be in attendance for those who need to purchase items such as practice pants, girdles, rib shirts, etc.
read the full article here (subscription required)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hockomock Sports awards - Winter season published their winter season sports awards this week. The collection of the awards is as follows:

Boys Basketball  - Chris Rogers and Marcus Giese represent Franklin

Girls Basketball - Lexi Martin and Tracy Pisani represent Franklin

Hockey - Troy Donohue, Kyle Powers and Ryan Spillane represent Franklin

Franklin High School - home of the Panthers
Franklin High School - home of the Panthers

FHS Spring Concert - Apr 1

From the FHS Pantherbook, we find:
FHS Pantherbook
FHS Pantherbook
The Franklin High School Music Department prepares to impress their audience at this year’s Spring Concert. 
Come April 1st at 7pm in the Horace Mann Auditorium to see music numbers by the chorus band and orchestra, with just a 5 dollar donation! 
After being together since September all groups work well together and are confident with their ability to put on a successful display of this hard work and improvement.
 Read more at:

Driving to Boston: Prudential Tunnel Ceiling Removal Project

MassDOT has planned 3 significant weekend lane restrictions on Interstate 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) in Boston to remove the Prudential Tunnel ceiling over the roadway. The ceiling remains safe and secure, but has deteriorated beyond the point of repair and must be removed. The tunnel ceiling is owned and maintained by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA).
Mass Dept of Transportation
Mass Dept of Transportation

The restrictions will reduce traffic to one lane eastbound and one lane westbound inside the Prudential Center Tunnel on the following weekends:

March 28-30
April 4-6
April 25-27

MassDOT and MCCA strongly encourage motorists planning travel along the Massachusetts Turnpike through Boston to consider using public transportation, seeking alternate routes and allowing additional time to travel through the work zone during these weekends.

For more information about this project and to view printable detour maps and directions, please visit

Friday, March 28, 2014

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 3/28/14 - THU 4/3/14

FRI 3/28   3:30pm   iStories - Franklin Public Library
FRI 3/28   6:30pm   Art Night Uncorked - Franklin Art Center
FRI 3/28   9pm   Comedy Night - 3 Restaurant, Franklin

SAT 3/29  8:30am  Franklin Walk with Steve Sherlock, meet at Town Common
SAT 3/29  2pm   Edible Perennial Gardening, Franklin Public Library
SAT 3/29   6pm   Global Market & Cafe, New England Chapel, Franklin

SUN 3/30   1pm   Mother Goose - FREE  event at Dean College (Guidry Center)
SUN 3/30   3pm   Meet Author Cathy Symons at Destination Dog, Franklin

MON 3/31   10am-1pm   Franklin Senior Center Open House

TUE 4/1   7pm   Finance Committee Budget Hearing, Franklin Municipal Building

WED 4/2   6:30pm   Cooking Matters, Hockomock YMCA Franklin
WED 4/2   6:30pm   Protect Your Minor Children Workshop, Tri-County RVTHS, Franklin. Registration required.
WED 4/2   7pm   Town Council Mtg., Franklin Municipal Building
WED 4/2   7pm   Friends of Franklin Public Library Meeting - Community Room (FPL)

THU 4/3   6pm   Girls Night Out at Clarke Kitchen in Milford
THU 4/3   7pm   Finance Committee Mtg., Franklin Municipal Building

For more details on above events click HERE and select the event of interest.

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

Join me for a walk this Saturday

Join me for a walk and talk this Saturday. 

We'll meet at the Town Common bandstand, walk by the high school, to the Sculpture Park and return the same way. 

The total distance should be less than 3 miles at a casual conversational pace. 

Bring your camera!

bandstand on the Franklin Town Common
bandstand on the Franklin Town Common

You can reply to the Facebook event here or send me an email (shersteve at gmail dot com)

WhenSaturday, March 29th at 8:30am
Meet at the bandstand on the Town Common

"an opportunity for careful, long-term, creative thinking"

The Franklin Downtown Partnership Board of Directors sent a letter last week to the Franklin Town Council asking for more time to consider possible uses for the town-owned property at the corner of Emmons Street and West Central Street.

Emmons St building
Emmons St building

The future of 150 Emmons Street is scheduled for discussion at the April 2 Town Council meeting. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Municipal Building and is open to the public.

At a March 4 town workshop, concerned business owners and residents filled the room to hear proposals from a local developer and an architectural firm. Community leaders expressed interest in not selling the property and considered developing it into a ‘gateway property’ that would include a cultural center, green space with a sculpture, a park or a combination of these ideas.

After receiving calls from residents and listening to the concerns of its members, including the Franklin Performing Arts Company, Artistry Kitchen, Dean College, the Franklin Art Association and the Franklin Historical Commission, the Partnership’s board felt it was important to ask the Town Council not to rush into selling the property.

“The Town is in an advantageous position in that it owns this important piece of real estate. We have an opportunity for careful, long-term, creative thinking by the community and town officials. The FDP Board feels it is important to give businesses and residents a chance to further research and develop their ideas,” says Franklin Downtown Partnership Executive Director Lisa Piana.

The Partnership’s letter asks the Town Council to suspend issuing a Request for Proposal, or RFP, until the community has time to analyze the impending streetscape project’s impact on traffic and parking and to investigate funding options for noncommercial ideas.

The letter outlined specific goals the Partnership would like considered for the site, including making sure the end result does not cause additional traffic or parking issues. With the streetscape construction about to begin, the FDP is concerned about parking and wants to make sure that the 50 parking spaces located on the site are available to businesses for the next 12 months.

Hat's off to Franklin - at the Historical Museum
Hat's off to Franklin - at the Historical Museum

“We are asking for time to explore alternative proposals and give a project of this magnitude the proper due diligence it deserves,” says Roberta Trahan, Franklin Downtown Partnership Secretary. “The FDP Board looks forward to working with the Town Council, the Planning Department and community leaders to determine the best direction for the downtown and this important ‘Gateway’ property.”

Franklin  Downtown Partnership
Franklin  Downtown Partnership
The FDP is a non-profit group of 200 business owners, residents and community leaders who are working to revitalize the downtown area. For over ten years the organization has provided a voice for the community in matters of public policy and infrastructure projects, and has been involved in many downtown beautification projects, including the greenspace on West Central Street, the bronze sculpture and greenspace in front of the Historical Museum, the patio near The Cake Bar, and the downtown signs and park benches in the center of town.

Perhaps the FDP is best known for its annual events like the Strawberry Stroll, Harvest Festival and Holiday Stroll. The FDP’s office is located at 9 East Central Street, and the Partnership encourages residents to stop by the office if they would like to get more involved in helping to revitalize downtown Franklin.

Residents who would like to share their opinion on the Emmons Street property are welcome to attend the April 2 meeting or they can contact the Franklin Downtown Partnership at (774) 571-3109 or Visit to learn more.

Eat at Panera - Support the All Night Party - Fri Apr 4

Panera Bread has agreed to host a fundraising night for the All Night Party on Friday, April 4th at their Franklin location.
Panera Bread
Panera Bread

Any one that participates must present this flyer to the cashier at the time of purchase so we can receive credit for the sale. The All Night Party will receive 10% - 20% of all sales.

Over One Million Issues Reported on SeeClickFix

This info was updated here

This is the company and website that powers the app allowing Franklin residents to report potholes, street light problems, etc.

According to the DPW the amount of reports being made with this channel is continuing to grow.Maybe someday Franklin will also get into this top 10 listing!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Library: Edible perennial gardening and landscaping

Planning for spring gardening? Especially now that the snow has gone and it may actually feel like spring for more than a day. The Library is hosting a talk on edible and perennial plants this Saturday at 2:00 PM.

Details in the flyer here

edible perennial gardening and landscaping
edible perennial gardening and landscaping

For more on the speaker, John Root, you can visit his website

Zentangle Class Wednesday, April 9th at Jane's Frames

Zentangle spoken here logo
Zentangle Class
Dear Steve,
Wednesday, April 9th, 6:00-8:30 at Jane's Frames.

Zentangle is a meditative artform that anyone can do!
 No art experience is needed.  

The cost of this 2 hour class is $35.00, it includes the Zentangle kit, so you can continue creating your tangles at home. Please RSVP soon as the class  fills up quickly! When you call or e-mail, I will send you additional information about the class.

 After 14 months of enjoying the relaxing and inspiring process of creating Zen-tangles,  in June  2012 , I was fortunate enough to attend a  three and a half day long course, along with over 100 attendees from all over the world, in order to become a certified Zentangle teacher.
The instructors,  Marie Thomas and Rick Roberts,

are the co-founders of Zentangle.   I am so pleased to be a Certified Zentangle Teacher,  and I now am proud to add CZT after my name! 

What is Zentangle?
Zentangle is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. 
Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.

For more information go to QUICK LINKS

A very Special Thank you goes to my friend Cathy Corcoran, a true Angel on earth, who introduced me to Zentangle over 16 months ago. I have been enjoying this relaxing and inspiring process ever since. It was through Cathy's joy of presenting what she loves, generosity of spirit and inspiration that drew me into the world of tangling. I am forever grateful!

Joyfully and Thankfully Yours,

Jane Curran, CZT
Jane's Frames

Zentangle Class
Relaxing & Eye Opening
Quick Links

Anyhting is possible, one stroke at a time
Zentangle tiles from class
A sample of creations from an Zentangle Class of first time tanglers.

Jane's Frames | 11 East Central Street | Franklin | MA | 02038

Register for the 4th Annual Franklin & Bellingham SNETT Road Race

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee
4th Annual Franklin & Bellingham SNETT Road Race

5k Run, 1 or 3 Mile Walk

Help support our effort to develop the Southern New England Trunkline Trail into a multi-use path for Franklin and Bellingham

Registration: 8:30 – 9:45am
Start Time: Run 10:00am / Walk 9:45am
Start / Finish: 431 Washington St. Franklin, MA
(Former Putnam Investments Property)
Run: 5k loop of paved roads
431 Washington St & Grove Streets
(This is private property, please respect it)
Walk: 1 mile walk at 431 Washington St
or 3 mile walk on the race route
Entry Fee: $20 prior to race day
$25 day of the race
$15 Students
  • Post race refreshments
  • Prizes awarded by category
  • Revolution Soccer Team Street Visit
  • Raffle Prizes, Massage Therapist
  • Race Timing by Spitler Race Systems

Register Now!
or download and register by mail
Join &Support | Contact Us | Forward this email

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee

Franklin and Bellingham Rail Trail Committee · PO Box 68 · Franklin, Ma 02038 · USA

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Live reporting - budget hearing (cont'd)

This picks up from Part 1 of the meeting reported here

Jeff covered an overview, mostly contracts to provide support

one time bump for new technology at the high school, then it would end up in the salary budget for the Schools

School have total control on personnel costs for employees supporting town wide
individual departments pay their technical expenses

COA/Senior Center
Karen Alves

we used to have a 4,000 and we are growing out of a 15,000 sq ft facility
in the capital budget we are looking to build out the 2nd floor
more programs and more customers

a lot more goes into the Senior Center than what is shown here
grants, the Friends of the Elderly, etc and lots of volunteer help

Senior Center has seen two homeless people in the last month
Friends group funds the chef for the cafe
MetroWest provides a significant grant

Outreach person going from 19 hours to 30 hours
costs shifting between grants and Friends
$9,000 increase overall as a result of moving things around

simple assessment based upon enrollment in October of prior year
have not yet received the full budget breakdown

have not received the Agricultural budget either
also dependent upon student enrollment

budget adjustments since last meeting
workers compensation number received today

add $5,000 for Fire Dept, recurring for medical equipment an ongoing expense and not a capital budget where it was originally

Purchasing Director unable to keep up
needs 6-8 hours of clerical support to help her through the new high school processing

adjusted the revenue numbers from the State and House joint resolution

Q - should we keep rather than reduce the heating budget based upon the new high school?
A - we know the high school will be more efficient, it was based upon usage of gas across the schools, not just the high school

Q - fire budget, flat salary?
A - yes, there is no contract yet. There is a wage settlement amount in the budget but not in the fire budget. If the contract does get agreed to, then the money would move to the Fire Dept

discussion on holding off the final budget vote to meeting next week
capital budget also ready for discussion

capital budget still waiting on the final storms of winter to pass so we'll know the snow budget
still no final recommendations from the capital subcommittee
state looking at funding a spray park, down at Fletcher field
grant available, awaiting info from the state to; if we apply we'll get approved.
you have to front the money and then get reimbursed

$2.4M with some left over accounts to be closed out and used for capital along with 'free cash'

Sally Winslow and Miriam Goodman return to talk about the School capital needs
aligning curriculum to common core, the math program Chicago Everyday math doesn't meet and is not ready to go to common core
committee put together to evaluate the common core math program options
full program of evaluation
initially costed by the vendor at $450,000 negotiated to go for $150,000 in the capital budget
covers K-5 math instruction, books to go along with the online (software) component

a number (54) of smart board at the current high school are being re-deployed around the district. the capital cost is for the movement to the new location and wired properly for the new location
it is a one time expense to move these
not purely a capital expense but a one time expense from the capital funds available

POS terminal for the nutra-kids meals, free or reduced priced lunch tracked better without raising an issue for the student inline; replaces 19 terminals throughout the schools, the older ones can be used as spares
picture verification, validation of purchases within allergies

Keller-Sullivan computer labs have been used in the 9 years since the school was opened, equipment being replaced

discussion on one night or two, preference for one night, ideally next Tuesday to finish the capital and vote on the final budget recommendation

motion to adjourn, passed

Live reporting - Finance Committee - Budget Hearing - Mar 25, 2014

Present: Dowd, Conley, Fleming, Smith, Dewsnap, Dufour, Aparo, Heumpher, Quinn
Absent: none

Nutting, Gagner, Dacey

Starting with Town Clerk budget
adjustment in salary for competitive reasons
transfer of passport processing from Town Clerk to Town Administrators office; no change in hours, just shift from one account to another

Q - do we still microfilm?
A - yes, for storage

Q -what elections this year?
A - two, primary and secondary

Q - room in new high school for the election?
A - yes, we'll be there in Sep for the primary election. more may come out to see the school, also be fore the open house

Q - where do we store all the election stuff?
A - we have space set up outside the new school for tat, also in the capital budget is new election booths that would be on rollers

Historical Commission
more stuff going on with the museum, getting small already, looking for additional shelving in the capital budget

Q - volunteers are staffing?
A - Yes, and you can join the Friends of the Mueseum, a non-profit

School Dept
Paula Mullen, Sally Winslow, Miriam Goodman

school budget starts with the foundation budget
state determines the foundation and then the local amount to be supported, the difference is covered by Chap 70

$87M from all sources
28.5% of our population under 18
11,131 per pupil state official number of expense

if you are spending at the minimum, it is not a good education
grants and revolving accounts also provide some income

$4.3M in this budget is being used from these revolving accounts

$55,600,000 is targeted amount
$1.2M over FY 2014 a 2.32% increase

total of 10 new teachers

potential traffic issues once school opens (as the old school gets demolished)

professional development for Common Core, particularly for elementary math program funded in the capital budget (hopefully)

pilot testing PARCC next week, preliminary to help make the decision on adopting the PARCC standard to replace MCAS, DESE has not made a decision yet

difference between what we spend and what the state average is has been widening

while we are spending less, the test scores are very good

(hopefully we can get a copy of the presentation to add)

Q - on line item
A - educational assistance, movement of teachers out of grant funding and into regular budget, the intent of the grant is to supplement the education; EA's came out and teachers went in

Q - what is the difference between the net school spending and the total
A - the capital budget for one is the major, the 11,000 average is only the major 11 categories counted in the State number.

Q - on discretionary funding to the schools
A - the principals agreed to reduce the 120,000 from the line item to other after school activities and substitutes (for common planning time)

Q - medical health services, up by 7.8% but up by 13%
A - those are nurses and LPNs in the schools, contractual obligations account for the increase

Q - re: enrollment, what assumptions did yo make for 2015?
A - anticipating an increase in high school, incoming freshman class may be larger than the 8th grade class we have; additional classes proposed at middle school, anticipated that K going down based upon births from 5 years ago

Q - influx from private to public?
A - yes, due to the new high school

Q - 1.6M in grants, what is our success rate in seeing those continue
A - detail on the grants in special notes in the budget; tied to enrollment data in certain categories; i.e. special education pupils = 1.1M for IDEA. Those are expected to continue, there are reductions from time to time, anticipating to be level funding next year. State K grant is unknown at this time.

Q - moving teachers from middle to elementary?
A - positions would move, the teachers may or not move depending upon the requirements; retirements expected to help provide the shift

Q - I'd like to echo that this presentation is a great package. is the presentation up on the website.
A - If it is not, it will be

Part 2 of the meeting notes continues here

Franklin, MA: Finance Committee - Budget Hearing #4

The Finance Committee is scheduled to hold its fourth and maybe last budget hearing Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM.

The budget items scheduled for discussion are as follows

Dept  - Budget  - Page
Town Clerk   161 - A-31
Elections   164  - A-34
Historical Commission   691 - F-10
School   300 - C-1
IT   155 - A-28
COA   541 - E-8
Tri-County   390 - C-2
Norfolk Aggie   395 - C-3

Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central St
Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central St

Budget hearing #3

Budget hearing #2

Budget hearing #1

audio version (was not recorded by Franklin TV)

Franklin Downtown Partnership: Emmons Street Property Update

Dear FDP Members: 
Thank you for your e-mails and phone calls regarding the Emmons Street property.  After talking with so many of our members the FDP Board of Directors sent the attached letter to the Town Council asking them to please give the community time to continue to develop their ideas and concepts that were presented at the March 4th town workshop. 
Franklin Downtown Partnership
Franklin Downtown Partnership
The Emmons Street property is on the agenda for the April 2nd Town Council meeting at 7:00 pm and the Economic Development meeting at 5:30 pm. We encourage our members to attend and voice their opinions.  If you are unable to attend, please send us your thoughts and ideas and we would be happy to present them to the Council next week. 
Please e-mail or call the FDP office if you have any additional questions. The FDP Board always likes to hear from members on these important downtown decisions.

Link to the letter to the Town Council as referenced above

Open letter and current petition to postpone the decision on Emmons St

Local veteran to receive high honors at Charity Gala for Huntington’s Disease

On Thursday, The Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA) and the Massachusetts State House will honor local veteran, Jose Valdivieso, for his brave military service and courageous struggle with Huntington's Disease (HD). A 2003 Medway High School Graduate, Jose retired honorably from the U.S. Army shortly after being diagnosed with the disease in 2011. Jose will receive the HDSA Person of the Year Award and State Representatives Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin), John Fernandes (D-Milford) and James Cantwell (D-Marshfield) will present Jose with a joint citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives. 
Huntington's Disease Society of America
Huntington's Disease Society of America
"I am honored to represent Jose and his family in the House of Representatives and delighted that the Huntington's Disease Society is recognizing him as its person of the year," said Representative Jeffrey Roy (Franklin – D).  "It's the dedicated and noble service of individuals like Jose who answered the call of duty and served in harm's way so that we could be free. Jose is a local hero who carried on that tradition of service and set himself apart through meritorious achievement. While he's living with an impossible disease he perseveres with a smile on his face and enriches the lives of others." 
Joining the military promptly after high school, Jose completed a 15 month tour in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan totaling 18 months. He received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained as a gunner when his Humvee was struck by an explosive device. Jose was also awarded the Army Commendation Medal for heroism and meritorious achievement, and honored with other veterans from the Wounded Warriors Project on a segment of Good Morning America in 2011.

HD is a devastating, hereditary, degenerative brain disorder that results in a loss of cognitive, behavioral, and physical control. The disease was passed down to Jose from his father, who died from the disease when Jose was 10 years old. Jose's older brother, Patricio, also suffers from HD. Along with the physical injuries and post traumatic stress from combat service, Jose copes with HD symptoms like loss of balance and coordination, sleep disorder, and speech impairment. Slowly diminishing his ability to walk, think, talk, and reason, Jose will eventually become totally dependent upon others for his care. More than 30,000 people in the United States are currently diagnosed with HD.  Each of their siblings and children has a 50 percent risk of developing the disease, therefore 250,000 are at risk.   "I join Representative Roy in expressing the honor it is to represent a person of such courage," stated Representative Fernandes.  "Jose's dedication to service on behalf of our country and his strength in taking a lead in the effort to show others how to live through and with Huntington's is inspirational."
Jose often turns to laughter to cope with the challenges of Huntington's. As he says, "joking and laughing helps in staying positive. You just have to keep on smiling." Like any good soldier, Jose perseveres, and his courage serves as a model for those who cross his path.  He currently lives in Medway with Patricio and his younger brother, Javier, a local Police Officer and member of the Coast Guard.

The Huntington's Disease Society of America is the largest 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by Huntington's Disease. Founded in 1968 by Marjorie Guthrie, wife of folk legend Woody Guthrie who lost his battle with HD, the Society works tirelessly to provide help for today and hope for tomorrow. HDSA supports 21 Centers of Excellence at major medical facilities including Massachusetts General Hospital, funds research into the biology of the disease to facilitate the development of treatments and cures, hosts more than 170 support groups for people with HD, their families, caregivers and people at-risk, and is the premiere resource on Huntington's disease for medical professionals and the general public. To learn more, about Huntington's disease and to get involved in HDSA, please visit or call 1-800-345-HDSA.

MassBudget: Unlocking Potential: The Cost and Availability of Juvenile Detention and its Alternatives in MA

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Unlocking Potential: The Cost and Availability of Juvenile Detention and its Alternatives in Massachusetts
MassBudget's new KIDS COUNT report explores budget trends for juvenile detention over time. It looks at newer alternative programs for kids entering the juvenile justice system, and compares costs across the detention continuum. Juveniles are in "Detention" when they are in custody of DYS before trial or before a probation violation hearing. Many such children are charged only with misdemeanors, and there is significant evidence that for many juveniles placement outside of a jail-like facility is at least as effective from a public safety perspective -- and better for the child. The report finds that there are significantly different costs for different types of placements:
  • Placement in a jail-like facility ("Secure Detention") is the most expensive.

  • A community placement in foster care is less than half the cost of a secure placement.

  • Alternatives to detention, which allow kids to receive services while at home, are even less expensive than foster care.
The report also finds that the number of alternative placements is increasing but that implementation has been slow and uneven. Read the report here.

companion KIDS COUNT report from Citizens for Juvenile Justice examines how and why detention is harmful to kids, the characteristics of children detained, and what alternatives to detention are working well in Massachusetts.  

National and state data on juvenile justice are available at the Kids Count Data Center. MassBudget's Children's Budget includes a section on juvenile justice. 
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

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