Monday, February 17, 2020

FM #206 - SAFE Coalition open house and dedication - Feb 13, 2020 (audio)

FM #206

This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 206 in the series. We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (

The SAFE Coalition open house and dedication ceremony was held on Thursday, February 13, 2020. They opened their new offices at 206 Dedham St. nearby in Norfolk. 

They have office space for conversations with individuals or with small groups. They have the “In Plain Sight” display set up in its own room, rather than moving it around, as they have for several years. They have a good size meeting room to hold their workshops and seminars.

After 5 years of working virtually, it is good to have a place to call home.

Here is the audio recording of the dedication and remarks. The order of speakers: Jim Derick, Jennifer Knight-Levine, Rep Jeff Roy, and District Attorney Mike Morrissey. Brian and Robin Hamlin also spoke eloquently about addiction and recovery. The space is dedicated to their son Brian Jr.

The show notes include links to the SAFE Coalition web page, map of the new office location, the Milford Daily News article on the opening and my photos of the event.

Without further ado, let’s listen to the dedication audio, approx. 50 minutes


For more about the SAFE Coalition, you can visit their page

Visit them at their new offices

Download their booklet “WHAT DO WE DO NOW?: Navigating The Substance Abuse System in Massachusetts”

Milford Daily News article on the opening

Photos of the new space taken Feb 13, 2020


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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!


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FM #206 - SAFE Coalition open house and dedication - Feb 13, 2020 (audio)
FM #206 - SAFE Coalition open house and dedication - Feb 13, 2020 (audio)

2020 Presidents' Day Group Walk on the SNETT

The Franklin-Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC) write:
"Please join us for our monthly group walk on February 17 (Presidents’ Day) at 10 AM. 

We will meet in the parking lot at the Grove Street trailhead in Franklin. All are welcome, including well behaved, leashed dogs."

Follow the Facebook event post by FBRTC

Wear good shoes, the trail is likely to be icy near the 'sunken' portion
Wear good shoes, the trail is likely to be icy near the 'sunken' portion
It is not really 'sunken' as anyone knows who walks a rail trail. They are as flat as can be. Trains did not like to do steep elevations. Long and gradual inclines or declines are all you'll find on rail trails. The 'sunken' section (as I refer to it) is where the trail was cut through a rise. The walls on both side rise 30-40 feet and there is a natural gathering of water along the trail. Given the temp, it is likely frozen and with care can be traversed without problem. There are well worn paths on both sides as well that are much dryer than the center part of the trail.

FHS boys hockey team tops Mansfield 3-0

Via, we share the results of the FHS winter sports action on Sunday

Boys Hockey = Franklin, 3 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final
"Franklin took control of the game from the opening face-off, scoring a goal in each period to end a two-game losing streak. The Panthers outshot the Hornets 39-13 for the game, recording 13 shots in each period, and Mansfield struggled with its second game in 24 hours. 

Conor O’Neil opened the scoring with 2:21 left in the first when he was able to knock in the rebound of a Justin Abely shot from the point. JT Dwyer doubled the lead on the power play three minutes into the second. He corralled a loose puck at the far post and roofed a shot to make 2-0. 

In the third, Tom Tasker scored shorthanded to wrap up the win, picking the top corner from the right circle. Sean McCafferty was excellent in goal for the Hornets with 36 saves. Ray Ivers made all 13 stops to earn the shutout, including a big stop on a Kyle Oakley breakaway in the third period with Franklin leading by two."

For a Photo Gallery from the game:

For other results around the Hockomock League:

Fhs Tom Tasker with puck on his stick ( photo)
FHS Tom Tasker with puck on his stick ( photo)

Register O’Donnell Reports on January 2020 Norfolk County Real Estate Activity

A strong local economy and continuing low interest rates have resulted in a robust January Norfolk County real estate market, according to Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell.

Register O’Donnell stated, “During the month of January, real estate sales, for both residential and commercial property, rose by 11% from the previous year. A total of 1,261 property transactions were recorded versus 1,141 in January 2019. This increase was all the more impressive when one considers the continuing challenges facing the real estate market due to limited amount of inventory for sale.”

According to January statistics, the average combined sale price of residential and commercial property for the month was $900,864, a 36% increase year over year. In addition, total dollar sales volume, again for both residential and commercial properties, was $636 million, a 47% increase from January of 2019. “These numbers,” noted Register O’Donnell, “were impacted by a $50 million commercial sale recorded during the month in Brookline.”

Norfolk County lending numbers, again fueled by low interest rates, showed a large increase during the month of January. The Register noted, “The number of mortgages recorded during the month increased by 64%. Also, the total volume of mortgage financing, for both residential and commercial properties, came in at $1.2 billion, a 98% increase year over year. There can be no doubt consumers and businesses both are continuing to take advantage of low interest rates.”

However, a definite concern was in the area of foreclosure activity. “During January,” noted the Register, “there were 15 foreclosure deeds filed compared to 12 during the same time period in 2019. Also, there was a 36% increase in the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings, the first step in the foreclosure process.”

“The foreclosure numbers seen in January are a stark reminder that while the local economy remains strong, some of our neighbors are having trouble paying their mortgage. I want to remind Norfolk County residents that my office continues to partner with the Quincy Community Action Programs, 617-479-8181 x376, and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, 508-587-0950. These organizations can help homeowners who have received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage document. A third option is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400.”

On the consumer front, the number of Homestead recordings also increased during January. A total of 842 Homesteads were filed compared to 757 in January 2019. O’Donnell noted, “A Homestead provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge homeowners to review the possibility of taking advantage of the Homestead law.”

Register O’Donnell concluded, “The data we have seen for Norfolk County is reinforced by what we are hearing from both real estate agents and mortgage loan officers. The low real estate inventory has led to bidding wars, where in some cases, properties are being sold above the original asking price. It is the industry’s belief that average real estate sales price should remain high until there is a substantial increase in inventory, something we do not see happening in the near future.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at or follow us on and

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. It is also the repository of over 8.5 million land records. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at

Register O’Donnell Reports on January 2020 Norfolk County Real Estate Activity
Register O’Donnell Reports on January 2020 Norfolk County Real Estate Activity

School Committee Feb 11, 2020 meeting recap

After the FHS student updates, Superintendent Ahern provided her info

Several 5th Graders from Jefferson Elementary coordinate to talk about their mural project. The presentation doc is shared here.

Technology Director Tim Raposa coordinates and manages the technology delivery for all of the Town of Franklin including the schools. Of all the updates I have seen on technology, this is the most comprehensive (and also with up to date info). You can review the presentation deck below. As this is one of the key enablers for the Town of Franklin, I will share the audio for this segment separately. It is definitively "shareworthy"

Asst Superintendent Lucas Giguere started the SEL update with a reflective breathe exercise which was timely and well worth it. There should be more of these moments in meetings. 

Asst Superintendent Lucas Giguere started the SEL update with a reflective breathe exercise
Asst Superintendent Lucas Giguere started the SEL update with a reflective breathe exercise

The Jefferson 5th Grade Mural Project:

The Technology update:

The Social Emotional Learning update:

The Actions Taken for this meeting was published Weds AM
For more details you can review my notes captured live during the meeting Tuesday.
  • Live reporting: Consent Agenda - Closing
  • Live reporting: Discussion Action Items - Information Matters
  • Live reporting: District Improvement Plan - Update
  • Live reporting: School Committee - Feb 11, 2020

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Feb 11, 2020

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Lifelong Community Learning Announces More Classes - Registration Open Now

Registration is open for new, additional offerings at Lifelong Community Learning. Classes begin in March and in some cases continue through the summer months.

Participation is open to individuals, organizations, and businesses alike in Franklin and the surrounding region towns. Classes include everything from arts & crafts to child care education, various food and wine offerings, and the Basics of English as a Second Language. Participants will also find as many exercise programs as ever, including Yoga, Zumba, Tai Chi, and Community Walking. 

Looking ahead to late spring, Women’s Self-Defense, Becoming a Dementia Friend, and Enhancing Your Economic Security-a special one-night expert panel discussion, will all take place. These events are free BUT registration is required.
April vacation offers another babysitting certification class held in partnership with the Hockomock Area YMCA in Franklin and the Kids’ April Vacation Vegan Cooking Class. Coding with JavaScript, Parent and Child Painting Night, and a Kids’ Financial Education Series round out the spring session!

Let’s not forget summer. Men’s basketball is back on Tuesdays and Thursdays all summer long! And, in early August, Kids’ Summer Vacation Cooking Camp returns. 

For more information, go to and click on Lifelong Community Learning. Or call Lifelong Community Learning at 508-613-1480.

Lifelong Community Learning Announces More Classes - Registration Open Now
Lifelong Community Learning Announces More Classes - Registration Open Now

“I think it validated that we’re here to play”

Josh Perry, Managing Editor of, provides the game recap for the FHS girls basketball win vs Bridgewater-Raynham in the Comcast Classic Tournament in Woburn this weekend. FHS plays their next game at 3:30 PM on Sunday Mondayvs. Cathedral.
"Running through a perfect league campaign and putting up an average margin of victory of more than 30 points per game has earned Franklin a consensus No. 1 ranking in the state. On Saturday night at Woburn High, the Panthers had the chance to show if they could be that dominant against one of the state’s other top teams.

Franklin answered the bell and then some, leading right from the opening whistle and never letting up to earn a 58-41 victory against Div. 1 title contender Bridgewater-Raynham.

“We talked a lot about playing in a big game,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “The lights are brighter, the crowd’s bigger and that’s fine. We believe in what we do. We need to adapt to whoever we’re playing and see what we can do.”

He added, “When you play teams of this caliber, you get to really find out who you are. You play some teams and the game’s over kind of early, the kids don’t go all four quarters so it’s a different look.”
Continue reading the article online

For a photo gallery:

FHS Elizabeth Wilson passes to Erin Quaile (Josh Perry/
FHS Elizabeth Wilson passes to Erin Quaile (Josh Perry/

FHS Wrestling takes D1 Central Championships

Via, we share the results of FHS wrestling team at the D1 Central meet on Saturday

** D1 Central **

1. Franklin – 242.5
2. Brookline – 229

113 = 4th – Dillon Cashin, Franklin
120 = 3rd – Drew Difilippo, Franklin
126 = 4th – Devon Bramson, Franklin
132 = 2nd – Jake Carlucci, Franklin
138 = 5th – Alex Foley, Franklin
145 = 3rd – Alex Fracassa, Franklin
152 = 1st – Ken Sauer, Franklin
160 = 1st – Dom Sackley, Franklin
170 = 5th – Luke Cashin, Franklin
182 = 1st – Dylan Nawn, Franklin
195 = 3rd – Ben Jacoby, Franklin
220 = 3rd – Matt Walker, Franklin
285 = 2nd – Matt Leofanti, Franklin

For other Hockomock League Sectional wrestling results on Saturday

Franklin wrestling won the D1 Central Sectional championship. (Twitter/FHSWrestle)
Franklin wrestling won the D1 Central Sectional championship. (Twitter/FHSWrestle)

"municipalities face outlays of tens of millions of dollars to comply with the MS4 permit requirements"

Via the MA Municipal Assoc (MMA) we hear that the EPA has reached proposed settlement with Franklin (among others) on the MS4 implementation. The MS4 regulation is what has been driving Franklin actions on storm water and the development of the storm water utility fee.

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached proposed settlements with several environmental and developer organizations, as well as two Massachusetts municipalities, over implementation of its small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

MS4, a type of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued by EPA regional offices, authorizes certain discharges of stormwater to surface waters.

The most recent iteration of the MS4 permits were issued for Massachusetts in 2016 and for New Hampshire in 2017, replacing a permit issued in 2003. Environmental groups, including the Conservation Law Foundation and the Charles River Watershed Association, sued the EPA in 2017 to expedite implementation of the permit and ensure that it met stringent environmental and public health standards. Around the same time, several home builder and developer organizations, along with the town of Franklin and the city of Lowell, sued the EPA over the anticipated financial impact of the stricter regulations.

According to an EPA press release, the proposed settlements, announced on Dec. 27, are “the outcome of all parties’ efforts to ensure that, when fully implemented, both MS4 permits protect the environment, adhere to the Clean Water Act and EPA regulations, and address municipalities’ implementation concerns."

Continue reading the article online

The proposed settlement agreement and links to the amended permits are posted to the Federal Register at

The EPA page on the MA MS4 regulation

Storm water utility information sessions have been scheduled. Ben Franklin, the Franklin police dog, will also be in attendance to provide a 'ruff' overview!
  • Friday, March 6th, 2020 8 - 10 am in Town Council Chambers
  • Wednesday, March 11th, 6 - 8 pm at Franklin TV
  • Saturday, March 21st, 11 am - 1 pm at Franklin Library

Massachusetts Phase II Automatically Designated Area (PDF)
Massachusetts Phase II Automatically Designated Area (PDF) (EPA image)

US Census: Putting 2020 Census Rumors to Rest

"Every decade, technology plays a greater role in the way the census is conducted. But in 2020, the first time anyone who wants to respond to the census online has that option, the greatest change may come from the way all of us use technology.

For the first time during a decennial census, the majority of people in the United States are using digital and social media in their everyday lives.

“The rise of digital and social media use has exponentially increased the speed of how accurate and inaccurate information can spread,” said Stephen Buckner, assistant director for communications at the U.S. Census Bureau. “We know that many people may not know what the census is because it happens only every 10 years, making it a likely target for misinformation and disinformation campaigns, which is why we’ve been actively preparing to defend against them.”

The Census Bureau is ready for these challenges."
Continue reading the article online

YouTube video link =