Sunday, July 12, 2020

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - July 14, 2020

connection info contained in agenda doc

“The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.”

I. Routine Business
A. Review of Agenda
B. Citizen’s Comments

In the spirit of open communication, “the Committee will hold a public participation segment (also called Citizen’s Comments) about matters not related to an agenda item at the beginning of each regular School Committee meeting. The Committee will listen to, but not respond to any comment made…. A Committee member may add an agenda item to a future meeting as a result of a citizen comment…. The Committee will hear public comments related to an agenda item when the Chair deems appropriate during the Committee meeting. Topics for discussion during the meeting must be limited to those items listed on the Committee meeting agenda for that evening…. ” - from Policy BEDH
C. FHS Student Representative Comments
D. Superintendent’s Report

II. Guests/Presentations
A. None

III. Discussion/Action Items
A. Policy First Readings
I recommend moving the following policies to a second reading:

  • 1. EEA - Student Transportation Policy
  • 2. EEA-R - Transportation Policy and Responsibilities
  • 3. EEAG - Student Transportation in Private Vehicles

B. Policy Second Reading/Adoption
I recommend adoption of the following policy:

  • 1. ECAF - Security Cameras in Schools (New)

C. School Committee Resolution: “Anti-Racism Resolution”
I recommend the School Committee adopt the School Committee Resolution “Anti-Racism Resolution” as discussed.

IV. Discussion Only Items
A. Opening School Update

B. BICO Quarterly Report

V. Information Matters
A. School Committee Sub-Committee Reports (e.g. Ad Hoc Supt. Evaluation, Ad Hoc Facilities Analysis, Budget, Community Relations/Public Schools Advocacy, Policy, Transportation)
B. School Committee Liaison Reports (e.g. Joint PCC, Substance Abuse Task Force, School Wellness Advisory Council)

VI. New Business
A. To discuss any future agenda items

VII. Consent Agenda
A. Approval of Minutes
I recommend approval of the minutes from the June 23, 2020 School Committee meeting as detailed.
B. FHS Scholarship
I recommend acceptance of a check for $1,000.00 from the Franklin Country Club for a FHS scholarship as detailed.
C. JFK Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $805.00 from the JFK PCC for supplemental supplies as detailed.

VIII. Payment of Bills Dr. Bergen

IX. Payroll Ms. D’Angelo

X. Executive Session
A. Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, §21(a)(3) to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining with the FEA/RN, FEA/Cafeteria, FEA/ESP, FEA/Secretaries, FEA/Van Drivers as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the School
Committee and the chair so declares.
B. Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, §21(a)(3) to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining with the Non-Union Personnel as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the School Committee and the chair so declares.

XI. Adjournment

File released for the meeting can be found online

Agenda doc

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - July 14, 2020
Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - July 14, 2020

Zooming into the Future, It’s Happening to Us All.

by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director 07/12/2020

The Videophone – Never has a technology been so ignored for so long. One high-tech company after another has tried to enter this seemingly huge unmet market need. Actually, it was met. Many times. Then again, perhaps it wasn’t a need.

The notion of a one-on-one, private video conversation goes back over a century ago.
This depiction about the year 2000 is from a series of illustrations in 1900. This was the year the word ‘television’ was first coined at the Paris Exposition. What do we call the people who use it? Tele-sees? Viseoteers?

The first actual video phone call was a test of long lines technology by the phone company in 1932 between New jersey and New York.

This futuristic video-phone was exactly that – a phone. It had the usual handset to stick their voice into your ear, and a camera/TV to stick their face into your eyes (and vice versa). At $400 a pop in 1960? Umm,-no.

Mind you, this was way back in the rotary dial days. Remember the rotary dial?

One after another company tried – and failed. Why?

Vanity. Simple vanity.

The public wasn’t ready for that intrusion.

Whenever anyone said, “It’s nice to see you.” Steve Allen would reply, “It’s nice to be seen.” While it might be nice to see someone, no none actually wanted to be seen.

“God forbid! My hair! It’s such a mess.”

The videocall – or conference began to gain a bit of traction in the early seventies. (Note that we still have that rotary dial.) Again, vanity played a role. Corporate higher-ups enjoyed that power perk.

Then, two new indispensable devices found their way into our lives: The personal computer and the smartphone (aka, a very personal computer). Add connectivity, and these general-purpose devices could do just about anything. We could process our words, numbers, images – even video. Add software, et voila! Videophone!

Skype, Facetime, Webex, Google Hangouts, Zoom. Now it’s all a simple download. This year was the trigger – the event horizon. Vanities aside, we now needed to connect socially when we could no longer meet and engage in personal interactions. The need finally caught up with the technology.

This week we are installing Zoom capability in Town Chambers. It is one way that these horrific times are making our future a bit better. Having participation in government meetings for those who can’t travel – that’s a win. We are Zooming - into the future.

And – as always – Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm. And, thank you for watching.
Copyright, 2020, FCCA, Inc. & the author. All rights reserved.

Note that we at Franklin TV are holding our own Zoom remote open annual meeting on august 3rd at 7PM. All are welcome to participate and learn about Franklin●TV and Franklin Public Radio, wfpr●fm.

For the full program guide

DESE: Fall Reopening Frequently Asked Questions, as of July 10, 2020

Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
Fall Reopening Frequently Asked Questions, as of July 10, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions – All Audiences

1. What is the overall goal for K-12 education in academic school year 2020-21?
Our goal is the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings, to maximize learning and address our students’ holistic needs.

2. Why are DESE and the medical community recommending in-person learning?
After weeks of discussion with many stakeholders, including members of our Return-to-School Working Group, infectious disease physicians, pediatricians, and other public health experts, and given low transmission rates of COVID-19 in the state, there is a clear consensus that in-person learning is the preferred model. While remote learning has improved over the course of the school closures, there is no substitute for in-person instruction when it comes to the quality of students’ academic learning. In-person school plays an equally important role in supporting students’ social-emotional needs, including their mental and physical health, and mitigating the impacts of trauma.

3. What safety measures will be in place for students and staff? 
It is important to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics has affirmed that children, particularly younger children, are less likely than adults to be infected with COVID-19. Furthermore, if they become infected, it appears children may not have the same transmission potential as adults. The health and safety requirements for school reopening use a combination of strategies that, taken together, will substantially reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in schools. This combination approach includes masks/face coverings, physical distancing, handwashing/sanitizing, and staying home when sick.

4. What are the guidelines for safe distancing requirements between students?
Medical experts advising DESE have stated the greater the physical distancing the better, but that the minimum acceptable distance is three feet, when in combination with face coverings and other measures. Establishing a minimum physical distance of three feet between students when face coverings are worn is informed by evidence and substantiated by guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization.

5. Who needs to wear a mask or face covering, and when do they have to be worn?
Students in second grade and above, and adults, including educators and staff, are required to wear a mask/face covering that covers their nose and mouth at all times, except for designated breaks, which should occur throughout the day. Breaks should occur when students can be six feet apart and ideally outside or at least with the windows open. Students in kindergarten and grade 1 are strongly encouraged to wear masks or face shields. Masks/face coverings must be worn by everyone on the bus during school bus transportation. Teachers and parents should reinforce mask-wearing.

6. Are there exceptions to wearing masks or face coverings?
Exceptions to mask/face covering requirements must be made for those for whom it is not possible due to medical conditions, disability impact, or other health or safety factors. Face shields may be an option for students with medical or behavioral challenges who are unable to wear masks/face coverings.

7. Can parents send children to school without a mask/face covering if they do not have access to one?
Masks/face coverings should be provided by the student/family, but schools should make available face masks for students who need them.
Superintendent/Principal Frequently Asked Questions

Health and Safety

1. When, if ever, should students and staff be tested for COVID-19? Is there routine testing?
Current Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidance states that anyone who shows any COVID-19 symptoms, even if mild, should be tested. Medical experts recommend close contacts of those who test positive also get tested.

2. What are the health and safety guidelines for teachers?
All adults, including educators and staff, are required to wear a mask/face covering that covers their nose and mouth at all times, except for designated breaks, which should occur throughout the day. Allow adequate space for teachers to ensure safe physical distance from students.

Facilities and Operations

3. Is ten students the maximum number in one class in the fall (as provided in the Initial Summer School Guidance issued on June 4, 2020)?
No, our guidance has evolved since the Initial Summer School Guidance. For the fall, there are no required maximums on cohort or group sizes, so long as schools adhere to physical distancing requirements.

4. How do we measure how many desks can fit into a classroom?
When masks are worn, three feet is the minimum distance allowed from “seat edge” to “seat edge.” Desks should face in the same direction. There is no maximum number for group size, so long as schools adhere to the physical distancing requirements. Six feet of physical distance is required between students who are not wearing face coverings, e.g., when eating or taking a mask break. Please see guidance about unmasked kindergarten and first grade students below.

5. Can students in kindergarten and first grade who are unmasked sit together on the rug?
Students in kindergarten and first grade should be encouraged to wear a mask/face covering, or a face shield if masks are not tolerated. Schools should aim to keep kindergarten and first grade students six feet apart but lesser distances are acceptable (but no less than three feet). This is permissible given the lower susceptibility of the age group. Schools should consider reconfiguring space to discourage prolonged close contact and encourage activities that allow children to spread out. Programs may design their own strategies to implement this recommendation – such as spacing chairs at tables, designing games and group activities where children may engage in play that can be spaced apart (for example, by using visual cues, like hula hoops or tape on the floor), and increasing outdoor time.

6. When students are in the cafeteria or in classrooms or other spaces to eat, what is the space requirement?
During meals, because masks are not worn, six feet of physical distancing is required. To provide adequate distancing, there may need to be multiple meal breaks for smaller cohorts of students or enable some students to eat in the classroom and some in other spaces as feasible (e.g., cafeteria, hallways if permitted, etc.).

7. Do we have to keep classroom windows open?
To increase facility ventilation, we encourage schools to keep classroom windows open, if feasible, as much as possible throughout the school year.

8. Can we use our cafeteria for meals if we provide adequate spacing in lines and at tables?
Students must be six feet apart in the cafeteria or any eating space, as it is assumed that masks/face coverings will not be worn during meals. If the cafeteria cannot provide adequate spacing, consider alternative ways (e.g., stagger meal times, have students eat in classrooms instead of the cafeteria, or use common areas) to promote physical distancing during meals. If serving food in the cafeteria, develop staggered schedules that minimize mixing of cohorts, enforce six feet physical distancing protocols, adjust food preparation and service procedures to minimize shared items, and support compliance with health and safety. It is preferred for those without masks not to sit facing each other.

Models of Learning

9. Do districts need to create three plans or just the plan they intend to start with this fall?
DESE is requiring districts to develop one plan that addresses all three models for learning (in-person, hybrid, and remote) this school year. The plan should prioritize getting as many students back to school in-person safely as possible, following a comprehensive set of health and safety requirements. The plan should also describe how the district would implement a remote learning and hybrid school model (a combination of in-person and remote learning). Across each of these models, the district or school also needs to address how special populations, including students with disabilities and English language learners, will receive necessary services and accommodations.

10. When are school and district plans for reopening due? Will there be a template to submit the plan?
Districts and schools will be required to submit a reopening plan to DESE by July 31 that addresses the three models outlined in the previous question. A template will be distributed the week of July 13.


11. What is a “level service plus” budget?
A “level service plus” budget includes additional funds on top of a district’s projected budget to manage additional costs associated with health and safety preparations. While the FY21 budget is still being developed by the Legislature, the Commonwealth is making additional funding sources available directly to schools and districts to support reopening.

12. What federal funding is available to assist districts and schools?
To date, the following federal grants have been made available to cities and towns for educational expenses related to COVID-19:
a. $193.8M from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to districts, largely based on the Title I formula
b. A portion of the $502M from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CvRF) already allocated
c. Additional $202M from CvRF ($225 per pupil) to support school reopening, specifically
d. $25M for remote learning technology grants from CvRF and ESSER
Moreover, the Executive Office of Education (EOE) and DESE applied for additional competitive federal grants and are waiting determination.


13. Is DESE mandating changes to school days/calendar changes?
DESE reserves the right to do so, but not at this time. Please move forward with planning accordingly.

14. Will there be changes to assessment requirements (MCAS)?
Not at this time beyond decisions already made. Please move forward with planning accordingly.

15. What should educators and other staff who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 do when the school re-opens?
Educators and other staff who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 will want to consult with their health care providers about whether and under what circumstances a return to in-person school settings would be medically inadvisable.

16. How is the guidance different for private schools?
This guidance applies to all public elementary and secondary schools in Massachusetts, including charter schools. Private, independent, and parochial schools may use DESE documents as a guide.

17. What can a district do to avoid disruptions that occur if parents change their mind about whether their child will attend school remotely or in-person?
Many superintendents have surveyed parents/caregivers about their intention to return to school. It is recommended that districts and parents/caregivers continue to be in close communication. When parents/caregivers communicate early that a child is returning to school, it allows for more thoughtful planning by their child’s school. More information may follow.

18. Should Pre-K classes follow DESE guidance or EEC guidance?
In general, public preschools should follow DESE guidance. However, if public preschools enroll children whose families receive subsidies administered by EEC, they should seek guidance from their EEC regional office.

19. Are school districts responsible for students who are choosing remote learning?
Yes, school districts are responsible for students who are engaging in remote learning. Remote learning models shall include the following requirements: (1) procedures for all students to participate in remote learning, including a system for tracking attendance and participation; (2) remote academic work shall be aligned to state standards; (3) a policy for issuing grades for students’ remote academic work; and (4) teachers and administrators shall regularly communicate with students’ parents and guardians, including providing interpretation and translation services to limited English proficient parents and guardians, consistent with 603 CMR 27.08.

20. What do I do if I have other questions not answered here?
District/school-based personnel may email

Frequently Asked Questions by Parents

Models of Learning

1. Can parents choose whether to send their children to school or keep them learning remotely?
Parents/caregivers can choose to send their children to in-person school or keep them at home learning remotely. In-school attendance is highly encouraged to promote student academic progress because there is no substitute for the attention and engagement possible with in-person learning.

2. If my child starts the school year remotely can I send them back to in-person learning?
Yes, parents can choose to send their children back to school to in-person learning if they started the year remotely. Parents and school districts are highly encouraged to be in close communication about any changes. When parents/caregivers communicate early that a child is returning to school, it allows for more thoughtful planning by their child’s school. More information may follow.

3. What is the difference between homeschooling and remote learning?
Remote learning means learning provided by the school district that happens outside of the traditional classroom because the student and teacher are separated by distance. Remote learning may be synchronous or asynchronous. Remote learning may include but is not limited to online learning (603 CMR 27.08). Parents may also choose to homeschool their children, a type of private education. For a child of compulsory school age, the homeschooling program must be approved in advance by the superintendent or school committee of the district of residence.

Health and Safety
4. After in-person instruction resumes, does a student need to submit a doctor’s note if they need to be out for personal health reasons?
State law dictates that school committees set local attendance policy. Given the current health crisis, DESE does not recommend requiring a physician’s note for attendance-related purposes for personal health reasons. If the student’s parents/caregivers are seeking home or hospital educational services, the regular home/hospital process ( must be followed, including the completion of the Physician’s Affirmation of Need for Temporary Home or Hospital Education for Medically Necessary Reasons, which requires a physician’s signature. Additional requirements for return will be in place for a student or staff who has tested positive for COVID-19.

5. What is the proper handwashing technique?
When handwashing, individuals should use soap and water to wash all surfaces of their hands for at least 20 seconds, wait for visible lather, rinse thoroughly, and dry with an individual disposable towel.

6. What is the proper hand sanitizing technique?
Hand sanitizer should be applied to all surfaces of the hands and in sufficient quantity that it takes 20 seconds of rubbing hands together for the sanitizer to dry. Hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent ethanol or at least 70 percent isopropanol content can be used.

7. Is hand sanitizing an acceptable replacement for handwashing? Is handwashing (not hand sanitizing) necessary?
While handwashing with soap and water is the best option, alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60 percent ethanol or at least 70 percent isopropanol) may be utilized when handwashing is not available. As has always been the case, hands should be washed whenever hands are visibly soiled and after using the bathroom.

8. What do I do if I have other questions not answered here?
Parents/caregivers may email questions to

Link to DESE doc

Parmenter school sign for summer 2020
Parmenter school sign for summer 2020

Missed seeing the FHS 2020 graduation? Still time to watch or download

The FHS Class of 2020 graduation, awards, and parade videos are still running on Franklin.TV. You can also download the complete video file for each until July 23.

Franklin All-Access 
Comcast Channel 8; Verizon Channel 26

12:00 PM FHS Graduation 2020
04:00 PM FHS Car Parade 2020

08:00 AM FHS Graduation 2020
03:30 PM FHS Car Parade 2020

07:30 PM FHS Senior Awards 2020

08:30 AM FHS Senior Awards 2020
05:30 PM FHS Graduation 2020

11:00 AM FHS Senior Awards 2020

04:00 PM FHS Graduation 2020


These three programs freely available for Video On Demand

We have recently completed the final release versions of programs for the FHS 2020 Graduation. They will be shown on our cable channels for several weeks according to our weekly schedule. These TV Program files are also available for downloading in high-definition at these links.
Just enter these links into your browser and download/save the files to your computer. These are lengthy TV programs, and downloading may take some time, depending on your internet speed. These programs will remain available for free downloading until July 23rd.

Missed seeing the FHS 2020 graduation? Still time to watch or download
Missed seeing the FHS 2020 graduation? Still time to watch or download

In the News: police reform bill stalls for 3rd day; parents want flag at half-staff Aug 31

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"For the third time in as many days, Senate Republicans prevented debate on a wide-ranging police reform bill, but it appears the Senate could launch into its debate on Monday. 
State Sen. Ryan Fattman, R-Sutton, used a procedural motion to postpone debate - asking that all of the nearly 130 amendments to the bill be printed in the Senate calendar. 
Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, said there is bipartisan agreement on 80% to 90% of the bill, but a section dealing with qualified immunity of law enforcement officers is dividing the Senate. He said a bill that’s less expansive and focuses on areas of agreement is more likely to yield “timely action.” 
Qualified immunity is a doctrine that prohibits civil rights suits against government officials where unconstitutional conduct had not been clearly established as illegal at the time it occurred."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Parents who have lost children to opioid overdoses gathered Friday outside the State House to urge the governor to lower flags to half-staff in honor of International Overdose Awareness Day, part of a national push to get all 50 states to bring flags down halfway on the day. 
The Massachusetts-based nonprofit Team Sharing organized the event and works with parents who have lost a child to substance use disorder by providing social networking, grief services, and advocacy. 
“If you ever have gone to a funeral and and watched a mom put her child in the ground, oh, my gosh, you’d do anything for them,” said Marlborough resident Cheryl Juaire, whose son Corey Merrill died in 2011 from an overdose. “He’s sending a clear message that he doesn’t care, and that’s what we’re really upset about. There was not a good enough reason why he couldn’t do it.” 
Baker has focused on reducing opioid overdoses during his time in office and the governor’s office plans to issue a proclamation on Aug. 31 declaring the day as International Overdose Awareness Day but said in a letter Thursday that U.S. Flag Code authorizes only certain, specific reasons for the lowering of the U.S. flag to half-staff."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Talk Franklin: Phase III Reopening, Budget, Virtual Meeting Schedule and Upcoming Events!

FM #311 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 311 in the series.

This session of the radio show shares my "Talk Franklin" conversation with Town Administrator Jamie Hellen and Communications Specialist Anne Marie Tracey. We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

We talk about: Re-opening continues

  • Diligence continues to be required (face coverings, hand washing, etc.)
  • Town staff and operations; DPW projects
  • Election info


  • Town hiring freeze, budget management internally

Virtual meetings

  • School comm 7/14
  • Senior coffee 7/16
  • Town council 7/22

Cultural events

  • THE BLACK BOX concerts parking lot
  • Party for the Pantry – 7/16
  • Don White/Circle of Friends fund raiser for the Pantry – 7/23
  • Concerts on the Common includes a movie night 7/24

The recording runs about 40 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Jamie and Anne Marie.


The COVID-19 case count for Franklin

DPW projects updated on Facebook page

The water rate discussion including why we currently have a ban and usually have ‘water conservation measures’


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.

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

How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit
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!

You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

Talk Franklin: Phase III Reopening, Budget, Virtual Meeting Schedule and Upcoming Events!
Talk Franklin: Phase III Reopening, Budget, Virtual Meeting Schedule and Upcoming Events!

State forest parking lot on Grove St is ready for use

"Thanks to @MassDCR for an incredible job building a new parking lot for expanded State Forest access! Thanks to @jeffroy for your advocacy on this important state project! It’s summer, Franklin, let’s go explore Franklin State Forest!!!"

State forest parking lot on Grove St is ready for use
State forest parking lot on Grove St is ready for use

Franklin radar picked up via Twitter

Boston Globe: "Mail-in voting isn’t ‘fraudulent,’ despite Trump’s claims. Here’s what experts say"

From the Boston Globe, articles of interest to Franklin:
"President Trump on Friday continued to ramp up his rhetoric attacking states for passing vote-by-mail laws amid the coronavirus pandemic, this time claiming that while absentee voting is acceptable, voting by mail is not. But the two are largely the same thing, according voting rights advocates and state officials. 
The tweets came as Trump’s polling numbers continue to sag, and just days after Massachusetts lawmakers approved a bill allowing all Massachusetts voters to cast ballots by mail this fall. 
In his tweets Friday, Trump said that absentee voting was fine, but vote-by-mail programs are rife with fraud. But absentee voting and mail-in voting are largely the same thing, according to a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Bill Galvin. 
“There is no substantive difference in the process between voting absentee and voting by mail,” Debra O’Malley told the Globe Friday. “Both systems require the voter to submit a signed application to their local election official, wait to receive their ballot in the mail, and return their marked ballot to their local election official by Election Day. Both types of ballots require a signature on the ballot envelope which is matched to the voter’s signature on file.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Get your vote by mail application at the Town Clerk's page

Additional election info can be found on the Secretary of the Commonwealth's page

New water treatment plant for Wells 3 & 6 under construction

"The new Water Treatment Plant and reconstruction of two wells to provide cleaner and better water to residents and businesses is coming along great! The steel shell is up. Project is currently on time and on budget! Thanks Franklin DPW and the entire staff for gettin’ it done!"
New water treatment plant for Wells 3 & 6 under construction
New water treatment plant for Wells 3 & 6 under construction

Franklin radar picked up via Twitter

Other DPW projects underway at this time are shared in this Facebook post:

For additional info on the overall water supply status, if you haven't listened to the Town Council discussion on water rates, this segment of the meeting is available and provides a bunch of info

St John's Episcopal Church - Outdoor Worship - now scheduled for July 19

St John's Episcopal Church to re-gather for Outdoor Worship Sunday, July 19
St John's Outdoor worship postponed till July 19
We need a little more time to pull together the details. Bring your chair and mask NEXT Sunday (7/19/20) at 10 AM

Bring your own chair and mask for worship on our front lawn.
See you Sunday (7/19/20) at 10 AM. We'll still be live streaming on Facebook, as well.

St John's Episcopal Church - Outdoor Service - July 19
St John's Episcopal Church - Outdoor Service - July 19

Senate Passes Bill to Expand Take-Out and Delivery Options in Restaurants

On Friday, July 10, 2020, the Massachusetts State Senate passed bipartisan legislation that gives restaurants more flexibility, and customers more choice, while the Commonwealth continues to confront the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill, An Act to Expand Take-out/Delivery Options in Response to COVID-19, would allow restaurants to include mixed drinks with take-out and delivery orders. Restaurants were previously authorized by the legislature to sell beer and wine with take-out orders. The bill would authorize restaurants to serve mixed-drinks to-go until the Massachusetts' state of emergency in response to COVID-19, declared by the Governor on March 10, 2020 is lifted.

"The Senate has stood by our small business owners throughout this pandemic, and today's bill provides yet another tool to help the restaurant industry get back on their feet," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "While the work to support our small businesses impacted by COVID-19 continues, I am proud to see this measure advance today. I want to thank Senators Diana DiZoglio, Michael Rodrigues and Joe Boncore for their advocacy and collaboration on this issue."

"The Senate's passage of this bill provides critical relief to struggling restaurants as they work to recover and remain viable in the face of economic hardship," said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D - Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "Restaurants have been among the hardest-hit industries during the COVID-10 pandemic, and I am glad - thanks to the leadership of the Senate President, and the advocacy of Senator DiZoglio and others - we are able to provide restaurants with this economic lifeline during this challenging time."

"Since the start of the COVID-19 emergency, I have heard from our local restaurant owners about the revenue that to-go mixed drinks could generate to help them stay afloat and survive the impacts of the shutdown," said State Senator Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen). "While many mom and pop establishments have been able to slowly reopen in recent weeks, they still face significant challenges in their efforts to retain employees and pay their bills. While the legislature does not have a say in the reopening plan during this continued state of emergency, we still have an obligation to use every legislative tool we have to help those that are struggling due to the pandemic. The passage of this bill will greatly help our job creators in the restaurant community, as well as their employees, many of whom have faced challenges with unemployment and uncertainty over whether their jobs will be there for them in the future. I am grateful to my colleagues in the legislature for their support and continued advocacy on the issue. I hope this bill will be signed into law by the Governor as soon as possible."  

"Restaurants and bars are woven into the cultural and economic fabric of our communities," said State Senator Joe Boncore (D-Winthrop). "Allowing for cocktail sales to go will certainly aid in the economic recovery of the unique local and small businesses that make up the restaurant industry in my district, and across the Commonwealth."

Under the bill, restaurants would still be required to verify that customers are 21 or older and mixed drinks must be sold in sealed containers. The legislation requires that mixed drinks be sold exclusively with food, limited to two mixed drinks per entrée, and not more than 64 ounces in total.

The bill is the latest in a series of far-reaching actions by the Senate meant to support small businesses during the COVID-19 public health crisis. The bill now moves to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for consideration.

In the News: "the Senate passed a redrafted version of to-go cocktail legislation"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Both branches of the state Legislature have now signed off on allowing Massachusetts restaurants to sell to-go cocktails. 
The Senate on Friday passed a bill that would allow restaurants to sell mixed drinks in sealed containers alongside takeout and delivery food orders, a measure some bar and restaurant owners have been advocating for as a way to attract customers during the COVID-19 crisis that has hurt the restaurant sector. 
Unlike the broader restaurant relief bill the House passed unanimously five weeks ago -- which also included a cap on third-party delivery fees and waived penalties and interest for late meals tax payments -- the Senate’s bill (S 2812) speaks only to the issue of takeout cocktails. 
The two branches would need to agree on an approach before they could send a bill to Baker, who said last month that he supported the House’s restaurant bill. The House was not in session on Friday and meets next on Monday."
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WGBH introduces "Internet Expert" on voting

#Election2020 is only 117 days away. And today, @wgbhnews launched Internet Expert, a fast, fun game show about America’s least trivial subject: our democracy. I’m very proud of this project . 
Take a look at Episode 1 here:

Franklin radar picked up via Twitter: