Tuesday, November 24, 2020

FM #397 Town Council Meeting - 11/18/20 - P2 of 2 (audio)

FM #397 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 397 in the series.

This session shares the Franklin, MA Town Council meeting held on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020.

The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: members of the Town Council, selected guests, and Town Administration personnel were in the Council Chambers, the public was remote via Zoom conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

I’ve split the full three hour plus meeting into two almost 90 minute segments:

* First - covers the opening through the meeting minutes approvals, one appointment and then the discussion on nationalGRID and their response to power outages during storms (1 hour and 28 minutes)

* Second - picks up the Legislation for Action, most of the discussion falls during the bylaw to create the Community Preservation Committee. The public portion of the meeting closes as the Council goes into Executive Session to hear the latest on the ‘spear phishing’ incident. Reportedly, the community will be provided an update at the Dec 2 meeting. (1 hour and 19 mins)

The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda including documents released for this agenda.

Let’s listen to this segment of the Town Council meeting of Nov 18, 2020. Audio file = https://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HXnrnzzS

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

Agenda document (and released supporting materials in one PDF) https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/agendas/11-18-2020_town_council_meeting_agenda.pdf

Agenda details with individual documents https://www.franklinma.gov/town-council/agenda/november-18-town-council-agenda

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

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) 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 Franklinmatters.org/

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" 

Town Council chair Tom Mercer opens the meeting
Town Council chair Tom Mercer opens the meeting

FM #396 Town Council Meeting - 11/18/20 - P1 of 2 (audio)

FM #396 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 396 in the series.

This session shares the Franklin, MA Town Council meeting held on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020.

The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: members of the Town Council, selected guests, and Town Administration personnel were in the Council Chambers, the public was remote via Zoom conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

I’ve split the full three hour plus meeting into two almost 90 minute segments:

* First - covers the opening through the meeting minutes approvals, one appointment and then the discussion on nationalGRID and their response to power outages during storms (1 hour and 28 minutes)

* Second - picks up the Legislation for Action, most of the discussion falls during the bylaw to create the Community Preservation Committee. The public portion of the meeting closes as the Council goes into Executive Session to hear the latest on the ‘spear phishing’ incident. Reportedly, the community will be provided an update at the Dec 2 meeting. (1 hour and 19 mins)

The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda including documents released for this agenda.

Let’s listen to this segment of the Town Council meeting of Nov 18, 2020. Audio file = https://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HDvK4P8S

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

Agenda document (and released supporting materials in one PDF) https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/agendas/11-18-2020_town_council_meeting_agenda.pdf

Agenda details with individual documents https://www.franklinma.gov/town-council/agenda/november-18-town-council-agenda

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

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) 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 Franklinmatters.org/

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" 

Town Clerk Nancy Danello provides an update on the Dec 5 special election
Town Clerk Nancy Danello provides an update on the Dec 5 special election


Emma's Quilt Cupboard is closed this week to move!

Emma's Quilt Cupboard & Sewing Center -12 Main Street is Closed For Relocation
 
Reopening December 1 at New Address:
Horace Mann Plaza (Shaw’s Market)
319 East Central Street
Franklin, Ma
508-520-0234

 

Emma's Quilt Cupboard is closed this week to move!
Emma's Quilt Cupboard is closed this week to move!


Reminder: Santa on the Common - now a drive by event - Nov 29

Due to the pandemic we are changing the format of Santa on the Common. A Drive By is planned where you can see Santa in your car. You must follow these simple rules:
  1. Santa will be on the corner of Main and High St. 
  2. You family must enter by Union St. and exit Main St.
  3. You and your family must wear masks
  4. Before you see Santa give your Christmas list to the person before Santa
  5. When you are in front of Santa you can wave and greet him and he will give you a souvenir of the event
  6. After you have greeted Santa you will be given a gift certificate for a treat 
  7. We hope you join us, for Santa wants to be able to see  you before his magical flight
When?
Sunday - November 29, 2020 - 4:00 PM

Reminder: Santa on the Common - now a drive by event - Nov 29
Reminder: Santa on the Common - now a drive by event - Nov 29



Download a copy of the flyer as a reminder

Pantherbook: "Thanksgiving During the Pandemic"

From Pantherbook we share the following: 

"The CDC advises that “the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with.” To still feel connected to your extended family, you can video chat with them on Thanksgiving.

However, if you are visiting family, a safer way to celebrate is outside, perhaps at a bonfire. If you are gathering inside, you can open windows in the house to establish more air-flow. Inside or outside, the CDC highly recommends wearing masks when not eating or drinking, social distance as much as possible, and washing your hands often."

 

https://franklinpanthers.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/getty-covid-mask-coronavirus-fall-thanksgiving-900x471.png
https://franklinpanthers.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/getty-covid-mask-coronavirus-fall-thanksgiving-900x471.png



Franklin Senior Center: December 2020 VIRTUAL Coffee Social - Dec 2

Join Us! Wednesday, December 2 at 10:00 AM

HELLO VETERANS!

Just a reminder… Our next VIRTUAL Coffee Social is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2 at 10:00 hours!

Please join us for veterans' updates and conversation and feel free to extend this invitation to other veterans who may not be on our contact list.

We hope you and your families are remaining healthy and safe by wearing face coverings and observing social distancing guidelines when out in public. Remember to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly especially after going shopping or to appointments. Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Please follow the governor's Covid-19 travel and visiting guidelines during the holiday season.

Flu shots are available at local pharmacies. If you're over 65, you may want to call ahead to be sure your pharmacy has the high-dose influenza vaccine in stock.

The Veterans' Office will host the monthly Coffee Social via Zoom on Wednesday, December 2 at 10:00 A.M.

If you have not participated in a Zoom call yet, you'll need to download the Zoom app on your device before joining us.

Here is the log-in information for the December 2020 meeting only:
Join Zoom via URL: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82499173596
Call in number: 1-929-205-6099
Enter Meeting ID: 824 9917 3596 then press #   

For more information, contact the Veterans Services Office at: (508) 613-1315.

We look forward to chatting with you at the December Coffee Social!
BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

Franklin Senior Center: December 2020 VIRTUAL Coffee Social
Franklin Senior Center: December 2020 VIRTUAL Coffee Social


Commonwealth Magazine: "Baker says fraud rampant with unemployment insurance"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

"GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said a relatively small number of state unemployment claims were approved last week because of a screening process designed to weed out a rising tide of fraudulent claims.

The governor said the state received 31,000 applications for unemployment assistance last week, but only 1,000 passed the screening process.

“There’s a tremendous amount of fraud going on around UI,” Baker said at a Monday afternoon press conference. “Some of these fraudsters are actually paying people to call unemployment offices around the country and advocate for benefits pretending to be somebody they’re not, who’s not in fact actually unemployed.”

Baker said the anti-fraud effort is slowing down the claims process and preventing state officials from obtaining an accurate count of the number of new claims being filed each week."

Continue reading the article online
 
The Gov Baker press update where he made the comments on unemployment fraud. YouTube link = https://youtu.be/0c6nZ7OLwdc

FTC Consumer Alert: Holiday shopping season 2020


Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

by Shameka Walker
Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC

The holiday season is upon us and retailers are already preparing for what they hope will be a successful shopping season. Because of COVID-19, it's likely that we'll be going online to look for those perfect gifts. With so many deals around and what seem like eternal "Black Friday" sales, it's important to keep some online shopping tips in mind.

Read more >  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/11/holiday-shopping-season-2020

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.




Staying Safe This Thanksgiving during COVID-19

"As the coronavirus pandemic intensifies, is there any safe way to celebrate Thanksgiving? We asked four experts to tell us about their plans and the science that shaped them."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

MBTA: Thursday - Commuter Rail notice for Thanksgiving

The Commuter Rail will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day, 11/26. Regular weekday train service will resume on Friday, 11/27.

On the Lowell and Franklin Lines, Sunday train service without disruptions will run on 11/26. Weekend bus shuttles will resume on both lines on Saturday 11/28.

On the Rockport Line, bus shuttles will continue to operate between West Gloucester and Rockport.

Last Updated: Nov 23 2020 10:02 AM

https://www.mbta.com/schedules/CR-Franklin/timetable 

MBTA: Thursday - Commuter Rail notice for Thanksgiving
MBTA: Thursday - Commuter Rail notice for Thanksgiving

 

Monday, November 23, 2020

FM #395 Town Council - Budget SubComm Meeting- 11/18/20 (audio)

FM #395 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 395 in the series.

This session of the radio show shares the audio recording of the Town Council Budget Subcommittee meeting held at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020.  
The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: members of the Budget Subcommittee and Town Administration personnel were in the Council Chambers, the public was remote via Zoom conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

Quick recap:

  •  "incredibly good news" on FY 2021 budget compared to what had been feared in June 2020
  • Added back $75K to both Town Clerk and Recreation budgets based upon requirements and changes due to the pandemic
  • Adjusted new growth number back upwards and then recommended to set aside $850K in the Budget Stabilization account. This had been emptied by withdrawals to balance the recent budgets

The full show notes also include my notes taken via Twitter during the meeting as well as the agenda and associated budget documents released for this meeting.

The meeting runs about 32 minutes, so let’s listen to the Budget Subcommittee meeting.  Audio file = https://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HWHd5tyS



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

Budget Subcommittee agenda and supporting documents: https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/agendas/budget_subcommittee_agenda.pdf

Town of Franklin Budget page  https://www.franklinma.gov/town-budget

My meeting notes
https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/11/town-council-budget-subcommittee.html

Photos captured during the meeting and shared with the Twitter thread can be found onlin
e https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ksn5Q4qwUrcJ3Eq36

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

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) 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 Franklinmatters.org/

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"

sheet showing the two additions of $75 and the set aside of $850K
sheet showing the two additions of $75 and the set aside of $850K

 

FM #394 Finance Committee Mtg - 11/17/20 (audio)

FM #394 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 394 in the series.

This session shares the Finance Committee meeting held on Tuesday, Nov 17, 2020.

The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: members of the Finance Committee and Town Administration personnel were in the Council Chambers, the public was remote via Zoom conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

Quick Recap:

  • The Finance Committee gets an update on the Beaver St interceptor, effectively a shorter and concise review of what the Town Council received at their Oct 21, 2020 meeting.
  • The finance options are expected to be ready in January 2021. It is likely that the sewer rate payers will absorb the cost of the project as the sewer fee is user based. A better understanding of how much will be revealed in January.
  • The balance of the meeting was discussion on topics for future meetings.

The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda and my notes.

The meeting runs about 70 minutes, so let’s listen to the Finance Committee meeting for Nov 17, 2020. audio file = https://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HNC3mSdS



 

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

The Finance Committee posted agenda including the interceptor project presentation document  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/11/franklin-ma-finance-committee-agenda_14.html

My notes of the meeting  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/11/finance-committee-meeting-recap-nov-17.html

The Oct 21, 2020 Town Council meeting segment with the Beaver St interceptor presentation and discussion  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/10/fm-372-town-council-mtg-102120-part-2.html

Photos of the meeting shared via Twitter can be found in one album
https://photos.app.goo.gl/fHPczB9FKC5P67U16

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

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) 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 Franklinmatters.org/

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"
 
key graphic depicts the sewer gravity flow along with the depth of the access points
key graphic depicts the sewer gravity flow along with the depth of the access points

 

Reminder: Candidate Night - Nov 23 - 7:00 PM

The four candidates for the open Town Council seat will meet in a live broadcast for a candidates night moderated by former police chief Larry Benedetto.
 
The candidates (ballot order)
  • Alan R. Earls
  • Cobi Frongillo
  • Gregory R. Chiklis 
  • KP Sompally 
How to watch
  • Three options for watching the candidates night - Monday, Nov 23 - 7:00 PM This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast Channel 11 and Verizon Channel 29  #SECN1123  1/3
  • Three options for watching the candidates night  - Monday, Nov 23 - 7:00 PM  = use your web browser to watch the Live Stream https://franklinma.gov/home/pages/live-meetings-stream   #SECN1123 2/3 
  • Three options for watching/participating in the candidates night  - Monday, Nov 23 - 7:00 PM  = Connect via Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83643671854#SECN1123   3/3 

 

Reminder: Candidate Night - Nov 23 - 7:00 PM
Reminder: Candidate Night - Nov 23 - 7:00 PM

"Healing Power of Gratitude Challenge”

Dear Residents of Franklin,

This week many will be away from family and friends, unable to join together for the holidays. This week, let's spread gratitude & thanks and help each other remember the good!

Recently, Russell M. Nelson, global faith leader, prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave a message of hope and healing while calling upon the world to increase prayer and gratitude.

I am excited to share his brief message with you, and ask that as a member of the Franklin community, you consider taking part in his "Healing Power of Gratitude Challenge".

The challenge from Nelson began with, "I invite you—just for the next seven days—to turn social media into your own personal gratitude journal.  Post every day about what you are grateful for, who you are grateful for, and why you are grateful.  At the end of seven days, see if you feel happier and more at peace.  Use the #GiveThanks

The next part of the challenge encouraged those of faith to offer daily prayers of gratitude.

Youtube Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlcILxGmVrI

Facebook Link:  https://www.facebook.com/russell.m.nelson/videos/2150464655087765


The challenge has 2 parts.

For 7-days during November 21, 2020 through the 28:
Turn your social media page into a gratitude journal using #GiveThanks. Post every day about what you are grateful for, who you are grateful for, or why you are grateful.  Share experiences, remembrances, and people you are grateful for. At the end of seven days, see if you feel happier and more at peace. Use the #GiveThanks.
Say daily prayers of gratitude.

I will be participating in the #GiveThanks campaign and sincerely hope you will consider joining with me to share a message of hope and gratitude with others in our community.


With appreciation,

Alisa Hansen

Inside the "district comprehensive review"

Ok, so my last name is Sherlock, and with a title like "The dog that didn't bark in Brockton", I'll admit that the article caught my eye. 
 
That it was also about the DESE district review process got to me read it. 
 
That it steps through a serious argument that highlights the dysfunction among the various agencies of MA government  responsible for "education", makes this a worthy read.

"So it was that I was interested to read an article that the Brockton Public Schools District Review Report was out (three weeks ago: I am behind!) from the Department's pre-pandemic visit in early March. 
Brockton, of course, is the fourth largest school district in Massachusetts and home of the plaintiffs of both the McDuffy and the Hancock legal decisions. When it comes to gaps in school funding, thus, Brockton is a kind of ground zero. Brockton also was the nationally lauded district for closing the achievement gap without becoming a "drill and kill" sort of school system. What happens when those two things are true of the same system, decades or so on?"

Continue reading Tracy's article online
 
Franklin is not listed as having a recent DESE review published (Franklin County is but we all know that is not us).   https://www.doe.mass.edu/accountability/district-review/
 
I do have in the archives a "Coordinated Program Review" being announced in Oct 2015. https://www.franklinmatters.org/2015/10/department-of-education-review-to-be.html
 
I also have in the archives note of a DESE visit in Dec 2009 for a 'fiscal review' https://www.franklinmatters.org/2010/05/fm-68-week-ending-51610.html  and here  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2010/01/fm-54-week-ending-11710.html
 

From the 2018 "Tale of Four Cities" presentation You are reading correctly that it is a 414 teacher gap.
From the 2018 "Tale of Four Cities" presentation
You are reading correctly that it is a 414 teacher gap.


2020 Virtual Senior Health and Wellness Fair (Video)

"Senate President Karen E. Spilka is excited to announce a one-hour VIRTUAL Senior Health & Wellness Fair that will be broadcast on local public access channels, Facebook, and karenspilka.com on November 20, 2020. Designed to help seniors maintain their mental and physical health during the Pandemic, it will feature expertise and resources from local and state experts, including strategies to beat social isolation with AARP Massachusetts President Sandra Harris; short workshops on at-home fitness, fraud prevention, and getting the right care; and overviews of community organizations and services that can help with transportation, fighting scams, and lifelong learning, as well as helplines and other resources-by-phone."
If you missed the event on Friday, it was recorded and is available for replay anytime you want!  Video link = https://youtu.be/Zylka2zvgOE

Register O’Donnell Promotes Registry’s Social Media

Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell today reiterated the importance he places on the Registry’s use of social media platforms to communicate directly with the citizens of Norfolk County.

“At the Registry of Deeds,” noted O’Donnell, “we put a priority on communicating with Registry users. Just because our doors close at the end of the business day doesn’t mean the Registry has to stop working for you. For example, our website www.norfolkdeeds.org allows people to look up and view scanned images of over 8 million land documents dating back to the Registry’s beginnings in 1793. Additionally, users can access our website to learn about our latest consumer protection programs. I also want people to know that Registry information is accessible not just from workstations and laptops, but also from their smartphones and tablets.”

Register O’Donnell further noted that you can print out an application of the popular Homestead Act. A Homestead provides a homeowner with limited protection against the forced sale of their primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000.

Norfolk County residents can also sign-up on-line for its free Consumer Notification Service. This program will alert a person anytime a land document has been recorded against their name in Norfolk County. Additionally, there is valuable county real estate information that can be researched and tracked. Someone interested in the number of residential and commercial properties sold or the average prices of property sold can find that information.  

Besides the Registry website, other forms of social media utilized by the Registry of Deeds include Facebook, facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds and Twitter, twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds. “The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds,” noted the Register, “has utilized Facebook and Twitter to provide information to the general public. By utilizing these platforms, Norfolk County residents can learn more about home ownership and other consumer initiatives like protecting themselves against Deed Scam rip-offs, along with other outreach services, including learning about Registry office hours in their local community.”

The Registry has also filmed multiple public service announcements (PSA’s) which are available on the Registry’s website and YouTube. These PSA’s have touched on a variety of issues such as assistance for residents who have received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage from a lender.

Concluding, Register O’Donnell stated, “At the Registry of Deeds, we recognize the value of using social media platforms to forward important information to Norfolk County residents. If you have questions related to real property, I urge you to take a look at our social media offerings. As important as these social media offerings are, the Registry of Deeds has a Customer Service Center at 1-781-461-6101 where members of the public can seek assistance.”

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.  All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website www.norfolkdeeds.org.  Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org

 

 

Register O’Donnell Promotes Registry’s Social Media
Register O’Donnell Promotes Registry’s Social Media

St. Mary's Women’s Faith Formation Group - Dec 5

The St. Mary's Women’s Faith Formation Group invites all interested women to attend our monthly Zoom meeting, held the first Saturday of each month. The next meeting will take place on December 5th from 9:30-10:15 AM.  

Fr. Vin Dailey will speak on the topic of "Hope during a pandemic Christmas".  There will be time at the end of the program for attendees to share your thoughts and ideas.  

If you are interested in attending, please email Deacon Guy (deaconguy@stmarysfranklin.org) to receive the link to the zoom meeting. 

 

St. Mary's Women’s Faith Formation Group - Dec 5
St. Mary's Women’s Faith Formation Group - Dec 5

 

What about a Marshall Plan for today?

From The Washington Post, an article of interest for Franklin:
The writers are the mayors of Pittsburgh; Youngstown, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; Huntington, W.Va.; Morgantown, W.Va.; and Louisville.

"Every four years, voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky are told how important they are to American industry, but once the election is over, nothing happens. The United States now has a president-elect who comes from our region originally and is more likely to understand what we need to revive it. We, the mayors of eight cities, are banding together to demand real investment in our shared region, which has fueled the U.S. economy for generations yet never gets the attention it deserves.

It’s why we’re asking for an ambitious federal response to save our industries and communities from destruction: a Marshall Plan for Middle America.

In the post-World War II recovery period, the Marshall Plan was a $13 billion ($143 billion today) investment strategy to rebuild Europe and foster economic and democratic institutions. Like postwar Europe, Middle America faces similar issues of decline — a shared crisis of aging infrastructure, obsolescence of business and government institutions, and the need for upskilling and reskilling the workforce."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/11/22/marshall-plan-middle-america-eight-mayors/

 
Note: how can we get out of the pandemic and fix some of the major ills across the board? A modern version of the Marshall Plan might just be the thing to do so.

The Guardian: "Here's what interviewing voters taught me about the slogan 'defund the police'"

From The Guardian, an article of interest to Franklin:
"Joe Biden won the electoral college, leads the popular vote by millions, and will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Taking down an incumbent president is no easy feat and Biden deserves credit for his disciplined and effective campaign.

But there is no question Biden underperformed vis-à-vis the consensus of pollsters and pundits. In Congress the underperformance was even more stark. Democrats expected to make gains in the House of Representatives. Instead, they are poised to return to Washington with an unexpectedly pared-down majority. In the Senate, Democrats were considered favorites to retake the chamber and deliver their party unified control of the federal government. Instead, they made only modest gains. This isn’t where the party wanted to be.

I run a Democratic political consulting firm and wanted to immediately get to work to understand why this underperformance happened. While there are certainly multiple answers to that question and various dynamics at play, we decided to start our inquiry with voters who leaned towards voting for Joe Biden in the last weeks of the election, but ultimately voted to re-elect Donald Trump. We put together a focus group to discuss the election with these voters and explore what changed their minds.

It will be easy for some to dismiss these participants as Trump voters (and they are!) but 70% of them told us they have a negative view of Donald Trump and at some point they supported Joe Biden before ultimately casting their vote for Trump. These aren’t Maga hat-wearing folks. "
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/20/heres-what-interviewing-voters-taught-me-about-the-slogan-defund-the-police

Note: words matter, what they mean, and how they are used matters. If we are going to come together to resolve the serious divide, recognizing how much we do have in common will be important. We can gather round the 'motherhood and apple pie' when we take time to understand what we mean when we say something. Mind reading not permitted, proper use of words is required. Not easy, but necessary.

New York TImes: "Designed to Deceive: Do These People Look Real to You?"

 From the New York Times, an article of interest for Franklin:
"There are now businesses that sell fake people. On the website Generated.Photos, you can buy a “unique, worry-free” fake person for $2.99, or 1,000 people for $1,000. If you just need a couple of fake people — for characters in a video game, or to make your company website appear more diverse — you can get their photos for free on ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Adjust their likeness as needed; make them old or young or the ethnicity of your choosing. If you want your fake person animated, a company called Rosebud.AI can do that and can even make them talk.

These simulated people are starting to show up around the internet, used as masks by real people with nefarious intent: spies who don an attractive face in an effort to infiltrate the intelligence community; right-wing propagandists who hide behind fake profiles, photo and all; online harassers who troll their targets with a friendly visage." 

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/11/21/science/artificial-intelligence-fake-people-faces.html

This is scary and realistic. As careful as I am, this is alarming how realistic these photos appear. Note: you do need to view this article on a large screen device to get all the interactive features of it. Simply amazing!

1 of a series of photos depicting a gender change
1 of a series of NY Times photos depicting a gender change


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Nov 24, 2020

Call to Order
Pledge of Allegiance 
Moment of Silence

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 as discussed  https://www.franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/disc-action-policy-1

1.    JJEA-Crowdfunding Policy
2.    GE-Telework Policy

B.    Portrait of a Graduate Skills and Descriptors
I recommend adoption of the Franklin Public Schools Portrait of a Graduate Skills and Descriptors.  https://www.franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/disc-action-b-pog-1
C.    Portrait of a Graduate Graphic
I recommend adoption of the Franklin Public schools Portrait of a Graduate
Graphic #3 as discussed.  https://www.franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/disc-action-c-pog-2
D.    Superintendent’s Evaluation 2019-2020
The Chair recommends approval of the Superintendent’s Evaluation for 2019-2020 as detailed.

IV.    Discussion Only Items 
A.    Reopening of Schools -- Status Update 11/20/2020

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 November 10, 2020 School Committee meeting as detailed.
B.    Transfers
I recommend approval of the budget transfers as detailed.  https://www.franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/consent-b-transfers-3
C.    FEF Donation
I recommend acceptance of a check for $10,000.00 from the Franklin Education Foundation for in-house enrichment, Supplemental Supplies and Supplemental Curriculum Materials as detailed.  https://www.franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/consent-c-fef-donation
D.    Parmenter Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $150.00 from the Parmenter PCC for Supplemental Supplies as detailed.  https://www.franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/consent-d-parm
E.    Music Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $320.00 from Franklin Music Parents for in-house enrichment as detailed.  https://www.franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/consent-e-music
F.    FEF Grant
I recommend acceptance of a check for $3,500.00 from the Franklin Education Foundation for Supplemental supplies as detailed.  https://www.franklinps.net/district/meeting-packets/files/consent-f-fef-grant

VIII.    Payment of Bills    Dr. Bergen

IX.    Payroll    Ms. D’Angelo

X.    Adjournment

The agenda and other documents released for this meeting can be found in the meeting packet folder
 
Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Nov 24, 2020
Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Nov 24, 2020


Town Council Meeting Recap - Nov 18, 2020

Quick Recap:

  • Corporate change at Shaw's requires approval of the change on the liquor license. There is no operational impact.
  • NationalGRID representative explained process for tree trimming, efforts underway to improve service to the northern part of Franklin. Several residents complained of the impact and expressed desires for more action sooner than revealed.
  • Adjustments to the FY 2021 budget (previously reviewed and approved by the Finance Committee) and by the Budget Subcommittee (held prior to the Council meeting) were discussed and approved. Budget stabilization fund restarted with addition of $850K
  • The bylaw to create the Community Preservation Council per the passage of the CPA at the Nov 3 election (roughly 11K voted yes to 7K voting no) was misunderstood by some in the community as well as on the Council. 9 members will be appointed, 5 from existing board (as defined by the CPA state statue) and 4 at large (a slight change from the proposal of 3 with the fourth a representative of the Agriculture Commission). The second reading of the bylaw will come back at a December meeting.
  • Two other items somewhat 'lost' in the meeting were 
    • Franklin's COVID-19 case count had risen to 104 (and to 116 as of Thursday's community data released by MA DPH)
    • Only 5% of the NationalGRID electric accounts opted out of municipal aggregation. (Given some of the threads on Facebook, one would have expected more to have opted out).
 
Agenda details with individual documents
 
Photos captured during the meeting and shared in the Twitter thread can be found online https://photos.app.goo.gl/LmewJjpttTLP2jb98


----
As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
 
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #tc1118

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23tc1118&src=typed_query

  • Agenda doc for Town Council meeting available https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/agendas/11-18-2020_town_council_meeting_agenda.pdf #tc1118
  • To watch or listen Town Council 11/18/20 : Via Comcast (Channel 11) or Verizon (Channel 29) Call-In Phone Number:Call 1-929-205-6099 & enter Meeting ID # ​829 5161 9518 -Then press # Via live stream https://www.franklinma.gov/home/pages/live-meetings-stream
  • For active participation Town Council 11/18/20: Via Zoom: ​ #tc1118
  • Real time reporting underway for the Town Council meeting #tc1118 Chair Tom Mercer reads the protocol and connection announcements.
  • Town clerk Nancy Danello printing error found on initial mail ballots, replacements being sent, either way the error will not affect the election for candidates or anyone involved. Candidates night scheduled for 11/23 #tc1118
  • Open for citizen comments, citizen speaking on power outages, it is on the agenda. She can speak at that time. She also wants to speak on the CPA question also on the agenda. #tc1118 suggestion to have the access info on the bottom of the cable screen
  • Motion to approve minutes for Oct 7, Oct 21, Nov 4, each separately moved, seconded, passed assuming 8-0 (will verify with head count later) #tc1118
  • Motion to approve appointment of Janet Jewett for Council on Aging made, second, passed 8-0 #tc1118
  • Administrative changes to license of record for Shaw's #tc1118 also change to management ownership, no operational changes to store, hours etc. Primary reason for administrative changes to keep current instead of private ownership now public ownership
  • Motion to approve license transaction for Shaw's https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/7a._shaws_license_0.pdf second, passed 8-0 #tc1118
  • Next license transaction https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/7b._la_cantina_winter_farmers_market.pdf for sales only at farmers markets #tc1118 for Winters Farmers Market on the 3rd Sat of the month at Fairmont fruit farm (no samples due to covid-19) passed 8-0
  • Representative from National Grid starts to explain circuit routing, one at Beaver Pond, one at Peck st and one at Union st; problems mostly with one of the circuits serves from Beaver Pond. #tc1118 main thing during storm are tree falls interrupting the lines, also squirrels
  • Work on trees trimming done every 5 years, spent over $500k doing trimming this year alone, maintain a 6' and 10' clearance per contract did also make notes on trees or large limbs to take down, need to take with tree warden (Brutus) or residents as needed #tc1118
  • Look at equipment itself and replacement where necessary, spacer cables or tree wires, looking to do quick fixes. Also do a grid modernization program with DPU. If tree touches wire and does it three times, the line shuts. Looking to working isolation #tc1118
  • Project on isolation to start in April 2021. #tc1118 nationalGrid doesn't serve Medway so the north section is at the end of the line. Can out a lot of load as it is all residential, other lines have less as company or industrial accounts take more
  • 16 hour shift during storm duty, can't go to truck when wind is over 40 mph, roads and trees need to be cleared before lines are restored. #tc1118 how long will the April project take once started? Hopefully by end of year if weather cooperates
  • #tc1118 process is to address the larger issues first, work way through the process, things have improved, but it still takes time. Frequency of storms and complexity of the system contribute to issue. Storms without warning are a big issue
  • #tc1118 where are we on the priority list? They look at the poor performing feeders to manage those, there are none currently in Franklin. We are looking at the northern section per your request. So the line will be looked at more closely? Yes.
  • It is possible that a resident could be keeping a tree that is creating a problem for others. Would need to address through the Town tree warden. #tc1118 Brutus sends hundreds of letters to residents to address the tree issues.
  • Clarification on modernization, two pieces of equipment to be changed to help isolation, starting with this. #tc1118 "saying you are going to start in April, what are we going to do during the winter? This isn't acceptable. Needs to be rectified sooner than later"
  • Replacement of some wires closer to Beaver St and other short term fixes should help. Improvements should be helping improve the service. #tc1118 if you know the issue and aren't going to be taking action on a reasonable, then that may be negligent
  • Concern with the amount of time to restore the outage, 2 days here, another 2 here, maybe make a commitment to do more sooner #tc1118 there will be other work being done before April, she will let DPW and Fire know of work being done
  • #tc1118 important to provide updates on improvements being made, as they go. Without power, no water, no data so the web pages Jamie mentioned don't work. It is a safety issue when you can't flush. Thanks for the text message program, 40 hours total outages this year
  • Without power can't use the stove to cook for her child. #tc1118 Moving on to subcommittee reports. Budget met earlier this evening, items coming upon agenda. Listening session postponed, to be combined with Dec 9th
  • Legislation for action first up https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/10a._20-65_sup_app.pdf #tc1118 the additional 150k for rec and town clerk accounts per subcommittee meeting earlier. FinCom approved 7-0; thanks for working with a tight budget and avoiding an override.
  • State money is less than last year, can not continue to fulfill unfunded mandates, our #1 problem. #tc1118 some of the Cares act funds couldn't be used for the personnel costs for the election, could and did get used for the plexiglass and other items
  • The State lost $3b, and our delegation kept us pretty well whole. Motion, seconded passes 8-0 #tc1118
  • Motion to add to the budget stabilization fund, $853k; currently nothing in it, had been drained over last years. #tc1118 new growth had been forecast at $600k, now coming in at $1.6m hence the savings opportunity; second, passes 8-0
  • https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/10c._gift_fd_dcu_5000.pdf recognition of gift to fire dept #tc1118 motion seconded, passes 8-0
  • https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/10d._20-861_oak_street.pdf first of a couple of lot line changes for first reading, motion to second reading. Prior approval by council, approved by planning board, seconded, passes 8-0
  • https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/10e._20-862_zba_longhill_and_pleasant.pdf Moved quickly by waiving reading of the motion by the clerk; motion to second reading, passes 8-0
  • https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/10f._20-864_cpc.pdf motion to create chapter 16 for a Community Preservation Committee, an outcome of the passage of the CPA in the Nov election, requires two readings, then open process for application and appointment sometime next year #tc1118 reading of the bylaw
  • Update by Jamie, a good tool for the community, bylaw sets terms for the committee. How to do this is already in MA gen'l law, there is also training by Community coalition, this is a long process. Then appointment of committee, tax collection doesn't start until 7/21 #tc1118
  • In transparency, any changes to what was voted on. The ballot question was authorization to raise the taxes, this is the process to do the due diligence for the process, no bait and switch. #tc1118 5 of the seats are all mandatory, the statue requires a bylaw to admin the CPA
  • The CPC is the gate keeper of the projects and funding. Boards get letter vote for a member, the nominations come to Town Administrator for review and town Council approval/ratification. Anyone who would like to serve has an opportunity to do so #tc1118
  • #tc1118 concerned about adding AgComm to this similar to Conservation Committee, would rather have more citizens at large, need an attorney, a CPA to under stand the funding, a builder, an inspector. Would prefer to have town Council to do the interview and appointment
  • The statue specific is already set in legislation. The town Council already accepted the statue with the town Council vote to put before the voters. The statue is well defined (20 years in work) Town clerk can enter in the tables. The bylaw is before them now #tc1118
  • Pellegri not agreeing with the statue and bylaw as described. Bissanti joins in AgComm and ConComm duplicates. Jones agreeing with an additional at large person. AgComm is optional, ConComm is required. Max per statue is 9. AgComm is different on role from ConComm #tc1118
  • Would need to reorder the appointment terms of going with 4. AgComm is open space advocate for Franklin as we are structured #tc1118 they will all be Franklin residents, period. To change wording now is not bait and switch, the act approved the funding...
  • This bylaw creates the Committee, folks got 'confused' between the ballot question and operational discussion on the bylaw, 5 are defined by State, 9 is also max per State, only decision is which the four are. #tc1118
  • Remove AgComm, and change terms due to four at large, #tc1118 those changes to be made when it comes back vote to move to second reading as amended to second reading 8-0
  • 104 cases some clusters out there, we need to be careful, we are not in the next category and need to stay away from that. COVID-19 Report on municipal aggregation, only 5% opted out. 1.5 cents less on bill effective Nov 1. Shout-out for Franklin fire dept #tc1118
  • Fire dept grant Committee a great success #tc1118 explore potential of a citizens Committee, could help keep public informed... Comments: executive session will cover the spear phishing issue. Farmers market Nov 21 first one, help decorate downtown also Nov 21.
  • Hopefully after the executive session we'll be able to say something. What about the former councilor and an issue with bill of sales on some plows. Statement on the issue will be made at the next session. Happy Thanksgiving to all, stay safe. #tc1118
  • Move to executive session, on the spear phishing issue, motion seconded passes 8-0 #tc1118 via roll call 

 

From the archives: Wed, Dec 20, 2017
Representative Jeff Roy announced that the Agricultural Commission had been formally signed by Governor Baker. He presented a copy of the official parchment along with the pen used to sign the legislation to Councilor Melanie Hamblen who was instrumental in getting the Agricultural Commission started.

https://www.franklinmatters.org/2017/12/town-council-recap-agricultural.html

Representative Jeff Roy and Councilor Melanie Hamblen
Representative Jeff Roy and Councilor Melanie Hamblen