Saturday, November 24, 2007

Franklin: Santa's Coming

Franklin: Santa's Coming, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Sunday 11/25/07 4:00 - 6:00 PM

Franklin: Setting up

Franklin: Setting up, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The elves were busy setting up the Town Common for the tree lighting ceremony and associated festivities on Sunday, November 25th from 4:00 - 6:00 PM.

Franklin: Holiday decorations

Franklin: Holiday decorations, originally uploaded by shersteve.

There were flowers
and the season for them passed.

There were empty pots
and now they have been filled.

Franklin: Elves have been busy

Franklin: Elves have been busy, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The elves have been decorating for the holidays.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Franklin in the News

The Milford Daily News has the following items of interest to Franklin:
Winners of the Franklin Art Association's annual members exhibit, Autumn Talent Unveiled, held recently at Hayward Manor, were announced during the recent artists reception.

Best in show was awarded to Susan Pratt Sheridan for "Afternoon in Piensa," watercolors.

Click through to the full story to read about the other winners.

When the Conservation Commission visits the pond-dappled DelCarte property Sunday, members will take another step toward determining the future of the overgrown sanctuary, widely regarded as the most generous gift in town history.

In 2001, Shirley Stewart donated 130 acres off Pleasant Street to Franklin on behalf of her deceased father, longtime landowner Ernest DelCarte. Following his final wishes, the town agreed to maintain the $3 million property as open space and to ban all fisherman on the man-made ponds except for a few neighbors.

Read the full story about this "Hidden Gem". Be sure to click though and view the multimedia slide show with some photos of what Franklin Reservoirs looks like today.

The Boston Globe has a recap of the leaking library situation:

Now that Franklin voters have rejected a property tax increase to raise Community Preservation Act funds, town officials are scrambling to pay for as much as $6 million in library repairs, or at least enough to prevent further damage this winter.

The town's leaking library was on the top of the list of projects to receive Community Preservation Act money if voters had approved the tax surcharge this month. It was rejected by about 60 percent of voters, 2,174 to 1,528.

Water is seeping through the roof and inside walls of the Franklin Public Library, which opened in 1904, said Ken Wiedemann, chairman of the library's board of directors. Some water has already reached murals that adorn the reading room, and other paintings are vulnerable.

He said the situation isn't "desperate" yet, but can't wait too long, either.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Franklin: Autumn Color

Franklin: Autumn Color, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The forecast doesn't seem to have bright and clear skies for this Thanksgiving Day so a picture from a recent 'good' day is appropriate.

We have so much to be thankful for in Franklin.

We can work through our problems, we can continue to be a Top 10 community to raise a family, a Top 100 community to retire, and continue to be a place to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

School finances being looked into

The Milford Daily News is reporting that the current school department finance person has been placed on leave while a shortfall of $580,000 from last years budget is investigated.
A previously undisclosed shortfall of $580,000 from last year's budget was apparently moved to this year's ledger, the School Committee announced yesterday, prompting an outside investigation and the placement of the school finance director on leave.

The discrepancy was discovered in recent weeks by Town Comptroller Susan Gagner as she squared away the district's books for fiscal 2007. Moving funds between fiscal years is illegal, as state law dictates that each year's budget be balanced individually.

It is not good that credibility in our town's finances takes another hit with this news.

Read the full story that Michael Morton has reported here.

Vote Analysis

I need to get to the Town Clerk's office to get the details on the recent election. I'd like to get into some planning for what may come up during 2008. With the requirements for fixing the library, renovating the high school amongst the major capital requirements, nevermind trying to restore the $2 million dollars the school budget got cut this past year, there are plenty of needs but few sources of income other than an other override.

I found this article with some insights on the youth vote. As strong as the elderly vote is here, the youth vote is going to become as important as any other section of the demographics.

Now a disclaimer, I plan to do this analysis not to play one group against another. That is not how to win at this game. I plan to do the analysis to simply better understand the demographics of the town.

For example:
Tip #1: The youth vote is not synonymous with students. In fact, students make up only a small part of the eligible youth vote. Only 21% of all 18-29 year olds are currently attending a college or university. That means that when you report on "students", you are leaving out the other 79% of all the individuals that make up the "youth vote." These people serve in our military, are struggling to raise families - and yes, have very different concerns from college students. I understand that makes it difficult for you to cram them into a cookie-cutter story about student aid activism and tuition costs, but you do them and your readers and our democracy a disservice when you limit your coverage to students.
Food for thought.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Where in Franklin? #19

Where in Franklin? #19, originally uploaded by shersteve.

How observant are you?

Where do you go to "Relax, Renew, Revive"?

Guidelines for playing "Where in Franklin?" can be found here.


Franklin School Committee blog

Jeff Roy and others on the School Committee have their own blog: Franklin School Committee.

Jeff as an attorney by day finds some good items of interest to the school environment. For example:

When is hugging appropriate?

Intelligent design on trial.

What do you stand for?

Click on over to review what they have to share.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Five O'Clock Shadow @ Circle of Friends Coffeehouse

Caught concert Saturday night by Five O'Clock Shadow at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse. Here is a brief bit of one of their songs:

If you like live music, especially folk, the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse is one of Franklin's gems.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Milford Daily News- Carlo Reflects

Just because Willow Street resident Carlo Geromini recently retired from town service after four decades, don't expect him to give up one of his public arena passions: Perfecting his command of parliamentary procedure and encouraging others to follow suit.
``Some people like to read detective stories, some people like to read science fiction,'' Geromini, 79, said as he relaxed in his home office this week. ``I like to read Robert's Rules of Order.''
The longtime public servant still owns a pristine paperback copy of the book, a backup complementing the dog-eared hardback he lugged to meetings for many years. After serving on the School Committee in the 1960s, he won election to Town Council in 1981, holding a seat there for all but two years until leaving before this fall's election.

If you missed the Franklin Gazette, you can read Carlo's reflections on his years of service here, as written by Michael Morton of the Milford Daily News.

Where in Franklin? Answer #18

Ken Norman provided a clue the other day which didn't help anyone else I guess.

His clue was:
the cow's head over the door has nothing to do with this farm's name.

He came back to also provide the correct answer:
Four Feathers Farm on Mount St

Thanks for playing!

Stay tuned for #19.