Saturday, December 22, 2007

Where in Franklin? #24 - 2nd Clue

Since the first picture didn't draw any guesses, maybe this is enough to attract some recognition of where this might be located.


Franklin's Santa - Frank Falvey

Spreading cheer in Franklin

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - He doesn't see you when you're sleeping, he has no idea when you're awake. And when it comes to being bad or good, don't worry about being good just for Frank Falvey's sake. "I try to stay away from that," said the Pond Street resident, in character as the jolly fat man during a downtown jaunt yesterday. "I don't think Santa Claus is trying to judge the bad or the good. It has to do with innocence and hope and possibility and wonder in what's going to come."


Yes, he does look like most common representations of Santa Claus.

Read the full story in the Miford Daily News here.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Franklin Blogger: Model trains, his passion


Model railroads are Mason's passion

By Heather McCarron/Daily News staff

Although he was just 4 years old at the time, Scott Mason clearly remembers the first train set he ever received — 1950s vintage, used Lionel trains given to him for Christmas by a family friend.

Read the full article here

Scott Mason's website can be found here

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Where in Franklin? #24

Where in Franklin? #24, originally uploaded by shersteve.

This place would look considerably different today covered with snow. So going back to a few weeks ago, where would you have found these trees decked out in glorious shades of red?

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

Updated 12/20/07
As this has gotten buried with other posts this week, I wanted to raise it up again to see if anyone can identify it?

Patriots Traffic, MCAS, FHS Girls Hockey


Patriots place traffic: Wait till next year

The going isn't too rough, yet, on game days at the retail and entertainment complex near the stadium. But the challenge of managing it will only grow as the site fully opens

Read the full article here.


Mixed news on MCAS scores

Overall marks up, but some falter

Read the full article here.


Panthers pounce, shut down rival

In staying strong against Canton, Franklin shows maturity, confidence

Read the full article here.

Franklin can afford library repairs

Franklin can afford library repairs
By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - The town can fit library repairs into upcoming budgets, councilors learned last night, but cannot take on any other large projects without tapping into its savings account, selling property or asking residents for more money.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Town Council Meeting 12/19/07 - Summary

The Town Council meeting of 12/19/07 was recorded and sections of the meeting are available as follows:

Announcement: Planning Board Positions (audio)

Proclamation: Carlo Geromini (audio)

Motion on License Renewals (audio)

Jeff Nutting on the Capital Requirements (audio)

Town Administrator's Report (audio)

Closing Comments

My notes taken during the meeting as it occurred:

Accepting applications for planning board up through Jan 9th, appointing Jan 29th to fulfill

Rep. Vallee – House Resolution in recognition of Carlo Geromini

Carlo’s comments, has been reading… currently in middle of Kerouac “On the Road”,

Discussion on Franklin Tavern, in bankruptcy, viewing with buyers, license up for renewal
Even with renewal the trustee can’t use the license until further proceeding are accomplished
Passed 7-0

Nutting – capital forecasts
Reference to gen fund debt worksheet “Franklin capital Plan, Dacey 11-29-07”

Bartlett, Q
1.4M debt currently in plan but not being used
Municipal parking used to leverage some grant application, several months application pending

Whalen Q
3.5 percent very conservative
As debt frees up, there will always be something else to spend it on, walk the balance
Policy and guideline, free to be changed

Doak Q
2010 or 2011 depending upon what you want to do
Council is authorizing projects
Staff or capital committee makes recommendation
Roads are not part of this capital planning
500-700,000 Chapter 90 money from state funds our road work
900,000 in 2001,900,000 in 2004 otherwise nothing from town funds, totally from the state
Pleasant St 9.5 million alone
One huge need unmet is roads, could suggest an override, cash or state

Capital requirements
Schools 3.5M for other non-HS repairs

Portables lifespan remaining 5,6,7 years; cost over 2M
Population continues to increase, they need the space

HS – renovate or replace, tens of millions, no specific game plan yet, not on state listing
No significant impact to tax bill

Library interior, next 3-5 years, outside priority

Need to cap landfill, trying to get a land swap to help the process

Underground utilities, should it be done at the same time? Open for discussion/decision

Recreation center (currently in Municipal building)

Open space – long term savings in this kind of purchase

Roads build up a fund year over year

Water – gone through the 15 m authorized years ago, still have miles of pipe to be replace, can pay as we go with cash

Sewer – unless Beaver St junction comes apart, can go with normal cash flow to cover

Delcarte property – unknown at this point

Whalen Q
DEP has been lenient on this issue thus far…
Expect best guess estimate in next couple of months
District Improvement Financing (DIF) – state process, up to 25% of the town
Economic development grants are possible, generally smaller amounts

We have done well with grants, some we are not eligible for due to the wealth of the community

Doak Q
Amounts in water/sewer for ongoing funds, what’s our capacity
Took money from water reserves, approx 2M in water account
Not making enough money on an annual basis thus far, so would need to use that to stabilize the rate before we raise it

Earliest would be for 09 or 2010 for additional water/sewer projects, probably next 60 days come forward with a plan

Bartlett Q
Policy versus advice, need some assistance from the appropriate parties

Zollo Q
Getting the other assets on the sale front is important, we will need to get that revenue sooner than later

Pfieffer Q
Library, should not be considered last on the listing

RFP received no bids
Should consider changes to go back out again

Nutting – Admin Report
Kudos to DPW, snow blowers travel slower, plows can go quicker but couldn’t handle the depth of the snow

Ryan Jette awarded Heights award
Nice award from an outside group

Holiday on Monday, Tuesday, Christmas, New Year day before as well

Councilor comments
Zollo, quality of rec program, convinced that we have one of the best programs
Creating an inflationary bid process by publishing estimates before hand

2 phase project
17 trades bid on amount of work for their potion, collated with those numbers, then general contractor takes that to include his portion to come back with the total

Various estimates will come in but bids will not come in with the inflation
Filed sub records are public record, according to specs
Seems counter intuitive, public bid law
Seems to be a recurring theme if we did not have to abide by the state laws

Councilors Closing Comments (audio)

Before the meeting moves into Executive Session, the Councilors get to add new business and make their closing comments.

Time: 8 minutes, 36 seconds

MP3 File

Town Administrator's Report (audio)

Jeff Nutting, the Town Administrator, reports on the snow removal, kudos for Ryan Jette and the recreation programs, and how the Municipal Building will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Time: 2 minutes, 24 seconds

MP3 File

Jeff Nutting on the Capital Outlook (audio)

Town Administrator Jeff Nutting outlines the capital needs for the near future and gets into discussion with the Council on how this could be done with either cash, grants, or debt.

Time: 51 minutes, 57 seconds

MP3 File

Motion on License Renewals (audio)

The Town Council after some discussion and clarifications passed by 7-0 vote a number of license renewals.

Time: 3 minutes, 37 seconds

MP3 File

Proclamation: C Geromini (audio)

Rep. Vallee reads the proclamation recognizing retired Councilman Carlo Geromini for 40 years of service to Franklin

Time: 3 minutes, 56 seconds

MP3 File

Announcement: Planning Board Positions (audio)

The Planning Board is accepting applications through January 9, 2008 with appointments to be made at a joint meeting of the Town Council and Planning Board on Jan 23, 2008.

Time: 22 seconds

MP3 File

Franklin's MCAS Results (Audio)

The presentation and discussion during the School Committee meeting of 12/11/07 on the most recent MCAS results for Franklin.

Time: 56 minutes, 44 seconds

MP3 File

Franklin Schools - MCAS Report for 2007

Michelle Kingston Smith, Director, Instructional Services, presented the following report to the School Committee during the December 11, 2007 meeting.

The report can be found on the district web site so you can follow along with the recording.

The audio for this presentation can be found here.
(Note: There is a delay during the beginning of the presentation as the presentation laptop is rebooted. Superintendent Ogden fills in the time with an update on a special education teacher that will need to be hired to meet the requirements of two 3-year olds registering in the district during February. They are hearing impaired.)

My notes taken during the presentation

EQA audit
4 -Commendations for district
Higher MCAS scores
Strong curriculum alignment with state frameworks
Professional development
Mentoring program

“High performing” district
Aggregate outperformed the state
105 students awarded the J&A Adams scholarship based upon Grade 10 performance

Grade 8 was 2 full performance ratings above the state
9th grade Biology out performed the state by two ratings

Low income and special education subgroups are underperforming according to plan (although they are higher than the state)

Subgroups dropping in science where state subgroups are improving, overall i.e. aggregate numbers are rating “High”

K different world for writing, important to be developmentally appropriate and feed to upper grades

K-12 literacy plan
District wide, draft philosophy
Identify core instructional expectations, assessment practices
Action plan for identifying and implementing

“Middle school culture is redhot with factors that affect student performance”
Media, choices kids have, forced choices with family environment, so many variables

Audit shows the curriculum is aligned
Quality assessment, engagement and motivation, how do you measure that?

Current 10th graders will need to pass science and technology test to graduate

EdTech Networks Presentation (Audio)

EdTech Networks presented to the Franklin School Committee on 12/11/07. This captures their presentation and resulting discussion with the Committee.

Time: 1 hour, 8 minutes, 19 seconds

MP3 File

EdTech Networks Presentation

EdTech Networks presented to the School Committee during the meeting on 12/11/07. The audio of their presentation can be found here.

My notes taken during their presentation and discussion with the School Committee:

EdTech Networks

Based in Wakefield, MA
Builds website platforms for school systems
No out of pocket costs
Unique fundraising platform (new money for schools)

Advanced web technology

Good examples of the proposal in action:

Medford -
Smithfield, RI -
E Greenwich, RI -
Georgetown -

Other school districts mentioned:

Hudson (not an EdNet site)
Marlboro (not an EdNet site)
North Reading (web site not responding)

Large pipeline in progress 30-50, about 2/month coming on line

Participating merchants, recruit local businesses
Rebate recovery
Member marketing
Franklin brings – members YOU!

Key piece of the partnership is working with Franklin, parents, PTO school boosters, etc.
Marlboro school students developed a marketing plan

Two ways to generate rebates
1 – Online mall, school website (no need to register)
2 – Shop in store at local participating merchants (register your credit, debit, loyalty cards)

National, regional, online and local
Online mall has 500 national merchants
Expedia trip at $5000 would generate 2% back to the schools

Collect only card and date for tracking purposes, does not collect any other data, can not initiate a transaction
PCI compliant, high security standards
Encrypted data, data segregation
No plan text files of any files kept, all encrypted
No information is provided to any party, period

Content management system
Control users via permission
Easy to use, no HTML coding needed

Portal, single database, cut/paste from any MS program
Instantaneous updates
Publish to multiple pages simultaneously
Archival system
Navigation design
24/7 hosted, technical support provided
Training, by group
Faster communication, lower cost

Not limited to Franklin residents, can designate a beneficiary school district

Municipal requirements
1 – Separate account
2 – Education foundation

Combo websites and email
Targeted registration campaigns, some dollar reward for each registration via incentives
Can track district, schools, via promotion codes

Shrink wrap a school bus, with logo, and participating merchants

“Better schools through smarter shopping”

Split rebates, 2/3… up to website subscription fee, after that, 100%...
Advertising split 50/50

Could do picture profile online, do PTO profile online
Capacity for electronic payments for school fees, lunches, etc.

Demo of Marlboro, East Greenwich sites
Headshot for teachers capable, CV capable

.net platform, more current

After the sale what’s the spam effect? Self directed by customer, check off, to opt out
Use of captcha to access directory online

Three components of revenue
1 – rebate 80/20 merchant split
2 – split revenue from promotions 50/50
3 - website subscription fee paid from subscribers as noted in split above

Future items:
Electronic yearbooks
Social networking amongst teachers that could be monetized

100 million Americans in K-12 world, no one marketing to this group today

Don’t have a gas vendor today
Grocery highest priority
Then casual dining, faster growing segment of personal expenditures
Then Office/school supplies
Then Apparel

Co-branded debit and co-branded credit being explored

My questions (to be asked)
What percent of Franklin population has and uses a system?
What are traffic counts for existing school pages?

Franklin in the News

Two hurt in crash

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - A rescue helicopter rushed a man to a Worcester hospital yesterday after a head-on collision at the intersection of Rte. 140 and Grove Street, police said.


Store clerk stops robbery

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - Spotting a familiar customer opening the till at the Lincoln Street Market on Monday afternoon, clerk Ryan Lomberto ran in from pumping gas and grabbed the man before he could run off with any cash.

Franklin (continues) to wait

Franklin to wait for answer to $590,000 question

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - A law firm investigating how an undisclosed $590,000 school budget gap ended up on the wrong set of books needs more time, Superintendent Wayne Ogden said, with a report now expected in January instead of this month.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Game at Milford Daily News (Video)

There is a new game at the Milford Daily News online.

If you know where Julia Spitz shot this video, e-mail or call her at 508-626-3968. The first three people with the correct answer will have their names listed here and in the newspaper. All those who submit correct answers before 4 p.m. Thursday will be eligible for a monthly prize drawing.

Have fun playing "Where'd She Go?

Note this was also posted on Steve's 2 Cents

School Committee: Health Survey - part 2 (audio)

Michelle Kingston Smith, Director, Instructional Services and Martha
Donovan, K-12 Director Health/Physical Education answer questions from the School Committee after their presentation on 11/27/07.

Time: 28 minutes, 56 seconds

MP3 File

Franklin School Committee: Health Survey Presentation (audio)

Michelle Kingston Smith, Director, Instructional Services and Martha Donovan, K-12 Director Health/Physical Education make their presentation to the School Committee on 11/27/07.

Time: 40 minutes, 6 seconds

MP3 File

My notes to accompany this audio file can be found here.

The presentation can be found here.

Metro West/EDC Adolescent Health Survey - Part 1

At the School Committee meeting on November 27, 2007, Michelle Kingston Smith, Director, Instructional Services and Martha Donovan, K-12 Director Health/Physical Education presented the results for the Metro West/EDC Adolescent Health Survey.

The survey results are important to understand. This is where a good deal of focus on the education of our children should be. The issues raised by this survey can put an appropriate context around budget discussions.

The presentation was rather lengthy so I have split it up into three posts.

  1. The first (this one) has the intro and my own notes taken during the presentation.
  2. The second will have the audio file for the presentation itself.
  3. The third will have the audio file for the question and answer discussion following the presentation.
The School Department web site has links for the executive summary for the Middle School results (PDF) and the High School results (PDF). Both these links are working.

The link to the presentation itself can be found here.

My notes taken during the presentation on 11/27/07

Lifetime – tried it at least once in their lifetime

Trend in survey showing decline in reported usage of alcohol amongst middle school students
Alcohol most prevalent amongst high school, no difference between male/female,
10% admitted it interfered with their school work
48% high school admitted drinking within the last 30 days
This trend line was actually increasing over the study periods

Tobacco use, males more than females – middle school
Significant reduction in those admitting trying smoking (both MS and HS)
High school – 10% identified as daily smokers

Marijuana is a concern, there shows a reduction in MS
Steroids have dropped

HS – marijuana nearly as prevalent as tobacco for students as trying it
Students using marijuana using within 30 days, exceeds the smoker numbers

Biggest issue at HS bullying and fighting
Decrease from MS to HS, although increases from 2004, 2006 at HS
Electronic bullying increasing

Stress levels double from 9th to 12th grade, (i.e. college process)

Community involvement recommended to address these issues
15 components to be convened in the community involvement effort

Must celebrate trends going in the right direction
But we’re still taking about 10-20% of the population participating in risky behavior

Comparative analysis since 1999
How to provide the info to the parents, summary, call to action in some attractive but none-turning away manner

Introduction of Open Circle at kindergarten level helps
Middle school intervention programs
9th grade collaborative at the HS
Peer mentoring, peer leaders going through training now

Discussion on 1999, data, first year results seem not to be real
Chief Williams coming back to put this in perspective within the Town context

Avoid one shot assembly approach, programs work well when connected to curriculum
Have not looked at correlation with economy

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Where in Franklin? Answer #23

Where in Franklin? Answer #23, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Ken identified:
"This property has been before the planning board and town council several times for public hearings. I believe the property was sold at a foreclosure auction last week. If so what will the new owner do with it?"

Time will tell.

Oh, and if you had not recognized where this open pit is located, you can find it along RT 140 at the entrance to Chestnut Ridge.

Thanks, Ken! Stay tuned for the next picture.

Town trying to project its building plans

By Rachel Lebeaux , Globe Correspondent / December 16, 2007

Now that Franklin has approved spending $300,000 for library and museum upgrades, some councilors want to get a better view of the big picture when it comes to future projects, and compile a new survey of the town's building woes

Read the full article here.

Brick Costs $37,600 Annually

Cost of Red Brick School: $37,600 annually

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - After debating the contents of their financial report, task force members studying the viability of the Red Brick School agreed yesterday that the historic building costs $37,600 to run annually, with $600 currently borne by town taxpayers.