Thursday, February 28, 2008

In the news: Brick classroom

Red Brick School may close
By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

Throughout its 216-year history, the Red Brick School was nearly closed on at least four occasions, but the "overwhelming support" of townspeople kept its doors open each time, according to the town's Web site.

But the Red Brick School, which is on the National Historic Register and is considered one of the oldest one-room schoolhouses still in use nationwide, may not survive another year.

On Tuesday night, the School Committee voted 6-1 to pass a new policy prohibiting targeted gifts for operational expenses, including the ones that the school depends on to run the one-classroom kindergarten.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

By the way, this is the least of Franklin's school and town budget problems. With 45 teachers going out the door, we all should be focusing on how to prevent that.

Rep Vallee Q&A (audio)

Rep James Vallee in a good question and answer period with members of the School Committee. Chairperson Jeff Roy, Cora Armenio and Ed Cafasso have questions during this discussion.

Time: 19 minutes, 30 seconds

MP3 File

Rep James Vallee (audio)

Rep James Vallee brings the Chapter 70 update to the school committee.

Time: 10 minutes, 21 seconds

MP3 File

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

School Committee Meeting Summary 2/26/08

School Committee meeting agenda

The FHS Renovation options (audio)

FHS Renovation options Q&A (audio)

Pictures of the FHS renovation options

Rep James Vallee statement (audio)

Rep James Vallee Q&A (audio)

--- 5 minute break ---

School Committee meeting FY 09 budget highlights

-- Note: there is a gap here, due to some fat fingering I missed recording the budget presentation itself. I pick up with the Q&A following the presentation.

FY09 Budget Q&A part 1 (audio)

FY09 Budget Q&A part 2 (audio)

FY 2007 2008 Budget Transfers (audio)

Some of the Action Items (audio)

KCD Policy (gifts) passes 6-1

KCD Policy (gifts) (audio)

FHS Accreditation Warning Received (audio)

Completing the Superintendent's Report (audio)

This completes the meeting for 2/26/08

Pictures from the FHS presentation

Option One - the new auditorium and science wing would be added to the right of the existing facility

Option Two - the auditorum would be added to the right (as in One) but the science wing would be added to the left

Option Three - the auditorum and entrance would be re-done up front, the science wing wold be added on the right and more would be done in the central sections of the building

This a rendering of what the new school would look like from the air above Oak Street for Option Three

This rendering depicts the new school option building on the left of the existing field house, coming into the tennis courts and baseball/softball fields (but not to the new track). The fields used in this new building option would be relocated to the space where the old building stands now (after it was torn down).

FHS Renovation - Q&A (audio)

Question & Answer section following the presentation by Kaestle Boos on the options for renovating Franklin High School. Questions from committee members in order of appearance: Roy, Mullen, Armenio, Trahan, Kelly and Cafasso.

Time: 15 minutes, 0 seconds

MP3 File

My notes from the discussion:

Michael McKean (?) representing Kaestle Boos on the Franklin High School renovation options.
  • approximately 30 months for total renovation
  • approximately 24 months to build a new school keeping the existing field house
  • students will adjust quickly during the construction, the teachers and parents generally have more of an issue adjusting
  • in the renovation options, the traffic flow remains mostly the same other than attempting to separate the parent drop offs from the buses
  • the auditorium would be about $7 million (as sized at 26000 sq foot)
  • all the options would connect on the second level, for brevity of the presentation they were not shown here
  • this is not simply building on the roof as the existing building was done before the current seismic codes were put into place
  • the new building option would locate the building further away from the existing homes

Franklin High School Renovation Alternatives (audio)

The presentation by Kaestle Boos on the options for renovating the existing building or building a new school around the existing field house.

Time: 13 minutes, 28 seconds

MP3 File

In the news - school cuts looming

School cuts looming in Franklin

By Joyce Kelley/Daily News staff

After explaining how Franklin spends about $2,200 less per pupil than the state average, Superintendent Wayne Ogden told the School Committee why he will have to cut 45 positions next year.

The department needed a 6.7 percent budget increase to provide level service, but is slated to receive 1.5 percent, which includes the loss of about $400,000 in projected revenue from Medicaid that the town is now keeping, said Ogden.


Read the full article here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gift policy passes 6-1

The School Committee passed the KCD policy (otherwise known as the "gift policy") by a 6-1 vote.

This could eliminate the Brick classroom from operation next year by restricting gifts for targeted educational purposes. The budget is not final but the writing appears on the wall.

Additional info can be found here and here.

SchComMtg 2/26/08

SchComMtg 2/26/08, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Superintendent Wayne Ogden, Interim Finance Director Paul Funk, Asst Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski during the presentation on the outlook for the school department FY 09 budget.

Short summary: not good

  • Approx. 45 teachers cut
  • Class sizes rise
  • Eliminates the late bus
  • Bus fee increases from $225 to $325
  • No programs are eliminated but most are "changed"

Why these cuts?
While the Commonwealth of MA is increasing the funding to the schools by 9%, the level service budget for the schools would call for a 7.4% increase, the town is currently limiting the schools to a 1.5% increase overall.

Stay tuned, this is the first pass. The budget season is upon us. There is much more discussion to come before the budget is final.

Franklin School Committee Agenda 2/26/08

Franklin School Committee Meeting

February 26, 2008

Municipal Building – Council Chambers

7:00 P.M.


Call to order Mr. Roy

Pledge of Allegiance

Moment of Silence

1. Routine Business

· Citizen’s Comments

· Review of Agenda

· Minutes:

I recommend approval of the minutes from the February 12, 2008 School Committee Meeting.

· Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly

· Payroll Ms. Armenio

· FHS Student Representatives

· Correspondence:

1. Letter to Oak St. School from Franklin Food Pantry

2. Letter from Franklin Recreation Advisory Committee

2. Guests/Presentations:

a. Representative James Vallee – Foundation Budget

b. Kaestle Boos – FHS Feasibility Report

c. FY 2009 Budget Presentation

d. FY 2007 & FY 2008 Budget Transfers

3. Discussion Only Items

· FY 2009 Budget

4. Action Items:

1. I recommend the School Committee enter into an agreement with Dr. George Ladd/Lynch Graduate School of Education, Boston College to collaborate on the Strategic Plan and district improvement.

2. I recommend approval of School Committee Policy KCD – Donation of Non-Budgeted Gifts.

3. I recommend acceptance of two checks from Follett Educational Services from surplus books: $13.32 for the Parmenter Elementary School gift account and $22.00 for the JF Kennedy gift account.

4. I recommend acceptance of budget transfers to close out FY 2007 as detailed.

5. I recommend acceptance of FY 2008 Budget of $54,626,000.

6. I recommend acceptance of FY 2008 budget transfers as detailed.

7. I recommend acceptance of two checks from Ohiopyle Prints, Inc. for the FHS gift account in the amounts of $88.12 and $22.26.

5. Information Matters:

· Superintendent’s Report


b. FY2009 Budget

c. FHS Feasibility Study

d. MetroWest Health Survey Update

e. Audit Recommendation Update

· School Committee Sub-Committee Reports

· School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business:

· To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

7. Executive Session

· Personnel Matters

8. Adjourn

Monday, February 25, 2008

In the news - Annarella Cookie Company

At newly opened Italian bakery, Annarella Cookie Company, there's more than the aroma of spice filling the air - there's tradition, a little bit of magic, and a lot of love.

After a lifetime dreaming about owning a bakery, but being busy working and raising three young children, Suzanne Gendreau did it: She opened the shop at 1 Crossing Plaza in January.

Every aspect of the bakery, from its start to its recipes, staff, atmosphere, and even its name - Annarella - is filled with family.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Train Schedules

The Boston Globe City & Region section today has an article on comparing how the train schedules have changed over time. While it also notes that real comparisons are not available; trains that ran in the 1920's were not regulated like they are today, the schedule into Boston years ago was faster than today.

I have ridden the Franklin line for most of the 12 years I have lived here but that is probably a short time compared to others.

What was it like riding the train to Boston before?

Where in Franklin? #32

Where in Franklin? #32, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Where would you find this entrance? What would you do inside this doorway?

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


Where in Franklin? Answer #31

Where in Franklin? Answer #31, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The answer to picture 31 is the Glen Meadows Apartments and Condominiums located along Chestnut Street in this photo but also with an entrance off RT 140.

Stay tuned for the next photo!

In the news - deficit ahead, museum name

Despite passing a $2.7 million override last year to prevent drastic cuts in schools, the town is again facing an estimated $3-$4 million deficit this year, according to Finance Committee Chairman Jim Roche.

State leaders say Franklin, when compared with other towns, is in good fiscal shape and receives more state aid than many of its counterparts.

They have been doing well. My district is one of the highest communities in terms of getting money (from the state),'' said state Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham.

Likewise, state Rep. James Vallee, D-Franklin, said, ``Franklin gets more state aid than almost any other community in Massachusetts, especially with six or seven new buildings.''

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News


As part of its move to the former senior center on West Central Street, the Horace Mann Museum is getting a new image.

For starters, Horace Mann is getting the boot in favor of a less confusing title that does not imply a museum for the historical figure, said Carol Harper, chairwoman of the Historical Commission. The Historical Commission, which runs the museum, wants the public to know the building showcases Franklin artifacts - such as straw hats manufactured here by the same company that supplied hats for the movie, "Gone with the Wind," Harper said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News

Friday, February 22, 2008

Town Council Meeting 2/13/08 Summary

Ad-hoc Recycling Committee creation and appointment (audio)

Downtown Partnership presention (audio)

Q&A following Downtown Partnership presentation (audio)

additional portions of the meeting will be posted (with the exception of the video by the Downtown Partnership; the music is copyrighted and should not be rebroadcast without royalty payment)

Q&A Downtown Partnership

Tow Council meeting 2/13/08

Franklin Town Council in a Q&A session on the Downtown Partnership presentation

Councilors Zollo, Doak, Mason, and Vallee. Town Administrator Jeff Nutting also provides input.

Time: 12 minutes, 48 seconds

MP3 File

Ad-hoc Recycle Committee

Town Council Meeting 2/13/08

The Franklin Town Council creates the Ad-hoc Recycling Committee and approves the appointment to the committee.

Time: 4 minutes, 23 seconds

MP3 File

Franklin Downtown Partnership

Town Council meeting 2/13/08

The Town Council hears from Lisa Piana and the Downtown Partnership goals and objectives.

Time: 11 minutes, 29 seconds

MP3 File

Thursday, February 21, 2008

On the same page - Thursday 7:00 PM

On the same page, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Thursday, February 21 at 7PM

Immigration Then. Historian and author James Johnston and historian Robert D'Attilio present a view of what America was like during the first great wave of immigration in the early part of the twentieth century. Mr. D'Attilio's specialty centers on the Sacco and Vanzetti case.

In the news - martial arts

Getting their kicks

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

When Grandmaster Chang Nam Kang decided to open a tae kwon do school in Massachusetts, he said he sought a community where people value education and "really want to better themselves."

Kang, who said he served as a bodyguard for the president of South Korea and an international referee for the World Taekwondo Federation, decided Franklin was the perfect town for his Mu Han martial arts school.

"This area is focused on education, and martial arts takes a lot of time and dedication. Without discipline and patience, you won't continue. This is for people who really want to better themselves," said Master Jin Oh, who will run the school with Kang.

"To me, this is a good location, because people here want to develop and build themselves," Oh said.

At Mu Han, which means "infinite, unlimited," Kang will act as the lead instructor of tae kwon do, a Korean martial art, and Oh, a sixth-degree black belt and instructor in Attleboro trained in both tae kwon do and kung fu, will also teach. Both learned their art in Korea, their homeland.

Yes, there will be a celebration this 4th of July! You can help!

Fourth of July Coalition seeking volunteers

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

There is no question whether the town's Fourth of July celebration tradition will continue this year, said Michael A. Walker-Jones.

"We're going to make it happen," said Walker-Jones, chairman of the Democratic Town Committee. He has been informally leading the Fourth of July Celebration Coalition steering committee with Michael Kelly.


read the full article here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pirelli Rink

At 8:18 p.m., all the shouting, banging and stomping at Veterans Memorial Skating Rink halted.

Young men in blue and white uniforms skating in circles and slamming pucks at their goal lined up, facing their opposition in silence. For a few brief moments, only the sound of bagpipes honoring fallen soldier Robert Ryan Pirelli could be heard.

Following Gov. Deval Patrick's approval Friday, the town renamed the arena last night at the final Panthers home game of the season in memory of Staff Sgt. Pirelli, a former Panther hockey player who was killed by enemy fire in Iraq last year.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On the same page - discussion

On the same page - discussion, originally uploaded by shersteve.

David Park and Khadija Hassine were deep in discussion during the Tuesday evening get together as part of the Library program "On the Same Page" facilitated by Margaret Ellis.

The immigrant experience in America was one of the themes in the book, Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo.

What did the recent immigrants have to say about their time here?
  • "here in Franklin, it is like a big family, everyone knows somebody"
  • "my new 'mother' is downstairs"
  • "life is too busy here, all work, work, work"

How did they pick Franklin?

Most acknowledged that the reputation of the school system was the key reason. The location of the commuter rail and the safety of the area were two other prime reasons.

What were difficulties they found here?
  • "too many forms, they ask the same questions so many times"
  • "making friends, they found neighbors very helpful but those who could be friends had not enough time"
What were differences they found here?
  • "so easy to drive here, back in my country it requires much more skill"
  • "lives are so independent here, in my country life is more centered on the family"
  • "time is so important here, everyone is so busy. I can hear: I have not seen him in two months. Back home, that is not possible."
The Franklin area immigrants represented a diverse collection of countries, from our northern neighbor Canada to Bulgaria, India, Morocco, Poland, and Vietnam.

What could be done

The residential property tax crisis around MA is growing daily. The Commonwealth has some help (possibly) coming our way. Wouldn't it be nice if some of our Federal tax dollars could be put to use?

Consider this:

All the more poignant as we prepare our taxes prior to April 15th.

Many thanks to Ronni Bennett for the link.

In the news - Pirelli Rink, Georgia-Pacific leaves

Town to dedicate rink to fallen soldier

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - The Panthers will surrender the ice tonight to let local dignitaries dedicate Veterans Arena Skating Rink to 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Robert R. Pirelli, a soldier killed in Iraq and one-time Franklin High hockey player.


Georgia-Pacific to shutter plant

By Aaron Wasserman/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - Georgia-Pacific, the global paper products company, will close its packaging facility here in the coming weeks and lay off about 100 workers, it confirmed yesterday.


Tough times ahead - Jeff Roy

Jeff Roy, Chairman of the School Committee closes his posting on Tough Times Ahead
But, no matter how you look at it, we are in for yet another bumpy ride. The School Committee will be discussing the budget scenarios beginning on February 26. We urge you to tune in and follow the progress of the budget discussions that will impact your school system.
Read the full posting on the School Committee blog

In particular, there is some really good work done depicting the money the Commonwealth returns to each community as colors on the map of Massachusetts. Very effective.

Franklin, we should thank our lucky stars for having it as good as we have had for so long.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Stepping Showcase - Dean College 2/23/08 8:00 PM

As part of Dean College's celebration of Black History Month, the group will hold its first Stepping Showcase Saturday night.

Doors open at 8 p.m. Saturday and dancing begins in the Multipurpose Room at 8:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and free of charge.

Performances by the Suffolk Step Team, In The Mak'n Step Squad, University of Bridgeport and Fontbonne Academy will also be featured at the event.

From the Milford Daily News

In the news - destination downtown

Downtown Franklin expected to become a 'destination'

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - By the time the Franklin Downtown Partnership finishes its work in three to four years, downtown will be a "destination" rather than a place for "one-stop shopping."


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Franklin Schools: At the Break; a letter from Ed Cafasso

Hello everyone!

I hope you are preparing to enjoy winter break week! I just wanted to drop you a short note with an update on a few important school issues.

First, a programming note… If you are in the mood for a date with your spouse that contributes to a great cause, the Horace Mann Middle School PCC is sponsoring a Spring Social on Saturday, March 1, at the Franklin Elks from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. This is a fun event that always offers top shelf, silent auction bargains.

As an added bonus, this year’s social will feature live performances from School Committee Chairman Jeff Roy's band, “Keep Your Day Job.” Tickets are $25 person, which includes a nice hot dinner buffet. A cash bar also will be available. For more information, contact Maureen Roy or Barb Mershimer. I look forward to seeing you there!

Now on to business… If you are as concerned about the future of Franklin High School as I am, I urge you to tune-in to or attend the School Committee meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26. Representatives of KBA Associates, our architectural design consultants, will be on hand to talk about options for renovating the current facility or building a brand new one on the site. We are also moving closer toward the naming of a citizens committee for the project. That too is likely to be a topic of discussion at the meeting.

If you need to refresh yourself on the challenges with the current FHS building, you’ll find the old feasibility and conditions reports on the Superintendent’s web page

The Committee is also moving into a new budget season and, as usual, the scenarios are not pretty. It will cost us more than $4.1 million to maintain the current level of school services in the fiscal year that begins July 1. That’s the price of predictable price increases for contractual pay raises, health insurance, utilities, etc.

However, town officials are projecting that only $800,000 in new revenue will be available to the schools. That leaves a $3.3 million funding gap that will not be easy to close without what Supt. Ogden calls “seriously painful cuts,” particularly to teaching staff who comprise 90% of our annual budget.

I’ll send out a FY09 budget update email following the Committee meeting on the 26th. You can find background on budget and fiscal issues on the School Committee web site

At this week’s School Committee meeting, Franklin Police provided an update on their efforts to put in place a lockdown emergency plan for each of our schools. These types of preparations are an unfortunate reality of life in the 21st century, underscored by the tragic news out of University of Illinois this week. Police officials have approached the issue with professionalism and smart thinking. They stressed that are eager to come to any PCC meeting to outline their approach and answer parent questions.

I hope you have a pleasant week. I saw the first robin of the year the other day and heard a cardinal singing, confirming that spring will indeed get here eventually.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I am happy to add or remove any one from the mailing list for these updates.

Ed Cafasso

Delux Tux - relocated after fire

Did you notice?

Delux Tux has relocated this week into the space that had been MelDiva's but sitting empty since MelDiva's closed in January 2007.

Delux Tux had fire
in their original location on the evening of Super Bowl Sunday.

Where in Franklin? #31

Where in Franklin? #31, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Here is the next picture in the series "Where in Franklin?"

Guidelines for playing can be found here.

Have fun!

Where in Franklin? Answer #30

Where in Franklin? Answer #30, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The correct answer to picture #30 is the Franklin Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center locater on Chestnut St.

If you thought that is what the answer would be but were shy and did not actually respond, then you can at least sleep well tonight knowing you were right.

Will you know the next picture? Stay tuned!

Franklin Police Association has begun their annual fund-raiser

The Franklin Police Association has begun our annual fund-raiser. We have employed All-Pro Productions to run our fund-raising campaign. After months of careful review and recommendations from other Unions, the Association has selected All-Pro to conduct solicitations. As in the previous years, we have stressed to All-Pro that we expect nothing but professionalism and courtesy to the citizens of our community, as the Officers here strive for.

Over the years, through donations made by businesses and citizens of Franklin, we have been able to return that back to our community. We will continue to support all community organizations, and the citizens who live here. This has been and is the primary concern of the Officers in the Franklin Police Association.

On April 18, 2008 at the Milford Sheraton Ballroom, we are hosting a comedy night with 4 of Boston’s top comics. The doors open at 6:30pm and the show will start at 7:30pm. This event is an 18 and over event. Tickets are available at the door the night of the event. We look forward to seeing you all there this year for a great show. Come down and have some laughs with your Police Officers.

You can also visit the Police Association blog here

Saturday, February 16, 2008

On the same page

"On the same page" is a program being run by the Library funded by a grant. This is the program you may have heard about that selected Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo as the book to read.

I did read the book and found it quite interesting. I did a short form book review here.

I was curious about what the library was going to do to help foster the discussions around the book to get Franklin "On the same page". I went digging into the town website this morning and was disappointed to find how much I have already missed this month!

The Library schedule for February can be found here.

What is left in February are the following:

Tuesday, February 19 at 7PM
Oral Histories. Franklin residents from other lands gather to tell their stories of immigration to the United States in the Meeting Room of the Franklin Library.

Wednesday, February 20 at 1:30PM
Children's book discussion centers on the life and times of youngsters living in the early part of the twentieth century in stories drawn from the Dear America series. Book discussion is held in the Meeting Room of the Franklin Library.

Thursday, February 21 at 7PM
Immigration Then. Historian and author James Johnston and historian Robert D'Attilio present a view of what America was like during the first great wave of immigration in the early part of the twentieth century. Mr. D'Attilio's specialty centers on the Sacco and Vanzetti case.

Thursday, February 28 at 7PM
Immigration lawyer and Franklin resident Chris Lavery will discuss laws affecting immigration today.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sign up for Connect-CTY!

The Town of Franklin has partnered with Connect-CTY to provide a means of communicating emergency and urgent messages to the residents and businesses in Town

What is the Connect-CTY service?

The Connect-CTY service allows authorized civic leaders to create and rapidly disseminate time-sensitive messages to every telephone number stored in the notification database. With the Connect-CTY service, authorized users can send thousands of messages in minutes. Only authorized officials are allowed access to the system.

How does the service work?

Authorized officials record a voice message that is then delivered quickly to individual phones in the notification database.

What types of messages will be sent using the service?

Any message regarding the safety or welfare of our community would be disseminated using the Connect-CTY service.

Examples would include severe weather warnings and updates, hazardous traffic or road conditions inside the town or affecting local routes, and any other situation that could impact the safety, property, or welfare of our citizens.

Is my telephone number included in the notification database?

It is our intention and hope that every residence and commercial facility in our community be included in the notification database. For businesses, we only store one main phone number. For residents, we may have more than one number that belongs to you in the database. Additionally, you may request to have a secondary number be entered into our database for priority calling.

May I use a cell phone as my notification database listing?

Yes, we can accept cell phones as secondary phone numbers in the database and encourage you to request that your number be included.

The program will be activated within the next few weeks. Please watch for additional information in the local daily newspapers. You can also email Gary Premo, Communications Director for the Franklin Police Department,

You can also sign up directly by following this link.

In the news - capital approval, Connect-CTY

Franklin approves $157K for capital items

By Joyce Kelley/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - The Town Council last night approved spending $157,000 in free cash on capital items, including three cruisers and a motorcycle for the Police Department.


Cops can reach you at moment's notice

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - Today at 4 p.m., every Franklin business is going to get a phone call from law enforcement, said Police Chief Stephen Williams.


NewBCamp 2008

Hello World!

This is the announcement for NewBCamp 2008, which is being held from 9:00am - 4:00pm on February 23, 2008 in Providence, RI.

You are invited to use the 'Registration' button to RSVP for the event.

The Details:
  • Saturday, February 23, 2008 from 9am to 4pm in Providence, RI
  • Xavier Building on the Johnson & Wales campus
    259 Pine Street
    Providence, Rhode Island 02903
  • After Party at AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence from 5 PM - 7 PM


If you're looking to get the flyer for NewBCamp, here's a link to the PDF,

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Town Council Meeting 2/13/08 Agenda

You can review the agenda for tonight's Town Council meeting here (PDF).

In the news - capital expenses

Franklin to vote on new cruisers, updating Web site

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - The Town Council is poised to approve funding for several capital items tonight, including three new police cruisers, a motorcycle and conversion of the town's Web site, according to officials.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Supt. Ogden previews FY 09 budget (audio)

Superintendent Wayne Ogden previews the FY 09 budget. A level service budget would be an increase of $4.1 million to continue the programs being provided this year adjusted for the new year and for population. The Town has requested an increase of about $800,000. To take $3.3 million out of this level service budget will require some painful decisions. Stay tuned for what that will look like at the 2/26/08 meeting.

Time: 2 minutes, 35 seconds

MP3 File

Sch Com invites public comment on the policy (audio)

Part 2 of the discussion: the Franklin School Committee - invited public comment on the proposed policy for gifts.

The policy will come up for a vote by the Committee likely at their next meeting.

Time: 14 minutes, 12 seconds

MP3 File

Sch Com discusses policy on gifts (audio)

Franklin School Committee has their 2nd reading of a proposed policy on gifts and how the gifts would be used to supplement not supplant the educational budget process.

Part 1 - The school committee members discuss the policy.

Part 2 - Public comment on the policy.

Time: 12 minutes, 16 seconds

MP3 File

School Committee Agenda for 2/12/08

Franklin School Committee Meeting

February 12, 2008

Municipal Building – Council Chambers

7:00 P.M.


Call to order Mr. Roy

Pledge of Allegiance

Moment of Silence

1. Routine Business

· Citizen’s Comments

· Review of Agenda

· Minutes:

I recommend approval of the minutes from the January 22, 2008 School Committee Meeting.

· Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly

· Payroll Ms. Armenio

· FHS Student Representatives

· Correspondence:

1. Letter from Rose Solbo

2. Letter from NEASC regarding FHS Acceditation

3. Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations:

a. Strategic Planning – Dr. George Ladd

b. Lockdown Drills – Franklin Police

3. Discussion Only Items

· Second Reading of Policy KCD – Donation of Non-Budgeted Funds

· Superintendent’s Goals – Draft

· Consolidation of Facilities Department with the Town

4. Action Items:

1. I recommend acceptance of the donation of $50.00 from Ms. Terry Stone for the Jefferson Artist-in-Residence Program.

2. I recommend acceptance of the annual donation of $50.00 from Lueder’s Environmental Inc. for the Franklin Public Schools.

3. I recommend acceptance of the donation of $4,570.00 from the Davis Thayer PCC for upcoming events at Davis Thayer as detailed.

4. I recommend acceptance of the donation of $200.00 from the Wachovia Foundation Matching Gifts Program for the Keller Elementary School.

5. I recommend acceptance of the donation of $525.48 from various donors as detailed for the Jefferson Artists-in-Residence Program.

6. I recommend acceptance of the donation of $325.00 from ARTBEAT The Creativity Store for the Franklin Public Schools as detailed.

7. I recommend approval of the request for an out of state field trip to the Metropolitan Opera in NY City for FHS students as detailed on April 5, 2008.

8. I recommend acceptance of the check for $465.72 from Follett Educational Services for the Parmenter gift account from surplus books.

5. Information Matters:

· Superintendent’s Report

a. Consolidation of Facilities

b. Superintendent’s Goals – Draft

c. Strategic Plan

d. Lockdown Drills

e. FY 09 Budget

· School Committee Sub-Committee Reports

· School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business:

· To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

7. Adjourn

in the new - Planning Board & senior housing

Protests begin anew over Senior Village

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - Following objections from neighbors, the Planning Board last night continued a public remand hearing for a 10-unit senior housing development on Chestnut Street.


Digital Learning - Part 2

As a follow up to yesterday's video on digital learning, here is another brief video out of the same Kansas State program with a similar powerful message (less than 2 minutes):

Note: The one sign that appears toward the end "Some have suggested that technology alone can save us? Who do we mean by "us"?

What do we want for our Franklin students?

The "we" is deliberate. We are all in this together. Together we can discuss and decide.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Important definitions

Jeff Roy has a couple of important posts on the Franklin School Committee blog:

Continuing the dialog on policy KCD

By Jeffrey Roy on Policy

In the continuing debate over the proposed policy on the donation of non-budgeted funds, I thought it would be helpful to provide you with additional resources on the topic. We have assembled a list of articles which discuss the topic, which, at best, can be described as a delicate balancing act. You can [...]


Defining supplement not supplant

By Jeffrey Roy on Policy

Franklin’s proposed policy on donations of non-budgeted funds (policy KCD) is the subject of two prior posts (#1 and #2). In this post, we address the supplement not supplant language. The proposed policy would encourage and welcome future giving, but only to the extent that the donations supplement rather than supplant – take the place of [...]


Digital Learning - What do we want for Franklin?

As we gear up for another discussion on grim finances and the sections of the taxpayers appear to be pitted against one another in a case of the "haves" vs. the "have-nots", the "fors" vs. the "against", I suggest we step back and discuss our priorities.

How do we enable an appropriate education for our children's digital future?

Spend four minutes of your time to view this:

This is a more pointed, that is education focused, version of the Web 2.0 explained that I shared here earlier.

What do we want for our Franklin students?

The "we" is deliberate. We are all in this together. Together we can discuss and decide.

In the news - money for brick

$5K donated to help keep Red Brick School open

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - Working to keep a town landmark open despite budget uncertainties and possible restrictions on future donations, the Brick School Association has secured a $5,000 grant to help keep the building open.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Where in Franklin? - #30

Where in Franklin? - #30, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Where will you find this building in Franklin?

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


Where in Franklin? - Answer #29

Where in Franklin? - Answer #29, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The pictures of the bell tower and entrance apparently were unable to help identify that this building was the Franklin Federated Church, serving the First Congregational Church and the First Baptist Church.

Stay tuned for the next picture for "Where in Franklin?"

In the news - medal of valor

Medal of valor bestowed on fallen soldiers' families

By Paul Crocetti/Daily News staff

The Franklin Lodge of Elks yesterday posthumously bestowed the medal of valor on three local soldiers killed in Iraq.


The lodge presented the awards to the families of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Robert Pirelli, Marine Lance Cpl. Shayne Cabino and Marine Gunnery Sgt. Elia Fontecchio.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fire station update

Fire station is ahead of schedule

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - Construction of the new $9.3 million fire station is ahead of schedule and slightly under budget, with officials fairly confident that the town can scrape together enough money to open the building early.


Note: Jeff Nutting's comments to the Town Council meeting January 9th

Thursday, February 7, 2008

In the news - layoffs in forecast

Franklin officials told of tight finances

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - Working off the assumption the town will not dip further into its savings account, Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting warned councilors last night that layoffs could be in store as the budget season begins anew.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Town Council Meeting 2/6/08 (Audio)

The complete audio file for the brief Town Council meeting held 2/6/08.


* FY 2008 school budget will be balanced without further funding from the Town
* High School building committee to be proposed early in March
* First look at School budget for FY 2009 coming at the School Committee meeting 2/26/08
* 2 Town bylaw changes moved to second reading
* Town Council will be asked whether to fund unemployment expenses from stabilization or from the respective budgets.

Time: 15 minutes, 5 seconds

MP3 File

In the news - grim finances, book about Charlie, Michael tried vegan

Finances look grim in Franklin

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

FRANKLIN - Working with drawn-down reserves and expecting only an additional $1.8 million in revenue, Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting warned the Finance Committee last night that the next budget could require layoffs.


Franklin woman pens book on son’s fight with cancer

By Kate Sullivan Foley/CORRESPONDENT

If you don’t believe in miracles, you might just change your mind after reading, "Hope, Faith and Charlie."


Reporter reflects on a month of being a vegan

Daily News reporter Michael Morton gave it the ol' college try, but after a month of experimenting with a vegan lifestyle, he has returned to his former omniverous self. Michael recaps his experiment on the Food for Thought blog. Give it a read and let him know what you think by clicking on "Leave a Comment."