Monday, June 30, 2008

"needs to fix critical problems"

Posted Jun 27, 2008 @ 10:29 PM


After months of a stressful budget season and failed tax override attempt, the School Department finally received good news last week.

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Maureen Sabolinski announced the Massachusetts School Building Authority has invited the town to submit a letter of interest for a building project at Franklin High School.

The department had applied and was rejected two years ago, she said, and this is the first opportunity to reapply. The state did not give feedback explaining why it rejected the application, she said.

"We are very fortunate to get a second chance on potential state funding," said School Committee member Ed Cafasso.

"We need to come together as a community to seize this chance as quickly as possible. We are at a crossroads in terms of shaping the future of the high school. It's decision time. We owe it to the community to act decisively," said Cafasso.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Franklin Matters: Sch Com Mtg 6/24/08

Another in a series of podcasts on what matters in Franklin (MA). This one features three segments from the School Committee meeting of 6/24/08 reviewing the depatures from the district due to the budget cuts, the reallocation of some funds to add back 3 teachers, and the closure of the Brick classroom.

Time: 16 minutes, 39 seconds

MP3 File

My notes preparing to record this session:

Features three segments from The School Committee meeting of 6/24/08

In this first segment Asst Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski
Reviews the totals for the teacher layoffs done in May
Lists the categories of layoffs and other departures from the district
There will be some hiring to replace some people whose positions were not cut
Ed Cafasso reiterates a few key points on the numbers

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

In this second segment, Jeff Roy starts the discussion on the 180,000 unallocated funds in the budget
You may recall that this amount was in the hardcopy of the budget but didn’t calculate properly leaving the total unallocated
Sue Rohrbach reports from the budget subcommittee their recommendation
Maureen Sabolinski outlines the proposal to add three teachers in the elementary schools
Consensus was reached by the elementary principals on this decision
Reduces the districts net loss to 42 teachers

---- --- ---

In the final segment, Jeff Roy confirms that as the school and fiscal year come to a close that the district will complete the year at budget, with no surprises
Paula Mullen opens the discussion on the Brick classroom status
Maureen Sabolinski provides Details on the Davis Thayer situation with 2 kindergarten classes in one building
Cafasso closes expressing the committee hard choice in tough budget times

----- --- ---

The state has re-opened applications for school building projects, so the FHS renovation or building discussion will move to the forefront in the next couple of months to meet the state application date in Sept.
The July 9th Town Council meeting school audit/budget update to be presented
Next school committee meeting on July 15th

Stay tuned, stay involved

The holiday week ahead should be quiet, very few meetings, fireworks at the high school, and carnival rides and music on the common, but no parade, enjoy the 4th

---- --- ---

This podcast has been a public service provided to my fellow Franklin citizens and voters by Steve Sherlock

For additional textual information, please visit

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve dot gmail dot com

The musical intro and closing is from the Podsafe Music Network
Jon Schmidt - Powerful Exhilarating Piano Music

"the traffic from Interstate 495 will be louder"

Posted Jun 28, 2008 @ 10:46 PM


The sisters of Mt. St. Mary's Abbey lead a simple life, and they plan to use the latest green technology to keep it that way.

The Cistercian community of 52 women grow most of their own food, adopting a vegetarian diet out of a philosophy of frugality and austerity. They use a solar-powered electric fence to hold their sheep and alpaca, and sustain their physical needs by making and selling candy.

In 2006, Sister Mariann Garrity replaced all of the incandescent bulbs at the abbey (about 200 light fixtures) with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights.

This summer, the Cistercians of the Strict Observance at Mt. St. Mary's Abbey are getting further swept up in their efforts to conserve, putting a 40-meter-tall wind turbine in the field beside the sheep pasture, in the middle of their 580-acre property, which is split between Franklin and Wrentham.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here