Saturday, November 8, 2008

In the News - veterans, modular classrooms

Posted Nov 08, 2008 @ 12:11 AM
Last update Nov 08, 2008 @ 12:15 AM


With bronze medals, citations, a proclamation and lots of applause, the town honored its war veterans yesterday, paying special tribute to "The 90s Brigade."

About 150 veterans celebrated at the eighth annual Veterans Day breakfast, a ceremony featuring two local lawmakers who are also Army National Guard lieutenant colonels as keynote speakers: Sen. Scott Brown and Rep. James Vallee.

"It's people like you that inspired me to join the military and serve our country," Vallee told the crowd, which gathered at the Senior Center.

Vallee, D-Franklin, read a proclamation from Gov. Deval Patrick, and presented House resolutions to the eight men and women sitting on the stage, a special group of World War II veterans from Franklin.

read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.


Posted Nov 08, 2008 @ 12:07 AM


After touring the district's 20 modular classrooms twice, School Committee members concluded the structures are nearing the end of their useful lives.

"We jumped on the floors, etc.," said Cora Armenio, a member of a subcommittee with Ed Cafasso and School Committee Vice Chairwoman Paul Mullen.

"The larger (older) the child, the bigger the impact. They've been through the ringer," Armenio said.

All of the district's modular classrooms are about 10 years old, and their maximum life expectancy is 15 years, Superintendent Wayne Ogden has said.

Modular classrooms are used at Jefferson Elementary School, John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Gerald M. Parmenter School, Davis Thayer Elementary School and Franklin High School. The town's first modular classrooms were built in 1998 at Parmenter and Davis Thayer.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

Read about all the items that the School Committee discussed at their meeting on October 28th check here, including the live reporting on the modular status here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Franklin WWII Veterans


Emma Tobias was in her car, driving, in December of 1941 when the attack that launched the United States into World War II was first being reported to the public.

"I remember, I was coming home from the grocery store and I heard it on the car radio Pearl Harbor was attacked," said Tobias, sitting on Monday at a table overlooking the back yard of the Franklin home she shares with her daughter, Toby Skelly.

Details sometimes escape the recently turned 91-year-old, but she clearly remembers that moment on that day, Dec. 7, 1941.

"I don’t recall that there was any fear ... I just didn’t really know what it meant," she said.

But by the next day, she knew. The U.S. and Britain officially declared war, joining the conflict that began overseas in 1939.

And nearly two years later, Tobias was herself part of the war effort, an enlisted member of the United States Navy working at the Navy’s San Francisco headquarters.

Read the full article in the Franklin Gazette here



Emma Tobias was amongst the first women to enlist in the Navy in World War II, a few months after the WAVES — Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service — division was formed.

She is now among Franklin’s 11 oldest surviving WWII veterans whose service is being honored this Veterans Day.

The 91-year-old is in good company, too.

Among her fellow senior most WWII veterans, there is Zeffro Gianetti, who served in the U.S. Army under Gen. George S. Patton, from 1941-1945.

"General Patton was one of the top and most famous generals in World War II," noted Franklin veterans agent Bob Fahey.

There is also Paul Egan, who was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked Dec. 7, 1941, launching the United States and Britain into the conflict that began in Europe in 1939.

Read the full article here

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Franklin Planning Committee - meeting canceled 11/6/08

Received the word via email notification today from the Chair. Thank you, Doug! This saves a trip and time tonight.

I was also inspired to write a sherku on the train home:

Other Writing
meeting canceled; no need for
live reporting; can
catch up on other writing

What is a sherku?

"it sounds like a very good program"

Posted Nov 06, 2008 @ 12:27 AM


Town Council last night looked favorably upon a proposal from the Department of Public Works to start an automated trash collection program featuring single-stream recycling.

The new program would save residents the trouble of separating recyclables, theoretically increasing recycling rates, reduce waste tonnage, and would cost residents nothing or just a small increase in their trash fee, said officials last night.

With single-stream recycling, people can put all recyclables in one container, said DPW Director Brutus Cantoreggi.

"This is kind of like a no-brainer to us," said Cantoreggi.

The program would take effect when Franklin's current contract with Wheelabrator expires on June 30, 2010, said Cantoreggi.

The town would provide residents a container for trash, which would be maintained by the hauler, said Cantoreggi.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Read all that occurred during this Town Council meeting here.

Town Council Mtg Summary 11/05/08

The collection of posts from the Town Council meeting 11/5/08

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Phishing scams in plain english

In our continuing series on understanding Web 2.0, one of the drawbacks of free and easy email is found with multiple scams. The folks at Common Craft have come up with a video to explain phishing scams. Very well done. Be careful what you click on in email!

Note: For those subscribers to this blog, this is one link that you can trust.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Live reporting - Councilor Comments

Streamline recycling
property rezoning (increase tax base)
lease Brick School
consolidation of janitorial services

Town Council does look for efficiencies where possible

Pfeffer - congratulations to Maureen Sabolinski on her selection and to the School Committee for a good and timely choice

Live reporting - Town Administrator's report

Old Norfolk water issue resolved.
Story from September 2007 can be found here and here
Recent update on this -
September meeting

Rock pile at Chestnut/RT 140 purchased by Sovereign Bank, Town inquiring to see what the bank plans to do with it.

Dedication of Museum and new sculpture November 19th, 9:00AM.

Some capital planning coming in future meeting, also with "free cash" being certified soon, he'll being some proposals to look at adding some funds to the Stabilization Fund.

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live reporting - rezoning

Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-625: Chapter 185-5, Town Code: Zoning Map – Business to Commercial II – 2nd Reading (Tabled on 10/15/08)

Approved 7-1 (Doak no, Vallee absent)

Live reporting - Brick lease

The lease was signed with the Charter School for the Brick facility for $1 per year with the knowledge that these donations were available to offset the facility costs.

Resolution 08-72: Acceptance of Gifts for the Red Brick School

Approved 8-0

Live reporting - DPW re-org

Proposal to create a "grounds" division within the DPW.

Feeley - no vote on it tonight, open for questions

Would cost about $20,000: $10,000 to the General Fund and another $10,000 to the Water/Sewer revolving account.

The proposal adds a "real" deputy to the Director of Operations.

More efficient operations. Need to start succession planning, capturing the extensive knowledge that they have built over the years to handle things as well as they do. Uses existing folks. Eliminates assistant positions.

Live reporting - DPW Solid Waste & Recycling

The international recycling symbol.Image via WikipediaRobert Cantoreggi and Denise Zambrowski presenting

Approx 1 ton of trash per household in Franklin per year.

Under the single stream proposal:
Residents would be provided a "toter", it would be maintained by the hauler. This would reduce the amount of trash imported to Franklin. Overflow options: an additional toter for a fee or purchase 33 gallon overflow bags.

Current program of one bulk burnable item with trash per week would be replaced by a small fee and a sticker with a scheduled pick up. This would avoid the importing of trash from other areas into Franklin to be disposed of here for "free".

Single Stream recycling - no limit on recyclables

Nutting - Looking to see if there is general consensus amongst the Council to move ahead with RFP for the single stream processing.

Nutting requested to handle the following resolution out of order:

Resolution 08-71: Authorization for Intermunicipal Agreement – Town of Blackstone

Approved 8-0

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Live reporting - Fire Station Bldg Committee disolved

Resolution 08-59: Dissolution of Fire Station Building Committee (Tabled on 10/15/08)

Approved 8-0

Ken Norman representative of the committee this evening along with Fire Chief McCarraher.

Recycling update

The Recycling Committee provides an update to the Town Council

Mobile post sent by shersteve using Utterli. reply-count Replies.

Live reporting - Recycle committee report

Franklin: recycles gathered on the walkImage by shersteve via FlickrImprovements in recycling town wide. Increased from 21% to 25% for the past quarter compared to last year.

Discussion on recycling at the high school. The Green Team is the largest group at the high school. They are active. The grade of C is meant to reflect the overall town effort/performance against the overall town recycling goals. We need to encourage their effort.

There are no recycling bins at Beaver Street. There should be waste and recycle receptacles to separate the trash and recyclables.

Town needs to set an example and model the good recycling behavior.

Proposal to audit trash and leave a door hanger notice on the results. This as a follow up to an announcement letter to everyone letting the know what the opportunities are.

(editorial note - I should talk with them about my idea of using the folks walking around town to bend and stretch to pick up recycling. The picture included here is from one of my weekend morning walks. I posted about this back in February 2008)

Single stream possible for the future. What is it? Put everything in one container and the waste handler with updated technology can do the separation at their end.

Current trash contract good through 2010. Single Stream and other enhancements could be incorporated as part of the new contract.

Franklin's Earth Day should be the Saturday closest to the official Earth Day which is always April 22. 300 volunteers picked up 6000 pounds of recyclables on that one day.

DPW did a great job helping with Earth Day. Especially on a Saturday!

Two major issues;
  • Receptacles are not readily available.
  • The consciousness (about recycling) it not present in the community.
Build a sense of community pride!

Councilor Pfeffer wants to deputize folks to start issuing the $50 fines to folks littering at the fields.

Franklin is recycling at 25% and most of our neighbor towns are at 50%.

The Recycling Committee web page on the new Town site can be found here.

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Live reporting - License transfer

Teppanyaki Restaurant – Change of Manager

issue with new manager has not completed the bartender training as required

motion amended to make the transfer contingent upon receipt of the training completion (scheduled for Monday 11/10/08).

approved 8-0

Live reporting - opening items

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – October 1, 2008, October 15, 2008
approved 8-0


(will update later from recording)




Ken Norman raised an objection to the music being played in the background on Channel 11. He finds it difficult to try and follow what is going on with the music distracting and objectionable. Can the administrator find another alternative?

Design Review Commission
Council on Aging

(will add names from recording later)

Live reporting - Town Council Meeting

Added to agenda: motion made and approved to organize the Council for the next year.

Feeley - Chair
Bartlett - Vice-Chair
Pfeffer - Clerk

all motions made and voted 8-0 (Vallee not attending)

GATRA "free ride" coupons

Yes, it is true, there is a "free ride" coupon coming for the GATRA Franklin bus.

Where do you get a coupon?
This Friday’s (November 7, 2008) edition of The Country Gazette will have a 2” x 2” orange coupon also known as an “Ad Note” affixed to the front page of 10,000 copies of the paper. The “Ad Note” is a “peel off” good for a FREE RIDE. The “coupon” is good immediately up to and including Saturday, December 20, 2008.

If your neighbor doesn't want to use it, ask them for it?

If you can't use it, give it to some one who will use it!

That's helping someone get at least one ride free.

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In the News - 2010 Budget planing starting

Posted Nov 05, 2008 @ 01:35 AM


Thanks to the sour economy, Franklin is looking at a possible shortfall of several million dollars for fiscal 2010, and a subsequent "major reduction in force ... townwide," Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting told the Finance Committee last night.

It is still too early to estimate how much the shortfall will be, said Nutting.

That figure, he said, depends on the result of Question 1 (to repeal the state income tax), and assuming there aren't any changes in revenue projections. According to last night's numbers, Massachusetts voters shot down the effort to repeal the income tax.

Nutting's projection was not discussed at length, as it was not an issue on last night's meeting agenda, but he mentioned it when he told the board he will ask department heads to submit budgets in early December.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Fall Into Art - November 8 & 9

Fall Into Art - Nov 8 & 9

Read more about this event put on by the Franklin Art Association here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"the school system is going to need it"

Michael Doherty, a member of the board of directors of the Franklin Education Foundation, said he is worried about the economy's effect on the foundation. "Local businesses have been feeling the pinch for well over a year and it is harder for them to be as generous to us as they have in the past,'' he said. "We still get a lot of support but some of the small businesses have really suffered.''

The Franklin Educational Foundation will hold its third annual casino night on Nov. 21, but on a smaller scale than in the past, Doherty said. He said he thinks people are waiting until later to purchase tickets for the event.

"We hope to get a large turnout for it, the event was well supported in the last two years,'' he said. "People who are not gamblers come out and understand its just a fun event and everyone knows what they spend will benefit a great cause.''

Doherty said another casualty of the economy is that people have less and less time to volunteer for the foundation.
"People are working more, but we are always accepting new members and donations for the cause,'' he said. And with state budget cuts and less revenue from other sources, the school system is going to need it, Doherty said.

"We cannot make up the entire gap but we hope to provide whatever assistance we can,'' he said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

"They're both really smart,"

GateHouse News Service
Posted Nov 03, 2008 @ 10:37 PM


If the voting pattern of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at Horace Mann Middle School is any reflection of the way the rest of the country will vote today, Barack Obama will win by a landslide.

The final tally: Barack Obama, 329; John McCain, 181; Ralph Nader, 17.

'Our motto today is: `As Horace Mann goes, so goes the nation,''' said sixth-grade math teacher Patricia Metrick, who helped organize the mock election.

"Twenty, 30 years from now, this election's going to be in our textbooks. Their children will be learning about it. It gives (today's students) a chance to participate, even though they're only young adults,'' said Metrick.

Although the school has held mock elections in the past, this was "by far the snazziest, most authentic one,'' said sixth-grade English/social studies teacher Joseph Corey, who directed the video news team yesterday with sixth-grade math and science teacher Noreen Langmeyer.

"They're very excited, they're waiting for their turn to vote,'' Langmeyer said.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

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Voting is Patriotic (USA)

Voting is Patriotic (USA), originally uploaded by farlane.

Not just patriotic, is it a democratic society's duty.

Please get out and vote today!

Town Council Agenda - 11/5/08

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – October 1, 2008, October 15, 2008




E. APPOINTMENTS - Design Review Commission
Council on Aging


G. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS – Teppanyaki Restaurant – Change of Manager

Recycling Committee Presentation
DPW Presentation – Rubbish/Recycling
DPW Reorganization


1. Resolution 08-59: Dissolution of Fire Station Building Committee (Tabled on 10/15/08)
2. Resolution 08-71: Authorization for Intermunicipal Agreement – Town of Blackstone
3. Resolution 08-72: Acceptance of Gifts for the Red Brick School
4. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-625: Chapter 185-5, Town Code: Zoning Map – Business to Commercial II – 2nd Reading (Tabled on 10/15/08)





O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required


"Doc, can you help me study?"

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

Sun Nov 02, 2008, 06:39 PM EST


Don Roemer, affectionately known as "Doc" to his students and colleagues, spent 37 years in a job he loved.

"I loved it. I loved teaching," said Roemer, a Franklin resident who worked for 27 years as an English teacher at Wayland High School, and 10 years prior as an English professor at Northwestern University and Northeastern University.

Life felt a bit empty when he retired three years ago, so he decided to fill that hole by returning to his passion, he said.

For the past year, he has volunteered as a part-time teacher working alongside a few full-timers at Franklin High School, in a pilot program he proposed last October to Franklin Superintendent of Schools Wayne Ogden. Ogden is the former assistant superintendent of Wayland Public Schools.

"I really wanted very much to have something to do with education. I missed being with the kids. I may be old, but I have a lot of experience, a lot to offer," Roemer said.

"I never got tired of the teaching, I never got tired of the kids, but I did get tired of correcting papers," Roemer said.

As a volunteer, he gets the best of both worlds: giving students one-on-one academic attention, without having to pour through essays and tests, as well as a flexible, albeit, confusing rotating schedule, he said.

Read the full article in the Franklin Gazette here

A video clip by Joyce Kelly interviewing Doc can be seen here:

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Monday, November 3, 2008

T-Alerts were active on the Franklin Line Monday morning

Franklin/Forge Park Nov 3, 5:41 a.m. (Inactive)

Franklin/FrgPrk #790 (5:05am ib) will not service Forge Park. #702 (5:45am ib) will run on time from Forge Park. 11/3/2008 5:31 AM This alert is no longer active at Likely the issue has been resolved.

Franklin/Forge Park Nov 3, 6:31 a.m. (Inactive)

Franklin/FrgPrk #790 (5:05am ib) will not service Forge Park. #702 (5:45am ib) will run 20 minutes late. 11/3/2008 5:31 AM This alert is no longer active at Likely the issue has been resolved.

Franklin/Forge Park Nov 3, 6:41 a.m. (Inactive)

Franklin/FrgPrk #704 (6:15am ib) experiencing 20-25 min delay 11/3/2008 6:34 AM This alert is no longer active at Likely the issue has been resolved.

Franklin/Forge Park Nov 3, 7:21 a.m. (Inactive)

Franklin/FrgPrk #706 (6:35am ib) experiencing 15-20 min delay 11/3/2008 7:14 AM This alert is no longer active at Likely the issue has been resolved.

Franklin/Forge Park Nov 3, 8:21 a.m. (Inactive)

Franklin/FrgPrk #732 (7:54am ib) experiencing 20-25 min delay 11/3/2008 8:20 AM This alert is no longer active at Likely the issue has been resolved.


If you haven't signed up for a T-Alert, you can do so here.

You can also join Clever Commute where the riders share the updates.

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FM #19 - 4 things to know

FM #19 podcast provides the 4 things you should know about Franklin, MA this week.

Time: 8 minutes, 18 seconds

MP3 File

Session Notes:

This podcast for Franklin Matters will focus on the 4 things you should know about what happened this week.

In the prior two sessions, we spent time listening to Assistant Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski as she was interviewed by the School Committee during their meeting Tuesday Oct 14th. In podcast 17 Maureen told her life story. How she started teaching in NY City, moved to the Buffalo NY area, to Rockaway, NJ and then to Franklin. She reviews her resume detailing how she has prepared to cover all aspects of the superintendent’s role in her own development.

In podcast 18, we’ll listened to the School Committee as they asked Maureen follow-up questions and get into a discussion to clarify her goals, objectives, and vision for Franklin’s school. If you have not listened to these yet, I strongly encourage you to go back and do so at some point in time. All the podcasts can be found within the Important links section on the right hand column.

The first thing you should know about from this week’s events was that the school committee did vote unanimously 6-0 (Matt Kelley was absent) to enter into contract negotiations with Maureen. We should hear in a future meeting about the contract terms and transition with Wayne as he is scheduled to step aside on June 30th 2009.

The second thing you should know about this week is that the pilot to sell advertising banners in the field house was proposed and accepted. During the pilot period, the banner content will need to be reviewed by the Superintendent of Schools, High School Principal and the chair of the School Committee. The cost for the banner would be $480 year and available for a minimum period of three months (at a prorated cost).

The third thing you should know about this week is that if you area parent of school age children there is a survey on the Franklin Schools homepage looking for your input on how to create the calendar for the school year; for example, should the school year begin before Labor Day or after? Your input is welcomed until November 24th. The link to the survey will be available on Franklin Matters here. Jeff Roy has also created a posting at the School Committee blog with a link to the survey. Let your voice be heard.

The fourth thing you should know this week, on the contract front, the Police Department settled their contract with the Town. They had been working under an expired contract since June 2007. This one will cover through June 2010.

The new contract, which expires in June 2010, gives officers a 2 percent raise retroactive to October 2007, a 2.5 percent raise as of October 2008 and a 3 percent raise in October 2009, Nutting said.

Sergeants' pay will increase to 17 percent above the top patrol officer salary step in the first year of the contract, to 18 percent in the second year, and to 19 percent above in the third year.

This was reported in the Milford Daily News and Franklin Gazette this week.

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

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

For additional information, please visit

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

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

Where have all the flowers gone?

It is that time of year!

Where have all the flowers gone?

To read more about "Where have all the flowers gone?" click here

Sunday, November 2, 2008

In the news - redistricting, online video lectures

Posted Oct 31, 2008 @ 11:49 PM


In recent meetings, the School Committee has broached the possibility of redistricting local schools, but officials say it is a long way off, and any changes will be minor.

"The most important thing for parents to know is, neither the School Committee nor I anticipate any redistricting this year or next year," said Superintendent Wayne Ogden.

Leaders are considering redistricting because some schools, such as Sullivan Middle, are overcrowded, while others like Jefferson Elementary, have available space. The imbalance has resulted in the need to ship some kids around, said School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy.

"It's just trying to balance out the schools and make sure we're maximizing space in every building," said Roy.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Want a free education? A brief guide to the burgeoning world of online video lectures.

By Jeffrey MacIntyre November 2, 2008

RESERVE ANOTHER LAUREL for Edward O. Wilson, the Pellegrino University Professor emeritus at Harvard, serial Pulitzer winner, and prominent intellectual: online celebrity.

Forget Charlie Rose - Wilson has Google for a soapbox. Amid the amateur-hour piffle of YouTube "talent" and skateboarding dogs, the famed botanist stands in bold relief, with more than 500 Google video search results to his credit: Interviews ranging far afield of TV shows to a spate of appearances on several Web-only video platforms such as,,, and the online home of the Technology Entertainment Design (TED) conference.

Read the full article in the Boston Globe here

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Museum entrance taking shape

The entrance to the new museum is really taking shape. The brickwork appears complete. The pedestal is in place and ready for the sculpture.

Museum entrance preparations

There is a Creative Commons license attached to this image. AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike

This will be a nice entrance to Franklin's historical treasures.