Saturday, November 15, 2008

Franklin Art Association awards

FRANKLIN - The Franklin Art Association’s "Fall Into Art" festival, presented Nov. 8 and 9, with a gala on Saturday evening, consisted of an open exhibit of more than 140 works of art, bins of members’ artwork and cards for sale, a silent auction of donated paintings and a raffle of artwork donated by members and well-known artists who have demonstrated their talent during the past year, and a gift certificate and gift basket donated by local businesses.

Proceeds from the raffle go to the scholarship fund. Those eligible to receive the annual scholarship are graduating seniors who live and/or attend school in Franklin or who are children or grandchildren of Franklin Art Association members. More than half of the members of the association are from Franklin and the rest are from the greater MetroWest area.

More than 500 people attended the event. Entertainment was provided by members of the Newton Symphony Orchestra and music students of Franklin High School. A variety of food was donated by area restaurants and FAA members.

Read the full article to see all the awards in the Franklin Gazette here

"He’s done a wonderful job for us"

Franklin teen works building handicapped walkway

By By Heather McCarron, STAFF WRITER

FRANKLIN - Growing up with a handicapped aunt, and spending time as a volunteer at a hospital, 17-year-old Andrew Turgeon has a pretty good idea about the challenges faced by the physically and mentally disabled.

So when he noticed a heavily traveled sidewalk at the Wrentham Developmental Center was showing some disrepair, and posing difficulty for the center’s handicapped residents, he decided to do something about it.

A member of Franklin Boy Scouts Troop 126, Turgeon spent the last couple of months planning and realizing a sidewalk repair project in his quest to attain Boy Scouting’s highest status, Eagle Scout.

And while he was at it, he decided he’d also build a walkway from the campus building out to an existing covered patio area, to make access to that favored warm-weather spot easier for the center’s clients and their caregivers.

The finishing touches were done on Monday — with winter approaching, good timing especially for the main sidewalk.

"The main walkway coming out of the (WDC) campus building was sunk in the middle, so all winter long it’s been covered with ice," explained Turgeon, who spent last Saturday morning overseeing fellow scouts in undertaking the work.

Read the full article in the Franklin Gazette here.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

In the News - new rail trail, MBTA parking rates

Posted Nov 13, 2008 @ 09:54 PM


Standing among a crowd of conservation enthusiasts at Daniels Farmstead yesterday, Bellingham Conservation Commission Chairman Cliff Matthews presented his town's vision for developing a bike trail that would start at Franklin State Forest and end in Willimantic, Conn.

The planned trail is one of several projects that will benefit from $2.5 million in environmental bond funding that state Rep. Jennifer Callahan, D-Sutton, recently secured for her district. Callahan organized a tour yesterday of one site that could benefit, Daniels Farmstead on Mendon Street, where the bike path and other projects were discussed.

Matthews explained that he, the rest of the Conservation Commission, and Town Administrator Denis Fraine want to convert an abandoned railroad bed into a bike path. The old line goes through the Grove Street entrance at Franklin State Forest, to Bellingham, Blackstone, Millville, Douglas, Webster, and into Connecticut.

read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Posted Nov 13, 2008 @ 09:51 PM
Last update Nov 13, 2008 @ 11:34 PM


Local commuters are miffed the MBTA is doubling the daily parking fee as of tomorrow, particularly in the souring economy, with some saying they will stop parking in the lots.

The MBTA's price hike bumps up Boston-area parking fees from $3 to $6 a day, and parking at Franklin's two stops, Dean College/495 and Forge Park, from $2 to $4 daily.

"I just started taking the commuter rail. I'm not very happy about it,'' said Bellingham resident Vanessa Kaupelis, as she got ready to leave the Forge Park parking lot yesterday afternoon.

"It's $4 to park - that's a bit insane. I wish I could grandfather-in one big pass. Of all the times to be doing this, we're in the middle of a recession, and they're raising the prices?'' she said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gallery 218 - Warm/Cool - opens 11/18/08


Franklin Public Schools’ newest art exhibit, "Warm/Cool," is set to open at the school system’s Gallery 218 on Nov. 18.

The opening will be at the gallery, located at 218 Oak St. inside Franklin High School, from 5-7 p.m.

Many of the young artist will be there. The opening will also feature free food and live music provided by the music students at the high school.

This is a K-12 exhibit and all the schools in the district will be represented.
This was originally posted here

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"I haven't seen one penny"

Posted Nov 11, 2008 @ 10:08 PM


While the town has made great strides in increasing recycling in schools and other public places, as well as individual homes, Franklin still needs to do more, the Franklin Recycling Committee concluded in a recent report to the Town Council.

Raising consciousness would be a good start, suggested committee member Lynne Narum, a passionate advocate for recycling.

The committee wanted to see all Franklin schools have a full recycling program in place by September, but that is a work-in-progress at this point, said Chairman Gene Grella.

The group made four other recommendations, which included having the Department of Public Works maintain recycling bins at all public open spaces, athletic fields and recreational areas. They also recommended the town switch from a solid waste contract to a single stream recycling program, and establish a redeemable can and bottle program at the transfer station.

The group also wants a littering awareness program developed for the entire town and schools to educate the public about the problem of littering. As part of the initiative, the town should post anti-littering signs in public areas and fully enforce the littering bylaw, which fines litterers $50.

Councilor Judith Pond Pfeffer proposed putting together "a little environmental posse to deputize people," giving out $50 fines for littering.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

You can also refer to the live reporting from the Town Council meeting of 11/5/08 here.

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"Jeff Nutting really had vision"

Posted Nov 12, 2008 @ 12:03 AM


The town is extending the first invitation to residents to the new Franklin Historical Museum Nov. 19 for the unveiling of a life-sized bronze sculpture of a 19th century Franklin boy who waves to visitors, welcoming them to the facility.

"It's amazing. It's just truly everything we dreamed of and more. The town is very fortunate to have had (artist) Marcia (Billig) available to do this piece," said Lisa Piana, executive director for the Franklin Downtown Partnership.

The statue was designed to reflect Franklin's history, she said; the boy's straw hat hints at the town's strong involvement in the straw hat industry at the turn of the century, and the pile of books he sits on is also symbolic.

"A lot of thought went into which books (were included) to reflect what was in the museum," said Piana, noting that one book featured railroads and another highlights the town's old newspaper, The Sentinel.

The unveiling of the sculpture, titled "Hats Off to Franklin," starts at 9 a.m. next Wednesday at 80 West Central St., the former Senior Center.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

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FPAC - "The Nutcracker"


In its 18th season, the Franklin Performing Arts Company will present its popular holiday classic, "The Nutcracker," Dec. 6 and 7, featuring a professional 27-piece orchestra under the direction of Boston’s Peter Cokkinias.

With a cast of more than 100 local area performers, special guest artists Cheryl Madeux Abbott will play the role of "Sugar Plum Fairy" and Vitali Krauchenka will portray "Cavalier."


Tickets are now on sale at the FPAC box office. Call 508-528-8668 or visit the FPAC box office at 34 Main St. The Nutcracker will take place at the Thomas D. Mercer Auditorium, 224 Oak St. For information about featured guests and FPAC’s presentation of "The Nutcracker," visit

Read the full article online here and likely in this week's Gazette

Peter Cokkinias is an excellent conductor. He is on the faculty at Berklee and the conductor of the neighboring Metrowest Symphony Orchestra. My daughter played with Metrowest while a student at Franklin High and he was very welcoming of the high schoolers playing in this fine orchestra. It was a great experience for her.

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“Energy $ense” Series - 11/13/08

“Energy $ense” Series in November at the Franklin Public Library

The Friends of the Franklin Public Library are pleased to sponsor the 2nd installment of The Franklin Area Climate Team’s “Energy $ense” Series for residents on Thursday, November 13th. The title of the seminar is “How Businesses Get Help Going Green” with speaker Jen Boudrie, Sustainable Business Leader Program Director.

The Sustainable Business Leader Program offers assistance to small to medium sized businesses in Franklin and the surrounding towns to improve their current practices in energy and water conservation, pollution prevention, waste reduction, transportation efficiency and sustainability management. The program provides: guidance in assessing your company’s current sustainability condition, help in developing an Action Plan to improve it and on-going assistance and monitoring.

The program starts at 7:00 pm in the community room, lower level of The Franklin Public Library. The library is located at 118 Main Street. For more information, please email Ted McIntyre at or call 508-528-7765

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Veterans Day, 2008

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the men and women who in defense of our freedom have bravely worn the uniform of the United States.

From the fields and forests of war-torn Europe to the jungles of Southeast Asia, from the deserts of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan, brave patriots have protected our Nation's ideals, rescued millions from tyranny, and helped spread freedom around the globe. America's veterans answered the call when asked to protect our Nation from some of the most brutal and ruthless tyrants, terrorists, and militaries the world has ever known. They stood tall in the face of grave danger and enabled our Nation to become the greatest force for freedom in human history. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard have answered a high calling to serve and have helped secure America at every turn.

Our country is forever indebted to our veterans for their quiet courage and exemplary service. We also remember and honor those who laid down their lives in freedom's defense. These brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit. On Veterans Day, we remember these heroes for their valor, their loyalty, and their dedication. Their selfless sacrifices continue to inspire us today as we work to advance peace and extend freedom around the world.

With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor America's veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2008, as Veterans Day and urge all Americans to observe November 9 through November 15, 2008, as National Veterans Awareness Week. I encourage all Americans to recognize the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans through ceremonies and prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to support and participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I invite civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, businesses, unions, and the media to support this national observance with commemorative expressions and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.


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"Somebody's mad at somebody"

Posted Nov 10, 2008 @ 09:09 PM


Police do not have any leads into who slashed the tires on 42 cars last weekend or what motivated the malicious action, said Deputy Police Chief Stephan H. Semerjian.

As far as police know, nobody witnessed the crimes, which occurred late Friday night and early Saturday morning, Semerjian said.

Police have not received any new reports of slashings since Saturday, Semerjian said.

In total, 42 car owners, all at 301 Union Place, an apartment complex, reported their tires had been slashed, said Semerjian.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ed Cafasso - Letter 11/2/08

Note: this is late posting. It got lost in my "things to do" box.

Hello Everyone!

I hope you had a good weekend and enjoyed that extra hour of sleep! Here’s a brief update on recent school issues in Franklin…

New Superintendent: The Franklin School Committee moved closer to appointing a new Superintendent last week, unanimously endorsing the candidacy of Deputy Supt. Maureen Sabolinski. Ms. Sabolinski has been a resident of the Franklin for 16 years, and has worked for the Franklin schools for most of that time, starting in special education and eventually working her way up to become second in command. Her children went through our schools, and Maureen has experienced just about every issue one can imagine as both a parent and as an administrator – budget challenges, redistricting, the opening of new schools, personnel evaluations, etc. The next step for the Committee is to work out a smooth transition for Ms. Sabolinski to officially take over for outgoing Supt. Wayne Ogden.

Two Milford Daily News stories are available regarding our consideration of Maureen’s candidacy: (Oct. 29) and (Oct. 15)

School Calendar Survey: So many parents have expressed strong feelings about the fact that classes in Franklin begin before Labor Day that the Superintendent’s office has launched an online survey on the topic. Parents are strongly encouraged to make their views known at: With only eight questions, completing the survey should be quick and easy. Please feel free to pass along the link to others in the school community. The survey will remain open until November 24.

Field House Advertising: Last week, after months of study, the School Committee voted unanimously to authorize a pilot program allowing advertising within the Field House at Franklin High School. Ads in the style of 4’ x 6’ vinyl banners (navy blue with white lettering) will be available for sale at $40/month with a minimum three-month advertising commitment. The banner ads will be hung along area where the curved roof meets the building’s long walls. By conservative estimates, some 45,000 adults attend or participate in events at the Field House each year, and potential advertisers began coming forward within hours of the Committee vote. The success of the pilot will be evaluated in six months. Local businesses and boosters can learn more about this inexpensive marketing opportunity by visiting:

School Enrollment: The total number of students enrolled in the Franklin Public Schools declined by 26 to 6,232 as of September, compared to the 6,260 students on the books when the 2007-08 school year ended in June. Elementary enrollment declined by 63 students during the period, and the number of middle school students decreased by eight. Franklin High began the 2008-09 school year with 43 more students than last year, bringing the student body at FHS to 1,617. In case you are wondering, total Franklin Public School enrollment has increased from 5,962 in May 2005 to 6,232 as of September 2008. That's an increase of 270 students (4.5 percent) during the course of the last four school years.

FEF Casino Night: The Franklin Education Foundation is holding its Third Annual Casino Night on Friday, November 21 at 7 p.m. the Elks Hall in Franklin. This has become a much-anticipated fun, adult event. As with the popular FEF Trivia Bee, proceeds from Casino Night go directly into grants for teacher initiatives at all levels of the Franklin Public Schools. This year’s event will feature Blackjack tables, Roulette, a Money Spinning Wheel, and a Silent Auction. A limited number of tickets are available at $25 each, or six tickets for the price of five. You can learn more about the FEF and Casino Night at:

Commuter Rail Parking Rate Hike: As many of you know, parking fees at MBTA commuter rail stations are scheduled to double as of November 15. If you’re a daily commuter rail user like me, the proposed hike is maddening. It’s insensitive to the needs of working families during the worst economy since the Great Depression; it sends the wrong environmental message at a time when we all want to use less fossil fuels; and, it targets just one class of MBTA customers, the commuter rail riders who have already absorbed recent fares hikes and who play a big role in the capital city’s workforce.

Unless the cost of painting yellow lines on tar has dramatically skyrocketed, I feel certain the T is already making a sizable profit on commuter rail riders. You can express your opinion on this unfair rate hike at or by filling out the Commuter Rail Customer Comment Form at Or, you can write directly to MBTA General Manager Daniel Grabauskas, 10 Park Plaza, Suite 3910, Boston, MA 02116

These e-mails are provided as a constituent service. I try to distribute at least one e-mail update each month during the school year, as issues warrant. As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. If you are receiving duplicate e-mails or if you no longer wish to receive these e-mails, please let me know and I will remove you from the distribution list. If you know of someone you would like to add to the list, please send along their e-mail address.

Don’t forget to vote Tuesday! Thanks!

Ed Cafasso, Member

Franklin School Committee

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Parmenter Elementary School

From the Parmenter Elementary School sign on Sunday we find:

Parmenter Elementary School

Davis Thayer Elementary School

The Davis Thayer sign on Sunday:

Davis Thayer Elementary School

School signs

The sign view from the Franklin High School side:

FHS side

The sign view from the Horace Mann / Oak St side:

Horace Mann/Oak St side

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

GATRA "free ride" coupon

Don't forget to grab the free ride coupon from this week's home delivery of the Gazette.

If you don't think you'll get to take a ride before 12/20/08, you can give it to a neighbor or some one that will use it.

Why not take a free ride? I am looking forward to some Saturday when I can take a ride.

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

In local TV - vandalism at Franklin Landing

Two TV stations, one from Boston, one from Providence are covering the tire slashing incident Friday night at the Franklin Landing apartment complex on Union St.

ABC Channel 6 - Providence

ABC Channel 5 - Boston

Video is available on both links

"it's walking on sacred ground"

Washington MonumentImage by shersteve via Flickr
Posted Nov 09, 2008 @ 12:00 AM


Thursday afternoon, a group of veterans hovered over the bar at the Elks Lodge, drinking beer, teasing each other about hitting on women and badgering the manager for socializing instead of staying in the office.

But when talk turned to the reason for their gathering - their trip to Washington, D.C. to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., the men quickly became solemn, nostalgic and filled with pride.

"I had a brother, William, in the Air Force who passed. I want to see all the different memorials while I still can. I'm excited about it," said Frank DeRose, 83, a World War II vet who fought as an infantryman in the Normandy invasion.

DeRose said he was discharged with a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, "etc., etc.," after shrapnel slammed into his chest and right arm.

"I decided I wanted to see the memorial before ... any more years go by," he said, laughing.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

In addition to the Elks, there is also a group called the Honor Flight Network that pays for the travel expenses of veterans to make the trip to Washington, DC. You can read more about Honor Flight here and here.

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