Saturday, December 20, 2008

"It's still under investigation"

Posted Dec 19, 2008 @ 09:20 PM


A 21-year-old North Attleborough man stands accused of buying rum that was later given to Taylor Meyer, the Plainville teen who died in October after wandering away from an underage drinking party at the old Norfolk Airport, according to police.

Sean P. Flynn, of 269 West St., is charged with procuring alcohol for a person under 21 and is scheduled for a show-cause hearing on Dec. 24 at Attleboro District Court.

"There was no arrest. He was served with a summons," said North Attleborough Police Chief Michael P. Gould Sr., noting the summons was served Dec. 17.

Gould said a clerk magistrate will determine at the hearing whether there is probable cause to issue a criminal complaint and send the case to court.

Flynn stands accused of obtaining two bottles of Baccardi rum for Brian Zuzick, 19, of 6 Red Coat Lane, Plainville, who then passed one bottle on to 17-year-old Taylor Meyer and the second to an unidentified, 17-year-old classmate of Meyer's, police allege.

Read the full story in the Milford Daily News here

Friday, December 19, 2008

WASTED - FHS Student presentation

Here is the PowerPoint slide show that was the backdrop for the FHS student performance at the information session hosted by W.A.S.T."E"D. on December 2, 2008.

The audio files from the WASTED evening can be found here

My thanks to Maruska Waters and Principal Pam Gould for sharing this presentation.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

“Clear expectations with consistent consequences.”

“Clear expectations with consistent consequences.”

This is the number one message from the forum for parents on adolescent substance abuse and other social issues held at the King Philip Regional High School on Wednesday, December 17th.

Dr. Nicole Danforth from the Massachusetts General Hospital Addiction Recovery program highlighted this in her summary of the four take aways she provided to the parents. She carefully explained that teenagers are having a tough time growing up but that this is due to the normal biological development period that occurs. If she were to put her finger on the single age when the human brain is completely formed and enabled for rational decision making, it would be 25. So there is no need to wonder why a 15 or 18 year old can’t make a good decision especially where alcohol and other substances are involved.

Dr. Danforth’s four take aways
  1. Adolescents are not mini-adults
  2. Risk taking is normal, biologically driven and inevitable
  3. Binge drinking is common
  4. You (as a parent) matter more than you think

You need to be a parent for your teen. They have plenty of friends. Be a good role model. Set out the guidelines on what you will allow, what you won’t. Show your concern. This will help them to frame the risk taking they will try. They can and do take risks in many aspects of their life. At this age with the peer pressure and culture that abounds, just speaking out in class can be taking a risk. They don’t need to be taking a risk with alcohol where the consequences can be life altering.

Steve Adamec, director of the Bristol County Family Stabilization Team seconded Dr. Danforth’s line on clear expectations with consistent consequences. He emphasized that this can come from communication, communication, communication.

He provided 3 c’s
  1. Create
  2. Connect
  3. Communicate

Teens who have developed a strategy for dealing with stress are more likely to avoid substance abuse.

030904-N-9593R-008 Washington, D.C. – Recordin...Image via Wikipedia
How can you connect with your teen? Steve outlined 5 key opportunities:
  1. Pick a fictional character
  2. Use a “role” model from media (i.e Brittany Spears)
  3. An athlete
  4. A classmate
  5. A relative

Any one of these opportunities can provide an entry to the conversation. Ask specific questions that require more than a single word answer. Follow up on the first response. Not to be negative, not to be punitive but to be inquisitive and caring.

“Silence is permission.” If you don’t say anything, you have provided your tacit approval for their behavior or conduct.

Michael Jackman from the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office reinforced the importance of keeping the conversation going. He referenced studies that show when teens are provided a clear message with distinct consequences; they are less likely to end up with substance abuse.

Parents will benefit when they can delay their teens first use of alcohol. This ties back into the biological development going on at this time that Dr. Danforth discussed. Alcohol early in their teen years can do some damage. If their first drink is in their 20’s, the damage will be less. They will be better enabled to handle it.

Michael went on to discuss the online behavior of today’s teens. They are tech saving, texting and always connected via their cell phones. Parents who have been focused on the predator awareness for their younger children still need to have conversations with their teenagers. The teens do not grasp the fact that once they post a picture on the internet that is available for anyone to see. Their online profile is important. Parents need to be involved because the teens are so into the moment and invincible, they do not think about the long term consequences of their actions. They are not capable of it at this age.

Plainville Police Chief Edward Merrick emphasized that it is the parents job, really their obligation to be involved with their teen. Make the effort to know your teens friends, and the parents of their friends. If they are going to do an overnight, check to see that the parents are there. Those parents will appreciate the fact that you checked in with them. Be aware of the social host obligation. There are ramifications if you don’t. Parenting is not rocket science but it is not something you have to do alone. There are plenty of resources available.

Let your teen know that there will be consequences every time they step outside the boundaries you have set for them.

King Philip Superintendent Dr. Dick Robbat facilitated the Q&A section. The panel agreed that there is no such thing as “healthy adolescent drinking”. This is not to say that for a special occasion, religious or cultural event, that there can’t be a sip of wine or champagne. This is a family decision and due to the religious and cultural aspects of it, they would not say it was good. Framed in that context, the act of a single drink becomes special.

Just as the W.A.S.T."E".D. Information session at Franklin High was the first of a series, there will be additional forums and information sessions on this and related topics at King Phillip.

The conversation needs to continue.

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"every person has a place in the political spectrum"

Posted Dec 18, 2008 @ 12:41 AM

Life in the Barack Obama administration is tough - it's a seven-day-a-week, 15-hour-a-day job, leaving precious little time for loved ones, or really anything else.

But for Franklin native Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, who serves as President-elect Barack Obama's associate director of personnel after working three presidential campaigns, it's all worth it.

"I love what I do. There are so many great parts of my job. To me, the best part is, I get up every morning and do something I believe in," said O'Malley Dillon.

"I really have been lucky - I've lived in Louisiana, South Dakota, Florida, and got to know people from all over the country, and it's been a tremendous experience," she said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

"I just wish people would participate"

Posted Dec 18, 2008 @ 01:15 AM


Town Council unanimously voted to endorse a five-year open space and recreation plan, making the town eligible for grants.

The long-term plan includes five goals:

* Increasing public awareness of open space and recreation opportunities in Franklin;

* Preserving, protecting and enhancing the town's existing open space resources;

* Maximizing recreational opportunities to meet the town's evolving needs by providing new facilities and programs;

* Protecting the natural, historical and cultural resources to maintain Franklin's New England character.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

"the time of year to extract the joy of life"

James Johnston writes in his bi-weekly column:


This is the week before the sixty-fifth Christmas of my life time. My first Christmas was celebrated on Dec. 25, in the year 1944. Hitler was taking a licking from the Russians in the east and the Americans and British and their allies in the west. 1944 was to be Hitler's last Christmas. I don't think anybody was too sad about that.

My father was in the Philippines. My mother posed me in all of my tubby cuteness under the Christmas tree in my little Christmas outfit with a very large stuffed Panda Bear, that was to be my boon companion for many years to come, for a photograph to be sent off to my dad in the far Pacific in that last year of the war. There were other things under that tree to be sure, and years later I would dig them up from the earth around the outside of the house.

Continue reading about the items he buried around his house in the Milford Daily News here

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"can result in both civil and criminal penalties"

Posted Dec 17, 2008 @ 01:06 AM


An Upper Union Street sheet metal company will have to pay nearly $50,000 in restitution and penalties for violating the state's wage and overtime laws, Attorney General Martha Coakley's office announced yesterday.

The attorney general has issued a civil citation against Custom Metal Systems, Ltd., and owner Sarah Farren, 45, of Wrentham, for unintentionally violating the state's wage and overtime laws.

Farren was ordered to pay $42,507 in restitution to the affected employees and a $4,600 fine for unintentionally failing to pay the proper prevailing wage.

In August, Coakley's Fair Labor Division received complaints from two employees alleging the company failed to pay the proper wage and overtime for sheet metal work performed at the Ralph Small Elementary School project in Fall River.

Investigators conducted an audit of the company's certified and general payroll records and found the company had misclassified 14 employees as laborers rather than sheet metal workers.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

"I don't want to leave any stone unturned"

Posted Dec 17, 2008 @ 01:18 AM


Police arrested a man they say provided rum to King Philip High senior Taylor Meyer before she wandered off alone from an underage drinking party and drowned.

The 17-year-old Meyer was found dead in a Norfolk swamp three days later, on Oct. 20.

Brian Zuzick, 19, of 6 Redcoat Lane, Plainville, was arrested Monday and is charged with sale or delivery of alcohol to a person under 21 and purchase of alcohol by a person under 21, police said.

Police are following other related to the Oct. 17 party at the old Norfolk airport, where Meyer, also of Plainville, and other teens had gathered after King Philip's homecoming football game.

"This is an open investigation," said Plainville Police Chief Edward Merrick. "Where charges are warranted, they will be pursued."

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Choices, choices

You can go to the Town Council meeting 7:00 PM at the Town Hall


Go to the production of "The Laramie Project" at 7:00 PM at Franklin High School's lecture hall.


Go to the auditorium at King Philip High School, Rte. 140, Wrentham, for a forum which will address both substance abuse by teens and parental strategies associated with substance use, at 7:00 PM

Town Council - Agenda - 12/17/08

December 17, 2008 7:00 PM

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – November 5, 2008






G. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS – Annual Alcohol License Renewals

H. PRESENTATIONS/DISCUSSIONS - Draft 2008 Open Space & Recreation Plan


  1. Resolution 08-85: Endorsement of the Draft 2008 Open Space & Recreation Plan
  2. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-628: Chapter 185 Nonconforming Uses and Structures – 2nd Reading
  3. Bylaw Amendment 08-629: Amendment to Chapter 25: Personnel Regulations, Appendix A – Classification Plan- 2nd Reading





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


Industry: CPDocks - compact cell phone charger

In our continuing series on the companies who do business here in Franklin, we find this press release:

New Plug-in-Shelf Portable Cell Phone Charging Station Eliminates Cell Phone Clutter

The clutter from cell phones and cell phone charger cords is increasing due to the growing number of cell phone users in the home. The CP Docks brand of cell phone charging stations introduces a new portable unit, the Plug-in-Shelf. It joins the EZ Mount home organizer model introduced last year at The Plug-in-Shelf Cell Phone Charging Station is a convenient new cell phone accessory that simply plugs into any electrical outlet. When you travel, just unplug and go!

Franklin, MA (PRWEB) December 16, 2008 -- CP Docks introduces its latest cell phone charging station, the new, portable Plug-in-Shelf model, a product that eliminates the tangle of cell phone charger cord clutter from counters and tables. When you need to travel, simply unplug the unit and take your charger and charging station with you!
News Image
The Plug-in-Shelf cell phone accessory is a clever problem solver that allows cell phones, chargers and cords to be placed on a small convenient station that plugs into any electrical outlet in your home. The unit consists of a shelf for the phone, a cord holder to hide the charging cord and a unique plug adapter to plug in your existing charger. There is no need to store the charger when not in use since it can always stay with the charging station, even when you travel.

Manufactured from durable plastic with a skid-free pad to hold the phone or PDA, the Plug-in-Shelf plugs into any outlet and keeps your charger and cell phone in one place. No storing and looking for your charger and best of all, no more messy charger cords laying on your kitchen counter! The Plug-in-Shelf is $12.95 and available at with free first class shipping.

Professional home organizers have discovered the CP Docks cell phone chargers. Geralin Thomas, a professional organizer from North Carolina, recently learned about the units and put them in her own home.

My kitchen counter space had disappeared with the mess of cell phone cords from my husband and my two teenagers. It seemed I was always pushing them out of the way ... the EZ Mount solved my problems -- and the kids can finally find their car keys!

I am a contractor who can get a call in the middle of the night. I keep my EZ Mount next to my bed. The phone acts as a night light while charging and it is handy if I get a late night call. A great product!

"Recently, I discovered the Plug-in-shelf and I'm impressed! It's a gizmo that requires no learning curve, no batteries and best of all, it is inexpensive. This product actually conquers and cures countertop-cord-confusion. Clients love them. Professional Organizers love them. Geeks love them. Families love them. I appreciate the way one intelligently designed little thing can change the entire landscape of a room. If your counter tops are covered with cords from iPods, mobile phones, digital cameras, computer cables, etc. I suggest the Plug-in-Shelf or EZ Mount Cell Phone Charging Stations."--Geralin Thomas, Metropolitan Organizing,

The benefits of the Plug-in-Shelf charging station include:

  • A permanent location for your cell phone and charger.
  • Uses your existing cell phone charger.
  • No more need to store your charger when not in use.
  • No more looking for your charger when you need to charge your phone.
  • Your cell phone is always charged and ready to use.
  • Keeps your tables and counters clear of messy charging cords.
  • Protects your phone from spills and damage.
  • It makes the perfect holiday gift.

Many other customers have discovered the benefits of the CP Docks line of cell phone charging stations.

"My kitchen counter space had disappeared with the mess of cell phone cords from my husband and my two teenagers. It seemed I was always pushing them out of the way ... the EZ Mount solved my problems -- and the kids can finally find their car keys!" -- Carol, MN

"The Plug-in-Shelf works great for me. I am getting an extra one for my fiancb-Wendy, MI

"I am a contractor who can get a call in the middle of the night. I keep my EZ Mount next to my bed. The phone acts as a night light while charging and it is handy if I get a late night call. A great product!" -- Dennis, MA

"I love it! It would be a great idea for a gift." -- Nancy, NH

The portable Plug-in-Shelf, along with the EZ Mount Charging Station, which features a built-in key hook, is now available online at You now have two great solutions to keep your home organized and clear of the tangle of cell phone charging cords.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Every fire death is a terrible tragedy"

Posted Dec 16, 2008 @ 12:43 AM


A family member has identified 62-year-old Bruce N. Barck as the victim of the fatal fire Friday night at 652 Old West Central St.

Barck lived alone, said a cousin, Deborah Atchue of Worcester.

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan's office said yesterday a space heater was the source of the the fire that claimed Barck's life.

Investigators concluded the fire started in the kitchen where a space heater was too close to combustible materials, said Coan's spokeswoman, Jennifer Mieth.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Cable households - 2007

Did you know that the Town of Franklin 2008 Annual Report tells us that the total subscribers to cable are as follows:

Comcast -> 7818
Verizon -> 1833
Total cable subscribers -> 9651

The channels provided are

Cable Channels Comcast Verizon
Live 11 29
Playback 8 26
Educational Playback 96 28

If you have not picked up your hard copy of the report at Town Hall, you can try to view it online here:

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Monday, December 15, 2008

"hate is wrong, it still exists and people need to end it"

Posted Dec 14, 2008 @ 11:52 PM


As Madalyn Murtha watched "The Laramie Project," a play about one of the most notorious hate crimes in recent history, the normally stoic Franklin High student was so moved, she decided the work had to be performed at her school.

In the play by Moises Kaufman, characters react to the murder of 21-year-old Matthew Wayne Shepard, an openly gay college student from Casper, Wyo., who was killed in a hate crime in Oct. 1998.

Two men kidnapped, robbed and pistol-whipped him in Laramie, Wyo. They tied him to a fence where he remained for 18 hours in near freezing temperatures before he was found and taken to a hospital. He died as a result of his injuries from the brutal beating.

The compelling story inspired Murtha and Marushka Waters, theater teacher and director of "The Laramie Project," to perform the play in Franklin.

Franklin High School theater will present "The Laramie Project" at 7 p.m. at Franklin High School's lecture hall on Wed., Dec. 17, and Thursday, Dec. 18.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

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Free technology for teachers

Yes, there are free things with value. Finding a website with free things especially for teachers struggling with limited budgets and students eager to learn is a very good thing.

One to add to the list of "the best things in life are free" category

Go visit: Free Technology for Teachers

For example, smartboards are being talked of for use in the classroom. There is a website that focuses on the tips and tricks to use them to their fullest.


Births, Deaths, Marriages - 2007

Did you know that the Town of Franklin 2008 Annual Report provides the details, names and dates of those born, died and married during 2007?

  • May 2007 was the most popular month for births with 32, followed closely by July and August with 31 each
  • November and December tied for the least amount of births recorded with 19 each
  • June and August recorded the most deaths with 16 each, followed closely by April and July with 15 each
  • November recorded the least with a total of 6, January was next with 10
  • September edged out June as the most popular choices for wedding dates with a total of 25 versus 22
  • February was the least popular choice of wedding dates with only 2 followed by January and November with 3 each
If you have not picked up your hard copy of the report at Town Hall, you can try to view it online here:

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

In the News - rail trail, teen drinking forum

Franklin rail trail steams forward

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

Dave Labonte can't wait for the day he can hop on his bike at Franklin State Forest and keep going, all the way to Palmer.

And getting there is a journey the Franklin bicycle enthusiast is more than willing to undertake as well, he said.

Labonte and his fellow Franklin Odd Fellows have offered their lodge hall for the first meeting in the area to start discussions on Franklin's portion of the rail trail. An old railroad bed will be transformed into a paved bicycle path that will wind through 15 towns, starting in Franklin and heading through Bellingham and Blackstone, to Palmer and back up to Southbridge and Sturbridge.

"It is a big undertaking, but I think we in Franklin have the easiest stretch of all the towns," Labonte said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Forum on teen drinking planned for King Philip

By Heather McCarron/Gatehouse News Service

In the aftermath of several recent underage drinking parties, and the death of a Plainville teen who wandered away from such a party in the woods and drowned in a local swamp, the King Philip Regional School District is planning a forum for parents on adolescent substance abuse and other social issues.

The forum, which will address both substance abuse by teens and parental strategies associated with substance use, will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at King Philip High School, Rte. 140, Wrentham.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.