Saturday, December 27, 2008

Board of Health facts - part 2

Amongst the statistics provided in the 2008 Annual Report is the communicable diseases that the Board of Health is required to track. In the two dozen odd listed in the Annual Report the top three were:
  • Lyme disease -> 61
  • Chicken pox - > 44
  • Dog bites - 17

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

Coverage of the Board of Health begins on Page 89.

Board of Health facts

Local Boards of Health are required by State Statutes and regulations to perform many important and crucial duties relative to the protection of public health. The following is a small list of duties the local Board of Health has concerning sanitation and environment problems.

A. Record Keeping. Administrative: Permits, Licenses, Plan review maintain records for the minimum time period, process death certificates.

B. Health and Disease control communicable disease tracking and reporting 105 CMR 300.100. Report listed diseases to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Receive track, inspect and report to the state DPH cases of food poisoning.

C. Housing and dwellings: Enforce chapter II of the State Sanitary Code. 105 CMR 410.000 (Minimum Standards For Human Habitation). Inspections, Condemnation and demolition orders. Hearings on associated issues.

D. Hazardous Waste controls 310 CMR. Hazardous waste management. Oil and hazardous material spills Permits for waste haulers. Contact DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) for approved waste sites and spill incidences. Approve waste sites and transfer stations.

E. Solid waste: landfills 310 CMR. Approve sanitary landfills and transfer stations.

F. Sewage and garbage: Enforce Title V of the State Environmental Code 310 CMR( Minimum Requirements For The Subsurface Disposal of Sewage). Inspections of new and existing systems. Review of engineered septic plans. Investigate complaints. Process permits

G. Nuisances: Judged a public health risk.

H. Food Establishment Inspections: 105 CMR 590. Inspection. Follow up on complaints. Investigate food borne illness. Address deficiencies and bring food establishments up to code. Assure the proper/sanitary preparation of foods (temperature and storage conditions). Monitor labeling requirements for food products.

I. Pool and Beaches Inspections: Chapter V of the State sanitary Code.

J. Camps, Motels and Mobile Home Parks: 105 CMR 440.000.

K. Miscellaneous Health Complaints: Day care, Pesticides etc.

L. Permitting and inspecting. This includes biotechnology facilities with rDNA and or Infectious agents classification under Town Bylaw Ch. 198-1.

You can find this information on the Franklin Town page here

The top level Board of Health page can be found here

Friday, December 26, 2008

Franklin History - percolator patent

1865 - James H. Mason of Franklin, MA patented the coffee percolator that makes coffee good to the last drop!

Fire Dept - Reports

In addition to the statistics provided in the 2008 Annual Report, the Fire Department publishes their performance statistics monthly to their section of the Town web site.

You can find the Fire Department page here

You can find the report section here

You can find the monthly response statistics here

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

Coverage of the Fire Department begins on Page 82.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

in the news: pre-school, kindergarten

First Friends drop-off preschool class offered

By GateHouse Media, Inc.

The Franklin Recreation Department isoffering a drop-off preschool class starting on Monday, Jan. 5 or Tuesday, Jan. 6, 9:30-11 a.m.

Do you have a 2-3 year old who wishes they could go to school? Let your preschooler enjoy some independence and socialization with peers in this preschool curriculum based drop off class taught by two certified teachers.

Each week we will explore a different theme and have related activities such as stories, songs, fingerplays, art activities, and games as well as gross motor play. This 1 1/2 hour class is a great transitioning first step before preschool and longer drop off activities. Snack is provided, however if your child has allergies we ask that you provide their snack. Also, send a labeled sippy cup for your child.

This class will be held at the Franklin Recreation Department, 150 Emmons St. Call to register.

This article was originally posted here


Kindergarten registration set for 2009-2010 in Franklin

By GateHouse Media, Inc.

Kindergarten Registration for the Franklin Public Schools will be held in the Horace Mann School Cafeteria, 224 Oak St., Feb. 2 and 3, 4 to 6 p.m., and Feb. 4 and 5, 3 to 5 p.m.

All children born on or before Aug. 31, 2004, are eligible to register for kindergarten.

Bring the following along for registration:

1. Original birth certificate — Original and a copy for school files.

2. Immunization Record — You will not be able to register your child without a physician’s copy of the immunization record.

3. Proof of residence — All applicants for kindergarten enrollment must bring at least one document each from the following categories:

Category A: Record of recent mortgage payment or tax bill, copy of a lease and a record of a recent rental payment, landlord affidavit (notarized letter) and a recent rental payment, Section 8 agreement, or a signed HUD settlement statement.

Category B: valid driver’s license, valid Massachusetts photo ID card, passport, or other government-issued photo ID.

Franklin preschools and day cares will be sending kindergarten registration folders home with your child. If your child does not attend a Franklin preschool or daycare, folders will be available at registration and also at the F.X.O’Regan Early Childhood Development Center, located at 224 Oak Street (rear).

Call 508-541-8166, ext. 2938, for assistance.

This was originally posted here

"wearing all black and using a black umbrella"

Posted Dec 23, 2008 @ 11:25 PM


Police will likely not charge the 29-year-old driver whose dump truck struck and killed 90-year-old Palma A. Johnson while she was walking to morning Mass on Dec. 11, said Deputy Police Chief Stephan Semerjian.

Accident reconstructionists advised against charging the driver, Norwood resident Derek Hamlin, who was operating a 10-wheel dump truck for Joe Woodall & Son Construction of Franklin after concluding he was driving in a "reasonable manner" and reacted properly, he said.

Johnson was walking on a crosswalk on Pleasant Street at 6:56 a.m., coming from the charter school area, when Hamelin's truck hit her, he said.

"It was a very rainy, dark morning," Semerjian said.

Police reports also stated Johnson was wearing all black and using a black umbrella to shield herself from the rain, said Lt. Thomas Lynch. There have been a number of accidents at Church Square, Semerjian said, speculating that many drivers are coming from the Norfolk direction toward St. Mary's and are probably focused on the traffic lights rather than the crosswalk 40 or 50 feet past the lights.

The accident reconstruction was "pretty exhaustive," Semerjian said.

Police conducted a test of the ambient light.

"At no time did it reach a point where the light measure would have allowed him (Hamlin) to see. (He) was operating in a safe manner in regards to the road conditions," Semerjian said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Fire Dept -

Did you know that the 2008 Annual Report provides the Mission Statement for the Fire Department?

The mission of the Franklin Fire Department is to …
  • Have a positive impact in the lives of citizens and visitors of Franklin in their time of crisis by providing compassionate, contemporary, community driven services.
  • Safeguard human life from the perils of fire, sudden illness, injury or other emergency medical condition, natural and man-made disasters as well as preserve the environment and property from ensuing destruction.
  • Be responsible for a safe, productive and pleasant work environment for our employees, and provide them opportunities to gain new skills and advance their personal career goals.

The operational objectives the department uses to measure its success in meeting our mission are:
  1. Initiating advanced life support to patients within 8 minutes of receiving the telephone call at our communications center.
  2. To access, extricate, treat and transport and transport trauma patients to a level one trauma medical facility within one hour of the occurrence of the injury.
  3. Interrupt the progression of fires in structures within 8 minutes of open flame ignition.
  4. Maintain overall emergency response readiness above 70%.
  5. Provide safety and survival skills for all school students in grade K through 5 consistent with the Student Awareness Fire Education (SAFE) initiative of the Commonwealth.
  6. Provide educational opportunities for department members to insure optimal performance and safety.
  7. To develop and maintain “best practice” to insure personnel and citizen safety.
  8. Insure fire safety through timely, consistent code compliance services to all external customers.
  9. Provide all department services in a manner that satisfies the needs of our customers.

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

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"start being more aware of their role (in the community)"

GateHouse News Service
Posted Dec 22, 2008 @ 10:17 PM


Rather than Girl Scouts or the other clubs they would normally join, seven students at Annie Sullivan Middle School signed up to spend their time after school helping people and saving the environment.

In their first few months with the school's new service club, Communiteen, the young women have already collected more than 250 coats for kids, a roomful of presents and donations for needy families to open up on Christmas and started researching a new community project.

``I grew up always knowing it's important to feel responsible for other people and to help out other people,'' said Mariel Calnan, an eighth-grade special education teacher at Annie Sullivan who started and runs the group.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

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Safe Party Guide from MADD

If you are going to be hosting a party during this holiday season, please check out the Safe Party Guide from MADD here.

It may help to prevent something that would spoil the party or the season!

Financial Planning Committee Minutes - 11/20/08

November 20,2008

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm

Members present: Finance Committee members James Roche, and Rebecca Cameron, Councilors Deborah Bartlett and Steve Whalen. School Committee Members, Roberta Trahan and Matt Kelley. Residents, Doug Hardesty and Gwynne Wilschek.

Also present were Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, School Superintendent Wayne Ogden and School Finance Director Miriam Goodman.

Motion to accept the minutes of October 16, 2008 by Councilor Bartlett.
Second by Roberta Trahan
Vote: Yes all

The Superintendent of Schools gave an in depth review of the FY 10 budget requests.
The Schools will need a 6.45% increase or $3.2 million to maintain the level of service.
They would also need an additional $600,000 for the next five-years to restore the reductions in force over the last several years.

The School budget is 83% personnel costs, while SPED and health insurance make up a large portion of the remaining budget.

The Committee asks questions in attempts to understand the barriers and any potential ideas.

The meeting adjourned at 9:05 pm


Jeff Nutting

Monday, December 22, 2008

"There's really been a culture change"

Over the past decade, Revere has seen significant statistical drops in the percentage of middle school and high school students who use and abuse alcohol, coinciding with what local officials, parents, and students themselves say has been a shift in attitudes about drinking.

That's no accident. Since 1997, Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare have spent $4.4 million to fund a program called Revere CARES, designed to reduce teen drinking and substance abuse in a community where adults themselves abused alcohol and drugs at considerably higher rates than the state as a whole.


The data show particular improvement among middle schoolers' behavior in the five years since Revere CARES launched a campaign called the "Power of Know," which included getting more than 1,000 parents of adolescents to sign cards pledging to talk with their children about alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, listen to their kids, and get to know their children's friends and their parents.

Bold for my emphasis

Read the full article in the Boston Globe here

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Teacher Resources - Lab Out Loud

For science teachers and those interested in science, Lab Out Loud is a wonderful resource.

It highlights other good resources within the world of science.

For example: The Periodic Table of Videos hosted by the University of Nottingham


Sunday, December 21, 2008

stone tree in snow

stone tree in snow, originally uploaded by shersteve.

It is good to walk your route in reverse.

As many times as I have passed this tree, I was always coming the other way and never noticed the fine stone work where a limb once was.

Go the other way for a change.


Prop 2 1/2 Limits Growth

This posting was originally made on June 26, 2008. Since that time, there has been an extended conversation going on in the comments. In order to bring those comments more to the light, I am updating this to bring it forward from the June archives.


HIDDEN CONSEQUENCES: LESSONS FROM MASSACHUSETTS FOR STATES CONSIDERING A PROPERTY TAX CAP, is a report issued by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in May. In part, it summarizes:

“Across Massachusetts, a number of communities have been forced to lay off teachers, police officers, firefighters, and other public employees; close fire stations; shut libraries, senior centers, and recreation centers or sharply reduce their hours; and scale back public school programs. One town even turned off its street lights to save money,” said Iris Lav, the Center’s deputy director and co-author of the report.

According to the report, Proposition 2 ½, which limits the growth in communities’ property tax revenue for all services including education to 2.5 percent a year, has:

  • Arbitrarily constrained local revenues without considering the actual cost of providing services. “The fundamental problem with property tax caps is that they don’t make public services any less expensive,” said Lav. ”Costs like employee health insurance and special education are largely beyond localities’ control, and they’re rising much faster than the cap allows. Nor does the cap hold down the cost of heating buildings and operating school buses when oil prices are skyrocketing.” When these things occur, as they have in Massachusetts, other services have to be cut to fit total expenditures under the cap.

Read the full posting on the Franklin School Committee blog

Read the full report as referenced here.