Saturday, January 17, 2009

NewBCamp - find out about blogging, podcasting, Twitter, etc.

It's been almost one year since the inaugural NewBCamp took place and there's another one coming up in Providence.

What is NewBCamp?
It is a gathering of people interesting in learning and sharing about the new social media tools; blogs, podcasts, video blogs, Twitter, etc.

What is in it for me?
If you are interested in learning about these tools, then this is the place for you. The focus is on the new user (i.e. newbie or NewB). You won't feel lost, you will be amongst those who are learning from those who are willing to share.

What does it cost?
It is very reasonably priced at only $10. Less than a movie!

What are the details?

February 8, 2009 - 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Johnson & Wales
Pepsi Forum
8 Abbott Park Place
Providence, RI 02903

There's also a brand new website . Explore the site, add comments and pages to the wiki, and sign up to give presentations!

NewBCamp is brought to you by two organizations - Free Geek Providence and SofT ICE at Johnson & Wales.

If you would like additional information, please feel free to contact me. I will be there at the Welcome/Registration Desk.

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Patrick J. Carney

Patrick J. Carney, 22 of Franklin died January 15 in Brigham & Women’s Hospital Boston after a six month battle with cancer. He was the son of Joseph and Kim (Wilcke) Carney of Franklin.

Read the full set of information on the Xaverian Brothers web site here

Friday, January 16, 2009

Chicago - "Share My Inauguration"

Since I started following the students at Worcester Academy and their effort to cover the inauguration, I have also found that there is a group from Chicago:

Twenty-four Chicago inner-city 5th and 6th graders will witness Barack Obama’s historic inauguration. Dubbed the DC 24, the students from Frazier Preparatory Academy, a pre-K through 6th grade elementary school, will also tour area universities and monuments during their four-day adventure.

Along the way, they’ll chronicle their journey and share their impressions through a series of blogs and vlogs. Traveling with the students is Tara Settembre, one of LA’s best known bloggers, who will coach the DC 24 on blogging and vlogging.

You can view the DC 24 web site here.

"It finally hit me how much we are dependent upon the state"

Posted Jan 16, 2009 @ 12:27 AM


With the economy plunging even further into a recession, the town's long-range fiscal planning committee that had been prepping for a financial windstorm is now bracing for a hurricane.

"When we started in August, we were $2 million short. We're praying now it's only going to be $2 million short," said group member Rebecca Cameron, a Finance Committee member.

The council-appointed group, charged with preparing a long-range financial plan, anxiously awaits Gov. Deval Patrick's news, expected in two weeks, enumerating what state aid he will cut.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

You can also review my "live reporting" notes from the meeting here

Financial Planning Comm 01/15/09

The live reporting posts covering the Financial Planning Committee meeting of Thursday 1/15/09 can be found here:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Live reporting - Financial Planning Committee (cont'd)

6 - Financial planning (Roche)
handout from Jim, includes listing from S&P listing the ten things for public finance that are characteristics of good planning. Franklin does in fact do all these ten things.
Top 10 List

1. An established rainy day/budget stabilization reserve
2. Regular economic and revenue reviews to identify shortfalls early
3. Prioritized spending plans and established contingency plans for operating budgets
4. A formalized capital improvement plan in order to assess future infrastructure requirements
5. Long-term planning for all liabilities of a government, including pension obligations, other post employment benefits and other contingent obligations would be optimal and allow for comprehensive assessment of future budgetary risks
6. A debt affordability model in place to evaluate future debt profile
7. A pay-as-you-go financing strategy as part of the operating and capital budget.
8. A multi-year financial plan in place that considers the affordability of actions or plans before they are part of the annual budget.
9. Effective management and information systems
10. A well-defined and coordinated economic development strategy

The source for this listing is the S&P article found here

add vital signs and trends, i.e. stabilization fund in 2003 vs 2010 stark difference.

7 - FAQ (Kelly)
summarizing from over all the sources, the questions that have been raised.

trying to provide a quality of life for all members of the community

is a student with and IEP considered a SPED student? or are they categorized separately

8 - Financial Terms (Nutting)
if the state would allow we would do these things
the capital budget
the debt and narrative
the FAQ draft should also be answered from the town figures

discussion on setting up the focus group to review the draft of the report

what is the date for the deliverable? then set the date for the focus group

Feb 5th to internally review the draft
Formalize the draft by the 29th
Focus group on March 5th

half the group gets the report before hand, half gets it upon the entry
will get feedback on presentation simplicity

Live reporting - Financial Planning Committee

Attending: Roche, Bartlett, Cameron, Hardesty, Nutting, Wilschek, Kelly, Ogden, Trahan, Zollo
Absent: Whalen

Meeting opens

Working listing of action items to pull the presentation together (numbered listing that follows)

add self-help items - average person working in lieu of taxes provides about 8000 hours of labor to help the DPW, library, etc.

Report Category
1 - Assumptions (Cameron)
wrote out from the budget draft that Jeff had put together earlier

Outline format to tell the story so those who won't be able to read and understand the table of numbers will get the gist of what is occurring.

Rationalization will be key, a range of 3-5% on one number may not have the same effect on the budget that another number could have a range of 2 - 2.5% and have a significant effect.

Justification for the numbers, i.e. what is the driving factor, health insurance, or lane changes per contract.

Formatting is not important at this time, it is more important to get the content section down.

2 - Benchmarking component (Whalen)
comparison of Franklin to other towns, comparison of Franklin within, i.e. trends
looking to identify the appropriate peer group for Franklin
explain why some towns that some would think would be comparable are not in the report
need good rational for what is included and what is excluded

simply need to demonstrate that the town is responsible, that there is no obvious low hanging fruit

3 - Financial Model/Sensitivity Analysis (Hardesty)
doesn't want to re-do the numbers just yet as the numbers are so much influx at this time, the approach will be the same, will just update with the actual numbers when they become available.

How to enhance revenue or reduce costs with things that can be done easily
For the gap beyond that, this would then list out the choices
taking a layered approach, baseline (level 1) plus (level 2) listing the assumptions that drive the changes

4 - HR Matters (Trahan)
Done with Wayne and Jeff, handout provided with summary
85-90% of the town employees are unionized
the unions have been cooperative in negotiations, the raises have been very reasonable

include the post retirement underfunded liability as an assumption and foot note, unless legislation changing this, it is reportable but would not effect the planning for our time line

5 - Revenue/Expense Enhancements (Zollo)
Will have something formal for the committee next time, a top ten list or a growing total and show the growth over the past and going forward. How far back do we want to go? For credibility, go back at least as far as Jeff. Current management is striving to be efficient. Proposed to go back as afar as 2001. Maybe not the full ten or fifteen, show at least the significant ones.

Appendix listing can show them all, but the top list would cover the 80/20 rule. Factor in the inflation and show what it could have been versus what it is today.

There are two kinds of savings, cuts and efficiencies. Trying to color each to show how they contributed.

Worcester Academy Inauguration project

Thanks to my daughter for the tip, here is an example of a local high school project using social media to report on and record their experiences of the upcoming inauguration.

Their blog can be found here.

This is a sample video posted to YouTube and their blog, recorded with a Flip camera

Way to go Worcester Academy!

"everything that's simple we've already done"

Last spring in Franklin, residents voted against a $2.8 million override, after approving a $2.7 million tax increase the year before. This year, a financial plan committee is preparing a three-year projection to better prepare for the town's fiscal needs. An initial draft should be available by early next month, according to the Town Council's vice chairwoman, Deborah Bartlett.

Bartlett wouldn't rule out the possibility of an override request, saying, "I don't think we're thinking that far ahead yet." However, "it's hard to know, with everything so volatile at this point," she said. "I think people are scared . . . and we don't know how they will feel about committing to more money than they're currently committing."

It's clear that revenues in Franklin will once again fall short of expenses, Bartlett said, and "without more money, we're not going to be able to provide the same level of service as today."

Officials are searching for ways to consolidate services and save money, but "everything that's simple we've already done," she said.

Read the full article in the Boston Globe West section here

"reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere"

The Green Energy Fair is a free event that will be held at the First Universalist Society of Franklin, 262 Chestnut St., on Thursday, Feb. 5. It will feature information from a Wrentham organic farmer, vendors selling green products and energy-saving tips.

The Global Warming Cafe will be held Sunday, Feb. 15, at 2:30 p.m., at the First Universalist Church in Franklin. The cafe is open to the public and is an informal gathering to discuss global warming and how to stop it.

For more information about the low-carbon diet, logon to

To sign up for news of future FACT events, e-mail

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Kilowatt Ours - Impressive

Approx 25-30 people braved the cold to view the documentary "Kilowatt Ours" at the Franklin Library on Wednesday evening. In this photo, Ted McIntyre, Franklin Area Climate Team, provided the opening remarks to the group. Fred Schlicher, Program Manager from the Mass Climate Action Network, gave a brief overview of the film.


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

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Outdoor burning season begins

Did you know that the outdoor burning season begins today?

You do need a permit.

Even with the permit, you still can't burn leaves.

Additional details and permit process can be found on the Town web site

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SchCom: Sabolinski, Light, Ogden

Incoming Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski and Peter Light listen as current Superintendent Wayne Ogden explains the selection process that resulted in Peter being announced as the new Principal of Franklin High School.

Additional notes from the School Committee meeting can be found here

SchCom: FHS Art Gallery

SchCom: FHS Art Gallery, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The presentation on the Franklin High School Art Gallery activities was made by Art Teacher Mike Caple (center), Rachel Nault (left) and Madison Weber (right).

Notes from the presentation can be found here

Additional notes from the School Committee meeting can be found here

In the News - Principal, July 4th, James Johnston

Posted Jan 14, 2009 @ 12:15 AM


Superintendent Wayne Ogden and Superintendent-in-waiting Maureen Sabolinski officially named Peter J. Light permanent principal of Franklin High School last night, a decision which delighted School Committee members.

Ogden had appointed Light, currently one of four assistant principals at the high school, as interim principal following Pamela Gould's announcement last week she is resigning her post for a new role as assistant superintendent of human resources for the Plymouth School Department.

Gould leaves Jan. 23, and Light takes the helm Monday, Jan. 26.

"When we were dealing with the surprising news of Pam's leaving ... Maureen and I spent a lot of painful hours figuring out how to move forward," said Ogden, who is also leaving his job at the end of June.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Posted Jan 13, 2009 @ 10:27 PM


The Fourth of July Coalition is planning to keep the town's honored five-day celebration, and this year, they're determined to bring back the parade, said Warren Revell, the group's secretary.

"Personally, I think a parade before fireworks, because it keeps more people around," said Revell, noting that Franklin doesn't benefit from non-residents who come to see the fireworks for a half-hour and immediately leave.

A parade, on the other hand, draws people to the common and keeps them entertained longer, he said. And with a parade, he said, "They're more apt to spend money there."

The group hasn't made any major decisions yet, and tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the municipal building they will discuss ideas for how to celebrate Independence Day this year.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Posted Jan 13, 2009 @ 09:17 PM


Among the many things wrong with the Republicans in Congress today is that they hate unions and that they hate American labor. I think that they would like to go back to 1900 when you could hire a "girl" to work for you as a "maid of all work" for about two dollars a week.

This point is well illustrated by Ronald Reagan's breaking of the Air Traffic Controller's Union back in the early '80s. That union has never recovered, and air traffic controllers are not paid much more today than they were in 1981 nor are their working conditions much improved.

Union jobs have been driven out of the country, and trade union membership nationally is made up of only about nine percent of all white and blue collar workers today. The Republican conservatives look at this as a victory.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Senior Center

Continuing to explore the 2008 Annual Report I find information on the Senior Center.

Did you know that there are over 100 people living here in Franklin over 90 year old?

The Senior Center is an active place. Here is a slide show of photos taken during the Open House held November 11, 2007.

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

Note: Most of these photos were published here on Franklin Matters at that time. )

School Committee Meeting 1/13/09

This is the collection of posts covering the School Committee meeting of 1/13/09

The video replay of the School Committee meeting is now available on the Town web site here

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Live reporting - subcommittee update

Rohrbach - providing an update on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee; two meetings held so far; one organizational, one working session. PR statement in draft, we will be reaching out to the various stakeholders with a couple of surveys and back here to provide an update on the planning process.

Live reporting - Superintendent update

The conversation has been underway all through the night with weather and condition updates. The judgment is based upon the readiness of the town DPW and facilities to get the streets, sidewalks, parking lots, and schools ready.

Decision needs to be made before 5:30 AM to enable proper communications take place in time.

Governor had weighted in on the discussion for the Friday before Christmas. They were fearful of a repeat of the situation of the year ago. The best information at the time for the 12/19 decision was to close rather than open and have an early dismissal. The forecast had been for snow to begin in Franklin at between 11:00 and 1:00 PM.

Sabolinski - We need to get the message out early enough for our staff who are traveling some distance to hear about it before leaving their residence.

Armenio - what about hockey practice that starts at 5:00 AM?

Ogden - I say this lovingly because I was one. Hockey parents, don't stop going somewhere because of snow and ice.

Cafasso - what are you hearing about the conditions for the walkers?

Ogden - one sidewalk at Oak/Mann complex was not done until later in the day. One of the sidewalk plows is out of business. There is a priority listing for what sidewalks should be done in order. The Oak/Mann/High School covers approx. 50% of our students. Those sidewalks need to be done.

Live reporting - action items

Action Items
  • I recommend acceptance of a check for $3,625.00 from the Annie Sullivan PCC for the 7th Grade field trip to the Krista McAuliffe Space Center. Approved 7-0

  • I recommend acceptance of a check for $800.00 from the Horace Mann PCC to support in-house enrichment activities. Approved 7-0

  • I recommend approval of the job posting for School Nurse at the Annie Sullivan Middle School. Approved 7-0 (this is the least expensive obligation to take, it is required)

  • I recommend acceptance of the school improvement plan for Oak Street Approved 7-0

Live reporting - building committee update

Ed Cafasso discusses the agenda item for the next building committee meeting
aside from the process around the High School, doing a facility plan for the remaining buildings

Armenio - defer the actual building capital budget to Mike D'Angelo; would otherwise like to see the wireless at the high school and then the text books as the classroom needs for capital.

Trahan - agrees with Armenio in deferring to D'Angelo; otherwise the text books and wireless seem to be the needs

Rohrbach - high school is our most pressing issue

Roy - (1) Not sure just what the mission of the building committee is, the high school is a priority, 90-100 million is too sizable a project for the community to digest. I thought we were looking for the building committee to try and parce out the high school project into smaller digestable bites. When will we hear what the MSBA say about the needs at the high school? Will the committee be able to develop a proposal to fund at a specific level?

(2) With regards to these projects, and they add up to about $5 million dollars. Is the building committee looking to fund just these facility projects? I assume they are not looking to take care of the other text books, wireless, etc. needs.

Cafasso -we are far enough along to have the Chairman and some members of the committee here to have that discussion. The committee was set up so that we would be in a position to respond quickly to the MBSA requirements.

Roy - the number one item is not on this list, that is the high school. I would be concerned with moving forward with some other projects (i.e. the elevator at Davis Thayer), I think the community would be less inclined to support us. We need to be clear on our priorities.

Cafasso - 1st priority is the renovation or building new the high school. The second objective is to do what is necessary for Thayer, Kennedy and Parmenter as they have been identified as other schools with needs.

Ogden - Mike D'Angelo is onboard with the high school as the number one priority. There are two things on this listing that are of critical need (#10 - replace gym and cafeteria heating units) and (#25 - Upgrade phone switches and voicemail). Our Plan B, if the MSBA comes back with something negative, then I think we would still need to go forward with something for the science labs. That has been an accrediation issue and we won't have a long time to fix it.

Mullen - if lesser money is all we get, then the science labs and other space reconfiguration items would come to the front.

Trahan - seems like none of this could take place until we hear.

Cafasso - this discussion is around A, B and C options depending upon what State funding we will get. If we had to do a series of projects at the high school what would they be? High school is top priority, safety issues top, then the #10 and #25 have priority. That is good priority for us to take forward to the meeting tomorrow.

Live reporting - Oak St Improvement plan

Corinne Minkle, Eric Ledebuhr

Details to be added later

Live reporting - Peter Light - part 2

Peter introduces himself provides some background for the community

Worked here since 1997, began as substitute, two middle schools and eventually the high school

K-12 Director of Music

Bring to the table his sense of the community, especially as with his background in music. Worked with music boosters group, meet parents and other members of the community at concerts.

Looking to bridge the gap between the community and the school.

Partially responsible for the Freshman Collaborative
Starting to see benefits of the work preparing the students to come into the high school

Work on the blackboard program (as reported here from last summer)
looking to expand the program across the high school and middle schools

First and foremost, high school has to be about teaching and learning

1 - Scholarship
has to be first in mind about the quality of education, how well students will do beyond high school; ensure a level of confidence, raising expectations, how we work with administrators, teachers inside the building and across the district

conference scheduled at end of this year to work on creating a common language for teacher feedback, sense of continuous improvement

need for continual positive feedback to ensure continual development of teachers
essential values that teachers have to share

strategy - it is not just intelligence, it is how you can use it; how do we work with students who struggle, how do we take students where they are at and take them to the next level

2 - Community
Community needs to have a level of confidence in the high school, communication of high standards and expectation

3 - Leadership
transparency, openness, fosters a sense of open dialog
principal blog, to improve the immediacy of communications
looking for a podcast, particularly with the budget cycle coming
looking to reach out and engage constituent groups, particularly in the next 6 months

involve this Committee, Central Office, administration, students, parents, teachers, community, etc. gather data, evaluate, and develop a strategy

looking for expansion of the retired teacher volunteer opportunity

Pat Slight - thanks Ms Gould for her work; Mr Light was his vice principal as he came in as a freshman, this will be his third principal in his time at the high school, and he is fine with that.

Peter Light wants to keep a relationship with the students.

Jeff Roy - Mr Light was a finalist in the Needham search and he chose Franklin over Needham

Live reporting - Peter Light

Wayne Ogden - intro to Peter Light, in survey of students and facility, they heard: we want someone we know, we want stability, we want someone who knows what is going on. Peter's name was a consensus amongst those interviewed.

"We have in our midst is a gem of a young leader who can take us forward."

Peter will be the permanent principle beginning January 26th.

Live reporting - Art Gallery

  • Art Gallery
Mr. Mike Caple
Rachel Nault (senior center program)
Madison Weber (Gallery 218)

  • Art for all
  • Prepare students for the highest level art program
  • Connect art to the community

They bring in working professional artists to show that the starving artist is a myth

Empty Bowls raised $500 dollars for the Franklin Food Pantry last year and $350 for the Walk for Hunger

FPS Summer Art Institute - coming this summer for first time, 2 week program for multiple grade levels.

Senior Center Art Program - ran this year for first time in awhile. As reported in Milford Daily News previously.
Art Show, January 15 at Senior Center to showcase the work from the program and celebrate the accomplishments. 10:00 to 11:30 for reception.

A idea that had been around for some time that finally came to fruition. Alumni work being prepared for the next show. Located off the cafeteria at the High School. The art that has been showcased covers K-12 art.

The Gallery 218 can be found on the FHS web site here

Looking to do a non-art teacher art show next year.
Looking to connect the creation of art to the "real world".

Live reporting

Attending: C Armenio, M Kelly, P Mullen, J Roy, S Rohrbach, R Trahan
E Cafasso (late)

Student Reps: P Slight, B MacLeod

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments

Review of Agenda - move Bldg Committee update to subcommittee reports

Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the December 9, 2008 School Committee Meeting. approved 6-0

Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly approved 6-0

Payroll Ms. Armenio

FHS Student Representatives

Correspondence: Budget to Actual (for discussion at 1/27/09 Meeting)

Energy $ense Series - Kilowatt Ours

Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 7:00 pm


Franklin Public Library Community Room
118 Main Street, Lower Level


Ted McIntyre, Ph.D.
Board Member
Massachusetts Climate Action Network

This film traces the path of the electricity you use in your home from the light switch, through the wires to its source. Along the way you’ll meet power companies, schools, businesses and everyday Americans finding ways to meet our energy needs using conservation and green power. “Kilowatt Ours” will teach you how to dramatically reduce your electric bill and improve the environment at the same time.

Sponsored by:

Franklin Area Climate Team (FACT), Massachusetts Climate Action Network, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Friends of the Franklin Library

In the News - tot classes, gym floor

Posted Jan 13, 2009 @ 12:26 AM
Last update Jan 13, 2009 @ 12:27 AM


It was calling to him: A quivering, foaming, creamy pile of shaving cream freshly released from its canister onto a tabletop.

In a split second of hesitancy, 3 1/2-year-old Aidan Phillips of Franklin glanced toward his mother as if looking for some indication that what he was about to do was OK.

It was all the time he needed.

In the next breath, with a squishing sound whispering off his fingers, the youngster had his hands immersed in the marshmallowy pillows of white, foamy trails of fragrant cream dripping from his fingertips and dampening his sleeves.

He grinned as another youngster joined him at the table, giggling as she covered her cheeks with the stuff, and scooped up handfuls of it with glee.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Posted Jan 13, 2009 @ 12:39 AM


It will be several months before the smaller of Franklin High School's two gymnasiums is fixed following the New Year's storm that resulted in a badly warped floor, said Facilities Manager Michael D'Angelo.

The cold weather froze and broke pipes, which shot 180-degree water onto the floor, he said.

Principal Pamela Gould said she was told the floor boards "buckled." Looking at it herself, she remarked, "I've never seen anything like it."

"The bubble's gone down now, but it was unbelievable. Just picture the old cartoons, an animal crawling under the floor and making a mound. The mound went up to my knees," she said, adding that the wave went from one end of the gym to half-court.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Police Department

Continuing to explore the 2008 Annual Report I find information on the Police Department and all its activities.

Did you know that people love to drive fast in Franklin? Now, some of these may be from out of town but the Police Department processed more speeding citations than the next eleven categories of Uniform Division Citation Charges combined.

In fact, speeding citations accounted for 58% of the 5007 citations issued.

The Top 5 violations cited were:
  1. Speeding - 2916
  2. No Inspection Sticker - 540
  3. Fail to Stop/Yield - 341
  4. Fail to Wear Seat belt - 322
  5. Red Light Violations - 286

Would you like to read about these as they occur? The Daily Logs are posted online here.

Much more information on the Police Department and its activities can be found on the web site here.

If you have not signed up for the ConnectCTY service, consider doing so. It is quick and easy and will keep you up to date of important events happening in your neighborhood.

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

Monday, January 12, 2009

New layout

For new visitors, you may not notice the change.

For regular visitors, I hope the new 3 column layout works better for you.

I have finally found that "round tuit" to get this accomplished.
What you haven't gotten a round tuit?

You can find one here:

Feedback on the new layout is welcome via the usual methods, email (see right box) or comment (below).

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Franklin's Piccadilly Pub closed

Updated 1/2/2012
Ichigo Ichie has opened where the Piccadilly Pub was located

Word today is that the Piccadilly Pub located here in Franklin is closing. Other Piccadilly Pub locations are remaining open.

Now, it has always be a wonder to me with the 99 Restaurant and Piccadilly Pub next door to other, how both could survive?

We know the answer, they can't.

What will happen up the other end of town with Walgreen's coming into the the Four Corners Building location?

Let me count that would put CVS, Rite-Aid, and Shaw's - all have pharmacy services, four locations within a half-mile of each other.

Who wants to do the math on how long that will last?

Updated 1/15/08
I submitted feedback to Piccadilly's via their website as they still show the Franklin location as open. This is what I received via email:
Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding the Piccadilly Pub in Franklin, Massachusetts. We are working on updating our advertising; our intentions are to re-brand this restaurant with a new concept in the future.
So there is hope for that location!

Updated May 2011
Yes, it has taken a while but there is a restaurant scheduled to open in Oct 2011:

and here:

"There's no doubt he's ready to do this job"

Posted Jan 11, 2009 @ 11:20 PM


By the end of the month, Franklin High School Assistant Principal Peter Light will take over the reins as acting principal.

"I really just love working in Franklin, it has given me some unique opportunities," said Light, who has worked in the district for 12 years. "They're giving (the job) to me, but I feel that commitment back to the town. It's a great school. Franklin has a good thing going."

Superintendent Wayne Ogden named Light as acting principal after Principal Pamela Gould announced she is leaving to take a job as assistant superintendent for human resources for the Plymouth School Department.

"Peter let me and (assistant superintendent) Maureen Sabolinski know if called, he would serve. He became the logical choice," Ogden said. "Plus, he's a talented young administrator, and we thought he had the skills to do what we need done."

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

School Committee - Agenda - 1/13/09

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the December 9, 2008 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly
Payroll Ms. Armenio
FHS Student Representatives
Budget to Actual (for discussion at 1/27/09 Meeting)

2. Guests/Presentations
  • Art Gallery
  • FHS Principal Candidate – Peter Light
  • Oak Street School Improvement Plan

3. Discussion Only Items

4. Action Items
  • I recommend acceptance of a check for $3,625.00 from the Annie Sullivan PCC for the 7th Grade field trip to the Krista McAuliffe Space Center.
  • I recommend acceptance of a check for $800.00 from the Horace Mann PCC to support in-house enrichment activities.
  • I recommend approval of the job posting for School Nurse at the Annie Sullivan Middle School.

5. Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report
a. Snow Day Decision Making / Connect Ed.
b. Enrollment Comparisons Dec 07-08

• School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
• School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business
To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

7. Executive Session
Contractual Negotiations

8. Adjourn
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Recreation Department

Continuing to explore the 2008 Annual Report I find information on the Recreation Department.

Within the Franklin Recreation Department's website, you will find information regarding:

The Recreation Department is committed to provide quality recreational programs and facilities to the residents of Franklin. By providing consistency, dependability and an obligation to our residents and the programs they partake, we strive to elevate the quality of life for our community.

The Recreation Department is a service-based department. We work interactively with local sports associations, school departments, individual Town residents, private groups, church and civic groups, as well as other Town departments. In the course of a given year, over 8,000 people are affected by Recreation operations. Our clientele continues to increase each year. Recreation is responsible for scheduling all fields, playgrounds, and courts. The Recreation Department continues to serve the residents in the area of recreation and leisure services. Our department handles everything from sporting activities for children, to families in need.

  • Coordinate recreational activities with the youth sports organizations, school department, and other citizens groups.
  • Better utilize and renovate parks, ball fields, and conservation land within the Town of Franklin.
  • Improve the quality of life and involve residents in recreational programs.
  • Establish new programs as self-supporting and explore ways of generating additional revenue through grants, donations and fundraising.
  • Recreation activities are coordinated through our office, which is comprised of one full time director and one full time clerical staff person.
  • The Recreation Advisory Board is looking for additional volunteers who are interested in promoting the planning of programs for Franklin residents.

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

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ed Cafasso Letter - 1/11/09

Hello Everyone!

I hope you had a good weekend and a safe holiday break! Here’s a brief update on recent school issues in Franklin…

Spring 2008 MCAS Results: Franklin students continued to perform far above their peers statewide on MCAS tests for Reading, Mathematics, English Language Arts, and Science & Technology. For example, the percentage of Franklin students scoring at “advanced” levels on English and Math set new records in Grade 3, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 8, and Grade 10. Overall, Franklin schools were ranked in the “high performing” or “very high performing” categories by federal standards as well. However, we are beginning to hear concerns from administrators and teachers as to whether the Franklin schools will be able to sustain this kind of outstanding academic performance with the staff cutbacks and increased class sizes we are experiencing this academic year. You can view various aspects of our latest MCAS data at:

School Calendar Survey: More than 2,100 parents and guardians replied to the survey regarding the school calendar. Here are they top line results:

  • Seven out of 10 said they did not prefer the school year starting the week before Labor Day.
  • Seven out of 10 said they would favor scheduling all full day teacher professional development days during the summer months.
  • Two-thirds said they preferred the calendar model that places time off in December, February and April.
  • More than 56% said they did not want to experiment with the private school model that eliminate the vacation weeks in February and April in exchange for a longer vacation in March.
  • Six out of 10 disagreed with the practice of scheduling two full teacher professional development days and three half days during the first half of the school year.
  • More than 57 percent favored the new practice of scheduling the day before Thanksgiving as a day off.
  • More than 63 percent said they prefer that there not be school on religious holidays.
  • And, better than 93 percent said they favor scheduling the two full day professional development days that occur during the school year on a Monday or Friday.

Thanks to those who took the time to respond to the survey. Your views will be front and center when the school calendar comes up for consideration and a vote this spring.

Franklin High School Leadership: As you likely heard, FHS Principal Pam Gould has chosen to move on and will be taking an Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources position in Plymouth later this month. Peter J. Light, who has held teaching and administrative posts at FHS since 1998, has been named interim principal. Even before Ms. Gould informed of us of her decision in late December, the School Committee had directed Superintendent Ogden to make the high school a top priority during his remaining months here, including improvements to the guidance department, the FHS administrative model, its health education programs, parent-teacher communication, summer reading and other steps that will strengthen the ability of our high school to maintain a high level of modern, academic performance. That analysis and planning process will continue in the months ahead. I hope current and incoming FHS parents will offer their support and feedback to this effort and to Mr. Light. Even though we are facing tough budget decisions again this spring, I think it safe to say that the high school will be at the center of Franklin’s educational vision.

Mr. Light, a Walpole resident, will discuss his priorities for FHS at this Tuesday’s School Committee meeting. He has been assistant principal at the high school since July 2005; served as FHS music director from 2001 to June 2005; and, began at the high school as a music teacher in 1998.

Franklin High School Building: A professional inspection team from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) toured the building in mid-December as part of Franklin’s application for state funding to address various issues at the facility. We hope to have an indication from state officials soon about the likelihood of state support for the renovation of the school or the construction of a new building. You can expect school and town officials to move quickly once we are able to secure some clarity from the MSBA.

Our Meetings Go Digital: Starting this year, citizens with sufficient Internet connections in Franklin – or anywhere in the world, for that matter -- can view Franklin School Committee meetings online, either live or in an archived format. To access this streaming capability, visit the town web site at:

The School Committee typically meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at 7 p.m. Our next meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday, January 13th.

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.

Thank you!

Ed Cafasso, Member

Franklin School Committee