Saturday, February 14, 2009

Industry: Moseley Group

Continuing our series on local companies based in Franklin, I find the Moseley Group with this press release that is the most social media friendly I have seen to date.

Way to go Moseley Group!

FRANKLIN, MA – The Moseley Group, a leading food and beverage industry consulting firm, was chosen Thursday by the Governor’s Task Force on the Economic Sustainability of Maine’s Lobster Industry to help strengthen and improve the state’s leading fishery.

The Task Force, formed last fall after a sharp decline in lobster prices, chose The Moseley Group following a thorough review of more than a dozen proposals from marketing and consulting firms from across the country. Task Force members cited Moseley’s depth of experience in working with internationally known brands and products, such as Coca-Cola, Ocean Spray, Juan Valdez, McCain, Nestle and others, as a key factor in their choice.

Kristen Bailey, a vice-president at Moseley, will be the lead consultant on the project. A Maine native, Bailey is the former executive director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council and was the architect of the Certified Maine Lobster program that was aimed at preserving markets and strengthening the Maine lobster brand. She operates offices in Portland, Maine and Franklin, Massachusetts.

“Working with Maine’s lobster industry is very rewarding and meaningful to me,” she said. “Our firm looks forward to utilizing our experience with other industries to help strengthen and improve the economic model of Maine’s lobster industry.”

The initial discovery phase of the project will begin with an industry panel
meeting in Portland, scheduled for February 26.
For more about the Moseley Group check out their web site here.

For what their social media ready press release looks like visit here.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

"The unknown is killing us right now"


Losing two good police officers is a difficult reality for Police Chief Stephen Williams, but seeing them wait in line for unemployment checks would be even worse, he said.

So he's feeling relief that two officers who hired here from North Attleborough in the last two years have landed jobs on the Walpole force.

Williams said he knew Walpole was looking for officers, so he helped get Eric Zimmerman and Robert Kilroy hired there.


"I don't think anybody anticipated what happened to the economy, or that it would happen as fast as it did," Williams said, adding that he was still trying to restore his force of 46 back to the 50 officers he had in 2000.

Foreseeing the layoffs he would have to make this year because of the town's projected $5 million budget shortfall, Williams said he decided to be proactive to take care of his force.

"Do I feel better these officers (did not face unemployment)? Yes, absolutely I do," Williams said. "It's a win-win for us both. I feel better they were not laid off, and Walpole gets two good officers with several years' experience."

As someone who has had personal experience observing job reductions and then been finally affected by one, good people are the most flexible to move and generally the earliest to leave. I believe that to be the case here. There is likely to be more of the real Franklin "brain drain" before the numbers settle out and we really know what will happen.

Read the full article about two of Franklin's finest moving on in the Milford Daily News here

Baloney or otherwise, help is needed


Franklin Food Pantry workers, who have spent the last 20 years trying to feed the thousands of hungry people in town, are on edge.

In a few months, they will be kicked out of their space in the basement of the new museum at 80 West Central St., said Food Pantry Executive Director Linda Pouliot.

They are afraid. They are irate. And, Pouliot said, they are ready for a battle if that's what it takes to stay in town.

"We are not going out in a whimper - if we go out, we go out with a bang," said Pouliot, ready to lead the charge on behalf of the 2,178 people who benefit from the pantry.

Pouliot and her colleague, Michelle Reid, who works with pantry operations and outreach, believe their new neighbors upstairs, the Historic Commission, are snubbing their impoverished clients.

The notion that either the commission or town officials want to push the pantry out of the building to keep the poor away is "just baloney," said Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting.

Read the full article about the Food Pantry's efforts to find a new location within Franklin in the Milford Daily News here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"You can't just sit around at home"

If a layoff can happen to the president of the local Rotary chapter, it can happen to anyone.

"We're in a crisis," said Ken Masson, who heads the Merrimack Valley Rotary Club and lost his job in December, several months after his employer, Massbank Corp., was bought out by Eastern Bank Corp. "With 11 million people in the US without a job, going through hardships, that's a crisis."

Increasing unemployment across Greater Boston prompted the former service marketing director to call on his fellow Rotarians to consider a twist on one of their organization's core missions, vocational service, by helping out the laid-off workers in their own backyards.

"You think of Rotary coming to the rescue of people who have polio or need water in developing countries, but there are things we can do right here," Masson said.

You can continue reading the article in today's Boston Globe here.

Yes, being without a job can happen to anyone. For the job search notes that I have compiled from my own experience follow this link here. If you want to compare notes and network, please feel free to contact me via comment or email.

Industry: Bank merger proceeds

Benjamin Franklin Bancorp's proposed merger with Rockland Trust, one of the state's largest community banks, is nearing completion.

Shareholders of Benjamin Franklin approved the deal yesterday, while their counterparts at Rockland Trust's parent company, Independent Bank Corp., are scheduled to vote tomorrow. State regulators held a hearing this week and will likely decide in the near future on approving the deal. If all is approved, Benjamin Franklin Bancorp's name would be changed to Rockland Trust.

The all-stock deal is a rarity in the financial sector these days, the banks merging by choice rather than necessity. It would create a 72-branch company with about $4.5 billion in assets.

Read the full article about the merger of Ben Franklin Banking in the Milford Daily News here.

"We need to think of ourselves as part of a community"


Town Council is considering approving a $1.34 million capital plan proposed by the Capital Subcommittee that has been endorsed by the Finance Committee and Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting.

Franklin has $1.45 million for capital items, Nutting said, noting the Capital Subcommittee advised transferring the sum from free cash and $50,000 from a new gift account. The plan would leave $84,000 in the free cash account, Nutting said.

"While we all know these are difficult financial times, it is recognized that if we do not fund a capital plan, the problem gets much worse in the next fiscal year," Nutting said.

Read the full article on the proposal for the capital budget in the Milford Daily News here The capital budget will likely be considered for a formal vote at one of the March meetings.

Industry: RokkSoft partners with VocalEZ

From the PR news wire today, we find out about RokkSoft.

Franklin, MA, February 11, 2009 --( RokkSoft Solutions Corp has partnered with VocalEZ LLC to expand the distribution of the VocalEZ voice recognition medical dictation transcription service.

VocalEZ wraps an integrated work flow around voice-enabled software and web technologies to provide a simple, cost effective dictation transcription platform that is scalable from a single dictator to a large clinic or integrated hospital system, resulting in cost savings of 50 percent when compared to traditional transcription methods.

RokkSoft will offer the VocalEZ medical dictation transcription system in a “Software as a Service” (SaaS) model to physician practices and medical clinics. Medical practices of all sizes are confronted with escalating costs. Because VocalEZ is a pay-for-use service, administrators are now equipped with a solution that dramatically reduces monthly expenses, without requiring a major capital outlay.

VocalEZ fundamentally changes the way the transcription industry provides clinical documentation by creating significant enhancements and savings through the entire process. This HIPAA-compliant solution delivers more accurate, timely and integrated medical documentation.

VocalEZ has created a solution that allows every physician practice to enjoy the same benefits that had previously only been available to the largest groups and hospitals. By focusing on the needs of this largely overlooked segment of the healthcare market, the partnership with RokkSoft is an indication of the VocalEZ commitment to improved patient care while driving down costs.


About RokkSoft

RokkSoft Solutions Corp represents companies that provide medical practices and businesses with industry-changing technology applications to improve productivity and drive down operating costs. These applications are delivered in a “Software as a Service” (SaaS) model to minimize required startup resources and eliminate capital expenditures. This enables clients to quickly realize ongoing cost savings.

For more information, please visit

From PR.Com here

Town Council Mtg Smry 02/11/09

The summary of posts covering the Town Council meeting on 2/11/09

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Live reporting - council comments

Zollo - budget season coming and it will be the most challenging for the town. It will require sacrifice from everyone in Town. My hope is that all affected parties will work together in a spirit of unity. To think outside the box. At some point as a town, we have to decide what our budget will represent. Regardless with what is passed, this should bring us closer together.

Pfeffer - The Capital Committee has looked long and hard at the capital. There is a cost to not spend the capital. The Town has paid that price before.

Whalen - The original capital amount was in the neighborhood of 8 million dollars and we are now looking at a vetted amount just over 1 million.


Live reporting - Town Admin

The Franklin Food Pantry is looking for space. When the renovation on the old municipal building occurs later, they will need the space. They serve approx. 18 communities but most of them are from Franklin, so they would like to remain in Town.

Falling investment income, excise taxes, etc. will result in below level revenues for the first time in several years.

Live reporting - Legislation for action

  1. Resolution 09-05: Confirmatory Order of Taking Cross and King Street - approved 8-0
  2. Resolution 09-07: Appropriation – Public Facilities Salaries - approved 8-0
  3. Resolution 09-08: Appropriation – Title and Deed Research - approved 8-0
  4. Resolution 09-09: Appropriation – Survey on 30+ Acres on Pond Street - moved to March 4th meeting
#1 - a small parcel of land was left off the prior Four Corner transactions, this cleans up that situation in order to move forward with the Walgreens proposal.

#2 - house cleaning on the accounting, when the department changes took place 5 were planned for, only four actually moved.

#3 - money needed to clear title and ownership for town owned land that has been accumulated over time. The company has already been doing the work, this amount allows them to finish what is in their queue.

#4 - again to clear title and survey for the land. The Town did get State approval for the 40-D priority development for this land. The approval comes with a grant to help improve the planning and permitting process.

Live reporting - Town Council 2/11/09

Attending: Whalen, Mason, Vallee, Bartlett, Feeley, Pfeffer, McGann, Zollo
Missing: Doak

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - January 7, 2009 approved 8-0





F. HEARINGS - none


  • Use of Town Property Bylaw
Discussion on intent and minor revisions, language can be cleaned up and improved.
  • FY 2009 Capital Plan
The Capital sub-committee and Finance Committee have their recommendations.
Will bring this back in March for formal vote, only for discussion tonight.
Feeley requested to bring the ladder truck and the DPW lawn mower before the Council for a formal vote for next meeting rather than waiting.

"He slept with his eyes open"

Gallery218: Victor Pisini - Portrait

“He would sleep with his eyes open while posing.” Victor Pisini said as he talked about Shaney Ward, the model for one of his paintings now on display at Gallery 218. “He was a tiny fireman. He would stand only about four foot five inches tall. It was good for us painting to have him sleep with his eyes open. I did that painting about 1957.”

Allison Sherlock explained that one of the two paintings she had in the show was from her “post-stick” period. Her Art teacher at Assumption referred to it that way for an exercise she had Allie do in class. She had Allie paint with her brush taped to the end of a four foot stick. You try doing that. It is not easy to manipulate the brush holding it from such a distance.

Gallery218: Sherlock, Pisini deep in discussion

Victor complained that he used to be able to find subject matter to paint in the daily news paper. “You can't find that any more. The pictures are all about war, and accidents. I used to be able to find a woman working in a field, or a grandfather holding a child, or someone leading a horse. I could then go and paint from that picture.”

“Imagine that, a real discussion about art right here in Franklin,” remarked Rosanne Walsh as she caught part of the conversation between Allison and Victor. This conversation almost covered the extremes amongst the alumni represented. There are works from the Class of 2008 but Victor was from the Franklin Class of 1947 and Allison was from the Class of 2004.

There is quite a range in the type of work featured in this Alumni Show at Gallery 218. There are oil paintings, ceramics, photography, prints, mixed media and an animated video being shown on DVD. Something for everyone.

Refreshments were served in the cafeteria while Andrew Barry played some background music on his electric guitar. Andrew, a senior at Franklin High has already been accepted at Franklin Pierce College but is waiting to hear from Emerson and Berklee. He would like to pursue studying music and those are his #1 and #2 choices.

Gallery218: Victor Pisini views the gallery

Victor's second painting is more recent. He completed a “Meditation” about a year ago. Mike Caple had stopped by the Pisini Shoe Store to pick up the two works for the show. Victor was grateful that he did. “We need more art here in Franklin. Whenever I traveled, I would find the art community. They were very nice people. They were always helpful.”

I think that given the expressive nature of art, given the creativity found in art, Franklin can use more art as we approach this budget season. Stop by Gallery 218 to view the Alumni show. It will be worth your time and may help Franklin's future.

A photo slideshow of Gallery 218 on opening night is available here

Pictures and Slides added

The picture of the panel presenting on the Literacy initiative was added to that posting here

The picture of Peter Light and John Koch was added to that posting here, along with the presentation slides that they used for Advanced Placement Access.

The slides that Peter Light used for the High School Improvement plan were added to that posting here.


Gallery 218: Alumni Show

Gallery 218 located near the cafeteria at Franklin High School is now featuring the works of FHS Alumni. This slide show captures some of the activity at the opening on Tuesday evening.


Updated 2/26/09 - The show will continue to feature Alumni art until Mid-April, 2009.

In the News - Nutting, Cafe Dolce, School Committee

Posted Feb 10, 2009 @ 10:49 PM


Franklin Town Administrator Jeff Nutting was sworn in as the new president of the Massachusetts Municipal Association at yesterday's Local Government Advisory Council meeting, which featured grim conversations on the state's finances, the federal stimulus package and ways to help local governments.

Nutting said he and his colleagues were encouraged by the governor's legislation to help cities and towns cut health insurance and pension costs and giving them the option of charging a local tax on meals.

"I think on the budget issue, with the exception of health insurance, we really lined up with the governor," Nutting said in an interview.

Nutting said he would like to see towns and cities be given the same authority as the state to make changes in health insurance plans for municipal workers.

While some have continued to question Jeff Nutting's ability, his track record here has been good. His predictions of the budget cycle with potential shortfalls each year have been very accurate. Now that he has a greater platform to share his drive for more efficient local government, Franklin can only continue to fare better than the others. Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.


Posted Feb 11, 2009 @ 12:04 AM


After managing Ashton Kutcher's Geisha House in Hollywood - yes, the one featured on "The Hills" - and some of the hottest nightclubs and cafes in Los Angeles, Dave Purpura and Robert James "B.J." Carlucci are bringing Cafe Dolce to Franklin.

Purpura makes one promise: "There won't be anything like it in Franklin."

Inspiration to start an upscale coffeehouse in downtown Franklin hit Purpura and Carlucci, who are workout buddies, at the gym one night, Purpura said.

Lamenting that the daily grind of physical labor - they do masonry work for Carlucci's father, Nick - was taking a toll on them, making them feel like old men, the pair decided they wanted to start their own business, they said.

Hurrah! A coffee shop coming to downtown. That is progress. Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.



Preparing for next year's looming budget shortfall, School Committee members last night began discussing how to approach making cuts, but did not reach a consensus.

They were all in agreement, however, that whatever choices they make will be painful.

"Anything we reduce this year, plan on it not coming back, maybe never," School Committee member Susan Rohrbach said, responding to committee member Ed Cafasso's call to taking a strategic approach to making cuts.

"That's one of my guiding principles: 'Can we do without this for a long time?"' she said.

Cafasso suggested the committee create a roadmap for deciding where to make reductions by first determining its priorities.

For example, the committee should consider Franklin High School has a projected enrollment increase this fall, whereas the middle and elementary schools are mostly expected to see enrollment decreases, he said.

Read the full article on how the School Committee will deal with the 2010 budget shortfall in the Milford Daily News here.

This was only one of several items on the agenda Tuesday night. For everything else that was covered, you can find out here.

How should MA be represented?

In a successor to the 50 States Quarters Program, the U.S. Mint, in a nationwide program, has asked Governor Patrick to select one preferred and three alternate Massachusetts national sites to be featured on the reverse of a quarter. Beginning in 2010, the Mint will release five new quarter designs annually based on the order in which the selected sites gained federal designation.

Governor Patrick is calling on the people of Massachusetts to help with this decision.

“Our Commonwealth has many great parks and historically significant sites,” said Governor Patrick. “It will be fun to let everybody help choose the one to submit.”

It will be fun to watch the various constituencies go for their cause.

How should MA be represented?

By a mark of the Revolution?

Those I think are fairly well plastered everywhere.

By a mark of the sailing industry?

I am leaning this way. Either Salem (for the clipper) or New Bedford (for the whaler) showed MA at the forefront of innovation in shipping and commerce. Such innovation is still required today.

What do you think? How will you vote?

The link to vote can be found here

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Cheryl Wheeler - Circle of Friends Coffeehouse

You'll have to get your tickets early next time, the show this Saturday is already sold out.

If you haven't seen Cheryl before, here is a sample of what she does:


School Committee Mtg 02/10/09

The following posts summarize the live reporting from the School Committee meeting of 2/10/09.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Live reporting - Superintendent's report, etc.

Feedback on Mr Peri's performance at Remington this year is astounding, such positive accolades. Some who could not stay sent emails.

FEF - March 19th

Already 400 students enrolled for summer school

Live reporting - Action items

4. Action Items
  • I recommend action be taken regarding the make up day for the HM/Oak/ECDC Complex.
Motion to have the make up day be Good Friday
  • The best educational decision would be to come in on Good Friday
  • The best economical solution is to add a half day at the end of the year.
  • ECDC faculty has to put in 183, the students are not constrained by 180 days.
  • Transportation would be additional either way
Cafasso - let's do nothing, we are already over hours delivered, if the commissioner chooses to punish us, so be it.

Roy - we'll table this discussion what is in the best interest for the kids, what are the costs for the options
  • I recommend acceptance of Policy GBAB – Acceptable Use moved back to policy committee for review and revision
  • I recommend approval of the Franklin High School’s School Improvement Plan as Presented Approved 6-0
  • I recommend approval of the request of Parmenter Principal, Judi Bassignani to declare the listed books as surplus. Approved 6-0
  • I recommend acceptance of a check for $427.00 from General Mills Box Tops for Education for the Remington Middle School to be used for supplies. Approved 6-0
  • I recommend adoption of Policy KCDB School Based Advertising Content. Approved 6-0
  • I recommend moving Policy BEDGG/BEDGG-E Sub Committee Minutes & Exhibit to a second Reading Approved 6-0

Live reporting - Discussion only items

3. Discussion Only Items
  • Second Reading – Acceptable Use Policy GBAB

  • First Reading – Sub Committee Minutes Policy & Exhibit BEDGG/GEDGG-E

  • Review District’s Vision and Goals that will guide budget reduction decisions
Cafasso - The mission, core values, vision is the 30,000 foot level, maybe we can get a 10,000 foot level to help us make our tough choices as they come. What is core curriculum? What is essential? If we don't make this early on, then we'll spend more time as we go.

Rohrbach - If there is anything we are reducing this year, plan on it not coming back, maybe ever.

Armenio - The face of education is going to look very different in Franklin in September.

Cafasso - When we cut something, it can't be just that it got us to the number we needed.

Roy - I don't think anyone should panic, I think we the best minds we have, we can work out a good solution. No one is blind to what is happening. The news about Boston and Winthrop is out there. Franklin is not alone.

Cafasso - We should get a plan together to ensure that the information is out there and listen to the parents to get their feedback. It will be less speechifying and more listening.

Roy - These meetings are public, they are being broadcast

Ogden - health insurance numbers came in at 5% instead of 10%, so that number can help overall. Instead of 5.2 million short, we would only be 5 million short. We are looking to reduce our budget request by about 3.3 million dollars.

All our district employees are coming together Thursday afternoon at Horace Mann Auditorium to present what it is known and look for ideas on how to make ends meet.
  • FY10 Budget
Ogden - Chandler and I will be meeting with all the town heads Thursday morning with Jeff Nutting.

Live reporting - FHS School Improvement plan

Franklin High School Principal - Peter Light

AP Access

Have not come up with a formal process to analyze the MCAS scores across the high school. Each department has done great work within their areas and then shared with the school as a whole.


Notices to home have been coming via email rather than printed note.
Working on electronic report card distribution, he is not confident with the technology yet. He is trying with the third term reports.

Peter has started a blog

School Safety

Working on updating the fire drill procedures
Working with the Police to do a lock down during a "passing time" that is when the students are in motion changing classrooms. Prior lock downs were done with students in the classrooms which is easier.

Light - the system automatically recognizes when there is a valid email address. When there isn't, it automatically prints a hard copy which would be mailed to the home. We try to use technology as much as possible.

Live reporting - Advance placement (AP)


AP Access – Peter Light, John Koch, Wayne Ogden, Michele Kingsland-Smith

per Wayne Ogden, Mass Insight invited Franklin to participate in a grant based initiative to give wider access to a larger number of students. We are very excited to be part of this.

The AP program is the most challenging level of curriculum offered to high school student. The AP courses are aligned to entry level college courses.

Concept driven as opposed to text book driven

This does not redesign curriculum, this supplements what is already in place.

5 approaches
  • algebraic
  • graphical
  • numeric
  • verbal
  • physical
English, Science, and Math currently; looking to add Social Studies

Identifying students based upon College Board PSAT results to predict likelihood of scoring a 3 or better on an AP test

John Koch provided handout with sample lessons

Why are we investigating these issues?
Teachers know that there are no perfect systems, there is always something we can build upon.

What are they doing down there?
What are the grade levels below sending to the next level? Knowing what is being done makes a difference. Similar to the literacy program, there is a consistency of language amongst the grade level teachers.

Skills are revisited from week to week, and year to year.

I went to training last week and came back all excited. There is not much more than I can do to promote this than to say that I am excited about this especially in the dog days of February.

Peter Light - Currently, 10-15 students in AP English, according to the College Board indicator, there are 115 students that have a 70% chance of scoring the 3 or better. That really expands the concept of what the student is that is an AP class.

Wayne Ogden - I am going to a meeting to explore with Mass Insight how we can sustain this going forward. There is a local contribution (approx. $10,000) that under the circumstances will be questioned. We want to add to the levels of training. The challenge to Mass Insight is how they can keep this going and keep it affordable. In the short term, finding the 10K might be the easy part, changing the mind set from the B+ student to the expansion Peter has talked about is going to be the hard part.

Roy - We don't have to go out and invest in other people to bring them in to do this.

Ogden - We have the people here, we would need to take advantage of the professional development from Mass Insight. One of the things these teachers did last summer was to spend a week doing this intensive training.

Laying the Foundation dot org

Live reporting - Literacy continued


Sara Klim provides an update on the introduction of Readers Workshop
Professional development assisting with the consultants to help the other teachers in the district, i.e. a "train-the-trainer" model.

Middle School

Developed K-8 assessment process to be used across the district
Discovered inconsistency amongst the middle school in they way assessments were conducted
Focusing on the incoming 6th grade literacy skills currently to work through and work out the inconsistencies

Used one of the Professional Development half days to work on a unit and rework it to meet the literacy requirements

Observing sharing amongst the middle school teachers more so than ever before


First time receiving professional development with her students in the class after many years of good professional development here in Franklin

Readers Workshop model is exciting to work with at the elementary level

The Lab classroom teachers the most powerful component of the professional development
Lab classrooms used as resources within the building

Joan Toye, Principal at Kennedy Elementary, sits with 4-5 students for lunch twice a week, feedback from the students on what they like this year, 80-90 percent say that they really like the reading this year, they can sit, and read, and have time to think about what they are reading.

Think critically
Read widely
Read strategically
Communicate effectively
Implementation of this type program usually takes 5-7 years, feedback from the teachers and consultants are indicating a greater acceptance at an early stage than expected.

Crucial that the vocabulary is taught prior to the use in reading

There are too many ways to do note taking, the Franklin teachers need to come together and simplify their approach so that it more easily implemented.

Cornell notes - have been around for sometime, hindsight is 20/20 but it can be powerful

We SQ3R'd everything. (Survey Question Read Write Review)

Live reporting - Literacy Update

Literacy Initiative – Michele Kingsland-Smith, Joan Toye, Tricia Capaldi, Sarah Klim, Paul Peri, Brenda Redding, and Debbie Goss

The actual presentation document used this evening:

Schools with exemplary reading practices do the following:

Live reporting - School Committee 2/10/09

Attending: Armenio, Cafasso, Mullen, Roy, Rohrbach, Trahan
Missing: Kelly

1. Routine Business
  • Citizen’s Comments - none
  • Review of Agenda
  • Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the January 27, 2009 School Committee Meeting. Approved 6-0
  • Payment of Bills - Mr. Kelly pass
  • Payroll - Ms. Armenio
  • FHS Student Representatives
Love Fest - Thu/Fri in Lecture Hall at FHS
5 fully working SMART boards installed today
Gallery 218 - featuring art works from alumni of FHS
Winter Auction - March 1
  • Correspondence: Budget to Actual

Town Council - Agenda - 2/11/09

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - January 7, 2009







  • Use of Town Property Bylaw
  • FY 2009 Capital Plan


  1. Resolution 09-05: Confirmatory Order of Taking Cross and King Streets
  2. Resolution 09-07: Appropriation – Public Facilities Salaries
  3. Resolution 09-08: Appropriation – Title and Deed Research
  4. Resolution 09-09: Appropriation – Survey on 30+ Acres on Pond Street





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


Town Council goal session - 6:00 PM - 2/11/09

6:00 PM
Special Town Council Goal Session
Training Room 3rd floor Municipal Bldg

7:00 PM
Town Council
Council Chambers-Mun.Bldg.

The regular meeting will be broadcast live but the planning session will not. This is probably one you should get to in person.

Who's bright idea is this?

The bill, if passed, would have far reaching effects on local school band programs. Some have suggested that the costs associated with the sterilization process run the range of $50-$80 per instrument. The bill does not come with any funding for local districts to support this program. What that means is that local communities will have to come up with the funds themselves, despite the fact that they are already facing fiscal catastrophe.

No one argues with the intentions of the supporters of this bill. Indeed keeping instruments free of bacteria is an important goal. However, the bill overlooks the fact that most communities, including Franklin, already take steps to ensure the safety of musical instruments. A bill such as this is an example of overreaction to a problem that may not even exist.

While this bill may be a “stimulus” package for the sterilization manufacturers, it’s nothing but a classic unfunded mandate and burden to financially strapped communities. Accordingly, the bill ought to be swiftly defeated.

Who's bright idea is this?

Read the details on the Franklin School Committee blog here

"open the store in April 2010"

Board OKs Walgreens

The Planning Board last night approved Arista Development's special site plan to build a Walgreens at the former Four Corners School.

Arista Development LLC, of Norwood, plans to build a single-story, 14,500-square-foot building with a drive-through window (along Cross Street) and 60 parking spots, at the intersection of Rte. 140 and King Street.

The plan features two entrances: A single-car entry/exit via Cross Street and a double exit and single entry along King Street.

Read the full article about the Walgreens coming to Franklin in the Milford Daily News here.

I think it is interesting that during the Planning Board meeting of 1/26/09 much of the discussion around the traffic mitigation was in the timing of the plans coming to the Town so they the work could be completed by the scheduled store opening in Sep/Oct.

Now the schedule is back to April. That reschedule should provide plenty of time for the traffic work on the corner.

The video of the Planning Board meeting for Jan 26 2009 can be found on the Town website here

Climate change

Climate change is expected to create about 200 million environmental refugees by 2050, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the international body established within the United Nations to evaluate causes and consequences of global warming.
Read the full story here

There are things you can do now to help avoid the worst. For one, you can consider joining the Franklin Area Climate Team.

Monday, February 9, 2009

School Committee - Agenda - 2/10/09

1. Routine Business
  • Citizen’s Comments
  • Review of Agenda
  • Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the January 27, 2009 School Committee Meeting.
  • Payment of Bills - Mr. Kelly
  • Payroll - Ms. Armenio
  • FHS Student Representatives
  • Correspondence: Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations:
  • Literacy Initiative – Michele Kingsland-Smith, Joan Toye, Tricia Capaldi, Sarah Klim, Paul Peri, Brenda Redding, and Debbie Goss
  • AP Access – Peter Light, John Koch, Wayne Ogden, Michele Kingsland-Smith
  • School Improvement Plan FHS – Peter Light

3. Discussion Only Items
  • Second Reading – Acceptable Use Policy GBAB
  • First Reading – Sub Committee Minutes Policy & Exhibit BEDGG/GEDGG-E
  • Review District’s Vision and Goals that will guide budget reduction decisions.
  • FY10 Budget

4. Action Items
  • I recommend action be taken regarding the make up day for the HM/Oak/ECDC Complex.
  • I recommend acceptance of Policy GBAB – Acceptable Use
  • I recommend approval of the Franklin High School’s School Improvement Plan as Presented
  • I recommend approval of the request of Parmenter Principal, Judi Bassignani to declare the listed books as surplus.
  • I recommend acceptance of a check for $427.00 from General Mills Box Tops for Education for the Remington Middle School to be used for supplies.

5. Information Matters

Superintendent’s Report
  • Enrollment Comparisons
  • Budget Matters
  • Remington Middle School Leadership

• 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

"This is good news for the state's economy"

Go green, get green.

Local residents and businesses have taken the message to heart, installed solar energy systems and received rebates from the Commonwealth Solar program, an initiative launched last year to encourage renewable energy use.

CommSolar, an offshoot of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, has approved nearly $22 million in rebates for 539 solar photovoltaic projects since its inception in January 2008.

Read the full article on the opportunities to save money by converting to solar electricity in the Milford Daily News here

The Franklin Area Climate Team (FACT) had sponsored several evenings on renewable energy at the library. You can review the notes and presentations here.

Reminder: Alumni Art show at Gallery 218

A Franklin High School alumni art show is planned at the Franklin Public Schools’ art gallery, Gallery 218, with an opening reception on Tuesday, Feb. 10th, 5:00 - 7:00 PM.

The gallery will have work from recent and not so recent graduates of Franklin High School on display.

Everyone is welcome to join the organizers and artists for food, live music, and art at the opening, which is free.

Gallery 218 is located at 218 Oak St. Franklin, inside the Franklin High School (off the cafeteria).

PS - I know at least one artist showing some of her work. I dropped off 2 pieces for #1 daughter last Monday. I'll be at the opening and then hustle over to Town Hall to live report from the School Committee meeting Tuesday night.

This opening was announced during the High School Art Presentation here

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ideas to save money this winter

A local video show (produced in Arlington, MA) outlines some great ideas for saving money on heat and electricity.

Public Square -- Saving Energy from Josh Lobel on Vimeo.

The new episode of "The Public Square" provides viewers with tangible ways to save energy this winter and throughout the year. You can watch the show on line whenever you like by visiting

We interview local residents Ryan Katofsky, Martin Lamonica, Glenn Koenig, and Marc Breslow to learn how they have reduced their carbon footprint and saved money. The interviews take place in each person’s home, giving viewers a first-hand look at the improvements they’ve made. Our guests share some simple, low-cost steps that every family can take to save energy. You'll also hear about ideas that require a larger investment, including installing solar energy systems.

To learn more about "The Public Square," please visit

Do you have something that you are doing that was not covered in this video?