Saturday, March 21, 2009

"The state needs another 30 to 45 days"

Posted Mar 20, 2009 @ 11:49 PM


U.S. Rep. James McGovern assured a room of about 100 local officials that the state's anticipated $8.7 billion in stimulus funds will be fairly distributed, not sent to Boston.

"There are days when I think my job is tough, and then I think of you - you have it tougher, you're on the ground, you're on the front lines," McGovern told town, school and state officials at yesterday's special briefing on the federal stimulus package at Franklin's Municipal Building.

"There is $8.7 billion coming to Massachusetts, and the whole point is to have it work. My hope is, there's something for everyone, but it's the state's discretion," said McGovern, D-3rd.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

View the video recording of the presentation at the Franklin web site here

extra Special Ed funding announced

MetroWest Daily News
Posted Mar 20, 2009 @ 11:51 PM

Massachusetts school districts will receive $280 million from the federal stimulus package during the next two years to help them pay the cost of special education, with figures in the region as high as $636,500 for Marlborough and $1.1 million for Framingham.

Gov. Deval Patrick announced yesterday at Brockton High School that half of the money will be distributed by the end of the month and the rest of it will be allocated this fall.

Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester said the funding will allow districts to provide necessary special education services without cutting into the regular education budget.


Franklin: $729,767

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Grow the air you breathe

Yes, fascinating stuff.

I wonder if there will be a run on these plants?

Slide show: Trivia Bee 2009

A recap of the Trivia Bee held on Thursday, March 19th.


Friday, March 20, 2009

FHS bottle and can drive Sat 3/21 - 9 AM to 1 PM

a better picture to share

School Activities - Friday Night

Driving around I see notices for the following:

Parmenter School - Auction Friday night 3/20/09 at 7:00 PM

Davis Thayer - Talent Show at Horace Mann Auditorium, 3/20/09 at 7:00 PM

Are there other school activities I may have missed?

Add a comment or send me an email and I can update this listing!

Franklin: FHS Bottle & Can Drive 3/21/09

Franklin_FHSCanBottleDrive, originally uploaded by shersteve.

According to this sandwich board sign on the corner of King and Forest Streets, there will be a bottle and can drive at Franklin High School this Saturday the 21st.

Worthy of note, signs like these are not permitted currently nor would they be under the revisions of the sign bylaw underway. There was a presentation at the Downtown Partnership meeting on 3/19/09. There will be additional publi hearings as the revision comes before the Town Council and the Planning Board.

If you are interested in using signs like this or any other signs to help advertise a special event, I recommend you watch carefully to find out when the public hearings will be held. I will post the information to Franklin Matters as I find out.

“Second graders only get one chance at second grade"

As part of his Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state’s economic future, Governor Deval Patrick today announced he will commit $168 million in federal education recovery funds to ensure every district in the Commonwealth reaches so-called foundation spending levels next school year. For Franklin, that means that an additional $448,381 in the school budget. This will reduce our anticipated deficit for FY10 to approximately $2.5 million.
Read the full article on the Franklin School Committee blog here

"We were a total team effort"

Posted Mar 19, 2009 @ 11:55 PM
Last update Mar 19, 2009 @ 11:56 PM


Placing Martha Stewart's quote, "It's a good thing," was easy enough for Town Treasurer/Collector James Dacey in last night's annual Trivia Bee.

But Dacey's team, the "Franklin Munibees," comprised of Dacey, Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting and Fire Chief Gary McCarraher, were lost when it came to identifying the HBO series, "Big Love."

Thus, they could not hold onto their "world championship title," as Nutting called it, from last year's Bee, which is put together by the Franklin Education Foundation to fund classroom grants.

Everyone knew the television character who once said, "We lost a daughter, Edith, but we gained a meathead," Archie Bunker and the puppeteer who told TV Guide she loved to shock waiters by ordering lamb Shari Lewis. (She rode to fame on a puppet named Lamb Chop.)

Read the full article about the Trivia Bee in the Milford Daily News here

Letter to the Editor

The following was submitted as a Letter to the Editor for the Wicked Local/Franklin Gazette. For the loyal readers here, you will get this preview assuming it does get printed some day.


You look at yourself in the mirror and say “I need a haircut”. Or your wife/significant other drops a similar hint. So you make a mental note to stop by the barber shop or call for an appointment.

The designated day arrives, you get your hair cut and have a wide ranging conversation with the barber or stylist. While you are sitting there, he or she is clipping and or cutting away, and you solve half the world's problems

Amongst the topics is usually sometime spent discussing the economy and how dismal prospects seem to be at the moment. So and so was let go from Fidelity. So and so was let go from another place. If you listen to the headlines, the economy is in the tank for sure. No one seems to be doing good. Even the banks and automotive companies getting bailouts are coming back for more.

So you change the topic to something brighter. You talk about your days in school, long ago now. How the teachers were good, or tough, or easy. How so and so messed with the chalkboard and got in trouble for it. What is he doing these days? Oh, he is teaching English the next town over. Wow, that is good.

Even if the conversation switched to whatever sport was in season and how the local team was doing, the fact of the matter is the conversation could not have happened without education.

Yes, let's list out how education touched each aspect of this simple event; getting your hair cut.

The barber or hairstylist received their training at an accredited institution
The teachers at that institution were similarly trained at an accredited institution
The licensing board personnel were hired because they had a minimum of a high school education, more likely the requirement was a college degree.
The salesperson who stops by the barbershop or beauty salon to sell the shampoo, gel, and other items necessary to operate likely required training from the company on their products
The conversation itself could take place because both of you were able to speak. You listened, understood what the other was saying and continued that train of thought, or changed it along the way.

I think you get the point.

Everyone around the activity of getting your hair cut or styled was touched by education. The more successful their educational background, it is likely that the more successful they would be in operating the business. Yes, reading, writing and arithmetic are required outside of school.

You can also consider what would happen if educational priorities were changed. If students were not challenged by their teachers, would they be successful barbers and stylists? Would they gain their certification or license to operate in the State? Would the State have sufficient qualified personnel to manage the licensing and auditing process? Would the hair product companies have new products being developed by researchers to meet the needs of the market place? Would they have capable sales personnel?

Would you get a good hair cut or hair style?

Considering the impact of education on such a simple transaction, shouldn't it be a priority to provide the best education possible for our children?

Steve Sherlock

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Slide show: Bandstand in the rain

With the discussion around repairing the "bandstand" (what it should be called) or "gazebo" (what it has commonly been referred to), I stopped on a gray Monday (March 9th) to take some pictures.

It was typical New England mixed precipitation day, a mix of snow and rain, which worked nicely to highlight the problems with the roof being shorter than the base. In the slide show here, you'll see that the rain drops from the edge of the roof form good sized puddles around the inside of the railings.

The railings along one side are badly peeled. Sections of the interior roof are rotten and need replacement. Sections of the exterior tile are broken and missing.

Fortunately, the Town Council approved the capital expense of about $50,000 which would cover the lowest of multiple bids for the repair work. The initial estimate of $100,000 was likely a good guess. We are fortunate that the actual bids came in significantly less. The high bid was around $88,000 and the low bid at $48,000.

The bandstand is a center piece of the town and should be fixed.

Note that this repair will use capital dollars which can not be used for operational expenses, i.e. supplies or personnel salaries. I know there is still a great deal of misunderstanding about the difference between capital dollars and operational dollars. I will be working on a slide show to try and explain the difference. If you have some suggestions, please let me know. Usually for a problem of this type, putting more heads to it will bring better results.

"If you really want us, you gotta ride us"

Posted Mar 18, 2009 @ 10:21 PM


Franklin may lose its bus service if more people don't start riding the bus, officials warned in a roundtable discussion with the public at the Senior Center yesterday.

"It's been tough. I don't want to say it's going to end, but I do want to say there's some urgency," said George Colajezzi, a marketing consultant for the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority.

GATRA, which provides bus service via the Franklin Area Bus, just finished its 52nd week of service and has fallen short of projected ridership, Colajezzi said.

An average of 149 people ride the bus every week, he said, which is about 100 fewer than what GATRA wants.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

"your financial statements are totally in (good order)"

Posted Mar 19, 2009 @ 12:15 AM


Five more town unions have volunteered to freeze their salaries and make higher co-payments on their health insurance to save jobs, Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting announced at last night's Town Council meeting.

Highway workers, custodians, clerks, tradespeople (such as electricians and plumbers), police and fire dispatcher unions, all of whom fall under the umbrella of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union, each voted affirmatively, Nutting said.

"That will save all their potential layoffs," Nutting said.

In total, those unions have about 130 members, he said.

Read the full article on the Town Council meeting in the Milford Daily News here.

For the live reporting from the complete meeting check here.

Industry: Safe Lifting Leadership Award

In our ongoing series on local businesses, I find this press release appropriate for a couple of reasons.

1 - a local company has created a portal to work the bigger issue (safe lifting)
2 - as part of that portal, they select someone doing the right thing (the award winner)

This is a win/win in my book. Congrats to Liko for sponsoring this award and for Gundersen for winning it.

Franklin, MA – March 17, 2009 – The pro bono healthcare injury prevention website Safe Lifting Portal (, has announced that its newly instituted Safe Lifting Leadership Award has been presented to Gundersen Lutheran Health System of La Crosse, Wisconsin. The award was given in recognition of Gundersen Lutheran’s outstanding accomplishments in safe patient handling, safe lifting, and caregiver injury prevention.

A DVD describing the hospital’s accomplishments can be ordered from

Gundersen Lutheran Health System includes a 325-bed teaching hospital and a Level II Trauma Center. As one of the leading medical facilities in the mid-west, the health system has received eleven top 100 designations in as many years. It serves patients throughout western Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa, and southeastern Minnesota, providing care in 19 counties.

In 2003, Gundersen Lutheran Health System initiated a patient and staff injury prevention program. Key components of the program included installation of ceiling lifts to transfer patients, an extensive staff orientation and training program, and on-going monitoring of usage compliance. The ceiling lifts were installed in units hospital-wide, including intensive care, coronary care, rehabilitation and PT, pediatrics, morgue, diagnostic areas, and the OB/GYN water birth room.

Among the more significant results of the program have been substantial decreases in injury rates, reduced workers’ compensation costs, and less employee lost time and restricted time. The program has also increased staff retention rates and proved to be an excellent staff recruitment tool.

Emphasizing Gundersen Lutheran’s firm commitment to patient and employee safety, Gary Brunslik, Manager of Safety, commented, “Preventing staff injury is good business from the financial standpoint, but also, it is the right thing to do."
Kathy Weitekamp, RN, BSN, Care Manager, went on to say, “We’ve been able to show a 57% decrease in the number of patient handling claims, which we feel is pretty significant. Lost time has gone down 78% and restricted time has gone down 81%, so we’re very pleased. Our ceiling lift return on investment has been less than three years."
Dr. William Scorby, Medical Director for Employee Health, added, "We also see the safe lifting program as playing an important role in staff retention and recruiting - keeping our experienced nurses safe and injury free while attracting new nurses trained in safe lifting techniques to Gundersen Lutheran." The objective of the Safe Lifting Leadership Award is to encourage other institutions to follow the lead of “best practices” institutions in their attempts to instill permanent, sustainable culture change – a so-called “culture of safety” – within their organizations. Patient safety, advocacy for healthcare excellence, successful implementation of safe lifting initiatives, and willingness to share results and assist other institutions are among key evaluation criteria for the award.

For more information on the Safe Lifting Leadership Award or Liko’s sponsorship of the Safe Lifting Portal, contact
Liko – A Hill-Rom Company,
122 Grove Street,
Franklin, MA 02038;
telephone (888) 545-6671 or (508) 553-3993;
fax (508) 528-6642;

visit the Liko website at
or visit

This press release was found here

Town Council Mtg Smry - 03/18/09

The collection of live reporting posts for the Town Council meeting 3/18/09 are here

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Live reporting - Administrator report

Nutting - with a little knock on wood, we'll be able to meet the winter snow and ice with what we allocated (initially $700K and an additionally $600K)

GATRA - meeting today on how to keep them alive, the ridership is only 149/per week. They need 250-300 per week to meet their needs.

Meeting Friday for elected and Town officials with McGovern's office. Not for the public but FYI for those folks here.

Old business - none
New business -

Question, probably should have been asked earlier - where are we with the state and the possible new revenues?

Nutting - It might be several months before those local tax options are decided at the State level. I'll be putting the budget together assuming we don't get those.

Pfeffer - When the Haywood family donated it, it was a bandstand. In those days, folks didn't do gazebos, they built bandstands.

Vallee - I just want to go on record that I will not support the fee increases. It goes against what is supposed to be done at this time of recession/depression.

Motion - to go into executive session. Passed 8-0

Live reporting - legislation for action

  1. Resolution 09-15: Acceptance of Deed of Parcel 29A, Palomino Drive motion passed 8-0
  2. Resolution 09-16: Acceptance of Deed of Parcel 29 B, Paddock Lane motion passed 8-0
  3. Resolution 09-17: Declaration of Town-Owned Land as Surplus and Available for Disposition motion passed 8-0
  4. Resolution 09-18: Appropriation Town Common Band Stand motion passed 8-0
  5. Bylaw Amendment 09-631: Chapter 82 Fees, Appendix A, List of Service Fee Rates - 1st Reading motion passed 8-0
4 - We have known for a while that the band stand roof needed to be repaired. Since we first started talking about this, we did receive bids on the work (high of $88K, low of $48K).

Dave Roche, Building Commissioner
The base of the building was expanded at some point but the roof did not cover it creating a water problem.
The edges of the roof are rotted. It won't do anything really to change the appearance. Simply extend the roof by about a foot to provide the protection needed.
Later we can use the Town electrician to change the lighting.

We don't have the expertise to do the tile ourselves. The Historical Commission and everybody else requested to keep the tile.

Motion to amend to include the interest accrued.

McGann question to keep the work within the Town's contractors.
Nutting - the bids already came in, don't know where they are from but we need to take the lowest bid.

Gary McGarraher, Fire Chief
Explains the billing process involving Medicare rates, not using assignments any longer to ensure full recover of the funds,

It really is not an increase in rates, it is bundling it differently in order to capture the full Medicare amount.

McGann - in comparison to surrounding Towns, where are we?
Roche - we last changed the rates eight years ago. We are in some cases, incredibly low for comparable services. With the services we are offering, we were not covering our costs. Even though it is not the best time to do so, it is something that allows us to recover more of our costs.
The state will ask the communities to review the fees to ensure that they cover the budget.

Live reporting - Audit report

Susan Gagner
Jim Dacey
Auditor (fill in name later)

no material entries made to start the audit

The audit report can be found here (PDF)

Auditor recommendation to set up a capital account, current capital is budgeted by using "free cash"

Auditor recommendation on formal system to support data for utility abatements and adjustments for DPW

Q - Bartlett, we had a problem with reconciling ambulance reports from last time
A - Gagner, we have reconciled the first 6 months of 2009, we added a report to perform this audit and that why the item is no longer part of the report.

Q - Bartlett, and last year with the School problem
A - Gagner, the separation between entries has been set up, they don't have access to make ledger entries

Q - Bartlett, so this report covers the School's as well
A - Auditor, yes, this is completely covered, no issues found

Live reporting: Town Council mtg 3/18/09

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

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – 3/4/09 Regular and Executive Session
motion to approve - passed 8-0

Nutting - non-union municipal, school, police have all stepped up to take the pay freeze this year
5 other unions, total 6 of 8 Town have agreed to take the freeze. Jeff thanks everyone to date. The School Admin, School Committee and teachers are working their side.

Pfeffer - comments open for 5 minutes, must be resident, will be recorded on camera, broadcast via internet and cable, no alias, must use real name




F. HEARINGS - none


GATRA still needs riders!

Did you know that GATRA has been operating here in Franklin for one year already?

Yes, it is true. They completed 52 weeks of service last week. They have provided free rides, coupons, and the ridership is only an average 149 per week. This is at least 100 below the target they set out with the Town to achieve when they began.

Will they be able to continue?

The decision is pending. Much like a lot of other areas. The resources are being looked at to see if they can justify the usage.
How can you help?

Consider riding GATRA. Look at the schedule here. Consider walking to one of the roads along the route and flag the bus down. Assuming, it is a good place to stop, they will.

Do you have any ideas on how to increase riders?

GATRA would love to hear from you. You can contact them through their web site here

"His mere presence ends confrontations and arguments"

Posted Mar 18, 2009 @ 12:20 AM
Last update Mar 18, 2009 @ 12:31 AM


There is probably no one more excited to go to work and catch "the bad guys" than 11-year-old Chase, a black German shepherd police dog with the Franklin Police Department.

"I'll be at home and ask him, 'You want to go to work?' and he'll start jumping up and down and go right to the door to leave the house," said Officer Michael Gilboy, who calls Chase his best friend.

Gilboy and Chase are more than friends, though. Chase wears Gilboy's badge, which adorned his collar yesterday.

Read the full article about Chase, who retired yesterday, in the Milford Daily News here

GATRA - Franklin Area Bus

Needs YOUR input to help us determine the future of the Franklin Area Bus

Wednesday, March 18th - 4:00 p.m.

Franklin Senior Center - 10 Daniel McCahill Street

Franklin's Earth Day Celebration

Franklin's Earth Day Celebration
Saturday April 18th, 2009
Beaver Pond
Starts at 9:00 AM

Volunteer to clean up targeted areas and assist with planting flowers and shrubs around Franklin.

- Please bring your own water bottle.

- Please bring your own gloves and rakes.

- Community service certificates will be issued.

- T-shirts to the first 200 volunteers.

- Clean up goes to 1:00 PM

Get some Eco-Info at Beaver Pond:

- Water conservation kits and rain barrel display.

- Mercury thermometer exchange for digital thermometers.

- Recycling tips and composting information.

- Energy conservation tips.

- Much more ! ! !

You can register on the Town website here

PodCamp Western Mass - March 28th - Holyoke

It's time to bring the PodCamp concept to Western Mass. We have a thriving community here of some truly amazing people. This is a chance for Western Mass bloggers, business people, artists, and academics, to get together, make connections, and for everyone to learn how social media can enhance their business, cause or organization. This is also a chance to celebrate the cornucopia of Western Mass. culture, a joyous blend of urban and rural; business, artistic and academic; near enough to other large metro areas, but small enough to hear yourself think.

When: Saturday, March 28, 2009

Where: Open Square in Holyoke, Second Floor

(Open Square is the mill building across the street from The Wherehouse. Entrance to parking is from either Lyman Street or Dwight Street. Open Square is located between the first and second level canals, which are bordered by Race St and Front St. The nearest entrance to the stairs and elevator is marked with a very large white "4".)

  • Please use the tag PodCampWesternMass or hashtag #pcwm or #pcwm09 for content related to this event

Rough Schedule:

Looking to set up 3 breakouts for each session time after the Opening Remarks

8:30 to 9:00 - Welcome desk and coffee (?)
9:00 to 9:30 - Opening Remarks: Explanation of Unconference Format.
9:30 to 10:30 - Session 1
Break (1/2 hr.)
11:00 to Noon - Session 2
Noon to 2:00 - Lunch
2:00 to 3:00 - Session 3
Break (1/2 hr)
3:30 to 4:30 Session 4
4:30 to 5:00 Closing Remarks

You can register for PodCamp Western Mass here


I will be traveling out to Holyoke to run the Welcome Desk, if anyone would like to join drive from Franklin with me, please let me know.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

FEF Trivia Bee Thursday March 19th 7:00 PM

Good fun for a good cause, fund raising for the Franklin Education Foundation (FEF). They provide lots of support the school budget has not covered.

GATRA - Franklin Area Bus

Needs YOUR input to help us determine the future of the Franklin Area Bus

Wednesday, March 18th - 4:00 p.m.

Franklin Senior Center - 10 Daniel McCahill Street

"There are no secrets in the big house"

Posted Mar 17, 2009 @ 12:16 AM


Franklin's homepage has a new look this year that some residents have pooh-poohed as being uglier than in years past, but the Massachusetts Campaign for Open Government again recognized it as a "gold star" community.

Every year, the campaign ( assesses how easy it is for the public to obtain information about local government.

"It's not based on looks or design, only information. This year, we've only added to the information," said Assistant Town Administrator Maxine Kinhart, who helps administer the Web site,

Franklin has been given the annual e-Government award every year since 2006, Kinhart said.

Read the full article about the recent award for Franklin's web site in the Milford Daily News here


In our continuing series on the businesses located in Franklin, this press release just came out featuring the Moseley Group.

Cumberland Farms, the well‐known convenience store throughout the Northeast, takes on a new look this week with the help of The Moseley Group, a leading food and beverage consulting firm in Franklin, Massachusetts.

The grand opening of Cumberland Farms’s new concept store Friday in Farmington, CT, celebrated the family‐owned company’s farm heritage with a new identity and décor package, and new made‐to‐order food offerings.

The Moseley Group was hired by Cumberland Farms a year ago to help reimage the 71‐year old company and reinvigorate the business model for its 600 stores in 11 states.

“We updated the concept with new identity, new décor, new food and new packaging,” said Tom Moseley, president. “Yet we were careful to remain true to the core of the brand. There is tremendous loyalty within the Cumberland Farms customer base, and we worked to extend the brand assets to reach new customers, too. It is not well known that Cumberland Farms is a family‐owned business in its third‐generation of leadership. We wanted to highlight this story to create a more personal connection between the stores and their customers, which we did through identity and packaging.”

The new identity includes a timeless expression of the company name, refined tree icon and new color palette; the elements work together to convey a commitment to freshness. Packaging design highlights the founding family, depicting images from circa 1930, and expresses the company’s principle commitment to good quality and value.

Moseley’s culinary team led the development of a new menu featuring hot flatbread, ciabatta and breakfast sandwiches. “This offering is what the New England convenience‐store customer is seeking – on‐trend flavor profiles delivered in a ready‐to‐eat format,” said Chris Milloff, managing partner. “Cumberland’s program is new for New England, and we expect they’ll see tremendous success with it.”

The new concept store features Merrychef accelerated ovens, which deliver sandwiches 10–15 times faster than conventional convection ovens, with perfectly toasted breads, caramelized meat flavors, and melted cheeses. Farmington, CT is the first reimaging of a Cumberland Farms store, to be followed by a store in Deep River, CT slated for opening later this month. The new design and culinary principles will be rolled out in many markets over the coming 18–24 months.
The Moseley Group is based in Franklin, MA.

Addressing FHS wear and tear

Charlie Franklin had commented:
The High School is approximately 1/6th - 1/7th the age of Harvard & Yale, and it is only 37 years old. If from what has been mentioned about it.. Is it the workmanship from when it was built, or the lack of proactive steps to keep up on the building? it the kids who go to the school that cause much of the damage? If that is the case, then there should be more oversight and someone is lacking in their job performance. It took years to get it to this stage..and the School Committee was in charge of the school for most of it, until recently when they could pawn off their responsibilities.
The full post and comment is here.

1 - to address the maintenance status of the building

I posted Mike D'Angelo's memo outlining the capital expenses on the high school building over the last 10 years here.

Specifically from D'Angelo's memo I quote:
The news media showcased some of the tours and the need to renovate Franklin High in a negative way. That is not because we have not been maintaining the building but because the programmatic needs of the educational system have changed. The things we are looking for in a renovation will change the focus of the building. We will change a High School that probably had only 30% of its students enrolled in college prep programs in 1970 to one that has more than 90% in 2008. The building needs to change to support that enrollment change.

2 - to address your comparison to Harvard's buildings

I managed to find a document on the Harvard buildings submitted to the Cambridge, MA government website that depicts the age of the buildings in color code. In particular, when you match the buildings coded black (those under 50 years old) those are the ones where science and math are taught. The building coded red or yellow (either "historical" or those over 50 years), those are used for dormitory and office space. They are not used for the advanced technical laboratory needs of the institution.
  • You can find the document here. (May open slowly as it is a PDF file)
  • Scroll to page 6. On the bottom of page 6 is the color code table.
Of interest is the Harvard Yard Tour (a 3 minute video) during which they confirm that the oldest buildings surrounding the yard are dormitories.

You can also look to the Harvard FactBook published by the Provost of Harvard University and found on their website here (PDF).

Skipping through the pages to #34 and #35 will bring you to the facts on the physical plant.

For example:
The University owns and operates more than six hundred buildings of varying sizes and characteristics spread over a wide geographic area. They encompass approximately 24.5 million gross square feet of space. The physical plant provides living space for students and faculty, research facilities to advance our base of knowledge, classroom and library spaces for the dissemination of knowledge, and space for administrative and support services.
Of interest is their new science complex under construction in Allston, slide show here

And this chart depicting the growth of their campus over time:

Therefore the comparison of the age and condition of the Franklin High School building to those at Harvard doesn't work.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fix the 9th Grade Problem in PreK

Given the budget cuts being talked off, which will likely increase class size, I would draw attention to this quote:

"Among the promising school interventions that work— used best in combination—include preschool programs, smaller class size especially in the early years, use of cooperative strategies, personalized learning, extended time for learning, extracurricular activities targeted particularly for underachieving students, and, finally, providing high-quality teachers who understand the students, respect them, and believe that the students can learn."

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via ASCD Inservice by ASCD Bloggers on 3/15/09
The achievement gap is a deep-seated, long-standing, hard-to-solve issue that isn't going away unless we use a strategic approach to solve it, Vanderbilt University Professor Joseph Murphy told ASCDers in his session entitled "Leadership Lessons for Closing the Achievement Gap."...

Things you can do from here:

Town Council - 3/18/09 - Agenda

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – 3/4/09 Regular and Executive Session







  • presentation of Audit – Melanson Heath & Co.


  1. Resolution 09-15: Acceptance of Deed of Parcel 29A, Palomino Drive
  2. Resolution 09-16: Acceptance of Deed of Parcel 29 B, Paddock Lane
  3. Resolution 09-17: Declaration of Town-Owned Land as Surplus and Available for Disposition
  4. Resolution 09-18: Appropriation Town Common Band Stand
  5. Bylaw Amendment 09-631: Chapter 82 Fees, Appendix A, List of Service Fee Rates - 1st Reading





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


Cafe Dolce - updated

Updated: The grand opening was held on 4/13/09, you can view the slides here

Yea, a coffee shop is coming soon to downtown Franklin.

On the walk around town I did Friday afternoon, I stopped in to talk with BJ Carlucci. He is busy tending to a recently broken ankle as well as finishing off the ceiling and kitchen. He should be training the folks that he has already hired next week and be ready to open the first week of April.

I can't wait.

BJ and I should be getting together for another longer conversation later this week and I'll let you know more about this new business opening soon.

Updated 3/26/09 - BJ, Dave and I did talk today. The results of that discussion will be up soon. I did post a picture of their new sign here.

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

Treesavers Book Outlet

In our continuing series on businesses located in Franklin, I decided to implement a modification to "Management by walking around" by changing it to "Blogging by walking around". Friday afternoon, I had some errands to do so I decided to do them all on foot and found myself at Treesavers Book Outlet.

Kerry DiGiandomenico has been operating Treesavers Book Outlet for 14 years. He took it over from the previous owner when they ran into difficulty with RT 140 under construction and traffic to the store cut sharply.

With the Honey Dew in front of the plaza also closed for renovations, traffic has dropped, so Kerry is looking for other ways to draw in used book buyers.

Treesavers Book Outlet

LeeRoy U Bailey, Jr will be at Treesavers on Saturday May 2, to sign his book; A Different Perspective on How to Reach Heaven: You Must Be Born Again.

LeeRoy will be on site at Treesavers from noon to 4:00 PM. For more information you can email LeeRoy at or visit his website here.

Treesavers is a good alternative to the big booksellers for anything popular. As the picture mosaic shows, there are plenty of books with many of the major categories (Ficton, Non-Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Romance, etc.) that you would find in other book stores.

Kerry also deals in collectables. There were stacks of KISS dolls and posters amongst the stacks of books.

Audio books (books on tape or CD) are also available.

Each section of the books is generally alphabetized by author last name to make finding the book easier. Kerry tells the story of one couple who would bring him a set of index cards with author and titles. This was the listing of books that they had already read. Kerry would then keep an eye out for books not on their list, put them aside and when there were a few call them. They would come in to buy that set of books and update the listing on the index cards. Alas, the couple have both passed away now but this is the kind of place and service that Treesavers provides.

With money tight, the urge to read still prevalent, consider the low cost option to buying used books. Visit Treesavers and help support a Franklin business.

Treesavers Book Outlet is located at 391 West Central, in the same plaza as Edwins, AutoZone and Honey Dew.

Jane's Frames - Inventory Sale

On Monday (3/16) and Tuesday (3/17), Jane's Frames will be conducting an Inventory Sale offering discounts of 50-80%.

Franklin: Jane'sFrames Sale

The inventory needs to move to prepare for a juried art show to be held on Thursday (3/19/09)

Additional information on the juried show can be found here:

Slideshow: Government and its role in the economy

Pictures from the panel discussion on Government and its role in the economy are now available.

The audio recordings were posted previously here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


On the renewable energy front, we find this press release:

Friday, March 13, 2009
Cape Wind News Release


MARCH 13, 2009, BOSTON, MA – In a unanimous vote, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (Siting Board), the agency created by the Legislature to ensure the siting of needed and least environmental impact energy facilities, voted yesterday to grant Cape Wind a Certificate of Environmental Impact and Public Interest (Certificate) that effectively rolls up all nine state and local permits related to the electric cables into one ‘composite certificate’.

Note: The official transcript of the Siting Board's Hearing yesterday is available for download at:

Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said, “This decision represents a major victory for the people of Massachusetts who are waiting for the clean energy jobs from Cape Wind which will help us become more energy independent and make Massachusetts a global leader in clean offshore wind energy production.” “I am grateful for the assistance that the attorneys representing Clean Power Now and the Conservation Law Foundation provided as participants in the Siting Board process”, Gordon continued.

The Siting Board instructed Cape Wind to work with the Towns of Yarmouth and Barnstable to reach an agreement on reasonable and customary conditions for town permits related to Cape Wind’s buried electric cables and to present this agreement to the Siting Board. In the event parties cannot agree on conditions, the Siting Board will decide on what conditions are reasonable to include. The Siting Board expects to complete this process and take its final vote within 60-days which will conclude Cape Wind’s permitting at the state and local level.

Cape Wind was compelled to file for this Certificate following a denial by the Cape Cod Commission in 2007. The Siting Board also has the statutory authority to grant a comprehensive approval to an energy facility it has previously approved, where that facility has been denied a permit by any other state or local agency in the Commonwealth.

In 2005, the Siting Board approved Cape Wind’s electrical interconnection at the conclusion of a 32-month review of unprecedented length that included 2,900 pages of transcripts, 923 exhibits and 50,000 pages of documentary evidence. The Siting Board found that Cape Wind would meet an identified need for electricity and would provide a reliable energy supply for Massachusetts, with a minimum impact on the environment. The Siting Board’s approval of Cape Wind’s electrical interconnection was upheld by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Cape Wind’s proposal to build America’s first offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal would provide three-quarters of the electricity used on Cape Cod and the Islands from clean, renewable energy - reducing this region’s need to import oil, coal and gas. Cape Wind will create new jobs, stable electric costs, contribute to a healthier environment, increase energy independence and establish Massachusetts as a leader in offshore wind power. For more information visit

Slideshow: Harlem Wizards vs Sullivan Rockets

The Annie Sullivan PCC held a fund raiser at Tri-County on Friday night featuring their own Sullivan Rockets basketball team playing the Harlem Wizards.

It was quite a night of entertainment. The picture slide show should capture some of the fun.


School Committee meeting - pictures added

Pictures have been added to the following live reporting posts from the School Committee meeting on 3/10/09.

Parmenter School notice on half days this week

I believe report cards come out Tuesday.

The elementary schools will have half-days to provide time for parent conferences on the Thursday (3/19) and Friday (3/20).

Be resourceful, as you walk pick up recyclables along the way.

With spring coming up this week on the calendar, and hopefully in reality just as soon, there will be more time to get outside to walk and enjoy the fresh air.

Franklin will celebrate Earth Day on April 18th. You can help clean up Franklin without waiting for Earth Day.

When you go for a walk, take a plastic bag (or two) with you.

Walking is good exercise. Bending and stretching to pick up a bottle or aluminum can for the bag is even better. This is the one bag that I came back with from Saturday's walk. Sometimes I end up with two or three.

If all the walkers in Franklin added this to their walk, Franklin would be a cleaner place.

Tip - to the bend and stretch, add a stomp on the can to squish it and make it more compact for the bag. You'll be able to fit more that way.