Saturday, June 20, 2009

"It's well attended and promotes downtown business"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 19, 2009 @ 11:44 PM

FRANKLIN —

Seven-year-old Rebecca Natale nicely summed up the main feature of yesterday's Strawberry Festival: strawberry shortcake.

"It's really, really, really, really, really yummy! I love it," she said, kicking her legs up in excitement.

Her 5-year-old sister, Megan Natale, agreed: "I love it," she said, taking another heaping bite.

It was the family's first time at the town's annual Strawberry Festival, said their mother, Tracy Natale, and the girls couldn't wait for their next bit of festival fun.

"Face painting," they exclaimed.

The sidewalks were full of kids with freshly painted faces, holding balloons in one hand and a parent's hand in the other, happily heading to their next activity.

Read more about the Strawberry Festival in the Milford Daily News here

For my Strawberry Festival photos check here and here


Wells Thompson at Strawberry Festival

New England Revolution midfielder Wells Thompson stopped by the Strawberry Festival in Franklin, MA on Friday afternoon.

StrawberryFest_WellsT_DustinH

Wells and friend Dustin Hinkley liked the strawberry shortcake!

Strawberry Festival Sampler

The forecasted rain may have forced many of the tables indoors but did not dampen the spirits of those attending the Strawberry Festival in downtown Franklin on Friday, June 19th.

The CVS crew were handing out balloons and gift bags. Enzio DiMartino and Lucy LaFreniere were bringing smiles to the kids.

StrawberryFest_90619 017

Megan Ellis and Julie Eppus provided gift bags with smiles!

StrawberryFest_90619 019

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce has a good contingent of their staff looking up! From left to right: Jack Lank, Jen Osojnicki, Deb Cote, Claire Latino and Irene Pelley.

StrawberryFest_UnitedRegCC

Jane Curran at her table outside Jane's Frames.

StrawberryFest_JaneCurran

John Kinney provided some music outside Cafe Dolce.

StrawberryFest_JKenny

Lisa Jessick of Dream Dinners put some smiles on kids faces by helping them prepare a bag of their personal trail mix.

StrawberryFest_90619 053

The Franklin Area Bus also provided a free shuttle ride. Had the rain allowed for the original set up on the Common, this would have been a much utilized feature to bring folks from the Common downtown and return.

Friday, June 19, 2009

"developed powerful programs to address these needs"

Horace Mann Middle School science teacher James Schliefke is at space camp this week after earning a scholarship from Honeywell.

Schliefke, a resident of Franklin, was one of 288 teachers from 16 countries and 47 states chosen to take part in the Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy programs at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy programs provide teachers with new and innovative techniques to educate their students about science and math.

The programs focus on space science and exploration in a variety of classroom, laboratory and real-life astronaut training, including: a high-performance jet simulation, scenario-based space missions, land and water survival training, and state-of-the-art flight dynamics programs.

Schliefke is the only teacher from Massachusetts chosen to attend.

Read more about this visit to Space Camp on the Wicked Local site here

Schliefke will be posting "Letters from Space Camp" and those can be read here.


"People forget who is downtown"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 18, 2009 @ 10:58 PM
Last update Jun 18, 2009 @ 11:10 PM

FRANKLIN —

Free champagne, brownies, doughnuts, massages, art and lots of gabbing - that's what you missed out on if you didn't go to "Girls Night Out" last night.

The ladies - and a fair share of men - seemed delighted as they perused downtown businesses and partook of freebies from 6 to 8 p.m. during the Franklin Downtown Partnership's "Third Thursday" event.

"The goal is really education. It's like a giveaway night: Come get something for free and learn about us," said Jane Curran, owner of Jane's Frames and president of the partnership.

As part of the event, a number of businesses offered 15-minute specials, like a 15-minute massage at Salon Sorella, 9 Summer St., lessons on how to design earrings at Sarapan, a bead store at 16 East Central St., or making quilt squares at Emma's Quilt Cupboard, 12 Main St., and proper picture framing at Jane's Frames, 11 East Central St.

Across the way at 9 Summer St., Pretty is Pink owner Lori Rosenberg, who always keeps jars of chocolate kisses and candies throughout the store, gave out bubbly and sweets, and Artbeat Creativity Store staff showed people how to make a beaded votive candle.

Cafe Dolce, 17 East Central St., which hosted a reception for Franklin artist Susan Sheridan's art show and served lattes and desserts, was clearly the hub of last night's activities.

Read more about Third Thursday in the Milford Daily News here


Strawberry Festival - TODAY - 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Due to the rain predicted for the next few days the
Strawberry Festival will be moved inside!

The festival will be Friday the 19th -Rain or Shine

New Location:
Inside Depot Plaza Building (Acapulco's) on 15 Main Street




There will be over 30 crafters, artisans, community groups, vendors, free entertainment, music, crafts, balloons, give-aways and, of course, the Downtown Partnership’s Famous Strawberry Shortcakes!



Some of the highlights include Zumba demonstrations by the YMCA, Punk jump rope, and face painting. ArtBeat will offer free balloons and a children’s “Trash to Treasure” art gallery show. Salon Sorella will offer hair braiding and color hair spraying.

According to Mary Graff, the Festival Chair, “This festival has grown over the years and we have great entertainment lined up. There will be something for every age group!” This year there will be live music at three locations including the East Central Street patio at Café Dolce and the Summer Street Patio. The popular band “Nothing To No One” will perform at the Festival at West Central. “Knuf Said” John Kinney and Jessi Fanuele will be entertaining crowds, as well as “Tunes by Tina” a festival favorite.

Garelick Farms is the Platinum sponsor for this year’s festival.
  • Silver sponsors: Dean College and Franklin Newcomers and Friends
  • Bronze sponsors: Berry Insurance, Comcast, CVS, Chestnut Dental Associates and Keefe Insurance

A grant from the Mass Cultural Council will help fund the entertainment, and “Ever So Humble” will provide the shortcakes this year! “We really could not have the festival without our generous sponsors,” commented Lisa Piana, Executive Director for the Downtown Partnership.

If it rains the Festival will be held on Saturday from 1:00-6:00. The Farmer’s Market will also be held on Friday and the Garden Club will join the market with their plant sale on the town common. There will plenty of parking available at municipal lots and at Dean College Campus Center.

Visitors this year can ride the “Strawberry Express Bus” provided by GATRA. Pick ups will be at the Town Common at High Street and the Dean College Campus Center.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Strawberry Festival moves indoor!


Due to the rain predicted for the next few days the
Strawberry Festival will be moved inside!

The festival will be Friday the 19th -Rain or Shine

New Location:
Inside Depot Plaza Building (Acapulco's) on 15 Main Street

practical wisdom


Obama appealed to virtue. And I think he was right. And the virtue I think we need above all others is practical wisdom, because it's what allows other virtues -- honesty, kindness, courage and so on -- to be displayed at the right time and in the right way. He also appealed to hope. Right again. I think there is reason for hope. I think people want to be allowed to be virtuous.

In many ways, it's what TED is all about. Wanting to do the right thing in the right way for the right reasons. This kind of wisdom is within the grasp of each and every one of us if only we start paying attention. Paying attention to what we do, to how we do it, and, perhaps most importantly, to the structure of the organizations in which we work, so as to make sure that it enables us and other people to develop wisdom rather than having it suppressed.

The BOLD was added for my emphasis. This is from Barry Schwartz's TED Talk presented in February 2009. He talks about the need for "practical wisdom".

"Practical wisdom," Aristotle told us, "is the combination of moral will and moral skill." A wise person knows when and how to make the exception to every rule...

Here is the full TED Talk:



Should we reconsider "zero tolerance" rules?

Plastic on the windows. What's this hole for?

Big pile of dirt being removed

from the Four Corners lot to make room for Walgreens

It's not to late to celebrate summer!



3 Restaurant
eat ¢ drink ¢ celebrate summer
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Sealed Envelope
Celebrate Summer with 3!
It's not too late to celebrate summer at 3! For the entire month of June, dine at 3 and receive a sealed envelope. Inside the envelope is a surprise gift voucher valid on your next visit to 3 before August 31, 2009. The voucher may be for a complimentary appetizer, an entree, or maybe even dinner on us! So come see us soon, and celebrate summer with 3!
Envelopes will be given out during lunch and dinner from June 1 to June 30, or while supplies last. One envelope will be given per table, per visit, in the dining room only. Envelopes must be presented by August 31, 2009. Vouchers are not valid unless envelopes are opened with your server present. This offer is valid at 3 only. Vouchers must be redeemed at time of reveal. No substitutions are available on this offer, and vouchers are not redeemable for cash. Tax, gratuity, and alcohol are not included on any voucher offers.
border image
461 West Central Street (Route 140), Franklin, Massachusetts www.3-restaurant.com

Visit our other Let's Eat, Inc. restaurants: SKY, Norwood, MA www.sky-restaurant.com
and Sudbury, MA
www.sky-restaurant.com

3 is a member of the United Regional Chamber of Commerce and hosted a recent Chamber "Open House". The Chamber staff were on hand to meet and greet with all participants. The Chamber has grown from three different chamber groups merging into one.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

what catches your attention?

From TED Talks, this one is on a listing of top talks recommended for educators and school administrators by Dr Scott MacLeod. David Perry is a very successful video game designer. His presentation reviews the development of video games. One of the highlights for me was the video within this presentation; a creative autobiographic essay on why a student is addicted to video games.

If you are looking to understand what catches someone's attention, I think that the video game industry is one that we can learn from.




Does that help you understand the attraction of video games?

What catches your attention?

"the day the boys had been waiting for"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 16, 2009 @ 09:54 PM

FRANKLIN —

Local twins John and Austin Brown brought something much more exciting than their favorite toys to school for show and tell yesterday.

They took Bruins forward Phil Kessel.

"This is our buddy Phil Kessel," Austin said to a crowd of his fifth-grade classmates gathered in the auditorium at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School.

The Browns were the winners of the "Show and Tell" experience sponsored by the Boston Bruins Foundation. According to the boys' father, Dan Brown, the family was looking to donate to the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon and saw this as the perfect way to contribute.

"I just thought it would be a great way to support a great cause and my kids are more than excited," Brown said.

Read the full article about Bruin Phil Kessel's visit to Franklin in the Milford Daily News here

Treesavers - Jan Bornstein, book signing



Jan Bornstein will be at Treesavers Books to sign on June 20th from 1:00 to 3:00 PM

For more about Jan's books visit her web site

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

RokkSoft Launches DecisionBuilder ERP SaaS for Manufacturers

Enables Manufacturing Companies to Eliminate Startup Costs and Realize Efficiencies.


Franklin, MA, June 15, 2009 --(PR.com)-- RokkSoft Solutions Corp has partnered with Decision Software Inc. of Toronto, ON, Canada to offer the DecisionBuilder ERP, a comprehensive suite of software applications and premier ERP solution in Canada, as Software as a Service for small to mid-size Manufacturing companies in the US.

The DecisionBuilder Manufacturing Control System provides Cost Estimating, Material Requirements Planning, Resource Planning, Scheduling, Routing, Product Costing, Equipment Usage Analysis, and Labor Efficiency Analysis.

Coupled with the DecisionBuilder Distribution Control and Accounting Control Systems, MCS has proven equally effective in Job Shops as well as full MRP environments.

DecisionBuilder ERP is a comprehensive set of applications that is easy to implement and can be tailored to meet each company’s unique requirements. Quite often, this customization can be achieved by simply activating specific features enables customization to the processes and controls required by manufacturing businesses without costly software re-programming.

With 25 years of success in over 300 client companies DecisionBuilder provides fingertip access to information needed to drive increased revenues and lower costs.

Delivering DecisionBuilder as a Software as a Service eliminates the hardware, software and implementation costs of an on-premise solution as well as the ongoing support resource requirements.

An Internet web browser is all that is needed to begin realizing the benefits of DecisionBuilder.

For more information, go to http://www.rokksoft.com/decision.html or contact info@rokksoft.com (via email).

This press release was originally posted here

Four Corners destruction

The destruction of the Four Corners Building is underway. The windows have been removed and now you can see right through the building.

I guess the Town didn't bother to remove their sign.



In the house next door to the property that is also coming down to make way for Walgreens, I hope the envelope in the mail box isn't important.

Strawberry Festival - June 19th 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM

There will be over 30 crafters, artisans, community groups, vendors, free entertainment, music, crafts, balloons, give-aways and, of course, the Downtown Partnership’s Famous Strawberry Shortcakes!

The festival will be held at the parking lot on West Central Street from 1:00- 6:00 p.m. and continue down East Central Street to Summer Street this year.

The rain date will be Saturday, June 20th.



Some of the highlights include Zumba demonstrations by the YMCA, Punk jump rope, and face painting. ArtBeat will offer free balloons and a children’s “Trash to Treasure” art gallery show. Salon Sorella will offer hair braiding and color hair spraying.

According to Mary Graff, the Festival Chair, “This festival has grown over the years and we have great entertainment lined up. There will be something for every age group!” This year there will be live music at three locations including the East Central Street patio at Café Dolce and the Summer Street Patio. The popular band “Nothing To No One” will perform at the Festival at West Central. “Knuf Said” John Kinney and Jessi Fanuele will be entertaining crowds, as well as “Tunes by Tina” a festival favorite.

Garelick Farms is the Platinum sponsor for this year’s festival.
  • Silver sponsors: Dean College and Franklin Newcomers and Friends
  • Bronze sponsors: Berry Insurance, Comcast, CVS, Chestnut Dental Associates and Keefe Insurance

A grant from the Mass Cultural Council will help fund the entertainment, and “Ever So Humble” will provide the shortcakes this year! “We really could not have the festival without our generous sponsors,” commented Lisa Piana, Executive Director for the Downtown Partnership.

If it rains the Festival will be held on Saturday from 1:00-6:00. The Farmer’s Market will also be held on Friday and the Garden Club will join the market with their plant sale on the town common. There will plenty of parking available at municipal lots and at Dean College Campus Center.

Visitors this year can ride the “Strawberry Express Bus” provided by GATRA. Pick ups will be at the Town Common at High Street and the Dean College Campus Center.

"I am very pleased with this outcome"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 15, 2009 @ 10:29 PM

FRANKLIN —

The teachers union overwhelming approved a proposal to freeze their wages for one year, which will save an estimated 16 teachers' jobs, said School Committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy yesterday.

The Franklin Education Association voted 176-74 yesterday in favor of the proposal, which defers members' negotiated 2.5 percent pay raise through June 30, 2010, Roy said.

Union President Robert McLaughlin could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Read the full article on the teacher's deferment in the Milford Daily News here

I do not believe that the article states the correct number of school positions to be cut for this budget year. By my count, I show the following positions cut since FY 2003:

Franklin (MA) School Position Reductions Total
FY 2003 -28
FY 2004 -21
FY 2005 -1
FY 2006 -4
FY 2007 -1
FY 2008 -29
FY 2009 -44
FY 2010 -45

-172

Monday, June 15, 2009

News Flash - Teachers Accept Wage Deferral with School Committee

The Franklin Education Association (commonly called the "teachers union") did vote today to accept the negotiated agreement to accept the wage deferral for FY 2010. Many hours were spent working on the agreement between the teachers and the School Committee bargaining units.

Many thanks to both organizations for working this out!

Additional details to follow.

FM #41 - This week in Franklin, MA

This internet radio show or podcast for Franklin Matters is number 41 in the series. You give me about ten minutes and I'll let you know what matters in Franklin, MA.

Time: 9 minutes, 21 seconds



MP3 File

Session Notes:

Music intro My intro FM #41

This internet radio show or podcast for Franklin Matters is number 41 in the series.

You give me about ten minutes and I'll let you know what matters in Franklin, MA.

We'll start with what happened this past week
  1. The FY 2010 budget passed, barely
  2. Relay for Life opened on Friday evening and closed Saturday noon
  3. Congressman Jim McGovern appeared at the Library on Saturday
  4. MetroWest Adolescent Health survey resulted were released
*** On the Budget, only 6 councilors voted on budget mustering just enough for the 2/3 majority vote required. McGann was missing both nights, Joined by Vallee on the 10th, by Whalen and Zollo on the 11th,

Ho-hum, ten positions on the Town side went out the door and approx. 40 on the School side. No cries for appeal, no crowds appeared at any hearing.

The final number won't be known until the teachers determine if they accept the wage deferment or not. The teachers are scheduled to vote June 15th

Nothing new here in Franklin. Budget cuts and services cuts are expected now. Over 130 folks, 120 school personnel, 10 town, lost positions in the last three years. Ho-hum. I get the distinct feeling that there doesn't seem to be much of anything that will create enough attention for folks to do something about this. Ho-hum.

*** The Relay for Life opened on Friday night as the skies cleared and a rainbow appeared. Over $73,000 was reported to have been raised by this effort for the American Cancer Society. It was an impressive evening as the Survivor Walk took place in the hazy darkness on the lumineria light high school track.

*** Congressman Jim McGovern held local office hours at several locations through out his district on Saturday. He arrived late at the Franklin Public Library, coming from Medway and was going to be late leaving Franklin heading for Wrentham.

About 20 people had signed up on the listing to talk with the Congressman here in Franklin. In my few minutes with him, I offered my services to help spread the word on his efforts for any matters that would be of interest to Franklin. I also took time to discuss the status of No Child Left Behind and other unfunded Federal mandates. I was pressing for funding, or for removal of the mandates if they are not going to be funded.

I joined with Ted McIntyre and Steve Deredarian to represent the Franklin Area Climate Team. Ted invited the Congressman to the 350 event being planned for Franklin on October 24th.http://www.350.org/oct24

Ted also asked the Congressman about the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. Additional info on the visit can be found on Franklin Matters

*** MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey released, copies available for download via links posted on Sunday and also included in the notes accompanying this podcast.

While the numbers are down for alcohol, they are up for marijuana. Given the recent tragedies involving local youth and drinking, clearly much work remains.

For my two cents; how much have parents/guardians changed their own behavior? They are the ones who are setting the example for the children to grow up with.

One quote I like makes this point:
"Our example to our children, to our families, and to the world around us is
constant. The question is not whether or not anyone is watching, the question is
what are they learning as they watch." Kirk Weisler
And the outlook for the week ahead:
  1. destruction of the Four Corners building continues as Walgreens prepares to put their building in place
  2. Third Thursday, June 18th
  3. Strawberry Festival, June 19th
  4. Farmers Market starts operating on Friday's from 1:00 to 6:00 PM on the Town Common

Franklin, MA-The Franklin Downtown Partnership announces the special activities planned for the next “Third Thursday”. Join downtown businesses for a “Girls Night Out” and discover how easy it is to get in touch with your creative side in this round robin of fun, relaxing activities for busy adults. Grab a friend and head to Franklin’s downtown for this special event.

  • Artbeat Your Creativity Store, at Summer Street-Visitors are invited to take a beaded candle votive in only 15 minutes! Kids can get free milk and cookies from 4:30 – 6:00 pm.
  • Jane’s Frames, on East Central Street-Bring a 4”x6” photo to frame in only 15 minutes!
  • Sarapaan, on East Central Street-Design your own earrings in only 15 minutes!
  • Salon Sorella, at Summer Street-Have a quick massage in only 15 minutes!
  • Pretty is Pink, at Summer Street-Relax with bubbly and treats!
Additional information on these events can be found on Franklin Matters.


*** As matter of interest, you should be aware that I have recently joined the United Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Franklin Downtown Partnership. By joining these two groups, I hope to learn more about the businesses of Franklin. Franklin clearly needs to increase the number and scale of businesses operating here if we have any hope of derailing the current pattern of budget cuts and layoffs.

I already have a series of postings on business operating in Franklin. I hope to expand on this series with membership in this two groups.

Why? I do believe Franklin matters. I believe the heart beat of Franklin is provided by the businesses amongst us.

---- ---- ----
This podcast has been a public service provided to my fellow citizens of Franklin, MA

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.blogspot.com/

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The musical intro and closing is from the Podsafe Music Network
Jon Schmidt - Powerful Exhilarating Piano Music

Attention Veterans and Families

Webcast Discussion for Veterans and Families

Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2009, 7:00-8:30 PM

Location: http://vbxevents.powerstream.net/003/02408/weoweyou

The Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services invites you to join us for an important online discussion about the programs and services available to Massachusetts veterans and their families.

Hosted by Mike Nikitas of New England Cable News (NECN). Veterans’ services experts will explain the benefits available and will take questions LIVE via instant messaging throughout the program.

Military veterans, especially those who have recently returned to the Commonwealth, family members and friends of veterans, are encouraged to participate in this important live discussion.

For more information and to register, http://www.weoweu.org/.

Events in the schools this week

Parmenter - Gr. 5 Celebration 6/15/09 9:00 AM

Jefferson - 5th Grade Celebration 6/16/09 6-8 PM

Davis Thayer - 5th Grade Musical Production (Gym) 6/17/09 10:30 AM

ASMS - 7th Gr. Evening of Excellence 6/17/09 5:00 PM

Oak - 5th Gr. Walk to the Town Common 6/18/09 8:45 AM

JFK - 5th Gr. Proud To Be An American Performance 6/18/09 9:00 AM

ASMS - 8th Gr. Step Up Ceremony 6/18/09 6:30 PM

Oak - 5th Gr. Walk to the Town Common - Rain Date 6/19/09 8:45 AM

Davis Thayer - 5th Gr. Moving Up Program (Gym) 6/19/09 9:00 AM

Oak - 5th Gr. Breakfast & Celebration 6/19/09 9:15 AM

Keller - 5th Gr. Promotion Ceremony (Café) 6/19/09 8:45-10 AM

ASMS - 6th & 7th Gr. Field Day (ASMS Fields) 6/19/09 All Day

ASMS - 8th Gr. Field Day (Hopkinton YMCA) 6/19/09 All Day

Check each school website for additional details on each event

"It's not set in stone yet"

Milford Daily News
Posted Jun 15, 2009 @ 01:08 AM

FRANKLIN —

There's a decent chance parents will not have to pay the sizable increases in fees for busing, athletics and extracurricular activities that was under consideration to help offset the budget deficit, said Superintendent Wayne Ogden.

The School Committee still must vote whether to bump up athletic fees to $200 per sport (now $150), extracurricular fees to $50 per activity (now $25), and $350 for busing (now $325).

Administrators calculated the cost for a family with three children, who each participated in one sport per season ($1,800 total), one extracurricular activity each, for the year ($150), and each taking the bus ($1,050), to total $3,000 annually, or 60 percent of the average Franklin tax bill.

"We deliberated a great deal about the need to increase fees to cover our rising costs at a time when the budget was being level-funded, versus the financial stress on families during our economic crisis," Ogden said.

"Plus, there was a very real possibility that increased fees might result in reduced participation in these programs," said Ogden.

Read the full article on activity fees in the Milford Daily News here

With the final budget still unsettled, if the fees are not raised, how will the budget end up balanced?

You can either increase revenue (increase fees in this case) or cut expenses (additional programs or personnel) to balance a budget. Stay in touch to find out what schools could look like when September 2009 rolls around.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Franklin woes

“We’re cutting down to bare bones,” ... “We are cutting some services. We are taking no increase in pay on the town side. On the school side, teachers are giving up some pay days. We still don’t have a state budget. We are using estimated figures. If we’re wrong, we’re looking at additional cuts. People are unhappy.”
Gee, this sounds familiar! We are not the only Franklin with budget troubles. Franklin, CT has similar woes. Read the full article in the Norwich Bulletin here

For the listing of other Franklin's across the US, check out this listing

"students who reported recently smoking marijuana rose"

GHS
Posted Jun 13, 2009 @ 10:46 PM

Amid the backdrop of the deaths this week of two teens linked to drinking, a report released today by a regional health foundation shows a drop in alcohol use among area high school students.

The biennial report, the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, uses responses from questionaires sent to middle and high schools in MetroWest and Greater Milford by the MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation. Introduced in 2006, the report now includes data from 2008, allowing the first look at possible trends.

Between the two surveys, the proportion of high school students who reported drinking within a month of the questionnaire dropped from 42 percent to 39 percent.

Those using alcohol at some point in their lives, meanwhile, fell from 67 percent to 63 percent. And those recently consuming five or more drinks in a row binge drinking fell from 25 percent to 23 percent.

Click through to the Milford Daily News web site to down load the full report.

While the numbers are down for alcohol, they are up for marijuana. Given the recent tragedies involving local youth and drinking, clearly much work remains.

For my two cents; how much have parents/guardians changed their own behavior? They are the ones who are setting the example for the children to grow up with.

One quote I like makes this point:

"Our example to our children, to our families, and to the world around us is constant. The question is not whether or not anyone is watching, the question is what are they learning as they watch." Kirk Weisler

You can sign up for Kirk Weisler's Thought for the Day (T4D) here.

Items of interest; ethics reform, farmer's markets, union givebacks

GHS
Posted Jun 13, 2009 @ 11:11 PM

BOSTON —

Speaker Robert A. DeLeo has appointed his chief advocate, Majority Leader Rep. James E. Vallee, D- Franklin, Majority as the principal House member of the legislative conference committee on ethics reform.

DeLeo credited Vallee with being the drafter of the stringent, far-reaching ethics and lobbying reform bill recently passed by the House and strongly applauded by government reform advocates.

The conference committee, consisting of three House members and three Senate members, is charged with resolving the differences between each chamber's versions of ethics reform legislation.

"I am honored to be part of crafting such an important piece of legislation," said Vallee. "Only when the citizens of Massachusetts see their legislators making bold moves to change the public perception will we prove that we are acting with nothing but the public interest at heart. I look forward to working with my House and Senate colleagues to negotiate a bill that will represent the strongest, most comprehensive, and meaningful overhaul of the way our government does business."

Read the full article about Rep Vallee and the ethics reform efforts in the Milford Daily News here

------------

GHS
Posted Jun 13, 2009 @ 11:01 PM

Farmers already depend on the unpredictability of weather and nature each year so it was with some trepidation given the faltering economy that organizers of local farmers markets opened for business last week.

For now, farmers and organizers are optimistic for their harvest sales.

Framingham farmer Tom Hanson said the poor economy in an indirect fashion is fueling farmers markets. He believes people are slowing down, eating at home, and taking the time to come out to the market, while before they were too busy.

Jeff Cole, executive director of the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets, said the downturn in the economy and a declining restaurant industry "leads us to conclude that folks are taking limited resources and making different choices on how they are going to spend, which seems to be in the direction of the markets."

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here. Note: there is no reference to Franklin in this article.

Did you know Franklin has a farmer's market? On the Town Common, Friday afternoons. You can visit the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets website to sign up and receive an email alert to remind you of the market.

----------

Unions mixed on givebacks

Officials lobbying for budget relief

By Connie Paige Globe Correspondent / June 14, 2009
Several area communities and school districts have asked employees to break existing contracts and accept wage freezes, salary-increase deferrals, or other givebacks in the coming fiscal year to help prop up wobbly municipal finances.

With the stakes high for both communities and public employees, municipal and school unions have generally turned down the requests, with reactions ranging from respectful mutual understanding on both sides to acrimony and suspicion.

In Franklin, the School Committee's chairman, fearing that the teachers union had not adequately briefed its members about the town's financial plight, used the online site YouTube to make a direct appeal to teachers. In a virtual Internet duel, the union used its own website to respond.

Whatever the relationship between employers and employees, there is a shared understanding of the need to save cash, as municipal revenues and local aid from the state go into freefall, according to local officials.

Read the full article in the Boston Globe here

The Franklin teachers are scheduled to vote on their latest negotiated agreement with the School Committee on Monday, June 15th.