Saturday, August 22, 2009

Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee - brochure

The Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee has published a nice tri-fold brochure outlining their objectives and how you can help.

Here is the cover view:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Here is the inside view:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

where did the signs go?

Washington and Pleasant Streets are so heavily traveled some one must have seen somebody taking the construction signs. If you saw something, please contact the Franklin Police.

Sign thefts pose danger to drivers

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Yard sale - help fight cancer

A yard sale will be held on Saturday (8/22/09) from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM at 19 Crystal Pond Lane, Franklin.

Read more about this effort here

Uniting to Find a Cure

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Farmers Market Week

I hope you made a visit to the Framers Market on the Town Common this week. News from Governor Patrick's office is that he has declared this week "Farmers Market Week":
Farmers’ Market Week: Governor Deval Patrick has proclaimed the week of August 16 -22 Farmers’ Market Week, saying that these markets are “essential to the vitality of Massachusetts farms.” Farmers markets have continued to grow around the Commonwealth nearly doubling in size over the last decade. Events will be taking place all over the state during this week. Read more in the Eagle Tribune, Arlington Advocate and the Hingham Journal.

From the Governors web page here

Third Thursday - 8/20/09

It was a hot day here in Franklin. The thunderstorm that blew through quickly during the afternoon did not do much to cool off the area. As the sun set, the evening's activities were beginning for Third Thursday.

Maybe you couldn't make it downtown as you had some yard work to catch up on. Eileen Mason watered and weeded the plants in the island and along the railroad bridge covering for some one who had volunteered but had not yet come out this week to do so.

Meanwhile, on the "breezeway" next to Cafe Dolce, the brothers mccann were playing to a growing crowd of admirers.

Pat McCann worked the keyboards and waited for brother Mike's cue

Mike McCann appreciated Pat waiting for him. Together they had the crowd full of smiles and applause.

Cafe Dolce
was pleased with the size of the crowd. Other businesses have seen an increase in traffic due to the Third Thursday events.

In September, mark the date (Sep 17th) and come on downtown to the happenings in Franklin.

Third Thursday is a production of the Franklin Downtown Partnership Merchants Committee.

Farmer's Market open today

The Farmer's Market is open for normal hours from noon to 6:00 PM today.

Populatic Street - Road Closure


Populatic Street from Walker Road in Medway to Brandywine Road in Franklin will be closed to through traffic from August 31, 2009 to September 18, 2009 for reconstruction of a portion of the street.

Populatic street will be open to local traffic from Walker Road in Medway to house #10 Populatic Street in Franklin and from Brandywine Road in Franklin to house # 50 Populatic Street in Franklin.

Emergency vehicles, school buses and trash haulers will not be able to safely pass through the section of road between houses #10 and #50 Populatic Street in Franklin and should seek alternate routes.

This notice was originally posted on the Town website here

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Missing cat - Lockewood neighborhood

Bourbon is missing from its Lockewood Drive home.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

If found please contact Donna (phone number in document)

Third Thursday - TONIGHT!

Third Thursday in Downtown Franklin
Tonight, August 20th-5:00-8:00
Performance by Brothers McCann on the
East Central Street Patio
Stop by participating stores and restaurants for free gifts,
food and special promotions!
Sponsored by The Franklin Downtown Partnership Merchants' Committee

Town Council Mtg Smry 08/19/09

The collection of live reporting posts from the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, August 19th can be found here:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Citizen Rail Trail Committee meeting

David L. Labonte opens meeting, approx 15 people present

Bill Desantis, Chief Design Engineer for the Blackstone River Bikeway in RI

presentation with photos of existing conditions along the trail

example of multi use trail in Mansfield, MA

Wachusett Greenway in Stirling, MA good example of an unpaved trail

how is the funding to be obtained?
four options, probably use some or all of them: Federal, State, Local, public/private partnerships (donations, fund raising, "buy a foot of the trial", etc.)

It takes a lot of patience and hard work. Bill has been working on the Blackstone River Bikeway since 1993 and has 12 miles completed.

Steel plate girders were welded together, is there lead paint still on the girders? Is work required on the concrete supports?

When you get going:
  • get the emergency response together on how it will be supported. Be prepared to answer the security questions.
  • Get DPW involved on estimates for maintenance, cut grass, etc.
  • Liability for children on the trail, age of reason is 12 or under in MA
  • Prepare for property owner issues
Trail Link has a listing of web sites to find info on existing trails

Motion to approve minutes of past meeting

III - Report from Ron Clough
  • DCR to install gates on Lake and Spring Streets
  • then smooth out the bumps
  • no date set with Callahan, Bellingham folks requested meeting
Need better representation at Conservation Commission meeting from committee members

IV - Report on Membership
  • Dave Denison and Mark McKeown to meet with Dave LaBonte and Allan Sawyer on the membership details
Presentation proposal for Rotary on a future Thursday in Sep (target for Sep 17)

V - Report on Cost Estimating
hard to prepare cost estimate with out a design to work with
use $500,000 per mile as a working estimate for

will use Grant Trunk trail # for application, need DUNS number
have official IRS letter for submittal

Grading from Grove to Spring, Spring to Prospect, but a wall exists at Prospect, how to navigate beyond Prospect is an issue requiring a resolution.

We are a division of the Grand Trunk Trailblazers, they are the 501c3 corporation

VI - Report from Finance Committee
invoice to be submitted to Bay State Trail Riders

VII - Report of Fund Raising
Possible fund raiser road race after the Crackerbarrel Race is complete in Sep

VIII - Publicity

Response from 'abutters', one response from mailing of 53, they said they were coming to the meeting but haven't showed up tonight

Brochures available for distribution to local stores
use for distribution to bike shops and sporting goods stores

discussion on grade cross via tunnel or a ramp, the ramp would have to meet disability access requirements

Public Land Use Committee - meeting at 6:30 PM in Rm 205 to present an outline of the committee plans for the rail trail/multi-use trail and look at funding recommendations from their point of view

Report of Blackstone meeting - 30 people at the meeting, 4 people from Blackstone

There will be a Bike rodeo for Cub Scouts next year. This would be a good place for advertising the Citizens Rail Trail work.

Next meeting Sep 10, 7:30 PM, likely at Odd Fellows Lodge.

Live reporting - Action items

1. Resolution 09-56: Confirmatory Order of Taking-Land off Mechanic Street
Motion to approve - passed 7-0

Maxine Kinhart reporting on behalf of Jeff NUtting
Senior Center opened for those citizens who would need the cooler conditions
Connect CTY was used to notify the town. One came Mon, two came Tue.

Third Thursday - 8/20/09 - Anticipation is the theme, music at Cafe Dolce, multiple business participating



Scott - (1) had pleasure of being a judge of the chocolate chip cookie bake-off, while he enjoyed the challenge, he won't be eating a chocolate chip cookie for awhile.

(2) signature to get name on the ballot is not an endorsement

Tom Doak is not running again this year. Three terms is enough.

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

P. ADJOURN - motion to adjourn approved 7-0

live reporting - Housing Partnership



Franklin Housing Partnership
discussion on dissolution of group due to changes in law, it is no longer as required, other functions have taken; to bring a resolution to next meeting for decision


Live reporting - Town Council

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

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – August 5, 2009 Motion to Approve, passed 7-0




Municipal Affordable Housing Trust
Appointment of Robert Gagnon
Motion to Approve, passed 7-0

Historical Commission
Appointment of Joanne Brunner
Motion to Approve, passed 7-0

Harvest Festival - Sep 20th

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is preparing for their September Downtown Harvest Festival and is inviting crafters, restaurants, vendors and community groups to register for this year’s event.

This festival is the Partnership’s largest event and brings over 2,500 people to downtown Franklin each year. The festival will be Sunday, September 20th. The rain date is Sunday, September 27th. The event will be downtown starting on Main Street and will include East Central Street and Summer Street. There will be a variety of free entertainment and fun games and food. This year the Partnership is inviting restaurants to participate and showcase their menu items to area residents. Last year the festival had close to 100 vendors and crafters participate and they expect even more this year.

Space is limited, so anyone interested in participating should e-mail Mary Graff for more details and a registration form at or call (508)733-5504.

The booth fee is $50.00 if registration is received by August 20th. The fee increases to $75.00 after that. Registration is free for Partnership business members.

Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation is this year’s Gold Sponsor and Middlesex Savings Bank is the Bronze Sponsor. Sponsorships are still needed for the festival. As a non-profit organization the Downtown Partnership depends on sponsors in order to fund the downtown festivals and events.

The Partnership has formed a merchants committee which will be hosting a “Third Thursday” event downtown each month. The events will be held every third Thursday and will include special events, sales, refreshments, and free entertainment at local downtown businesses. For more details contact Jane Curran at This year the downtown will also host a Holiday Stroll on December 3rd.

Any business, organization or resident interested in becoming a sponsor or who would like to become a member of the Partnership should call the Executive Director, Lisa Piana, at or (774)571-3109 or visit the downtown office location at 9 East Central Street .

The Partnership’s mission is to stimulate economic development in the downtown in order to create a positive impact throughout the area. Some of the past Franklin downtown projects include the new bronze sculpture in front of the museum, the downtown signs, and working with town officials on new construction, green space and streetscape projects. New members are always welcome!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wachusett St open

The constructions signs are down.
The trenches paved for now.

Franklin: Wachusett St open the signs are down the trenches paved for now., originally uploaded by shersteve.

The street is back in business until next year when it will get rebuilt.

In the News - hold-up, Chilson Beach, flu season

Stick-up attempt made at St. Rocco's fair

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Franklin town beach closes for summer

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Franklin officials plan for flu season

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Anticipation - Third Thursday - 8/20/09

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway, yay
And I wonder if I'm really with you now
Or just chasin' after some finer day

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin' me late
Is keepin' me waitin'
No, Carly Simon is not appearing this Thursday. The Brothers McCann are!

The Brothers McCann will play in the plaza next to Cafe Dolce.

Other downtown Franklin will be open and participating:
Come on down to Franklin's downtown Thursday night!

Concerts on the Common - Ayla Brown

Ayla Brown will be appearing Wednesday, August 19 for Concerts on the Common from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

Monday, August 17, 2009

School Choice update

The Milford Daily News discloses that Franklin will not participate in School Choice this year.

Franklin won't participate in School Choice program

Town Council - Agenda - 08/19/09

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – August 5, 2009




Municipal Affordable Housing Trust
Historical Commission



Franklin Housing Partnership


1. Resolution 09-56: Confirmatory Order of Taking-Land off Mechanic Street





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


Letter from Ed Cafasso

Hello everyone,

I hope you are having an enjoyable summer and are staying cool during August’s dog days. With the start of the 2009-10 school year just two weeks away, I am writing to offer an update on several key issues, including the FY10 school budget and the exciting innovations occurring at Franklin High School.

FY10 School Budget: As many of you know, this year’s budget deliberations were among the most difficult in recent memory. The net result was the loss of a dozen positions – mostly coming from the ranks of our school librarians and physical education/health instructors. Compared to where the budget debate began six months ago, when our budget gap was $3.5 million and as many as 60 teaching positions were at risk, this outcome is incredibly positive. But it still represents another year in which our collective educational offering is shrinking.

We were able to stave off massive classroom cuts by reducing expenditures by more than $2.3 million, including wage freezes from all union and non-union staff, and by securing additional revenue of roughly $1.1 million, including a substantial amount of state and federal stimulus money.

Thankfully, class sizes should remain stable in the coming school year. Full-day kindergarten also was spared, but it will be at risk for 2010-11 school year. The late bus was not so lucky and will not be offered this year, which will have detrimental impact on the ability of many students to participate in after-school activities.

You can learn more details about how the FY10 school budget was balanced by visiting the School Committee blog at:

One note of caution: Because this year’s budget was balanced through the extensive use of millions of dollars in one-time funds and temporary savings, it is virtually guaranteed that a Proposition 2½ override will be required to offset the significant budget shortfall expected for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2010. The size of the proposed override will not be clear until early next year.

Franklin High School: I will send out an email in a few weeks regarding very positive developments regarding potential state funding for significant proposed renovations to the FHS building. In the meantime, however, FHS Principal Peter Light and his leadership team have wasted no time in thinking outside the box to execute a number of stunning improvements to the school’s educational atmosphere.

Among the key changes on tap when classes begin on September 1 are:
  • Reduced class sizes in English, Math, Science and Social Studies
  • Increased instructional time
  • More rigorous graduation requirements
  • A new GPA methodology that will make our graduates more competitive as they seek college admission
  • Expanded use of and access to technology
  • Longer lunch periods, and
  • Online access to student grades for parents

Principal Light describes these improvements and many others in great detail in a letter to parents that is available online at and for download at

I encourage all Franklin parents, even those whose child is not yet in FHS, to read Peter’s impressive report.

Other News of Note: Parents now have three ways to pre-pay for their child’s school lunches. You can learn more about this program at your child’s school or online at

This year is a town election year. Positions are open on the Town Council, School Committee and several other important boards.

The town’s election calendar can be accessed at (Word doc).

Now more than ever, your community needs the help of volunteers who are willing to dedicate some of their free time to public service. Our quality of life depends on having thoughtful elected officials who are willing to work together to navigate through the very challenging times our community faces. I hope many of you will consider running for office to serve your friends, neighbors and fellow citizens.

I intend to run again for my seat on the School Committee, and may ask for your signature on my nomination papers.

These e-mails are provided as a constituent service. I try to distribute at least one e-mail update each month during the school year, as issues warrant. As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. If you are receiving duplicate e-mails or if you no longer wish to receive these e-mails, please let me know and I will remove you from the distribution list. If you know of someone you would like to add to the list, please send along their e-mail address.
Thank you!

Ed Cafasso, Member
Franklin School Committee

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee

On these hot August days, one way to still enjoy the outdoors and stay out of the sun is along a tree-shaded trail in the woods. The photo below shows a section of the Blackstone River Bikeway along the Cumberland/Lincoln line in RI. You can help bring a rail trail for bicycles or walking to Franklin. The Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee has a meeting scheduled for this Wednesday at 7:30 PM.

Agenda For August 19, 2009

I. Call to Order / Introductions of New Attendees
A. Volunteer to write minutes of the meeting
B. Motion to accept meeting minutes of 7/8/09

II. Possible Guest Speaker for this evening
A. Bill Desantis, Chief Design Engr. of Blackstone River Bikeway

III. Report from DCR (Ron Clough)
A. Gates at Spring St
B. Franklin Conservation Committee presentation
C. Proposed meeting with DCR Commissioner

IV. Report on Membership Committee (Dave Denison and Mark McKeown)
A. What will we be offering members to join for yearly fee
B. Contact web designer w/ outline of proposed program

V. Report from Design Committee (Jon Hollman & Ray Willis)
A. Cost estimate for grant writing Sub-Committee

VI. Report from Finance Committee (Steve Rossetti)
A. Report from Treasurer
B. Contributions to date and offer from Rotary Club

VII. Report from Grant Writing Sub-Committee: (Chris and Frank)
A. Question on Committee Officers

VIII. Report of Fund Raising Committee (Allan Sawyer)
A. Start planning for road race and other events

IX. Publicity (Dave Labonte)
A. Update on “Donation” correction to brochure
B. Distribution of brochure
C. Response to “abutters” letter
D. Response to PLUC letter
E. Report on the Blackstone meeting
F. Contact with Lynn Scornavacca

X. Unfinished Business:

XI. Set Date for Next Meeting and Adjourn

Where is the meeting?
Our next meeting will be on August 19th at the Old Town Hall in the Triangle in Franklin. Time will be 7:30 PM, first floor, entrance on Emmons St. across the street from the Dean College Community Center. If you're from this area, you should know where this is, if not - drive to the center of Franklin on Rte 140 and find the old municipal building in the Triangle.