Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fall Family Day - moved to Sunday, Oct 11

The New England Center for the Performing Arts 2nd Annual Fall Family Festival will be held on Sunday, Oct. 11, 12-4 p.m., at 1350 West Central St., Rte. 140, Franklin, the site of their future new school and presentation facility.
The New England Center for the Performing Arts posted the change to the schedule on their events calendar.

Updated 11/4/09, due to the weather postponed again until next Sunday, the 11th

The original notice was found in my Wicked Local Franklin RSS feed.

Wrentham has a blog

As a 'placeblogger', one who blogs about the place they live, I am always on the look out for others doing this. Patricia Coleman has just started her blog, "Wrentham Times".

I plan on reaching out to meet with her to compare notes but in the meantime, I have added her to the "Franklin Area Blogs" section. This section appears along the right column. Scroll down some to find it. It will show the most recent posting for each of the area blogs listed.

When you visit here, feel free to scroll down the page to see what else is happening amongst the Franklin area blogs.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Senior Center - October Schedule

There are plenty of scheduled activities at the Senior Center for the month of October. With an election coming on Nov 3rd, the candidate forum on October 28th will provide an overview of the candidates.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to the web site to review the schedule.

Farmers Market - last month of Friday's

The Farmers Market will be open today from noon to 6:00 PM on the Town Common.

This is your weekly opportunity to help the local economy and to get quality food items. Time is running out. This is the last month the market will be open on Friday's this year.

In the News - sports equipment, Run for Bob, Dean President

There will be plenty to do on Saturday!

Franklin teen wants your sports equipment

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS 

The collection will be held in the Ben Franklin Classical Charter School parking lot at 201 Main St. in Franklin tomorrow (Saturday, Oct 3)  from 8 a.m. to noon. 

Having fun for a good cause

Registration for the run and walk will begin at 9 a.m. at Putnam Investments at 400 Washington St., Franklin. The first 300 participants will get a T-shirt. The run is scheduled to start at 10 a.m., and the walk at 10:15 a.m. Awards will be given to the top finishers in each age group.


Dean president to celebrate 15th year tomorrow

Tomorrow’s celebration will take place in the Dean’s Campus Center Atrium at 3 p.m.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Town Council Candidate - Judith Pond Pfeffer

Judy Pfeffer and I sat down recently as part of the series on candidates for election on November 3, 2009. We discussed the four questions I am asking of all the candidates. Judy's answers follow each question.

1 - What is Franklin's big issue? What steps should we take to resolve it?

The big issue is money, always has been and will continue to be.. We don't have enough, we've never had enough, and I don't see any way we're going to increase to raise more funds.  We have some parcels of land that I know we're looking at cleaning up the titles where they might be salable. With the economy the way it is, I don't know how much we can get, if there is any market for them. We would be shooting ourselves in the foot, if we sell off land to have houses built. Any monies realized from sale of town property would not go into the operating budget – could be utilized to pay off some of our debt and reduce our debt burden.  With the average property tax, we are already at a deficit in covering the cost of one child going to the schools. The high school renovation is something that we as a town need to address. If the State allocates funding for us the state will only address 31% of the total cost. The balance of cost is to be paid by the town; this will be a debt in the tens of millions of dollars. That will be a debt exclusion question in which the citizens of Franklin will make the final decision.  So the issue is money!

2 - What is your position on the proposed Charter revisions?

I have been in favor of the Council being on staggered terms but after the presentation given by Paul Cheli, Larry Benedetto, and Michael Walker Jones ( the initial charter review committee appointed by the Council Chair Chris Feeley). I am reconsidering. My concern had been that if all nine were replaced, things would fall apart. Their presentation showed that the Administration would hold things together and that makes sense. I think the citizens like the fact that they can vote everyone out, even though they don't all come out and vote, they like knowing that if they wanted to, they could get rid of everybody. So I have no problem with the Council staying the way it is. I do think all the housekeeping matters need to be taken care of (that Jeff (Nutting) wanted done) to will make things smoother and easier I firmly believe that the Treasurer should be appointed – we are a 100 million dollar business and the treasurer should not be elected by a popularity contest and the most popular person running for the position.

The Town Clerk, I think that should be elected. It is a position that gets involved with all aspects of the people in the town, and is the “face” of the Town of Franklin.. It is not like you need to have a special accounting background, it is something somebody who lives in town should have. I don't think it should be a political position. If you have it appointed, then it is at the whim of every two years, or every four years. .

3 - What use do you envision for the Open Space Fund?

The Open Space Fund, I think we have close to eight million dollars available. We haven't put any money in it the past couple of years. We have used it for the museum and for the library. The money that goes into it comes from the hotel and meal tax. This year we increased that tax amount. I think we should continue to build up the fund. I think we should continue to use it, if we need it, for other capital projects. At some point in time, there is some farm property that may be offered to the Town first because of farm tax abatements which are in effect. These farm properties would be a wonderful place for the Town to purchase.

4 - What is your position on the Financial Planning Committee report? 

The Financial Planning Committee has not come out with their final report yet. We have had different committee do something like this before. The difficulty with it is, you have a group of citizens who often have pre-set ideas on what the Town should do to move forward.  My problem with the draft that I saw is that it seemed to be 99% focused on how not having sufficient funds would effect the schools. A financial plan needs to address all aspects of the town.

There is a Senior Outreach Committee that I am on. What we are trying to do is to keep the seniors in their homes. There are State programs in place that many seniors could utilize and it is not happening. So far we have increased by 20 people in one of the programs so they can get a reduction in their taxes. Many of these seniors have been here their whole life. If the high school renovations go through, even as a debt exclusion, that still increases taxes. Some seniors are making decisions based upon food or medicine. That shouldn't be at this point in time. We are trying to find any way possible so that it would make it easier for them.

I am also on the Housing Trust Committee. We currently have over a million dollars. We are trying to provide down payment assistance to first time home buyers, who are buying within the Town. These houses would always remain affordable by utilization of a deed rider.  We hope to provide at least six down payment assistant payments. That would enable us to buy houses and turn them into homes for families.We need something for the first time home buyers. There are a number of houses now in downtown Franklin that would be good for this. We have forwarded our proposal to the state as we would like to  move quickly to get this approved. .


Address:  79 Cottage Street
Age: 65

Education: Franklin High School
                 Framingham State College – B.S. in Education
                 Suffolk Law School – J. D.

Years in Franklin:  63

Positions Held:
Charter Member, Friends of Franklin Elders
Clerk, Franklin Housing Partnership, 1990 to 2009
Member, Franklin Housing Trust
Member, Town Capital Budget Committee (4 years)
Chair, Senior Outreach Committee
Former long term member, Finance Committee
Current Clerk, Town Council

Reasons for wanting to serve on the Town Council

Judy comes from a long line of family members who served the Town; her Uncle Leonard Remington was a long term member of Franklin School Committee (Remington school named after him), her Uncle Connor Pond was a long term fire chief; Mother Maybelle Pond was a long term teacher at Parmenter School; Uncle Walter Crowley was a long time Town physician; Uncle Tom Pond was a former town selectman. She believes that one should give back to their community, and work within that community to make it better for the citizens.

Digital Storytelling

The folks at Common Craft have inspired some students to create an explanation of digital story telling that is done well.

This was originally posted on the Free Technology for Teachers blog here

More on digital story telling can be found here (including a step by step process)

World-Record Kite Event

World-Record Kite Event: "'The New England Children’s Foundation (NE Children’s Foundation), bringing the technology community together to raise funds for grassroots charities benefiting the children of New England, today announced an officially-sanctioned attempt at breaking the Guinness world record for most kites flown simultaneously. The goal of the fundraising event is to simultaneously fly 1,000 kites, to break the current Guinness World Record of 967, established in Germany during August 2008.The family-friendly event will be held on October 11, 2009 and hosted by Patriot Place.'

golf tourney as scholarship fundraiser

For more information, please check the Wicked Local link:

Jenna Pasquino Memorial Foundation plans golf tourney scholarship fundraiser: "

The Jenna Pasquino Memorial Foundation will hold its first annual golf tournament on Saturday, Oct. 17 at the Blissful Meadows Golf Club, Chockalog Road, Uxbridge.


In the Globe - FHS Football

How big was the FHS football team victory over Mansfield last week? BIG! First time in ten years and the Globe runs a story on the team:

In the News - hotel tax

The first non-property tax to create additional revenue for Franklin goes into effect today. Read more about this in the Milford Daily News:

Optional meals, hotel tax hikes go into effect in Franklin

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gallery 218 - new art show reveals talents!

By now, you know that I am a practicing photographer. I take lots of pictures, some of which you see here. I get nervous about taking pictures of artist's work. I am now imposing my view, my frame of reference upon the work. It may create something other than what the artist intended.

Gallery 218 opened a new show featuring the creations of personnel throughout the District who are non-art teachers. I counted at least 28 artists with one or more pieces in this show!

This opens a new world. A math teacher does quilts. A computer technician does sculpture. The Director of Instructional Services does a head in plaster. The list goes on. Wonderful works. Here is a sample of what you can see:

I hope you are teased enough by this to visit Gallery 218 at Franklin High School.

Note: For those email subscribers, you may need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the photo slideshow.

Proposal to restructure around literacy

Though adolescent literacy instruction is prime for more research and development, A Time to Act underscores the importance of teaching reading within the nuanced context of each subject area, and beyond the current concentration on decoding skills in grades K-3.
Read the full posting about the new report just released by the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy here

The new report advocates restructuring schools K-12 around literacy.

You can also obtain the full report here.

Recall that the elementary school of Franklin have literacy as their number one goal across the School Improvement Plans just presented to the School Committee

In the News - Vietnam casualties, education

New signs in planning to recognize Franklin's Vietnam War casualties

A sign of respect

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gallery 218 - NonArt Teacher Show - opens today

Gallery 218 (in Franklin High School) is opening a new show of art by non-art teachers within the Franklin Public Schools on Tuesday, Sep 29th with a reception from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Come to view the new show in the Gallery!

Services available at Tri-County

The Auto Tech Program provides oil changes, tire repair, rotation, and mounting, front end and brake realignment, and much more. Additionally, the Carpentry, Facilities Management, and HVAC&R Career Programs offer a variety of services upon request.
Two benefits from this, you should be able to get a service for a reasonable price, and the students get to learn from real work.

Tri-County offering vocational services to public

from Wicked Local Franklin News RSS

What is differentiated instruction?

The development of differentiated instruction over the years is outlined in a good article.
Washburne takes the reader through a short history of reform efforts aimed at making education more individualized, beginning with the efforts of charismatic educator Preston Search, of Pueblo, Colo., and proceeding through the work of Frederic Burk, who "started a movement to make textbooks self-instructive and enable children, systematically, to progress according to their own ability." From the Project Method to ability grouping, Washburne's history shows how evolving understanding of learning and development shapes educators' efforts to meet the needs of all students.
Read the full article here. Bold in quote for my emphasis.

In the News - Milford rail trail update

For those in Franklin working on or interested with the progress on area rail trails, this is the latest on the effort in Milford.

Milford bike trail's final stage discussed

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS by Danielle Ameden/Daily News staff

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hold the date! October 17th

Why hold the date?
Are you interested in the new social media technologies? Would you like to learn more about blogging, podcast, Twitter, Facebook, etc? Then the event being held at New England Institute for Technology in Warwick, RI is the one for you.
But I am a beginner?
No problem, this event is geared to the beginners. Yes, if you have some knowledge is this area you can still learn but it is targeted for the "newbies", hence NewBCamp.
How much does it cost?
Only $10. For the price of a movie, or a couple of coffees, you can gain the information you need to keep up with the technology. Don't fall behind. Participate at NewBCamp on October 17th
Tickets go on sale on October 1. The link and additional information will be provided as soon as the registration is open.

Mu Han Tae Kwan Do

Mu Han Tae Kwan Do opened in Franklin early in 2008. They chose Franklin because of the areas' emphasis on education. While there are many martial arts schools, Mu Han provides a distinct difference with its approach.

Mu Han is Korean for "no limits". The approach they make to martial arts training at Mu Han is briefly described with two lines:
  1. "Together, the best of the best"
  2. "Be the best _______"
Martial arts is not just a practice, not just a training, it is a way of education. In this light, the first line "together, the best of the best" is understood. You approach being the best from whatever point you start at. You have the opportunity to work with talented and experienced instructors. From your starting point, you make progress. Together you can achieve more.

Practicing with others is very motivational but you are focusing on your improvement not competing with other students. Along the way you learn discipline, confidence and how to practice. When you achieve your goal, you are in a better position to set new goals. You will see the whole landscape with a more experienced view and will set better goals.

The second line bring with it the personalization of your talent or skills. If you are a mother, or a student, or a bricklayer, you can strive to be the best mother, the best student, the best bricklayer.  Be the best (fill in the blank).

Master Chang Nam Kang worked hard on his way from South Korea to the US. He benefited from fortunate connections. For example, while working at a restaurant in Manhattan, his supervisor referred him to an instructor position with Grandmaster Y H Park's school. Master Kang worked with Grandmaster Park's school for three years.  From Manhattan, Master Kang went to Springfield, MA then to Salem, NH before coming back to MA and gradually opening the three locations now associated with Mu Han Tae Kwan Do (Attleboro, Danvers, and Franklin). The students across the three schools have grown to number about 500. Approximately, 60-70 of them have achieved a black belt level.

Mu Han is located in Franklin at 456 West Central St in the same plaza as Elizabeth's Bagels and across the street from Annie's Market. The offer a flexible schedule of classes for all ages of the family. The schedule can be found here  

Mu Han's web site can be found here:

An article from the Milford Daily News was published in 2008 and features a brief video clip of Master Chang and Master Jin in a few demonstrations.
Master Chang was featured on the cover of Tae Kwan Do Times in 2002:
Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

If you are interested in martial arts training, then the Mu Han Tae Kwan Do School located right here in Franklin would be a good place to consider.

In the News - dog park, honey, Dean College

A town dog park is part of the five-year plan in the 2008 Open Space Recreation Plan created by the Public Land Use Committee as something on the wish list of Franklin residents, Jette said.
The best spot for the park, Jette said, would be at Dacey Field off Lincoln Street, behind the playground and set back into the woods.

Franklin considering dog park idea

from The Milford Daily News News RSS by Angel Roy/Daily News staff


Howard is frequently at the Farmers Market to sell his local honey.

Hive Mind: Franklin farmer has been collecting honey for 45 years


English language company to leave Dean

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Populatic Street Closed





Found on the Town website

Regionalization - one way to save money

Regionalization is one way local communities should explore to save money and still provide the required services. Franklin has started this effort with Medway by sharing the Library Director and Recreation programs. Ayer and Shirley are looking at regionalizing their schools.
Ayer and Shirley officials said it makes sense to join together for several reasons. Not only do the towns border each other and share activities such as youth sports, but the merger would solve school building needs.

Read more about their regionalization efforts in the Boston Globe here

What services do you think would be worthy of discussion for Franklin to regionalize? With which community?

FM #46 - Scott Mason

This is #46 in the series for Franklin Matters. In this segment, we talk with Town Council candidate Scott Mason.

Time: 24 minutes, 44 seconds

Audio file ->

FM #46
This internet radio show or podcast for Franklin Matters is number 46 in the series.

This is the first of what should be a series focusing on the candidates for the election on November 3rd. The Town Council, the School Committee and several other positions are up for election.

Today, we will spend about 20 minutes talking with Scott Mason who will be running for his third term on the Town Council.

Before we get into the conversation with Scott, let me quickly say that if you are a candidate for election this November 3rd, please get in contact with me to arrange for a similar interview. The output can be purely text, or audio (as we are doing with Scott).

The intent of the interview series is to share your information with the Franklin community. This aligns with my overall call to share information to create fully informed voters. We need to know the ins and outs of what we are voting on. Franklin Matters.

Without further ado, let's get right into the conversation with Scott. We had met initially in person and then
recorded this conversation over the phone to make this available for you.
Our conversation covered Scott's answers to the following 4 questions:
  1. What is Franklin's big issue? What steps should we take to resolve it?
  2. What is your position on the Financial Planning Committee report?
  3. What is your position on the proposed Charter revisions?
  4. What use do you envision for the Open Space Fund?

The following was provided by Scott

R. Scott Mason
9 Lee Street
Franklin, MA 02038

Biographical Information
Age: 46

Wife; Patricia, Daughters: Kelly 19, Kathryn 14


Franklin Public Schools, graduated Franklin High School 1981
College: Dean College, class of 1984; Associate of Art in Communications (Graduated with high honors); Suffolk University, class of 1986; Bachelor of Science in Journalism/English, graduated with honors.

Years in Franklin:
Lifelong Franklin resident

First elected to the Town Council in 2005, re-elected in 2007

Positions held:
Chairman; Capital Improvement Sub-Committee, 2005 – present;
member; Town Administrator’s Salary Review Sub-Committee, 2007;
member; Senior Advocacy Sub-Committee, 2007 -- present;
Clerk; School Building Committee, 2008 – present

Social and Professional Organizations:

Reasons for wanting to serve on the Town Council:

As a lifelong Franklin resident, I feel it is essential to offer something back to our community. After two terms as a Town Councilor, I still realize that we as citizens of this town, and we as Town Councilors, have much work to do, if we value the standard of living we have come to enjoy and wish for it to continue. My goal for the new term is to work to perpetuate that standard of living for all our citizens, not just those that can afford it the most.

In order to do that, we must continue to make prudent decisions with operating and capital budgets. We must find new and creative ways to make less money reach further, and we must help those that are most hurt by a poor economic climate, such as our elderly and our young.

We as a Council must work closely with the administration to find and implement cost-saving solutions, such as regionalization. We must work closely with the School Committee to provide a school budget that provides the best educational environment for our children, and we must continually examine the efficiencies of town operations, with the goal to improve services for all.

We must also be aware of the staffing needs of our public safety and D.P.W. We cannot sacrifice our ability to respond to health and safety issues in our community, nor can we allow our infrastructure to deteriorate.

We must continue to examine the feasibility of revenue generating measures such as overrides and debt exclusions, as a last resort to maintaining our quality of life.

Lastly, we as a Council must continue to work closely with our State Representative and Senators to make sure our voice is heard on Beacon Hill.

Major issues to be addressed in the next two years:

Budget Shortfall

Franklin’s annual operating budget of approximately $100,000,000.00 is inadequate to meet the needs of its citizens. In past years, Franklin has passed budgets that have made substantial cuts in personnel and/or services on both the school and town sides. Franklin voters have historically not supported Proposition 2 ½ overrides, although voters passed a successful override in 2007.

As a result of this reluctance, if we as a Council determine that an override is necessary, we must find a way to present it to the voters in order to achieve a favorable outcome.

The Council must also carefully consider other ways to increase revenues, such as taking advantage of State options for local taxing as they become available, such as the recently passed “Meals Tax”.

High School Renovation

Within the next 12 months, voters may be asked to approve a debt exclusion to fund renovations to the almost 40-year old Franklin High School. The administration and the School Building Committee is working with the School Building Authority to acquire partial funding for this renovation. If and when it is approved, the town must act quickly to procure the balance of funding.

Capital Funding

Franklin’s capital budget is also inadequate for its capital needs. Among a long list of needs that the town has on an annual basis, which include replacement police cruisers, D.P.W vehicles and repairs to town buildings, there is also a growing need to repair and repave many roads in town, but, presently there is no source of funds within the town for road repaving.

By examining the five-year plan for capital expenditures, the Council must consider various options for funding them on a year-to-year basis.
This podcast has been a public service provided to my fellow citizens of Franklin, MA

For additional information, please visit

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

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and East of Shirley. The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with permission.

Back to Business - Linda Waters

I met Linda Waters at the Harvest Festival last Sunday and we caught up with what each other is doing with a great conversation.

I combined the front and back of one of her handouts to present this single sided view:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

She has an interesting new product about to be introduced soon. The web site is not yet active (so check back to see when it does go active, or sign up to be notified by email).

She will be introducing Confidence Beads:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

You can connect with Linda via LinkedIn
or check out her website here

In the News - Dean

"Most theater departments teach the art and crafts of the field - we want not only to do that but also prepare them for the transition of being an artist as a business person," Morgan said. "We want students to know such things as how to do their taxes as an artist and how to transition from here to a mega-market such as Los Angeles, Chicago or New York City.
"We want students to understand how to live and how to get work as an artist," Morgan said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News:

Dean gets new arts chief

from The Milford Daily News News RSS