Saturday, November 7, 2009

In the News - Gov Patrick visits Franklin, casino night

Gov Patrick visited Jefferson Elementary School yesterday

Patrick visits Franklin school, says he supports local aid

Franklin honors 90-year-old vets

and hold the date for the FEF Casino Night, Nov 20th

Franklin Education Foundation plans Casino Night

In the News - event canceled

This was posted to the Milford Daily News website on Friday and refers to the event Saturday.

Franklin resident Steve Sherlock announced the Laid Off Camp he helped organize for tomorrow is canceled.

Designed to help unemployed people from Massachusetts and Rhode Island brush up on interview techniques, making contacts and using the Internet to find jobs, the camp was canceled due to slow registration.

"We only achieved one third of the required registrations for this non-profit, all-volunteer event to break even," Sherlock wrote in an email late last night. Anyone who already registered will have their money refunded, he added.

He and the four other co-organizers will likely establish a similar camp next year. The event was scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at the Living Waters Church in North Attleborough.

For more information, visit

Tomorrow's Laid Off Camp canceled

H1N1 Influenza Vaccine Update

At the time of this writing it is probable that many reading this update will have had a family member with influenza-like illness or knows someone who has.  As predicted at the end of last summer, the H1N1 has returned with a vengeance.  Although this illness for the most part has remained relatively mild, a larger segment of the population has become ill, with a recent spike in school absenteeism noted throughout the Commonwealth.

It was hoped that by now we would have been well on our way toward achieving our goal of vaccinating a large percentage of our community with the H1N1 vaccine.  Due to the unprecedented demand for the seasonal flu vaccine, coupled with the simultaneous production of the H1N1 vaccine, the vaccine manufacturers have simply not been able to distribute the H1N1 vaccine as quickly as expected.  

The Franklin Health Department and the Board of Health remain committed to providing the H1N1 influenza vaccine to all Franklin residents who wish to receive it.  As previously stated, the Health Department in conjunction with our medical volunteers will hold public H1N1 clinics as soon as enough vaccine is made available to do so.  At the present time the Health Department has received only a small fraction of our requested doses.  

In accordance with the guidelines mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, our initial allocation of vaccine will be provided to healthcare workers with direct patient contact such as nurses and paramedics, pregnant women and children 6 months to 9 years of age.  As more vaccine is made available, we will begin vaccinating children aged 10 to 25.  Our focus on young children  is important because two doses of vaccine spaced approximately three weeks apart is required for children 9 and under.  

All public flu clinics will be advertised in the Milford Daily News and will be posted on the Town of Franklin Website.  Clinic information will also be broadcast on Franklin’s local cable television station and will be posted on the MassPro Flu website as well.  

These are certainly difficult and frightening times for parents of young children, for those who may have a compromised immune system for one reason or another and for couples starting a family.  Your concern and frustration is understandable and fully acknowledged.  We ask for your patience and your understanding as we prepare to institute our vaccination plan in the coming weeks.  

We encourage anyone with questions to contact the Health Department or members of the Board of Health at 508-520-4905, or via our dedicated influenza email at


David E. McKearney, R.S.
Public Health Director
Franklin Health Department

Franklin Board of Health

This can be found on the Franklin website

2009 Fall Curbside Yard Waste Collection

2009 Fall Curbside Yard Waste Collection will occur the following Saturdays:
  • November 7
  • November 21
  • December 5

How to Prepare:

  • Yard waste: Place in paper bags, trash barrels or other container.
  • Brush shall not be more than 4 feet in length and 6-inches in diameter and bundled.
  • Place at curbside before 7:00 AM in the morning.

This was posted on the Town website here

Friday, November 6, 2009

In the News - event canceled, rings come home

The article is a good one but came too late to help us drive attendance for the event. The event has been canceled. The team will re-group and likely try something early in 2010.

Local resident helps sponsor Laid Off Camp tomorrow

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS by Ashley Studley/Daily News staff


Rings come full circle

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS

Thursday, November 5, 2009

LaidOff Camp Attleboro/Providence - EVENT CANCELED

Event: LaidOff Camp Attleboro/Providence - CANCELED

Date: Saturday, November 07, 2009 from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM (ET)

Living Waters Church
15 John L Dietsch Blvd
North Attleboro, MA 02763

For more information click here:

Regretfully, the event has been canceled. We only achieved one third of the required registrations for this non-profit, all-volunteer event to break even.

The Team will gather information on what we learned during this process and likely attempt to create an event sometime early in 2010.

Your registration fee will be refunded in full to the credit card you used to register.
Thank you for your interest.

Foster systems thinking

Modern education systems deserve much of the blame, both for fostering the belief that education ends when a person leaves school and for its emphasis on being right rather than on how to learn from mistakes. This has encouraged caution rather than risk-taking, with individuals preferring to avoid mistakes when possible and hide them if necessary. The world’s four greatest statisticians never took a course in statistics, Mr Ackoff would point out, and three of America’s greatest architects (Henry Hobson Richardson, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright) never took a formal course in architecture.

Society urgently needs to find better ways of inculcating systems thinking in its decision-makers and public-policy experts in particular, he argued. It also needs to change how it accounts for mistakes. Currently, almost any accounting system you can think of records mistakes of commission, when a deliberate act goes wrong, but keeps no record of mistakes of omission: things not done that should have been. The result is a conservative, risk-averse culture that holds back the innovation that society needs.
Read the full article in The Economist here

Read more about the ideas of Russ Ackoff here and here

In the News - Town Council and School Committee chair selected

Franklin School Committee retains Roy as chairman

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS

Mason selected as Franklin Town Council chairman

from The Milford Daily News News RSS

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Newly elected sworn in

The newly elected School Committee was sworn in this evening.

Two members of the School Committee were not present for this: Ed Cafasso (who was sworn in earlier today) and William Glynn.

They held a brief organizational meeting. Jeff Roy was selected as Chair and Paula Mullen as Vice-Chair.

Three new members of the Planning Board were sworn in this evening also:

Chris Feeley as the newly elected Assessor was also sworn in.

The newly elected Town Council was also sworn in.

Scott Mason was selected Chair by a 9-0 vote.  Steve Whalen was selected as Vice-Chair by an 8-1 vote. There almost was a runoff for this as Joe McGann nominated Bob Vallee but that nomination did not get a second. Judy Pfeffer was selected as Clerk by a 9-0 vote.

engage the Franklin voters

I'll have more later this week but my first reactions to the election results are

It is a sad day for Franklin when so few registered voters do exercise their right to vote. There are no excuses for weather problems, absentee ballots were available in advance. Only 16.4% of 19,780 voters bothered to cast a vote. Less than the two prior off year elections. The trend (if there is one) is going the wrong way.

It was good to see the energy of some of the newcomers to the Council race; Tina Powderly and Glenn Jones in particular. Glenn was observed on the triangle over the railroad bridge holding his sign in the rain on Sat Oct 24th and then again early Sun morning, Nov 1. Tina garnered the largest vote amongst the Council candidates.

The Brick School remains a significant factor in Franklin and although closed is still important. The results for Matt Kelly and Cynthia Douglas show this. Cindy running in her first election took in the top number of votes from all candidates. Teaching at the Brick School, over 30 years of good service, 20 or so kids at a time builds up relationships. Relationships that turned out to vote.

That newcomers garnered some of the larger totals seems to validate the message Ashley Studley, Milford Daily News reporter, was picking up from the voters leaving the field house. The attempt to vote out the incumbents ultimately failed as all were re-elected albeit some were by slim margins.

The problems of Franklin remain the same after election. They didn't just disappear because someone didn't vote for an incumbent. The challenge is clearly in the Town Council's hands now to come together and engage the Franklin voters/tax payers in such a way that our issues can be responsibly discussed and then worked to a solution.

domino falling in our direction

Tri-County is also affected by transportation cuts. Franklin sends a good portion of the students at Tri-County. A budget issue there could replicate back to the Town.

Regional school officials dismayed by steep transportation cuts

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS by Krista Perry/Daily News staff

In the News - Franklin voters, incumbents re-elected

Franklin voters speak their minds at the polls

from The Milford Daily News News RSS

Franklin incumbents win back Town Council seats

from The Milford Daily News News RSS

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vote totals by Precinct - 11/3/09

3,244 votes cast were on the November 3, 2009 election. This is 16.4% of the total 19,780 registered voters in Franklin.

The vote for each position by precinct can be viewed in the following document provided by Town Clerk Debbie Pellegri.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Franklin 2009 Election Results

Board of Assessors

Chris Feeley (write-in candidate)

Board of Health

Bruce Hunchard
Koren Kanadanian

Planning Board

Anthony Padula

Joseph Halligan

Planning Board (Associate)

John Carroll

Town Council

Tina Powderly
Robert Vallee
Glenn Jones
Shannon Zollo
Matthew Kelly
Judith Pond Pfeffer
R. Scott Mason
Joseph McGann
Stephen Whalen
Robert Avakian

Daniel Ballinger

Glenna Richards

Bryce Kuchs

School Committee

Cynthia Douglas

William Glynn

Jeffrey Roy

Paula Mullen

Roberta Trahan

Edward Cafasso

Susan Rohrbach

3,244 total votes were cast. Only 16.4% of the 19,780 registered voters in Franklin.

Election Day

There are two civic duties required. However, one is considered by most to be optional while the other is required. The required one is to pay your taxes. The 'optional' one is to cast your vote. Since casting your vote helps to determine what taxes you will pay, voting should also be required.

The most important thing you should do today is to cast your ballot at the high school field house.

The polls open at 6:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM

Make your vote count!

In the News - election day

 Election day today!

Franklin voters go to polls today

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS

Monday, November 2, 2009

School Committee - Agenda - 11/4/09

Call to order Mrs. Sabolinski

1. Discussion Only Items
  • Re-Organizational Chart Update
  • Swearing In with Town Clerk

2. Adjourn

 Note the meeting is scheduled for the Training Room on the third floor of the Municipal Building.

Town Council - Agenda - 11/4/09


Election of Officers










1. Resolution 09-70: Appropriation – Exit 16/King Street Reconstruction Account





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



STATE SENATOR KAREN SPILKA'S 2009 SENIOR HEALTH  and WELLNESS FAIR will be held on November 21 from 9:00-1:30 at the Callahan Senior Center 535 Union Avenue in Framingham.
This year's program will include ongoing presentations on health, wellness & prevention, informational booths, and health care screening along with a wonderful hot lunch.
While at the fair, take advantage of the many workshops including container gardening, financial planning, Medicare D, genealogy, zumba, and much more.
Informational booths on topics ranging from area discounts, health care services and providers & transportation as well as health care screening will be available throughout the day.
Contact Senator Spilka's office at 617-722-1640 or email her at to reserve your spot and take advantage of this wonderful event.

In the News - FHS Swim Team

My daughters would have liked to have had this opportunity when they went to FHS. They had swum for the Y and for the Adirondack Club before high school and switched to track & field at FHS. I hope the trial works out.

Franklin swim team ready to make a splash

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Why an iPhone could actually be good for your 3-year-old

But here’s the tantalizing part: If done the right way, with the right limits, handing a preschooler a smart phone could be good not just for the parents’ sanity. It might even be good for the child’s development.

Read the full article here. I question his logic. He quotes from sources to show both sides of the story but makes the leap to say it is a good thing without having proved that it is.

I think the evidence shows that kids should spend more time away from technology and TVs as long as possible. The book "Last Child in the Woods" raises the issue of "nature-deficit disorder". Kids should spend more time in nature and less time with technology. For more on this topic, you can read what I wrote earlier this year.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Boston Globe -- Globe Magazine by Neil Swidey on 10/30/09

Parents who hand smart phones to their preschoolers as a distraction are shocked to see how quickly the kids become pros. They may worry about such early screen time. But for this generation of "mobile kids," portable, wireless technology promises to improve the way they learn.

Add to Facebook Add to Twitter Add to digg Add to StumbleUpon Add to Reddit Add to Email this Article

Things you can do from here:

Letter from Ed Cafasso

Tuesday, as you know, is Election Day in Franklin. I hope you will get to the polls to cast your votes for candidates for Town Council, School Committee, and other positions, including Board of Health and Board of Assessors. I am seeking my third full term as a volunteer member of the School Committee and once again I ask for your support. In my view, our schools face three priorities in the next two years:

Budget – We were able to balance the current year’s budget with state and federal stimulus money, a wage freeze for school employees, and budget cuts. Our task will be no easier when we begin working with Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski to create the fiscal 2011 budget. The stimulus monies that helped us this year will not be available next year. It also seems clear that our state aid will be threatened and local revenues will likely fail to keep pace with rising costs.

Franklin High School – Principal Peter Light and his team have made big strides in strengthening the academic and cultural atmosphere of FHS. We need to continue to support those improvements while also finalizing a plan for addressing the building’s structural deficiencies and classroom capabilities. Community support will be critical to move forward with the renovations that will help Franklin High deliver a competitive experience for our students.

Efficient Academic Excellence – The Franklin Public Schools remain a fantastic bargain in a community that offers a nice quality of life with incredibly low property tax rates. Your schools spend well below average in every cost category, but your students consistently score well above average on every academic benchmark. It’s a record to be proud of, but it’s highly unlikely to continue unless we provide more financial support and reduce our reliance on state aid.

The contested race for Franklin Town Council demands your attention on Tuesday. Twelve candidates are running for nine Council seats. In addition to having the final say on school spending, the new Council will face tough decisions on how to fund and manage public safety, public works and other services that are important to our quality of life and property values.

You can learn more about the Town Council candidates at:

Please take the time to vote for the candidates of your choice on Tuesday. It’s important to make your voices heard to those who seek to represent you. I will be outside the Field House at various times during the day. I hope you’ll say hello. And thank you for your support.

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

Fall back!

Friendly reminder that you should have turned your clocks back one hour.

You can use the extra hour to think about who you'll chose to vote for on Tuesday when the polls open from 6:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM in the High School field house.

The election collection can be found here

In the News - First Universalist

The Faithful Nine were Grace Buchanon, Joe Cook and his wife Ellie, Edna Fitzgerald, Marion Chilson, Lincoln and Bunny Dana and Robert and Emilia Dean. Emilia Dean and Bunny Dana are the only living members.

"They were determined this church was not going to die," Rosine said. "Their families grew up in the church, were baptized, had weddings and funerals...they were not going to let this church die."

Franklin church will dedicate rooms those who kept it alive

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS

"can track the growth in individual students’ achievement"

Nearly everyone can probably recall a teacher who lit their passion for poetry or who was able to help them connect all the dots in a seemingly incomprehensible algebra formula. We know that individual teachers can make a huge difference.

But public schools in America have been bent on ignoring the obvious: Almost nothing about the way we hire, evaluate, pay, or assign teachers to classrooms is designed to operate with that goal in mind. Most teachers receive only cursory performance evaluations, with virtually every teacher graded highly. We use a one-size-for-all salary structure, in which the only factors used in raises are teachers’ higher-education credentials and number of years in the system, neither of which is strongly linked to their effectiveness. And we often let seniority, rather than merit, drive decisions about where a teacher is placed. It is in many ways an industrial model that treats teachers as identical, interchangeable parts, when we know that they are not.
Now, increasingly challenging this status quo is a new wave of research showing that one can actually measure the difference a teacher makes. The studies use a statistical analysis of standardized test results to measure the “value added” that each teacher contributes each year, revealing stark differences in their ability to move a class forward. According to one recent value-added study of Los Angeles schools conducted by Harvard economist Tom Kane, having a good teacher for a single year translates to a 10-point-higher score on student achievement tests that use a standard 100-point scale. “That’s a big difference.” says Kane.
Read the full article in the Boston Globe here

This will likely be a topic of much discussion as the school year progresses. The new School Committee will be dealing with a tight budget and a teacher contract negotiation amongst other issues during the school year.