Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jane's Frames

Need a last minute gift?

Still looking for ideas?

How about framing that certificate, award or great photo?

Check out Jane's Frames for a great selection.

Jane Curran is very active in Franklin as part of the Downtown Partnership. Support your local businesses this holiday season.

Pulaski Blvd Construction in Spring 2010

Heads up for those who travel Washington St to Pulaski Blvd in Bellingham:

Bellingham- Pulaski Boulevard

The $13 million federal stimulus Bellingham project will reconstruct 2.2 miles of Pulaski Boulevard from Moody Street to the Franklin town line, including rehabilitation of the bridge over Peter's River.  The project will improve safety and enhance convenience for motorists along the Boulevard, an important commuter route to I-495 in Franklin.  Construction is expected to begin in the spring.

From the Commonwealth Conversations Transportation website
Follow the link to read more about the announcement yesterday and follow links from that story directly to the project details website.

In the News - Food Pantry, Senior Center

Fund raising for the Franklin Food Pantry

Christmas concert to raise funds for Franklin Food Pantry

from The Milford Daily News News RSS


The annual Christmas lunch provided by the Franklin Police at the Senior Center

Franklin seniors enjoy police luncheon

from The Milford Daily News News RSS

Historical Commission is looking for help

The Historical Commission is in need of your help.

The Historical Commission is in the process of planning the move of the Franklin Historic Museum from Washington Street to West Central Street and they are looking for assistance.

On December 29th, they are planning a work session at the Washington St. Museum. Your assistance is requested to help pack, label and box items for transfer to the new museum.

If you are able to offer some time, please contact Alan Earls at 508-528-6930 or or Del Arnold at 508-528-0867 or for more details. Thank you.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Laughter will keep you warm

One way to keep warm is with laughter. Laughter comes naturally with fun. Bernie DeKoven, the Funsmith, has a collection of quotes on fun that is purely delightful:
"Ask not what fun does for you. Ask rather what you do for fun." - the Oaqui

"The more fun you have, the greater your value to yourself and to your society. The more fun you share with others, the more fun you have." - the Oaqui

"For every Way there's a way of following that Way that's fun" - the Oaqui

"The Path that is best for you is the Path that keeps the best of you in play" - the Oaqui
For more quotes from the Oaqui, click through here.

If you have a quote that could be redone to make it more fun, please send it on to Bernie.

Cold and frosty

The window at Berry Insurance provided a holiday scene on the cold and frosty Thursday morning:

Meeting summaries

The last official Town meeting I will attend during 2009 completed Wednesday evening. If you need to recall some detail from a meeting of the Finance Committee, Financial Planning Committee, School Committee or Town Council, the archives are available here.

My published notes are not perfect as they are captured real time (and updated as necessary). If you don't find the detail you are looking for, please ask me.

You can also view the video archive for most of these meetings on the Town website here

My meeting summaries:

By the way, the meeting summaries for 2008 are contained in the far right column.

Express LIne #4

The latest Express Line is available.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

You can subscribe to this newsletter and other email notifications on the Franklin Town website here

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Town Council Mtg Smry 12/16/09

The live reported posts from the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec 16 can be found here:

In the News - affordable housing, Abbey wind power

A good use for the money that has accumulated in the Housing Trust Fund. This creates affordable housing for folks wanting to live in Franklin by using houses already on the market rather than creating new housing.

Franklin to offer grants to first-time homebuyers

from The Milford Daily News News RSS

Abbey has wind turbine installed

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

live reporting - closing items

Express Line #4 published
Maxine did good work on this

recycle holiday wrappings, etc
Tree pick up Jan 9th

H1N1 Flu clinic
last week and today, thanks for all helping
well attended moving smoothly
a huge success

10-12 year history on snow budget

highlight in Express Line
in 1998 vs 2009 police statistics
more calls with less folks
thanks to the employees for doing this

Fire Dept calls are up, DPW road miles have grown

DPW is down 6 positions so handling the snow will be a little be slower this time around
trying not to fill jobs until the budget picture clarifies in a couple of months

belt tightening across many departments
some positions are critical and can't go unfilled but for others we are waiting to see what the numbers from the State will be

Community Development
application scoring increased from 83 to 89 (need to check the numbers)
this helps with grant applications


Powderly - request to examine tax waiver and see if this can be increased from $20K to 40K

Powderly - tour of the schools today, very amazing and eye opening
Zollo - thanks to Rep Vallee for the visit to the State for insight into State finances
Pfeffer - holiday wishes to all
Jones - thanks to Rep Vallee for lunch and the info yesterday, thanks to Roy and Sabolinski for the world wind tour of the schools today
Vallee - Merry Christmas to all
Mason - Senior Center first councilors forum, was a great event. Will be back. This Senior Center is so well liked, it draws seniors from other towns. We will be back in February

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

motion to adjourn, passed 8-0

Live reporting - Legislation

funding to create at least six low income housing units from existing housing not to be used for new housing


1. Resolution 09-82: Legal Notices
motion to approve - passed 8-0

2. Resolution 09-83: 2010 Town Council Meeting Schedule
motion to approve - passed 8-0

Whalen - question on the April schedule
Nutting - this was done to avoid the school vacation schedule, it can be changed

Mason - there are no special meetings scheduled
Nutting - we can schedule them as needed, rather than schedule them and cancel them if we don't need them

3. Resolution 09-84: Endorsement of Fiscal Policies
motion to approve - passed 8-0

4. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 09-637: Amendment to Chapter 185-3. Definitions – 2nd  Reading
motion to approve - passed 8-0 (via roll call vote, all yes)

Beth Dahlstrom, Nick Alfieri attending to answer questions

vote re-done to clarify the motion
5. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 09-638: Amendment to Chapter 185-39. Uses Accessory to Dwelling – 2nd  Reading

motion to approve - passed 8-0

Live reporting - Town Council

Attending: Kelly, Jones, Vallee, Whalen, Mason, Pfeffer, Zollo, Powderly
Missing: McGann

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – November 18, 2009
motion to approve, passed 7-0





F. HEARINGS - none

G. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS – Change of Manager – Shaw’s
motion to approve - passed 8-0 (Vallee arrived)

K12 Online Conference

There is a great conference om K12 education occurring using the Internet this week. Three good links for presentations that occurred yesterday can be found here. Each link will take you to the individual page where you can see the video or listen to the audio of the presentation along with additional reference links.

1 -

Parallel Play or Collaboration–Leveraging the Wiki Platform for High Quality Work

from K12 Online Conference 2008

Thriving in a Collaborative Web 2.0 Classroom: The “Great Debate” and “Student News Action Network”

from K12 Online Conference 2008

Engaging Our Youngest Minds

from K12 Online Conference 2008

School Committee Mtg 12/15/09

The live reporting post from the School Committee meeting on Tuesday Dec 15th can be found here:

This was the annual self evaluation session for the Committee. 5 of the 7 had filled out the form prior to the meeting. Jeff Roy presented what the feedback on the survey was for each point. Then it was open for discussion to add anything.

The self evaluation form:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to the website to view the document.

"there's always room for improvement"

Chairman Jeffrey Roy said board members' e-mail addresses are listed online, and people with complaints should take the time to find them to send a message.
"Today, with e-mail, people get (angry), send an e-mail and regret it 15 minutes later," he said. "I like the idea of making people work a little bit so they have to formulate their thoughts."
Though there's always room for improvement, Roy said the committee provides the community with an abundance of information. He cited the School Committee's Web site, blog and the superintendent's site.
"I've got to say the level of involvement and effort in education materials is incredible ... we've made this stuff available to the community," he said. "There's a certain level of accountability for the public to take some steps" to get the information.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

in the News - Bellingham sting

Almost half of Bellingham's liquor stores fail sting

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Live reporting - School Committee Meeting (part 2)

meeting resume

Recap of prior discussions:
read mission statement at each meeting
leave cell phones in purse or pocket, off
work on website
review strategic plan a couple of times
work collaboratively with other boards
look to self publishing

1 - discussion on use of email
Ed to check with T Raposa on school email addresses, could be a third email address for some members
would provide archiving and retention for official business

pro - if discovery were required, one the system would handle the archiving email, two the email would be separate from personal email
con - would add an additional email for some members, need to explore the client option

2 - new member questions

3 - budget subcommittee
discussion on level service vs. level funding
schedule a specific meeting for discussion on the budget to review ways to bridge the gap

will start general discussions on the budget at Jan 12th
Committee to provide some input to the Administration on what the Committee would like to see
the meeting on January 26th would be the Administration presentation on the first pass of the budget

Sue looking for suggestions on the budget subcommittee

meeting adjourns

Live reporting - School Committee Meeting

Attending: Mullen, Roy, Rohrbach, Cafasso, Trahan, Glynn, Douglas
Missing: none

Also present: Ashley Studley, Maureen Sabolinksi, Miriam Goodman, Sally Winslow

Topic 1 - Budget
suggestion to read one of the Strategic Objectives at the beginning of each meeting
suggestion to help the community follow the numbers discussion with a single document referenced at each meeting so we can all stay "on the same page"

Topic 2 - Develop Policy
need one location for policies
Maureen to check on this with T Raposa on a solution
The MASC requires the naming scheme

Topic 3 - Evaluation Process of Superintendent
discussion on strategic plan and timing of updates considering the District and individual School Improvement Plans

(note this is covering the evaluation process itself, the specific evaluation is done separately)

Topic 4 - Modeling Behavior
Do well most of the time but laptops can be a distraction
some laptop usability insights should be provided to help project a professional and consistent appearance
maintain eye contact during presentations
speak into the microphones so your valid comments can be heard properly

Topic 5 - Working with other Boards
varied responses on this one
there was a problem over the consolidation of facilities but things have improved considerably since then
the two approaches to solving the problem that were very different but both had the same cost savings benefits in mind
the relationship with the new Council has gotten off to a good start

Topic 6 - Ambassadors to the Public
School Committee blog getting good traffic, Ed's email listing has grown
Could do more in the way of other forums, hold a public forum to communicate more directly twice a year
level of involvement in the committee has been good, there is a level of accountability for the community

Website issue causing some problems since the upgrade for the Town and the split from the service
move towards self publishing to help address this

members of the community do have the opportunity to participate
there is a difference between the citizens comment and agenda items

issues will attract attendance, raising fees, cutting buses, music, sports, will generate attendance but we don't want to create a crisis for each meeting

if someone has something to say, they can sit down and write a letter, or work a little bit to formulate their thoughts to send an email


School Committee - no agenda

There is a School Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening December 15th.

No agenda has been posted for this meeting.

Town Council and School Committee Attendance

I have added and will be updating a spreadsheet to keep track of the attendance records for the Town Council and School Committee as these two groups go forward. Keeping track of the sheet as each meeting occurs will be easier than trying to do a year or more at a time.

The spreadsheet can be found here and in the Important Links section in the middle column. You should be able to view the spreadsheet but not be able to update it (assuming the permissions work out properly).

The spreadsheet has two tabs: one for each group. The tabs are found on the bottom of the spreadsheet.

The coding for attendance will be as follows:
P - Present
A - Absent
L - Late (arriving)
E - Early (to leave)

Yes, an easy mnemonic to see if someone's attendance will pale in comparison to another's. Pun fully intended as the mnemonic.

In the News - Dean College

Dean College in Franklin will receive $125,000 for its embedded study model project, which aims to include academic support methods in the classroom.

"This is what students need to learn in tandem with the techniques they need," said Pat Samson, the school's communications director. "It embeds academic support techniques into the curriculum, making them available for all students. It's what we call the Dean method."

Principally a two-year school, Dean differs from community colleges in that it goes further to ensure students have the tools they need to learn in a college atmosphere, said Samson, adding that the school's retention and graduation rates are above average.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Monday, December 14, 2009

Franklin - H1N1 Flu Clinic - Wed - 12/16/09


December 14, 2009

The Franklin Health Department will be holding an H1N1 flu clinic for Franklin residents on Wednesday December 16, 2009 from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at the Franklin High School Field House 218 Oak Street.

The following persons are eligible to receive the H1N1 on a first come first served basis, consistent with Massachusetts Department of Public Health and CDC guidelines for vaccine administration:

    * Children in 1st through 8th grades.

Please be advised, the Health Department has received nearly 70% of our vaccine allocation in the nasal spray form.  Because this is a live attenuated vaccine, this formulation is only for healthy individuals aged 2 to 49 years of age. 
All individuals to be vaccinated in the 2-49 age groups without a contra-indicated medical history will be administered the nasal spray. 

All individuals to be vaccinated are to present a completed consent form.  No vaccine will be administered without a completed and signed consent form.  A downloadable consent form is available on both the Health Department and School Department websites as well.

All residents will be asked to produce a valid driver’s license or other identification at the time of registration. 

The Franklin Health Department will continue to hold additional H1N1 flu clinics in the coming weeks until all the high priority groups have been vaccinated.  Once the priority groups are vaccinated, vaccine will be available for all residents until our supply has been exhausted.

We ask all residents to please be patient and to anticipate some waiting, as we institute our large-scale public vaccination plan.

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

Franklin Board of Health

Bruce Hunchard, Chair
Paul Cheli
Donald Ranieri, JR.

This was originally posted to the Town website. You can visit the site to obtain the consent form required.

FM #51 The Nutcracker Voting Episode

This internet radio show or podcast is number 51 in the series for Franklin Matters.

In this session, you give me about ten minutes and I'll fill you in on what matters in Franklin, MA as it comes to a close this week, December 13, 2009

Time: 8 minutes, 4 seconds

MP3 File

Note: email subscribers should click through to the website to hear the audio version and to view the video sample from the Bolshoi Ballet performing a portion of the Nutcracker.

Session Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 51 in the series for Franklin Matters.

In this session, you give me about ten minutes and I'll fill you in on what matters in Franklin, MA as it comes to a close this week, December 13, 2009.

'Tis the season, girls in red dresses, boys with green ties, ladies with patten leather shoes...

All gathering on a night out for the annual production of The Nutcracker by the Franklin Performing Arts Company.

The parking lot for the Thomas Mercer Auditorium at the Horace Mann/Oak Street complex is filling rapidly.

Ahead of us a mother talks with her daughter about the school friend who'll be an angel and the play friend who'll be a polychannelle. While the father talks with son sternly, come on, we gotta go, you'll end up liking this … and the parents shepherd their children to the door.

Inside the door, the warmth of the corridor is welcome. The buzz is enchanting. The ticket table has a line for the “will call” tickets, all others have been sold out for this performance.

A table is set up to send a message to a 'star' performer and put it into the special mailbox.

The Spotlight Shop has oodles of stuff for sale, Nutcracker souvenirs to wear or hang or dust eventually!

The crowd moves along slowly towards the hall entrance. Odd number tickets to the left, even to the right. Triple digit tickets are in the center section so you can go in either way. A new box of playbills is cracked open, some one graciously checks your ticket, hands you a booklet and your off down the aisle to find your seat.

The audience is filling the hall, the orchestra is tuning their instruments, you may pick up a recognizable string of notes here and there as you settle in your seat.

The lights dim, Instead of the usual grand voice announcing this production and making the usual reminders to turn off your cell phones and pagers, reminding you of the prohibition on all photography, video or camera, you are startled to hear the following:

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for coming this evening, let's just take a couple of moments to reflect on the audience here tonight.

Please look around you. Don't be bashful, these are friendly folks, all related in someway to the performers this evening, hence all are connected to Franklin.

This hall seats over 800 people. There shouldn't be an empty seat here this evening, the performance is sold out. It has taken months of rehearsals, planning, posting flyers, selling tickets for this successful event. Which you are all here to enjoy.

Would the folks in the center section, rows A through J please stand up? Yes, please. Rows A through J. that's right, Thank you!

Ladies and gentlemen, the folks represent 16% of the audience here this evening. Why 16%? It was 16% of the registered Franklin voters, the folks who cared enough to cast a ballot for the most recent Town election on November 3rd. Please give them a round of applause!

These folks are the ones who have cast their ballots to elect the Town Council, School Committee and other elected board positions that effectively and on a volunteer basis will oversee Franklin's operations. These elected folks will make decisions on your behalf for the police, fire, DPW, library and School services. These folks will determine the priorities for how your property tax dollars are spent.

You may complain about what you don't like but you had a choice to vote.

You have a choice to become involved and more aware of what is going on in Franklin.
You bought a ticket to come here this evening.

You don't need to buy a ticket to go to a Town Council meeting, a School Committee meeting, or to vote.
It is your choice.

The Town Council will be approving a new trash collection contract next year. You can get involved now.

The Town Council will eventually approve the downtown renovation plan that may change some streets from one-way to two way traffic through downtown.

You can start paying attention now.

The School Committee will be determining how to meet the needs of your children's education. You can get involved now.

It is your choice.

Now, we'll return you to the scheduled performance of the Nutcracker:

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

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but I can't do it alone. I can use your help.
How can you help?

If you like this, please tell a neighbor.

If you don't like this, please tell me.

Thank you for listening.

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.

Municipal Lot Parking Lottery

Use the Dean College MBTA stop on Depot Street? 

Want a parking permit for the Municipal Lots

Town of Franklin: one is on Depot Street

View Larger Map

and one is on W Central St next to White Hen?

View Larger Map

We hold a lottery every quarter (three months; Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep and Oct-Dec). 
Permits are $120 per quarter.

More information?  Call 1-508-528-1212 extension 2721 or 2777

To receive notifications like these directly to your email, you can sign up on the Town website here

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Town Council - Agenda - 12/16/09

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – November 18, 2009






G. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS – Change of Manager – Shaw’s



1. Resolution 09-82: Legal Notices
2. Resolution 09-83: 2010 Town Council Meeting Schedule
3. Resolution 09-84: Endorsement of Fiscal Policies
4. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 09-637: Amendment to Chapter 185-3. Definitions – 2nd  Reading
5. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 09-638: Amendment to Chapter 185-39. Uses Accessory to Dwelling – 2nd  Reading





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


Green recycling for the holidays

From Franklin Recycling comes these tips on recycling for the holidays
‘Tis the season for gift giving and with it comes large amounts that can be recycled before it goes in the trash. Remember the trash limit is 3 bags; so recycling makes even more sense. More than 60% of trash can be recycled so if you are putting more trash out than recycling, there is more you can do.
You can read the reminder online at the Town website

Or view the document here:

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to the website to view the document.

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In the News - Garelick, Carberry

Garelick Farms ammonia leak

Ammonia leak released vapor cloud at Garelick Farms this morning

from The Milford Daily News Homepage RSS by Abby Jordan/Daily News staff


Helen Carberry celebrates 100

Generations in Franklin know Helen Carberry

from The Milford Daily News News RSS