Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Video on Franklin's New Automated Trash and Recycling Process

The DPW has posted their own video of the trash/recycling system in action


Franklin, MA

Chamber Holds Small Manufacturers' Summit

                                            The United Regional Chamber of Commerce logo 
Local Manufacturers Attend Summit Featuring U.S Manufacturing Czar and Congressman

Jack & Ron Bloom       Summit Manufacturing Group Photo          
Jack Lank and the Senior Counselor to the U.S.             
President for Manufacturing Policy Ron Bloom

 The United Regional Chamber of Commerce proudly sponsored the June 28 Small Manufacturers' Summit at Living Waters Conference Center in North Attleborough. The event featured keynote speakers U.S. Congressman James McGovern and the Senior Counselor to the U.S. President for Manufacturing Policy Ron Bloom. In addition to a private meeting and tour held at Cookson Precious Metals and Bell's Powder Coating, they addressed issues facing small business manufacturers in the Northeast during the Summit. Other event sponsors include for the event included Bell's Powder Coating, Inc., Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America, Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Cookson Precious Metals, Stern-Leach and Living Waters Conference Center.
 MassMEP          MJSA logo
Cookson logo   Stern Leach logo
                                       Living Waters 
Jack & Jim McGovern                 Manufacturers Summit Eric
            Jack Lank with U.S. Congressman James McGovern                                   Eric Nakajima
                                                                                                                                    Senior Innovation Policy Advisor
                                                                                                                             for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Trash/Recycle Facts: cart placement

Proper Cart Placement

The placement of your cart is important since the collection vehicle’s lifting arm requires clearance: 3 feet on both sides, and 12 feet overhead. The cart should be no more than 3 feet away from the curb or road edge, and the arrows on the lid must be pointing toward the street. Please leave 3 feet between your recycling and trash container when placing them curbside.

Thanks to Jim Robinson, a fan of the Facebook Franklin Matters page for prompting the search of YouTube for a video of the trash truck in action.

Thanks to Parker, for getting his parents to make this video because he likes the trash truck to come and take the trash.

This process would be similar to that beginning July 1. We have two containers, one for trash and one for recycling.

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view this video of the trash truck making a pickup.

Additional information can be found on the Franklin Solid Waste website here

The collection of Franklin Matters posts on the new process can be found here:

Franklin, MA

In the News - 4th July, trash/recycle

Franklin Fourth fete has fresh features

Franklin, MA

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Trash/Recycle Facts: what goes, what doesn't

All regular household trash should be bagged and placed in the 65-gallon trash cart for collection. Items outside of the cart will NOT be collected except 33G DPW overflow bags.

Do not place the following items in the trash cart:
• Recyclables
• Yard Waste
• Dirt, sod, concrete or rock
• Construction/demolition debris
• Household hazardous waste
• Hot ashes or flammable materials such as oil, gas or paint

NOTE: Latex paint cans must be dried out and contents bagged and disposed of in municipal trash. Put completely dried latex paint cans (no oil based paints) in the trash. Oil based paints should be safely stored and can be disposed of at the annual Household Hazardous Waste Day, October 2, 2010.

Preparing your solid waste:
• Bag your trash before placing it in the cart.
• Bagging your trash will help to keep the cart clean and sanitary, and prevent litter on windy days.
• All trash must fit in the cart so that the lid is closed. No material may be sticking out of the cart.

This information comes from the Franklin Solid Waste website here (PDF):

and here

Franklin, MA

In the News - Ruchira Parikh, fitness, Blackstone Valley

Franklin girl wins awards

Mass. residents among the fittest in U.S.

Franklin, MA

Monday, June 28, 2010

Attn: Franklin commuters -> MBTA: Faster, Easier Parking

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 6/28/10

MBTA logo-mbta

The MBTA today announced a simpler system for parking lot payments that will allow everyone from daily commuters to visitors to use their mobile phones and an online account to pay for parking at MBTA lots.

Beginning July 23rd, customers parking in MBTA-owned and operated lots with existing cash honor boxes will be able to pay for parking online or via phone while in their cars or once they board a train, bus, or commuter boat. 

As part of a new partnership with Parkmobile USA, customers can visit and enroll in the new program for free, and have access to their on-line accounts 24 hours a day/7 days a week. T riders can also download a mobile app.

Once registered, customers can use the mobile app, the internet, a text message or a phone call to pay for parking. TTY service is also available. The phone number will be displayed on signs at MBTA parking facilities.

The new service will be available for 23,733 parking spaces at nearly 70 MBTA-owned lots with existing cash honor boxes. In the weeks and months to follow, the T will work to expand the new system to lots that are not operated by the MBTA.  Only two U.S. transit systems offer more parking spaces than the MBTA.  Informational signs will be posted over the next few weeks to inform T customers about the change in service. For MBTA news and updates visit MBTA on the web.

Things you can do from here:

Trash/Recycle Facts: cart ownership

Cart (bins, totters, etc.) ownership

Carts (bins, totters, etc.) are the property of the Franklin DPW and must stay at the delivered destination

Each cart includes a serial number and imbedded RFID tag to identify owner and location. Each resident is responsible for their carts. Make sure all carts stay at the delivered location.

Note: the bar coded serial number for each cart appears in the photo above. The RFID chip is reported to be contained in the handle.

Waste and recycling collection

There will be no changes to your regular collection days. Solid waste will continue to be collected weekly. Recycling will continue to be collected every week, however it will now be collected in a single stream, with paper, cardboard and commingled materials placed in the same container. Sorting of recyclables is no longer necessary!

Contact DPW for any lost, stolen or misplaced carts. A Police report will be filed for missing carts.


Q - Why are the carts identified?
A - The RFID chip is read when each pick up occurs. This can help address timely service issues. This also enables easier billing. If you are going to be away for some time, the tracking can confirm that the trash/recycling were not used for the away period.

This information was found on the Franklin Solid Waste website here (PDF)


and from the multiple Town Council meetings where this was discussed and approved.

The collection of Franklin Matters posts on the new process can be found here:

Franklin, MA

In the News - downtown consignment

Updated 5/17/11 - sometime in the past couple of months, Downtown Consignment moved to an unknown location in Plainville. The Franklin Art Association now has a gallery in this location.

Downtown Consignment a new deal in Franklin

Downtown Consignment in Franklin Matters

Franklin, MA

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In the Globe - music at the core

While athletic and academic prowess usually get the most attention, music provides a different method of learning — fostering creativity, innovation, and teamwork toward a common goal, supporters say.

“It’s through music and the arts that we tell the human story,’’ said Bill Pappazisis, the fine and performing arts director for the Belmont schools.

The National Association of Music Merchants surveyed teachers and administrators to distinguish 174 districts and schools in 30 states. Each school was selected based on criteria including funding, the amount of staff and their credentials, student participation and career paths, curriculum, facilities, and public support.
Read the full article in the Boston Globe West Section here

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School was named.

Franklin, MA

pay more taxes, voluntary? right!

The functions of these programs differ widely, but they all share one remarkable feature. The taxpayer dollars were not wrenched from the pockets of the Commonwealth’s residents. Instead, thousands of Bay Staters checked off boxes on their income tax returns opting to contribute to the funds. These people paid, in other words, what sounds like the ultimate oxymoron: voluntary taxes.
Though voluntary tax programs could never generate enough money to run a state, more people chip in than you might expect (more, that is, than none). And according to some enthusiasts, we could be doing more to capitalize on this surprising willingness to give. Voluntary taxes, these thinkers say, offer a politically palatable way to raise additional revenue and perhaps even to strengthen Americans’ sense of patriotism and citizenship. And in the current political and fiscal climate, lawmakers are frankly desperate for creative solutions.
and this from a study referenced by the article
The authors concluded that dislike of taxes may be not just a matter of reluctance to part with our money, or mistrust of the government: It may be largely about the lack of control over where exactly our money goes.
I think too little is paid to this particular aspect of control. Several of the comments on the Milford Daily News pages mentioned this lack of specifics as to where the money was to be used. Even though the authorization from the Town Council was for the $3 million to be divided with $1.8 M for the schools, $300,000 for the Town and $900,000 for road repair, the question on the ballot per state guidelines was phrased as:
Shall the Town of Franklin be allowed to assess an additional $3,000,000.00 in real estate and personal property taxes for the purpose of the operating budget for which monies from this assessment will be used for the fiscal year beginning July 1, two thousand and ten?
Indeed, the article does go on to say
... it seems that giving taxpayers some control over the funds is key. The University of Texas economists found that when subjects were permitted to earmark their donations, contributions more than doubled. 
Read the full article in the Boston Globe Ideas section here:

Franklin, MA

Trash/Recycle Facts: frequently asked questions

Q - Should I continue to bag my trash?

A - YES. Bagging your trash will help to keep the cart clean and sanitary, and prevent litter on windy days. All bags must be placed curbside in the solid green 65-gallon cart only.

Q - What do I do with leaves and yard waste?

A - Leaves and brush will continue to be collected curbside or accepted at the Beaver Street Recycling Facility. Dates for curbside waste collection will be published in the Municipal Guide and on the DPW website.

Q - I am moving or cleaning out the garage and have a lot of refuse to get rid of right away; where will I be able to dispose of it?

A - The automated refuse collection program is not intended to provide this type of service. For large projects you may contact Waste Management for information at 1-800-972-4545.

Q - Will my collection day change?

A - NO, there will be no changes in the collection schedule. Please continue to place your containers to the curb by 7am, as there may be some changes in the time of day during which your trash and recycling is collected.

Q - What should I do if I have a problem with the new cart?

A - Your carts are made of durable plastic and should give you years of maintenance free use. For cart issues please call the DPW at 508-553-5500 to schedule a repair.

Q - What can be recycled at the Beaver St. Recycling Facility?

A - The Recycling Center is open: Tuesdays 12-3 (April thru Nov.) Fridays and Saturdays: 8-3

Q - What can I do with my old refuse and recycling containers?

A - If you wish to dispose of old refuse barrels or recycling bins, they may be dropped off empty and clean at the Beaver Street Recycling Facility, they will be recycled once collected.

Q - How do I have an appliance, grill, TV or other large metal item picked up?

Call Waste Management at 800-972-4545 by Tuesday at 3:00 for a pickup on Thursday. You can pay by credit card over the phone or by check.

Q - What about a large non- recyclable item such as a sofa?

Included in the current fee, you are allowed one large item such as a sofa to be picked up at no additional charge. Call Waste Management at 800-972-4545 by Tuesday at 3:00 for a pickup on Thursday.

Q - I have more trash than can fit in the large cart; what should I do?

A - Experience in a range of communities has shown that the 65-gallon cart is more than adequate for most homes, presuming you remove all paper, glass, plastic and other recyclable materials from your trash. If after recycling everything possible, you find you consistently have more trash than the cart will hold, you may request a second cart from the DPW for $150 per year. Overflow bags are available for $3 each at
the DPW office.

Q - What about street parking on collection day?

A - At the present time there are no parking restrictions. Remember, however, that automated collection requires that the cart be accessible to the collection vehicle, so any cars you park at the curb should be at least 5 feet from the cart.

Q - What is the Large Item fee schedule?

TV up to 25" -> $ 25.00
TV 26" and up -> $ 35.00
Freon Appliance - > $ 30.00
Appliance -> $ 25.00
Grills/Lawn Mower/Metal -> $ 25.00
Microwave -> $ 25.00

This information comes from the Franklin Solid Waste website here (PDF):

and here

The collection of Franklin Matters posts on the new process can be found here:

Franklin, MA

Use Trash/Recycle bins on July 1

New Trash and Recycling Carts
Your new trash and recycling carts are currently being
delivered to your homes.
Thank you.

Franklin, MA

In the News: Open Meeting rules

Boards required to take note of new meeting rules

Franklin, MA

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Poll question results


Yes - 33
No - 22
Total - 55

Franklin, MA

Carnival setting up for the 4th of July

The 4th of July is rapidly approaching but the carnival rides have already appeared on the Town Common. Some old favorites will be there for your enjoyment on the holiday weekend.

The slide!

The spinning apple!

The train ride!

And if you haven't lost your lunch yet, Twister!

The rides and food booths will open at 6:00 PM on Thursday, July 1

The full schedule of events can be found here:


Franklin, MA

Common Core Standards - open for review

“Our message all along has been clear and consistent: Massachusetts will only adopt the Common Core standards if they match or surpass our current expectations for students,” said Education Secretary Paul Reville. “Even if the Board votes to adopt, the Commonwealth would still maintain the opportunity to add to the standards, personalize them to Massachusetts and build them out in a way that will allow our educators to propel our students to the next level of learning.”
“Our goal is to provide every student in the Commonwealth with the best possible schools, teachers, curriculum and opportunities they need to be successful in school, college, careers and in life,” Chester said. “We will take the time to evaluate the Common Core Standards before making a decision, and if we ultimately find that the final product represents a decline in expectations from our state standards, we will not hesitate to walk away.”
The Common Core State Standards and survey can be viewed by clicking here
Read the full posting on the School Committee blog here:

Franklin, MA

"needs in the context of a strategic plan"

The 495/MetroWest Development Compact is aimed at ranking infrastructure improvements for the region as a whole, rather than tackling projects piecemeal.
Greg Bialecki, the state secretary of housing and economic development, and Jeff Mullan, secretary of transportation, announced the compact at the 495/MetroWest Partnership's annual conference.
Bialecki said the compact will help create a common "strategic action plan" for all of the agencies involved to get behind, rather than "creating a laundry list of changes to infrastructure that need to be made."

Franklin would be one of the 36 communities covered by this compact.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here:

Franklin, MA

Franklin's state aid

On June 24, 2010, the Legislature approved the Conference Committee’s version of the FY2011 budget.  The Division of Local Services has posted updated local aid estimates based on the Conference Committee budget recommendations at the link below:

Though the estimates are substantially the same as previous estimates, the Conference Committee proposal relies on reimbursements from the Federal Medical Assistance Program (FMAP) to fund part of certain appropriations. 
Outside section 190 restricts the expenditure of FMAP funded appropriations until receipt of those funds is certain. 
Cherry sheet estimates for the State-owned Land, Regional School Transportation and Local Share of Racing Taxes programs reflect the portion of the appropriation funded only from the general fund. 
If the FMAP funding becomes certain by tax rate setting time, FY2011 cherry sheets will be amended.
These estimates are subject to final approval by the Governor.

Franklin, MA

Friday, June 25, 2010


Farmers Market - today - noon to 6:00 PM on the Town Common

Office Hours - come sit and talk Franklin matters with me on the Town Common - 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Poll question - What does the survey say? (see the center column) - stays open until midnight tonight!

Franklin, MA

Networking Group - workshops today - Jun 25 meeting

If you are looking for work and need a good opportunity to network,  the workshop today at the Hopkinton Networking Group meeting Friday, June 11 25 is one to catch. 

Someone you may know will be facilitating two engaging, productive, and fun activities. 

If you have the time, you could not spend it any better than networking at Hopkinton today!

When: 10:00 AM - Noon
Where: St John's Evangelist Parish Center, 20 Church St, Hopkinton
Cost: $1

The details on the workshops as published to the Acton Networking Group listserv:

Hello Everyone,
The agenda for this Friday's Hopkinton Networkers Group (HNG) meeting will be featured by workshop activities.  The facilitator for this week will be Steve Sherlock.   We will devote the first hour, from 10 to 11 AM to the following agenda: Welcome, Landings, Announcements, New Member Intros, and Needs & Leads.   Please arrive early, so we can make every effort to start on time.   In the second hour, we will conduct a workshop with various activities.  Here is how it will be done:
Workshop Activities:
Discovery...Re-Discovery...and FUN:
The handout provided has a 7 x 4 matrix of boxes, i.e., 28 in all, where each box contains an open-ended statement that when completed will yield a more composite picture of the person.
Transferrable Skills:
Bring your resume.  We will break out into small groups and use the classrooms.  After the resume is reviewed, a discussion will take place to determine what transferrable skills your résumé displays.
Name Associations (if time permits):
Think of a relationship of your name with something else that others could relate with and could remember your name.  For example, the association I use is the breakfast serial Rice Krispies whereby removing the last letter "s" and replacing it with a "n" spells my last name.  You will be quite surprised how easily it will be to remember names afterwards.

Franklin, MA

Spruce Pond Creamery

It is a family tradition to walk to the local ice cream parlor at the end of the school year for a supper of ice cream.

The local choice for us is the Spruce Pond Creamery on King St in Franklin, MA. The sign was recently re-freshed to include the fact that they now offer beer and wine in the restaurant. Their flatbread sandwiches and pizza are very good. Adding the beer and wine option for the accompaniment is good.

Their ice cream take out windows are where we headed on Tuesday.

Ice cream for supper? Why not?

A banana split provides multiple food groups (dairy, nuts, and fruit) with more than enough calories for a meal.

It was good! We only do this at the end of the school year so this is a real treat and not a regular staple of our diet.

What special food treat do you enjoy?

Franklin, MA

Everything is possible!

When you were a kid, everything was possible. Why isn't it the same way now?

I especially like the short video at the end of Cameron Herold's TED Talk.

Yes, a video within a video. Plenty of food for thought.

What do think?

Franklin, MA

In the News - Flickers ... for Hope

By Ashley Studley/Daily News staff
Posted Jun 24, 2010 @ 11:51 PM
They may be on summer vacation, but Meghan and Shannon Morrison are already getting into the holiday spirit.
The sisters were only 9 and 7 at the time their mother, Susan, was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. And though Christmas that year fell on one of Susan's "bad weeks," she was able to spend the holiday home with her family.
Recognizing their own good fortune in being able to see their mother at Christmas, the sisters have dedicated themselves to raising money to buy holiday decorations for the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Boston - an outpatient care facility that serves as a home away from home for cancer patients.
 Read the full article here:

Donations to Flickers ... for Hope can be made payable to AstraZeneca Hope Lodge, and sent to the attention 
Flickers ... for Hope 
AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Boston
125 South Huntington Ave 
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Franklin, MA

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Green with a little green!

Susan sent me an email with the text and picture attached. Comments don't allow pictures so I am posting this separately:
Buzz has planted what he calls his "two dollar garden" - left over lattice strips and seedlings that were on sale a couple of weeks ago - all less than $2.

See, something green can be accomplished with just a little green!

Franklin, MA

"a NO vote is being penny-wise but pound-foolish"

How about this from the Boston Globe:

'If we had data on all 351 Massachusetts municipalities, the exact impact of the simulated override might vary, but the overall results would be similar. By not passing the override, homeowners in Hull would save on their property taxes over the next five years. But for every tax dollar they save, Hull homeowners would likely forfeit close to four dollars in home value when they sell their homes.
Before pulling the lever in the voting booth, residents across Massachusetts considering a Prop 2 override to help fund local schools might be wise to consider whether a no vote is being penny-wise but pound-foolish.'

Read the full article here

And the School Committee blog post (which pointed me to this) here

Franklin, MA

Green front porch

The Franklin Food Pantry has taken the food revolution to their front porch. The greenery growing in the pots are flowers and edible plants (i.e. vegetables).

Do you have space for a planter to grow something for your table?

Franklin, MA

Reminder: The question is open until midnight on June 25th

Based upon the discussion around the article in the Milford Daily News on Tuesday 6/15/10, a new poll question has been added to the center column of Franklin Matters.

The question asks if the override question had been phrased differently would the results have been different. In particular the question is:
If the override was split into 2 separate questions, would you have approved the school override? Q1 - $2.1 million for schools   Q2 - $900K for roads/the town

The article and full comment stream can be found here:

 Franklin, MA

"Morris stood out from the crowd"

By Ashley Studley, Daily News staff
Posted Jun 24, 2010 @ 01:22 AM
The School Committee Tuesday welcomed a new addition to the district's administration team, incoming Parmenter Elementary School Principal Tom Morris.
On July 1, Morris will replace Judi Bassignani, who is retiring.
A music teacher for Newton public schools, Morris is looking forward to his new position.
"I'm thrilled to be coming to the Franklin public school district," he said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

This was reported in real-time from the School Committee meeting on Tuesday evening here:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Live reporting - Financial Planning Committee

Present: Hardesty, Roche, Cameron, Bartlett, Whalen, Rohrbach, Zollo
Absent: Morrison, Trahan, Mason, Nutting, Sabolinski

What is the next thing we can do to have an incremental effect?

Update forecast, provide an estimate on next years shortage
How do we control costs going forward, esp with 80% of our costs in employee compensation

How many towns have passed overrides around us?

need to re-do the report to make it more easily understandable, i.e. what impact does it have on me!

(Roche left)

Town of Wakefield Chap 70 inequity example

Norfolk, MA failed their override 6/22/10
The override did not pass. 1,806 votes, which is 29% of registered voters. Yes 571, No 1,235

what are the spending priorities over the next several years?
solicit input on the level of services and what services should be kept
what is the spending priority list?

Franklin, MA

Brainstorming Rules

Rules for brainstorming? Are you sure?
Yes, most definitely. Every game has rules even if they are made up along the way.

Is brainstorming a game?
If we treat it as such, with rules, then the best ideas will win. Note: the ideas win! Not the people who play, the ideas!

The Rules

  1. Generate as Many Ideas as Possible
  2. Encourage Wild and Exaggerated Ideas, No Matter How Crazy, Ridiculous, or Farfetched the Idea Might Be
  3. There will be No Detailed Discussions about an Idea, Except to Provide Clarification
  4. Assign Someone as the Scribe. The Scribe Should Write Down Every Idea – No Screening
  5. Keep a Copy of the Rules in Plain View (That's called transparency!)
  6. The Brainstorming List Must Be Visible to Everyone (also transparency!)
  7. Snowballing on Other Ideas is Encouraged
  8. Postpone and Withhold Judgment of Any Idea (Yes, this will be a tough one)
  9. Leave Your Titles at the Door (and likely the hardest!)
  10. The Optimum Number of People is Between 8 And 12, with One-Third of the Group Being Outsiders

Would you like to play?

Note: the rules come from Mark L Fox and his book DaVinci and the 40 Answers

Franklin, MA

School Committee - 06/22/10

The posts live reported from the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 can be found here

Franklin, MA