Saturday, July 17, 2010

What's your name?

I've wanted to re-open the "Where in Franklin?" series and had the thought today on how to do it with a twist (of course).  I recall taking a walk along a state park trail with a naturalist when my daughters were young. The naturalist was able to name every plant along the way. Well, at least it seemed like she could. That is one area where my own development is lacking. I can recognize some vegetation (common trees, poison ivy, cherry tomatoes, etc.) but generally to walk in the woods, I feel a loss in that I don't know the names of the trees, plants and other vegetation.

Let's start with some simple things. Walking along the streets in Franklin, folks have various flowers and plants adorning their yard. Some of them are more attractive than others but all have a place in the circle of life. All of them have a name. As I walk around town and take pictures, I'll post good ones to find out the name.

You can play along in at least three ways:
1 - name it
send me an email, or leave a comment to identify the item shown

2 - send me a photo
of an item you would like to know the name of. I'll post it so we can all learn together

3 - you can also be less active and just read along
learning and sharing as we find out 'who's who' in the plant kingdom

This is not a contest where the first person who correctly names the item wins. We will all win by learning, and sharing and yes, perhaps having a laugh together, over what we know (and don't know).

This will be a new series. I'll have a separate page to collect the individual posts, pictures and results.

How does that sound?

I believe that learning, sharing, and laughing are the three things that I try to do everyday. Will you join me in this? Would you like to play along?

Yes, that is good. Then here is the first challenge. I found this gorgeous flower in a yard along King St.

Ms Flower - what's your name?

Note: If you have a Flickr account, you can also click through and comment on the photo in Flickr. I'll also post this to the Franklin Matters Facebook page.


The Answer - my friend from Hawaii, Rosa Say, left a comment on the Flickr page to identify these as hibiscus.  More on hibiscus can be found here:

Franklin, MA

If you've already read Dark Tide

The Dark Tide was the book selected for the "Franklin Reads" program in 2008.

And from the Library newsletter:

Introducing One Book Two Communities. “Franklin Reads” is three years old. We are pleased to expand this program to include the Community of Medway. Book selection is in progress and we invite you all to participate in this exciting adventure.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Universal Hub by adamg on 7/14/10

Stephen Puleo, author of the definitive work on our very own Molasses Flood, has a new book out on the history of Boston between 1850 and 1890: A City So Grand.
Chris Klein reviews the book, says it's a great read, but left him melancholy:
... Back then, Bostonians literally moved mountains to resculpt the city, filling in waterways and creating the Back Bay. Puleo writes that the Great Coliseum, 500 feet long and 300 feet wide, that held 50,000 people for the Great Peace Jubilee was built in just 90 days. 90 days!
Boston still plays a leading role in science, technology, and education. In the last 20 years, Boston has had some notable achievements such as the cleanup of Boston Harbor and the Big Dig, but even while the Big Dig was an engineering marvel it was a long, protracted project and not necessarily a source of pride. These days, we can't even stage an event such as the Parade of Tall Ships without constant bickering and political infighting. There's a huge hole festering in Downtown Crossing where the old Filene's building, a Boston institution, once stood. I fear that it's becoming a symbol of a can't-do spirit in the city. Could Boston build the Great Coliseum in just 90 days today? I doubt it. ...
read more

Things you can do from here:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Third Thursday - July 15th - photo summary

The Museum was open and busy with visitors. Some were enjoying the Stanley Chilson videos being shown that showed life in Franklin in the 1930's.

The Fire Dept trucks were shining in the setting sunlight.

Rick's added a sign showing a welcome service in the recent heat; AC

The Downtown Consignment shop was open in the rear of the Berry Building

The triangle sign was updated to reflect the new water restrictions in place as of 7/7/10

The cherry tomatoes are growing at the Franklin Food Pantry

Did you go downtown for Third Thursday? Did you have any fried dough at the Rome? Or stop into Jane's Frames or Cafe Dolce?

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.

Franklin, MA

Main St Construction

In case you missed the notice that construction on Main St began this week, you would find the following signs as you approached the Post Office heading to Dean College and the Library.

Franklin, MA

Massachusetts ballot questions announced by secretary of state

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 7/15/10

Wicked Local Politics
Expect to hear a lot in the coming months about Questions 1, 2 and 3.  Massachusetts voters in November will decide the fate of questions slashing the sales tax rate to 3 percent from 6.25 percent, overturning last summer's new tax on retail alcohol sales and repealing the state's comprehensive permit law known as Chapter 40B.
Secretary of State William Galvin on Thursday announced the numbers attached to each question.
  • The alcohol sales tax repeal question will be Question 1,
  • The comprehensive permit law repeal is Question 2 and
  • The initiative petition to reduce the sales tax to 3 percent will be Question 3. 

Things you can do from here:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

MBTA New Commuter Rail Locomotive Purchase

Local commuters on the Franklin Line will have some light at the end of the tunnel for better service in 2013.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

MBTA New Commuter Rail Locomotive Purchase

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 7/15/10

MBTA Commuter Train The MBTA Board of Directors has approved the purchase of 20 new diesel electric locomotives for commuter rail service.  The $114.6 million contract with Motive Power Inc. of Boise, Idaho will deliver the new locomotives beginning in 2013.

The acquisition of new locomotives is a high priority for the MBTA and is a critical element in improving commuter rail performance and service. 

The MBTA operates a fleet of 80 revenue service locomotives, the oldest of which were manufactured between 1978 and 1980.  Overhauled in 1989, these locomotives were programmed for retirement in 2005.  The purchase will allow the MBTA to remove the 20 oldest and least reliable locomotives from service, eliminating associated armature and traction motor failures. 
In addition to realizing increased reliability, the MBTA will significantly reduce locomotive emissions.  The new units will be required to meet "Tier 3" emission standards as regulated by the EPA.  Advancing the delivery of this cleaner technology will reduce fuel consumption by approximately 730,000 gallons per year and will reduce the following in emissions per year; particulate Matter – 26 tons, Hydrocarbons – 38 tons, and Oxides of Nitrogen – by 924 tons.  The reduction in fuel consumption will save an estimated $1.5 million annually.  Visit MBTA on the web to learn more and purchase commuter rail tickets.

Things you can do from here:

New MBTA trains to be added to Framingham, Franklin lines

Facts At a Glance: Massachusetts Ranks 31st in Taxes in FY 2008

I get this newsletter and for those interested in the whole budget process, they are quite informative. You can subscribe to receive your own copy via one of their channels.

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Contact Info

  Noah Berger

  (617) 426-1228 x102

  Tom Benner
  Communications Director
  (617) 426-1228 x100

Facts At a Glance:
Massachusetts Ranks 31st in Taxes in FY 2008

July 15, 2010

This week the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual update of State and Local Government Finances, providing national data for Fiscal Year 2008. 

The amount of state and local taxes paid in Massachusetts as a share of total personal income was 10.3 percent in FY 2008. By this measure, Massachusetts had lower taxes than 30 other states.

A MassBudget fact sheet analyzing the new Census data is available at or by clicking here.

In addition, a newly updated fact sheet, Facts At a Glance: New Corporate Tax Breaks Proposed in Economic Development Legislation, is available by clicking here.

See MassBudget's Budget Browser to explore Massachusetts state budgets from Fiscal Year 2001 to the present, as well as budget proposals offered by the Governor and the Legislature.

MassBudget provides independent research and analysis of state budget and tax policies, as well as economic issues, with particular attention to the effects on low- and moderate-income people.
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

Franklin, MA: new recycle process video

The DPW have posted a new video on the Franklin, MA website You can view it here, or navigate the the DPW Recyle page to download a copy of your own to view.

The video depicting the automated pick up process can be found here:

Note: The truck picks up one kind of barrel each time it comes by. Once for recycling (Yellow cover) and once for trash (Black cover).

Franklin, MA: road construction update

Main Street and Lincoln Street from Emmons Street to Moore Avenue will be under construction starting July 15, 2010 to October 2010 for the construction of a new water main. Motorist should expect delays and detours during this time.

Originally posted on the Franklin, MA website here

Have you done any travel out of the state of MA this summer? We are lucky to only have a few roads under construction this summer. Why? Franklin continues to save money and avoid repairs until government funding becomes available because Franklin taxpayers can't find a way to pay for their own road repair.

Oh and this is government funding (capital and road improvement grants) that would not have been available for operational expenses like teachers or police dispatchers.

In the News - arson, construction

Arson suspected in Franklin brush fires

Construction in downtown Franklin may cause traffic delays

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Reminder: Don't Forget to Attend the July 14th Wine Tasting!

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From Champagne to Port, Chianti to Merlot...
Come taste a variety of wine, with the YPO!

There are so many different types of wine available to purchase. With so many regions and flavors, making sure you select the right one, for whatever the occasion, can be a tricky task. And if you've ever taken a trip to your local liquor store, you know how overwhelming the choice can be. 

Wine Tasting Event
Please join the United Regional's Young Professional Organization (YPO) for an evening of food, fun, music, and of course, wine!

Our wine connoisseurs promise to tantalize your taste buds will today's most popular wines. And they'll tell you which bottle of vino is sure to be a hit at your next party!
There will also be food and music provided.
United Regional's Young Professional Organization 

What's the YPO?
The YPO is THE place for 20 and 30-somethings who have an interest in social and business networking, community involvement, and professional development.

Come meet other young professionals in your area and check out the YPO!
Also, be on the lookout for details of our next event on August 12th!

We hope you'll be able to join us as we taste the wine and savor the food at Country Gardens! 

Jack Lank
United Regional's YPO
Country Gardens

339 Tremont Street

Rehoboth, MA 02769

(508) 431-1255


July 14, 2010


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To plan for enough food and wine, please let us know if you'll be attending by RSVP'ing to prior to July 10th.

Franklin, MA: Town committee/board openings

The following Boards have vacancies.  If you are interested please complete a committee appointment request form which can be obtained from the Town Clerk’s office located on the first floor of the Municipal Building, 355 East Central Street or downloaded from the Town Clerk’s web page.Click here for form

Regular Member
Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund
Cable Advisory Board
Franklin Cultural Council
Franklin Disability Commission
Library Board of Directors
Public Land Use Committee
Recreation Advisory Board
Zoning Board of Appeals

This was originally posted on the Franklin, MA website here

In the News - veterans benefits, storm water rules

Local veterans agents applaud PTSD ruling

Franklin, MA

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Third Thursday - July 15th

The Franklin Downtown Partnership will host its next Third Thursday event July 15 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with two participating merchants spotlighting artists and others celebrating Christmas in July.

Jane’s Frames, 11 East Central Street, will host an Artist’s Reception beginning at 4 p.m. featuring fine art photography by Cariappa Annaiah. Also that evening, Jean Blake White will be hosting an exhibition of her artwork at CafĂ© Dolce, where she’ll be on hand to talk about her work and the Franklin Art Association. As usual, there also will be live music for visitors to enjoy.

Emma’s Quilt Cupboard on Main Street and Part Paints N’ Pottery on East Central Street will be celebrating Christmas in July. At the pottery studio visitors can paint Christmas ornaments while enjoying gingersnaps and mulled cider.

Also that evening the Franklin Historical Museum will be open for tours from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and other businesses will feature specials as well. Come learn about Franklin history and enjoy downtown.

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is a group of community leaders, business owners and residents whose mission is the economic revival of Franklin’s downtown.

The public is invited to the Partnership’s next general meeting on Thursday, July 15, at 8:30 a.m. at Dean College.

The next scheduled events are Third Thursday, August 19th and the Harvest Festival, September 26th. The deadline for festival crafters registration is August 15th.

For more information please contact Executive Director Lisa Piana at (774)571-3109 or

Franklin, MA

In the News - music, local produce

Franklin music teacher takes act to Boston

Franklin native opens farm stand

Franklin, MA

Monday, July 12, 2010

Franklin Area Blogs: Lydia, oh, Lydia!

In the whole group of the Franklin Area Blogs, there is one where humor is king, rather queen; Lydia Oh Lydia!

Lydia's blogger description tell us that she is
"a fat eccentric suburban soccer mom takes you along on all her hilarious adventures. She along with her crazy kids, and an odd cast of characters raise hell in their quiet idyllic New England town. Lydia is a brilliant satirist...She is the crazy suburban mom you wished lived next door! No need to shave your legs before you read this blog. Lydia Dustin's blog Lydia Oh Lydia Copyright © Blog All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of content, text, or image is strictly prohibited without prior written consent. The Lydia Oh Lydia Blog was launched by Lydia Dustin Kirchthurn in October, 2008."
When you need a laugh, you only need to turn to Lydia.

The most recent updates from Lydia can be found in the Franklin Area Blogs section, along the far right column here on Franklin Matters.

Click through to visit Lydia when you need that laugh and let Lydia know you heard about her here!


Franklin, MA

Sunday, July 11, 2010

wind power

out in Illinois, along i39 and IL ST 30, wind turbines amongst the corn and soybean fields are a glorious sight to see.

The turbine at St Mary's Abbey stands alone. These turbines are amongst dozens.

Franklin, MA

Franklin Area Blogs: scouts, reverend, and chiropractor services

We are getting to the 'one-of' kind of blogs that populate the remainder of my listing of Franklin Area Blogs.

First up is the Cub Scouts with Franklin Cub Scout Pack 126

Rev Charley Eastman, of the Franklin Federated Church, writes at Federated Rev

Dr Dan Van Roon, who runs a chiropractic service (yes, the same one who created a stir recently when he tried proposing to move to a new location at the corner of RT 140 and Jordan Road), writes frequently at Van Roon Chiropractic

The most recent updates from each of these blogs can be found in the Franklin Area Blogs section, along the far right column here on Franklin Matters.

Click through to visit them from time to time and let them know you heard about them here!


Franklin, MA