Saturday, September 25, 2010

In the News - Harvest Festival

Celebrate at Franklin Downtown Partnership's Fall Festival

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Friendly reminder - as you cruise amongst the tables, I will have a small table set up near the triangle to hold "open office hours". Stop by, say hi!

Franklin, MA

Friday, September 24, 2010

"eliminate hunger and food insecurity in this country"

I direct your attention to these three points because in spite of our efforts over the years, we continue to come up short. Why, for instance, in the richest nation in the world do we have 38 million of our brothers and sisters frequently wondering where their next meal will come from? Why has organic and locally grown food become such a craze – organic constituting the fastest growing segment of the U.S. food industry – while high calorie, low nutrient, so-called cheap food, constitutes such a large segment of lower income families’ diets? And why do so many of us have before us an unprecedented abundance of accessible and diversified retail food outlets to choose from while a significant segment of our citizens live in what can only be called food deserts?
Read the full posting here

Franklin, MA

Thursday, September 23, 2010

5th Annual Casino Night - Nov 19

On Friday, November 19, 2010, the Franklin Education Foundation (FEF) will hold its 5th Annual Casino Night at the Franklin Elks from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. The event will feature Black Jack, Roulette and Money Wheel as well as raffles, a Silent Auction, cash bar and FREE hors d’oeuvres. The event is well known as a fun evening out with friends and neighbors, all while contributing to a worthwhile cause.

FEF is currently seeking table sponsors as well as auction donations. If you have an item to donate or if your company is interested in sponsoring, contact FEF. It’s a great way for local companies to show their commitment to education in Franklin.

Admission is $25. To avoid waiting in line at the door, advance ticket purchase is recommended. For ticket purchase, auction donation or sponsorship information, please contact Peter Minor at (508) 541-6700 or Cash only accepted for chip purchase. Checks and Visa/MC accepted for Silent Auction items. For more information visit

Since 1997, The Franklin Education Foundation events have raised well over $190,000 which has been distributed to Franklin public schools in the form of special grants. All Franklin Public School staff members are eligible to submit creative, innovative ideas for programs or activities that would not traditionally be funded by tax dollars. To see a list of programs FEF have funded over the years, visit

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Express Line - v2 #1

The Express Line, the newsletter from the Franklin Town Administration has just been published. You can read it here:

Franklin Ma Express Line Volume 2 Issue1

You can subscribe to receive your own copy directly to your inbox here:

Franklin, MA

A Thousand Cuts

Maybe this kind of exercise would be a good one for Franklin to discuss. What do you think?

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Center for American Progress by Michael Linden on 9/20/10

Read the full report (pdf)

Download the executive summary (pdf)

Download the report to mobile devices and e-readers from Scribd

There are hard budget decisions coming for our country and we need to get serious about them. Whether you agree with us that any deficit reduction should take place only after the economic recovery is firmly in place, or agree with those who believe deficits should be reduced immediately—halting projects and jobs mid-stream—there is little argument that the budget deficits projected for the years ahead are unsustainable. Everyone knows that tax increases, spending cuts, or both, are in our future. What few have been willing to do, however, is say what
those tax increases and spending cuts might look like.

That failure has rendered the debate on this subject close to worthless—people talking past each other saying either "no" to meaningful tax increases or "no" to meaningful spending cuts, offering as evidence of their fiscal virtue only trivial or vague measures that serve primarily to mislead their audiences about the true scope of the problem. They scrupulously avoid detailing what meaningful action might look like. This does the country a grave disservice.

Hiding how difficult grappling with federal budget deficits is going to be, leading the public to believe that there are relatively easy ways out, raises the political liability of taking action and postpones the day when we step up to the challenge. That isn't to say that no one has acknowledged how difficult this really is or offered specific ideas and gotten attention for their work—but they have been largely drowned out by the disingenuous cacophony.

The purpose of this report is to examine what spending cuts could look like under several scenarios for hitting a deficit target of primary balance in 2015: either all through spending cuts, two-thirds through spending cuts, half through spending cuts, or one-third through spending cuts. Tax increases would have to make up the difference for those plans that don't hit the target entirely through spending cuts— although we leave to another day detailing what such tax hikes might look like.

By showing sets of specific spending cuts we hope to deepen the discussion of where deficit reduction is going to come from. The challenge we issue is this: If you think all or most of the deficit problem should be dealt with on the spending side, are you then willing to own the cuts we outline? If not, then it's time to go public with what your cuts are, with at least the same level of precision we do—no gimmicks, "sunsets," or other games. No infomercial claims that you've got a magic elixir that gets the same results for half the money.

We have analyzed spending cuts in this report to promote serious discussion not because of a failure to recognize that most spending cuts are painful and, in some way, harmful. We recognize the value of public expenditures for the nation's present and future. We recognize that millions of people rely on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans benefits, and the rest. We know that the future of our economy rests in part on public investments. We see that our safety and security rely on government spending.

The cuts we identify are not chosen to scare, but represent a sincere effort to minimize the harm that would be done.

The cuts we identify are not chosen to scare, but represent a sincere effort to minimize the harm that would be done. Our goal is, to the extent possible, to preserve necessary spending that promotes economic growth, protects the most vulnerable, keeps the country safe, and fulfills our national obligations. But that isn't easy. The truth is that, contrary to popular wisdom, most federal government dollars go to good and popular things.

The value and popularity of most public programs does not, however, end the discussion. As we all know, not every federal dollar is spent well. And there is hardly a clamor for higher taxes to pay for all that is good and popular. It may be that the best way to preserve what is valuable for government to do is to cut what is less valuable. That is a proposition to be tested, not dismissed at the outset. This report tests that proposition by moving from the abstract to the specific—by looking at what cuts would have to be made to hit a deficit reduction target relying, to varying degrees, on the spending side of the ledger.

Our deficit reduction target is $255 billion in 2015. This is the amount by which the deficit would have to be reduced in 2015, relative to the president's current budget plan for that year, to bring the budget into "primary balance." Primary balance is when total government revenues are equal to total government spending, with the exception of interest on the debt. A budget in primary balance means that all government services, benefits, and programs are paid for and require no additional borrowing to support. Primary balance is the intermediate goal that we first suggested in our report "A Path to Balance." It is also the specific goal, with 2015 as the target the year, set by President Barack Obama for the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

This report is the third in a series that we have produced in the last year on the nation's budget deficits. We released "Deal With It" in September of 2009, which chronicled our national path from federal budget surpluses in the years 1998 through 2001 to a steady stream of deficits that, with the advent of the Great Recession, topped postwar records in 2009. That report does not decry the deficits of 2009, 2010, or the years that will immediately follow as we dig ourselves out of our economic hole. Those deficits are largely inevitable and, in fact, necessary. Instead, that report laments the poor fiscal posture in which we entered the recession and looks ahead with alarm at the longer-term deficit projections. It is those deficits of the future that are unsustainable and pose substantial risks. "Deal With It" went through the arithmetic of deficit reduction—demonstrating the implausibility of balancing the budget solely through either spending cuts or tax increases on the wealthy and corporations.

We followed that report with "A Path to Balance" in December of 2009, which outlines a set of deficit targets including a long-term goal of a balanced budget and the interim goal of primary balance. It emphasizes the need to run deficits in the immediate future to jumpstart the economy because a growing economy makes deficit reduction much easier and much more likely. But recognizing the need for deficits now does not mean that we should not take action now on the deficits projected for the future. The report calls for such action—for making a plan now to deal with the deficits later. That is to say: a path to balance.

We have always been clear in this work that deficit reduction should not come at all costs. We could successfully address the nation's fiscal challenges but end up doing net harm to our country. Cutting investments that are important for future economic growth, for example, would leave us a poorer nation overall, even if we did have a balanced budget. Reducing our national defense, regulatory infrastructure, or social safety net to the point of inadequacy might be worse than deficits. We could also raise taxes beyond the boundaries of good sense. A more balanced budget requires a balanced approach. The nation needs a serious discussion of what that balance should be.

By offering a set of plans that demonstrate what spending cuts might look like in order to achieve significant deficit reduction, we aim to embolden that discussion. Our plans are almost certainly not perfect. And, to be clear, we do not ourselves support all the cuts listed. In fact, we offer cuts where, in other contexts, the Center for American Progress has urged expansions. But our choices have been made with a sincere eye toward what would work best for our country given the deficit-reduction parameters we have set out for ourselves. To some extent, the purpose of this exercise is to test those parameters. Is cutting the budget by $255 billion too much? Is $170 billion, $130 billion, or $85 billion?

If your answer is that every one of these options is too much, that they shortchange public needs, that perhaps we need to be making greater investments and provide expanded public services not less, that's a fair position. It means you either believe that we can afford very large deficits or that we should solve the deficit problem completely, or almost completely, through taxes.
The other ground for disagreement is with our specific choices regarding what to cut. That's fair as well. But what we ask for is this: We have shown a way to do this within your broad parameters for spending cuts, whoever you are. If you don't like the way we did it, offer an alternative at least as detailed as we have. Replace everything you take out from our plan with something just as big. Let's put serious ideas on the table and discuss them.

But there is one position that isn't fair. That is the all-too-common posture that this can all be done with just a little belt-tightening and reductions in wasteful government spending—with no need to get into spending cuts that hurt and unwanted tax increases. That sort of nonsense does a great disservice to our country.

Nothing does more to postpone the day when we seriously address budget deficits than pretending that it is easy.

The deficits our nation will run for the next few years are important for getting the country back on a solid economic foundation. But we need to be planning for the day when we deal with our longer-term deficits. That fiscal challenge is one where discussion that isn't serious doesn't just get us nowhere—it brings us backward. Nothing does more to postpone the day when we seriously address budget deficits than pretending that it is easy, offering only showy spending cuts that don't amount to much or orchestrating budget gimmicks that obscure the true cost of tax cuts. The deficit peacocks who play this game are all show and no substance. But they're worse than that—by offering these palliatives they're making it politically harder to get to the real business of addressing our deficit challenge. And that's a challenge we need to address.

Read the full report (pdf)

Download the executive summary (pdf)

Download the report to mobile devices and e-readers from Scribd

Things you can do from here:

Franklin student artwork displayed

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 9/22/10

High School Art Director Mike Caple invites residents to Gallery 218's first show of the school year Friday night.

Things you can do from here:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

King St/i495 (Exit 16) Paving Update

The King St i495 (Exit 16) interchange is getting paved. According to a friendly worker as I ran by this morning to snap this photo, they should only need tonight (Weds) and then Thursday to finish the paving.

Great work guys, this has been a long time coming and will be welcomed when complete!

Franklin, MA

Friends of the Franklin Library need your help!

The Friends of the Franklin Library are preparing for our Oct. Book Sale and we need your help!

Volunteers have the opportunity to shop early.

The October Book Sale set up begins on Tuesday, Oct. 12th.  We need volunteers to assist with the set up through the beginning of the sale on Friday, Oct. 15th.   

The set up and sale will again be housed at the DPW garage off of Hayward Street.  Set up times are from 9:30 AM– 2:30 PM Tuesday through Friday (Oct. 12th-15th).

We also need help on each day of the sale.  

  • Friday, Oct. 15th (Member’s night) 4PM – 8PM 
  • Saturday, Oct 16th, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  
  • Sunday, Oct. 17th, from 9AM to Noon - 'bag sale' 
  • Sunday Oct 17th - help with clean up from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

We are also looking for students to help during the sale times and clean up on Sunday.  If you know a student who is 14 or older and who would like to help, please have them Denise Jandreski @ 508-520-9955 or via email:

Franklin, MA

Red Tag Outlet

In the former Hollywood Video store, next to Hometown Paint, the Red Tag Outlet has set up and opened for business.

Have you been in yet?
What is it like?

Franklin, MA

Woo Hoo! And so we begin

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Growing In Franklin by Franklin Community Gardens on 9/21/10

Meeting number two brought more people and more energy.  We met newcomers to town, longtime residents, condo dwellers.  All wanted to see a community garden project for the same reasons as well as different ones. All would like their own plots, all would like to see a youth garden, and all want to help in a giving garden for the food pantry.  What is it about gardeners?----we span the generations, yet put us all in one room and we are old friends from the get go!  Love it.

We discussed community, giving back, healthy eating, recreation, education, youth programs, and more.

Next order of business is to find some land.  Not just any land, but sunny, healthy, and tillable land.

We talked about community garden models in other towns, on municipal land, and the realistic timeline for planning and rolling something out. Probably months and months. We can do this. 

We are also looking into finding space on private land for the food pantry garden, and have taken steps towards making connections with landholders.  This is something that could be in the ground and green and growing this spring.  If you are reading this, and can help us with your land or know someone who might be open to letting us cultivate a large vegetable garden, please contact us here via a comment or an email.

Lauren at the Y will send out minutes of the meeting to those of you who are on our list. 

I have just received an email from one of the Town departments, woo hoo! So the process begins.........

As soon as I know what we need to do Town-wise I will rally you, troops.

Thank you!


Things you can do from here:

In the News - Tri-County

Tri-county students offer career technical services to the public


Franklin, MA

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Letter from Peter Light, FHS Principal

Today, Franklin High School introduced a program, Rachel's Challenge, to high school students during classes. The introduction was designed to provide students with background information about this program which will be conducted Wednesday during school. The program is sensitive in nature as it deals directly with issues surrounding school violence and how students within a school and community treat each other. Counselors were available today and will be available throughout the week to work with high school students in processing information presented through this program.
I would also like to extend a personal invitation for parents to join Franklin High School and the greater Franklin Community to attend Rachel’s Challenge . A parent/ community program will take place this Wednesday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m. in the Horace Mann Auditorium.
Rachel’s Challenge was founded by Darrell Scott, father of Rachel Scott. Rachel was the first victim to be killed in the Columbine High School tragedy on April 20, 1999. Rachel’s Challenge is a tribute to Rachel Scott and her enduring message that you can change the world by treating others with compassion and kindness.
The development of a positive and safe school culture, one that fosters the acceptance of all students and provides a nurturing environment, is the single greatest responsibility we have to our children. Rachel’s Challenge provides us as a community with tools to combat bullying, prevent school violence and simply create the best environment we can for our youth. The inspirational live presentation lasts approximately one hour and has been viewed by millions throughout the United States, Germany and South America. Rachel’s Challenge has been recognized in numerous national forums and by two United States Presidents for its effectiveness and impact on all who see it. For more information, you may visit the Rachel’s Challenge website at:
I invite you to join Franklin High School as we embark upon our journey and I hope to see you this Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Horace Mann Auditorium.
Peter Light

Franklin High School

Franklin, MA

Improvement Project - Traffic Changes - Executive Summary

The Executive Summary of the proposed traffic changes as part of the Downtown Improvement Project can be view in this document:

Franklin,MA Proposed traffic circulation - executive summary 20100901

Additional documentation on the project can be found on the Dept of Planning and Community Development on the Franklin, MA website here:

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to view this document

Franklin, MA

Senior Center - Open House - Sep 24

How timely?
Very timely!

Franklin, MA has been selected as a great place to retire and the Senior Center is holding an Open House this Friday. Details on the Open House can be viewed in this flyer:


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

Franklin, MA

Office Hours - Sep 26

Stop by for Office Hours

As a member of the Downtown Partnership, I will have a table near the Bamboo House restaurant on Main St and hold Office Hours during the Harvest Festival on Sunday, Sep 26.

I will be coming in from PodCamp Boston 5 and should be at the table by noon time.

Franklin, MA

"you really learn to appreciate the little things"

As the mother of a cancer survivor, Donigan finds that September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, brings back years of hospital memories.
"I want the gold ribbon to be as widely known as the pink one is for breast cancer," Donigan said.
In 2003, Donigan's then 18-month-old daughter Hunter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Read the full story about Hunter and childhood cancer in the Milford Daily News here:

Franklin, MA

In the News - soccer, triathlon, Clark-Cutler-McDermott

Franklin Elks Lodge sponsors annual soccer shoot

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Franklin YMCA hosts Annual Youth Triathlon

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Clark-Cutler-McDermott recognized by General Motors

Franklin, MA

Monday, September 20, 2010

Take this poster, please!

The poster for the upcoming Job Search Jam Sessions 2. This will be held in Hopkinton, MA on October 1. This is an unconference for the unemployed and under-employed.

Job Search Jam Session 2 - Poster

Yes, please download, printout and post this in as many friendly places as you can find to help spread the word.

The Organizing Team thanks you!

Those who attend will thank you!

Register here to take part:

Register for Job Search Jam Sessions 2 in Hopkinton, MA  on Eventbrite

Big Lots! coming to Franklin

In the space left by TJ Maxx, Big Lots is coming to Franklin.  Currently, the closet Big Lot store is in Milford.

Maybe it's the one-of-a-kind shopping experience. Or the unique and ever-changing mix of brand-name merchandise. Or perhaps it's just the thrill of the treasure hunt.

But one thing's for sure - once you get a taste of closeout shopping, you'll never look at traditional retail the same way again.

From everyday consumables and housewares to toys and seasonal goods, Big Lots offers amazing values that other stores just can't match. As the nation's largest broadline closeout retailer, we have the buying power to find and negotiate the best deals in the business.

The result? Unbeatable bargains, with something new to discover every time. Plus stores that are genuinely fun to shop. It's a combination strong enough to break old shopping habits - turning more and more consumers into Big Lots closeout shoppers..
One big difference with Big Lots is they do sell via their website where Ocean State Job Lots, Bldg 19 and other outlets rely on the physical building.

Thanks to CK for the pointer to Big Lots!

BTW - When I stopped by recently to take this photo, there was nothing posted on the door indicating when they would be open.

Updated 11/14/10 - word has it they are scheduled to open on Nov 19th!

Franklin, MA

In the News - Kennedy School

Franklin school praised for test scores

Franklin, MA

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Downtown Improvement Project - Survey - Update

The participation on Downtown Partnership survey has increased to 106 with No still leading by almost 2-1 margin (68-No, 38-Yes).

Sample comments: (spelling was corrected for readability)
Being a resident for over 70 years, we have had 2 way traffic here, and it worked and I believe it would cause less frustration and less chaos for the busiest times of the day and when the down town commuter train lets off people.
Franklin has a very small downtown and the only way to open up and make things flow more smoothly is getting rid of all this one way nonsense!
I vote for the 2 way!
I have looked on-line at the proposed changes to the down town area and while they do look attractive I do have some concerns about the two way traffic flow on the streets.  Many Franklin residents can not maneuver through downtown now with out breaking the "do not cross a solid line" driving law or stopping where there is no stop or yield sign.  I guess the new design would remove this factor from the equation.  My main concern is that the streets through downtown are so narrow that two way traffic flow through downtown may become hazardous.  At this point if you are trying to cross the street you at least know that traffic will only be coming at you from one direction.  I agree whole heartedly that the power lines need to be buried and the downtown could use some sprucing up but change to the traffic flow in an area with space restrictions may not be the best plan.  I would look for ways to add additional parking to the downtown area so residents can find safe parking easily to enjoy what downtown Franklin has to offer.  You can do many of the things in the proposed plan and keep the traffic flow one way.
40 years ago the town decided that the current one-way traffic pattern was necessary because of traffic tie ups that extended along route 140 from King Street to union Street.  With double the population, there is no reason to believe that it won't be the case if we switch back to two-way traffic on route 140.  We get romanced into doing unnecessary projects because it is someone else's money.  The cost will be in the future when we realize we have to change it back.  Projects like this are always justified by supposedly making it more pedestrian friendly.  It always ends up reducing parking spaces in front of businesses.  If you don't live within walking distance of the downtown, there is no way to become a downtown pedestrian unless you have a place to park your car.  You will be told that parking spaces in the downtown will actually increase.  It's not really true.  Adding spaces on Emmons Street does not replace lost parking spaces in front of Main Street businesses.  Anyone who tells you they would park on Emmons Street and walk back to shop is not being truthful.

Good feedback folks! Keep it coming.

Share the link to the survey with your friends and neighbors.

Franklin, MA

athletics can act as "an extension of the classroom"

Nearby Franklin also rejected an override in June that would have raised about $3 million for municipal and school expenses. The high school has since increased user fees to $200 from last year's $125, Athletic Director Brad Sidwell said.
"It's like everything in education," he said. "You have costs that are rising, and a lot of them are contractual."
Cross country, indoor and outdoor track athletes in Franklin pay $175 per season.
It was too early to measure this year's participation rates, Sidwell said. The track programs, which cover the students' physical education requirement, are having growing popularity last year.
The percentage of the athletic program's annual budget funded through athletic fees and game receipts "has certainly gone up," Sidwell said.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Franklin, MA

Harvest Festival 2010 - map

This is the layout of the booths for the Harvest Festival sponsored by the Franklin Downtown Partnership. The Harvest Festival will be held on Sunday, Sep 26 2010 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Downtown Partnership Harvest Fest 2010 Map

Note: the map is not to scale but is meant to provide a good idea of the layout of the booths and exhibits at the Harvest Festival. You can print a copy to take with you to the Festival.