Saturday, November 6, 2010

Art of the Educator - Hunakai Studio - through Nov 19th

After posting about the 'Art of the Educator' exhibit at the Hunakai Studios in Foxborough. I caught up with Carla Carey, the Executive Director. The exhibit has been extended until Nov 19th due to the positive interest shown. There are works from about 14 teachers representing Franklin, Foxborough, Mansfield, Medfield, Middleborough and Sharon.

There are about 50 pieces of art work being exhibited covering multiple forms of expression; sculpture, painting, and pottery. Carla was enthusiastic talking about the show. "It is kind of surprising to see some of the work, it is not your 'always conservative' teacher showing. It is really super and fun."

The show is a biannual affair for the studio to feature the importance of art education for the community. Carla hopes that the parents will see this and look to foster the creative arts in their communities. The creative arts teach problem solving techniques. With the current budget issues most school districts are facing, this kind of creative problem solving is becoming all the more important.

The Hunakai Studio operates as a school of fine arts serving students from 5 to 92. The studio will work with the schools to develop a portfolio. They have five separate studios to work with. The teachers are themselves professional artists. The environment is very much alive!

Hunakai School of Fine Arts
16 Chestnut Street Suite 410
Foxboro, MA 02035
(508) 543-5665

Studio hours
Mon: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Tues: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Thurs: 10:00 am - 8:30 pm
Fri: 10:00 am - 6:30 pm
Sat: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

View Larger Map

Franklin, MA

If Franklin matters, you can help

I believe Franklin matters, hence the name for this site. I have written of how the site came to be and how it is my public service effort here.

I am realizing that as much as I can do, there is still more to be done and hence can use some help.
  • If you believe that Franklin, MA matters
  • If you have some skill in writing
  • If you have a willingness to learn some Web 2.0 tools
I would like to expand the writers on this site.
I would like to include those who have answered Yes to the questions above and would be willing to help.

In particular, there are Planning Board, Conservation Commission, and Design Review meetings that would be good to attend and report on. I have focused on the Town Council, School Committee, Finance Committee and Financial Planning Committee to "follow the money". These other areas are important to cover and I can not do it all. Nor would I attempt to.

If you already have some skill and interest and a topic that would be good to share with the Franklin community, then we should talk as well.

So if you are reading this, you already maybe someone who can help or know of someone who might be able to.

If you'd like to explore what this would mean (and what help/training I would provide) please let me know.

You can comment or send me an email at

Thank you!

Franklin, MA

In the News - veterans honored, Class of 1947 reunion, concert Sunday

Franklin honors its veterans

LiveARTS sponsors Sunday concert

Franklin, MA

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ze Frank - fun for Friday!

I haven't posted recently on our Web 2.0 series so I thought I would do so today.

I miss Ze Frank's "The Show" - It was a glorious exploration, everyday something new. Yes, some worked better than others but going through each day, it was magic.

I recall back at the first PodCamp Boston, Steve Garfield coordinated a session that produced this video on "Riding the Fire Eagle Danger Day"!

Ze Frank summarizes some of his work in this TED talk. The two best parts are the Ray story and the last piece on "Hey, you're okay"

Of course, you should have fun everyday and not just Friday!

What are you going to do to have fun today?

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view this video

This was originally posted to Steve's 2 Cents

For additional posts on the Web 2.0 series, you can use the search feature on the top right column and look for "Web 2.0".

Franklin, MA

Stress and Your Teen Conference - Nov 13

Are you a parent dealing with teenagers? Have a challenging time?

This conference might be good to learn what contributes to teenage stress and get some tools to help your family live a happier and healthier life amidst everyday stresses!

Stress and Your Teen Conference

Register at

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2010 8:30AM – 3:00PM

Franklin, MA

United Regional Chamber moves downtown

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its new downtown Franklin office location with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house. The event will be held Nov. 12 at 11 a.m. at 4 West St., Franklin, on the corner of West Central and West streets. Please RSVP to the Chamber at 508-222-0801.

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, business support organization serving the communities of Attleboro, Bellingham, Blackstone, Foxborough, Franklin, Mansfield, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Norton, Plainville, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Wrentham.

Franklin, MA

Remington 3rd Annual Turkey Trot

WHO - Remington Middle School students and staff

WHEN - Friday - November 19, 2009 1:50 to 4:00pm RAIN or SHINE

WHERE - Remington cafeteria (628 Washington St, Franklin, MA)

WHY - Remington students who donate $1 and a canned good will participate in a one mile run/walk around campus to benefit those in need. Money donations will go towards purchasing items for Thanksgiving baskets and canned goods will be donated to the Franklin Food Pantry. There will be free food and music in the cafeteria following the trot.

Hope to see you there

Please contact Jennifer Wynn (
or Michaela Libby ( for more information.

Franklin, MA

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Story Walk: "The Curious Garden"

The book you read on the Story Walk is "The Curious Garden" by Peter Brown.

"The Curious Garden" was inspired by what developed in New York City. An elevated railroad freight line was discontinued, fell into disarray, was re-discovered and became a park with some grass roots efforts instead of being demolished.
The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan's largest industrial district. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park. 
You can find out all about the High Line Park on their website

I had heard about the park via the Renegade Cabaret performances that started as the park began to open. Elizabeth Soychek lived in a 4th floor apartment with a fire escape that overlooked the High Line Park. She was inspired to sign and entertain the walkers along the path. Opening night of the "Renegade Cabaret" was recorded for replay:

Some folks in Franklin are looking to create a community garden. You can find more information about this local group on their website

Franklin, MA

Franklin won't have to go as far

Bostonians who crave locally brewed Red Barn Coffee now have to look a bit harder or walk a bit farther to get a cup of their favorite java.

Fortunately, Franklinites don't have to go far to get Red Barn. This is the coffee served by Cafe Dolce!

Read the article in the Boston Globe West section today

Franklin, MA

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

Town Council - 11/03/10

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Live reporting - Closing



Powderly - second the thanks from Jeff for the Economic development summit
I am disappointed in the rejection of the Treasurer/Collector is not going to be appointed
I think that is wrong
the hole is so deep, the cuts will be draconian
6 million can not be solved, it will crush our safety net which are already vulnerable
I think the stakes are devastatingly high, if you voter yesterday, please stay involved

Zollo - Federal and State operating at a deficit, it is unreasonable to expect help from them this time around
I am proud to say I live in Franklin, I am proud of our employees
I don't know of many communities who have continued to cut and still produced!
We don't have choices, we are going to cut across the board and deeply
citizens have spoken multiple times, I am not going to fight that

Kelly thanks for those who participated in the economic summit

Jones - I was out of the country on the 20th, thanks for passing the bylaw on the vacant buildings
many people were impressed with the event last Weds
I am very happy that the Treasurer/Collector was kept 

Pfeffer - where is the press? this is the first meeting? we have Sen Ross here? Where is the MIlford Daily News?
 - when can the Treasure go back before the people?
Nutting - no earlier than next year, it doesn't have to go back to the Legislature but there is a process

Pfeffer - let's not write the citizens off if they have the opportunity for an override next year

Whalen - if we had passed, it would be a lot smaller this time

Mason - thanks to my fellow councilors for their confidence in re-electing me to this position
the Wed event was thinking out of the box, we need to do more of it
regardless of the results of the election, we continue to what we need to, as long as the deficit is here, I will be asking the Council to put an override on the ballot

moving to Executive session, not to return
passed 9-0

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


Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Action items


1. Bylaw Amendment 10-651: Chapter 170, Vehicles and Traffic – 1st Reading

comes out of some comments from Mr Ristano and others
we send out salt and trucks about 20 nights and yet you can't park for the 150 nights
can we have a ban for only the times when there is a storm
national weather service calling for the forecast
up to the home owner to determine the weather conditions, but they get to park more frequently
still same time line, from 1:00 - 5:00 AM

Whalen - my concern is that we will tow 40 cars the first time
Nutting - we will give warnings, we will ticket, we don't tow right away, only after you have blocked the road and there is two feet of snow and we're trying to clear it

Whalen -  think it is a great idea and we should try it
Kelly - I think it is a great idea, Police is already taxed at night, they don't need to spend time ticketing

Pfeffer - can we use the reverse 911 to call?
Nutting - if we can target it, we can use the web and cable announcement

Nutting - in my ten years, this is the first time we are reducing the burden
Jones - I think this is a good idea

Motion to move to second reading, passed 9-0

We will need an executive session

Thanks to Bryan Taberner and others

Storm water presentation Dec 6th
the regulations are coming and it will have a big price tag

Tax rate hearing at the first meeting in December

Tree hearing at the Common on Thursday

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Budget 2012

2012 Budget Discussion
Signed a contract with KBA for about 500,000, down $300,000 from prior offer
Project manager contract signed, total of two contracts was 800,000 was budgeted at 1 M so they are well within. The MSBA will reimburse 50% of this amount
watching the dolars right out of the gate, on scheduled for bringing a total cost for the decision on renovation sometime late next year

Reduced 1 out of 6 municipal jobs over the past several years
despite that, we still provide quality municipal services
CPI is 2.9, wage increases at 2.25 percent well less than the cost of living

cost of health care is beating the bench mark every year.

people tend to complain about municipal pensions, overhaul started but it will take time
Legislature will try to make that more affordable overtime

getting pretty good bang for the buck

FY 2011 7 of 9 unions have reached an agreement with no pay raises
Firefighters still being worked
(missing contract on the Town side, trades union)

very conservative capital program, save some for snow and ice and for unemployment
no-high school building repairs and continue the sewer water repairs

There is a gap between revenues available and services being provided
consolidated services within Town and with other towns

Lost about $3.8 million dollars in state aid
at risk for cuts in additional state aid under the tight state budget problem

Schools have balanced with additional stimulus funding, that is one time money

If you look at the fixed costs that will go up, look at the one time dollars that have helped us
there will be a shortage
there will need to be policy decisions, a million dollars is 20 jobs
the vast majority of money goes to wages and benefits
We have a big challenge ahead
we will do our best to serve the citizens with what is available

We will have a real number in early February

Pfeffer - what unions haven't settled?
Nutting - There are five unions on the Schools side, one has settled, the others are in process

Whalen -
Nutting - if the state aid doesn't get cut, the deficit will be about 4 million
Special education is always exposed and those costs are going up, the Schools are short 2.5
Excise tax receipts are still down, local receipts based upon economy
the big number is how much is the state aid going to get cut

Whalen - it is reasonable to expect a cut
Nutting - I have talked with a lot of folks and it is uncertain

Whalen - is there any reason why they can't approach the teachers union with the same approach
Nutting - the School Committee negotiates in good faith

Jones -  with worst case, 6 million, how many jobs are we looking at?
Nutting - on an average, 20 jobs per million, 100 jobs for 5 million, which means we pay unemployment
in a good spot, people can get hired elsewhere, but in this economy they likely won't so we'll be paying unemployment

Nutting - recall too, that the Schools do not renew every teacher every year, so that complicates the overall number

Zollo - best case, a 4 million number, worse could scale up from their
somewhere between 80-120 people across the Town and Schools

Unemployment, about 20,000 per person, unless they extend it again
we have some money already, we wouldn't need it all at once

Free cash, 2.5 million, most of it will be taken up by snow and ice and unemployment

Zollo - if the voters don't want to support override, every one is going to have to suffer across the board

Kelly - Town about 250, Schools - don't quote me on the numbers

Vallee - how much do we pay for the debt on our buildings?
Nutting - about 3 million, our target is 3.5% and we are under that

Whalen - I'd like to marry Vallee's and Zollo's comments, I don;t have the numbers in front of me. if you broke it down to the monthly tax bill, it was peanuts like $5
we don't spend a lot of money across the board, given that mountain of evidence we still have citizens who refuse to pay any money of pocket to preserve our Town
unfortunately, it going to be spread deeply and evenly

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Senator Ross

Senator Richard Ross

There was a lot of change that took place in the election yesterday
The Scott Brown factor is alive and well, did pick up 16 seats in the House

Economic projections
Have a good relationship with the Governor
I recognize the piece that I think that is missing
Everybody needs to preserve their positions
The stimulus money was used to preserve public sector jobs
valid jobs but the funds could have been used for job creation

$2-2.5 billion budget deficit is coming
we have to face the hard facts with the couple of years coming down the pike

Did have an opportunity to participate in the Economic Development Summit last week
Well done, this is fascinating to see what you have taken advantage of

You should be acknowledged for supporting the service men, national guard and others for their service

When I have a community, I will treat it as a whole
Oliver Deans great grand nephew

BTW- I was impressed, in all my meeting experience, Sen Richard Ross is the first one who came, spoke and then stayed for the whole meeting.

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Town Council

Present:  Kelly, Jones, Vallee, Whalen, Mason, Pfeffer, Zollo, Powderly
Absent:  none


B. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Executive Sessions September 29, 2010 and October 6, 2010

C. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Meetings of the Town Council are Recorded by Verizon and Comcast and the Franklin Matters website

Recognized as Gold status for Bio-Tech

Recognized as an employer of support for military service



Recreation Advisory Board - Kinjal Patel
motion to approve, passed 9-0

G. HEARINGS - none


Franklin, MA

Parmenter School: Story Walk - photos

Dolores and I got to take in the Story Walk on Sunday morning.

Enjoy the Story Walk!

Prior posts about the Nature Trail and Story Walk:
The back story on the Nature Trail at Parmenter was published on Monday
The guide to the Nature Trail was published on Tuesday

Franklin, MA

In the News - Treasurer to remained elected, voice heard

"It was nice to see (the questions) on there, giving us the choice. In the case of treasurer, it's right to make it an appointed position," Tierney said.
Others were left feeling confused by the questions.
"I didn't really understand it," said Clare Flynn.
"I couldn't make heads or tails of it," said Merrell Mastin.
Read the article in the Milford Daily News:

In an election that embodied several local and statewide races, James Lacroix yesterday said it was Question 3 that lured him to the polls.
The Franklin resident said he voted to reduce the sales tax to 3 percent.
"We need to learn how to use the money more efficiently and do what we need to do instead of spending it wastefully," Lacroix said.
Read the article in the Milford Daily News

Franklin, MA

Fund raising weekend for Franklin Food Pantry

The Franklin Food Pantry is fortunate to participate in two, yes, two exciting fund raising events on one weekend.

Saturday, Nov 13 - Bigelow Station plays at the 3 Restaurant

Sunday, Nov 14 - Fund Raising at Legacy Place

How does the Legacy Place fund raiser work?
You buy a ticket for $10. This gets your name on the listing at Legacy Place. When you arrive on Sunday, Nov 14th. Check in to get a bracelet. You wear the bracelet during your shopping trip. The bracelet is an easy sign for the merchants to see that your part of the fund raising "Legacy of Giving" and you obtain the appropriate discount.

The $10 goes entirely to the Franklin Food Pantry. You gain by getting discounts on your purchases at participating vendors. A win-win!

Franklin, MA

Comedy Night at 3, November 19th


Thanksgiving Reservations Being Accepted

Thanksgiving at 3 will include our regular dinner menu as well as house-roasted turkey and all the favorite trimmings! For your reservation, please call 508.528.6333. 11:00am - 6:00pm.

3, 461 W. Central Street Franklin, MA 02038 508.528.6333
Visit our other Let's Eat, Inc. restaurant in Norwood: SKY

Safe Unsubscribe
This email was sent to by

Let's Eat, Inc. | 461 Central Street | Franklin | MA | 02038

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Charter Question 4 - Yes, Question 5 - No

12,829 voters casted their ballots on Tuesday, Nov 2, 2010 in Franklin. This accounts for 63.8% of the 20,106 registered voters.

Of particular importance were the two questions on the proposed Charter Changes, Question 4 covering the technical details passed. Question 5 attempting to shift the elected position of Treasurer/Collector to appointment failed.

Question 4 - technical changes to the charter
Yes - 8443
No - 2596
Blanks - 1790

Question 5 - switch to appointment of Treasurer/Collector
Yes - 4339
No - 7421
Blanks - 1069

The full set of results for all the candidates and questions, precinct by precinct:

Franklin, MA: General Election Results 11/02/2010

Thanks to Debbie Pellegri and all the election workers who did a wonderful job helping everyone today!

 Franklin, MA

Wachusett St Construction

On the run home from voting at the high school today, I see that there is preparation for paving in front of the Parmenter School on Wachusett St.

This is GOOD timing. No school today, kids, cars and buses won't be around!

PS - you will get out to vote today won't you!

Franklin, MA

Parmenter School: Nature Trail Guide

The trail guide for the Nature Trail at the Parmenter Elementary School on Wachusett St in Franklin, MA.

Parmenter Nature Trail Guide 2010


Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Express Line - v2 #2

Franklin's newsletter - The Express Line is now published and available:

Franklin, MA: Express Line_Nov 1, 2010

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

Franklin, MA

Monday, November 1, 2010

Letter from Theresa D'Amato

How did the nature trail at the Parmenter School come to be?
This letter from Theresa D'Amato, a teacher at Parmenter (now retired), tells the story.

Dear Parmenter Parents/Guardians,
Franklin, like many other communities, has lost much of its forested areas to development thus limiting the opportunities for children to experience the natural environment and to have outdoor educational experiences. It was for this reason that grant proposals were written to fund a project designed to meet this critical need for the students at Parmenter School.
In 1999, a Franklin Education Foundation grant provided the funds to create a habitat to attract birds and butterflies at Parmenter. At that time, Parmenter students designed and planted the garden. In addition, Franklin High School football players moved rocks to border it. Today, Parmenter students maintain the garden, fill the bird feeders, and create nature-friendly crafts for the birds.
In 2001, The Massachusetts Audubon Society, in partnership with Parmenter School, received an Eisenhower grant to create a nature trail on the school property and to provide all teachers with the information needed to integrate environmental sciences into their curricula. To complement and improve this resource, a grant from Lowe’s was obtained in 2006. Using these funds in conjunction with the service of former Parmenter students, guideposts, a wetland boardwalk, trailhead sign, and erosion timbers were installed on the G. M. Parmenter Nature Trail. Future projects are planned to continue to enhance the trail.
At this time I would like to thank all of the parents—too numerous to mention—who since 1999 have helped with the habitat and the trail; I-Jen Chen who created the GPS map, and Anthony D’Amato who created the trail guide. My heartfelt gratitude goes to Robert Young, Colin Young, and Jeremy Harmon who chose to conduct their Eagle Scout projects at their former elementary school.
The completion of the trail required several years of work and was funded by grants and maintained by hundreds of hours of volunteer labor. Importantly, the trail is a resource to be enjoyed by the entire Parmenter School Community and I invite you to utilize this nature trail and to inform your extended family and friends of its existence. Moreover, it is my hope that the G.M. Parmenter School Nature Trail will provide a resource for environmental education experiences that create a sense of stewardship for the Earth’s natural resources. Please use the enclosed trail guide to enrich your walk as you enjoy the beauty of nature that exists right out our backyard.
Theresa F. D’Amato

I managed to catch Theresa when I stopped by Saturday to check out the Story Walk. The Story Walk is placed along the nature trail.

The Story Walk was born in Vermont. I'll have pictures of the walk later this week.

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Change to Winter Parking Ban proposed

The agenda and associated documents for the Town Council meeting on Nov 3.

Of interest is the proposed change to the winter parking ban. The ban would change from a set parking ban for 150 days, to one triggered by storms. The penalties for compliance would remain the same but folks could park overnight on the 100 or so winter nights that there isn't a storm.

Town Council 11/03/10 Agenda

Franklin, MA

In the News - Treasurer/Collector, walk inside

Franklin voters to decide on treasurer

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

A walk in the warm in Franklin

Franklin, MA

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Franklin, MA: Election Day, Nov 2, 2010 - Information

What will my ballot in Franklin ask me to vote on?
You can find the complete set of candidates for office on the Secretary of the Commonwealth's web site:

You can put your Franklin address into this form and receive a full set of the candidates and ballot questions (3 state wide and 2 specific to Franklin).

What are the ballot questions for this election?
You can find the complete set of questions as published by the Secretary of the Commonwealth here:

Ballotpedia entries for each Question 1, 2, and 3 can be found in the links below. Each entry provides background on the issue as well as information on both sides of the question.

Question 1,_Question_1_(2010)

Question 2,_Question_2_(2010)

Question 3,_Question_3_(2010)

Information on the Franklin Charter Changes can be found in this posting

Where is Franklin High School?
The high school can be found at 218 Oak St. The map below can provide directions from your address.

View Larger Map

Quick Facts:
  • The polls will open at 6:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM.
  • Absentee ballots can be applied for at the Town Clerk's office up until noon on Monday, Nov 1
  • All absentee ballots need to be received by the Town Clerk by 8:00 PM on Tuesday, Nov 2 to be counted.

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - 11/3/10


B. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Executive Sessions September 29, 2010 and October 6, 2010

C. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Meetings of the Town Council are Recorded



Recreation Advisory Board - Kinjal Patel



Senator Richard Ross
2012 Budget Discussion� 2012 Budget Discussion2012 Budget Discussi2012 Budget Discussion


1. Bylaw Amendment 10-651: Chapter 170, Vehicles and Traffic – 1st Reading





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


Franklin, MA

Have a good laugh!

Franklin's Let's Laugh Today group meets

The Let's Laugh Today laughter club will meet on Monday, Nov. 22, from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. at the First Universalist Society in Franklin Meetinghouse, 262 Chestnut St.

Franklin, MA