Saturday, December 4, 2010

A warm welcome for the Franklin Town News!

The arrival this week of the new Franklin Town News is a good development for Franklin. You should already be aware that while at one time many years ago Franklin did have its own newspaper (The Sentinel), we get coverage by the Milford Daily News and the occasionally from the Boston Globe West edition.

The current reporter for the Milford Daily News, Brian Benson, I think is doing very well. He is covering a lot of Franklin and covering it well. He is also publishing information in advance of a meeting which prior reporters had not done.

Franklin also is covered by the Wicked Local or Franklin Gazette. Covered is an appropriate term as this is the paper tossed in the driveway weekly. As I walk around town, I find a lot of them simply left there. The news contained inside is all re-purposed from what has been published in the Milford Daily News.

Hence, the need for Franklin MAtters. I publish here all the information from the town meetings (Town Council, School Committee, etc.) that I can participate in. This information is meant to be accurate and timely. You help me if you find I make a mistake so the accuracy is good. I provide links to documents and the documents themselves to make the information that may be on the Franklin website, easier to get at and use.

Now, the Franklin Town News comes along and will provide a new communication channel to the residents of Franklin. Supported by ad revenue and mailed directly to residents, this ensures a better chance of getting to everyone than the news or websites can do today. I welcome the Franklin Town News.

  • Any Franklin business can benefit from advertising in this publication. The target market is what you are always looking for. If you are doing business in Franklin, the target market is provided for you.
  • Any Franklin organization can benefit from publishing an information article. The monthly timing is the only hindrance but with proper planning, the mailing at the beginning of the month can announce your event during the coming month or set the stage for a future month. There is also a website where you can read the paper online, as well as a calendar which can be updated more frequently than monthly. As the awareness grows, these should be more useful in getting the word out.

An informed community will make good decisions on election day.

I have no formal business relationship with Franklin Town News. I have and anticipate continuing to submit an article or two for each issue on behalf of Franklin MAtters or the Franklin Food Pantry.

If your business or non-profit would like advice on how to leverage Franklin Town News (or other communication channels) to spread your information, please reach out and contact me. I am open to sharing what I know and have learned.  

Franklin, MA

Jon Stewart: The Food, the bad and the ugly

Jon Stewart does his thing with the recent food safety legislation passed by the Senate. Humor is a good way to tackle tough issues.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Food, the Bad and the Ugly
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorThe Daily Show on Facebook

Food safety is no laughing matter.
Food security (having enough healthy food for your family) is no laughing matter either.

Please take a moment today to support your local food pantry or food bank. They are different operations but have one goal to provide necessary food for those in need. The Franklin Food Pantry has a Google Checkout button to enable an easy monetary donation. Scroll all the way down to the base of the home page to find it.

Note: I am on the Board of Directors for the Food Pantry and will be revising the website to make it easier to use for those we serve as well as those who would like to help (like you).

Franklin, MA

In the News - Pancake breakfast

Eat pancakes, meet Santa in Franklin Saturday

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Franklin, MA

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Stroll

I got to Downtown Franklin after 6:00 PM and apparently missed the big crowds. There was a good group at Simon's to watch the dancers perform.

Quite a few folks stopped by the Open House at the Franklin Food Pantry and some dropped off donations:
Thank you!

Downtown Consignment reported good visits. Jane's Frames did as well. We stopped by the new Printsmart Office Products. Dolores picked up a couple of stocking stuffers while there.

The Museum had some crafts for sale as well as one of the Stanley Chilson films showing.

The triangle looks good with the trees lit up now.

All in all, a good evening. I wish I had been able to get there earlier. I also heard that the gingerbread cookies were a big hit at Dean College!

Spend some time downtown Franklin, shop local!

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

Winter Parking Ban changed!

One of the good things to happen during the Town Council meeting on Wednesday was the passage of the change to the overnight parking bylaw for winter. It used to be, there was NO parking overnight from November through May. Now, overnight parking is permitted unless the weather forecast calls for snow.

A nice change, parking in the downtown areas primarily, should be easier. As New Englanders, we are always aware of the weather. After all Mark Twain is often quoted as saying, "if you don't like the weather, stick around five minutes, it will change."

Details of the bylaw can be viewed in the document here:


All the notes on what occurred during the Town Council meeting on Wednesday can be found here

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

Franklin, MA

Isarithmic History of the Two-Party Vote

For the history buffs, this is a wonderful presentation of data over time. It would good to have an on screen tip sheet to show the candidates for each election as it was held to help really tell the story.

Franklin, MA

In the News - holiday stroll, Temple Etz Chaim, recycling center

Franklin residents enjoy taking a Holiday Stroll

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Making houses of ginger and sweets at Temple Etz Chaim

from Wicked Local Franklin News RSS 

Franklin recycling center closed Tuesdays through winter

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Franklin, MA

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Berry Ins helps the Franklin Food Pantry

From the Berry Insurance blog:
Donations are taken year-around and especially appreciated during the holiday season. Berry Insurance has donated to the Franklin Food Pantry for ten years and this year will be no exception! For each new Facebook Fan acquired on the Berry Insurance page over the months of November and December, the agency will donate $2 to the Franklin Food Pantry!
Don’t allow anyone visiting the Franklin Food Pantry to go hungry this holiday season! You can donate time, money or food to help this worthy cause. So please, help us today in ending hunger and help support the Franklin Food Pantry!
If you have a Facebook account and have not yet become a Fan of Berry Insurance, please do so and help the Food Pantry!

Note: I am on the Board of Directors of the Food Pantry, volunteering some of my time as Community Information Director to help tell the good work that they do.

Franklin, MA

Franklin Town News

The new Franklin Town News arrived in my mailbox today. I think it looks pretty good for a first edition. I look forward to seeing next month's issue already.

What do you think of it?

Franklin, MA

"Let’s Talk about Cyberbullying"

Thursday, December 9, 2010
7:00PM – 8:30PM
Dean College
Campus Center Multi-Purpose Room

We are all reading about cyberbullying in the news. Now Franklin’s own home-grown expert Teenangels and their founder, cybersafety expert and head of, will help the Franklin community understand how it works, how big a problem it is and what we can do about it. The Teenangels are teens who train under Dr. Aftab for 2 years to become cybersafety experts in their own right. They are sought after by the media, governmental agencies and Congress for what they know and their practical approach to addressing cyber-risks.
Parry Aftab is Executive Director of, the largest online safety and educational program and the cybersafety contributor to the Today Show, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, CNN and MSNBC. She is best known for empowering families to use digital technologies more safely and responsibly. She is a member of Facebook’s five member international safety advisory board and MTV’s advisory board.
This event is sponsored by: Franklin WiredTeens Club, Franklin Community Health Council, and the Franklin Anti-Bullying Task Force.

The flyer for the event can be found here:

Aftab Cyber Bullying Event 12-9-10

Related posts on Cyberbullying

Franklin, MA

Town Council - 12/01/10

The collection of live reported posts from the Town Council Meeting on Weds Dec 1, 2010 can be found here:

Franklin, MA

Old News: No "Race to the Top" for Franklin

Massachusetts was one of 11 states plus the District of Columbia to win the competitive funding, designed to promote statewide education reform. States vying for a share of the $4.3 billion fund had to pledge to pursue reforms in four areas: adopting standards and assessments aimed at increasing student success in college and the workplace; recruiting and rewarding effective teachers; building state data systems to measure student growth; and turning around the state's lowest performing schools.
Districts had to secure the support of the superintendent, the school committee, and the local teachers union to participate and be eligible for the federal funding. In Milford, as with many districts that opted out of the effort, union opposition was the stumbling block. 
You can read the full article in the Milford Daily News

Franklin is also one of the districts that opted out of "Race to the Top" because it already is at the top and would not gain via this program.

The Race to the Topic decision was made in Franklin in January. Details on the discussion from the School Committee meeting can be found here

Franklin, MA

In the News - water/sewer lines, Tri-County grant, Nutcracker

Franklin to fix water, sewer lines

Tri-County gets grant to help fix AC, heating systems

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Live reporting - Closing

Old business

New business

Council Comments
Powderly - thanks to the Concerts on the Common for their work volunteering for the Christmas tree lighting

Kelly - thank you for the holiday tree celebration

Jones - thanks to the new reporter for the article about the transplant, it is a good story and good

Pfeffer - I received something about the GIC
Nutting -

Pfeffer - what about the prohibition of commercial plates at Beaver St?
Nutting - it wasn't our intent to stop commercial use of the individual cleaning out their yard, we do want to stop the real commercial use. The process has been suspended, we will be coming back with a change in the bylaw regulation

Pfeffer - since we passed the bylaw on the abandoned buildings, what about the Masonic Lodge?
Nutting - We'll take a look at it.

Vallee - motion to adjourn
passed 8-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Legislation for Action

1. Resolution 10-64: Appropriation – Sewer Enterprise Retained Earnings
transfer between sewer enterprise account and operations to continue the ongoing program to address I&I
moving money from one pocket to another, no additional fees raised at this time

Capital subcommittee approved, Finance committee approved (11/30/10 by 9-0 vote) as well

$1.2 million in the sewer enterprise account, all money is used for maintenance of the sewer system
the money is collected from the fees, if it wasn't for the surplus we would have had a problem with raising fees

there will be a sewer rate increase in the future as the CRWA upgrades their plant, $20 million to upgrade primarily to bring up to date as well as reduce the phosphorous output to the Charles River

one third of the cost for the EPA mandate, 2 thirds of the cost for the upgrade as components wear out,

motion to approve, passed 8-0

2. Resolution 10-65: Appropriation – Water Enterprise Retained Earnings
A decade ago there was a water distribution plan developed, this will finish up several projects underway
a transfer of money from the enterprise account to operations for repairs

motion to approve, passed 8-0

3. Resolution 10-66: Authorization to Borrow-Water Infrastructure Improvements
requesting to borrow $7.5 million to fund additional water projects

continuing the program started a decade ago
allow several streets to be done as well as a third of Lincoln St
the program will take 3-4 years to do this, all the funding behind these comes from water fees.
streets targeted for repairs have cast iron pipe as old as a hundred years old

McGann - Does this include Mr Jarvis' street to resolve his problem?
Cantorregi - yes, it does and streets surrounding his area downtown

Vallee - How much of the asbestos pipe doe we have left?
Cantorregi - some of the pipe is in good shape, we have about 40 miles of AC pipe left

Vallee - are there any health hazards with the asbesto pipe?
Cantorregi - there is no health risk associated with the water in the pipe, there are issues with our handling of the pipe where we have to take precautions.

Pfeffer - this is a $7.5 Million borrowing that is covered by the normal water bill, there is no associated increase in fees for this.

Powderly - what of the road work associated with this? will it come from Chap 90?
Nutting - We will have a $400,000 proposal later for road work. We'd like to get about that each year to at least do something.

Cantoreggi - ductal (?) iron, with a life cycle of 80-90 years with no interior corrison issues

Nutting - we might not borrow all of this at once, we might do only a bit at time. Water use has declined by about 600,000 gallons per day.

Jones - Whalen took my question about no annual fee associated with this.
Nutting - if some of the buildings in the industrial park fill in, then water usage will go up which is good so if we may be able to offset some of the fee increase with an increase in sales. It is flexible right now.

Mason - up to this point we have waited to borrow money to complete this project. I'd also like to recognize Mr Jarvis who has been affected by this and will finally be getting some resolution.

motion to approve, via role call - passed 8-0

4. Resolution 10-67: Appropriation – Recreation Gift Account
A transfer from an old account
can you amend the motion to include any interest in the account
there was an effort to build a skateboard park, but then one got built at the Y and the issue went away

No projects in mind, just cleaning up the books.
Motion amended to including accrued interest
amendment passed, 8-0
motion passed 8-0

5. Resolution 10-68: Appropriation – Road, Sidewalk, Drainage Improvements
Capital committee recommended this amount, the FINCOM approved this amount

Whalen - Can you refresh the use?
Nutting - original intent of hotel/motel tax once in the account is restricted to open space and recreation
can be used for any legal purpose prior to entering the trust, we have used funds like this for one time capital purposes

motion to approve, passed 8-0

6. Bylaw Amendment 10-651: Chapter 170, Vehicles and Traffic- 2nd Reading
this is the second reading for the change in the parking regulations, this eases the burden for those folks parking downtown

Jones - is this going to cause any additional work on the Police, DPW
Nutting - in the beginning of the season, the police write warning tickets, and then when needed write actual tickets. There might be a start up issue, we will publish this and make folks well aware of it.

Cantoreggi - if this new one goes in and is followed, this will not be a hinderance, if it isn't followed, then there is an issue, usually isolated

Nutting - it actually doesn't change anything, you can still park except between 1-5, you get a ticket either way

motion to approve, via role call passed 8-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - license transfer

Transfer of Package Store License to Union Street Wine & Liquors

Question on citizenship of owner, additional documentation clarified

Motion to approve, passed 8-0

 Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Town Council

Present: Kelly, Jones, Vallee, Whalen, Mason, Pfeffer, McGann, Powderly
Absent: Zollo

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – November 3, 2010

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



Franklin Disability Commission - Ronald Wainrib
Motion to accept, passed 8-0

F. HEARINGS - none

Franklin, MA

2nd Annual Holiday Stroll Happenings

Come to Downtown Franklin Thursday, from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM 

A Cut Above: Complementary hair products, coupons for hair & nail services, hot chocolate and cookies.
Berry Insurance:  Broadcast from WODS-FM 103.3.
Boston Sports Club: Pictures with Scooby Doo, goodie bags at Dean Bank.
Dean College: 4:30pm tree lighting, caroling and holiday snacks.  Come cheer on the Bulldogs at the Women’s Basketball game 6pm and Men’s Basketball Game 8pm in Pieri Gym.  Free Admission!
Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU):  Candy for kids at the Mobile Branch in Simon’s Parking Lot.
Downtown Consignment: Beverages & refreshments, 20% off coupon for evening of Stroll.
Emma’s Quilt Cupboard:  Quilt sample sale. Make a wool felt ornament.
Franklin Dance Workshop & Co.:  Holiday entertainment at Simon’s Furniture parking lot.  Goodie bag give-aways.
Franklin Food Pantry: Open House 4:30-8pm. Accepting donations from Holiday Needs List.
Franklin Historical Museum: Busy Bee Crafters will have holiday gift items for sale .  Enjoy  holiday music.
Franklin School for the Performing Arts: Theater Troupe performance and stocking takeaway.
H & R Block:  Goodies, free second looks, free tax return raffle.
Hair @ Nail It: A free manicure with a canned good donation for the Franklin Food Pantry.
House Portraits by Deb: Calendar collage of Franklin paintings.
Jane’s Frames:  Hot cider and gingerbread cookies, Free Drawing for Framed Art for all those that sign up for Wish List for Holiday Gifts.
Party Paints N’ Pottery:  Mulled cider, cookies and a free ornament to paint.
Printsmart:  Free one-subject notebook for all kids who come into the store.
RE/MAX Realty:  Condo Tours and a Hospitality Suite with refreshments for all ages.
Rick’s Restaurant: A cup of Rick’s award winning chowder with purchase of an adult entrĂ©e.  Mention the Holiday Stroll to receive this mouth watering offer.
Salon Sorella:  20% off gift cards ~ first 50 people to purchase a $100 gift card will receive it for $50.  One per family-offers cannot be combined.
SELF Aesthetics and Therapeutic Specialists:  5 minute chair massages, coupons and raffle for a free service.
Simon’s Furniture:  Meet Santa from 5-7pm.

Franklin, MA

Social media and the workplace

Social media and the workplace, a new explanation by the folks at Common Craft is available at this link:

In less than 4 minutes, Common Craft thoughtfully lays out how a company can use social media to help deliver and respond to what is being said about the company in the social web (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.).

Franklin, MA

Funding Storm Water Management - Dec 6th, 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM

Stormwater management is a growing challenge for local governments. As a resource that is increasingly regulated, municipalities must develop approaches that protect and enhance how stormwater is handled.
Please join us for a presentation and discussion of potential funding options to support stormwater management in your community and the surrounding region.

The flyer and details can be viewed here for Franklin's meeting at 3:00 PM:


The towns of Bellingham, Franklin and Milford have been designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as pilot communities for draft enhanced stormwater regulations. To assist the towns with potential challenges associated with these regulations, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is developing background materials on Stormwater Utilities, which operate similarly to other public services like water supply and wastewater. MAPC is preparing information on state laws supporting use of a Stormwater Utility, the structure and administration of a utility, and case studies of other communities in Massachusetts and the US where stormwater utilities are in existence or are under consideration.

If you miss the Franklin time slot, there is also one later in Bellingham:
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council will give a presentation on the effects of the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly enacted stormwater management regulations at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, Dec. 6.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and will be held in Arcand Meeting Room at the Municipal Center, 10 Mechanic St.

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

Franklin, MA

In the News - capital plan, Christmas Fair, unemployment benefits

Franklin capital spending plan is lower this year

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

St. John's Episcopal Church plans Christmas Fair

State braces for end to federal unemployment benefits

Franklin, MA

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Birke's advice

Sometimes, the way the message is delivered is better. "Think local. Choose organic and know your farmer."

Birke Baehr is 11 and planning to be an organic farmer

Franklin, MA

Finance Committee - 11/30/10 - Agenda

Town of Franklin
Finance Committee Agenda
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
7:00 PM
Municipal Building Council Chambers
(post agenda to web site) (meetings are recorded)

Balances          as of   9/30/10
Gen Stab               4,689,302
PW Stab                   74,656
Debt Stab               179,980
Traffic Stab                4,529
Overlay Surplus             -0-
Free Cash           2,133,006

Call to Order
Citizens Comments
Approval of Minutes

Action Items:

2011 Capital Budget:

Roads - $200,000 (FY 11 Hotel/Motel tax)
Fire Truck - $180,000 (Debt Stabilization)
Water Improvements - $1,200,000 (Water Retained Earnings)
Sewer I & I Improvements - $300,000 (Sewer Retained Earnings)
Departmental Capital - $833,000 (Free Cash)

Bond Authorizations:

School Repairs - $2,000,000
Water Improvements - $7,500,000

Discussion Items:

Jeff Nutting – Current Financial Policies
Proposed General Fund Operational Policies
Proposed Enterprise Account Policies
Future Capital Projects
Tax hearing

Old Business
New Business

Franklin, MA

Printsmart Office Products

Catching up to the photos that I took during the visit to the new location of Printsmart Office Products during their Grand Opening:

If you haven't seen the video tour provided by Joel Carerra, follow this link.

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin MAtters to view the photos

Franklin, MA

Downtown Zoning/Bylaw Proposal

The proposed bylaw changes for the downtown zoning and sign changes were discussed on Nov 17th at the Town Council meeting. Here is the handout format for the presentation by Bryan Taberner that night.

TC 11-17-10 Downtown Bylaw Changes Presentation

This will also be located in the original posting for the meeting that night.

Franklin, MA

In the News - kidney donation, capital budget

Franklin woman donates kidney to her neighbor

Franklin FinCom to discuss capital projects tomorrow night

Actually since this was posted to MDN website on Monday, the meeting is Tuesday.

Franklin, MA

Monday, November 29, 2010

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - 12/1/10

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – November 3, 2010

B. ANNOUNCEMENTS -Meetings of the Town Council are Recorded



Franklin Disability Commission - Ronald Wainrib


Transfer of Package Store License to Union Street Wine & Liquors



1. Resolution 10-64: Appropriation – Sewer Enterprise Retained Earnings
2. Resolution 10-65: Appropriation – Water Enterprise Retained Earnings
3. Resolution 10-66: Authorization to Borrow-Water Infrastructure Improvements
4. Resolution 10-67: Appropriation – Recreation Gift Account
5. Resolution 10-68: Appropriation – Road, Sidewalk, Drainage Improvements
6. Bylaw Amendment 10-651: Chapter 170, Vehicles and Traffic- 2nd Reading





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


Franklin, MA

Santa arrives on the Franklin Town Common - photos

In addition to the brief video posted Sunday, here are some photos of Santa on the Town Common:

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin MAtters to view the photos

Franklin, MA

Picture Added:

I finally got a round to adding the picture to the Remington Teacher recognition from the last School Committee meeting.

From Left to Right:: Joe O’Halloran, Jeff Roy, Mary Kass, and Paul Peri

This was originally posted (minus the picture) during the School Committee meeting on 11/16/10

Franklin, MA

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Santa arrives on the Franklin Town Common - video

Yes, Santa did arrive via fire truck to the Franklin Town Common Sunday afternoon, just after 4:00 PM.

The video is a little choppy until Santa gets in his chair.

What are you going to wish for Christmas?

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin MAtters to view the video

Franklin, MA

Town Council - Agenda - 12/01/10 - documents

The full agenda and associated documents for the Town Council meeting scheduled for Weds, Dec 1, 2010


Franklin, MA

In the News - recycling system

All signs point to success for Franklin's new recycling system

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Franklin, MA