Saturday, April 2, 2011

This man is not Blue in Franklin

Have you tried catching marshmallows with your mouth?
Matt Greene has and he really does catch them.

How does he do it?
Practice. Practice that comes with having performed in over 1,000 shows with the Blue Man Group in Boston.

How did you do more than 1,000 shows?
In Boston currently there are five guys rotating through the three positions for each show. Each role/character has different business to conduct. The roles are structured more jazz-like playing riffs off each other than following a script word for word. There is also a three man band that is highly integrated with the Blue Men. The band also rotates through their positions. So with six different personalities in each show, no two shows are exactly alike. Business needs to be accomplished but exactly how we get there is open to interpretation. That is what makes it interesting. If you had to do every show, the same thing, exactly the same way, every night, it would get tiring very quickly.

Where did the Blue Man group start?
They started in New York. Boston’s group was the first outside of NYC. They wanted to ask the question: could it exist and survive outside NYC? It could and has so well that the Blue Man show has also expanded to other cities: Chicago, Orlando, Las Vegas, and internationally in Berlin and Tokyo.

How does the show work?
You play within some structure. The music is still as much fun to play today as it was five years ago. You get your schedule at the beginning of the week and you know which role you are going to be for each show. You can go several weeks without having the same line up. The personality within the group plays as much importance as the role. The group thrives on a certain vibe. The drummer could be waiting for you to set this up. If you don’t go, then the other musicians are waiting for you, and him. They need to find each other. So you learn to recognize when to step outside the box, when to stay within. After each show there is a recap, the group discusses ‘how did that work?’ It is not judgemental. Valid feedback is required to foster the collaboration within the group. The vibe is key.

How do you train?
A new person comes to the group with about 6-8 weeks of training in NYC. We teach them how to come in here. It’s not formalized. It is more apprentice/master with doing and showing; this is how they learn. Then they figure out later when to vary. Some of this workout is done in the rehearsals. Amongst all the play, there is still a lot of technical things that you just have to get right. It may look like it but we are not really running around making everything up. You need to master your business first. Then you can think about your character and how it should react.

What is the show about?
I never answer that. It is different for everyone. It can’t be summed up. It is something that has to be experienced. Which is why it has been staying around for so long.

So how does a Blue Man come to live in Franklin?
He wanted more space than he could have in Brookline. Aubrey and I had been looking for awhile. As nice and convenient as Brookline was, we started looking around. We wanted a yard for the dog, room to raise a family. We heard great things about Franklin. We heard about the top 10 lists. The distance concerned me because I needed to commute into Boston. Sometimes I take the train which is really convenient. I can walk to it. It gets me there earlier than I want to but it takes me home almost exactly when I need to. And then I can also drive and get there at the last minute. So I mix it up.

Aubrey’s photography business can still serve Boston. She can also get down into Rhode Island so it works out very well for us. The commute is not as scary as I thought it might be so we’ll be here for a while.

What keeps you busy when you are not a Blue Man?
I am a strength and conditioning coach. I also write a blog, where I share information on proper training techniques, which I guess is how you found me.

Yes, I found Aubrey’s photography page and from hers, found yours.

Franklin, MA

"How can awareness be a bad thing?"

... Engelman is confident in Franklin police officers' ability to respond to autistic people. 
Besides participating in regular training on autism, the department is participating in a special event to raise autism awareness. 
Officers will bathe the police station in blue lights to raise awareness about the neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop socially. 
Beginning last night, officers lit several blue spotlights as part of Light It Up Blue, an international campaign by the Autism Speaks advocacy organization. Buildings throughout the world - including the State House, Prudential Center and Fenway Park in Boston - were expected to turn on blue lights yesterday and tonight. The event coincides with World Autism Awareness Day, which is today.
Read more:

Read ore about World Autism Awareness Day here

Franklin, MA

In the News - Dean radio, food collection

Franklin vets agent to be guest on Dean radio

St. Vincent DePaul food collection

Franklin, MA

Friday, April 1, 2011

Video Friday - Maslow's Hammer

Yes, it is snowing today April 1. It's no April's fool joke, just Mother Nature doing what she does best in New England, changing regularly.

Why this video today?
To raise the other side of the technology coin. Technology is a tool and can be used or abused. There is Maslow's Hammer: "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

The internet does provide an easy (read 'free') entry to providing information. The RSA Animate video provides the other side of the coin.  Food for thought today!

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the 11 minute video.

Franklin, MA

Thursday, March 31, 2011

School Building Committee - documents from 3/30/11

The handouts from the School Building Committee meeting on Wednesday 3/30/11.

  • Page one shows the calculations for the four options discussed.
  • Page two shows the differences primarily between options one and two
  • Page three covers the pros/cons of the options.
  • Page four provides the financial impact to the Franklin's taxpayers.

School Building Committee - Docs 3/30/11

The meeting notes (including photos from the meeting) can be found here:

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

Franklin, MA

Public Hearing Scheduled: Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives

The Franklin Town Council will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at 7:10 p.m. to solicit public comments on a draft Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives for the Town of Franklin owned property (know as the former Nu-Style property) at 87 Grove Street, in Franklin Massachusetts. The following activities are currently being considered related to the Town of Franklin owned property: removal of hazardous materials within the vacant two story former manufacturing facility, demolition of said manufacturing facility, and partial remediation and or disposal of contaminated soil. The project is funded in large part by a $200,000 EPA Brownfields Clean-up Grant. The hearing will be held in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 355 East Central Street. Any person or organization so wishing will be afforded an opportunity to be heard.

Written comments and suggestions related to the draft Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives and proposed project may be submitted to the Town of Franklin Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD), 355 East Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038. Deadline for comments is 12:00 p.m. Monday May 2, 2011.

A copy of the draft Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives has been added to the Information Repository for this project. The Information Repository, which is a collection of Nu-Style project documents including a Community Relations Plan and environmental assessments, has been established at the office of Planning and Community Development at the Franklin Municipal Building, and is available for viewing during normal business hours. In addition the draft Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives is available for viewing on the Town of Franklin’s Community Links web page:

The Town encourages a broad spectrum of participation by residents and other interested parties in order to better understand and serve the needs of the community. The hearing location is accessible to persons with physical disabilities. If you require a translator or accommodations for the hearing impaired, please contact the DPCD at (508) 520-4907 no later than 4:00 p.m. Monday, April 4, 2011.

Franklin, MA

MA Small Business Development Center Network Event Calendar

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

April & May 2011
Calendar of Events

MSBDC Southeast Regional Office
At the MSBDC, "Your Success Is Our Business". Here are programs offered by both MSBDC and our resource partners for April & May.

13      UMass Dartmouth eCommerce Conference 2011 (North Dartmouth)
14      Intermediate QuickBooks (Mansfield)
20      The SBA Advantage (Brockton)
21      The SBA Advantage (Plymouth)
29      Marketing for Small Businesses (Fall River)
04     Advanced QuickBooks (Mansfield)
24     Export Documentation and Valuation (New Bedford)     
*For details and registration, please click on the workshop title.
For an updated listing of MSBDC seminars and workshops, please visit the MSBDC Southeast Regional Office Event Calendar periodically at
All seminars are held in Massachusetts unless otherwise noted. Pre-registration is required for all seminars.
Cancellation Policy
Cancellations received by noon the day prior to the MSBDC sponsored seminar will be entitled to a refund. No refund will be given on notifications received after that time or in any no-show situation. The MSBDC reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a seminar due to insufficient enrollment. Registration fees will be returned or credited towards a future program.
*Not all events listed above are MSBDC sponsored events.
Forward this email

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"Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with
the U.S. Small Business Administration"


"The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network is a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Massachusetts Office of Business Development under cooperative agreement 1-603001-Z-0022-31 through the University of Massachusetts Amherst. SBDCs are a program supported by the U. S. Small Business Administration and extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. SBA cannot endorse any products, opinions or services of any external parties or activities. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested at least two weeks in advance.  For further information, contact the Southeastern MA SBDC office at (508) 673-9783."

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In the News - renovate or build?

Franklin to consider building new high school

My report from the meeting including photos of the slide presentation can be found here

Franklin, MA

In the News - calendar revised, summer hours

Franklin School Committee revises next year's school calendar

Franklin's recycling center to start summer hours

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Live reporting - School Building Committee

Kaestle Boos Associates, inc

about 30 people attending (good participation from Council and School Committee)

The meeting is being recorded by Franklin Matters

Committee members (to be filled in later)

The architect normally brings forth three options, tonight we will see a fourth option. The committee makes a recommendation for the MSBA. The MSBA does see all the options and makes a final decision.


Mike McKeon making the presentation

One change to discussion from prior meetings, the space allocated to BICO

Option 1
bus entrance top right of layout as shown in picture

SchBldgComm: Option 1 - overview

small addition for administration to accommodate the entrance
less impact on site

major changes inside the structure
note these are conceptual drawings

SchBldgComm: Option 1 - 1st floor

central space, student commons, open to media center gallery open above (to second floor)
black box theater, cant get a traditional auditorium in the building but did need some space for approx. 400 seats
large courtyard, small courtyard in central entrance space
seating for the black box theater can be folder up and stored in a space along the wall
cafe and kitchen will remain where they are but be heavily renovated
media center important to the culture of the school
field house and gyms will remain in location, structural upgrade for support planned

the upper floor, attempting to bring light into the middle of the building
four clusters on second floor, four clusters on first floor, total of eight clusters

SchBldgComm: Option 1 - 2nd floor

the corridors don't look like much on the drawings but they are complex
one issue being addressed is that the levels are about 30" off, so they are proposing to reconstruct within the existing ceiling to correct the high difference

SchBldgComm: Option 1 - views

no place within the building to hold more than one class (approx. 400 students)

we don't have group areas within the cluster but they are adjacent to it

after a review of the floor plan options, they will review the dollars associated with each and the pros/cons

the lecture space is about 6500 sq ft, about the same size as the small gym

Option 2
adding a fifth tennis court, replace more sidewalks
drop offs same as in #1

SchBldgComm: Option 2 - overview

no small addition for science rooms in this option
the open space remains, but becomes a cafeteria
cluster concepts remain

SchBldgComm: Option 2 - 1st floor

art courtyard shifts from one side to another (by gym)
science moves to the other side (where art was in #1)
main entrance shifts to the main open space as in #1
the current 'main entrance' becomes the 'public entrance'

2nd floor locker room becomes mechanical room

SchBldgComm: Option 2 - 2nd floor

SchBldgComm: Option 2 - views

Option 3
'new building' done before at Westwood high
leaves field house in place, puts a new building on the fields
then takes down the existing building to create the athletic fields

SchBldgComm: Option 3 - lower level

the new building provides more opportunity for levels, going up and down
Panther Way becomes straighter through the property

SchBldgComm: Option 3 - main level

the track and football field would remain
in term of student impact, this is the better option

lower level has cafe and media center, option for outside dining
2 clusters at this level

main level with main entrances also has three clusters
windows to look down into the 'black box' etc. on lower level

SchBldgComm: Option 3 - upper level

upper level has another three clusters (total of eight)
two story space in media center, lots of light

SchBldgComm: Option 3 - views


50-58% of the funding will come from the MSBA
encouraged re-use of model designs

(detail copy of estimates found here)

Option 1 - $73,100,000 - Franklin cost = $30,800,000
Option 2 - $96,400,000 - Franklin cost = $40,800,000
Option 3 - $97,900,000 - Franklin cost = $45,600,000
Option 4 - $91,600,000 - Franklin cost = $38,500,000

the page two sheet needs to be considered if you do Option 1


questions to clarify the options
Option 3 vs. 4, why is the site work double?
the model school would go out more into the filled area of the soil closer to the track/football field than Option 3 would be hence the higher removal/remediation cost.

Whitman-Hanson is one of the model school examples
they have a double gym with an elevated track

Option 4 would take us off the time line (not answered yet as to how far)
The renovation options numbers were coming in so high, what else can we do?

Option 1 vs Option 2 is really comparing apples and oranges due to the changes in the center and around the cafe/kitchen

time frame phases differ
24-36 months for option 1 and 2, more like 24 months for options 3 and 4

is customization allowed in the model school program?
yes, especially for the slope of the ground

controls would be put into place to prevent exposure to hazmat issues for the students and school personnel

Plymouth North one of the model schools is fully air conditioned

The model school program  has been wildly popular

Why would they make us do the model school and not allow us to keep the field house?
The construction design would have to be customized so the savings for the field house would be offset

What do we get for $54M for the renovation?
All new MEP, new electrical, HVAC new, elevators,
we have an estimate, I think the estimate is conservative
the model school program has bids in to compare to, we don't know what will be bid on this

pros/cons sheet handed out (to be added later)

what will the operational costs be?
Franklin High is a very efficient building, so the new building will be somewhat more expensive
a smaller building will be more efficient, less space to heat and cool

Option 3 and 4, are smaller foot print and a third floor
the difference space wise is only 20,000 sq ft amongst the four options

sustainable is re-using what you have, compared to a new building, the renovation of Option 1 is definitely more sustainable

8% contingency for renovation projects, so you may use 5 of it
new custom design carries 5%, and you may use 3% of it
with the model school, it is already been built so the contingency is usually carried at about 3%

the recent bid projects have been coming in under budget

$200-220/ sq ft for renovations, and $260/ sq ft for new constructions
the model schools tend to get more competitive bids (Natick and Norwood recent examples)

Option 3 and 4 cost include the abatement and demolition of the existing building

Jeff Nutting handed out a projection on what it would mean to the taxpayers
level funded as opposed to a higher burden in year one and declining over the terms

the average tax bill would be $230 for a $35M value and $260 for a $40M
the difference is $30/year between a brand new building and a renovation

What is the process for the committee to proceed?
There is no decision being made tonight, I would like to get a consensus from the committee on where to go from here. With the model school option before us, it would be wise to visit one or two of the schools. Get back together again in 3-4 weeks, to come to a decision on which option to recommend for MSBA.

Realistically Option 3 is not likely to be selected
per architect Option1 fits the FHS program better than Option 2

They actually put together the Option 2 first, then after seeing the sticker prices, backed into Option 1

Is there a preference in running the building between 1 and 2?
2 fits the program the best per the FHS
Option 3 and 4 are quicker with no disruption

Classroom sizes are currently smaller than the MSBA requirements, going with the new building we would get larger class rooms

Prior to this week, they were on the agenda for May, likely to be pushed off to July, this would not affect a fall vote. Will give enough time to prepare the due diligence for the presentation to MSBA

Propose to put Option 3 aside
Look at adding from sheet 2 to Option 1 to come up with an Option 1, Option 1.5, Option 2 and Option 4
the sheet 2 stuff are aesthetics and outside grounds

Whitman-Hanson, Hudson, Ashland

You need to bring three options to MSBA and give a recommendation
one of the options may be mute, but there is no negotiation with the MSBA, they will just pick an option

issue with parking, a long walk from the parking
limited with where we could go due to the land adjacent

a more details document of the pros/cons would be needed by the MSBA
the entrances we have been highlighted for students
the public would still maintain the entrances in the front or through the field house

if going to the black box for a performance, I would come in through the front and walk through the corridors not seeing much of where the money went

There is some negotiation even with the model school option after the MSBA has picked
model school is structured more to the enrollment

These numbers are still preliminary!

5 districts have chosen the Whitman-Hanson model, only 1 chose Ashland, 2 chose Hudson

MSBA starts with the ed-spec, then gets into the discussion on scope and site work (can't be more than 8% for site work)

SchBldgComm: Inside entrance Option 1

the goal of all the options was to achieve the same program (visioning exercise)

presentation portion is now complete, closing up

The document handouts from this meeting can be found here:

Franklin, MA

2011 Earth Day April 16th at Beaver Pond


Franklin will celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 16th with a roadside clean up, spring plantings, and new environmental activities for all ages with activities based at Beaver Pond. 
        Earth Day kicks off "rain or shine" at 9:00 a.m. when volunteers start a town-wide roadside clean up of litter and set out plants and flowers. After this winter's snowfall, many of the town's most scenic streets can be quickly restored to an attractive roadside with just a few hours of time. Please bring gloves for each person and rakes. 
All volunteers are asked to sign in at Beaver Pond between 9:00am-11:00am, so that the areas most in need of a spring clean up get attention. To nominate a town road which needs a cleanup, please call or email the DPW as soon as possible. 
This year, volunteers will be given a trash bags for collecting cans, glass bottles, trash and litter. Volunteers simply leave the bags along the roadside by 12:00 p.m., after which Franklin DPW trucks will pick up the bagged trash. 
Last year's clean up brought out about 200 volunteers and the trash picked up filled one 40 yard dumpster.  Over one ton of litter was collected. 
Community service certificates are issued to youths and adults who need them. Earth Day t-shirts are given to the first 300 volunteers and there will be free pizza and beverages starting at 12:00 p.m. for returning clean up crews. 
Volunteers are also needed to help pick up donated goods, help run events at Beaver Pond. 
Also on site will be Waste Management recycling demo, environmental booths, and demonstrations.  Dean Radio WGAO, will be on site to broadcast live from the event. 
Sponsoring groups and businesses this year so far include: Waste Management, Comprehensive Environmental, Inc., CDM, Malcolm-Pirnie, Garelick Farms, Aubuchon Hardware, State Forest Advisory Council, Metcalf Materials, Hillside Nurseries, Domino's Pizza, Bimbo Bakeries, Dunkin Donuts, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Various boys and girls scouts, Hillside Nurseries, Franklin Garden Club, Franklin Citizen's Rail Trail Committee, Green at Dean College, Dean Community Outreach program, Coles Tavern, and Metacomet Land Trust.

For information on how you can get involved, visit the DPW webpage at:

This notice was also posted to the Franklin website

To subscribe and receive your own copy of this notice, go to the Franklin website and sign up for "Recycling News"

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Franklin High School's spring musical, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, is a satire of big business with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. It centers on a young window-cleaner, J. Pierrepont Finch, who begins a meteoric rise from the mail room to Vice President of Advertising at the World-Wide Wicket Company. Finch's unorthodox and morally questionable business practices jeopardize not only his career but also his romance with Secretary Rosemary Pilkington.

The show will be performed Friday and Saturday April 1st and 2nd at the Horace Mann Middle School Auditorium, 224 Oak Street, at 7:30. 

Tickets are $10 available at the door, or can be purchased from the FHS Music Department (508-541-2100 x3098) or at the front desk at Franklin High School by cash or check made out to ‘Franklin Music Boosters’.

Franklin, MA

"We are not offering fewer math classes at the high school"

"We also talked a lot about this not being a high school-only issue," Peri said, noting second-grade attendance can be an indicator that a student will quit high school. "We wanted to take the work to the next level and start sharing amongst principals." 
Those efforts began last year when the Student Success Team created a student watch list. To make the list, teachers and administrators identify children at risk of dropping out and create reports for each student before they leave middle school. 
The reports allow high school teachers to learn about the students before classes begin, helping them connect with and support the students who need help as soon as they become freshmen, Light said.
Read more:

Related posts
The agenda for the School Committee meeting can be found here:

The presentation document for the Student Success Team can be found here:

The policy documents scheduled for discussion and not reported on in this article can be found here:

Franklin, MA

In the News - grant received, The Producers, Tangerini Farm

Grant to conserve water at Franklin senior housing complex

Dean College to present “The Producers”

Franklin, MA

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

FM #90 - Week Ending Mar 27, 2011

Let's spend less than 10 minutes to review what matters in Franklin, MA as the week closes Sunday, March 27, 2011.

Time: 7 minutes and 32 seconds

MP3 File

Show Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 90 in the series for Franklin Matters.

We'll look back at the week that was as it comes to a close Monday March 28. I missed my window of opportunity to record last weekend and then with the workshop on Monday, lost my alternative time slot, so this will be a two week catch up before we get into what the week has ahead of us.

Tuesday, Mar 15 – The School Committee meeting spent a good deal of time on the high school. First, the visioning exercise that was conducted at the end of 2010 was reviewed. Second, the program of study introduced a proposal to reduce the math and science requirements for graduation. Third, the summer reading program has been under study with a team since 2008 and they are ready to re-launch the program this summer.

The bully policy was brought for a first reading. The task force you may recall had done their study and presented their recommendations, this was the policy group coming up with what would be needed to foster the changes.

Wednesday, Mar 16 - The Town Council meeting saw the appointment of a new member to the Conservation Commission, a couple of license transaction, the report from Melanson and Heath on the results of Franklin's audit for the 2010 fiscal year, and lastly the vote to put four utility poles underground on Main St.

Sunday, Mar 20 – Franklin's birthday celebration at the Historical Museum

Monday, Mar 21 – the Downtown Commercial Zoning Workshop was held with a good audience participating.

The presentation documents were added to my meeting notes.

Wednesday, Mar 23 - The Long Range Financial Planning committee meeting got into a discussion on what questions they would focus on to answer.

As for town meetings this week

The School Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday. Amongst the agenda items are recognition of the Hockey Team, There is also the second reading on the bullying policy and assuming no issues, it will come to a vote. The proposal to reduce the graduation requirements for science and math may have gotten complicated with the State announcing on Friday that those applying to State colleges and universities will now require four years of math.

The School Building Committee is scheduled to meet on Weds. It is reported to include the first presentation from the architects on the design options for the high school renovation project.

With the 2012 budget hearings still awaiting word from the House and Senate versions of the budget, Franklin's budget hearings may not get started until late April or May.

So stay tuned to what is happening in Franklin.

---- ---- ----

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin. I can use your help.

How can you help, you ask?
If you have an interest in writing about something that matters in Franklin, please let me know.

As always -

  • If you like this, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like this, please tell me.

This feedback loop is important. Thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark &Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission

I hope you enjoy!

Citizens Against Waste: Check book online

The most recent question came in from "Anonymous":
"Asking residents to identify waste before providing them modern transparency tools puts the cart before the horse; it unfairly transfers the onus of accountability onto busy taxpayers during difficult fiscal times. 
When will the Town of Franklin take steps to implement 21st century transparency, such as Worcester doing? It should be even easier for a small city to post all its expenditures online than for a large city."

As noted in the NECN story, Worcester is the first community to do this in MA.

I sent this question to Jeff Nutting who replied:
I do not know what is involved and how much time it would take but we can check it out. I will note this is an good example of how town and the school departments continue to get greater demands for services from all directions ( Federal and State laws, regulations, citizens) while we continue to shrink the staff. We try our best to accomplish all that is asked but at some point we will have to start making decisions on which requests we can accomplish and which one we will have to say no to. Clearly we must meet our legal obligations first. This means each time the Federal and State governments mandates a new program without any resources we have to divert staff time and money to meet that obligation. Just think how many hours we have spent over the last few years just on the Stormwater issue. When we start the next fiscal year in July I think we will have eliminated close to 40 municipal jobs in the last three years (maybe more). This does not count jobs eliminated in prior years. Yet folks will expect the same level of service. If you put is terms of a baseball team we would only be able to put seven players on the field to play the game.

From my own point of view, I wonder if looking at the check book is the best way to be transparent. Franklin already makes its information and budget planning process accessible. Very few folks actually participate in person at the budget hearings. These are the best times to really get the full story on what is being spent, how and why.

The budget hearings for FY 2012 will be coming soon. The School Committee has held their budget hearing and budget workshop. The Finance Committee will meet with each department to review their individual budgets line by line before the Town Council will cover the same ground (usually over two nights) and then vote on the final amount.

Stay tuned here and to the Franklin website for the schedule of budget hearings.

Financial audit of FY 2010
Management letter:

Detail document:

FY 2011 budget summary

FY 2011 budget detail

FY 2011 budget funding

The FY 2011 budget workshop was recorded and documented here

The FY 2012 budget collection can be found here

Franklin, MA

Friends of Franklin Library meeting, Apr 6

The Friends of the Franklin Library (FOFL) will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the library, lower level. Members and the public are welcome to attend the meetings. FOFL is always looking for new ideas, opinions and comments to help make its efforts more successful.

The Friends of the Franklin Library is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of the nation’s first public library. Meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month, September through June. Membership is open to everyone.

For information about the Friends, call 508-528-6624.

The Franklin Public Library is accepting donations for its spring 2011 book sale in May. Donations may be dropped off at the library on the lower level during regular business hours.

Franklin, MA

"You can't just keep coming back with ideas and ideas"

The hearing has now been closed and the Planning Board will vote in April.
"We feel like we have given as much as we can on this project and (limiting the development to only) right turns out is a significant concession because it impacts his property and impacts his relationship with tenants," said Craig Ciechanowski, a Franklin attorney representing Daddario. 
But Yadisernia maintained that two fast food restaurants with drive-thrus would create too much traffic because the restaurants peak at the same time as the numbers of vehicles using Rte. 140 is the greatest, from 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. 
And drivers might still illegally make a left turn out of the development or turn into other private businesses to reverse direction. There could also be problems at the light at Franklin Village Plaza because people exiting the new development would make a legal U-turn at that light to go toward downtown, Yadisernia said. 
"My contention is what's really hurting this project is having two (fast food) restaurants in this location," said Yadisernia, who reiterated his recommendation not to approve the project unless a fast food establishment is removed or its use changed. "That's where the stumbling block is. I personally think two fast food restaurants is too much."
Read more:

Franklin, MA

Monday, March 28, 2011

Franklin Food Pantry - Spring Update

Thank you for your interest in the Franklin Food Pantry.  Spring is here and we are looking forward to the beginning of our local, fresh produce season!

You are invited to join us for an Oxfam Hunger Banquet this Tuesday, March 29th, 7pm @ Dean College Campus Center (invitation attached).  This event is a simulation  of the reality of hunger in the world, with people eating a meal that corresponds to their randomly assigned income level. Suggested donation is non-perishable food items to be donated to the Franklin Food Pantry.

Many of you have been asking how to get more involved in the Giving Garden and/or the Franklin Community Gardens that will be located at the King Street Playground.  Plans are progressing quickly and many volunteers are needed.  Please email to join this exciting community group.

Are you a backyard gardener (or do you know a backyard farmer)?  Do you want to plant an extra row this year to help our neighbors in need?  We are starting a Plant a Row program and are getting ready to open registration and distribute row markers and brochures.  If you are interested in participating, please email

We are celebrating a recent grant received from the MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation to launch our Produce Points program at the Franklin Farmers Market in June 2011.  Produce Points is modeled after the Double Value Coupon Program developed by Wholesome Wave.  Stay tuned.  We will be looking for a summer intern (college student) to assist with the development of this program (15-20 hours a week, May - Aug).  Please email if interested in learning more.
Michelle Clay of Franklin has generously volunteered to create a food resource cookbook for the Franklin Food Pantry and is inviting you all to be recipe testers.  You can find more information and many recipes here  (Thank you Michelle!)

Mark your calendars - Saturday, May 14th is Stamp Out Hunger day. More information will be in our April newsletter.
Good food nourishes the body and the spirit. With regular, nutritious meals, we are free to grow, to think, to smile, to live.  In 2011, we will expand our capacity to provide our clients with a wide range of opportunities for gaining access to local, fresh, nutritious food.  Our free Farmer's Market for clients was a great success in 2010 and thanks to generous Donors we look forward to working with Grateful Farm to continue this program beginning in June 2011.
Thanks to the generosity of our community, we distributed more than 14,000 bags to more than 800 neighbors in 2010. We received more than 50,000 lbs of food and non-food donations and also many monetary donations.  Thanks to our relationship with the Greater Boston Food Bank a $20 donation can provide up to 100 meals and we are excited to now be able to accept donations online at our website
Gratitude Hugs to all those who donated more than 500 canvas grocery bags.  We are again humbled by the generosity and support of this wonderful community.
In 2011, we hope to continue to learn with you, our community, the many elements of nutrition, food systems, local resources and to explore the questions, "What is food?" and "Where does our food come from?".   We believe everyone has the right to access healthy, affordable food choices. 

Please contact if you are interested in working together on any of the programs mentioned or if you have a great idea that may align well with any of the above.

Current Needs 
Donations accepted Tuesday thru Friday 9am - 1pm 
or can be placed in collection bin on our front porch anytime

Cleaning Products – Laundry, Dish, All Purpose
Paper Products – Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels, Feminine
Health & Beauty – Shampoo, Pump Soap, Body Wash, Deodorant
Canned Meat / Fish
Broth / Beef Soup / Dry Soup
Canned Pasta (chef boyardeeish)
Baked Beans
Chili / Taco / Meal Helpers
Condiments / Dressings
Flavored Rice and/or Pasta Side Dishes
Baking Mixes and/or Spices

Fresh and Frozen Produce always welcome!

Thank you for making a difference!
(Please check expiration dates)

Anne Marie Bellavance
Franklin Food Pantry
43 West Central Street
PO Box 116
Franklin, MA  02038
(508) 528-3115