Saturday, April 9, 2011

10th Annual HMEA Independence 5K Walk Run Roll & Stroll

Gene Lavanchy, Fox 25 morning News anchor, and New England Patriot Steve Nelson will host the 10th Annual HMEA Independence 5K Walk Run Roll & Stroll on May 22 at EMC, 50 Constitution Blvd, in the Franklin Industrial Park.
This video provides a good recap of what the events of the day are like.

Read more:

My recap of 2010 can be found here:

You can register to run, walk, or stroll on the HMEA website

Franklin, MA

"always good news to see an increase in state funding"

Milford's Chapter 90 funding would increase from $627,000 in fiscal 2011 to $812,000 in fiscal 2012. Mendon's would increase from $208,000 to $270,000. Upton's would rise from $239,000 to $320,000. Hopedale's would jump from $136,000 to $174,000 while Bellingham's would go from $392,000 to $510,000, according to a spreadsheet on the Department of Transportation website. 
Franklin's road funding would grow from $713,000 to $923,000, while Medway's would jump from $318,000 to $413,000. Those are both nearly 30 percent increases that Vallee said would make a dramatic difference. 
"I think this year was extraordinary with having the significant, record snowfalls and deterioration of roads," he said. "... There's never enough money for any specific need, but from my standpoint, this is a good use of taxpayer money. It goes directly to infrastructure and I think the increase was needed."

Read more:

Information on the FY 2012 Budget can be found here:

The Finance Committee will hold their budget hearings on May 2, 3, 5, 9 and 10. Each department will review their budget detail and answer questions on their operations and expenses.

Franklin, MA

In the News - Dean College, brush fire

Dean College takes part in Earth Day

Franklin brush fire extinguished

Franklin, MA

Where's the Train? Check "Rail Radio"

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 4/8/11

MBTA New Locomotive, South Station, February 7, 2011 MBTA and the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company today announced the launch of an updated "Rail Radio" service. "Rail Radio" provides real-time information about the status of approaching trains on car radios.  It is now integrated with commuter rail's Passenger Train Information System, a computerized system that links real-time information from approaching trains to LED monitors at stations.

"The integration of Rail Radio and PTIS delivers real-time information directly from approaching trains to customers' cars," said MBTA General Manager Richard Davey. "This service gives commuter rail customers more accurate information about when their train will arrive."

The low wattage AM radio service is currently available at more than 80 MBTA commuter rail stations with over 50 parking spaces in Eastern Massachusetts.  Customers should check LED monitors at their local stations for the "Rail Radio" frequency in their area.

Things you can do from here:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hey Mom, let's make some squishy circuits!

Looking for something to do and entertain the kids? Got play dough?
Stop at Radio Shack for some electrical parts and make some squishy circuits!

What? Watch, it is only a six minute video to get the idea.

For recipes and activities, visit the web site referenced as Anne Marie Thomas finishes her demo: Squishy Circuits

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

Franklin, MA

In the News - spring cleaning

Franklin schools seek volunteers for spring clean up

Franklin, MA

Let Your Life Speak

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Lifelong Learning by Pandora Carlucci on 4/7/11

Let Your Life Speak is a 3-day workshop that will be offered this summer for incoming high school seniors. Pamela McIntyre, Ph.D. and Janet Pergola, FHS Faculty, are collaborating on this class that is designed to help students communicate about themselves through college essays and interviews. The name of the class has its origins in an old Quaker saying that refers to having the ability to articulate your values, priorities, and interests. Throughout one's life and most particularly during senior year, seniors will be asked to communicate who they are to colleges, employers, and scholarship foundations. Furthermore, seniors will need to write college essays and interview with admission officers. Throughout these processes, they will need to share information about who they are and what is important to them. This class asks each incoming senior: Do you know what you want to say? Do you know how you're going to say it? In this class students will:
  • Explore and identify primary strengths, passions, and priorities
  • Learn how to write effective college essays
  • Enhance and refine your interviewing and public presentation skills

For more information:

Telephone: Lifelong Learning at 508-553-4814 0r email:

To register: select the Summer Program from the center of the page, select Let Your Life Speak.

Things you can do from here:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Town Council - 04/06/11

The collection of live reporting notes from the Town Council meeting Wednesday, April 6, 2011 can be found here:

Franklin, MA

"officials would probably seek additional money"

"It's a step in the process," Foss said. "I agree that ideally the work would be done more quickly. But, (we're planning to hire) a licensed contractor to do the work and that takes time and money." 
Contaminants, including lead and chlorinated volatile organic compounds, have been detected in some soil and groundwater at the site. The property was taken by the town through the tax title process in 2002 and 2005. 
The volatile organic compounds could pose a risk to indoor air quality if the 1-acre parcel is redeveloped. The parcel also includes part of Mine Brook and a parking lot built by a neighboring property owner with permission of the town. 
The town could have spent money itself and possibly cleaned up the property sooner, but Franklin is trying to save taxpayers' money by seeking outside funding, Town Adminstrator Jeffrey Nutting said. 
"We inherited this property," Nutting said. "People are making it sound like the town is doing something wrong."

Read more:

Franklin, MA

In the News - Council on Aging, Healthy Kids

Franklin Council on Aging celebrates 40th anniversary

Hockomock YMCA celebrates Healthy Kids Day Saturday

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Live reporting - Closing


various announcements, hydrant flushing, mosquito spraying
Earth Clean up day coming April 16th 

Jones - can we get the stretch code documents for the Council


Kelly - You mentioned hydrant flushing but didn't mention filling potholes
Nutting - if you have notice of one, let the DPW know

Jones - Y celebrating Healthy Kids Day this Saturday

Vallee - Crecent St is the worse street
Nutting - It is on the list for 2-3 years

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

motion to move to executive session, passed 7-0 (via roll call)

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - NuStyle Brownfields Public Hearing

Public Hearing to solicit comments on a draft Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives for the Town

Bryan Taberner introduced David Foss project manager on the remediation effort

demolition of the building is step one to handle the remediation
the analysis has been completed on all the outside ground area, they can't analyze the ground the building is on but need to remove it first

renovation is not practical, do nothing is not allowed as it doesn't handle the risk

remove soil that can be removed, if the amount becomes too much, then the alternative would be to cap and mark it via deed as to its use

putting together bid documents for contractors to bid to do the demolition

Mr Compton - we don't need a consultant to tell us we need to demolish this facility

What further work will be required depends upon what is found after the demolition and what the future use will be. If a park or parking lot, very little required. If a basement is required, then soil removal and treatment for that digging would be required.

The hope is to take the building down this construction season.

Comment period open from Apr 1 to May 2 noon time.

Mr Compton - the building is more likely to cost closer to $500,000 than 200,000.

Only one of the two buildings is covered under the grant (the back building)

This is a demolition grant prior was an assessment grant

240,000 less $24,000 for the project management firm to assist in the demo
If the bid comes in for $400,000, we'll be back for the additional funds.

Unless we have specific costs for the demolition, we don't know

We have been trying to take care of the environment and minimize the Franklin tax dollars in the process

Lot 27 has the EPA items of concern, Lot 22 does not have any EPA issues

motion to close the hearing, approve 7-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - legislation for action


2. Resolution 11-11: Transfer of Tax Title Possession Parcels to Different Municipal Purposes
part of a regular process, no buildable structures for the DPW lands, possible rain water treatment, rain gardens, etc.

motion to approve, passed 7-0

3. Bylaw Amendment 11-659 Chapter 135, Removal and Undergrounding of Utility Poles and Overhead Wires and Structures

motion to move to second reading, passed 7-0

one time charge to electrical users in Franklin, based upon the average residential electrical bill, approx $1.00

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Town Council

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

March 2, 2011 regular minutes, February 16, 2011 Executive Session Minutes
motion to approve, passed 7-0

The meeting is being recorded by Verizon, Comcast and Franklin Matters



1. Resolution 11-09: Creation of Franklin Community Garden Committee
motion to approve, passed 7-0

Community Garden Committee
Amy Acevedo
Christopher Clay
Nicole Harter
Deb Schwab
Teresa Triana
motion to approve - passed 7-0

Zoning Board of Appeals
Timothy C. Twardowski
motion to ratify appointment, passed 7-0

Franklin, MA

"does not expect the council to seek an override"

Current projections show the town would have to cut 25 jobs, including 14 school positions and possibly some police spots. The estimates have some officials worried as they hold off on a budget vote until final numbers are solidified. 
Lingering uncertainty has forced the Finance Committee to push its five budget meetings into early May. The Town Council typically holds its budget hearing over two consecutive nights once the Finance Committee makes its recommendation. 
"Oftentimes, we try to go out with the best info we have and then the state (numbers are better than expected) and it makes us look like we found money," Finance Committee Chairman Jim Roche said. "We're trying to get as close as we can, so it's definitely later than usual."
Read more:

Franklin, MA

It’s a Play Date: YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day™ at the Hockomock Area YMCA

On Saturday, April 9 the Hockomock Area YMCA is encouraging all kids and parents in it’s 15 serving communities, to come to the Y for a play date and commit to being active every day. It’s all part of the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day™ – the nation’s largest health day for families. As a leading nonprofit strengthening community through healthy living and the Hockomock Healthy Futures Initiative,
the Y holds Healthy Kids Day to teach healthy habits to kids and entire families. The day focuses on inspiring a lifetime love of physical activity and healthy nutrition choices. At a time when one in three children in the United States are overweight or obese (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), developing healthier habits that include increased physical activity and improved nutrition
is more important than ever. Healthy Kids Day will be celebrated at nearly 1,600 Ys across the country, with more than 700,000 families expected to attend this year. The free event will take place at all three branches in Franklin, North Attleboro and Foxboro from 10-1pm.
A focus for 2011 is on the Y’s community partners helping families live better. This year we are joined by Whole Foods Market, Bellingham, Franklin Food Pantry, Medway Community Farm, New York Life Insurance, Walgreens, Chestnut Dental Association, Franklin Fire Department, Tim Snow – local caricaturist, Sean Henry - Johnson and Wales Culinary Intern, Leslie Reichert – Green Cleaning Coach,
Self Aesthetics and Therapeutic Specialists, DCU, Garelick Farms and YMCA staff will also be on hand leading movement based activities such as giant Twister and Jenga, open gymnastics, camp games, face painting, eye spy 100 items, bouncy house and more, and promoting Y programs and having fun. A raffle will also be available for a Y gift certificate for one lucky family at registration.
“In our communities, we know that parents struggle to find the time to incorporate more active play and healthier habits into their family’s daily routine,” says Lauren Marciszyn, Youth and Community Wellness Director, Bernon Family Branch. “Doing so doesn’t have to require extra money or resources. It’s as simple as making plans or a play date with your kids, with two key requirements – be active and have fun. We also want families to recognize how many wonderful organizations we have right in our community that are striving to help them become healthier, more active and connected. Our goal is to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

For more information, contact Lauren Marciszyn, RD, LDN at 774.235.2737 or visit

Franklin, MA

"the project will affect the parking lot"

The town is finalizing a contract with D&F Afonso Builders of Milford to do the work, which includes repairing the municipal parking lot near the Franklin/Dean College MBTA station, Emmons Street between Main Street and Hillside Road, Dean Avenue between Main and Ray streets, Ray Street and Depot Street. 
At $883,157, the construction company submitted the lowest of 13 bids, Chief Procurement Officer Norma Collins said. 
The work will be paid for with a $1 million state public works grant. It will include fixing deteriorated sidewalks, installing ornamental streetlights, improving drainage systems, reconstructing roads and the parking lot and adding landscaping. 
The town has spent about $100,000 to design the project. Officials plan to save the remaining few thousand dollars between the bid price and the grant price for unexpected costs during construction, Planning Director Bryan Taberner said.
Read more:

Franklin, MA

Aerial Mosquito Spraying: Apr 19 - Apr 22


The Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project will begin the annual aerial mosquito larval control on April 19, 2011 through April 22, 2011 weather permitting. If the application can not be completed during these dates the application will continue beyond these dates.
As in previous years, the Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project will use helicopters to target large wetland areas in Franklin. The wetlands will be treated with BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) pellets to control mosquito larvae. 
To view a map of the targeted wetlands in the Town of Franklin, please visit the project’s website at 
If you have questions regarding the application of the BTI pellets, please contact the Director of the Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project, Mr. John J. Smith at 781-762-3681

This was originally posted on the Franklin website

Franklin, MA

"a situation that requires urgent action"

Unlike the state, municipalities must negotiate with local unions before increasing co-pays or deductibles, a requirement the report's sponsors and the Massachusetts Municipal Association want dropped. 
At issue is what role collective bargaining should play in revising the system and whether municipalities should join the state plan or simply use it as a model. 
Unions made other concessions to get better health care, state fire union head Ed Kelly said, but are open to deductibles and larger co-pays as long as bargaining is protected and a safety net established for especially sick employees and their relatives. 
"We don't have our heads in the sand," he said. "We know this is a problem."
Read more:

Franklin, MA

High School Experience 2011

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Lifelong Learning by Pandora Carlucci on 4/4/11

The High School Experience is scheduled for the week of August 15, 2011, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM. This week is for incoming grade 9 students and is co-directed by Ms. Cerce and Ms. Yankee, faculty members at FHS.

The HSE introduces freshmen to the culture, beliefs and norms of FHS and provides strategies for success in academics, as well as in extra curricular activities. The students will meet other students from all 4 middle schools, meet faculty members from the Freshman Collaborative, as well as administrators and members of the FHS staff, and participate in a variety of project adventure games and activities.

Registration is ongoing. If you would like to learn more about this initiative, please email us:

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Citizens Against Waste - athletic field lights

A question came in about the lights at the athletic field:
This may not quite fit the form of question you are looking for, but we drove by the high school last night at 7 PM, and all the field lights were blazing while not a soul was there. Any idea why that would be? Seems like an awful waste of electricity.
An email from Jeff Nutting revealed:
According to Ryan Jette, a lacrosse game was scheduled to start shortly after 7 pm. The lights are on a timer an go off at 8:30 pm

If you recall last Friday, April 1, we had some typical New England spring weather with about an inch of snow before changing to rain. The fields were too wet to play so the game schedule was changed and the lights program was not.


If you have a question, please ask and we'll get an answer

The collection of questions and answers can be found here

Franklin, MA

May Road Races

The 3rd Annual Parmenter 5k will be held on Sunday, May 15th. Additional details and registration information can be found on the event website

The 10th Annual HMEA Independence 5K Walk Run Roll and Stroll in the Park will be held on Sunday May 22, 2011. Additional details can be found on the HMEA website

I plan on running the Parmenter 5k as I will be working the registration desk and providing the 2 mile split times for the HMEA 5K. If you are going to either race, say hi!

Franklin, MA

In the News - Tufts CEO

Tufts Health Plan CEO to speak at Dean College

Franklin, MA

Author: Laura Spinella

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Lifelong Learning by Pandora Carlucci on 4/4/11

Adult Education and Community Learning presents Laura Spinella on Wednesday, April 6 at 7 PM at Franklin High School.

Ms. Spinella is a Franklin resident and freelance writer for newspapers and magazines. She will present on the process of writing an book and then navigating the publishing process. This looks to be an exciting evening for Franklin writers-to-be.

For more information on this opportunity contact Joan Borgatti, Coordinator of Adult Education:

Things you can do from here:

Washington Street Bridge Work

MARCH 30, 2011




To subscribe to your own copy of news from Franklin (Police, Fire, DPW, Senior Center) go to the webpage

Franklin, MA

Monday, April 4, 2011

FM #91 - Week ending Apr 3, 2011

Let's take less than 10 minutes to cover what matters in Franklin, MA as the week ends Apr 3rd, 2011.

Time: 7 minutes, 14 seconds

MP3 File

Show Notes

This internet radio show or podcast is number 91 in the series for Franklin Matters.

We'll look back at the week that was as it comes to a close Sunday Apr 3 before getting to the outlook on the week ahead.

With my work on the Board of Directors for the Franklin Food Pantry, I missed the School Committee meeting on Tuesday and caught the highlights via the video feed.

The policy discussions can be found here

and here

There was a minor change to the 2011-2012 calendar. As New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, school will skip Monday and start on Tuesday. This allows for the holiday to be observed on Monday as most other neighboring community school systems will also do. The revised calendar has been posted and prior versions removed to avoid confusion.

The action items can be found here.

Of most interest was the action to accept the proposal on reducing the math graduation requirements to three years. Peter Light gives a good and brief summary of the position and why. Peter's comments occur about 1:01 of the action item segment.

On Wednesday, the School Building Committee meet to hear the first presentation on four options for the renovation of Franklin High. Two of the options are for renovation and two of the options are for building a new school. As the prices are comparable amongst them, the pros and cons will really need to be looked at as the project goes forward.

The next step is for the committee to finalize their options, and decide on a recommendation. This package (three options with one of them a recommendation) will then go before the MSBA where they will make a decision. That decision will then come back to the Franklin voters to approve or reject. If we approve, then the project proceeds with the State contributing something just above 50%. If we reject, the full cost of any resulting project will be borne solely by the Franklin taxpayers. The rejection will have lost our state reimbursement.

The committee is looking to decide by May and get before the MSBA in July which still puts us on the time line for a fall vote. Stay tuned to this one as it develops.

The meeting notes, handouts and photos can be found here

As for town meetings this week

The Finance Committee was scheduled to meet on Tuesday. As the budget book won't be ready until the end of the month, this meeting has been canceled. The budget hearings have been scheduled for May 2, 3, 5, 9 and 10. The calendar on Franklin Matters has been updated accordingly.

The Town Council is scheduled to meet on Weds. The Community Gardens group will be formed as an official town committee. There will be a public hearing on the Brownfields options for the NUStyle property on Grove St. Additional agenda items can be found on the full agenda here


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

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
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!

Franklin, MA

Eric Whitacre - Virtual Choir with 2,000 voices

Music is such an attraction point. Folks can disagree on other things but agree on good music. Or in this case, come together from all points around the world to participate in a virtual choir.

What a wonderful story and song! I can hardly wait to see the full release later this month.
Thank you Eric for accepting the challenge to join the choir and then for enjoying your journey in life with music!

Franklin, MA

In the News - public hearing, fund raising

Franklin considers demolishing old Nu-Style building

For the complete agenda for Wednesday's Town Council meeting and all of the associated documents:

Franklin boy inspires martial arts fundraiser

Franklin, MA

FISCAL FALLOUT: The Great Recession, Policy Choices, & State Budget Cuts - An Update for Fiscal Year 2012

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Contact Info

  Noah Berger

  (617) 426-1228 x102

  Tom Benner
  Communications Director
  (617) 426-1228 x100

Fiscal Fallout: The Great Recession, Policy Choices, & State Budget Cuts
-- An Update for Fiscal Year 2012  

April 3, 2011

When Fiscal Year 2012 begins, Massachusetts will enter the fourth budget year shaped by the worst national recession since the Great Depression. Communities and families across the Commonwealth have been feeling the effects of deep cuts in government funding for education, health care, public safety, safety net programs, and other services that people count on.   

A new MassBudget report examines the budget cuts already enacted since the onset of the current economic downturn, and those proposed in the Governor's FY 2012 budget.

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

MassBudget provides independent research and analysis of state budget and tax policies, as well as economic issues, with particular attention to the effects on low- and moderate-income people.

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