Saturday, April 16, 2011

Free Geek Providence invites you to Community Camp (Apr 23, 2011)

Can't see this email?  Click here:

Community Camp Logo

You are invited to the following event:
Community Camp

Saturday, April 23, 2011 from 8:00 AM - 1:30 PM (ET)

RISD Auditorium
17 Canal Street
Providence, RI 02903
Can you attend this event? Respond Here
For more information click here.

This email was sent by Eventbrite, your total online solution to publish, register, manage and promote events. Host Your Events With Eventbrite
Click here to unsubscribe from events by "Free Geek Providence."

If you are conducting a job search, there are four scholarships (free passes) available to attend this camp. Details on how to qualify can be found here:

Franklin, MA: Old Masonic Building Fire

Geoffrey Zub captured the scene around the fire at the Masonic Temple and shares his photos.

Click on the photo itself to view his photo album.

Franklin, MA

In the News - fire, Masonic Temple, Rachel's Challenge

Fire guts Franklin building

Fire destroys abandoned Masonic Temple in Franklin

Franklin students take up Rachel's Challenge

Franklin, MA

Senate Approves Local Aid Resolution

On April 14, 2011, the Senate approved a resolution declaring its intent to fund Chapter 70 and Unrestricted General Government Aid at levels not less than the amounts appearing in the House Ways and Means Committee's budget.

What does this mean?
This means that the numbers from the House Ways and Means Budget released earlier can be used with some confidence in planning for the Franklin budget.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Community Gardens Update

Hi Everyone,

Happy Spring!  We have been really busy with garden business and we have several updates to share with you.

The biggest piece of news is that the Town of Franklin has established a community garden committee!  The first meeting of the Franklin Community Garden Committee will be held on April 21, 2011 at 9 AM in the Franklin Municipal building in room 205.  All of the town committee meetings are open to the public.  Future meetings will most likely be scheduled for the evening, however, the Town Clerk will be swearing in the committee members so the first meeting has been planned during business hours.  
The agenda will be posted soon, and will be available for viewing on this page:

Meanwhile, we have established the Friends of Franklin Community Gardens to partner with the Franklin Community Gardens Town Committee.  The Friends will help by providing financial support for materials and supplies needed to build the garden, as well as educational and enrichment programs to benefit our entire community. 

Whether you are hoping for a garden space for yourself or your community group, seeking to volunteer for the initial Build Day or future garden work days, helping the Franklin Food Pantry Giving Garden team, supporting the Friends as a member, donor, sponsor, or volunteer, or any/all of the above, we hope everyone is as excited as we are to see the garden become a reality this year! 

Please be on the lookout for upcoming emails containing information on garden sign-ups, volunteer opportunities, the Friends of Franklin Community Gardens, and more.  In the meantime, please visit us on the web at: . Thank you for your interest and support!

In health and springtime,

Amy, Chris, Nicole, Lauren, Deb, and Teresa


Subscribe to the blog!
Yes, we are on Facebook.

In the News - recycling, art, FSPA

Recycling fundraiser set in Franklin

Franklin Art Association offering scholarship

Franklin, MA

Cooking Classes at Whole Foods in Bellingham

Monday, April 18th 
Cooking with Greens!  - 6:30-8:00 p.m. 
Cost: $5.00 donation to the Whole Planet Foundation
Are you tired of eating plain old steamed greens? Do wish you were eating more green leafy vegetables? Don't feel bad, GREENS tend to be the #1 missing ingredient in the standard American diet. Learn how to incorporate this missing element to achieve excellent health and vitality in the Cooking with Greens class. 
Join Karen, the Healthy Eating Specialist in this educational  cooking class and learn some great ideas on how to get more green into your diet!

Thursday, April 28th
Health Starts RAW Foods Cooking Class - 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost:  $5.00 and please sign up and pay in advance at the Customer Sevice booth

By popular demand, we are offering our Raw Foods "cooking" class again! 
Learn about the many health benefits that are associated with the Raw Foods way of life, while sampling many great dishes that are not cooked above 104 degrees. 
Attend this class for some motivation and added support in your journey to becoming the healthiest "YOU" you can be! Receive an assortment of ways to incorporate more RAW Foods following the 4 Healthy Eating Pillars; Plant Strong, Whole Food, Healthy Fats and Nutrient Dense  into your diet.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Preliminary Analysis: The House Ways & Means Fiscal Year 2012 Budget

Explore our online budget database
Budget Browser

Is our research helpful to you? Support our work
Donate to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center

Find us on facebook


Forward to a Friend
Contact Info

  Noah Berger
  (617) 426-1228 x102

  Tom Benner
  Communications Director
  (617) 426-1228 x100

Preliminary Analysis:
The House Ways & Means
Fiscal Year 2012 Budget


April 13, 2011    


With federal fiscal relief for states ending in Fiscal Year 2012, Massachusetts faces a budget gap of approximately $1.9 billion (the gap between the cost of maintaining current services and the revenue expected to be available).


The House Ways & Means budget proposed today closes this gap primarily with cuts and savings.  These reductions affect virtually all areas of government, from health care and public health, to local aid, funding for education, and human services. 


Preliminary Analysis: The House Ways & Means Fiscal Year 2012 Budget provides an overview of spending proposals in various areas of the House Ways & Means budget.  MassBudget will release a more detailed analysis of the House Ways & Means budget plan in a Budget Monitor next week.


The report is available at or by clicking here.   

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.
This email was sent to by |  
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

In the News - free seeds, hip hop, rain barrels

Be a garden blogger, get free seeds

Dean College hip hop team to perform Friday

Rain barrels, composter available to Franklin residents at discount

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Earth Day - April 16 - volunteers needed


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"

Franklin, MA

STAR Plus -- Just for Middle School Students


Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:


via Lifelong Learning by Pandora Carlucci on 4/12/11

Middle school is the domain of students in grades 6, 7 & 8. STAR Plus, our middle school summer program, has been designed specifically for these students. Directed by Ms. Orfalea and Ms. Leazott, STAR Plus offers four, 1-week sessions with a variety of themes and activities focused on the interests of middle school students.

Each week students enroll in 2 early morning classes and 1 longer mid-morning class. Students choose 2 themes from the following:
Visual Arts, Cooking and Design - Potential activities include Cooking, Drawing & painting, recycled art, screen printing, T-shirt design.

Computer Lab, Games, Science & Technology - Potential activities include Photoshop. Internet games, Movie making, Experimental fun and games, games, games.

Music, Performing Arts - Potential activities include Creating music, Introduction to guitar, Music history, Play production, Musical production and Dance.

Sports, Recreation, and Fitness - Potential activities include Fall sports, Winter sports, Spring sports, Team and individual games, Fitness challenges, and Sports history.

For the longer, mid-morning class, the students select their favorite theme from among the following themes:
Performing Arts - Theatre- Students will write, rehearse & perform a musical or play or Dance Students will learn a variety of dance techniques.

Science & technology/Outdoor Fitness
Experimental Fun - Students will use their senses to experiment with a variety of materials.
Outdoor Fitness - Students will explore a variety of outdoor fitness activities.

Sports & Recreation
Sports - Students will play a variety of fall, winter & summer sports
Recreation - Students will play a variety of team and individual games; exercises & athletic activities will be explored.

Visual Art
Painting - Students will use watercolors or acrylics to paint still-life, landscapes and figures.
Recycled Art - Students will use a variety of recycled materials to form sculptures
Clay/Pottery - Students will use many types of materials: clay, model magic & modeling clay to sculpt pieces of art.

Register: select Summer Program from middle of page, select STAR Plus
Questions: or 508-553-4814


Things you can do from here:


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Changes afoot

Scene script:

Queue Dylan's "The times they are a changing" as background music

Focus on a cross roads with multiple options:

Announcement: I will switch the focus of my efforts from live reporting on Franklin's meetings to spending more time on the Franklin Food Pantry. I will not be live reporting on the meetings Tue and Wed this week. A more formal announcement will be made later.

Thank you for your readership. Thank you for your interest in Franklin.

Queue Pete Seeger singing "Turn, Turn, Turn" in the background.

Fade picture slowly, diminish music slowly

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - 4/12/11

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

Mission Statement
The Franklin Public Schools, in collaboration with the community, will cultivate each student's intellectual, social, emotional and physical potential through rigorous academic inquiry and informed problem solving skills within a safe, nurturing and respectful environment.

"The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law."

1. Routine Business

Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the March 29, 2011 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mr. Glynn
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives

1. Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations
a. Project Able/Blended online learning
b. LIFT2 – Brenda Redding
c. Annual Financial Audit

3. Discussion Only Items
School Choice

Policy – Second Readings:
1. KBE – School/Parent Organizations Relationships
2. KBE-E – School Committee/Administration Participation in PCC/Boosters Meetings Guidelines
3. KDD – News Media Relations/News Releases

4. Action Items
a. I recommend the Franklin Public Schools not participate in the School Choice Program for the 2011-2012 school year.
b. I recommend acceptance of a 2 checks, one from the Jefferson PCC for $3500.00 and one from Follett for $4.80 for field trips for Jefferson Elementary School.
c. I recommend adoption of Policy KBE – School/Parent Organizations Relationships as detailed.
d. I recommend adoption of Policy KBE-E – School Committee/Administration Participation in PCC/Boosters Meetings Guidelines as detailed.
e. I recommend adoption of Policy KDD – News Media Relations/News Releases as detailed.
f. I recommend acceptance of a check for $7316.00 from Davis Thayer PCC for field trips and buses as detailed.
g. I recommend acceptance of a check for $330.00 from Parmenter PCC for field trips.
h. I recommend acceptance of a check for $2665.75 from Parmenter PCC for field trips.

5. Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report

School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business
To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

7. Executive Session
Contractual Negotiations

8. Adjourn

Franklin, MA

Parmenter 5K - May 15th

The Parmenter 2011 Race flyer:

Parmenter 2011 Race Flyer

The registration form:


You can also visit the race website to register online

Franklin, MA


Proposed Agenda for April 12, 2011
Location: Franklin YMCA 45 Forge Hill Road
Start Time: 7:30PM

I. Call to Order / Introductions of New Attendees
A. Review & approve minutes of previous meeting
B. Make sure we have a volunteer to keep minutes of meeting

II. Report from Finance Committee
Report from Treasurer

III. Report from Grant Writing Committee
Meeting on March 31st and begin Strategic Plan
Proposed meeting on April 14th

C. We have an Eagle Scout lined up for proposed work in Forest
D. Need to Meet with EMC and Rockland Trust soon

IV. Earth Day Preparations for Beaver St. Location on April 16th
Tent, Table, Banner, Coffee, Brochures, sign up sheets, etc.
Get to Ron Clough list of volunteers

V. Report of April 23rd Road Race Committee
Discussion on progress to date and of Publicity
Agree on date and time to meet with M & M for final preps

VI. Report on Bellingham
Bellingham Lions – Ken
Politics and Fatman

VII. Unfinished Business:

VIII. New Business:

IX. Set Date & place for Next Meeting and Adjourn

Franklin, MA

Downtown Partnership Networking Luncheon - Apr 29th

Franklin Downtown Partnership
Networking Luncheon

Friday, April 29th-1:00

Dean College Campus Center-Dining Hall
Cost $5.50

Please RSVP Joel Carrara

Enjoy great food while networking with other Downtown Partnership members!

In the News - Newcomers, arrest, marathon, approval

Officials meet with Franklin Newcomers and Friends Club

Police say Franklin teen spit at officer during arrest

Franklin woman to realize dream of running Marathon

Taco Bell, Wendy's approved in Franklin

Franklin, MA

Monday, April 11, 2011

FM #92 - Week ending Apr 10, 2011

Let's spend a few minutes reviewing what matters in Franklin, MA as the week comes to a close April 10th.

Time: 5 minutes, 58 seconds

MP3 File

Show Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 92 in the series for Franklin Matters.

We'll look back at the week that was as it comes to a close Sunday Apr 10 before getting to the outlook on the week ahead.

As we mentioned last week, the Finance Committee was scheduled to meet on Tuesday. With the budget book not scheduled to be ready until the end of April, the meeting was canceled. The FINCOM budget hearings have been scheduled for May 2, 3, 5, 9 and 10. The calendar on Franklin Matters has been updated accordingly.

The Milford Daily News ran an article on this updated schedule and in the article stated:
Town Council Chairman Scott Mason said the budget deficit probably will not be as bad as the $4 million to $6 million councilors predicted last year. He said he does not expect the council to seek an override this year.

So be it.

The Town Council met this week and spent time on the public hearing for the Nu-Style building which is getting closer to demolition and clean up than ever before. Several of the councilors created great sound bites on how long it is taken to do this. Jeff Nutting has the best comment in response:

My notes showed he said something like
”We have been trying to take care of the environment and minimize the Franklin tax dollars in the process.“
The good news from the Council meeting was their action to create a “Community Gardens Committee.” Five members were appointed all from the group that has been working on this for the past several months. This is a great step forward. The King St Memorial Fields will be the site for about 40 raised bed gardens to be set up in May. You can follow the events on the website

My full set of notes from the Council meeting can be found here

As for town meetings this week

The School Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, Apr 12. As we record this on Sunday, the agenda has not yet been posted.

The Long Range Financial Planning Committee is scheduled to meet on Weds. They are likely to pick up the discussion on the questions that they drafted as ones to be answered.

Earth Day comes Saturday. The DPW will set up at Beaver Pond to coordinate the clean up efforts of as many want to volunteer.

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

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

Mick Ebeling: The invention that unlocked a locked-in artist

After making electrical circuit connections with play dough, what do you do? Try solving an impossible problem.

Mick asks himself these questions everyday:
if not now, then when?
if not me, then who?

if not now, then when?
if not me, then who?

More on the Eye writer can be found here

Franklin, MA

"These students want to deal with the problem"

"When teachers or adults talk to students, it seems like they're talking down to them," Loureiro said. "We're talking to them as peers." 
The program, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Dean College Campus Center, is targeted to college and high school juniors and seniors. But it is open to the community at large, organizers said. 
Speakers will educate attendees about the causes of distracted driving, stress the importance of keeping two hands on the wheel and discuss ways technology - often at the root of the cause - could play a role in the solution, organizers said. 
"The answer isn't turn off the technology," said Parry Aftab, a lawyer who founded the Teenangels initiative in 1999 and runs the Internet safety website "It's let's make the technology safer, smarter and better. You're not going to drive in a quiet car all by yourself."
Read more:

Related posts on the teenangels

Testifying before MA Attorney General Martha Coakley

Cyberbulling presentation to the School Committee

Text bullying Pledge

Franklin, MA

In the News - library book sale

Franklin Library accepting book donations for spring book sale

Franklin, MA

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Downtown walk around

Our Saturday morning walk to and around downtown Franklin presented a few photo opportunities.

First up was the line up of the ark and occupants at the First Federated Church

The Ark and occupants

Acapulcos has a new sign on their window. Free wifi with a catch; it is only good from 11:00 AM through 3:00 PM.

Free wifi with a catch

Heading for Cafe Dolce I noticed that the flower boxes have been removed. Must be getting fixed up in time for the Spring installation of flowers in May by the Downtown Partnership.

Flower boxes removed

What have you noticed around Franklin, now that we can all get out and around a bit with the better weather?

Franklin, MA

How does New Hampshire do it?

New Hampshire is noted for its state liquor stores and no personal income tax. Yet they also have the highest property tax in New England. You have probably been part of a discussion on the pros and cons of what they do versus other states.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has just published their analysis with interesting results. New Hampshire is able to do what it does "in part because of favorable circumstances. States with needier populations or higher costs will likely spend more to provide the same level of services." The report shows ways in which MA and other New England states have needier populations and higher costs.

The report acknowledges that New Hampshire "has also made some policy choices to keep spending low and avoid broad based taxes." So can we do what they did? The report goes on to say that "some choices may be infeasible in the current environment or inappropriate in states with different preferences for public services."

So the bottom line works out to be, if you like MA stay here. If you think you like NH and the way they do things, go there. How NH does what they do doesn't translate well to other states.


This is the report summary. You can find the full report and accompanying tables of supporting figures on the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston website:

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

Franklin, MA

In the News - YMCA kids and fitness

Families get fit at Franklin event

Franklin, MA