Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cardi's Furniture an active supporter of HMEA

A real nice piece on the HMEA 10th Annual Independence Day on May 22.

HMEA holds 10th Annual Independence 5K:

For more info and to register visit the HMEA website

Thanks to Cardi's Furniture, one of many good sponsors for HMEA.

Franklin, MA

"I think that's a wonderful idea for Franklin"

"There's definitely an increased need with the economy," said Maureen Roy, a member of the pantry's board of directors who is organizing the phone drive. "People are making choices between buying food and paying the electric bill. ... We're just trying to make it possible for all people that need us to have access to healthy food choices." 
The pantry, which serves about 400 people each month, is seeking volunteers to call residents to ask for donations on four days, from April 30 to May 3. 
Small donations have a big impact since the pantry can buy 100 meals for $20 by leveraging the resources of the Greater Boston Food Bank, local supermarkets and other organizations. They hope to use some money raised at the phone-a-thon to buy produce, which is often more expensive than processed foods, she said. 
Roy came up with the idea after reading about a program in Bedford where high school students call residents to raise money for a scholarship program, she said.
Read more:

Related Food Pantry posts

Franklin, MA

Team Leaders Needed

Hello Gardeners and Supporters!

Big News!

Build Day has been scheduled for Saturday May 7th!
More info will be sent next week, but right now,

We need Team Leaders to help the day run smoothly!
Please contact Chris Clay ASAP at to be a team leader,

The times are:
9-12 and 1-4.

We need your organizational skills (& drills if you can spare one!)

Have you read the blog lately? click on the link!
until next week,

Your Community Garden Dream Team
Subscribe to the blog!
Yes, we are on Facebook.

Don't throw it out, Freecycle

Somehow I missed this article Friday morning:

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Brian Benson/Daily News staff on 4/22/11

Lorena Landry said she feels like she has a new kitchen, but she didn't spend thousands on appliances.

Things you can do from here:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong

Kathryn Schultz says:

"I call this error blindness. Most of the time, we don't have any kind of internal cue to let us know that we're wrong about something, until it's too late."

"This internal sense of rightness that we all experience so often is not a reliable guide to what is actually going on in the external world. And when we act like it is, and we stop entertaining the possibility that we could be wrong, well that's when we end up doing things like dumping 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, or torpedoing the global economy. So this is a huge practical problem. But it's also a huge social problem."

Will you think about being wrong today?

Franklin, MA

"recession hit and the project fell through"

In 2007, the Zoning Board of Appeals approved two variances for a mixed-use project by developer Antique Realty Corp. and builder Platinum Building, both Franklin-based companies. 
Ross said no formal application was ever submitted to the Planning Board.
The plan called for a four-story building with parking below ground, shops and parking on the first floor, office space on floors two and three and residential space on the top floor, according to Zoning Board documents.
"I think everybody in the state was moving towards transit-oriented (mixed-use) development," said Daniel Lewis, of Antique Realty, a principal in the project. "The building had been vacant - it seemed like that would be the perfect spot for it."

Read more:

Related posts:

Geoffrey Zub's photo album

Franklin, MA

In the News - Dean College, copper theft

Dean College to offer negotiating class

Copper thefts increasing

Franklin, MA

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Calling for the Pantry: Apr 30 - May 3

Volunteers for the Franklin Food Pantry will be calling residents of Franklin, MA as part of a fundraising effort during specific time periods from Apr 30 through May 3, 2011. The volunteers will be using the phone bank at Dean College to call residents on Saturday, Apr 30 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Sunday, May 1 from Noon to 4:00 PM. Monday, May 2 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Tuesday, May 3 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

The volunteers will announce that this is the first annual phone call fundraising effort for the Food Pantry. The Pantry is looking to raise funds to provide for the over 400 families it services each month. The Pantry is able to provide 5 meals for each $1 donated by leveraging the resources of the Greater Boston Food Bank, local supermarkets, local farmers and generosity of the Franklin community.

Donors will be asked to make their contribution via credit card, or to make a pledge. The pledge will result in regular mail sent to their address which can be returned via the mail with a check, or the check could be dropped off at the Pantry during operating hours.

As an alternative, donors can visit the Food Pantry website and make a secure transaction with their credit card via Google Checkout. The website can be found at

Note that the volunteer calls will appear as “Dean College” for those with caller ID.
The Food Pantry thanks Dean College for the gracious access to their phone bank for this fundraiser.

Volunteers to make the phone calls are still welcome. There are several time slots to choose from over the four day campaign. If you would like to help with this effort, please contact Maureen Roy.

Saturday, April 30th
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 1st
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Monday, May 2nd
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 3rd
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m

For additional information on the campaign, contact Maureen Roy at the Franklin Food Pantry. Telephone Number: 508-528-3115. Maureen can also be reached via email at

Web site address

We believe in the power of community. Our mission is to connect the resources needed to sustain a healthy life.

The Franklin Food Pantry was established in 1987. We provide supplemental food and non-food items to the needy in Franklin. The Food Pantry was housed in various temporary locations until June 2009 when thanks to the generosity and support of Rockland Trust, the Pantry moved to our current home at 43 West Central Street. The Franklin Food Pantry is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Franklin, MA

Franklin's business delayed by lack of quorum

Last night's Town Council meeting was canceled because not enough members showed up to form a quorum. 
The board needs five of its nine members for a quorum, but Stephen Whalen, Matthew Kelly, Shannon Zollo, Joseph McGann and Tina Powderly were unable to attend. 
Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting said this was only the second time he could recall in the 11 years he's worked in Franklin that a meeting was canceled because there was no quorum.
Read more:

The notes for the meetings during 2011 can be found here

Attendance records for this Town Council (since their election in November 2009) can be found here

Franklin, MA

In the News - school officals, Dean College, library events

Area school officials meet in Milford next week

Modelane named Dean College vice president

Franklin Library sets town-wide reading events

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dave Meslin: The antidote to apathy

Dave Meslin talks about the antidote to apathy and outlines the seven barriers:

  1. Intentional exclusion
  2. public space
  3. the media
  4. heroes
  5. political parties
  6. charitable status
  7. our elections

You have been anointed. You have been chosen. Do something about your community today!

Franklin, MA

"We'll investigate as long as it takes"

Normally, investigators start at the least-damaged area of a building and work toward the most damaged spot to pinpoint where the fire began. Once they discover that, they can ask the property owner what was located there and pinpoint a cause, Mieth said. 
But that process was difficult in this case, prompting officials to offer the reward, she said. 
"Given the fact that the building is unoccupied and there were no obvious witnesses to the fire, they are asking for the public's help," she said. 
Investigators completed their site work Friday and are now reviewing timelines and other information, Franklin Fire Capt. Stephen Parchesky said.

Read more:

Franklin, MA

Franklin Library: New Items for March 2011

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 4/19/11

Browse a list of new books, dvds, music, games and audiobooks recently added to the collection.  Click the title link to check availability in the Minuteman Library Catalog.

**New Items**

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

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

"Reductions in aid would have especially hurt towns such as Franklin"

In Franklin, where Town Councilor Tina Powderly has urged online for residents to tell their legislators to support the reform, the town has also had success negotiating with its unions, Town Council Chairman Scott Mason said. 
Nevertheless, "we need to take the constraints off and have a little more control of our own financial destiny," Mason said, adding he was surprised the issue came up this year. "No one on the state level has seemed to want to step forward and take the reins on it. Unfortunately it's a political time bomb."

Read more:

Franklin, MA

Franklin Community Garden Committee to meet Thursday

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 4/18/11

The Franklin Community Garden Committee will be hold its first meeting Thursday.

Things you can do from here:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Good luck Boston Marathoners!

Good luck to the approx 25 runners from Franklin registered to run the Boston Marathon today.

May the wind be at your back and the road be kind to you this day!

Additional information can be found on the revised BAA website here:

Franklin, MA

Earth Day - 2011 - Pleasant St results

Flag over the Town CommonFranklin: Earth Day clean up - missed thisFranklin: Earth Day clean up - former DelCarte house lotFranklin: Earth Day clean up - DelCarte close upFranklin: Earth Day clean up - DelCarteFranklin: Earth Day clean up - Pleasant St
Franklin: Earth Day clean up - St Paul'sRecycle barrel option on Town Common

Earth Day 2011, a set on Flickr.
On my Sunday run, returning along Pleasant St, I found good piles of trash in the blue bags used on Earth Day.

Thanks for all the help! Earthy Day is every day, there are still areas around Franklin that haven't been touched and need to be cleaned.

Of course, we also need to stop treating the roadway as a dump zone. Please don't discard your trash along the road!

Franklin, MA

Emergency utility work on Union St

Couldn't get through on Union St early Sunday morning? The Franklin Police had it blocked off to allow some emergency utility work. The police log for 11:35 PM on Saturday April 16th reads:

Emergency utility work on Union St at Cottage

When a car goes against a pole, the pole usually wins. In this case, it still needed to be replaced. No word on the condition of the driver from the police report.

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Apr 20, 2011

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – March 16, 2011









1. Resolution 11-12: Order of Taking-Land Located on Colt Road and Washington Street
2. Resolution 11-13: Designation of “Special Municipal Employees” Under State Ethics Law
3. Resolution 11-14: Acceptance of Deed of Parcel 212-011, Pond Street Pursuant to G.L. Chapter 60, Section 77C
4. Resolution 11-15: Acceptance of Deed of Parcel 212-012, Pond Street Pursuant to G.L. Chapter 60, Section 77C
5. Zoning Bylaw 11-652: Amendment to Chapter 185 §4. Districts Enumerated – Referral to
Planning Board
6. Zoning Bylaw 11-653: Amendment to Chapter 185 §7. Compliance Required – Referral to
Planning Board
7. Zoning Bylaw 11-654: Amendment to Chapter 185 §12. Schedule of Lot, Area, Frontage, Yard & Height Requirements. – Referral to Planning Board





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


The full document for this meeting's agenda can be found here:

Franklin, MA

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Earth Day - left the area cleaner

Jim Esterbrook, Franklin DPW GIS Manager,  said there was a good turnout for Franklin's Earth Clean cleanup activities. He worked with some groups before hand to coordinate where they would clean so they would save some time traveling to Beaver Pond to check in and then go out to their area. The cool weather may have held the turnout down although the athletic fields are Beaver Pond were busy with teams practicing.

Dave Labonte (standing beside the booth in the photo below) of the Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee, co-sponsors of the clean up, split time securing the tent and table from being blown over by the wind, and answering questions about the groups activities.

Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee: Dave Labonte

The 5K road race on the former Putnam property on Saturday, April 23 will help to create awareness for the rail trail as well as serve as a fund raiser for the group. Information on the race can be found here.

Earth Day: The Grass Gypsys

Pictured in the photo (from left to right): Colleen Kleya, Kevin Silvia, Brian O'Connell and Justin Kleya.

At the Whole Foods Market parking lot in Bellingham, the Grass Gypsys bundled up to stay warm, entertained the crowd. David Dobrzynski coordinated the efforts for the 12th Annual Clean Up along the Charles River. He thought the weather played more of a part in the turnout than the schedule. It was the start of school vacation for Franklin and other communities but the cool wind and overcast skies did not help. Several of the canopies were blown over in the parking lot and were taken down due to the high winds. One scout troop had been scheduled to participate with 30 scouts and showed up with 16.

A good deal of trash was removed from the Charles River shores. One disturbing trend reported in three different spots was that gas or oil cans were found leaking along the shore. "This is our water, you'd think by now people would have gotten the message." The important point was that while participation was down from prior years, "We left the place cleaner than it was so that is a good thing."

For additional information on

Recall last year 125 tires were removed from Mine Brook

Franklin, MA

5K Road Race - April 23, 2011

The Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee are sponsoring a 5K road race om the former Putnam grounds off Washington St on Apr 23, 2011.


Help support the FCRTC’s effort to develop Franklin’s SNETT multi-use recreational trail.

Registration: 8:00 – 8:45 AM

Start Time: Run 9:00 AM / Walk 9:15 AM

Start / Finish: Putnam Property, Washington St. Franklin, MA

Run - 5k loop of paved road. Former Putnam property, to Grove & Washington Streets.

Walk -1mile walk, paved road on former Putnam property.
Entry Fee: $20 prior to race day, $25 day of the race, $10 students.

Register online at:

Franklin, MA

Budget Alert

Please consider contacting your local legislator (letters attached below) to push for passage of municipal health care reform.  Franklin and its employees are ahead of the curve on this issue, and we've been able to realize significant benefits over the past few years by working together to implement changes to health care plan design outside of collective bargaining.  Our local efforts have saved money for both the employees and the town.  It is time to codify the right of a municipality to manage this out of control cost.  The measures below do this, while maintaining many of the collective bargaining rights of unions.

Thanks for your consideration.

Tina Powderly

MMA Alert Image
MMA Alert 617-426-7272


Earlier this afternoon, the House Ways and Means Committee released their proposed fiscal 2012 state budget, which seeks to close an estimated $1.9 billion shortfall. In a major development for cities and towns, the House budget document includes a strong and powerful municipal health insurance reform proposal that would provide meaningful relief for cities and towns.

Despite the state's difficult fiscal condition, the House Ways and Means budget would fund the Unrestricted General Government Aid, Chapter 70, PILOT, Regional School Transportation, and Special Education Circuit Breaker accounts at the same level proposed by Governor Patrick earlier this year.

The House is in the process of adopting an order providing that amendments to the budget must be submitted by Friday, April 15, with debate commencing on Monday, April 25. The House will finish its budget deliberations by Friday, April 29.






The MMA has strongly endorsed the municipal health insurance reform proposal included in the House Ways and Means Committee budget, and commends Speaker Robert DeLeo, Chairman Brian Dempsey, Vice Chairs Stephen Kulik and Marty Walz, the members of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Speaker's leadership team for recognizing the need for reform, and proposing a plan that offers powerful relief for local taxpayers and all communities. (You can see a copy of the MMA's statement by clicking here).

The plan proposed by the Speaker and the House Ways and Means Committee offers real reform for cities, towns and taxpayers. The measure would give cities and towns the same power the state has to implement necessary cost savings changes in municipal health insurance plans outside of collective bargaining, saving local taxpayers up to $100 million. The reform proposal would also require all municipalities to enroll all eligible retirees into Medicare (in Section 44 of the HW&M budget).

The key provisions of the reform proposal (Sections 46 and 47 of the HW&M budget) are as follows:
  • As drafted, municipalities that accept the new law would be able to modernize the design of their employee health plans outside of collective bargaining, with a guarantee that all municipal and school employees would still have health plans that are the same or better than what state employees receive, meaning no city or town could use this authority to implement higher co-pays or deductibles than the state.
  • Communities would also have the power to join the Group Insurance Commission outside of collective bargaining if they demonstrate that joining the GIC would provide greater financial relief than making plan design changes on their own.
  • Ten percent of the savings or costs avoided in the first year would be set aside to fund a health reimbursement account that would be structured based on an agreement between municipalities and their unions.
  • Cities and towns would still negotiate any change in the employee-employer premium share, giving municipal unions more bargaining authority over health insurance than state employee unions. Any new co-pays or deductibles higher than the GIC plans would have to be approved in collective bargaining. The bill simply gives plan design parity and options to cities and towns.

The MMA will be working with the Ways and Means Committee to advocate for the smoothest possible local acceptance mechanism. As currently written, local acceptance would be the same process as used for the original Chapter 32B, which is Mayor and Council in cities, and a referendum in towns. The committee is aware that this language is a major problem, and is committed to working with the MMA to fix the local acceptance process to ensure swift and smooth implementation in communities.

Municipal employees would benefit from the legislation in three ways – union jobs would be protected, employee premiums would be lower, and communities would establish health reimbursement accounts to offset a portion of the costs for those employees who are heavy users of the health care system.

Please Call Your Legislators Today And Ask For Their Commitment to Support the House Ways and Means Municipal Health Insurance Reform Proposal With NO Weakening Amendments. Key points to make are:
·  The legislation proposed by Speaker DeLeo, Chairman Dempsey and the House Ways and Means Committee saves taxpayers money, preserves essential local services, protects municipal union jobs, guarantees equity with state employee health benefits, and still leaves municipal unions with more bargaining power than state unions. This is a balanced, meaningful, fair and transparent reform that would allow cities and towns to save $100 million in avoided health insurance costs.

·  Communities are in fiscal crisis, and municipal health insurance reform offers meaningful relief that taxpayers deserve. Skyrocketing health insurance costs are forcing cuts in essential municipal and school services, and forcing the elimination of teachers, firefighters, police officers and other key employees from local budgets. Cities and towns will use this reform to provide relief for local taxpayers, protect essential services, and preserve thousands of municipal jobs.


The fiscal 2012 state budget recommendation filed by the House Ways and Means Committee would generally match the local aid numbers in the Governor's budget filed earlier this year. Unrestricted General Government Aid would be cut by $65 million, but the state appropriation for Chapter 70 school aid would increase by $140 million.

Preliminary Cherry Sheets for fiscal 2012 showing estimated municipal and school aid amounts based on the Governor's and House Ways and Means budget recommendations have been posted on the Division of Local Services Web site.

The proposed cut to the Unrestricted General Government Aid (UGGA) account, formerly Lottery and Additional Assistance, would mark the fourth year of cuts and result in a total drop of $481 million, about 37 percent, since fiscal 2008. The HW&M budget would level fund the Cherry Sheet Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes account at $25 million and fund the Regional School Transportation account at $40.5 million, the same level as House One and Fiscal 2011. Funding for the Police Career Incentive Pay Program would be eliminated (the program is currently funded at $5 million). The bill also includes small increases to the Charter School Reimbursement Account to fully fund the Commonwealth's estimated obligation, and to the Regional Library Aid account.

The Senate President announced today that the full Senate would adopt a local aid resolution tomorrow, agreeing with the proposed House local aid levels for Chapter 70 and Unrestricted General Government Aid. Full debate on all other accounts will wait until the Senate takes up the budget in late May.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to contact us.
You can also always find additional information on our website at:

One Winthrop Square| Boston | MA | 02110 | 617-426-7272

This e-mail was sent from Massachusetts Municipal Association (  

Martin's fundraiser needs your help!

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Dear Stephen,

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