Saturday, May 7, 2011

Join us Saturday, May 7th or next Saturday, May 14th

A Big Thank You to all neighbors who received calls for help this past weekend and to all our volunteers.  More than 40 volunteers reached out to our community for our first annual Phonathon.  We are so grateful to be surrounded by very generous neighbors.  Pledge forms were mailed out this week and we look forward to calculating our final numbers.  Donations are still being accepted securely on our website, 
Join the Franklin Community Garden in building 46 raised garden beds, Saturday, May 7th @ the King Street Playground (located off of King Street near the intersection of Forest Street). Volunteers will be building the beds and then filling them up with gorgeous soil!  There are 2 shifts (9am - 12noon or 1pm - 4pm) or you can join us the whole day!  No amazing "building skills" required.  All the wood will be pre-cut, so if you know how to hold a piece of wood or can help shovel, all extra community hands are welcome!  Please bring cordless drills, shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows, pitch forks etc. if you have them. 
Next Saturday, May 14th is Stamp Out Hunger day. Stamp Out Hunger is the Nation's Largest Single Day Food Drive.  We need many volunteers from 2pm - 6pm @ the Pantry to help us sort the thousands of pounds of anticipated food donations.  Please consider leaving a bag of items from our attached needs list at your mailbox on Saturday morning, May 14th and our letter carriers will pick up and deliver to the Franklin Food Pantry.  Thank you to the Franklin Post Office and Letter Carriers. 
Season 2 of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution will return with all new episodes beginning Friday, June 3rd at 9pm ET/8pm CT. If you've missed either of the first two episodes, they will be airing back-to-back on Friday May 27th at 8:00 and 9:00 pm ET (7 and 8 CT) or you can watch them on   We invite you to help by spreading the word and joining the revolution: 
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.

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!) 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.
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.
Please forward to any friends or family who may be interested.

Thank You

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

In the News - accidental shooting, mystery package

Franklin Police: Teen accidentally shoots friend with BB

HazMat team investigates package at Franklin police station

Franklin, MA

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gas tax collections holding steady; rate of increase slowing

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Revenue by Robert Bliss on 5/5/11

Two months ago, DOR published a blog post noting that price spikes in gasoline had not caused a decline in consumption. That remains true today after reviewing gasoline excise tax collections for March and April.

The two months' combined collection is $96.8 million, which is $200,000 more than the same two months a year ago. Through the end of April, year-to-date gas tax collection is at $493 million. up $6.4 million from a year ago.

It is fair to say, however, that the rate of increase in gas consumption, as measured by gasoline tax collection, has slowed down. In the first six months of FY11, collections were up $5 million. In the ensuing four months (January-April of 2011) which correspond to the period in which gasoline prices have gone up, the increase over a year ago is just a little over $1 million.

Those interested in pouring over these numbers should visit DOR's Blue Book, published monthly, to review individual month and year-to-date collections of a variety of tax collections and other revenue sources. (The April edition should be up in a few days.)

This is probably a good time to review how gas tax revenues are used. As a result of reform of the state's transportation system in 2009, gasoline excise tax revenue goes into the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, along with registry fees and .385 percent of the sales tax. The fund is used to pay debt service associated with highway maintenance and construction projects and provides funding for the operation of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

Revenue from the gasoline tax, which is 21-cents per gallon, goes almost entirely (99.85 percent) into the Commonwealth Transportation Fund. The balance of fifteen-hundreths of one percent is credited to the Inland Fish and Game Fund.

One of the best explainers of the new MassDOT and its funding sources appeared in Gov. Patrick's FY11 budget proposal.

The state gasoline tax of 21-cents per gallon is not the only tax paid at the pump. The state also collects 2.5-cents per gallon to help fund the cleanup of underground storage tanks; this money goes into the state's General Fund from which the Legislature makes appropriations to pay for cleanups. And the federal government collects a federal gas tax of 18.4-cents per gallon.

The Tax Foundation publishes annually a ranking of gasoline taxes by state. Massachusetts is ranked 27th from the top out of the 50 states.

Things you can do from here:

"Cuts have to be made"

The budget hearings continued Thursday evening and spent a good deal of their time on the Department of Public Works:
The department has lost more than 12 positions over the past six years while taking over maintenance of school grounds. That has reduced its ability to fix potholes, sweep streets, prepare fields and complete other tasks simultaneously, Cantoreggi said. 
"Our priorities have to be adjusted," Cantoreggi said. "Our response time is increasing. I think people are starting to notice." 
The department will also have a few less clerk hours as part of a townwide reorganization and reduction of clerk positions, Nutting said. 
Roche, the committee's chairman, said the department is an example of the difference between the town and a business. Companies lay off workers when business slows down but "we lay off people and have more demand for services."

Read more:

The budget hearings close out Monday night with the Library, Schools and Fire Dept are reviewed. The Town Council conducts their budget hearings Jun 8 and 9 to have an approved budget before the Fiscal Year 2012 begins July 1, 2011.

These cuts are real. On this time line, there is no opportunity for an override to come before the voters to approve an increase in taxes to avoid the cuts.

Franklin, MA

Thursday, May 5, 2011

In the News - Clark-Cutler-McDermott, roads closed Sat

Franklin's Clark-Cutler-McDermott honored

Dean College graduation Saturday

Franklin, MA: Finance Committee - Agenda - May 5, 2011

Part 3 of the budget hearing for Fiscal 2012 continues Thursday evening. The agenda showing which department budgets are scheduled for review this evening is shown in the document below:

FinCom Agenda 5/05/2011

Prior session agendas:

Franklin, MA

Fluoride Choice vote in Franklin this Friday

You are receiving this email because you live and/or work in Franklin and because you care about your individual health freedom. 
Only you can consent to receiving a medication. No one has a right to force one on you. 
This Friday morning at 10:00 am, there will be a vote of the Franklin Health Board on whether or not to continue the old 1970 policy of forced fluoridation of the people in Franklin. Ingesting fluoride ought to be a personal decision, not a government decision. 
For the background on this story, see 
I will be representing fluoride choice at this Friday's health board meeting. If you are able to join me, that might make a difference in the vote's outcome. The meeting will be in the small conference room right next to the clerk's office. I know it's a work day, but standing room only would truly rock! 
Please forward to other Franklin residents who care about their medical rights. 
Rich Aucoin

"They're not all layoffs but they are degrading or reducing ... services"

"This budget has me very concerned," Town Councilor Tina Powderly said. "It's the same old story. It's death by 1,000 cuts. It's great the schools came in with a conservative budget, but they came in with a conservative budget because they cut 14 (positions)." 
In addition to the school jobs, Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting's recommended cuts include two police officers, two firefighters, four Department of Public Works jobs and 5.5 library jobs. 
The proposed $89.2 million budget represents a 1.2 percent increase over this year's $88.1 million budget. 
Cuts have to be made despite the budget going up due to decreased state aid (down about $300,000), local revenue (down about $200,000) and $2 million less in school stimulus money. About a 12 percent rise in health insurance costs and increased contracted salary hikes have led to a rise in the school budget, administrators have said. 
The town's Finance Committee is scheduled to continue its budget hearing today and Monday. The council's budget hearings are June 8 and 9.

Read more:

Franklin, MA

Garden Registration is Officially Open!

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Growing In Franklin by Franklin Community Gardens on 5/4/11

Calling all prospective Gardeners!

The wait is OVER!


Hop on over to the Franklin Rec page and sign up! click on the words  Online registration, below:

Community Garden
Sign up online for a plot to grow your own vegetables at the King Street Community Gardens.  Or volunteer to help out on Build Day (May 7, either 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm).  Register on our Online registration

Important: when the link opens, Click on "Register for Activities", then select "Community Garden".

How's it going to work? You ask.

Sign up for the lottery online, hurry up, get your name in or register for your community group because the deadline for the drawing is May 23rd at 3:00 p.m.  It is free to enter the lottery, winners will be responsible for the $40 per season charge for a plot.  A "plot" in this garden is actually a 4 foot by 10 foot by approx. 24" high raised bed, filled with a mix of organic compost and screened loam. The sides will be untreated spruce.

If you can not or choose not to do this online, you may go to the Franklin Recreation Department during business hours.

On Friday May 23rd, we will do the lottery drawing in public at the Franklin Community Garden Committee meeting held at the Franklin Municipal Bldg on East Central St, room 205, at 6:30 p.m.  You will be notified if you or your group was assigned a space, and you will be charged the $40.  You do not need to be present for the drawing, but there might be, like, cookies....Just saying.

The Garden's Official Opening Day is lined up for Saturday, May 28th, weather permitting.

Thank you to everyone who has helped bring this project closer to reality.  The major "pinch me" moment will come on Saturday morning, Build Day, but as I walked through King Street recently through the stakes and over to the water pipe and mentally surveyed the site, I about lost it.  Clicking on the Build Day sign up form and seeing new names---out of the woodwork, out of the ether---Names attached to People who will be digging and building and hauling and creating and making and growing and sharing. 

That is community building, my friends. Franklin, you totally rock.

If you are just hearing about this new community garden now, hope you can join us on Saturday, May 7th for Build Day.  Click on the top of this page to volunteer---Sign Up for Build Day---and meet us at the park on Saturday.

Things you can do from here:

We need your help for Build Day!

Hello everyone,
The first ever Franklin Community Garden is happening and we are full steam ahead.  We are building the 46 beds this Saturday, May 7th and we need your help! We will build them and then fill them up with that gorgeous soil!  There are two 3-hour shifts to choose from unless you want to help the whole day!  No amazing "building skills" required.  All the wood will be pre-cut, so if you know how to hold a piece of wood, then you are skilled enough to come help!
Hope to see you this Saturday to help make Franklin an even greener place!
In health and sawdust,
Franklin Community Gardens

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Library updates

New Items April 2011

from Franklin Public Library 

New Children's Items April 2011

from Franklin Public Library 

One Book One Community

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"everyone calls us for everything that goes wrong"

"We've turned into a reactive department" he said, adding, "What else are we not going to respond to? If you had a break-in with no evidence left, do we even respond (or take information over the phone instead)?" 
Franklin's police force had 54 officer positions about 10 years ago but will drop to 43 officers after two officers are cut in fiscal 2012, Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting said. One position is already vacant and Nutting said he anticipates the other position will be vacated before the end of the fiscal year. 
Nutting's proposed $89.2 million town budget cuts more than 31 positions overall, including the two officers, 14.3 school positions, two firefighters, four Department of Public Works positions and 5.5 library jobs. The budget represents a 1.4 percent increase over this year's $88 million budget. 
Cuts have to be made despite the budget going up due to decreased state aid (down about $300,000), decreased local revenue (down about $200,000), a loss of about $2 million in stimulus funds, increases in health insurance costs (up about 12 percent) and increased contractual obligations.

Read more:

The Budget hearings will resume Thursday, May 5.

Results of the Budget hearing on Monday evening are contained here

Franklin, MA

In the News - Art, Leaders, Summer program

Franklin Art Association hosts spring art show

Young leaders honored at Tri-County in Franklin

Franklin schools to offer summer art programs

Franklin, MA

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Franklin, MA: Finance Committee - Agenda - May 3, 2011

The Finance Committee continues their series of budget hearings on the Fiscal 2012 budget Tuesday evening at 7:00 PM. The department budgets scheduled to be reviewed are contained in the document shown here.

An anonymous commenter on the Milford Daily News has already stated "Cut until someone in a town job actually has to go home tired." This is your town, these are your services. Get informed. These are your choices to make.

FinCom Agenda 5/03/2011

Franklin, MA

"Obviously, it's a continued struggle"

Last night, leaders of the administrative, comptroller treasurer/collector, town clerk and planning departments explained how reduced clerical support could result in longer waiting times, delays in providing services and reduced office hours. Those departments - coupled with the legal, human resources and inspection departments - will lose hours that combined will total the equivalent of one position. 
"We don't want to close the office, but I can envision that if something comes up and someone is out (sick) there's no way we're going to stay open," Town Clerk Deborah Pellegri said. 
Planning Director Bryan Taberner said he would normally write five or six grant proposals in six months, but only anticipates completing two with the reduced staff. 
"In 2009 I probably spent 50 percent of my time on economic development (activities)," Taberner said. "I don't do more than half-a-day a week now."

Read more:

Budget hearings continue Tues May 3, 7:00 PM, and Thu, May 5 also at 7:00 PM.

Franklin, MA

Monday, May 2, 2011

Franklin, MA: Finance Committee - Agenda - May 2, 2011

The agenda document for the Finance Committee meeting Monday, May 2. This is the first of a series of budget hearings for the Fiscal Year 2012 budget. The fiscal year begins July 1, 2011 and ends June 30, 2012.

FinCom Agenda 05022011

Franklin, MA

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - May 4

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – March 16, 2011




E. APPOINTMENTS - Historical Commission





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. Resolution 11-16: Appropriation: Veterans’ Benefits
6. Resolution 11-17: Appropriation: Norfolk County Agricultural High School
7. Resolution 11-18: Appropriation: Debt & Interest
8. Resolution 11-19: Appropriation Snow & Ice Deficit
9. Resolution 11-20: Appropriation Personal Property Revaluation (3Yr)
10. Zoning Bylaw 11-652: Amendment to Chapter 185 §4. Districts Enumerated Zoning
– Referral to Planning Board
11. Bylaw 11-653: Amendment to Chapter 185 §7. Compliance Required Zoning
– Referral To Planning Board
12. Bylaw 11-654: Amendment to Chapter 185 §12. Schedule of Lot, Area, Frontage, Yard &
Height Requirements. – Referral to Planning Board
13. Zoning Bylaw 11-655: Amendment to Chapter 185 §2. Parking, Loading, and Driveway
Requirements, Subsection B - Referral to Planning Board
14. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 11-660: Amendment to Chapter 185 §45. L. (1) Administration
and Enforcement – Referral to Planning Board
15. Bylaw Amendment 11-659: Amendment to Chapter 135, Removal and Undergrounding of
Utility Poles and Overhead Wires and Structures – 2nd Reading




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


Franklin, MA

In the News - cooking way

Bellingham students trying to cook their way to the White House

Franklin, MA