Saturday, June 25, 2011

Simple rational decisions

The paradox of choice. Choice is not always positive nor does it foster social change. In this RSAnimate talk, Professor Renata Salecl shows that individual choice is rarely based on a simple rational decision with a predictable outcome:


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

Statement From Secretary Jay Gonzalez Regarding Interim Budget


Governor Patrick filed an interim budget of $1.25 billion today to ensure that state government has the means to continue providing critical services through July 10, 2011. This funding will ensure that core services such as health care payments to providers for services to children, families, unemployed adults, and the disabled as well as cash assistance for low-income families and seniors did not run out. This interim budget will also fund emergency and first response services including State Police operations, and will provide funding for state obligations for debt service which must be paid early in FY12. We remain hopeful that the Legislature will be able to resolve their differences and submit the FY12 budget to Governor Patrick for review within the next few days.

Alex Zaroulis
Director of Communications
Executive Office for Administration and Finance
State House, Room 373
Boston, MA 02133

In the News - Franklin Elks

Franklin Elks to hold Family Fun Day on Sunday

Friday, June 24, 2011

Go explore the archives!

The format of this site emphasizes the new items. The items that were published previously slide down the page and then off into the monthly archives.

Have you explored the monthly archives?

Did you miss the video tour of the Franklin Public Library?

Do you know about the municipal parking lot lottery?

And that the School Business Administrator Interview Questions asked by the School Committee of the candidates back in March 2008 is the single page that is always in the Top 10 search results?

There are lots of gold in these archives, feel free to explore when you have some spare time.
The tabs along the top will help you get to key meetings. The "Important Links" tab will bring you to the special collections that have been created over the years.

Note: The weekly summary and radio show (or podcast) is still suspended while I figure out how much time I will be able to spend here. I hope to have that resolved during the summer months.

Update: Franklin Town News

Attention Franklin Residents and Businesses:

I know there has been some confusion this month regarding our paper and a new company with a similar name trying to launch a second Franklin newspaper.

Franklin Localtownpages was launched in December of 2010 and we are a free direct mailed monthly newspaper distributed to all businesses and residents in Franklin. Localtownpages connects the residents to what’s happening in town and will continue to do so by supporting Franklin’s news and happenings. Our publication can also be found online at with a link to your website via your ad.

The new sales representative for Franklin Localtownpages is Lori Koller, she can be reached at 508-934-9608. If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to call our office at 508-533-4588.

Thank You,
Charles Tashjian, Owner/Publisher

Disclosure: I do receive compensation for my monthly article written for the Franklin Town News.

Wired Teens - Good Netiquette

The Wired Teens group from Sullivan Middle School developed this set of tips on passwords and good netiquette.

Wired Teens Summer Reminders

In the News - development approved, culvert replacement, Harvest Festival

10-unit Franklin housing development approved

Franklin to replace Partridge Street culvert

Register for Franklin Harvest Festival

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Harvest Festival Press Release

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Downtown Partnership by (Franklin Downtown Partnership) on 6/22/11

Register Now for the Franklin Harvest Festival

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is busy planning for the Harvest Festival and currently is registering crafters, artists, vendors and community groups for this year's event.

The festival will be held Sunday, October 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. The Harvest Festival is the Partnership's largest event and more than 4,500 people are expected to attend this year.  Once again, Main Street will be closed to car traffic for the festival, which will span East and West Central Streets, Summer Street and Main Street. 

Space is limited. Anyone interested in participating should e-mail Angie Grant at for more details and a registration form. More information and the form also can be found on the Partnership's website, The registration deadline is August 20th for discounted booth fees. Prior to August 20th, booths are $100. After the 20th deadline the fee is $150. 

The Partnership is also looking for sponsors to help offset the cost of the event. As a non-profit organization the Downtown Partnership depends on sponsors to fund the downtown festivals and events. For more information about sponsorship go to our website or contact the Executive Director at or (774)571-3109.  

Things you can do from here:

In the News - tornado help, fireworks illegal

Franklin to help Monson tornado victims

Franklin reminds residents that firework use is illegal

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5 for Wednesday - investment

Time for something a little different today. I have this drive to learn something new everyday, to share something in a meaningful way with someone and to laugh. The more I can do of each of these three things, each day, the more successful the day is for me. Christopher S Penn started #the5 awhile ago. I picked up on it because it fit with what I was already doing (learning, sharing, laughing). I extended Chris' #the5 by creating Twitter Bingo. This mixes a game I played growing up with the new world of Twitter.

So that much said, here is #the5 for today. These are five articles I found of interest in a quick read this morning. I was able to connect them all with the theme of investment.
“Learning the tools is much easier, because no one can help you lead.”  goodness from   
Liz Strauss tells a good story about Hunter S Thompson and suggests a rewording of one of his sentences to make her point.

"These people believed in you, now tell them what you are doing with their investment"    
Geoff Livingston previews the findings of a study on non-profit fund raising that will be discussed in a webinar. The findings have good info to help reinforce some of what we'll be doing at the Franklin Food Pantry.

“Anything, everything, is not only possible, it’s probable.  No one person has more value than another"  
Deb Brown writes a summary of what she saw and heard at the 140 Conference last week in NYC. The quote is from a talk by Ann Curry.

"People don’t internalize depressing images; they tune them out"  goodness from  
Tom Asacker shares his insights on the new FDA anti-smoking ad campaign. I think he is spot on!

"For too many elders, a cut as small as five or ten dollars makes a negative difference in their lives"  
Ronni Bennett shares her views on the AARP position statement about Social Security that was announced last Friday. If the AARP position has truly changed, this could be a big deal!

When something matters to you, you end up spending time and money.
When either time or money is short, you end up prioritizing, making choices.
When making choices, you should consider the big picture and where these choices fit.
You should also recognize that you are not alone, someone else maybe making the same choices.
Maybe you can learn from with they are doing, maybe you and they can do it better together than either of you could do it alone.

You can get to this point of collaboration, cooperation by starting with conversation.
Overtime the conversation can build a relationship, can build some understanding, and some trust.

What do you think?

This was originally posted on my website Steve's 2 Cents. If you would like to read more like this, you can visit there and subscribe via email or RSS Feed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Important Franklin Downtown Partnership Updates

Happy 1st Day of Summer!
Important Partnership Updates
Please read below.........
Office Hours
FDP Office will be closed the week of June 27-July 5th.  Regular office hours
are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays 8:00-2:00.
Harvest Festival Details
Questions should be e-mailed to Angie Grant our New Festival Chair at 
All Downtown Merchants need to fill out and mail the HFest Registration Form before August 20th or your space will not be reserved for your store. 
Harvest Festival Sponsors Needed
Please e-mail us if you would like to sponsor this
exciting event. Over 4,500 visitors are expected to attend this year!
Franklin Downtown PWED Improvement Project
If you would like to be on the town's e-mail list and receive timely updates on road construction please contact Maxine Kinhart at and she will put you on the town e-mail list.
FDP Website Link
If you are an FDP Business Member and have not contacted us yet to add you to the FDP Website
please send us an e-mail and we will get you on the site. Free advertising!  Don't miss this opportunity!
Strawberry Stroll Success
The Strawberry Stroll was a huge success!  We sold out of shortcakes!  Special thanks to our SponsorsDean College, Dean Bank, Middlesex Savings Bank, Garelick, Chestnut Dental,
CVS, Hampton Inn, Keefe Insurance and NHS Print.
...and to our event Chairs; Nicole Fortier and Diane Glass
...and to the Dean Bank team for serving the shortcakes and Dean College
for cutting up all those fabulous strawberries!
FDP General Meeting
Thursday, July 21st-8:30 Am
Dean College Campus Center
Note: New location-Room across from the Dining Hall
New members-If you would like to introduce your business at this meeting please contact the FDP office.
We have over 150 members and counting....thanks for your continued support....
Have a Happy and Safe Summer! 

Franklin Food Pantry announces “Plant a Row”

What grows in your garden? Do you have tomatoes and peas , or are you like Mary here

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With peppers, beans, and lots of greens,
And tall sweet corn in a row!

Have you considered planting a row in your garden for the Franklin Food Pantry? Modeled after the national “Plant a Row” program, this is a good way for gardeners to contribute. Grow some fresh and healthy food to share. Then, when it is ready, take those healthy fruits, herbs, and veggies to the Food Pantry, where they will be distributed to your neighbors and families.

Why Plant a Row? Plant a Row is rooted in the heartfelt tradition of gardeners sharing a bountiful harvest with others. Sharing can happen on many levels. Home gardeners, schools, church groups, youth and community organizations, and even area businesses can all help make a difference for their neighbors who experience hunger or the threat of hunger.

Nothing beats the taste and nutrition of fresh-picked vegetables. Growing and eating from your own garden can improve your health, save you money, increase your sustainability, and decrease your carbon footprint. And most important, your Franklin Food Pantry announces garden can help your Franklin neighbors.

You can sign up by emailing or visit Franklin’s Plant a Row website

"You're never going to have 100 percent perfection"

The state Department of Environmental Protection "wants us to try to figure out what was wrong," he said. "We're doing that by eliminating those possibilities." 
A routine water sample taken last Tuesday from a well on East Central Street tested positive for fecal bacteria, either E. coli or enterococci. The well was immediately taken offline and the town notified the public through a mass recorded phone call and a press release on its website. 
No other samples have come back positive and residents do not need to boil water or take other precautions, Perrotta said. 
Perrotta emphasized that the sample was taken before the water had gone through treatment. 
"I think the important thing is that the treated water did not have a problem," he said. "That's why we treat it." 
Before the sample was taken last week, a blockage developed in the culvert, which is under an access road to the well. A small stream goes through the culvert. The blockage caused water to build up, potentially making it easier for bacteria to enter the well. The culvert broke late last week, Perrotta said.

Read more:

"needs to open its doors in Franklin within 18 months"

Steve Senna, a project manager with National Development in Newton, said Hamilton Storage Technologies wants to combine its Hopkinton and Milford offices into a new, 50,000-square-foot building at the intersection of Rte. 140 and Forge Parkway. 
"We thank you for the opportunity to present what we think is a very exciting and in these times very rare development opportunity," Senna told the board. 
The company, which manufacturers refrigerators used in laboratories and also has its European headquarters in Switzerland, was attracted to the 8-acre, 3 Forge Parkway lot because it is close to Interstate 495, commuter rail and a hotel, Senna said. 
Many of Hamilton Storage Technologies' employees live nearby and its clients often come from out-of-state for a week to see how its refrigerators operate, he said.

Read more:

Monday, June 20, 2011

MBTA readies crackdown on parking delinquents

Wow - if you park at either of the Franklin MBTA lots, please take care. $21 is pretty steep for missing to pay!

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

The state is about to drop the hammer on parking scofflaws at its 95 parking facilities throughout the commonwealth. Starting July 1, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will assess a $21 fine for delinquent payments made by commuters at its network of parking lots and garages. The current penalty for nonpayment of daily parking charges at MBTA lots is $1. Jonathan Davis, the MBTA's chief financial officer since the mid 1990s, said the move was endorsed by the authority's board to enhance collection rates and incentivize commuters to pay parking fees in a timely...

Things you can do from here:

Franklin, MA: 4th of July Schedule

The schedule of events for Franklin's 4th of July celebration is available:

Thursday, June 30th:
• 6pm-10pm Rides and food booths open
• 7pm-10pm DJ and local youth bands

Friday, July 1st:
• 6pm-10pm Rides and food booths open
• 7pm-10pm Corvairs Oldie Band

Saturday, July 2nd:
Children's Day
• 10am-10pm Rides and food booths open
• AM road races by Rec. Dept
• 12 noon Children’s Parade
• 1pm-2pm Lisa & Friends Puppets
• 2pm-3pm Flippo the Clown
• 3pm-4pm TBA
• 4pm-7pm Franklin Idol
• 7pm-10pm "Groove Doctors" Band
• 10pm FIREWORKS!!! Franklin High School

Sunday, July 3rd:
• 1pm-10pm Rides and food booths open
• 2pm-3:30pm PARADE
• 4pm-7pm Franklin has talent
• 7pm-10pm Digger Dawg Band

Monday, July 4th:
 • 10am-7pm Rides and food booths open
• 10am-2pm DJ
• 2pm Talent winners announced
• 5pm-7pm DJ
• 6pm Drawings to be drawn

The 4th of July celebration is supported by volunteers, and donor contributions. You can contribute by mailing a check or by using your credit card in a secure online transaction here:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

To all the fathers in Franklin, have a great day!

"just don't have the means to purchase food"

The food assistance program is meant to help families and individuals who live near the poverty line put healthy food on the table. To qualify, a household of two with children can make no more than $2,429 in gross income per month, $3,052 for a household of three or $3,675 for a household of four, according to a state website on the program. SNAP also has limits on savings and other resources to qualify. 
Benefits, which total more than $107 million a month in Massachusetts, are federally funded. The national and state governments split the cost of administering the program. Recipients receive benefits on Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT, cards, which limit what the money can be spent on. 
Kehoe said the state has worked over the past few years to improve access to the SNAP program. Eight to 10 years ago, Massachusetts ranked 48th in the nation for the number of residents who were eligible and had actually signed up for food stamps, she said. Today, the state ranks eighth. 
The state has taken steps such as shortening applications for seniors, allowing a medical deduction aimed at helping the elderly and disabled, lowering how often participants have to recertify that they qualify and holding outreach and health expos, Kehoe said. The agency has especially targeted seniors, many of whom saw a stigma attached to accepting food assistance, she said.

Read more:

Franklin should have a choice on fluoride

In case you missed Rich Aucoin's Letter to the Editor, it is reprinted in full here. Thanks for sharing Rich!

To the Editor: 
The US Dept of Health & Human Services warned in January that American children are overdosing on fluoride, causing an increase in dental fluorosis. A group of Franklin residents investigated Franklin's water supply and learned that in 1970 the Board of Health ordered fluoridation, making Franklin families take fluoride every day whether they want to or not. 
Most MA towns remain Pro-choice on Fluoride. Nearby towns like Milford, Bellingham, Hopedale, Blackstone, Mendon and Plainville, for example, all remain Pro-choice. Just as with all other common household medications, if people want fluoride they can easily get it. There's no reason to force it on everyone. 
Even licensed physicians cannot force their patients to take a medication, nor would any responsible doctor recommend ingesting a drug in uncontrolled dosages. So it stands to reason that unlicensed practitioners such as the Board of Health members should not be doing these things either. 
Even though the Board members don't dispute that individuals have a basic human right to choose their own meds, they nonetheless refused a request last month by concerned Franklin residents to restore Fluoride Choice to Franklin. The Board said it lacks the authority to end its own policy and referred the residents to the Attorney General. 
However, Chief AG Attorney Margaret Hurley disagreed with the Board on May 6th, saying that Mass Gen Law Chapter 111 makes local health officials responsible for enforcing medical freedom. Still the Board said no to Choice. 
By blindly continuing an unfair and outdated fluoridation policy even as fluorosis rates are on the rise, the Board members are exposing the town to unnecessary health and legal risks. 
It is time to bring Fluoride Choice back to Franklin, which will also save taxpayers $35,880 every year in fluoridation-related costs.

Rich Aucoin,
Franklin resident

Helpful links:
Kidney Foundation Drops Fluoridation Support

Civil Rights Leaders Oppose Fluoridation on the Grounds that it Harms the Poor

Franklin Board of Health: 508-520-4905