Saturday, September 17, 2011

Parmenter: Back to Football Friday

The NFL is sponsoring a Back to Football Friday whereby they will award 34 $10,000 grants to benefit Health and Wellness in local schools in a country wide competition.

What Parmenter did was to incorporate community service as a way to not only stress the importance of Health & Wellness but to also stress the importance of community service. We collected:
P - Paper Products
A - Animal Products
T - Toiletries
S - Stuffed Animals
These items will be distributed to the Friends of Franklin, Franklin Food Pantry, Animal Shelters, etc.

We took pictures of all our students and a few of smaller groups. Our group picture is still with our photographer, but here are two pictures of smaller groups.

One has all our items that we collected (which were abundant):


One at our school sign.


Thanks to Mary Jo Peterson and Jennifer Taddeo, a couple of "community contributors", who provided info and photos from the event at the Parmenter School on Friday.

If you have a local event or good news about Franklin to share, please let me know. Good news is always welcomed!

Halloween costumes for a good cause

A nice cool, fall morning can get us thinking that Halloween will be coming soon!

Berry Insurance, with offices in Franklin and Quincy, Massachusetts, will be collecting Halloween costumes to benefit Children’s Hospital Boston.

This will be Berry Insurance’s third year hosting the drive. In years past Berry Insurance has collected and donated over 50 costumes to the Hospital.

Berry Insurance is collecting only brand new, unused/unworn, Halloween costumes and accessories for children of all ages to be donated just in time for Halloween. All costumes must be new and shouldn’t be violent or scary. Don’t forget about accessories like hats and crowns for those children that can’t get out of bed to dress up.

For anyone who would like to donate, drop off locations are set as follows. Please bring in any donations prior to October 21, 2011.

· Berry Insurance, 9 Main Street, Franklin, MA 02038 from 8am – 4pm

· Berry Insurance, 300 Congress Street, Suite 306, Quincy, MA 02169 from 8am – 4pm

· United Regional Chamber of Commerce, 42 Union Street, Attleboro, MA 02703

· United Regional Chamber of Commerce, 5 West Street, Franklin, MA 02038

The donations will be made in conjunction with Four Point’s by Sheraton’s nationwide costume drive.

In the News - Dean College, Ellis Paul, FPAC season

Dean named makes 'Best College' list

Ellis Paul plays Saturday night in Franklin

FPAC announces ‘11-’12 season

Friday, September 16, 2011

2 Kennedy Playground Fund Raisers

From the Kennedy Playground Committee comes word on two fund raisers:

We are having a day at the 99 Restaurant. David Camilleri, the Franklin's 99's general manager, has set it up that if a person or a group brings in the Kennedy Voucher, 15% of their bill will go toward the Kennedy Playground Fund. Usually they only do 4pm to 9pm but extended it to 11am to 10pm so people can come early for lunch or for a late dinner.

The details are
Location: 99 Restaurant, Franklin Ma
Date: Wednesday, Sept 28th
Time : 11am to 10pm
15% of a person's bill goes toward the Kennedy Playground Fund 
Vouchers can be downloaded and printed from our website -

Dining for a Cause Customizable Organization Flyer

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


Ladybug 5K Road Race/Walk and Fun Run
Saturday, October 29, 2011

Race/Walk - registration $20 (before Oct 24), $25 on race day
Fun Run - registration $5 (before Oct 24), $10 on race day

Registration forms can be found here or online at the Kennedy Playground website

"Do I have to do anything?"

The Milford Daily News has a follow up conversation with Police Chief Stephen Williams who is scheduled to retire in December:

Williams worked his way through the ranks exclusively in Franklin, an advantage he said he hopes his successor will have. 
"It's an advantage for me to be a homegrown boy in that I know the people and the players - knowing what Franklin is, what it has been and what it will be," Williams said. 
Williams said his replacement will most importantly have to be connected to and involved with the community, pointing to officers who pay attention to local government decisions, coach school sports, visit senior centers and care about downtown parking problems. 
"Those are very key components of having a department that's well-entrenched in the community," Williams said. "The new chief will continue to build those bridges and friendships."

Read more:

Chief William's retirement was announced during the Town Council meeting Wednesday night

Farmer's Market - Open - Noon to 6:00 PM

Franklin Farmers Market,  Friday,  12:00pm to 6:00pm

Located on the Town Common

Franklin: Farmers Market

Reminder that the Farmers' Market now accepts SNAP dollars and can double your purchasing power.

Visit the Food Pantry tent at the Farmers' Market for details.

In the News - 9/11, Cultural Council, Women's Club

Students pay homage to 9/11 in Franklin

Franklin Cultural Council seeking applications

St. Mary’s Catholic Women’s Club season begins

Reminder: Bike Recycling

On Saturday, September 17th there will be a used bicycle collection at the Franklin High School parking lot, 218 Oak Street, to benefit charity. The collection runs from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and is sponsored by the Franklin High School RE:Cycles Club to benefit a Boston based charity that provides used bicycles to people in need, in the US and overseas. We are looking for used bike donations as well as money donations to defray the cost of shipping overseas. Bikes Not Bombs, the beneficiaries of the drive, are a 501(c)3 charity, and donors can request a receipt for tax purposes. We are especially in need of adult bikes in reasonable or easily reparable condition. The event will be held, rain or shine.

For more information contact Eamon McCarthy Earls at

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"I'm sad to see him go"

... councilors voted to raise sewer and water bills by 10 percent each in June of 2012, amounting to about $44 more in sewer bills to the average customer and $60 more in water bills to the average customer in the first year. 
The additional money is expected to pay for planned capital improvements to those utilities. The Charles River Pollution Control District requires upgrades to the regional sewer treatment plant, of which Franklin owns 65 percent, said Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting. On the water end, councilors authorized a $7.5 million bond to improve the water system last year. 
Though two years of increases were on the budget for approval, councilors approved both years of sewer, and only the first year of higher water bills.

Read more:

My summary of the Town Council meeting

  • Four establishments get penalized for serving underage minors on July 29, 2011.
  • A new restaurant to open in Franklin Village Plaza gets a liquor license
  • Chief Williams will be retiring in December
  • Chief McCarragher provided an update and lessons learned from the response to Irene
  • Sewer rates are going up due to EPA requirements for the Charles River Pollution Control District of which we are responsible for 65% of the volume
  • McGann will run for Town Council and let the voters decide if his attendance record matters (54% attendance)

The full set of notes can be found here

"I'm going to let the voters decide"

"I'm really surprised that more people aren't interested in the Town Council and the School Committee," said Town Clerk Deborah Pellegri, a 27-year incumbent who does face a challenger, former Town Councilor Deborah Bartlett. "We've had so much going on. People have been blogging left and right, and I wish some of these people would come forward and run." 
Every one of the nine Town Council seats and all seven School Committee seats are available every two years. 
The Town Council has only eight candidates who have returned nomination papers so far. Incumbents Glenn Jones, Tina Powderly, Robert Vallee and Judith Pond Pfeffer are running. New hopefuls include School Committee Chairman Jeff Roy, School Building Committee Chairman Thomas Mercer, Robert Dellorco and Juan Ramon Rivera. 
Councilors Joseph McGann and Matthew Kelly have taken out but not yet returned nomination papers. At last night's council, McGann, who would be running for his fifth term, said three councilors have asked him not to run because of missed meetings.

Read more:

The attendance records for Town Council and School Committee for the past two years are available here

Note: the School Committee records are not up to date but the attendance percent is high and their record is consistent. The Town Council has some folks with shady attendance records. The majority of those with poor records are not running for a new term. One will be. So if you want your voice to be represented half the time time (54%), that will be your choice.

In the News - golf tournament, Gerry's Place, diabetes walk

Franklin arts center golf tournament Sept. 26

Tri-County School restaurant open to public

Franklin walk to raise money to cure diabetes

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Town Council 09/14/11

Highlights from the Town Council meeting:
  • Four establishments get penalized for serving underage minors on July 29, 2011.
  • A new restaurant to open in Franklin Village Plaza gets a liquor license
  • Chief Williams will be retiring in December
  • Chief McCarragher provided an update and lessons learned from the response to Irene
  • Sewer rates are going up due to EPA requirements for the Charles River Pollution Control District of which we are responsible for 65% of the volume
  • McGann will run for Town Council and let the voters decide if his attendance record matters (54% attendance)

The collection of reporting from the Town Council meeting can be found here.

Live reporting - Closing

K. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT workshop for new councilors on 11/16tax hearing for Nov 30


M. NEW BUSINESS meeting next week, rescheduled for Sep 28

McGann - three comments from councilors about not running again due to his missed meetings, doesn't think it is the council members decision, will let the voters make that decision, you have 12 good candidates to make a choice, my name will be on the ballot, it will be up to the voters to have their say
Kelly - thanks to all for help on Irene, thanks to the Y for opening their doors

Jones - what is the policy on the Kennedy fund raising?
Nutting - it is up to the Kennedy community to raise the money

Whalen -  speaking to the cuts of personnel that is not getting to the other departments rather than the Schools and Library, can we get the department heads in periodically to have the folks hear about the effect of the cuts.

Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required

motion to go to executive session, passed 9-0

Live reporting - Legislation for action


1. Resolution 11-10: Request for Legislation – Exempting the Deputy Fire Chief from Civil Service (Tabled on 8/10/2011) - tabled indefinitely, just not ready yet

2. Resolution 11-45: Chapter 61A-1st Refusal Option – Land on Spring Street
second time before the Council, owner has PSA, we have first right of refusal, has no value for the Town, recommended to let the sale proceed

motion to approve - passed 9-0

3. Resolution 11-47: Authorization for Intermunicipal Agreement with Town of Medway for Shared Nursing Services
shared nurse through a grant program, looking to extend this for another year with receipt of another grant

motion to approve - passed 9-0

4. Resolution 11-48: Acceptance of Gift of Land at 1156 Pond Street (Lot #2)
donation of land in lieu of foreclosure

 motion to approve - passed 9-0

5. Resolution 11-49: Grant of Sewer Easement on Property At 82 (Formerly 95) Park Rd
sewer line installed without easement being recorded previously, needed to move line and cover it all properly this time

motion to approve - passed 9-0

6. Bylaw Amendment 11-663: Sewer Rates-Appendix B- List of Service Rates - 2nd Reading

as a result of the Charles River Sewer Plant upgrade, rate increases should cover the requirements; $44 and then $88 the year after, plant is under an EPA order to remove phosphorus - ultimately a million dollars raised will cover our 65% of the total amount, timed for when the bond comes in - no further rate changes for 4-5 years, has been steady for 7 years

motion to approve - passed 9-0 (via roll call)

7. Bylaw Amendment 11-664: Water Rates-Appendix B-List of Service Rates- 2nd Reading

related to pay off the 7.5 million bond authorization as approved earlier. Not related to the sewer rate increases.

Powderly - having trouble approving at this time
Nutting - you will need this eventually, could it wait a year, I am trying to be proactive, will we need all of it next year
Nutting - either way it is coming, pay me now or pay me later
Whalen - under different circumstances, it would be a prudent way to proceed. Back to back, 10% when not necessary

Nutting - the surplus has varied year to year, we have used it for road repairs, water system needs improvements all the time, 160 miles of water system even at 2 miles per year it is 80 year project

Mason - no question of economy is still pour, it is a perception problem, if we can spend down it a little, it may more sense - if we can tighten our belt it may help

Nutting - only authorize a rate for 2012, and not for 2013

Powderly, motion to amend, to have only the 2012 rate increase of 10% 

motion to approve amendment - passed 9-0 
motion to approve bylaw - passed 9-0 (via roll call)

Live reporting - Irene response

2. Tropical Storm Irene – Gary McCarraher

Worked through conflicting info from the weather services until the National Weather service took priority with their accuracy

55 MPH winds marked at Fire Stations, 100 emergencies responded during Sunday
fortunately no injuries to workers or residents on Sunday
all roads were passable by 10:00 PM Sunday evening
National Grid did not show up on Sunday at all

multiple communications with National Grid with commitment to have someone on site Monday
priorities to restore power to key areas and water service
Central Park Terrace, senior housing, those with oxygen needs were dealt with as necessary
priority listing set up one day for action the next day

School St, Parmenter, etc were priority on Tuesday listing

South St, Summer, Beach priority for Weds due to primary lines down

Beach St, Elm, Indian Way for Thu

Police surveyed the town to cross check power outages

restoration of individual home services were addressed on Fri, Sat and Sun
maintained communications via CCTY, consolidated messages with schools

Lessons Learned:
market Ctty service, to cell phone service in addition to land lines
public cell phone charging area
improve power sign board options

additional learning will be reviewed in another meeting of the departments

Kelly - what about National Grid and their response? they did not get here until Tuesday

Nutting - requesting a meeting to discuss, one of their problems was trying to communicate with 27 communities, too confusing

McCarraher - One of our keys to success was getting someone into Franklin
13,000 electrical customers, about 10,000 were out initially

Nutting - it wasn't a good communication from the beginning, it was a multi-day event but they couldn't say how long - they had a corporate decision and lost hundreds of folks three weeks prior and simply were not prepared.

McGann - what did we get from a representative?
McCarragher - we wanted information, when we called it was like it was the first time, the representative was able to navigate their queue. I just needed reasonably accurate information so we could make our decisions. We were frequently getting lost in the mix, we got scheduling done with constant contact and making sure we didn't get lost in the shuffle. The guys on the street did a marvelous job, the problem was in the back room and getting the prioritization set up.

Vallee - following upon the comment
McCarragher - it is early, only first quarter to have data with the current staffing. I am concerned about it, it is not regular bu depending upon what can happen, it could be slower response.

Mason - thanks to your help, the operation was impressive

Nutting - our first obligation is to Franklin

Dick O'Connor (from Rep Vallee office)

Live reporting - door to door solicitations

1. Residential Soliciting – Stephen T. Williams

permit application required, backgrounds checked, will get out immediately upon call
you do not have to entertain a solicit

do not permit solicitations for advocacy and political groups

Jones - had requested this due to a young lady who had visited his home and other neighbors

Chief Williams - don't open the door, ask for credentials

Nutting -Williams has tendered his resignation effective 12/16/11 after 40 years of service


Live reporting - new liquor license

New All Alcoholic Beverages License – Sakebom - 264 Franklin Village Drive

motion to approve, passed 9-0

Live reporting - Liquor license failures

Alcoholic Beverages Licensees – Failure to Pass Compliance Check – 7:10

all events took place on Friday July 29, 2011

Devita’s Market
purchase without question for asking for an ID, second offense, 5 days suspension, hold two days in abeyance, and have them serve the three days

no excuses, embarrassed by this matter

need to have one of three days on the day that they were in violation
letter sent in February to alert license holders of grant received and tests to come

discussion on days, three days in a row starting Friday, or three Fridays?
not done three Fridays before - going with Wed, Thu, Fri
9/21, 22, 23
motion to approve, passed 9-0

Joe’s American Bar and Grill
license asked for but did not get caught as underage
MA license is different orientation for underage drivers

1st suspense, recommended 3 days, with 2 days in abeyance

1st violation in multiple restaurants, staff is trained internally as well as TIPS training
model employee with them 13 years and simply blew it

agreeable to one day served this Friday, remaining open but no alcohol

motion to approve, passed 9-0

Tedeschi Food Shop
1st offense, similar to Joe's

they can't afford to have this to happen but it can, TIPS training
outside company used to check compliance as well
registers prompt for ID, but it all comes down to the person
suspended immediately upon violation and review of prior experience
busy, distracted, didn't card, no excuses, we failed, won't happen again

motion to approve for one night (9/16), passed 9-0

Uptowne Pub
1st offense

incident happened just before the doorman came on duty
aware of and staff for this
was not asked in this case, clarified by Chief's detailed report

motion to approve, one day (9/16), passed 9-0

Live reporting - Town Council - 9/14/11

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

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – July 20, 2011motion to approve, passed 8-0 (Whalen came in after this vote)

B. ANNOUNCEMENTS all meetings are recorded by Verizon, Comcast and Franklin Matters



Deb Pellgri - with a reminder on papers for election can still be taken out by Fri 9/16 and returned by Monday, 9/19

Bob Donavan - citizens comment added during the middle of the appointments. Raising the issue with the fire dept budget cuts, the ambulance previously placed at Station 2 is now running from downtown and increasing response times, no hiring in last five years, a five doubles every thirty seconds, without proper manpower the fire can quickly get out of hand. 44% of the time one ambulance goes out, the second one will go out. With only 9 to staff, it is getting difficult. Basic point, it is a struggle. Thanks for allowing me to make this point.

2011 Election Workers

motion to approve, passed 9-0

Registrar of Voters
motion to approve, passed 9-0

Conservation Commission 
motion to approve, passed 9-0

Finance Committee 
motion to approve, passed 9-0
Listing of names to be added later

Mount St Mary's new Candy House

Mount St Mary's Abbey is holding a ribbon cutting and Open House on Saturday October 1, 2011 to celebrate their new candy house. Details are contained in the flyer.

Abbey Open House - Oct 1, 2011

Related posts about the Abbey:

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

"Online learning developments hit a snag"

"The design of the plan really met all the criteria," Sabolinski said. "It fits aesthetically into the neighborhood and community. There is community access to the gym and auditorium. The design reflects (Franklin's) educational plan." 
The town decided in July to build a new high school rather than renovate the old structure. A state program will reimburse about half of the proposed $94.8 million project. 
The program requires the town to choose from four state-approved school building designs by four different architects. 
The decision to use Ai3, which built the Whitman-Hanson and Plymouth North schools, was made after School Building Committee members visited four high schools built, each according to one of the models.

Read more:

Related posts on the build or renovation decision for the high school:

Two fact sheets on new health care, poverty data from the U.S. Census Bureau

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  Noah Berger
  (617) 426-1228 x102

New Census data show Massachusetts leads nation in health care coverage; poverty rises nationally

September 13, 2011

The U.S. Census Bureau today released data on health insurance and poverty rates for 2010.  Two new fact sheets by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center examine the data.

Massachusetts Still the Leader in Health Care Coverage reports on Census Bureau data indicating that Massachusetts health insurance coverage rate is more than ten percentage points higher than the national rate.  Using a multi-year average, the Census data estimate that in the 2008-2010 period, Massachusetts had a health insurance coverage rate of 95 percent - more than any other state in the nation. 

U.S. Poverty Rate Rises Again shows that the national poverty rate increased for the third year in a row in 2010, rising to 15.1 percent from 14.3 percent in 2009.  The poverty rate is now at its highest point since 1993, and the total number of people living in poverty-46.2 million-is the highest number in the 52 years for which the Census Bureau has published poverty estimates.  The Census data also show that the percentage of people in deep poverty-those with incomes below 50 percent of the official poverty level-rose to 6.7 percent in 2010 the highest point since the Census Bureau began to publish this measure in 1975.

The health insurance fact sheet is available here, the fact sheet on poverty is available here; both can be found at

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

Rep. Vallee holds office hours in Franklin, Medway

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 9/12/11

State Rep. James Vallee will hold his monthly local office hours this Friday.

Things you can do from here:

Kennedy School council holding bottle and can fundraiser

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 9/13/11

The John F. Kennedy School Parent Communication Council will hold a bottle and can fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 9 a.m. to noon. The drive will be held in the school parking lot at 551 Pond St.

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - 9/13/11

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 August 23, 2011 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mr. Glynn
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
1. Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations
a. Strategic Plan – M. Sabolinski, S. Winslow, J. Edwards, M. Goodman
b. District Improvement Plan – M. Sabolinski, S. Winslow, J.Edwards, M. Goodman

3. Discussion Only Items
Enrollment Update

4. Action Items
a. I recommend acceptance of a check for $1480.00 from the Hockomock Y for a Shape Up Grant for the Franklin High School for in-house enrichment.
b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $242.28 from Douglas Lee for in-house enrichment at the Franklin High School.

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: School District Improvement Plan

The District Improvement Plan for review and discussion at the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, Sep 13, 11.

FPS: District Improvement Plan August 2011

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

The full agenda for the School Committee meeting can be found here:

Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee - agenda - 9/13/11

I. Call to Order and Introduction of New Attendees - including Secretary, Annette Labonte
II. Approval of Agenda
III. Approval of Minutes
IV. Report from Treasurer
V. Strategic Goals
a. Grants/Funding Update on Grant List (Marc Kaplan and Tim Newell)

Road Race Selection of Date (Special Guest: Ron Ignotz, GTTB)
b. Organizational Review of Mission

Discussion of Committee Name
c. Alliances Update on SouthWest Advisory Planning Cmte (SWAP)Meeting
d. Awareness/Outreach Consideration of informational table at October Harvest Festival in Franklin (Oct 2)

VI. Adjournment (9:00)

Additional materials for the mission statement discussion were posted here

The Rail Trail web site can be found here

Mower N More: Snow blower pre-season tune up 2011

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Wishing you a happy autumn,

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Prior post on Mower N More

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