Saturday, November 19, 2011

Remington Middle School - Turkey Trot - photo essay

Remington Middle School held their annual Turkey Trot to raise awareness on hunger and collect food for the Franklin Food Pantry.

Food Pantry Executive Director, Anne Marie Bellevance, spoke with the students before showing a video on food hunger.

Remington Turkey Trot: Anne Marie Bellevance

Principal Paul Peri guided the students through some warm up activities in the gym before going outside to run two laps around the building.

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Students and faculty members are lined up for the start of the Turkey Trot

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And they're off! Did someone jump the gun? Hard to tell, catch that turkey anyway!

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The reminder of the student body joins the trot!

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and yes, there are more

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Principal Peri helps some friends along

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Through the generous efforts of groups like this, the Franklin Food Pantry has prepared and delivered over 250 turkey dinners to Franklin families in the past two weeks.

Donations of food and money are welcome. You can drop off food and non-food items at the Food Pantry. We are located in the Rockland Trust parking lot opposite the new fire station downtown Franklin. You can either donate online or mail a check to the Food Pantry. Information on these options are available on the Food Pantry website

Note: I am on the Board of Directors of the Franklin Food Pantry.

Franklin cops alert residents to break-ins

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Alison McCall/Daily News staff on 11/18/11

Police are asking residents to stay alert after half a dozen housebreaks were reported in as many days, including one where an elderly woman was zip-tied to a bed.

Things you can do from here:

RMV Checks School Vehicles in Hingham

This type of inspection has occurred in two places now, if it comes to Franklin I hope we do well.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 11/18/11

RMV Clean Sweep HinghamA surprise compliance check of school transport vehicles in Hingham this morning yielded 18 violations and two criminal complaints.  MassDOT RMV inspectors teamed up with the Hingham police to perform the checks outside the South Shore Educational Collaborative.

Registry inspectors and police officers stopped 62 vehicles.  Among the complaints filed- the driver of a South Shore Community Action Council van from Plymouth did not have a valid 7-D license.  Driving without the required 7-D license carries a $500 fine.
Officers also issued citations for defective equipment such as bald tires and safety violations such as vehicle overloading and not ensuring that children are properly secured in car seats or seat belts.

Repeat offenders are called in for a hearing with RMV officers which could result in the suspension of their 7-D license.

Drivers of the so-called 7-D vehicles must undergo a criminal background check to apply for a special license. The 7-D vehicles, usually cargo vans and station wagons, must also undergo special inspections twice a year to ensure safety features are working properly.

RMV teams up with local police periodically for surprise 7D compliance checks. Earlier this month, the Registry teamed up with Brockton police to issue 17 citations townwide on buses, vans and station wagons carrying youngsters to Brockton elementary schools.

Things you can do from here:

Holiday Stroll Happenings

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Downtown Partnership by (Franklin Downtown Partnership) on 11/18/11

Here is a listing of all the special treats and offers in store for you at the Third Annual Holiday Stroll on Thursday, December 1, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Third Annual Holiday Stroll Happenings

Things you can do from here:

Friday, November 18, 2011

High School Design Photos

Three of the display boards available Thursday night at the first of a series of informational sessions on the new high school are shown here.

The first shows some views of the building being proposed.

The second shows the positioning of the new building where current ball fields are located. The existing building would be removed and replaced by the ball fields shown in this layout.

This photo shows the layout of the third floor of the new building. The area to the right is classroom space. The area to the left would be inaccessible areas for the two floors below.

"Everyone's number one thing is cost"

Franklin's proposed school is based on a state-approved model, Whitman-Hanson High School, built by architectural company Ai3. School officials expect 57.8 percent reimbursement in state funds for using the plans. 
"We really think this is education for the 21st century ... and it can be adapted down the road for who knows what happens in 40, 50 years," Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski said. 
The town has hired Ai3 to modify the Whitman-Hanson design to fit Franklin. The project requires state approval at several points, and eventually voters will have to decide whether to fund the project with a debt-exclusion override. 
The current high school does not comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, which has put Franklin on the warning list to lose its accreditation.

Read more:

I was able to record some video of the presentation and discussion. You can view that here.

Additional audio segments will be posted once they are available

Holiday Stroll Press Release

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Downtown Partnership by (Franklin Downtown Partnership) on 11/17/11

Celebrate the Season at the FDP Holiday Stroll

Downtown Franklin will usher in the season of giving with the third annual Holiday Stroll on Thursday, December 1, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Franklin Downtown Partnership plans a visit from Santa, a tree-lighting ceremony, carolers, refreshments, entertainment and more for visitors this year.

The lighting of the tree will begin at 4 p.m. in front of Dean Hall on the Dean College campus. Costumed carolers will lead the crowd in singing holiday songs and refreshments will be served.

"In the spirit of giving, this year the Partnership is pleased to help the Franklin Food Elves kick off the '12 Days of Donating' campaign," says Cindy Kozil, Holiday Stroll co-chair. "We invite everyone coming to the tree lighting to bring a Food Pantry donation and remember those less fortunate this holiday season."

The Franklin Food Elves, a charitable community service group, will launch its food drive with a donation bin at the tree-lighting ceremony. The group's goal is to collect 1,200 pounds of food and $1,200 in 12 days for the Franklin Food Pantry (see sidebar).

From the tree lighting, visitors can then stroll throughout the downtown and visit more than 25 participating businesses for special offerings, discounts and more treats and entertainment. A complete listing of the businesses' special offers will be available at each participating location.

Children can meet Santa at Simon's Furniture from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Boston radio station 103.3 WODS-FM will broadcast holiday favorites and hand out prizes from the Berry Insurance parking lot. The Fire Department will give tours and holiday fire safety tips, and the Historical Museum will be open.

"For the past two years we've enjoyed tremendous community support for the Holiday Stroll, and we expect about 1,000 residents and visitors will help us celebrate this year," says Roberta Trahan, event co-chair. "We've put together a fun family event that we hope will remind people to think locally when doing their holiday shopping."

The Holiday Stroll is sponsored this year by Silver Sponsors Dean Bank, D.G. Ranieri Real Estate, DCU, Ferguson Enterprises, Middlesex Savings Bank and nhs print. Bronze Sponsors are Judith V. Butler, MA, LLC., the Franklin Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, Attorney John J. Roche, and Laura Lowe, Realtor, Coldwell Banker, Franklin.

For more information about the Holiday Stroll contact co-chairs Cindy Kozil,, or Roberta Trahan,

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization made up of business owners, community leaders and residents working toward revitalizing Downtown Franklin. For more information about the Partnership contact Executive Director Lisa Piana at (774)571-3109 or

Things you can do from here:

Beautification Update

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Downtown Partnership by (Franklin Downtown Partnership) on 11/17/11

Beautification Day
Sunday, November 20, 9:00 a.m. 
Come help decorate the Downtown Center!
(Businesses:  Please make sure you pull out your flowers from the barrels)

Volunteers Needed!
Saturday, November 19 (this has been changed from Friday, 11/18)
Volunteers are needed to help separate out the greens.
Please let Eileen Mason know if you can help.
10:00 a.m. at Hillside Nursery

Contact Eileen at 508-330-4234 or

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Residential Break Ins

Good Evening. Gary Premo calling with an important message from Deputy Chief Semerjian. The Town of Franklin has experienced an increase in home break ins recently. They have been occurring during the day time, in residential neighborhoods. Suspect vehicle may be a mid-sized green sedan with an unknown RI registration, two male suspects. We ask that you stay alert and call 911 immediately should you notice anything, or anyone, suspicious or out of the ordinary in your neighborhood. Thank you and goodbye.

To listen to the above message, you will need audio software and speakers on your computer.
This e-mail has been sent to you by TOWN OF FRANKLIN. To maximize their communication with you, you may be receiving this e-mail in addition to a phone call with the same message. If you wish to discontinue this service, please inform TOWN OF FRANKLIN either IN PERSON, by US MAIL, or by TELEPHONE at (508) 520-4938. THIS E-MAIL ADDRESS IS NOT MONITORED. Please do not reply to this e-mail as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address.

High School Project - Nov 17, 2011 (audio)

This is the collection of audio segments recorded during the informational session on the new high school. The forum was conducted by the School Building Committee and held at the Horace Mann Auditorium on Thursday, Nov 17, 2011.

Part 1 – introduction and evolution of model school invitation

Part 2 - Jim Jordan, partner and owner of Ai3 Architects provides an overview of the building

Part 3 – Q and A: educational space and construction cost

Part 4 – Q and A: various project costs and overall process

Part 5 – Q and A; cost of designing a green building and debt exclusion timing

Part 6 – Q and A; alternate fields and communication campaign

Part 7 – Q and A; building size, school population, and accreditation

Part 8 – Q and A; technology enhancements and traffic concerns; closing

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Live broadcast - School Building Forum

The first hour and fifteen 26 minutes were recorded and simultaneously broadcast live from the Horace Mann Auditorium. The remaining portion of the event will be made available as soon as possible.

The presentation begins about 13 minutes into this recording...

The video did not turn out very well. The audio recording was much better quality and available in eight parts for ease of listening. All eight parts can be found here:

Town Council - 11/16/11

The collection of posts reported from the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011 can be found here:

As I look back at the picture taken when Town Clerk Debbie Pellegri lead them through their oath of office, I realized that they were already sitting in position. So before they formally conducted their organizational nominations of Chair, Vice-Chair and Clerk, they were already in the 'proper' spots.

Franklin Downtown Partnership: Holiday Stroll - Dec 1, 2011

In the News - Police, Town Council

Franklin Police gather tips in home invasion

In the News - Gerry's Place, Interfaith Thanksgiving

Gerry’s Place plans Thanksgiving pie sale

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Live reporting - Closing


Dog park fencing up, open house this weekend


Judy - during election process discussion on transparency of finances etc. would like to get a copy of the report being requested by the FinCom on revolving accounts

Roy - thank to the voters, looking forward to working here for the next two years

Bissanti - happy to be on the council and happy to work with a dynamic group of people

Jones - proud to be sitting here with new folks and returning folks, working with all as a team with what lies ahead

Pfeffer - second the thanks around, new timer, louder, happy thanksgiving

Mercer - public meeting Thursday at 7:00 PM for the model school project at the Horace Mann Auditorium

Dellorco - probably got voted with most of his relatives, happy thanksgiving

Kelly - thanks - plug for the Kennedy Playground fund raising committee and their efforts to raise fund - visit Kennedy

Powderly - Plug for the Franklin Downtown Partnership beautification effort at 9:00 to help make the downtown beautiful

Vallee - this is my 27 year, a lot of good things are going to happen

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

motion to go to executive session, passed 9-0 (via roll call vote)

Live reporting - Legistation





1. Resolution 11-64: Adoption of Town Council Procedures Manual
motion to accept, passed 9-0

2. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 11-666: Amendment to Chapter 185-5, Zoning Map, Biotechnology Uses Overlay Zoning District - Referral to Planning Board
motion to move to Planning Board, 9-0

Nutting - 225 acres of additional land, map available
Jones - has there been interest in this
Nutting - no, but we want to provide for the option

3. Bylaw Amendment 11-667: Amendment to Chapter 139-14, Sewer System Map -1st Reading
motion to move to second reading, passed 8-0-1  (Dellorce recused)

Nutting - this is a failed septic system for a plot that they are trying to re-develop. With approval, the house can be sold and become occupied

Dellorco recused himself from discussion

4. Bylaw Amendment 11-668: Amendment to Chapter 179-9.1, Water System Map -1st Reading
motion to move to second reading, passed 9-0

Nutting - Council has generally approved the extension of water maps more than sewer for safety concerns, it doesn't halt development; agreed to make improvements to South St for this approval. No sewer available within 2 miles

we pump about 2.6 M gallons per day, a typical house uses 65 gallons per person per day, therefore round numbers about 200 gallons per the house for the five would make about 1,000 gallons. No a stress to the system.

Live reporting - Town Council meeting

Present: Mercer, Dellorco, Kelly, Powderly, Vallee, Pfeffer, Jones, Bissanti, Roy
Absent: none

Town Clerk - Debbie Pellegri

B. ORGANIZATION - Election of Officers

Pfeffer nominates Vallee for Chair, motionn to approve, passed 9-0
Jones nominates Powderly for Vice-Chairman, motion to approve, 9-0
Powederly nominates Pfeffer for Clerk,motion to approve, passed 9-0

C. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – September 28, 2011
motion to accept, passed unanimously


Rep Jim Vallee - an extra $100,000 increase in Chap 90 funding for Franklin, funding to be available each year, local road and bridge projects

7,500 for collection of carpet
7,500 for collection of cardboard

Chair plans to talk with Mullen of School Committee about the $300,000 transfered from the SchCom budget and report back



"Unlocking the Door to Interest" (video)

Tom Asacker writes:
"Unlocking the Door to Interest is about drawing curious people towards you by creating something valuable and memorable. It must be something that connects deeply with their desires and sense of self; something that will, ultimately, move them to action."

The quality of life here in Franklin matters to you. You want to know more about what is going on. You want to get original and real time reporting. You have found the right place.

Thank you!

Spread the word to your friends and neighbors that if they want to get their own email newsletter (either daily or weekly), to look for "Franklin Matters". Or send them this link in email.

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

"We've got to change the mindset"

Some veterans groups are doing better. About 180 people are members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Bellingham, said Mary Durgin, an administrator for the organization. Franklin's VFW post has about 90 members. 
But overall, "The veteran organizations are dying," said Bob Fahey, Franklin's veterans agent. "It's a different time and place. A lot of people back then (after World War II) found their social activities in fraternal organizations. The soldiers that were returning, many of them wanted to be with people who had similar experiences, and that was accomplished by joining the American Legion or the VFW. It's different now." 
Legionnaires are U.S. veterans who have served at least one day of active duty during wartime. Local posts help veterans navigate their benefits and get jobs, volunteer in their communities, raise money for veterans hospitals, sponsor college scholarships and recognize local student and military achievements.

Read more:

In the News - no leads, dinner and show

Franklin Police: No leads in home invasion

Franklin Downtown Partnership: Meeting Agenda

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Downtown Partnership by (Franklin Downtown Partnership) on 11/15/11

Franklin Downtown Partnership General Meeting Agenda
Thursday, November 17, 2011, at 8:30 a.m.
Dean College Campus Center, Golder Room

I.         Open Meeting

II.        Adoption of Agenda

III.       Introductions
            a.  Welcome New Members -- Lisa Piana
                 John Fenton, Certified Financial Planner
                 Donna Rajcula, Mary Kay
                 Barry Madden, Franklin Ford
                 Dr. Don Cohen, Allied Chiropractic
                 Judith Needell, Franklin News
                 Linda Waters, Back to Business

IV.        Town Updates -- Bryan Taberner

V.         Report from Executive Director
             a.  Sponsorship and Membership update
             b.  Website Link, WMRC Buy Local
             c.  January meeting for downtown businesses

VI.        Franklin Local Town Pages -- Publisher Chuck Tashjian

VII.       Beautification -- Eileen Mason
             a.  Holiday Decorating -- Sunday, November 20
             b.  Volunteers also needed Friday, November 18

VIII.      Holiday Stroll -- Cindy Kozil and Roberta Trahan

IX.        Networking Schedule -- Joel Carrara

X.         New Business

XI.        Other Business

XII.       Adjourn

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Franklin Food Elves Launch ’12 Days of Donating’

The Franklin Food Elves and the Downtown Partnership will launch the “12 Days of Donating” food drive to benefit the local food pantry at the third annual Holiday Stroll on Thursday, December 1, at the 4 p.m. tree-lighting ceremony.

The charitable community service group’s goal is to collect 1,200 pounds of food and $1,200 in 12 days to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry. The campaign will run from December 1 through December 12. Along with a food bin set up at the tree ceremony on the Dean College campus, the Elves are placing bins at six downtown locations where people can drop off non-perishable food items.

According to the Franklin Food Pantry, more than 1,000 residents use its services. Recent Census data shows the need is greater; more than 3,000 Franklin residents, or 9% of the town’s population, are struggling. That need increases in winter due to the cost of heat.

If the Food Elves reach their goal and collect 1,200 pounds of food, participating businesses pledge an additional $1,200 in matching funds. Franklin Food Elves co-founders Melissa and Cameron Piana and the FDP hope that the community will support the Food Pantry by helping them reach this goal. What will 1,200 pounds and $1,200 do for Franklin? 1,200 pounds of food can provide 923 meals to those in need. The $1,200 can provide an additional 6,000 meals.

Look for food donation bins at these locations:

  • Franklin Downtown Partnership office, 9 East Central Street
  • Jane’s Frames, 11 East Central Street
  • Printsmart Office Supplies, 20 East Central Street
  • Berry Insurance, 9 Main Street
  • Dean Bank, 21 Main Street
  • Dean College, Campus Center

For more information about the Franklin Food Elves and the “12 Days of Donating” campaign, please contact the Franklin Downtown Partnership at or at (774)571-3109.

For more information about the Franklin Food Pantry and what items are needed, please go to their website,

Shedding red leaves

The autumn colors have recently come to full term in the area.

Red bush shedding

The leaves were so red and so quickly are being shed.