Saturday, April 7, 2012

Franklin at night

I stopped at the triangle downtown to snap this photo when walking back from the Food Pantry after a Board Meeting the other night.

It was quiet. The buds have changed to blossoms this week.

Franklin at night

If you would like to share a photo of spring around Franklin you can send it via email to or post it to the Franklin Matters Facebook page

Water Restrictions begin Apr 17

The lack of precipitation during the winter (was there a winter?) and lack of rain this spring is not helping the situation. In either case, the annual water restrictions imposed by the Commonwealth of MA being ot take effect on Tuesday April 17.

Details are contained in this notice originally published on the Franklin webpage

Franklin Water Restrictions 2012

FYI: Route 140 Construction

Hello this is Brutus Cantoreggi, your DPW director calling with an important message about road work on West Central Street.

This Monday, April 9th, the replacement of a waterline and roadway improvements will commence on West Central St in the vicinity of the Franklin Municipal building and near the McDonald's restaurant. This work will last around 6 weeks. During this time traffic will be reduced to one lane. The work will not begin until 9AM after rush hour and will stop by 4PM. There maybe some nighttime work.

This work will cause traffic delays, so please allow extra time and drive carefully when in the construction area.

We apologize for any inconvenience to residents and business located in the area. More information can be found on the Town's website or feel free to contact the Franklin DPW at 508-520-4910

Once again, thank you for your patience while we make improvements to your water and roadway systems.

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.
To subscribe to receive this type of news alert directly visit this page on the Franklin website

Friday, April 6, 2012

"information we’re going to use”

“Franklin gets it,” state Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, said. “It knows what it’s doing and it knows what businesses need.”

She and state Rep. James Vallee, D-Franklin, spoke at the 2 ½ hour session.

The summit was held at Tegra Medical in Forge Park, one of Franklin’s three touted industrial parks, meant to accommodate businesses while balancing residential needs.

Jones said that high technology and biotechnology businesses, like those Franklin has begun to attract, have job openings, but that most applicants are not qualified to do the jobs.

Read more:

Prior economic development summit info

Franklin wants your business!
Franklin Wants Your Business - 2012

In the News - library, minibus

Franklin Library is recertified

Bay State Bike Week May 14-20

The bikers among us!

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 4/5/12

Bay State Bike Week 2012

MassDOT invites you to join the 3rd annual Bay State Bike Week set for May 14-20, a week of celebrating bicycle transportation across the Commonwealth.  The MassDOT and MassBike partnership makes Bay State Bike Week a statewide celebration that is unique in the nation. 

Building on the previous two statewide Bike Weeks, MassDOT, MassBike, and MassRIDES, our statewide travel options program, are again collaborating to raise awareness and to encourage bicycling transportation.  Biking is safe, economical, healthy, environmentally friendly, fast, and fun!

Event organizers are asked to submit your event for the website's statewide calendar and can join as a partner to be eligible to receive materials to support your event, including t-shirts, bike bells, reflectors and posters while supplies last.   Last year, Bay State Bike Week included more than 180 events statewide with participation from Orleans to Pittsfield.

May is fast approaching, so start planning now and mark May 14th to May 20th on your calendar for Bay State Bike Week.  Check out the Bay State Bike Week website at to find information for event organizers and participants.

Things you can do from here:

Summer Art Institute

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Lifelong Learning by Pandora Carlucci on 4/5/12

Franklin Public Schools' Summer Art Institute is designed for students entering grades 6 through 12.
The following classes are for students entering grades 6 though 9
1. Drawing and Painting
2. Digital Photography
3. Ceramics and Sculpture
4. Paste Paper Workshop

Students entering grades 10 and 11 may be interested in Visual Literacy. Drawing, painting and mixed media/collage will be the focus of this class.

Students entering grades 11 and 12 are eligible to enroll in Portfolio Preparation/Open Studio. This course is designed to provide additional art instruction, skill building, and portfolio preparation for students who are considering studying art at the college level or who enjoy being challenged to stretch their skills to more advanced levels.

These courses are open to students in Franklin and the surrounding communities. Please visit our website for registration information., select lifelong, select summer programs

Things you can do from here:

Parmenter 5K - Jun 10

This year's 4th Annual Parmenter Fun Run for All Ages will be held on Sunday, June 10th at 10am.

You can register online here

For specific questions, one can email

March revenue better than last year but less than forecast

What has this got to do with Franklin? 
About 30% of our overall revenue comes from the Commonwealth of MA. Their income stream is up over last year but slightly less than they had forecast. The Governor released his budget in January and the House and Senate versions are being reviewed. What they provide for us helps to determine what services we'll be able to fund.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Revenue by Robert Bliss on 4/5/12

Bliss for Blog IMG_9679_resized

Posted by:
Robert Bliss, Director of Communication, Department of Revenue

DOR released its March revenue report yesterday in which there were two story lines.
The monthly revenue report includes both a review of the month, with a comparison to the same month a year ago, as well as a review of revenue collection year-to-date(YTD) along with a comparison to the previous year's YTD.

While the press releases presents a written summary of the numbers, the one-page tax collection summary presents the actual revenue numbers.

Perusing that summary reveals that there was one revenue story for March -- namely, that corporate/business tax collections were $50 million below benchmark -- but a separate story for the YTD report, with tax collections running $87 million below benchmark due to less than forecast income tax collections.

Corporate and business tax collections had been running ahead of forecast for the first eight months of the year, but fell $50 million below benchmark in March (and $32 million less than March 2011) leaving the overall March revenue collection of $1.802 billion some $29 million below benchmark.

YTD, the explanation for revenue running $87 million below benchmark is found in income tax collections, which are up $270 million or 3.5 percent, but which have fallen $169 million short of forecast. Basically, it is fair to say that income tax revenue has gone up, but not as much as was built into the forecast.

Both YTD income tax withholding (up $260 million or 3.7 percent but still $74 million under benchmark) and income tax cash estimated payments (down $17 million from a year ago or 1.4 percent and $73 million below benchmark) are down.

As Commissioner Amy Pitter noted in the press release, "Withholding overall has grown, but at the rate forecast, while income tax cash estimated payments dropped off in December and since then have been flat, possibly reflecting a slow down in the collection of investment related income."

So with the big months of April, May and June ahead, the Commonwealth has collected $14.697 billion, $343 million or 2.4 percent more than at the same point a year ago, but $87 million shy of the benchmark.

Things you can do from here:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"adopted lower trash fees"

In the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, there were four major items discussed:

  • the capital budget
  • within it were items for the Library
  • discussion on Fire Dept staffing
  • adoption of the lower trash fee (reduced from $220 to $204)

Part of the Milford Daily News reporting on the meeting:
Town Council also approved funding for library items not on the agenda, unanimously supporting $10,000 for library salaries and $40,000 for library materials, both from the free cash account. 
The move was in anticipation of a state vote tomorrow to reconsider the library’s certification and show that the town financially supports its library, Library Director Felicia Oti said. 
The library lost its certification in February, in part because about 27 percent of its funding was cut in the last budget cycle, said a spokeswoman from the state’s Board of Library Commissioners.

Read more:

In the News - Fire Dept, marathon

Franklin firefighters battle late-night condo fire

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stop Stealing Dreams

Seth Godin always asks provocative questions. He has an ebook/essay on education reform that I just found here

Have you read this yet?

What do you think?

Alert: RT 140 Construction

Beginning April 9th, 2012 a water main replacement project will begin on East Central St (Route 140) in the area between Glen Meadow Road and Aspen Way. Motorists should allow for extra time when travelling in this area as the roadway will be reduced to a single lane at times. Work will be completed during the hours of 9 AM – 4 PM in an effort to minimize disruption. Construction is anticipated to last approximately 4 weeks.

This text and the embedded doc were originally posted on the Franklin website


A live portion of Google Maps showing the area of construction:

View Larger Map

Public Notice: hydrant flushing

The Franklin Department of Public Works, Water Division will begin its hydrant flushing program on Monday, April 9, 2012. This program is conducted annually to improve Franklin’s water quality and fire flows. Some hydrants will be flushed between the hours of 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm, while others will be completed during the day. Hydrant flushing will continue depending on water availability and system pressures. Residents may experience discolored water during this process.

Residents may experience, temporary water loss or discolored water while hydrants are being flushed in their area. Even though aesthetically the water may look discolored, it is still safe for human consumption.

Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation and we apologize for any
inconvenience that this may cause. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Water Office at 508-553-5551.

Department of Public Works
Deacon Perrotta
Water & Sewer Superintendent

Originally posted on the Franklin website

In the News - Dean College, marathon, lack of rain

Six former Dean students indicted in sneaker attack

What's It Worth: A New MassBudget Report On The Minimum Wage

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MASSBudget Facebook
What's it Worth: The Minimum Wage 
Over the last four decades, workers earning the minimum wage in Massachusetts have seen a significant decline in the real value of their wages.

In What's It Worth? The Value of the Minimum Wage in Massachusetts, we find that:
  • Today's minimum wage is 24% lower than it was in 1968 (adjusted for inflation).  
  • The gap between what minimum wage workers earn and what other workers earn has grown substantially over time--especially at the top of the income spectrum.
  • Without some adjustment, the real value of the minimum wage is projected to fall below $7.00 by the end of this decade.  
"What's It Worth" also includes an interactive tool that allows you to compare various options for adjusting the minimum wage--and even to design your own proposal.


MassBudget provides independent research and analysis of state budget and tax policies--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

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Current readership statistics

Occasionally I am asked, what is the readership for Franklin Matters? This is not something I focus on. The numbers tend to be quite dependent upon a variety of factors beyond my control. I prefer to focus on providing good content and letting the rest happen.

You have helped in this area. You have found what you wanted here. Usually spending a good bit of time reading here. And over time (as shown by the charts below) have continued to spread the word about what you find here.

You have four options to follow what matters in Franklin

  1. the daily update via email
  2. the weekly update via email
  3. visit the website regularly
  4. follow us on Facebook

You can sign up for the each email listing or follow us on Facebook here

And as I frequently have said on the audio version:

  • If you like what you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors.
  • If you don't like what you find here, please let me know. It is through this feedback process that I can continue to provide good content that meets your needs.

This website was "born" in November 2007. Right after the election. All posts on the Franklin election and the override (earlier in May) were to my personal website - Steve's 2 Cents.

The readership for Jan-Feb-Mar of this year already exceeds all of the first full year 2008!


Page Loads
Unique Visits
First Time Visits
Returning Visits







Note: 2012 covers only Jan-Feb-Mar

Attention Franklin runners

For Franklin area runners, there are at least three local opportunities to run and help a good cause coming up.  Mark your calendar for the following!

1 - Franklin & Bellingham Citizens Rail Trail Committee - 2nd Annual Road Race - May 12

2 - 11th Annual Independence 5K Run/Walk to benefit the HMEA - May 20th

3 - 4th Annual Parmenter Run for All Ages 5K - Jun 10th

In the News - officers honored, case delayed

Franklin officers honored for their actions

Dean College campus beating case put off until next month

Monday, April 2, 2012

Franklin Cultural Council - Grant winners for 2012

Franklin Matters correspondent Ken Norman provides the following information:

The Franklin Cultural Council had their annual awards ceremony at the Historical Museum on Sunday. Twenty-one organizations representing twenty-seven programs were the recipients of the grants for 2012.

Franklin Cultural Council - Awards 2012

Franklin musician and artist, Kai Olsson

Franklin Cultural Council: Kai Olsson

Dennis Ferguson, conductor of the Prolatio Singers

Franklin Cultural Council: Dennis Ferguson

Ken graciously provided both photos. For additional photos from the event, there are a bunch that have been posted to the Franklin Historical Museum Facebook page

In the News - gun sales, A Cut Above, pastel arts, cross walk

Police differed on whether the increases are noteworthy. Police chiefs in Franklin and Medway, for example, said they noticed no spikes in licensing activity recently. 
Wrentham Police Lt. Michael Robillard said he seems busier with gun permits lately. His department issued 60 Class A licenses last year, up from 46 in 2010, state records show.

Read more:

Should a high school student from the area get her prom-style hair and nails done at A Cut Above in downtown Franklin, the salon will offer her a dress, free of charge. 
“Myself and the stylists that work here, we were all talking about the expense of the prom,” A Cut Above owner Pam Smith said, noting that prom hair and nails can cost $80 or more. “Really, between us we had quite a few dresses hanging in our closets.”

Read more:

Look at her luminous scenes of Downtown Crossing or the Hotel Lenox rising into the Boston night and you’ll know why. 
The Franklin resident earned her place in the selective society by showing a portfolio that included vibrant pastels from a series she calls “Reflections of the City’’ that bathe Newbury Street in brilliant colors.

Read more:

Good Friday ‘Cross Walk’ scheduled on town common

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Apr 4, 2012

January 4, Regular Session; March 21, Executive Session

This meeting is being recorded by Verizon, Comcast, and Franklin Matters






Gary B. McCarraher – Fire Chief


1. Resolution 12-11: Appropriation 2012 Enterprise Funds Capital
2. Resolution 12-22: Appropriation 2012 Capital Improvement Plan
3. Bylaw Amendment 12-681:Amendment to Chapter 4, Administration of Government - 1st Reading
4. Bylaw Amendment 12-682:Amendment to Chapter 110, Licenses and Permits, Designation of Issuing Authority - 1st Reading
5. Bylaw Amendment 12-680:Amendment to Chapter 82, Appendix A, List of Service Fee Rates – 2nd Reading





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


The full set of documents for this meeting can be found on the Franklin website

Photo essay: Bren Bataclan shows his work in Franklin

Another gray, overcast Saturday for Franklin. This one had some snow flurries for a while early in the morning. Fortunately, nothing stuck around long.

Franklin Art Center: Welcome

It was a good time to get inside and mingle among some folks interested in the art of Bren Bataclan.

Franklin Art Center: information table

Having participated in other art shows, I was most impressed by Bren. He went out of his way to greet anyone who came to the show.

Franklin Art Center: discussing art

Lingering to talk about what he does, how he does it.

Franklin Art Center: hand of an artist

He willing posed for a picture of his hand. If you look closely, it appears to be tinted blue as if some of the paint he was using he couldn't completely wash off. Actually, it is from his new jeans. Wiping his hands on his jeans is picking up the blue dye.

Franklin Art Center: red dots indicate works that sold

I think his work is easily approachable. He simplifies the world he shares. Others agree at least to the extent that he sold four or five works during the show. The red dot indicates this large work is sold. Actually before the afternoon ended, the two smaller ones partially caught here also sold.

Franklin Art Center: Bren and Linda

It was a happy Bren and Linda Kabat posing for a picture as the show closed.

While some of Bren's works have sold, his work will still be on display through April at the Franklin Art Center. If you have a chance to stop by, please do so.

Additional info on Bren can be found on his website

Related post:

Disclosure: my daughter Allison is one of the part-time art instructors for the Franklin Art Center. I have met Ian and Linda a few times and we share a mutual interest in art and developing a community.

Curbside Chronicle: Apr-Jun 2012

The Curb Side Chronicle for Apr-Jun 2012 as published by the Franklin, MA Dept of Public Works

Curb Side Chronicle April-June 2012

The Chronicle can be found on the Franklin website

Beaver St: Recycling Center

The Recycle Center's "seasonal hours"
Begin Tuesday April 3rd
12:00 pm to 3:00 pm

As noted on the Franklin, MA website

View Larger Map