Saturday, June 30, 2012

"teacher performance and evaluations"

“Today, Massachusetts made state history when the governor signed into law legislation to put teacher effectiveness first,” Stand for Children Executive Director Jason Williams said in a statement. “This legislation, which ensures that performance comes before seniority in teacher staffing decisions, is a win for teachers, parents, children, and all of Massachusetts.” 
The bill passed the Senate last week and the House this week without recorded votes.
According to the new law, its purpose is to assure effective implementation of education evaluation systems adopted by the Board of Education, provide training for teachers and administrators in evaluation and training, and ensure that “indicators of job performance as evidenced by evaluation and other factors are the primary factors in school staff decisions.” 
The law also calls for a data collection system to assess the effectiveness of the evaluation system.

Read more:

In the News: MBTA, MSBA

As part of the conference negotiations to bring together the state budget agreement, these pieces were approved.

MBTA bailout, road and bridge money approved

Friday, June 29, 2012

Boston Globe shows a Franklin page

Yes, there is a "Your Town" Franklin page! A recent conversation with Globe Regional Editor David K Dahl, revealed the news and he followed up with a link.

You can view the new page here:

It will aggregate information as published by the Globe and other identified sources (yes, this site is one of them!).

"bring back some life to the downtown area"

The Milford Daily News reported on the public hearing held Thursday evening writing in part:
Final designs will be revealed in January, with construction slated to begin in the summer. With work on the new high school also planned for 2013, the town will be facing two huge construction projects in the same year. 
Construction on the downtown project will mark the start of phase two of the more than $7 million effort. The work is the culmination of almost 10 years of planning, including numerous public hearings and constant dialogue among the town, its engineers and MassDOT. 
Funded through the Public Works Economic Development Program (PWED), the first part of the project, completed last year, entailed improvements around Dean Avenue and cost $1 million. 
Phase two construction, paid for with a $5 million federal grant as well as roughly $1 million in state and local money, consists largely of revamping the roadway and sidewalks and improving lighting (replacing the current cobra-head fixtures with period style lighting).

Read more:

The full set of notes taken live during the meeting can be found here:

In the News: 4th, tax bills, fireworks

Franklin celebrates July 4 with annual festival

A First Look at the Conference Committee Budget

MassBudget    Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center    Democracy.
First Look: The Conference Budget
This morning, the House and Senate accepted the work of the Conference Committee and passed a budget for FY 2013. MassBudget's First Look provides a preliminary analysis of the key decisions that were made in conference. Among them:
  • A significant increase in the reimbursement rate for high-need special education costs.
  • Funding for MassHealth and other health coverage programs which is slightly higher than both the Senate and House versions.
  • A Senate-initiated proposal to increase the wages of private human services providers earning less than $40,000 per year.
This "First Look" offers an overview of the Conference Budget. Our more comprehensive Budget Monitor will be available in the coming days.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income people, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Live reporting - Public Hearing - Downtown Project

Lawrence Cash, MassDOT project manager for the project

Please sign on the attendance sheet to be part of the public record

Tom Emerick
Jerry Doherty

Gene Kegan,
Larry Bollanger

Melanie Sprague, transcriber of hearing

Page 4 of the handout covers the hearing procedures
Federal Aid funding, 80%, MassDOT does the remaining 20%
$5.8M expected total cost of project, construction expected in Summer of 2013

Right of Way Procedure (Doherty)
Franklin to acquire all necessary rights for the design and implementation of the project
procedures must follow Federal guidelines
right of way certificate is required before the project can be advertised
can answer any questions during the open hearing portion

Weston & Sampson to describe the project
improvement meant to allow folks to pass through Franklin center
mean to improve the aesthetics of the downtown, with plants, lighting, etc.
encourage private investment along the corridor, upgrade the surfaces, sidewalks and roadways through out the downtown
the geographic area is much greater than the Triangle originally mentioned 10 years ago

meant to bring back some life to the downtown area and improve the economic conditions
new sidewalks
raised crosswalk at Dean College to force traffic to slow down
pedestrians, bicycles and cars will be able to live together as one
one of the major changes is to return to 2-way traffic

traffic patterns currently crossing each other with directional flow to 495 and others coming the other way to head to the T station
40% of the traffic is attempting to get to 495 and that means down Main St to Emmons and then towards 495

with signaling and 2-way traffic it would improve the fire dept response time to the northern section of the community

intending to keep the existing improvements to water infrastructure and drainage that the Town has already accomplished

Hearing procedure
solicit input, may not be able to answer all the comments or questions
identify self, include spelling of last name
a mailing sheet is available for submitting additional comments
common practice to allow elected officials to speak first

Tina Powderly, Franklin Town Council
thanks for your work on this project for so long
how is the extra incidents driven by the project that the Police, DPW, etc would incurr be handled?
Traffic details would be handled by the project

Judy Pfeffer, Town Council
is the water trough part of the future of this project?
Yes, it will be just about in the same spot
how many lights will there be?
Four in the space of about 2500 ft

Robert (Brutus) Cantoreggi, DPW director
this project would not have happened with out Sen Kennedy and Rep Vallee
The PWED project has provided a taste of what this will be like
MassHighway, your fun to work with at times but we get through it

The hearing is now open to the public

Brian Henderson, High St
potholes are all over High St, is that going to be covered as part of this project?
Cantoreggi - High St is planned for with Town funds, we'll work with the contractor to do it about the same time

Lisa Piana - Downtown Partnership
Been working on this for 7 years, thanks for the work thus far
very excited about the project, about 170 members and most of the downtown businesses

Brian Kelly, Dean College
we have been working with Franklin and very thrilled with the work being planned
the students are a big part of the pedestrian traffic and they should be safer with this

Ficco, Highland St
trying to like this project
large number of traffic signals a concern, Summer St inter-section is a problem
consider a roundabout? it would slow down the traffic, the traffic in the morning really flies by to make the lights at Cottage St
I question putting the monster traffic device in front of Dean
if the purpose of the device is to slow down, you hit a traffic sign shortly after
consideration should be made for pedestrian overpasses, the land is available
third domotory being added, consider an overpass there too
parking is a problem, it used to be with the 2-way, you could cruise one way, turn around and find a spot going the other way

Chris Bond, Murphy Business Office
how long will the metered spots be interrupted downtown during construction?
Larry - during construction, we would work with the town to phase the construction, provide alternatives, provide updates to know what is happening during the construction

Andy BIssanti, Town Council
Consideration for angled parking?
For a safety factor, the Federal funds wouldn't be allowed

Steve Cook, Crecent St
Who is ultimately responsible for timeliness of coming in and on budget?
We have it capped at roughly $5.8M, during the design phases, we would be monitoring the costs
Town designed project with Federal funds overseen by MassDOT
once it goes to construction, we assign a resident engineer, we also set the duration for the project, we will pay up to 10% over the budget but then the Town would pick up the remainder, we generally staying within the budget
Cantoreggi, water line planned for Crecent St this year, East St/West St just went to bid
there is a lot of money going on to improve the downtown

Glenn Jones, Town Council
I also live downtown, I would like a staffed communications function
we need to ensure everyone is aware of what's going on, any issues or problems with changes in service in the area. There are other things going on in Town at the same time so while it good to get it all done at the same time, it is also necessary to keep everyone informed. Discuss what forms or types of communication, Facebook, Twitter, town website, etc. keep up to date with schedules

Bryan Taberner, Director Planning and Development
in response to Councilor Jones, the Town Administrator assigned Maxine Kinehart as key contact during the PWED project, we'd like to use the same process, it worked last time

Any further questions or comments at this time?

Reminder on the last sheet as a mail in sheet, send it within 10 business days
Before I close this hearing we will be here as long as you are interested
thank you for attending and providing this meeting room

Franklin, MA: 4th of July - schedule

The schedule of events beginning Friday, Jun 29 and running through the 4th of July can be found on the 4th of July Committee webpage here

Additional info on the 4th of July celebration can be found in this article

Franklin celebrates July 4 with annual festival

"I’m interested in anything that will save the town and residents money"

During the hot-in-place paving process — developed in the late 1970s — a special machine moves over the pavement, melting, scratching and lifting it up. Then, the collected asphalt is mixed with new oil and materials and redistributed over the road. 
Another rig rolls over the new surface, packing it down and smoothing it. Cars trailing the rolling machine can drive on the surface without having to wait for it to cool. 
The crew will work on one lane a day, so the road will not have to close. Still, residents should expect delays. 
The hot-in-place method is cleaner in part because crews do not have to tear up the road, which produces dust. And because the asphalt does not have to be hauled anywhere, there are fewer trucks involved. 
According to Department of Public Works Director Robert Cantoreggi, the hot-in-place method will save the town almost half of what it would cost to do normal road reconstruction.

Read more:

The process described is being used on the stretch of Washington St from South St to the Bellingham line as noted in the earlier road construction alert.

In the News: auto racing, heroin charges

Franklin’s Erica Santos gets Midget spot at Stafford

Road Construction Alert: Grove St

As posted on the Franklin website
Beginning July 2nd, 2012 the Town of Franklin Department of Public Works will begin construction on the replacement of a water main in the vicinity of Grove St, Old Grove St and Forge Hill Rd. Construction will occur between the hours of 7am – 4pm and the project is anticipated to be completed by the end of October 2012. Minor delays at times may be experienced so please plan accordingly.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Going to Boston? Parking, MBTA schedules

The Tall Ships are coming to Boston to add to the festivities for the 4th of July. The MBTA has posted an update on the commuter rail, Silver Line and other pertinent schedules to encourage the use of public transit.
To accommodate the additional holiday ridership, bus, subway, and Silver Line trips will be added throughout the holiday weekend and on Wednesday, July 4, 2012.  Tall Ships special event shuttle buses will run from JFK Station to Castle Island over the weekend and on July 4.  A complete holiday service summary is available at

In addition, the Massachusetts State Police, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, MassDOT, and Massport have announced traffic and parking restrictions for state roads and reservations for the upcoming Tall Ships Festival-1812 Bicentennial Event and the July 4th Esplanade celebration. 

You can find the details on what streets have traffic and/or parking restrictions here

Edible wild plants walk planned in Wrentham, June 29

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Wicked Local Franklin News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 6/26/12

John Root
Naturalist John Root will lead an edible wild plants walk at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 29 at Sawyer Farm, 458 South St., Wrentham.

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In the News: FSPA, accident, Kennedy

East meeting West at Franklin arts school

Connect CTY Data Drive - Update Your Information

Blackboard Connect Helps the Town of Franklin Provide Faster, More Targeted Information to Residents
Residents are urged to verify and add current contact information with the new
Connect Access Portal to stay informed of important messages

The Town of Franklin has updated its Blackboard Connect-CTY service to provide enhanced communications options to residents and enable community leaders to reach their audiences more quickly and effectively, helping to keep them safer and better informed.   This is the primary method of keeping residents informed of emergencies, weather issues, road closures, and other pertinent information we believe is important for residents to know.

As the town's longstanding, trusted notification platform, Blackboard Connect enables officials to quickly deliver critical messages, including emergency alerts and important city announcements, via phone, text and email. The Town of Franklin is holding a community-wide data drive, encouraging residents to verify and register their contact information in the system's secure Connect Access Portal, where they can also manage their message settings, including their preferred language, mode of contact and specific message topics they wish to receive.  You may enter up to 10 phone numbers (including cellular phones), and four email addresses.

The Town of Franklin uses Blackboard Connect to notify residents of urgent and routine communications, and used the system to keep residents up to date after Tropical Storm Irene and the October 2011 snow storm.

"Blackboard Connect allows us to stay connected by quickly distributing timely, relevant messages to our community," said Gary Premo, Communications Director of the Franklin Police Department. "Now that residents have the power to customize their message settings, we can make sure they receive the messages that matter most to them. Plus, with the system's instant reporting we can better track who received a message, and strategically plan for follow-up communications."

Publicly available primary residential and business phones in the Town of Franklin are already included in the system. However, residents are encouraged to explore the new Connect Access Portal and make sure the town has the most up-to-date contact information by visiting the Franklin website,, and clicking on the link that says "Connect CTY." Users should also manage their message preferences by indicating their preferred mode of contact, language and message topics. Residents with call blocking services should add (508) 520-4938 to their approved number list to ensure they receive important notifications from the town. 

"Direct communication is the best way to keep residents informed and therefore safe, and the Blackboard Connect service makes it easier than ever for individuals to stay connected and engaged," said Ed Miller, President of Blackboard Connect. "Blackboard Connect provides leaders with the most efficient, reliable way to send relevant, targeted information to the right people at the right time."

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 or REPLY TO THIS EMAIL.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Reminder: Public Hearing - Thursday, Jun 28, 7:00 PM

The MassDOT will hold a public hearing on the RT 140 and Downtown Project on Thursday, Jun 28 at 7:00 PM. The hearing will be conducted at the Municipal Bldg in the 3rd Floor Training Room. (Note due to this choice of location in the Municipal Bldg, the hearing is not likely scheduled for broadcast via cable.)

Additional info on the public hearing can be found in this official notification

Why a public hearing?
The project is funded by the State of MA and hence MassDOT has controlling interest. The project delays are primarily due to the State schedules. Franklin was granted the funds at $1 M per year and waited for the $5 million total was accumulated before beginning the detail planning on this project.

In Franklin, woman of a century

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Matt Tota/Daily News staff on 6/24/12

 At 102, Helen Carberry is the town's oldest resident, but that's not all she is. Carberry is a gracious host, proud mother, world traveler and dedicated mentor and teacher.

Things you can do from here:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Jun 26, 2012

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 June 12, 2012 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mrs. McIntyre
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
1. Letter from Mark Goguen
2. Letter from Whitsons

2. Guests/Presentations
a. FHS Athletes
b. ASMS – Best Buddies Presentation
c. RMS – Science Student’s Presentation
d. Remington Middle School Update – Paul Peri

3. Discussion Only Items
Non-Budget Donations to FPS – Miriam Goodman

4. Action Items
a. I recommend acceptance of a check for $275.00 from Andrew Butts for in-house enrichment at the FHS.
b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $653.27 from Lifetouch for enrichment at ECDC.
c. I recommend acceptance of a check for $227.45 from PBC for enrichment at FHS.
d. I recommend acceptance of a check for $868.00 from the Parmenter PCC for field trips.
e. I recommend acceptance of the gift of an oak tree ($1150.00) from the 5th Grade class and Oteri Funeral Home for the Oak St. Elementary School.
f. I recommend acceptance of a check for $3,925.00 from the Franklin Music Boosters for enrichment for music students.
g. I recommend acceptance of three checks for $50.00 each from Mr. Lima, Mr. Folan and Ms. Champagne for the Administrators Scholarship at FHS.
h. I recommend acceptance of a check for $813.02 from the Davis Thayer PCC for music risers.
i. I recommend approval of the budget transfers as detailed.
j. I recommend acceptance of a check for $4663.00 from the Oak Street PCC for supplemental curriculum materials at Oak Street Elementary 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. Adjourn

In the News - teacher evaluations, lunch menu changes

New evaluation rules for teachers

Riding the T could cost you $3 more

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by David Riley/Daily News staff on 6/23/12

Commuter rail passengers will have to pay an extra $3 starting July 1 if they board a train without a ticket, even if there is nowhere to buy one at their stop.

Things you can do from here: