Saturday, August 4, 2012

RT 140 nicely paved

RT 140 was nicely paved on Wednesday as scheduled. Some finishing work is still required to complete the set up in advance of the Big Y opening on Aug 23.

The road has been widened. Lane lines will need to be added. The traffic lights are in place and will need to be activated.

Harmony from the Heart - Sep 15

Mary and Kai Olsson are pleased to once again host HARMONY FROM THE HEART, a concert fundraiser to benefit the Center for Platelet Research Studies at Boston Children's Hospital, to support the vital research that saved their son's life. 
Date: September 15, 2012
Location: The Adirondack Club: Franklin, MA 
Boston Children's Hospital provides every kid the best care possible. Children's has been nationally ranked as one of the best pediatric hospitals for almost two decades. They care for more than 500,000 patients every year – many with health problems no other hospital in the world can handle. Every day, the doctors and nurses at Children's combine courage, creativity and compassion to provide life-changing care. 
The Olsson's hope you will consider supporting Harmony from the Heart's fundraising efforts for not only the kids at Children's, but for all who will benefit from this vital research. 
You can find their fund raising page here

Friday, August 3, 2012

Farmers Market - Blueberry Picking

The Farmers Market is open today on the Town Common from noon to 6:00 PM.

Franklin, MA: Farmers Market

You can pick your own blueberries today and tomorrow from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

More info on Gianetti's blueberries can be found here

Where in Franklin is the Town Common?

View Larger Map

Talent at Franklin High School (video)

Some of the teachers, faculty and staff at FHS know how to have a good time!


10th Norfolk Democrat Debate - video

The video of the Democratic Candidate Debate on Monday evening is now available for replay:

Related posts:

Franklin Public Library: Davey the Clown

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 8/2/12

Things you can do from here:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"an appropriate first response"

National Grid is beginning to respond to their service issues in Franklin. As posted yesterday, they are beginning to trim trees around the power lines.

National Grid this week began isolating the trees around the poorest performing circuits as targets for trimming. And it recently briefed Department of Public Works Director and Tree Warden Robert Cantoreggi. 
Cantoreggi said Wednesday National Grid does not plan to perform any clear cutting and will only prune and trim around lines. "For any specific tree take down, they would have to come before us," he said. "If (the tree) is a hazard tree or a dead tree, we would probably let them do it. If it is a healthy tree, we would have to have a hearing."

Read more:

In the News: local band, well offline

Local band makes familiar music

MassDOT RMV Customer Service: New Number

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 8/1/12

RMV New PhoneNumber, August 1, 2012
MassDOT today announced a new telephone number for Registry of Motor Vehicles business and transactions, 857-DOT-8000/857-368-8000.
The number is live today and serves the RMV's Call Center which answers an average of 45,000 calls each month.
"The Call Center is one part of our customer-service oriented operation and serves a population accustomed to receiving assistance and performing transactions with a helpful voice on the other end of the line," said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian.
Over the next year, customers will become familiar with the 857-DOT area code and exchange as MassDOT offices across the Commonwealth transition to the new number. The telephone transition will result in annual phone bill and maintenance savings of approximately $422,000.
"Transportation Reform continues with 857-DOT," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. "We are replacing the antiqued and redundant telecom systems of the RMV, Turnpike, MassHighway and Executive Office of Transportation to realize significant savings and improve customer service."
The RMV's new telephone number, 857-DOT-8000 is being advertised inside Registry branches, on the MBTA system and through the Highway Division's digital billboard PSA program throughout the month of August.
In addition, more than two dozen RMV transactions may be performed online at

Things you can do from here:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Art show: Tom Rose, Aug 3, 7:00 to 9:00 PM

Maybe you read about the Franklin Art Center in the August edition of the localtownpages Franklin:

The calendar project collaborating with local artists and the Historical Museum is a great idea!

Would you like to know about the Franklin Art Center? Come on down to see the Photography Show Friday, August 3, from 7 to 9 PM. Tom Rose, from Medfield, will be showcasing his work. "Tom is known for not manipulating his photos".

For more about the Franklin Art Center, visit their web page

To read the online version of the Franklin Town News, visit the web page here

Note: my daughter Allison works there as an art instructor

Another unfunded mandate?

A news release from State Senator Karen Spilka's office touts a new pilot program to provide services to children in trouble outside of the existing court process. This sounds good. Tucked away in the details is this line:
Requires school districts to establish truancy prevention programs that would be offered to habitually truant students before referring them to juvenile court.
That sounds a lot like an unfunded mandate to me.

The full detail of the release from Sen Spilka's office:
The Legislature today sent to the Governor legislation that will update the current system for handling children who consistently get in trouble at home or at school, including runaways and students who are habitually truant, transforming the 38-year-old Children in Need of Services (CHINS) program that critics say unnecessarily puts troubled children in front of a judge before seeking services to help the children and their families. 
“The current system is too complex and too confusing, and it unnecessarily drags some children in front of a judge over and over again,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. “More than half of these children have some kind of mental health disorder and need better care and services instead of this taxing exposure to the courts which studies show will make them more likely to be involved in serious crimes later in life. The reforms in this bill will improve children’s lives and help keep families together.” 
“I am proud that Chairman Dempsey, Leader Donato, members of the conference committee and the Legislature as a whole have taken strong action to protect at-risk youths,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “We need to get many of these children out of the legal system and into services and other support programs with their families so we can best ensure that they lead lives as productive residents of our state. These are practical reforms that help children and families in the short term and strengthen the Commonwealth in the long-term.” 
“For several decades, the CHINS system has not been working as intended by the legislature to keep children out of the juvenile justice system,” said Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), chief Senate sponsor of the bill. “It is difficult to overestimate the importance of passing this critical reform. This bill will give the thousands of children and families who need assistance each year a clearer path to accessing the services and supports they need without exacerbating their situation and before it becomes dire. The bill will make a huge, positive difference in the lives of our families, our friends, our neighbors, our communities, and will strengthen our state as a whole.” 
“This legislation would be the first step in replacing the existing “Children in Need of Services” (CHINS) system – which is not meeting the needs of children and families in the Commonwealth,” said Third Division Chair Paul Donato (D-Medford). “This reform will replace CHINS in the future with a new system that will provide preventative services and keep children in their homes and schools without overburdening courts, police and probation. It will create a statewide system of community-based programs that will provide direct access to mental health or substance abuse counseling.” 
“This legislation is important to address the needs of children and families across Massachusetts,” said Senator Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster), a conferee and Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Children in the CHINS system are an extremely vulnerable population and it is incumbent upon us, as public officials, to improve the manner in which services are received. I’m proud of this legislation for enhancing the process by which families are able to request and receive services for their children. I am confident that many provisions in this legislation will enhance the ability to help these families and ultimately strengthen the foundation for their future." 
“Through this legislation, the conferees were able to agree to this thoughtful approach that moves us in the right direction of reforming the CHINS system,” said House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Brian S. Dempsey (D-Haverhill). “I feel strongly that the pilot programs created by this legislation will allow us to accurately identify families and children who can be better served by alternative services to the court system.” 
“I am pleased the Legislature has made this bill a priority prior to adjournment,” said Senator Michael Knapik (R-Westfield), the ranking Republican member of the conference committee. “By incorporating families into the process and keeping juveniles out of the court system, I am confident this bill will connect at-risk youth with the appropriate resources so that behavior modification and counseling can have the desired long-term impact.” 
“This reform will strengthen families, guide children away from the criminal justice system, and reduce costs by focusing resources on prevention rather than punishment. It makes sense on many levels and I am pleased it received bipartisan support,” said State Representative Dan Winslow (R-Norfolk), who previously served as a District Court Judge. 
The bill breaks down barriers between the juvenile court, parents and the community, and it creates a second access point for children to receive necessary services. 
The pilot program, established under the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, diverts children from the legal process when appropriate and instead provides behavioral, medical and mental health treatment and a number of other behavioral and preventative services including special education evaluations, mentoring, family and parent support, and after-school and out-of-school opportunities. 
The bill also:
  • De-stigmatizes the process by deleting the “CHINS” label for children receiving services;
  • Decriminalizes the process by prohibiting children requiring assistance from being arrested, confined in shackles or placed in a court lockup in connection with any request for assistance;
  • Focuses on the child and family as a unit – not just the behavior of the child – and allows the parents to be full and active participants in their child’s proceedings;
  • Ensures that the child and family fully understand procedures by requiring that information be given to parents in writing at the beginning of the court process;
  • Creates a realistic timeframe for children and families to receive the necessary services; and
  • Requires school districts to establish truancy prevention programs that would be offered to habitually truant students before referring them to juvenile court.
Finally, the bill creates a standardized data collection system to evaluate outcomes and ensure the Commonwealth and the child appropriately benefit from the new system.

More information on Senator Karen Spilka can be found on her webpage

In the News: trail denied, chemical spill, sue Franklin

Franklin man's bid for new trial denied

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"showed just how closely aligned they are on issues"

The Milford Daily News reports on the Democratic candidate debate:
With a little more than a month before the Sept. 6 primaries, Jeffrey Roy and Peter Padula, both of Franklin, have been campaigning since April, striving to define themselves to voters in the 10th Norfolk District, which consists of Franklin and parts of Medway. 
Standing before more than 50 people packed in Town Council chambers at the municipal center, both candidates pushed home the importance of securing local aid for Franklin. 
"I think the most important job for me is to maintain levels of local aid that Franklin has come to rely on to inform its budget," Roy, a Franklin Town Council member and attorney, said.

Read more:

The debate was moved to the Council Chambers due to a power outage that affected the Horace Mann Middle School area as well as other parts of Franklin. The Council Chambers is not generally used for political events but an exception was made in this case to accommodate the event at the last minute.

The event was broadcast via Franklin TV. It is not yet ready for viewing on demand but will be soon. You can follow this link to select the event to view.

Alert: Paving on RT 140 reduced to one way Aug 1

Franklin has announced that RT 140 will be reduced to one lane for paving to begin on Aug 1. The details are contained in this notice:

Jordan Road and Chestnut St will be the alternate route for westbound traffic. Traffic heading to Wrentham will be slowed to one lane through the work zone.

Why I, C. Stolle Singleton, am running for State Representative in the 10th Norfolk District

This press release from C Stolle Singleton arrived in email Monday night:
I believe that now is the time to usher in a new generation of innovative ideas and fresh, energetic leadership for Franklin, Medway, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This is why I am running for State Representative in the 10th Norfolk District.

A recent CNBC survey of “America’s Top States for Business” revealed that Massachusetts ranks 49th for the “cost of doing business.” In other words, Massachusetts is nearly the most expensive state to run a business in the United States, second only to Hawaii. The Democratic Super Majority on Beacon Hill has done far too little to address high taxes, rising healthcare costs, staggering electricity prices, and excessive government regulation. As a result, this collective burden continues to suppress economic growth, discourage job creation, and drive countless Massachusetts businesses and families to relocate to other states. 
I am running for State Representative because I hope to buy a home and to start a family in Massachusetts and I want the best possible opportunities for my family and yours. My younger sister and I cherished growing up in Franklin and I want my grandchildren and yours to choose to raise their families in our community. I believe that Massachusetts can and should be a place where businesses and families decide to – and can afford to – put down roots, grow, and prosper. 
While I anticipate that some may make my age an issue during this race, I am more concerned about the age of the old ideas that led us to struggle every year to sustain our local aid for essential services, led us to implement a regressive sales tax increase in the height of the Great Recession, and left us with a lack of oversight over government benefits, such as the cash assistance given out on EBT cards. My generation is inheriting a mess associated with poor decisions and a lack of balance on Beacon Hill, so it is unequivocally the time for a woman my age to take a stand. 
Furthermore, I am running for State Representative because I want to ensure that Franklin and Medway continue to have a strong advocate for our community’s interests on Beacon Hill. With the unique perspective and invaluable experience of having already worked for the House of Representatives, I know how to get things done. This legislative session I drafted over 17 pieces of legislation, several of which were passed into law. My legislative experience means that I understand how to reach across party lines to preserve our local aid and the Chapter 70 funding for our community’s exceptional public schools. In short, from day one I will be an effective leader in crafting meaningful reforms and guiding them through the legislative logjam.
Public service is a privilege and if I am afforded the privilege of representing the residents of Franklin and Medway, I will work full-time to give back to the district where I learned that hard work, compassion, and perseverance will be met with success. 
If you believe in a Massachusetts that can do better, please vote C. Stolle Singleton in the Republican Primary on Thursday, September 6th.
For additional information on her campaign, you can visit her website

Nation Grid tree work to start

Posted on the Franklin, MA website:
Beginning in August, Asplundh Tree Company will be performing work on behalf of National Grid. Crews throughout town will be cutting, clearing, pruning and removing trees around electrical transmission lines. The work is expected to last into mid September. Any questions should be directed to National Grid Arborist David W. Donaghue at 508-482-1242.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Debate moved to Council Chambers - Municipal Bldg

Received an update on tonight's debate: 
In case you didn't hear, due to a power outage at HMMS, the debate has been moved to the Council Chambers at the Franklin Municipal Building. Still starts at 7:30 PM

More questions for Democratic Debate

The debate this evening will NOT be available live via cable. It will be recorded and available for replay. So you'll have a choice of watching the Olympics, the Red Sox or coming out to the debate in person!

In addition to the questions posted yesterday, I have come up with some more.

Why am I posting the questions in advance?
One, the issues we face shouldn't be a secret.
Two, it is more important to find out what the answers to these questions are.

Franklin and most MA communities are faced with Other Pension and Employee Benefits (OPEB) requirements that are underfunded. What is your position on what the Legislature can do to help?

Gov Patrick is reported to be signing the Casino proposal for Taunton today. At least one news article says it will be challenged because the return to the state is “excessive”. Whether you’ll get a chance as a legislator to have a vote in that matter is open right now. What do you think about casinos as a source of state revenue?

There has been talk of the Legislature revising the Chap 70 funding formula. Franklin is a significant beneficiary of these funds. What would be your position on a revision of the formula?

What is your position on the State budget priorities? Should MA government focus on infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) or education, or??

What is your position on taxes overall? How should the business of providing government services be funded?

What is your position on usage fees? Are there cases where it makes sense to use them in lieu of a more broadly based tax?

What is your position on the governance of utilities, their service rates and performance?

The Franklin library, along with other departments in Franklin, faces an annual budget issue. The MA Library Board of Governors is the body that provides oversight to the library systems. What is your position on what the Legislature should or should not do to help?

Big Y traffic controls in blinking mode

The final preparations to repave RT 140 in front of the new Big Y are underway.

Big Y: getting ready to pave RT 140

The top layer of RT 140's surface has been removed in preparation for a new layer of asphalt.

Big Y: getting ready to pave

New traffic controls are in blinking mode.

Big Y: traffic controls

All this in preparation for the Aug 23rd opening for the Big Y

Related posts on the Big Y:

In the News: performing arts, recycling

Chinese educator at home in Franklin

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Big Y hitting the mailbox

If your house is anything like mine, you have now received the third mailing from the Big Y. Each mailer opens to tout that they "not just another grocery store". In the past two weeks, there have been coupons. The coupons all are valid from Aug 23rd (the store opening day) until Sep 19.

Big Y - Franklin, MA

In related news, for those wishing that this had been a Trader Joe's - they will open at Patriot Place on Sep 7th

What about the debate?

The Democratic candidates are having a debate on Monday evening, July 30. The Thomas Mercer Auditorium at Horace Mann Middle School will be the location for this event. It begins at 7:30 and should end by 9:00 PM.

More details here

If you have a question you'd like to ask the candidates, you can add your question to the list here

The current list of questions can be found here

10th Norfolk: Collected questions for Democratic debate

My questions:

What have you done or are planning to do to prepare for serving Franklin in the Legislature?

Two part Q: What do you see as Franklin’s key issue at the State level and how do you plan to address it?

Do you have any relationships with folks in or around the State House or in the Legislature that you can leverage when you are in office to help serve Franklin? Please elaborate.

Based upon the flyer on the door, it seems like you are both walking the neighborhoods. What is one thing that going door to door does for your campaign?

How much will websites and other social media tools help your campaign?

Questions submitted by others in Franklin:

If elected what changes would you propose to help commuters from Franklin/Medway afford to get into Boston for work?

What are your thoughts about the MA higher education costs. Is there anything you would propose to help more students afford MA State higher education?

Local officials often complain to voters that costly state mandates tie their hands and prevent them from making common-sense fiscal policies for the town. What will you do as state rep to remove burdensome state mandates and un-tie local officials' hands?

What will be your priorities if you are selected to serve in the state legislature?

How can we make health care in Massachusetts more affordable for the commonwealth, cities, towns, businesses and individuals?

How do you feel about what Gov Patrick has done so far about containing health care costs?

My question to all is This... I think all of you are educated well, are lawyers and have held local seats on a board but what Policical experience so you have that I may not know about that you feel makes you qualified to be sucessful at this job?

Don't see a question topic here that you would like an answer to, add yours to the mix via email or the form here