Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Parkinson's Voice Initiative

Do you know someone with Parkinson's? or maybe they are not sure they have Parkinson's?

There is a new service available that with a short phone call to record your voice, the analysis of the recording can determine and track progress of Parkinson's.

How do they do that? In this TED video, Max Little explains:

What is the phone number to call?

In the US, the phone number is 1-857-284-8035

You can visit the Parkinson's Voice Initiative web page for more information

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Franklin Food Pantry

If you want to get to the Franklin Food Pantry website, use this link

Note: we are having problems with the redirection of our domain but the information on the website is available. So for the short term, you can use the above link and still get information about the Food Pantry.

St Rocco Festival

The 34th Annual St Rocco Festival is underway in Franklin this weekend. The Milford Daily News writes:
St. Mary Parish’s biggest fundraiser, the four-day festival raised $59,000 last year, with thousands attending. Father Michael Guerino started it in 1979 to honor St. Rocco, the patron saint of healing. 
Since then, a tight-knit group of church volunteers, old and young, have made sure the feast pushes on, August after August. They have managed it for so long, the setup has become a reflex. 
Indeed, their hard work was on display on the sprawling festival grounds.

Read more:

In the News: dog bylaw, 4th Congressional, record notification, drunk driver

Town Council asks for second draft of new dog bylaw

Free Soccer Camp

From the Yahoo Group for Franklin Area Parents come this posting worthy of sharing here

Do you know a child with an intellectual or physical disability that would enjoying playing soccer? We are hosting a free soccer camp in Franklin this August and are asking for your help to spread the word. 
The camp will be held from August 27th through August 30th, 5:00pm to 6:00pm each day at Carpe Diem Field on 34 Saxon Street. The camp is held indoors out of the sun and heat, in an air-conditioned facility.  
Many thanks to Franklin Soccer School and Carpe Diem Technologies for their generous donations allowing us to host this special and unique camp. 
Participants can be from any town, are asked to pre-register for the camp, and can find more information at: 
Thank you, 
Aaron Frongillo and Michael Katinas
8th Grade Students
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School

Franklin Public Library: Animal World


Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:


via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 8/9/12


Things you can do from here:


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Franklin Public Schools: Class sizes by school

August, preparing for schools to open this September. What will be the class sizes around the Franklin school district? The information as presented to the School Committee on Tuesday is shown here.

These numbers can also be found on the Franklin Schools web page here

You can also view the School Committee meeting from Tuesday where these numbers were discussed.

"$100 fine for first offenders, up from $25"

If there is trouble with enforcement of the existing dog feces law, how will increasing the fine help? I missed the Town Council meeting last night but wish I had been able to ask that question (if no one else did).

And for all the items that were on the agenda, the dog bylaw is what gets into the paper first? Not the new contract for Town Administrator? Or the report from the Citizens Committee?
The town intends to strike the previous leashing bylaw and replace it with a longer one titled, "Regulation of Conduct." The section on leashing was largely unchanged. 
The bylaw proposal, presented to Town Council for the first time on Wednesday night, states that the chief of police will have the authority to order a dog muzzled or confined for a period of time if it bites a person or another pet or chases a vehicle, bicycle or pedestrian in a public setting. Council was expected to vote on the measure Wednesday night after discussion. 
"We are trying to be proactive," said Town Attorney Mark Cerel, who rewrote the bylaw proposal with help from former Police Chief Steve Williams and Cindy Souza, the animal control officer for Franklin and Bellingham. "We don’t want to have any issues in the future with vicious dogs."

Read more:

The full agenda for Wednesday's Town Council meeting and accompanying document can be found here

In the News: tax holiday, Foursquare founder

Is interest in sales tax holiday on the wane?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Aug 8, 2012

– March 7, 2012

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



Design Review Commission - Doug Newton
Zoning Board of Appeals - Sean P. Slater



- Citizens Committee


1. Resolution 12-42(Amended):Authorization for DPW Garage/Storage Building
2. Resolution 12-63: Town Administrator’s Employment Agreement
3. Bylaw Amendment 12-686:Amendment to Chapter 165, Transient Vendors- 1st Reading
4. Bylaw Amendment 12-690: Amendment to Chapter 8, Council on Aging – 1st Reading
5. Bylaw Amendment 12-691:Amendment to Chapter 75, Dogs – 1st Reading
6. Bylaw Amendment 12-692: Amendment to Water System Map – 1st Reading
7. Bylaw Amendment 12-693: Amendment to Sewer System Map – 1st Reading





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


The set of documents for this agenda were posted to the Franklin, MA web page here

Business Tax Breaks in Massachusetts

MassBudget    Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center    Democracy.
Business Tax Breaks in Massachusetts
Tax breaks are a form of spending. Money that the state spends on tax breaks is money that it can't spend on education, infrastructure, or other forms of economic development.

Our new report, Business Tax Breaks in Massachusetts, describes the various types of business tax breaks in Massachusetts and shows how much the state spends on each. It focuses most directly on what we call special business tax breaks, meaning those tax breaks which: 1) apply to businesses, and 2) have as their most basic rationale the effort to bolster economic development.*

We find that:
  • In FY 2012, the state spent $770 million on special business tax breaks.
  • Since FY 1996, spending on special business tax breaks has increased 60%, adjusted for economic growth.

To accompany this report, we are also releasing a two-page Factsheet which describes the major findings.

* Other kinds of business tax breaks include those designed to minimize double-taxation and those which mirror the federal tax code.

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 children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108
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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

Wedding dresses weren't always white

The Milford Daily News has an article on the wedding dress exhibit currently showing at Franklin's Historical Museum. Wedding dress through the ages are displayed so you can see the changes and development.
"In Victorian times, everything was covered, whereas now — how do I put this diplomatically — everything is exposed," she said. 
In contrast to the symbolic bride of the present, who practically glows as she walks down the aisle in her milky white gown, Ferguson said gowns for much of the 1900s were beige or off-colored. 
Pure white gowns did not emerge until the 1960s, she said.

Franklin's Historical Museum is located at 80 West Central St.

Read more of the article here:

Singleton Gains Endorsements

FRANKLIN—Matt Kelly and Glenn Jones, two members of Franklin's Town Council, have announced their official endorsement of Stolle Singleton for State Representative in the 10th Norfolk District. Stolle, a Franklin resident, is running in the Republican Primary on Thursday, September 6th.
"I am deeply honored to have the support of Matt and Glenn, who have both given so much to Franklin in their roles as Town Councilors," said Stolle Singleton.  "It is a privilege to call these gentlemen my friends and their expertise regarding the needs of the Franklin community, as public servants, engaged citizens, and family-men, will be invaluable throughout my campaign and beyond."
On the endorsement, Matt Kelly said, "Stolle has a proven track record at the State House as a policy advisor and will continue to keep Franklin and Medway moving forward as our next State Representative. She is dedicated to Franklin, Medway and the Commonwealth and I believe she is the best candidate in this race because she will ensure that our communities have an experienced voice to represent the interests of our residents in the Massachusetts House."
"I am happy to endorse Stolle Singleton as she is by far the best choice for Franklin and Medway," said Glenn Jones.  "Stolle is a dedicated, energetic, and flexible advocate who has first-hand experience on Beacon Hill and will work tirelessly as a full-time legislator to secure the many needs of our communities."
Stolle Singleton has spent the past two years working as a policy analyst for the 33-member Republican Caucus in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. During her time at the State House, she authored over 17 pieces of legislation and numerous amendments to state budgets and bills, some of which were signed into law. Previously, she interned in former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown's Office and the Office of Legislative Education.
Stolle's legislative experience will enable her, from day one, to be an effective leader in crafting policies to restore our economy, maintain our local aid, and bring accountability to State Government.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

School Committee: Action items

4. Action Items
a. I recommend acceptance of the donation of a $100.00 Office Depot gift card and 5 large one-topping pizza’s from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for the HMMS for raising $2,067.47 for Pennies for Patients. motion to accept, passed  6-0

b. I recommend acceptance of the donation of a Selmer Liberty Tenor Sax from the McLean Family valued at $1200.00 for the Remington Middle School.   motion to accept, passed  6-0 

c. I recommend acceptance of a check for $282.66 from Wells Fargo (Douglas Lee) for the FHS.    motion to accept, passed  6-0

d. I recommend acceptance of a check for $50.00 from Stephanie & Michael Quinn for the FHS Schaeffer memorial scholarship.   motion to accept, passed  6-0

e. I recommend acceptance of a check for $25.00 from Judi Hershman for the FHS Schaeffer memorial scholarship.   motion to accept, passed  6-0

f. I recommend acceptance of a check for $10.00 via Just Give as an anonymous donation from Capella University for FHS scholarships.    motion to accept, passed  6-0

g. I recommend acceptance of the donation of CPR Mannequins valued at 1109.00 from Roberta Trahan for the District.    motion to accept, passed  6-0

h. I recommend acceptance of a check for $20.00 from Sheila Hooper for the FHS Schaeffer memorial scholarship.    motion to accept, passed  6-0

i. I recommend approval of the Elementary and Middle School’s Handbooks as presented.   motion to accept, passed  6-0

If you are not registered for the bus, it is too late!

Real-time reporting: School Committee (via cable broadcast)

Per the transportation update at Tuesday's School Committee meeting, the school transportation process started in April with a registration deadline of June 30. The second payment was due July 9th. Reminders went out to the parents/families who needed to complete their payments. There are still about 50 accounts that need to get completed. High school and middle school buses are currently full. No additional registrations are being accepted.

Once school begins in Sep, ridership on the routes will be measured and if additional capacity is available, there may be adjustments by the end of Sep.

The bus routes are scheduled to be posted to the School's website by the end of next week.
Bus passes for the Charter School will be available Aug 21 and for the other Franklin students Aug 27th.

Bus fees are $325 per student with a cap at three students paying within one family ($975).

Students K-6 who live outside of 2 miles from school are eligable for a 'free' ride. Students at middle school and high school and all other K-6 less than 2 miles can register for 'pay to ride'.

There are approx 1500 in the 'pay to ride' program currently with another 500+ in the 'free ride' program.

Attention: Businesses and Organizations - Registration is Open for the Franklin Harvest Festival

Franklin's Harvest Festival is set for Sunday, September 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Franklin Downtown Partnership is already planning for this fun event, which they expect will draw about 5,000 visitors to town. Organizers have set a registration deadline of August 20 for crafters, vendors, artists and community groups who want to participate in this year's festival.

The Harvest Festival will be held rain or shine, and booth space is limited. The booth fee for non-Partnership members is $125, and the food vendor fee is $175. A late charge of $25 will be added for registrations received after August 20 if there is booth space still available.

Event details and registration forms can be downloaded from the Partnership's website, This year's booth chairperson, Mary Graff, can be contacted at Co-Chair Jeanne Sherlock is planning the entertainment and children's area fun and can be reached at

Sponsors are still needed to fund this festival. As a non-profit organization, the Downtown Partnership depends on sponsors to fund this and other efforts, including Beautification, the Strawberry Stroll and the Holiday Stroll.

In the News: summer stage, youth sports

FSPA Summerstage presents ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’

Area Sikhs: Shootings 'a sad teachable moment'

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Matt Tota/Daily News staff on 8/6/12

149130 MA_MD_milfordsikh1.jpg
Simran Kaur believes ignorance might have motivated the gunman who killed six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., on Sunday.  "I think it was a hate crime," she said Monday at the Sikh temple in Milford.

Things you can do from here:

Boston Heart Walk - Sep 15 - help the Baby Beats!

From the Amante Family:
Welcome to the fundraising page for team Baby Beats. We have been raising money for the Heart Association since 2002! Just two weeks after Damian's third open heart surgery we attended our first Heart Walk in New York. 
Funds donated to the Heart Association go toward life saving research, techniques and equipment.

Damian has directly benefited from projects that were funded by the Heart Association.

We celebrate Damian and the victory over his struggles by raising money to support this important organization.

Please support our team by donating to the Heart Association! Thank you!

You can find the fund raising page here

Monday, August 6, 2012

Uncas Pond

Having heard of Uncas Pond here and here, I decided a needed to go exploring to find it. Sunday was humid. I needed a little extra incentive to run in the heat. I decided that since Uncas Pond was off Summer St, I'd go find it. Finding it would give me an excuse to stop for pictures (and rest as well).

The water looked inviting but it was behind a securely locked fence so I didn't venture forth.

Updated 8/6/12 7:00 PM

The Franklin Rod and Gun Club is located at the end of Florence St. Access to the pond appears to be via the Club property or one of the neighboring private properties actually is available from a dirt parking lot on the left of Florence as you approach the end of the road.

Access is outlined on this photo:

My thanks to Franklin Matters reader Rich for the correction and photo!

For more information on the Franklin Rod and Gun Club, you can visit their website

BTW - According to their web page, they are still looking to find "Declan F". Declan won the 12 and under trophy for their recent tournament and left without getting the trophy!

"give their time and effort"

In addition to being a 'high performing' school district, Franklin is fortunate to have the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School as well. Was it mentioned in this article? No.
Ultimately, the overriding factor determining whether a charter is approved by the state has less to do with where it is and more to do with why it's being proposed, said J.C. Considine, a spokesman for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 
"I don't think there's a preference," he said. "Where there's a need and demand is shown, we're open to considering strong proposals in really any region." 
There's also nothing inherent to MetroWest that would make it objectionable to potential founding groups, said Brown, who added a town like Framingham, with its growing non-English speaking population, could be a good site for a charter school specializing in language education.

Read more:

For additional information on the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School you can visit their web page

"find a way to balance clinical work with research"

Kalutkiewicz, who will be a senior biology major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall, has been working on a 10-week summer research fellowship at the university. Supported by the heart association, her full-time project is on cell division. 
"Cells have to establish a plane of division," Kalutkiewicz said. "We’re looking at how they divide." 
This is not the first time the UMass Amherst senior has been a part of scientific research. She also participated in studies at Tufts, where the focus of the projects was similar to hers: cells and genetics.

Read more:

T.O.P.S. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) - Up Coming Event

Would you please put this event in Franklin Matters in time -- Sept. 15th.  The organization is T.O.P.S. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly)?  Thank you.  Faith Flaherty, TOPS Leader

T.O.P.S.  Inspiration Workshop 

Inspire each person to manage their nutrition and life in ways that will help each person.  T.O.P.S. is a support group that aims to promote health and well-being nutritionally.  T.O.P.S. mission is to support our members as they take off and keep off pounds sensibly. 

When:    Saturday, September 15, 2012Where:  Franklin Senior CenterTime:    8:30 AM registration  9:00 - 12:00 programCost:     Free

More information on TOPS can be found on the national TOPS webpage here

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Aug 7, 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 July 17, 2012 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills – none Mrs. McIntyre
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
1. Budget to Actual – Miriam Goodman

2. Guests/Presentations
a. Athletic Fees – Brad Sidwell
b. Handbooks – Sally Winslow

3. Discussion Only Items
Enrollment Update
Transportation Update

4. Action Items
a. I recommend acceptance of the donation of a $100.00 Office Depot gift card and 5 large one-topping pizza’s from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for the HMMS for raising $2,067.47 for Pennies for Patients.
b. I recommend acceptance of the donation of a Selmer Liberty Tenor Sax from the McLean Family valued at $1200.00 for the Remington Middle School.
c. I recommend acceptance of a check for $282.66 from Wells Fargo (Douglas Lee) for the FHS.
d. I recommend acceptance of a check for $50.00 from Stephanie & Michael Quinn for the FHS Schaeffer memorial scholarship.
e. I recommend acceptance of a check for $25.00 from Judi Hershman for the FHS Schaeffer memorial scholarship.
f. I recommend acceptance of a check for $10.00 via Just Give as an anonymous donation from Capella University for FHS scholarships.
g. I recommend acceptance of the donation of CPR Mannequins valued at 1109.00 from Roberta Trahan for the District.
h. I recommend acceptance of a check for $20.00 from Sheila Hooper for the FHS Schaeffer memorial scholarship.
i. I recommend approval of the Elementary and Middle School’s Handbooks as presented.

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
Approval of Executive Session minutes from 4/10/12, 5/22/12 & 6/12/12 meetings. Contractual Negotiations

8. Adjourn

10th Norfolk: Republican Debate

The three republican candidates will step to the debate on Tuesday, Aug 28th in the Town Council Chambers at 7:00 PM

Additional details can be found on Facebook

For additional information on each candidate, you can visit their websites:

C Stolle Singleton

"worth every bit of effort we put in"

On Saturday, about 2,700 bikers began the longest route of the Pan-Mass Challenge, 192-mile Sturbridge to Provincetown, in the pre-dawn fog. They will rest up in Bourne Saturday night before climbing on their bikes again early Sunday morning. 
In all, thousands of cyclists will have traveled through Sutton, Northbridge, Uxbridge, Mendon, Bellingham, Franklin, Wrentham, Plainville, Foxborough and Norfolk by Saturday evening. 
Since 1980, the bike-a-thon has, through the Jimmy Fund, raised $338 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Last year, the PMC raised $35 million, and this year’s goal is $36 million.

Read more:

If you have not contributed to a rider or a team you can still do so on the Pan-Mass web page here

In the News: Army grad, school gardens

Franklin man completes the Army's toughest schools

School gardens a growing idea in the region