Saturday, September 1, 2012

Parmenter: Modular removal underway

And the modular units are coming down at Parmenter. As I ran Friday morning, I captured these photos.

The fence is down. The entrance steps have been removed. You can compare to the pictures from last week shown here or here

MassBudget: Wages and Inequality in Massachusetts - Labor Day Report

MassBudget    Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center    Democracy.
Wages and Inequality in Massachusetts
In honor of Labor Day, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center is releasing a new brief on wages and inequality in Massachusetts. It describes not only the lingering effects of the Great Recession but the long-term trends affecting workers and families across Massachusetts.

In particular, we find that:
  • There are still fewer jobs than before the recession began
  • Median wages in Massachusetts have increased 24% since 1979
  • The gap between low-wage and high-wage workers has grown substantially over the last few decades

This Labor Day brief is available both as a report and a slideshow. It is part of a broader MassBudget project to track and analyze the State of Working Massachusetts.

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

Friends of the Needham Rail Trail Greenway

For fellow rail trail enthusiasts!

August 31, 2012

Friends of the
Rail Trail Greenway

4.8 Miles across Needham -
from Newton to Dover

Picture 194 larger

Upcoming guided walks on the (future) trail

We have 3 upcoming walks on the Needham Heights section trail, all will meet at the Needham Heights MBTA Commuter rail station.
Thursday September 6 at 6:30 PM
Thursday September 13 at 6:30 PM
Thursday September 20 at 6:30 PM

Check the calendar on the main page of the web site 

Map of the Needham Rail Trail Greenway

About Friends of the Needham Rail Trail Greenway

The Friends is applying to be a 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer organization. Formed in 2012 to benefit the Town of Needham & surrounding areas, working diligently and in cooperation with the Town of Needham Parks and other departments, various community groups and interested parties to:

-- Educate the residents of the Town of Needham and neighboring communities about the recreation and transportation opportunities offered by the Needham Rail Trail Greenway
-- Promote the use, development, enjoyment, and care of the Needham Rail Trail Greenway  thru volunteer membership
-- Raise and expend funds to support trail maintenance and improvements for the benefit of the residents of the Needham area.

You can contact us via:

Check out our new website!

Mission Statement
The Friends of the Needham Rail Trail Greenway is a group of interested citizens with broad representation from the community working in partnership with residents, neighborhood associations, town and state government to support the financing, planning, design, construction and maintenance needs of the Greenway.

The Friends group will work to resolve engineering, environmental and safety concerns, including street crossings and bridges, parking and other amenities, dimensions and materials used to construct the path. 

The Friends group will work to reduce the impact on and alleviate the concerns of abutters to the path; establish trail clearing and maintenance projects, develop financial resources to design and construct the path, and sponsor fund raising campaigns and grant applications with the goal of minimizing any expense to the town, and to provide a safe, healty recreation and transportation option for the entire community.

Get Involved - Have fun while helping Needham

Are you looking to work with fun people to make our town even better? In particular, would you like to join the board of this non-profit? Contact us !
  • Attorney 
  • Bicycle / Pedestrian Safety
  • Communications and messaging 
  • Construction supervision
  • Environment and Green Issues
  • Fundraising 
  • Government relations
  • Grassroots canvassing 
  • Health and Fitness
  • Issue advocacy
  • Merchant Associations
  • Parks and recreation
  • Public event organization and logistics 
  • Public relations 
  • Schools and Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
  • Senior Center 
  • Transportation planning 
  • Treasurer / Accounting
  • Urban design 
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Youth Representative

Be sure to "Like" us on Facebook!

Click here to forward this email to a friend      

Friends of the Needham Rail Trail
75 Ridgeway Ave
Needham, Massachusetts 02492

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In the News: great heights, lab probe

Franklin grads go to great heights for others

Franklin woman at center of drug lab probe

Friday, August 31, 2012

Film on the Barn - Friday - 6:30 PM

Hot off the email inbox from Karen Ring:

The annual Open Air Movie Night at White Barn Farm is happening tonight! 
Make it if you can ;)

458 South St. Wrentham, MA 02093

FREE FOOD! Whole Foods Market will be there with healthy snacks for the movie. I will be there doing a demo on how to make Farm Fresh Salsa!

This full moon Friday Night, August 31st, we are having a very wholesome event at White Barn Farm. We are projecting a movie on the side of the barn! Independent Filmmaker, Drew Pearson, will be showing his documentary film, The Great Lesson. which focuses on the power of the mind and body connection.

We are making it into more of an event by beginning with a
healthy eating presentation at 6:30pm by Karen Ring, one of the authors of the blog. Her connection with Whole Foods (she was the healthy eating specialist there) is bringing their sponsorship as well. They will provide anything for her presentation that doesn't come from the farm and if we're lucky they will set up a trail mix bar for movie snacks.   Karen's presentation will be followed by a yoga demonstration in the barn given by Lauren, owner of Wrentham's Humble Warrior Yoga studio. Sunset is scheduled to be around 7:30, and the movie should start just before 8pm. Bring your own chairs and/or blankets, coolers, snacks, bugspray, and flashlights.No dogs, please. The optional suggested donation is $6 for those over 12 years old. 

    To Simplify:
    • This Friday night August 31st
    • Park at the Roadside Stand
    • 6:30pm: Healthy Eating Presentation by Karen Ring at our Farmstand (which is open until 7pm)
    • Carefully cross the road and Set up your spot under the Ash Tree by the barn
    • 7:15pm ish: Yoga demonstration in the barn with Lauren from Humble Warrior Yoga
    • around 8pm: screening of The Great Lesson

    Karen M Ring
    CPT / Health Coach / AADP
    8 Rona Lane
    Franklin, MA 02038
    Cell: 508.954.8837

    Farmers Market - noon to 6:00 PM on the Town Common

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

    Franklin, MA: Farmers Market

    Where in Franklin is the Town Common?

    View Larger Map

    MA Fraternal Order of Police endorse Padula

    The Fraternal Order of Police is the world's largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than 325,000 members in more than 2,100 lodges. The Fraternal Order of Police works to improve the working conditions of law enforcement officers through education, legislation, information, community involvement and employee representation. 
    Peter is honored to be endorsed by the Massachusetts Fraternal Order of Police. Police officers work tirelessly to protect and serve the residents of the 10th Norfolk District, as well as every other district in the state and nationally. It is vital that these individuals have a voice in government and are properly represented to ensure that they have access to the resources necessary to provide the best possible service to our communities. The Fraternal Order of Police works aggressively to provide this voice and representation for its many members.

    More information on the Fraternal Order of Police can be found on their webpage

    Additional information on Peter Padula and his campaign for the 10th Norfolk District seat can be found on his webpage

    Franklin day care center looks to revamp property

    Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

    via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Matt Tota/Daily News staff on 8/30/12

    A children's day care center seeking permission from the town to begin major renovations around its property will learn at a public hearing in September whether it can move forward with the plans.

    Things you can do from here:

    Active Older Adult Day - Sep 6 - 8:30 AM - 1:30 PM

    FRANKLIN, FOXBORO, MANSFIELD, NORTH ATTLEBORO, MA – The Hockomock Area YMCA Live Y’ers Group will sponsor an Active Older Adult Day with information, activities and workshops on Thursday, September 6th from 8:30am – 1:30pm at the Hockomock Area YMCA’s North Attleboro Branch located at 300 Elmwood Street, North Attleboro.

    A continental breakfast will be served as well as a barbeque lunch with entertainment by Dave Valerio. The cost for the day is $5. GATRA, CVNA, Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Ameriprise Financial and other community organizations will have information available in the YMCA gym. 

    Workshops include Balance, Family History, Nutrition, Reflexology, Zumba, Travel and much more! Come for the day, workshops or just lunch, whatever fits your schedule. Register at any Hockomock Area YMCA Member Service Desk. This is open to the entire community, including those not affiliated with the Y.

    For more information or to sign up, call Anne Lonzo at 508-643-5260 or email her at or visit

    About the Hockomock Area YMCA
    We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we work together to invest in our kids, our health, and our neighbors. That’s why, at the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side by side with our neighbors in our community to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. Reach Out for Youth & Families is our annual support campaign to provide a YMCA experience to more than 15,000 local children and families in need.

    Spilka Announces Framingham, Ashland, and Franklin Office Hours


    On Monday, September 10th, join Senator Karen Spilka and Puja Mehta, Senator Spilka's District and Constituent Services Director, for district office hours in Framingham, Ashland, and Franklin. They will be available to update constituents on the latest news and events and discuss any concerns or questions you may have.

    Cafe Fresh Bagels
    957 Worcester Road
    Framingham, MA 01701
    8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

    Sunnyside Cafe
    24 Front Street
    Ashland, MA 01721
    11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Elizabeth's Bagels
    456 West Central Street
    Franklin, MA 02038
    12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

    Any resident unable to attend or looking to schedule an appointment should contact Senator Spilka's office at (617) 722-1640.

    Thursday, August 30, 2012

    Congressman McGovern speaks for Jeff Roy

    As noted previously, Congressman Jim McGovern endorsed Jeff Roy and on Wednesday spoke at a campaign event to introduce Jeff. Jeff spoke for a few minutes. The 9 minute video clip is here:

    For more information on Congressman McGovern

    For more information on Jeff Roy

    West Nile virus in Franklin, Bellingham, Medway mosquitoes

    Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

    via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Jessica Trufant/Daily News staff on 8/29/12

    Mosquito bites have always been itchy and unpleasant – but they are becoming increasingly risky, too. Officials this week added Medway, Franklin and Bellingham to the list of towns where mosquitoes samples have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, raising the risk level to moderate.

    Things you can do from here:

    Job Opening: part-time Teacher

    A great local school, Sunrise Montessori School, is looking for a part-time teacher. Candidates should be EEC Lead Teacher or Teacher Certified.  Please call 508 541 8010 or e-mail your resume to: 
    For more information about the school see the website:

    T.O.P.S (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) - Sep 15th

    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

    Labor Day Weekend: Travel Safely

    Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

    via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 8/29/12

    Traffic Camera I-93 SE Expressway 2012The Massachusetts Department of Transportation encourages safe travel during the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend.
    Heaviest Labor Day traffic on I-90 is expected Thursday and Friday westbound and Monday afternoon-evening eastbound. 
    In 2011, the number of toll transactions on the Turnpike from Weston to the New York border on the Friday before Labor Day was approximately 358,000, third highest in 2011. 

    MassDOT suspends all road and bridge construction on major roadways from Noon Friday through start of normal business on Tuesday.

    Before you travel, check out MassDOT statewide live traffic cameras

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says all traffic lanes on both the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges on the Cape Cod Canal will remain open through the Labor Day weekend.

    Free coffee will be served at the 18 service plazas along I-90 and other major state highways on Monday night into Tuesday morning, from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. 

    To save time, money and gas, if you have not yet done so, consider joining E-ZPass (FAST LANE) to avoid waiting in line at cash toll booths.

    The Massachusetts Safe Driving Law bans texting while driving and cell phone use while driving by 16 and 17 year old drivers.  Drivers are reminded to travel safely and avoid distracted driving such as using cell phones.  

    The MBTA service schedule for Labor Day, Monday, September 3, follows:  

    All subway trains, streetcars, buses, trackless trolleys, and commuter rail trains will run on a Sunday schedule.

    Hingham boat service will not operate.  Quincy and Charlestown Service will operate on a weekend schedule.

    For additional information on routes, schedules, and fares, please call the MBTA Customer Service Center at (617) 222-3200 (hearing impaired TDD 617-222-5146).

    Things you can do from here:

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012

    "Vallee has left enormous shoes to fill"

    The three Republican candidates for the MA 10th Norfolk District got together for their only debate before the primary next Thursday, Sep 6. The Milford Daily News reports on the event by writing in part:
    Facing questions from moderator state Rep. Daniel Winslow, R-Norfolk, on Tuesday night, C. Stolle Singleton, Richard Eustis and John Jewell all came forward as fiscal conservatives — staunch proponents of reining in government spending. 
    The candidates derive from different parts of the political spectrum: Singleton from state government, Eustis from law and Jewell from town government. 
    And they chase a seat formerly held by Democrat James Vallee, in a district that includes Franklin and precincts 2,3 and 4 in Medway. Vallee made a mark on Beacon Hill that the three candidates have said they can only hope to replicate.

    Will one of these three attempt to fill Vallee's shoes? Your vote on Thursday, Sep 6th will help decide.

    Read more:

    New doors at Parmenter

    Work on the school facilities hits prime time during the summer. One example of work around the district is shown here with new doors for the Parmenter School.

    In progress (Aug 24):

    Completed (Aug 25):

    "tested positive for West Nile virus"

    It was only a matter of time before this happened!

    West Nile found in Medway, Franklin, Bellingham

    On August 17th, the Board of Health had posted on Franklin's website:
    As this unprecedented mosquito season continues, we again urge residents to take all steps necessary to prevent mosquito bites. 
    • Avoid outdoor activities during the peak hours of mosquito activity; generally between dawn and dusk. 
    • The use of a repellent containing up to 30% DEET, permethrin or picaridin provides protection against mosquitoes. 
    • Permethrin products should not be applied directly to the skin, but only used on clothing. 
    • We recommend that residents drain all standing water on their property. Birdbaths, buckets/pails, wheelbarrows and children’s inflatable pools all provide ideal breeding sites for mosquitoes.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    Franklin Food Pantry website update

    We apologize for the issues with the website. The data and information is still here but if you can't find it then it doesn't do much good.

    At least for now, you can find us at

    You already remember "franklinfoodpantry" just stick a "ma" right after Franklin and you should arrive to the website properly!

    This should buy us some time while we sort out the issues with the original "" problem and return to a normal operation.

    In the meantime, the Food Pantry is continuing to operate. We remain open and active during our normal business hours.

    National Grid invests $60M to prepare for severe weather seasons

    I think it interesting to find this from the Providence area news and not yet reported on by MA news.

    Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

    via - Latest Stories by By PBN Staff Twitter: @ProvBusNews on 8/27/12

    National Grid is investing $60 million in a new system to prepare for the severe weather season and make sure customers who lose power get it back more quickly.

    Things you can do from here:

    Primary election - Thursday, Sep 6th

    The primary is coming up next week on Thursday, Sep 6th. Yes, we'll get to go to the polls to vote on a Thursday not a Tuesday as we normally do. The regular election on November 6th will be on a Tuesday.

    The three Republican candidates get to debate tonight. They will gather at the Town Council Chambers at 7:00 PM. I'll catch the replay on video as the Franklin Food Pantry holds their monthly Board meeting this evening at the same time.

    If you missed the Democratic Debates, you can view the first one here and the second one here

    "I learn something new every day"

    One of the questions in the Democratic Debates has been what the candidates have learned from going door-to-door in their campaign effort. The Milford Daily News talked with both Republican and Democratic candidates to put this together.
    With the primaries set for Thursday, Sept. 6, the candidates say each visit to a resident’s home bolsters their respect for the job they seek. 
    And talking with voters face-to-face, they say, gives them a deep understanding of the mark left by James Vallee — the Franklin Democrat who occupied the seat before them — and how important it will be to carry his torch. 
    "We need to make sure we continue to have a strong advocate for the 10th Norfolk," said Republican C. Stolle Singleton. "Because Representative Vallee was an unbelievable advocate for our communities."

    Read more:

    Franklin Public Library: Story Times Resume

    Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

    via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 8/27/12

    Library Story Times will resume on 
    Tuesday September 4th

    Mother Goose on the Loose - Ages 0-2 - 10:30 AM

    Terrific Twos - 10:00 AM
                           Time for Tales - Independent 3,4,5 year olds - 10:30 AM

    Story & Craft - Ages 4 & 5 - 10:30 AM

    Things you can do from here:


    Stolle Seeks to Represent Franklin and Precincts 2, 3, and 4 in Medway
    FRANKLIN—The Massachusetts House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. and thirteen members of Massachusetts House of Republican Caucus have announced their official endorsement of Stolle Singleton for the open State Representative seat in the 10th Norfolk district. The district is comprised of Franklin and Precincts 2, 3, and 4 in Medway. "I am honored to receive the endorsement of fourteen outstanding Republican Legislators, whom I have had the privilege of working with as a policy analyst in the State House," Stolle Singleton said. "I am continually encouraged by the support of these genuine public servants, whom I consider my friends and mentors.  I am confident that my first-hand legislative experience, informed by my working relationships with legislators, committees, and staff, will make me a strong advocate for the interests of Franklin and Medway on Beacon Hill." On the endorsement, House Minority Leader Brad Jones said, "I am pleased to give my support to Stolle as she embarks on this endeavor that is a reflection of her hard work and dedication to the residents of the 10th Norfolk District. Furthermore, Stolle is a passionate and persuasive advocate whose experience working in the Massachusetts Legislature will enable her to be effective from day one as a member of the House of Representatives."
     "I have had the pleasure of working with Stolle on a number of pieces of legislation at the State House and time and time again I was amazed by her ability to comprehend and simplify very complex subject matter in a timely and efficient manner," said Representative Mathew Beaton of Shrewsbury. "Stolle's professionalism, passion for public service and diverse knowledge is exactly what we need in the House of Representatives to help the Republican Caucus advance our efforts to reform and bring transparency to Beacon Hill." Minority Leader Jones and Representative Beaton were joined in endorsing Stolle Singleton's candidacy by colleagues Assistant Minority Leader George Peterson or Grafton, Second Assistant Minority Leader Brad Hill of Ipswich, and Representatives Vinny deMacedo of Plymouth, Jay Barrows of Mansfield, Susan Gifford of Wareham, Donald Humason of Westfield, George Ross of Attleboro, Angelo D'Emilia of Bridgewater, Geoff Diehl of Whitman, Kim Ferguson of Holden, David Vieira of East Falmouth, and Donald Wong of Saugus. Stolle Singleton spent the past two years working on Beacon Hill as a policy advisor to the House Minority Leader and the Massachusetts House Republican Caucus. During her time in the State House, she drafted over 17 pieces of legislation and a myriad of amendments to state budgets and bills, some of which have been signed into law by Governor Patrick. Stolle's legislative experience and commitment to work as a full-time legislator will allow her to effectively collaborate across party-lines to pass legislation to restore our economy, maintain our local aid, and bring increased accountability to State Government.

    In the News: yard sale, Catholic program, Harvest Festival

    First Universalist Society seeks yard sale donations

    Construction Alert: Downtown Franklin

    From the Franklin, MA webpage:
    The roadway construction project for East Street, West Street, Nason Street, Church Avenue and Walnut Street will start on Friday August 24, 2012 and will be completed in June 2013

    Monday, August 27, 2012

    Franklin, MA: Getting ready for school

    The last week of summer is upon us as schools open after Labor Day for the first time in several years. The teachers report on Weds and Thur this week for preparation and professional development. The students report on Tue Sep 4th.

    The Davis Thayer sign:

    The Parmenter sign:

    Check with your school for when the K Orientation begins on Tuesday, Sep 4th. The starting times may differ school to school.

    Generally across the district, there is the orientation on Tuesday, half the class reports for a full day on Wednesday. The other half of the class reports on Thursday. Then the full kindergarten class reports on Friday. This provides a good opportunity for the K teachers to greet the students and start getting the school routine established for this young and precious group.

    The full school calendar for 2012-2013 can be found here

    The bus schedule can be found here

    News on the New Franklin High School Project!

    Hello everyone,

    Hope you have had a great summer! Hard to believe it's "back-to-school" time in Franklin already.

    It's been five months since the March 27 vote to overwhelmingly approve financing for the construction of the new Franklin High School. The Franklin School Building Committee and the management and design team worked throughout the summer to prepare the project to go out to bid on August 10.

    In just one month, those bids will be open and, shortly after that, construction is scheduled to begin!

    To keep the community up to date on the latest developments on the construction of the new FHS, the web site used during the campaign has been re-tooled to provide new information and new pictures on a regular basis. The web address is the same:, but you'll find summaries of new information right on the home page and elsewhere on the site. Please take the time to visit

    The web site will be updated weekly as developments warrant. If folks have questions about the new FHS project, visit the "Ask Us" page of the web site or send questions and comments by e-mail at the Please be patient. Remember, this is a volunteer effort. Inquiries will be answered as soon as possible.

    Another great way to keep in touch with the latest developments on the new FHS is through the NEW community Facebook page created for the construction phase of the project. You can "like" and follow the page at Remember, this is a NEW Facebook address. The page created during the campaign is being phased out. More than 400 people have "liked" the Facebook page since it was launched on Saturday.

    There are no plans at this time to send out weekly emails with project updates. The web site ( and the Facebook page ( will be the chief ways to stay informed, as well as through news generated by the Building Committee, the Franklin School Committee, the Town Council, the Franklin High PCC and others school PCCs in town.

    Every effort will be made to secure coverage of the progress toward the new FHS in the Milford Daily News and the Country Gazette, but the best way to stay on top of important project developments – including how construction will be phased and new renderings of key interior features – will be through the new FHS web site and Facebook page.

    Thank you again for your interest and support!

    Ed Cafasso
    On Behalf of the Franklin School Building Committee