Saturday, September 8, 2012

Padula says "Thank you"

Dear Friends: 
I want to thank all of the voters of Franklin and Medway who supported my candidacy for State Representative. 
Although we fell short in the primary election, we worked hard and listened and learned from the voters of both towns. 
I particularly want to thank all of those, including so many friends and family, who volunteered and gave tirelessly of their time and energy in support of my campaign. 
Our state and region continue to face tough challenges, and although unsuccessful in this race, I will continue working to help meet those challenges. I hope that this campaign has made a positive contribution to the future of our communities and the Commonwealth. 
Thank you so much. 
Peter Padula 
(508) 528-8811

Boston Magazine says spending more is a big deal!

The Boston Magazine has just published its Top 50 high schools inside the i495 beltway around Boston. Franklin did NOT make this listing and as I looked at the data, I began to wonder why.

I made a copy of the Top 50 and then added Franklin to work with a listing of 51 schools. When you look at the data this way, Franklin compares very well.

  • When looking at the enrollment, only 8 high schools are larger!
  • When sorting by Student-Teacher ratio, only 7 schools have a greater ratio that Franklin
  • When looking at the graduation rate, Franklin ties with Cohasset and still beats 11 other schools
  • When looking at the MCAS English scores, Franklin ties with 9 schools and beats 7 more
  • When looking at the MCAS Science scores, Franklin ties with Hingham and Marblehead and beats 25 more!
  • When looking at the Avg SAT Reading scores, Franklin beats 7 schools
  • When looking at the Avg SAT Writing scores, Franklin ties with Pentucket, Ashland and Lynnfield and beats 8 more
  • When looking at the Avg SAT Math scores, Franklin beat 15 other schools
  • When looking at the Percent AP Proficiency scores, Franklin beat 15 other schools
  • When looking at the # of AP Classes offered, only Boston Latin beat Franklin!
  • When looking at the # of varsity sports offered, Franklin ties with Concord-Carlisle and Cohasset and still beat 21 other schools
  • When looking at the # of clubs offered, Franklin tied with Norwell and still beat 19 other schools
So the weighting of some of the data had to be the cause for Franklin not to be in this Top50. There were two categories where Franklin did not do so well:
  • When looking at the MCAS Math scores, Franklin beats 4 schools
  • When looking at the percent going to college, Franklin ties with Cohasset and Reading and beats one other school (Ashland)

Why were the MCAS Math scores apparently weighted more than the Avg SAT Math scores?

Why was the percent going to college weighed so high? Isn't high school supposed to prepare you for life?

I think the real driver behind why Franklin is not on this listing has to do with money. Only Georgetown spends less than Franklin on this listing of the Top50! I believe that if the weighting on the per pupil expenditures was considered differently, that is spending less would actually be better than spending more, Franklin would have made this listing!

The Milford Daily News article is here:

The Boston Magazine listing is here:

My copy of 51 schools can be found here:

60 million reasons to check this site

The webpage to check to see if your name is on it is:

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 9/7/12

Dollar sign

Time to check the treasurer's unclaimed money list. It totals $60 million, including 11 accounts over $100,000, 23 accounts between $50,000 and $100,000, 434 accounts between $10,000 and $50,000 and 10,795 accounts in excess of $1,000.

Things you can do from here:

Second Case of EEE Confirmed in Massachusetts

September 7, 2012

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that a second human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been confirmed.

EEE is spread to humans through a bite from an infected mosquito and is a serious and potentially fatal disease in patients of all ages.

In this recent case, a male resident from the MetroWest area of Worcester County in his 70s was admitted to the hospital in early August and died several days later. The diagnosis was not confirmed until an autopsy was completed and officials estimate that he was exposed to EEE during the first week of August. This is the first confirmed death from EEE in Massachusetts this year.

Since the investigation is still ongoing, this announcement does not immediately impact EEE threat levels in the MetroWest region but you can still protect yourselves and your loved ones by following these important tips:

Avoid Mosquito Bites

Apply Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under 2 months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years of age.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.

Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wearing long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.

Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Protect Your Animals
Animal owners should replace potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horses should be kept in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Owners should also speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents approved for use in animals and vaccinations to prevent EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV), another mosquito-borne illness.

If an animal is diagnosed with EEE or WNV, owners are required to report to the Division of Animal Health by calling (617) 626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health by calling (617) 983-6800.

For more information, please visit or call the Department of Public Health at (617) 983-6800.

Enjoy your weekend and stay safe!


Karen E. Spilka
2nd Middlesex and Norfolk

Office of State Senator Karen E. Spilka
Room 511-C, State House
Boston, Massachusetts  02133

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Roy, Eustis, Kennedy, Bielat win primary elections

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Matt Tota and Jessica Trufant/Daily News staff on 9/6/12

339955 MA_MD_election1.jpg
Democrat Jeffrey N. Roy and Republican Richard A. Eustis in November will square off for the 10th Norfolk District state representative seat after winning their parties' nominations during Thursday's primary election.

Things you can do from here:

Franklin SEPAC to host special back-to-school program

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Wicked Local Franklin News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 9/6/12

The Franklin Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) invites the public to attend "Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid! A Special Presentation for Imperfect Parents of Special Children" on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 7 p.m.

Things you can do from here:

Taste of the Region: Oct 23, 2012


Sample the variety of delicacies offered from around the region at The United Regional Chamber of Commerce's annual Taste of the Region event. This fun-filled food festival features an eclectic mix of restaurants serving a variety of dishes. Enjoy wonderful music and bid on exciting items in a silent auction. 
The Taste of the Region is Tues., Oct. 23 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Tri-County Regional Vocational High School, 147 Pond St., Franklin. Tickets are available at The United Regional Chamber of Commerce offices in Attleboro (40 Union St.) and Franklin (4 West St.). Tickets cost $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Call 508-528-2800, 508-222-0801 or 508-695-6011 for more information.

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, business support organization serving the communities of Attleboro, Bellingham, Blackstone, Foxborough, Franklin, Mansfield, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Norton, Plainville, Rehoboth, Seekonk and Wrentham.

Fall Yard Waste - November Pickup Scheduled

Curbside Fall Yard Waste pickup will be the week of November 5th and the week of November 26th on your normal trash and recycling day. All yard waste must be in compostable bags, open barrels or bundled with compostable twine no longer than 4 feet in length and 18 inches in diameter. Additional yard waste can be brought to the Beaver Street Recycling Center.

Originally posted to the Franklin webpage here

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Franklin, MA: State Primary Results

The official results as provided by Franklin Town Clerk Deborah Pellegri for the MA State Primary held on Thursday, Sep 6, 2012

Page 1 - Democratic Party results

Page 2 - Republican Party results

Page 3 - Green Rainbow Party results

Voters to decide races today

The polls open at 6:00 AM at the high school field house in Franklin and close at 8:00 PM

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Matt Tota/Daily News staff on 9/5/12

476633 MA_MD_candidates2.jpg
For months now, candidates across the region have campaigned, pitching themselves to likely voters in neighborhoods and at events, with the goal of getting past today's primaries and emerging as the sole representative of their party.  The area has been a battleground for two hotly contested races — the 4th Congressional seat and the 10th Norfolk District State House seat.

Things you can do from here:

2013 Ford Escape Hunger Drive

The Franklin Ford dealership is looking to help the Franklin Food Pantry as well as Feeding America with a program they are calling "2013 Ford Escape Hunger Drive".

For every test drive of a new 2013 Ford Escape on Saturday, Sep 8th from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM, Franklin Ford will make a contribution to Feeding America that will provide 40 meals. Donations to the Franklin Food Pantry will be accepted at Franklin Ford.

2013 Ford Escape Hunger Drive

A test drive will

  • gain a donation from Ford to provide 40 meals
  • get an entry to win a 2013 Ford Escape

When you go for a test drive, you can drop off a donation for the Franklin Food Pantry!

Franklin's roads need regular maintenance

This topic was scheduled for the Town Council meeting on Wednesday night yet this article mentions that the report will be given to the "Town Councilors on Thursday". So was it previewed as scheduled at the meeting and then a copy will be sent to the Councilors? Not clear.

What is clear is that the roads do need more maintenance than has been spent on them. This has been recognized in the Long Range Financial Planning Committee's report and mentioned regularly by the Town Administrator and DPW Director.

DPW Director Robert Cantoreggi said it is cheaper to maintain roads in fair or good condition than to deal with ones requiring extensive rehabilitation. His plan would prioritize maintenance so that certain roads are kept in good condition and never allowed to deteriorate. 
The life cycle of a road is about 25 years, though it can be prolonged. As it ages, the road becomes costlier and costlier to rejuvenate. 
"We want to use the most cost-effective maintenance program at the right time," Cantoreggi said.
The report prepared by an outside firm gives Wachusett St, recently rebuilt, a rating of 99. So to help frame the discussion, if this road was recently rebuilt and it only gets a 99, what is holding it back from getting a 100?

Read more:

For reference the Long Range Report can be found here

Water restrictions come to an end - Monday, Sep 10


Originally posted to the Franklin webpage here

September Parent Support Group

Kristen Leigh Parker posted on Franklin Matters's Wall
"September Parent Support Group:

Parent-To-Parent Support Group:

Please join us for our next informal Parent to Parent Meeting on
Tuesday, September 18th at 9:30 am and Wednesday, September 26th at
6:30 pm. These laid back support programs are held every month at the
Panera in Franklin. If you have any questions regarding the support
group please contact us.

It is our hope that these meetings will provide a comfortable setting
for Parents/Guardians to share, learn and exchange information. We
feel this will prove beneficial not only to our children with
disabilities, but to our families, educators and all students in the
community. If you have questions or concerns about special education
and your child and you are not sure where to start, feel free to join
us. If you have been trying to navigate the system on your own and
just need some support, we are here!"
View Post

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Franklin Downtown Partnership: General Meeting - Thursday 9/6/12

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Downtown Partnership by (Terri Frank) on 9/4/12

Franklin Downtown Partnership General Meeting Agenda
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Dean College Campus Center @ 8:30 a.m.
Golder Room

I.     Open Meeting

II.    Adoption of Agenda

III.   Introductions

IV.  Report from Executive Director
       a.  Membership and Sponsorship Updates

V.   Report from Harvest Festival Chairs Mary Graff and Jeanne Sherlock
       a.  Booths and Entertainment Update
       b.  Volunteer Sign-Up

VI.  Downtown Updates -- Jeff Nutting
       a.  Post Office Parking
       b.  Clean-up Projects Downtown
            1.  Post office, street cleaning, tree trimming, etc.
       c.  Streetscape Update
       d.  Meter Discussion -- Ideas and Options

VII.  Networking -- Joel Carrara

VIII. Business Updates

IX.   New Business

X.    Adjourn

Next FDP General Meeting will be Thursday, November 1

Things you can do from here:

Campaign donations

An article from the MetroWest Daily News last week that flew under the radar mentions the campaign funds for the 10th Norfolk District seat up for election. Thanks to an eagle eyed reader for finding it.
A five-way battle in Franklin to fill the 10th Norfolk seat, which Rep. James Vallee abruptly vacated in June, has raised the most money of any MetroWest or Milford area House race. 
The five candidates so far have raised $69,000 total, according to the state campaign finance website, which lists information on fundraising. 
Franklin Democrat Peter Padula has the most, $23,000. Republican Richard Eustis has the least, $5,800.

Read more:

In the News: 4th Congrsesional, zentangle classes, active older adults

4th Congressional candidates making final push

Zentangle classes offered in Franklin

Vote Reminder - Thursday, Sep 6

Hello.  This Thursday, September 6th, is Primary Election Day in Massachusetts.  The polls are open from 6am until 8pm, at the High School on Oak Street.  Please consider exercising your right to vote.

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.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Photo essay: Community Gardens' growing!

I stopped for some photos as I ran by the Community Garden at the King St Memorial Field on Sunday morning. It is quite impressive to see so much goodness growing in the garden beds.

Cherry tomatoes

Red 'hot' peppers

The garden was built with raised beds to allow for the produce to be grown without getting contaminated by whatever pesticides and fertilizers had been used on the fields over the years. Nature does what it does best in good conditions, it simply grows. And in this case, out from under one of the raised beds, this tomato plant is doing it's thing!

How does your garden grow?

Internships available

Six One Seven Studios is currently accepting internships for an upcoming project to be released in the fall of 2012. Please contact Bryan Roberts at Six One Seven Studios for more details.

Contact Details: Bryan Roberts at Six One Seven Studios
Phone 888-234-0405

Related post:

This appeared on my radar and was originally posted here

In the News: fishing trophy, women's club, audition workshop

Franklin teen reels in the big one

Monday, September 3, 2012

Parmenter: Modular update

The DPW was working on the grounds on Saturday, so I got up closer on Sunday morning to get these photos.

The unit connecting the modulars to the building itself was removed.

The units are now separated and ready to be moved.

Looks like they are now ready for the next train to pull in!

This stone is all in a roped off section.

Update: New Franklin High School

What has happened since the Franklin voters approved the debt exclusion for the new Franklin High School?
While it seems like nothing has been happening, the Building Committee has been quite busy. The paperwork was all completed so that the project could get out to bid which it did, on schedule. The bids are due this month.

What time line are we looking at now?
The construction will occur during three stages.
"Stage one begins on Oct. 12 and runs until the middle of June 2013. Phase two starts on Aug. 16, 2013, ending in the fall of 2014, as students move into their 306,543-square-foot school.
And the razing of the old building and planting of the new field gets under way shortly after, finishing up sometime in the spring of 2015."

How can I find out what is happening during these three stages?
"Since the project's earliest days, the School Building Committee has maintained an active social media campaign built around community awareness. This summer, committee member Ed Cafasso rolled out an updated website and Facebook page as part of the effort. 
"Social Media, especially Facebook, has been critical for a project like this, because so much of it is visual," Cafasso said. "It allows you to post pictures and renderings and share those easily. Based on what we saw during the early campaign, the Facebook page will be a valuable tool for keeping people in touch with all the latest developments over the next two years."

You can read more about the current status in the Milford Daily News:

You can view the updated webpage for the new Franklin High School here

or follow the progress on Facebook here

In the News: Class of '37, 4th Congressional

Lifelong friends remember Franklin High class of '37

"Regional equity with transportation funding"

The problem exists and the solution requires coordination and networking. The primary election on Thursday Sep 4th can help to provide Franklin with the voice in this effort.

The problem many see in the MetroWest I-495 corridor is the highways straddle the turf of two MPOs — the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Central Massachusetts Metropolitan Planning Organization — as well as two regional planning agencies, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission. 
"Their budgets are limited, which makes a project like the 495 interchange (difficult)," Denoncourt said, adding that it’s easier for MPOs to work on projects solely within their jurisdiction. 
Denoncourt and Westborough Town Planner Jim Robbins agreed the political boundaries also make things difficult. 
"When you drive from (I-)290 to the Mass. Pike via (I-)495, you drive through four congressional districts," Denoncourt said, which sometimes makes it tough to find a unified voice.

Read more:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Sep 5, 2012

July 18, 2012, Regular and Executive Session-to be released

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



Election Workers

Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-689: Amendment to Chapter 185 §5. Zoning Map – Single Family III to Business Zoning – 7:10 PM

99 Restaurant of Boston LLC, Inc – New Officer/Director…

Master Plan Committee

Director of Public Works

  • Roads
  • Fees


1. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-689: Amendment to Chapter 185 §5. Zoning Map – Single
Family III to Business Zoning – 1st Reading
2. Bylaw Amendment 12-686:  Amendment to Chapter 165, Transient Vendors- 2nd Reading
3. Bylaw Amendment 12-690: Amendment to Chapter 8, Council on Aging – 2nd Reading
4. Bylaw Amendment 12-691: Amendment to Chapter 75, Dogs – 2nd Reading





Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required


The associated documents for this agenda can be found on the Franklin website (PDF)

"this is kind of a balancing act"

What is a balancing act? Managing health care costs. Many communities are found not to be managing their health care costs aggressively. Franklin (and Medway) are singled out in this report by the Milford Daily News for having reduced their costs as much as the State program offered!
Among the Daily News' other findings, from reports to the state comparing existing local plans to GIC offerings and from the paper's survey of the most heavily subscribed municipal plans: 
n Two-thirds of cities and towns don't include deductibles in their plans or do so for just some of their offerings. Those that do have largely followed the GIC's lead of setting levels at $250 for individuals and $750 for families. In Medway, though, the amounts are $1,000 and $2,000, respectively. Hopkinton is also trying to get new employees on a plan with similar deductibles. 
n Medway is listed as having saved as much as the GIC, along with just one other town - Franklin
n Two-thirds of cities and towns carry plans that don't charge workers for high-tech scans, and several don't include co-pays for hospitalizations and outpatient surgeries.

There are additional finding in this report, you can read more here:

MDN Editorial: Primary candidates deserve voters

Yes, Thursday, September 6th - Primary Election day

The Milford Daily News has a recap of the candidates and positions up for this primary election

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Wicked Local Franklin Opinions RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 9/1/12

Massachusetts state primaries never seem to come at a convenient time. The early September scheduling disadvantages challengers, who have barely six weeks to campaign once they've captured their party's nomination.

Things you can do from here:

Two companies bidding to run the commuter rail system

For the Franklin commuters!

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Jeff Malachowski/Daily News staff on 9/1/12

Nearly a decade after acquiring the contract, officials with the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. say riders have benefited from improvements to service and infrastructure. Despite service upgrades the past 10 years, company Chairman Jim O'Leary said there is still more work that needs to be done for riders of the 13 rail lines.

Things you can do from here:

Road Alert: Grove St closed September 8 - 10

Grove Street will be closed from Route 140 to Forge Hill Road
Beginning at 1:00 AM Saturday September 8th until midday Monday September 10, 2012

This was originally posted to the Franklin webpage

West Nile Virus found in mosquitoes

In case you missed this MA MA Dept of Public Health alert:
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has informed the Franklin Health Department that West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected in Franklin on August 22, 2012. 
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 dusk and dawn. 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. 
The Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project has increased the frequency of vehicle-mounted spraying within the county, in an attempt to reduce mosquito populations.
Any resident wishing to have their property sprayed for mosquitoes may contact the Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project @ 781-762-3681. 
The Franklin Health Department and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will continue to closely monitor mosquito/virus activity in the county to ensure the residents are provided with up to date information. 
If residents have any questions, you may contact the Franklin Health Department office @ 508-520-4905.

David E. McKearney, R.S.
Public Health Director
Franklin Health Department