Saturday, December 29, 2012

Annual Report 2012: Zoning Board of Appeals

The Zoning Board of Appeals currently consists of three (3) members and one (1) associate member appointed by the Town Administrator, subject to the confirmation by the Town Council, for terms of such length and so arranged that the term of one member shall expire each year. There are currently two (2) openings for an associate member.

The Board of Appeals holds Public Hearings, as advertised, for Variance(s), Special Permits (including gravel removal), Findings and Chapter 40B applications. The Board also renders determinations on land use and zoning issues. All necessary forms and applications may be obtained through the Building Inspection Department and via Board of Appeals website at

The Zoning Board of Appeals meets in Town Council Chambers at the Franklin Municipal Building on Thursday evenings usually twice a month, at 7:30pm. The calendar may be viewed via website at All meetings are open to the public.

The Board has been very active this fiscal year and the following agenda is a list of all applications filed, indexed and recorded with the Town Clerk.

Respectfully submitted,

Franklin Zoning Board of Appeals (Member Since)

Bruce Hunchard, Chairman (1991)
Robert Acevedo, Vice Chairman (2003)
Timothy Twardowski, Clerk (2010)
Philip Brunelli, Associate Member (2009)
Barbara Curran Administrative Secretary

From the Town clerk page on annual reports. This comes from the 2012 report

Registration: Y World of Tots Preschool

Registration for the Hockomock Area YMCA’s Y World of Tots Preschool at the Bernon Family Branch in Franklin begins Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 1 p.m.

The preschool is designed to provide a positive learning environment for children aged 2.9 to 5 years. The school is holding an open house for parents on Jan. 16 from 1-2:30 p.m. and provides an opportunity to view the classroom environment, meet the staff, and learn about the program’s philosophy.

“Our program offers a preschool experience where children learn, thrive, and explore. We look forward to meeting and welcoming new students for the 2013-2014 school year. Preschool is a great opportunity to introduce young children to a lifetime of learning,” said teacher Lisa Peters. The preschool program offers two, three, and five-day options for both morning or extended day options. The Y World of Tots is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Social, motor, and academic development is promoted through fun hands-on learning activities in science, math, language, listening and verbal skills. Enrichment activities are included in the curriculum and is an added benefit as the school is located inside a full facility YMCA. Activities include gymnastics, swimming & sports classes. Nutrition education is also included.

The program is run by intensively screened and trained caring, licensed staff.

For more information contact Deborah Ela or Lisa Peters at 774-235-2725 or

Friday, December 28, 2012

Annual Report 2012: Town Attorney

The Town has an in-house attorney, Mark G. Cerel. Attorney Cerel has an office in the Town Administration offices and works three days a week. In addition, he attends regular Council sessions and meetings of town boards and commissions on an as-needed basis. His responsibilities include providing legal advice to
the Town Administrator and other town officials, review and drafting of legal documents, and representation of the town in negotiations and litigation other than labor-related matters. Having an in-house attorney has enabled town officials to obtain prompt legal review and advice; it has also expedited various town projects which require legal input.

During the past year, Attorney Cerel has continued to be successful not only in resolving actual litigation but also in resolving disputes prior to litigation on terms favorable to the Town; he has also continued to draft proposed legislation and to be involved in contract and real estate negotiations. In addition, he has continued to work with the staff to review and update the Town's zoning and general bylaws.

An in-house attorney plays an essential role in limiting the town’s legal exposure. He assists in resolving matters before they result in legal action and he provides the town with a strong legal presence that  discourages people from filing frivolous lawsuits.

The Town Attorney represents the town and is only available to consult with individual residents if the Town Administrator’s prior approval is obtained.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Cerel
Town Attorney

From the Town clerk page on annual reports. This comes from the 2012 report

Congressman McGovern: Office Closings due to redistricting

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December 27, 2012

US Congressman Jim McGovern, Representing the Massachusetts   Third Congressional District
Dear friends,
I have thoroughly enjoyed representing the 3rd Congressional District, and am sad to be saying goodbye to many longtime friends and constituents due to redistricting that will now have me representing the "new" 2nd Congressional District.

I know that Representatives Keating, Kennedy, Markey, and Tsongas will do a superb job, and I look forward to working with them closely on the local issues that have mattered so much to me for the past 16 years.

My Attleboro, Fall River, and Marlborough offices stopped accepting new casework as of December 21, 2012, and will officially close as of December 31, 2012, due to redistricting.

In an effort to assure continuity of representation, relevant casework and information will be transferred to the new Congressional offices representing each affected community as of January 3, 2012.

Residents in Clinton and Marlborough will now be in the 3rd Congressional District. Inquiries should be directed to Congresswoman Niki Tsongas.
Lowell, MA Office
11 Kearney Square, 3rd Floor
Lowell, MA 01852
Phone: (978) 459-0101]

Residents in Attleboro, Fall River*, Franklin, Hopkinton, Medway, North Attleboro, Plainville, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Wrentham will now be in the 4th Congressional District, and will be able to contact Congressman Joe Kennedy III after January 3rd. In the meantime, inquiries should be directed to Senator John Kerry.
Boston, MA Office
One Bowdoin Square, 10th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617.565.8519

Some residents of Fall River will now be in the 9th Congressional District. Inquiries should be directed to Congressman William Keating.
Quincy, MA Office
1250 Hancock Street, Suite 802N
Quincy, MA 02169
Phone: 617.770.3700

Residents in Ashland, Holliston, and Southborough will now be in the 5th Congressional District. Inquiries should be directed to Congressman Ed Markey.
Framingham, MA Office
188 Concord Street, Suite 102
Framingham, MA 01702
Phone: 508-875-2900

Thank you for all of your friendship and support over the years,

Congressman Jim McGovern
Contact Information
Washington D.C. Office
438 Cannon HOB | Washington, DC 20515 | Phone: (202) 225-6101 | Fax: (202) 225-5759
District Offices:
34 Mechanic Street
Worcester, MA 01608
Phone: (508) 831-7356
Fax: (508) 754-0982
255 Main Street
Room 104
Marlborough, MA 01752
Phone: (508) 460-9292
Fax: (508) 460-6869
8 North Main Street
Suite 200
Attleboro, MA 02703
Phone: (508) 431-8025
Fax: (508) 431-8017
371 S. Main Street
Suite 102
Fall River, MA 02721
Phone: (508) 677-0140
Fax: (508) 677-0992

Ring in the New Year at 3

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Great Specials All Weekend Long!

Ring in 2013 (Fri. Dec 28- Mon. Dec. 31) with New Year's Eve dinner at 3. We will feature our regular dinner menu as well as some delicious specials from Chef Chad including slow roasted prime rib, striped bass and a Land and Sea special with grilled filet mignon and crab stuffed shrimp! Plus, enjoy a complimentary champagne toast at midnight!
3 is the place to be this New Year's Eve!
Join us for an unforgettable evening of great food,
comedy and music! Our comic headliner for the evening is the hilarious
Rick Beretta.  He will be joined by two other comedians for a hysterical
night as we ring in 2013!

Then, join us downstairs for live music, favors and a complimentary
champagne toast at midnight!

December 31st at 8pm. Cost is $75 per person and includes
appetizers, dinner buffet, dessert, comedy, tax and gratuity (cash bar).
Reservations are limited so call today - 508.528.6333.
3 logo new 
3, 461 W. Central Street Franklin, MA 02038 508.528.6333

Visit our other Let's Eat, Inc. restaurant in Norwood: SKY

This email was sent to  by |  
Let's Eat, Inc. | 461 Central Street | Franklin | MA | 02038

Franklin police: Man stole jewelry, clothes from parents' house

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Matt Tota/Daily News Staff on 12/27/12

After ascending a ladder, a Franklin man on Wednesday broke into his parents' Oak Street home and then stole jewelry and clothing, authorities allege.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Annual Report 2012: Town Administrator

Each year we try to improve the quality of life for our citizens. During tough economic times we have to scale back our goals but we all remain committed to customer service and high ethical standards.

We continue to live within our means. This year we passed a budget with no layoffs for the first time in several years. There will be challenges in coming years, but we will continue to meet those challenges the only way we know how, head on and with our goal of providing the best service we can.

So, what have we done this year?

Downtown Improvements to Emmons, Ray, Dean, and Depot Street Parking Lot, funded by a $1,000,000 PWED Grant, were completed this past fall.

Franklin has its own dog park thanks to the ingenuity of 13 year old Hayley Goulet and her Cap Stone Project for school. Hayley had help from the Franklin DPW, Random Smile Projects, friends and relatives and many donors to get the project done but the final home is at Dacey field on Lincoln street and is a great asset to the Town of Franklin and a very busy place.

The Solid Waste and Single Stream Recycling System continues to be a huge success. In fact this year we reduced the curbside collection fee from $220 to $204 for a 65 gallon container and added the option of using a smaller 35 gallon container and paid off the Totters three years ahead of schedule.

I was proud to appoint Stephan H. Semerjian to serve as Police Chief of the Town of Franklin. Stephan was the Town’s former Deputy Chief and a lifelong resident of Franklin.

On the economic development front, our Planning and Community Development Department held its 2nd Economic Development Summit titled “Business Expansion and Retention through Workforce Development”
Hosted by Tegra Medical.

We also sought to spur economic activity by declaring “Biotechnology Uses Overlay Zoning Districts” in the Pond St. Grove Street and Financial Way Areas. These are areas where certain businesses will be encouraged and will be allowed “by right” and therefore entitled to a speedier permitting process.

We continue to review our Town Bylaws to ensure they are fair and reasonable while protecting the interest of all of our citizens.

The Town Council voted funds to make repairs to Dams 3 and 4 at the DelCarte Property. Staff is working on submitting a grant application for the property that the house sat on for a recreation park.

With help from our citizens we formed a Master Plan Committee to explore the current Master Plan last adopted in 1997 and to develop an action plan for future development and to come up with goals and objectives for the Town Council and the Planning Board as we face a different future in 2013 and beyond and to identify the key issues that the Town will be facing.

The Town Council voted to transfer the responsibility of Public Access Cable TV to a Cable Access Corporations formed by a group of volunteers. We can look forward to expanded services in the near future.

Probably most important of all, the citizens voted to approve a Debt Exclusion for a new model high school in March of 2012. This came after hours and hours, months, and months of work from the School Building Committee, the School Committee, the Town Council and many, many volunteers who took the time to get the word out to educate the public and anyone who would listen on the merits of the project. Congratulations to all involved.

As always I want to thank the employees of the Town of Franklin, it is my pleasure to come to work every day with such dedicated and hard working people who do their best for the citizens of Franklin.

It is my pleasure to submit my annual report for your review, and please feel free to write, e-mail, or stop by with any questions, concerns, or comments.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeff Nutting
Town Administrator

from the Town Clerk Annual Report page, this comes from the 2012 Annual Report

"I made a commitment to serve the town"

The question on whether Jeff Roy would continue on the Town Council once he is sworn in for the 10th Norfolk seat has been answered. He will remain to serve in both positions at least to finish out his Town Council term. The Council term expires in November 2013.
A resignation from Roy would have triggered a special election. 
"I think it will give me greater insight into what the community needs," he said, adding that he intends to develop an equally close relationship with officials in Medway, the other town in the 10th Norfolk District. 
Council Chairman Robert Vallee said Wednesday that Roy made the right decision because "having a new election would cost the town money, and there’s no need for it." 
"(Roy) can bring the problems that we might have locally to the House," Vallee said. "It’s a plus-plus."

Read more:

Franklin Library: Family Story Time & Craft

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 12/26/12

Things you can do from here:

10 Tax Gifts from the DOR

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Revenue by Ann Dufresne-DOR Communications Director on 12/26/12

1.     Unclaimed Refund List
The DOR has millions of dollars in refunds that have been returned to the agency and are waiting to be claimed. See if your name is on the list at DOR's Unclaimed Refund List.
 2.     Veterans and Surviving Spouses Exemption
Qualified veterans and surviving spouses may be eligible for a property tax exemption up to the full tax bill from their local Board of Assessors. Check the Veterans Property Tax Brochure to see if you qualify.
 3.     Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit
Residents who are 65 and over before January 1, 2013 may be eligible to claim a refundable senior "Circuit Breaker" tax credit up to $1,000 against their personal income taxes for the rent or real estate taxes they paid on their principal residence. See Circuit Breaker Information for eligibility criteria. There are also provisions for claiming the credit for prior years.
 4.     Turnpike Fuel Excise Refund
Any motorist or commercial motor carrier who buys gasoline or special fuels in Massachusetts and travels on the MassPike can apply for a refund of the 21-cent a gallon excise tax. Now that gas prices are dropping, more commuters might benefit from this program. For details and forms go to Turnpike Refund Guide.
 5.     Credit for Taxes Paid to Rhode Island
Massachusetts residents working in Rhode Island can claim a credit against their Massachusetts personal income tax for mandatory payments to Rhode Island under that state's Temporary Disability Insurance Act. See DOR Directive 12-1 for more information.
 6.     Rental Deduction
You may be entitled to a rental deduction equal to one half of the rent you paid during the calendar year up to $3,000 for your principal residence in MA. See the Rent Deduction  for details.
 7.     Commuter Deduction
Commuting costs such as tolls paid through an EZPass account or for weekly or monthly transit commuter passes for MBTA transit, bus commuter rail and commuter boat may be deductible. See the Commuter Deduction  for details.
 8.     Deduction for FICA and Government Retirement System Contributions
Contributions up to $2,000 paid to Social Security (FICA), Medicare, Railroad and U.S. or MA Retirement Systems may be claimed as a deduction on your state income tax return.  Government employees who are not covered by the Social Security system often forget to add the amount contributed to U.S. or MA Retirement Systems to their Medicare contributions in calculating this deduction.
 9.     Child and Dependent Care  Expenses
Massachusetts law allows taxpayers to exceed the federal limit on employment-related expenses for the care of a qualified child under the age of 13, a disabled dependent or a disabled spouse.
The maximum deduction is $4,800 for one qualifying individual and $9,600 for two or more.
10.  Earned Income Credit
Massachusetts taxpayers who qualify for and claim the federal earned income credit are allowed a state refundable credit equal to 15% of the federal amount.
 There are a number of other exemptions and credits Massachusetts taxpayers may be able to claim on their state tax return. Why not join 96% of Massachusetts taxpayers and file electronically?  Try DOR's WebFile for Income.  It's free and fool-proof. The software program won't let you make a mistake like forgetting to sign your name or attach a schedule and you get your refund quicker than filing paper forms.  If you choose direct deposit, your refund will be even faster. 
 And after you file, you can download DOR's Mobile App on your iPhone or Android smartphone to track your refund.

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"the fire inside was not fully extinguished"

Having the proper tool often makes the job much easier. In this case, having the proper tool allowed the firefighters to get at the fire without taking down the whole wall.
McCarraher said that when firefighters arrived, they could only see smoke because the fire itself was fragmented and hidden inside the wall. So they used a thermal imaging camera to locate any hot spots. 
Such cameras allow firefighters to see clumps of heat through darkness and smoke by capturing infrared radiation. 
Once the firefighters pinpointed the pockets of heat, they broke through the wall to put the flames out, McCarraher said.

Read more:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Annual Report 2012: Franklin Town Council

On behalf of the Franklin Town Council, it is my pleasure to submit our annual report to the Citizens of Franklin for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

We ended the year on a positive note and passed a balanced budget that included no layoffs for the first time in several years. In March the Citizens approved a Debt Exclusion vote for a new model High School.

We have had a busy year and accomplished a lot with help from you, the citizens.

The Long Range Financial Planning Committee has submitted their final report that was accepted by the Council. The Recycling Committee gave their final report to the Council in June and gave the Town good marks for their recycling efforts. The Council thanks both of these hard working committees for their volunteer efforts.

The Franklin Garden Club works hard to keep the Common and the downtown looking spectacular and the Concerts on the Common Committee brings you phenomenal entertainment on Wednesday nights during the summer months. These two committees work tirelessly for no recognition. The Council thanks them for their efforts.

This year the Council created the Master Plan Committee to look at the Master Plan that was last adopted in 1997. This new Master Plan Committee has been given 18 months to develop an action plan of goals and objectives for the Planning Board and Town Council and identify key issues with an eye towards Franklin’s future.

Also created was the Citizens Committee to provide valuable input to the Council on issues such as improving the quality of life of Franklin’s citizens, improving citizen participation, evaluating the permitting process and business development as a revenue stream.

The Council adopted Remote Participation as they explored ways to remain ever vigilant to represent the citizens while individuals were out of town. Remote Participation allows a Councilor who is out of town to phone into a council meeting and participate via a dedicated line. The Councilor can speak and be heard and
hear as if they were in the room. It is limited to one member per meeting. It has been used a number of times and has worked well.

As you can see, Franklin’s government relies heavily on its volunteers. Franklin is your town and this is your government, it needs your input whether serving on a committee, weeding a garden, planning a concert, or serving in an elected position.

In closing, you can be assured that you have dedicated, competent, and professional individuals working and volunteering their time on your behalf.

I want to thank our Town Administrator, Jeff Nutting, for his dedication and service and all of the Town employees who go to work every day and help to make this community a great place to live and work.

On behalf of my fellow councilors, Andy Bissanti, Bob Dellorco, Glenn Jones, Matt Kelly, Tom Mercer, Judy Pfeffer, Tina Powderly, and Jeff Roy, I want to thank you for the opportunity you have given us to serve this great community.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Vallee
Chairman, Franklin Town Council

From the Town clerk page on annual reports. This comes from the 2012 report

Voice of Franklin: Where is the Presumption of Innocence for Annie Dookhan?

Inquiring minds are asking: Why is a longtime civil libertarian like myself defending Annie Dookhan, a state chemist accused by the Boston Globe of cavorting with state prosecutors who build their careers on the backs of nonviolent drug defendants in the racist war on drugs? Answer: I am not defending anyone. Rather, I am defending things; namely western jurisprudence and its central pillar, the presumption of innocence.

The recent furor over Dookhan's loosened curfew demonstrates that she has already been found guilty in the media, long before her side of the story has been aired in a public trial. Too many observers seem eager to jump ahead in this case to the punishment phase. But let us remember that everything we have been told so far about Annie Dookhan, including the idea that she "admitted to the allegations," has been the product of her government accusers and of shockingly biased media coverage. There is a major difference between an accused person admitting to a set of allegations and her state accusers claiming she's admitted to them -- particularly when, as in this case, several of those accusing Dookhan stand to benefit personally if their version of events is to be believed.

It is ironic that those condemning Dookhan are essentially doing to her what so many are claiming she did to drug defendants: presume guilt and unjustly convict. Perhaps Annie's pre-judgers would prefer she be shipped off to G'tmo for a quick waterboarded confession so we can get this case over with already. But that is not how true justice works.

If by some miracle it is still possible for Annie Dookhan to receive a fair trial, and if she is legitimately found guilty, then she will of course deserve to be punished. For now let us be careful to remember that she is entitled to the same presumption of innocence that we all would hope for ourselves or our loved ones if we are ever accused of a crime.

Rich Aucoin

Tri-County Children's Center holds Holiday Traditions celebration


Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:


via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Mike Gleason/Daily News staff on 12/25/12

467319 MA_MD_Traditions#2.jpg

The Tri-County Children's center held their annual celebration of Holiday Traditions for families of preschoolers on Tuesday, Dec. 18. The event is planned and hosted by Tri-County's Early Childhood Careers students and invites family members of preschoolers to bring a holiday dish that is traditional to them to share with the class. During the celebration, families are also given a gingerbread house to decorate and take home.


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Monday, December 24, 2012

Franklin Calendar for 2013

Christmas Eve
the elf on the shelf is ready
the children are ready

will Christmas be white? time will tell

Consider getting a calendar for the 2013

Available at the Franklin Art Center, the calendar depicts some views of Franklin each month. An artist chose a medium (watercolor, photography, etc.) to show a familiar or a good view of Franklin that you may not have seen before.

Several months provide information on the importance of a particular date for that month in the history of Franklin. Proceeds from the sale of the calendar go to the Franklin Historical Commission which operates the Franklin Historical Museum.

Note: the calendars were printed in error to say "Society," they should say "Commission"

In the News: pitching clinic, open house

Last day to sign up for this clinic!

Franklin Girls Softball slates annual pitching clinic, sign up by Dec. 24

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Markham Nolan: How to separate fact and fiction online

The difference between fact and fiction is more than in the eye of the beholder. Yes, that is a mixed metaphor. Maybe it caught your attention. Maybe it turned you off. As a citizen journalist, the difference between fact and fiction is so important.

"Truth is emotional, it's fluid, and above all, it's human. No matter how quick we get with computers, no matter how much information we have, you'll never be able to remove the human from the truth-seeking exercise.” (Markham Nolan)

You can watch Markham in this TEDTalk. About 15 minutes.

What is ALiCE?

The newspaper has an article on the current safety protocol "freeze" and a recent alternative called ALiCE which stands for "alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate."
Several members of the Franklin Police Department work in the schools, though not as full-time school resource officers. 
Franklin Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski said two officers were able to attend the ALiCE training for free since it was hosted in town. 
However, she said ALiCE has not been implemented since protocol changes require "a lot of coordination’’ among the schools, emergency departments and surrounding towns that would likely be called in if a violent intruder entered a school. 
Police departments that have ALiCE trainers on staff include Framingham, Hudson, Franklin, Hopedale, Natick and Wellesley, according to Response Option’s website.

Read more: Schools explore new armed-intruder protocol - Franklin, MA - Wicked Local Franklin

More about ALiCE can be found on the Response Options website