Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Live reporting - Town Council - special meeting

Copy of agenda doc to be added later - handed out as folks arrived in the 3rd Floor - Training Room

Intent of this is to do a workshop for a discussion on what changes, if any, would be desired for zoning.
A sign in sheet is being passed around. Maxine Kinhart taking the official meeting notes

Jeff Nutting provided an overview of the handout

Q - question on density consideration based upon upland acre vs. total acre
Ultimately, this is more than a quibble point for the Cooks Farm proposal as a starting point for discussion

Q - would the town consider some incentives for extra open space?
the current as right use is less dense than the proposal for Cooks Farm

Halligan - I thought we would be discussing Cooks Farm and nothing else. What I am hearing is this is bigger than that.

Cerel - you can zone for a specific proposal, you can zone for all. You can't do spot zoning.

Benedetto - Whatever you adopt the Town needs some flexibility.

Nutting  - the Council is not the permitting authority, the Planning Board

Kelly - question on when developments referenced were done and what they were developed as some number of years ago

Taberner - zoning residential district 6 was created in the 1980's

Padula - subdivision regulations came out to control growth in the town. A lot of land existed then. We needed housing in and around the center. Since then, we have tried to control growth.  I don't know how many houses we could put in this with zoning as I haven't seen the proposal. How are you going to handle sewerage for this project? Are we attempting to change the zoning for this one project? There are a number of unbuilt propety that can accommodate cluster or apartment zoning. Once you open this up, you are opening this to a number of homes in this town.

Pfeffer - what would be the spot zoning rule?
Cerel - it may not be a single property, the courts will look at this in the totality

Pfeffer - I thought we had a charge to go make this work? Am I hearing this is a proposal to not make it work?
Nutting - I disagree

Pfeffer - How would you make this work?
Nutting - You have to make this a zoning bylaw.
Pfeffer - Have you drafted the bylaw?
Nutting - No, once we have this agreed upon, when we have consensus, we can go and write it.

Cornetta - we have a proposal with a specific project, there are examples of bylaws on the state site, or elsewhere that I think we can all work with. it is not good for the town to create high density all over, but maybe an overlay district for specific areas, like the Cooks Farm proposal

Developer - It is a very popular proposal. I have nine residents interested in this if we build it. We have lots with the building lots identical. A density in Medfield over 6 units to an acre. About 2 if you do it on total acreage. The road widths don't work, that is pedestrian scale. It is 20 foot roadways and 18 foot back alleys. I didn't invent this, it is elsewhere, in Celebration. I haven't met the fire chief. He'd be able to fight a fire in this. These are condominium in that the land is owned in common but they are single family homes

Halligan - I am little thrown off guard here. I would be in favor the way it was proposed.

Nutting - I am hearing about the differences in the density calculation, I am hearing about the street width difference.

Halligan - I would like to see this go forward and see what this brings to the town. It is calculated to only bring in 2 kids.

Cerel - As I indicated at the Council meeting, when you get into land use planning there is a lot of overlapping rulings. Where are you starting from? A proposal from a particular developer and a charge to the staff to make it work. There are a lot of other things being through around and confusing the issues. This type of development is good for a downtown where you want to get traffic out and bring in pedestrian traffic. Mefield cobbled together several properties to make his space work. That is not what you have here. This plot is outside the town, not downtown.

Restating: This handout would apply to the 22 acre to apply to two properties to avoid the charge of spot zoning

Nutting - i don't think there is a big disparity about what we are discussing.

The bylaw was in place and the zoning was changes because it was not yet on the map

Powderly - what about Res 6 that does not permit this project?
Nutting - it is not relevant in this day and age, no proposal is going to come forward with 25% affordable

Powderly - is it fair to say that Res 6 is outdated?
Dahlstrom - there are more differences than just the affordable

Developer - Res 7, would apply to only 2 properties at this time. I would like to work with the Fire Chief to see how the streets would work for him

Padula - with a conventional subdivision how many would you get?
about 7

Halligan - this would have to be done with a special permit, otherwise it could be sold out and have 32 log cabins down there

Nutting - you are free to talk to the Fire Chief when he gets back from vacation.

Benedetto - what about control with a 40B?
Cerel - The state agency has guidelines for that and it is more than 12 units dense

Developer - I am not concerned about a special permit

Jones - How many of these type projects were on the outside of town? What would be the sustainability of the high value?

Developer - I am very good at establishing property that high value. We have a country club right next door. there is demand for this. There is an aging population and they want this.

Powderly - I don't think anyone has argued that this isn't a quality project, we need to do this when there is not a quality project before us. I want to make sure we are reversing a path the restriction on no new development, then we do it right so we don't end up with developing elsewhere in the wrong places. I found the Mashpee Commons very nice.

Developer - you have all that here already, you don't need to create Mashpee Commons here. You already have the town center. You need infield projects to help fill the void. They should help promote each other. That is why this project is going to be good. You will want to see this elsewhere once this is built.

Cheli - speaking to stopping development, we were concerned with school age development and 40b's. I don't think there was a mandate when I was on the council. I think we needed to be proactive to get the 40b 10% level.

Nutting - we did the permit change to allow the 55+ to avoid the children issue. We extended the moratorium to 2009 but then the market kind of took over and did it for us.

Cheli - mechanism were put in place to get sustainable development.

Developer - there is 17 M coming into this project with very little going out. The roads are owned by the residents.

Nutting -

Pfeffer - if we do this by special permit, do we still need to change the zoning?
Nutting - yes

Nutting - I think we can have this in the council in the first week of Sep

Roy - I actually came tonight to get some input from this for the Master Plan. I am hearing we can do this in the 2 parcels and not all around the town. I was trying to see how this fits in with the Master Plan.

Cerel - you can have special permits by zone, you don't need to have an overlay

Padula - how much did you say were the starting price?
Developer - 2 bedrooms, about $500,000

Nutting - we'll schedule a meeting with the Fire Chief and work on the draft revisions as discussed here. We should have something ready for the first Council meeting in Sep. It will get referred to the Planning Board, and when they act on it, it would come back to the Council for two readings before being voted on.

motion to adjourn, passed

Stop & Shop A+ BonusBucks rewards Franklin schools

Last year about at this time, I reported on the Stop & Shop A+ program and how much money had been earned by Franklin residents for their schools. I went to the A+ website to find the totals for the school year that just completed and the totals had already been removed in preparation for the new year. I opened a request for the information and received the detail via email.

Annie Sullivan and Oak St are two schools that lead the pack in raising money via this channel.

All the schools need to be re-registered for the coming school year. Anyone shopping at Stop & Shop will also need to sign up again to chose which schools their purchases will contribute for. In prior years, you were able to enroll for multiple schools. I expect it will be the same process for this year.

Good Afternoon,

                With the program gearing up for another year, the website has currently removed last year's info.  Starting August 1, schools will be able to go online to re-register for the upcoming year.  Below are the Franklin, MA area schools with their totals.

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School
201 Main Street

Thank you!

The A+ School Rewards Team
If you require further assistance, please contact us at 1-877-275-2758.  Have a Wonderful Day!!

After August September 1, you can register your Stop & Shop card for this program and one or more of the Franklin schools. You can use my step by step instructions

Concerts on the Common: 6:00 PM

This Wednesday, Concerts on the Common will present Frank Padula.

The children's program will begin at 6:00 and feature DJ Mike Rutkowski.

Concerts on the Common

There will be two more concerts in Aug (7th and 14th). The performers are listed here

"did raise questions and concerns"

The Milford Daily News reports on the Planning Board approval of a new downtown parking bylaw.
Most parking problems stem from people parking illegally in the Depot Street commuter rail lot and failing to put money in the parking meters. 
Primary parking structures may help alleviate the burden on business owners to provide parking for their customers. And, they may bring more customers into the downtown area. 
The next step in the bylaw’s approval process is for the Town Council to schedule two public readings of the bylaw. At these, the public will be allowed to comment on the proposed bylaw. 
Once both readings are complete, the council will close the public readings and take a vote.

Read more:

With the Town Council in a special workshop/meeting Wednesday night on zoning bylaws, this is likely to be one of the topics of discussion. The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 PM in the 3rd Floor Training Room at the Municipal Bldg. This location is not enabled for broadcast unless special arrangements are made so if you do want to participate, it would be necessary to be there in person.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Special Town Council meeting

There is a special Town Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, July 31, 2013. It will be held in the Municipal Bldg but in the 3rd Fl Training Room. Scheduled to start at 7:00 PM, I anticipate it could run at least until 8:30.

The meeting was mentioned as needed during the discussion on the proposal for Cook's Farm. In the closing of the Town Council meeting on Jul 17, Jeff Nutting confirmed that this would be used for the workshop on zoning bylaws.

Note: Unless special arrangements are made this location means that the meeting will not be available via the normal broadcast channels.

Curbside Chronicle

The July - September Curbside Chronicle was just posted to the Franklin website. You can read a copy here.

The original posting of this to the Franklin webpage can be found here

Franklin Library: Museum of Science - Science Magic

Summer Program: Museum of Science "Science Magic"

Science Magic

Franklin Public Library - 118 Main Street Franklin MA 02038 - 508.520.4940

Monday, July 29, 2013

Community Gardens - (photo essay)

The Franklin Community Gardens are located at the King St Memorial Park off King St in Franklin. I stopped by 2 weeks ago to take some photos to share. Yes, the 2 weeks has just flown on by.

Franklin Community Gardens

Abiding by the guidelines of the garden, I visited and left with photos and memories

I found zucchini

summer squash
I found summer squash

a full garden bed
Some garden beds were chock full of green growing plants!

acorn squash (if I recall correctly)
I found acorn squash

not sure what this is?
I wasn't able to identify this one but with the dew on it, the photo was too cool to pass up. Can someone help me identify what this is?

green beans
and green beans

It was a bee-utiful visit to the gardens. How is your garden growing?

This Week at Pour Richard's

ladies drinking wine
Never Drink Ordinary!

In This Issue

What We're Drinking....

Filadonna  Filadonna Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio is much-maligned. Honestly, most of the time the scorn is deserved. Not here. Northern vineyards, warm enough to ripen the grapes, and cool enough to retain some acid. Yields low enough to make a wine with some cojones. Peach, melon, citrus, and mineral. Crisp and cool. Everything you want to drink on a warm summer day!

Ron Diaz  
Ron Diaz Coconut Rum
What sets this apart from the leading National brand of coconut rum? It tastes like coconut, not sugar. Think coconut cream pie, coconut milk: rich and delicious but not cloyingly sweet. Try it this way:
1 oz Ron Diaz
1/2 oz triple sec 
dash of bitters
4 oz pineapple juice

FYI, this is also a LOT more cost effective than that national brand. We love that.

July 28, 2013
The Grape Crush (What Caught our Attention This Week)
Does a Bear Drink Vodka in the Woods? And if He Does, Why?
Bear Drinking Beer
Why do you drink what you drink? Well, there's always quality, which we try to keep first and foremost.  But we also have a firm belief in the 'story' behind a product. So we carry Hook & Ladder wines because we love the idea of Cecil DeLoach still crafting excellent Russian River Valley creations (even if someone else owns his name). And we love Tito's Vodka because it's an American-made-in Texas!-small-batch spirit. And we love the weird and nearly undecipherable stories behind the names of our Maine Beer Co brews. This is a significant part of how we do what we do; we tell the story.
Apparently, we have it all wrong. What we should be doing, according to a recent Atlantic article, is selling through anthropology. The 'done' thing in many companies -Absolut Vodka,for one example-is to hire an anthropologically trained ethnographer to do site studies of how people perceive your product. (What's an ethnographer? Someone who uses qualitative research to explain and quantify cultural phenomena.) Then you use this info to craft a marketing campaign for the product or products. Sounds complicated, and a tad invasive, too. Absolut hired ethnographers to attend home parties whose hosts had agreed to and were paid for the intrusion.
For me, the most interesting part of the article was the conclusion that the Absolut marketing team drew from their ethnographic data. Their customers were not very interested in the market positioning (6 times distilled! Very clean flavor! We have the best celebs in our ads!) No, they were interested in the story. Who are the people and the idea behind this bottle? And frequently, it was their own story that mattered most. Where was I when I first drank this? My graduation party? On vacation with family or friends? Some place that brings back great memories every time I taste this?
At the end of the day, I think smell, taste, memory, and sentiment will trump 'marketing' every time. We'll keep on telling the story.

Beer Journal

Sam Smith- an OLD favorite!
yorkshire square  
Sometimes, you don't want to mess with tradition. If tradition has given you overwhelming success, stick with it! In a nutshell. that's the philosophy behind Sam Smith's. They've been making beer(s) the exact same way for the last 250+ years.These may just be some of the best values in the store. 
The beers are fermented in 'Yorkshire Squares', solid slabs of granite with an open top. The result is a beer with more body and a great creamy head. We love love love the Oatmeal Stout, no matter the season, but then there's the Nut Brown, the Taddy Porter, Organic to choose? I particularly like their IPA, a balanced, British style. We may have to add it to the pouring table for IPA Day.

Yelp Us?
If you like what we're doing at Pour Richard's, please consider giving us a Yelp review. We have received wonderful word-of-mouth recommendations here in the Franklin area, and Yelp is a great way to  increase our visibility beyond this area. Thank you for your continued support of local business.

This week's Monday Deal: Summer Whites, the Sequel!
Don't forget to check out the online sale this Monday and Tuesday. We're featuring 6 delicious summer whites. Shop online, save 15% off our already low prices, and pick your order up when it's convenient for you.

Thank you for trusting us with your beverage business. Please share this email with friends who are interested in delicious wine, beer, and spirits. (Keeping all the good stuff for yourself is bad karma.) 
Ann Williams and John Wass 

Pour Richard's Wine and Spirits | (508) 520-9163 | | 14 Grove Street
Franklin, MA 02038


Pour Richard's Wine and Spirits | 14 Grove St | Franklin | MA | 02038

Sunday, July 28, 2013

5 things for your Sunday reading

It is a slow summer news day here in Franklin but there is good stuff around the internet to read and share. For example:

1 - As parents we are learning to raise our children to be digital citizens. We can not turn to our parents to help in this space. In this article, I like this sentence:
"Bridging the gap isn’t an annual family meeting—it’s a conversation that is on-going until your children leave the nest."
You can read the full article here

2 - For the college students:
"One of the biggest recent trends in entry-level recruiting is the rise of the internship. Summer internships have become a necessary element of a college student’s qualifications for a post-graduation job, and many employers are treating internships as a “three-month interview,” making full-time offers to high performing interns for the following year."

Read the full posting about how to make your summer internships work for you

3 - For the family:
"There is no better time than summer break to spend some quality time in the kitchen with your kids. With all the learning our children do when they are off at school a few things they are not being taught are some pretty important household duties like cooking, cleaning, and laundry - just to name a few."

You can read the full posting on 10 recipes to cook with your kids

4 - For those driving along Lincoln and Daniels St, if you don't already know about the road construction Warren Reynolds provides a good summery;
Quite an extensive stretch of Lincoln Street in Franklin, Mass will be worked on in coming months. Construction will open the Lincoln Street roadbed in sections roughly from Brook Street to Daniels Street. 
Before all work is completed in the fall, new lines will also be installed on Daniels Street (from its intersection with Lincoln Street up to Lenox Drive).

You can read the full article here

5 - And finally for the romantics among us, this is a wonderful time. It takes a couple of minutes to do the build up but then gets rolling. (Keep the tissues handy!)
"What's possible when a community comes together in love and gratitude!"

Originally posted to UpWorthy

Planning Board - Agenda - Jul 29, 2013

Here is the published agenda for the Planning Board meeting scheduled for Monday, July 29, 2013 at 7:00 PM. The meeting will be held in the Council Chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Bldg. The meeting can also be viewed via cable channels provided by Comcast, Verizon and FranklinTV via the town website.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hockomock Area YMCA receives award to prevent Type 2 Diabetes

The Hockomock Area YMCA announced that it is one of 11 YMCAs nationwide to receive a grant from the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, to help expand the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program and help reduce the burden of chronic disease in communities across the nation.

YMCA of the USA, the national resource office for the nation’s 2,700 YMCAs, is working with CDC and other organizations to expand the program nationwide as part of CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program. The Hockomock Area YMCA will launch the program and offer classes to community members beginning this month.

“Providing support and opportunities that empower people to be healthy and live well is part of the YMCA’s charitable purpose,” said Ed Hurley, President of the Hockomock Area YMCA. “We welcome the chance to partner with the local medical community to bring an effective program to prevent type 2 diabetes to help individuals in this community make lasting changes to protect their health.”

CDC leads the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which offers communities an evidence-based lifestyle change program to prevent type 2 diabetes. The program is geared to those at high risk of type 2 diabetes. People have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes if they are overweight, age 45 years or older, have a family history of the disease, get little physical activity, developed gestational diabetes while pregnant, or are members of certain racial/ethnic groups, including African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

The program is based on a research study led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by CDC, which showed that the 79 million people in the United States who have prediabetes could reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by making modest lifestyle changes that resulted in a 5 to 7 percent weight loss (about 10-14 pounds for a 200-pound person). CDC estimates that national implementation of the prevention program could save $5.7 billion in health care costs and prevent 885,000 cases of type 2 diabetes in the next 25 years.

Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine were able to replicate the successful results of the national DPP research study with the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. Unlike the national DPP research study, which was conducted with individuals one-on-one, the YMCA’s program is conducted in a group setting.

The research by the Indiana University researchers also demonstrated that the YMCA could effectively deliver a group-based lifestyle intervention for about 75 percent less than the cost of the original Diabetes Prevention Program. This research also highlighted the ability of the Y to take the program to scale nationally. “We now have proof that lifestyle interventions delivered through community-based organizations such as the Y can reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and save health care dollars,” said Frank Saba CEO of Milford Regional Medical Center.

The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about healthier eating, and increasing their physical activity in order to reduce their risk for developing diabetes. The evidence-based program is delivered over a 12-month period, with 16 weekly core sessions then monthly maintenance. It is classroom based and can be offered in any community setting.

“The partnership between the Hockomock Area YMCA and Milford Regional Medical Center, supported by medical evidence, stands to reduce the burden of diabetes, one of the nation’s costliest diseases, in the communities we serve,” said Mr. Saba. “With the CDCs recent prediction of an increase in diabetes rates in the United States, it’s of the utmost importance that we do all we can to help the growing population who are at risk for diabetes adopt ways to prevent the disease and live healthy and more productive lives.”

For more information please contact Vickey Marini at or 774.235.2742.

About The Hockomock Area YMCA
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities in the areas of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. At the Y, strengthening community is its cause. Every day, the Y works side-by-side with its neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn and grow.

For more information about the Hockomock Area YMCA, please visit

News around town: drumset clinic, Bohmiller competing, freshman guide

Drum Champion returns to Franklin this weekend

The Drummers' Studio will host a world class drumset clinic and camp with 2012 Guitar Center Drum-Off national champion and 2012 Roland V-Drum national champion JP Bouvet.

Bohmiller to Compete in 'A Shot For Life Challenge'

On Saturday, August 3 at 1 p.m., at the University Sports Complex in Hanover, 11 of the best shooters in Massachusetts high school basketball, including Franklin's Sam Bohmiller (the 2013 Boys Basketball Player of the Year), will fire jump shots for two straight hours. 


Take it from me; freshman year is a fun and crazy time. Navigating a new social scene, trying to figure out where your classes are, and where to sit in the caf are all new and sometimes stressful scenarios that you need to face. So, to help the entire incoming freshman population at Dean College this year, I have created this nifty no holds bar survival guide with the top 5 things you need to know to have an awesome freshman year!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mount St Mary's - solar farm (update)

Catching up to some photos on the progress of the solar farm at Mount St Mary's Abbey which straddles Franklin and Wrentham.

solar panels being installed

These are slick and shiny on an overcast day, I can just image how bright they'll be on a day with glorious sunshine!

gentle slope for the solar panels

slick and shiny on an overcast day

The first photos showing the solar farm construction can be found here

Farmers Market: today from noon to 6:00 PM

on the Town Common, along the High St side.

Franklin, MA: Farmers Market
Farmers Market today

Franklin Library: How to Draw Stuff: Shading

How to Draw Stuff: Shading
how to draw stuff
how to draw stuff

Franklin Public Library - 118 Main Street Franklin MA 02038 - 508.520.4940