Saturday, January 19, 2013

Livy's Hope - The Cake Bar

While I was on my errands Saturday afternoon, Tracie Turinese sent me an email about a fund raiser at her place, The Cake Bar. Hmm, I was going to drive right by on my way home, might as well stop in and see what's up.

The Cake Bar was busy. As I was in line, watching for an opportunity to take a picture of the luscious cupcakes in the display case, the tray marked "Livy's Hope" was pulled out. The last of that batch had just been sold. Any cupcake purchase qualifies for a contribution to this cause so I did make a choice. There are so many decadent ones to choose from!

Here is the flyer with the full story on the fund raising effort for Livy

Here is a view of the special Livy cupcakes. Yes, more are being made. You might be able to get one or more when you go there this weekend.

The Cake Bar - Livy's Hope

For more about Livy's Hope you can visit their webpage

If you don't make it to the Cake Bar, you can donate through the Livy's Hope website

BTW - The Cake Bar now is selling gluten free cupcakes made by Twist Bakery from Millis

If it is hard to get to the links in the flyer, you can try these

Food Pantry: Volunteers needed for Phone-a-thon

Franklin Food Pantry Volunteers,

On Saturday(s), February 9th and February 16th the Franklin Food Pantry will be holding its biggest fundraiser, The Annual Phone-A-Thon.

Last year, through the help of generous folks like you, we were able to raise over $12,500.00 to feed our Franklin neighbors in need.

This year, it is our goal to exceed that number by 20% to support the 40% increase in the number of clients seeking our assistance.

Will you join us?

Volunteers are asked to sign on for two-hour call shifts at Dean College:

February 9th       February 16th

Can we count you in?

Please call the Phone-A-Thon hotline @ (508) 528-3115 (option 5 on voicemail), or contact me via email

Please be sure to leave the following information
· First name, Last name
· Best phone number to reach you
· Email address
· Preference of day and shift/time(s)

Your response by January 26th would be appreciated.

As always, it is neighbors like you that keep us going!


Bob Hamilton
Fundraising Committee Chair

Note: this was also posted to the Franklin Food Pantry web page here
Disclosure: I am one of the volunteers on the Board of Directors for the Food Pantry and proud to lead this effort to help our neighbors.

MassBudget: Analyzing the Governor's Proposals on Education, Transportation, and Revenue

MassBudget    Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center    Democracy.
Analyzing the Governor's Proposals
Over the past week, the Governor has introduced a series of important policy proposals, including: 1) new investments in education; 2) a commitment to fix and improve the state's transportation system; and 3) a detailed plan to pay for these investments with new revenue.

MassBudget's "First Look at the Governor's Proposals" analyzes each of these initiatives, including the impact they would have on Early Education & Care, K-12, Higher Ed., Transportation, the Sales Tax, and the Income Tax. Among other things, the Governor's proposals include:

  • Significantly more funding for Early Education & Care, to help ensure that lower-income families have access to the kind of high-quality child care that helps prepare young children for success in school and in life.

  • A combination of sales taxes decreases and income tax increases that would help fund these investments in education and transportation with $1.9 billion in new revenues--while also making the state's tax system more fair.

Other MassBudget Updates
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

In the News: Lt Gov Murray, head on crash, right to repair, stove rebates

Lt. Gov. Murray: I won't run for governor next year

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, after spending the last 15 years in local and statewide public office, will not run for governor in 2014, citing the time commitment that would be required to juggle his current job, a full-time campaign, and his responsibilities to his family.

Two hurt in head-on crash in Franklin

Two women were injured, one seriously, in a head-on collision on Rte. 140 near Franklin Village shopping center Thursday night, police said.

Note: the stub of the story available on Friday has been updated in this posting.

'Right to Repair' might need fixing

Get ready for Right to Repair déjà vu. Last year, the Bay State passed two versions of a bill requiring automakers to make previously guarded diagnostic and repair information available to independent garages. The measures conflict on key details, and now advocacy groups are lining up behind dueling bills on how to reconcile the differences.

State offers rebates for new woodstoves

The state's Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs today announced the second round of a program that provides rebates to residents for the replacement of old, inefficient wood or coal-burning stoves.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Downtown triangle signs

On the triangle, if you have driven by this week maybe you saw one side of the sign.

If you didn't go back the same way, maybe you did not see the other side of the sign

With the eventual reconfiguration of this intersection to allow two way traffic on Main St, I expect these signs will go away. I recall from one of the preparation meetings, there is a plan for the historical water trough. It wasn't always here and can be re-located.

I hope it finds a good place. It is one of the connections to where I grew up, down the road a piece in Pawtucket, RI.

Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes (video)

"Most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind. But actually it's … about stepping back, seeing the thought clearly, witnessing it coming and going.” (Andy Puddicombe)

Hear this quote in the context of this 10 minute video

Then reward yourself with 10 minutes of nothing.

You can do it!

Governor Patrick calls for income tax hike, sales tax cut

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Bob Salsberg on 1/17/13

Gov. Deval Patrick asked the Legislature on Wednesday to support a net increase of $1.9 billion in state taxes to support major new spending on transportation and education. Patrick used his annual state of the state address to propose hiking the state income tax from 5.25 percent to 6.25 percent, while doubling the personal exemption for all taxpayers and eliminating dozens of itemized deductions. At the same time, he called for reducing the state sales tax from the current 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent.

Things you can do from here:

Discover Dean College (video)

Dean has a new video to share touting what they can offer!

For more on Dean College, click through to their webpage

Two hurt in head-on crash on Rte. 140 in Franklin

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Wicked Local Franklin News RSS by Jessica Trufant/Daily News staff on 1/17/13

franklin 4.jpg
Two people were injured, one of them seriously, in a head-on crash on Rte. 140 near Franklin Village Thursday night, police said.

Things you can do from here:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Annual Report 2012: Franklin Library

FY2012 was a transformative and productive year for the Franklin Public Library.

The Franklin Library Board of Directors combined the two circulation desks in order to address persistent budgetary constraints, functional space issues, and the efficient delivery of services. We deeply regret the loss of our hardworking staff; the loss of certification for two months and the inconvenience it caused.

Funding level reductions have not impacted services: Service levels, library hours, library visits, special programs have increased through the effective utilization of resources

Important Notes:

  • Annual book budget increased by 53% from 2011, providing more new materials for patrons than  previous year.
  • Checkouts for downloadable ebooks increased by 52%. ($5,000 funding provided by the Friends of the Library) 
  • Investment in and the use of automated services has enabled the library to provide higher level of services with less staff. Use of automated self-check-out has increased by 35% from last year; and now accounts for 43% of our total circulation.
  • Total circulation in FY2012 was 309,807, down 9% from FY2011. (Large sections of the collection were unavailable during renovation).
  • Total attendance at children’s programs increased by 28% from 4,134 in FY2011 to 5,328 in FY2012.
  • Library visits increased by 7%, from 165,403 in FY2011 to 177,324 in FY2012. 

New Initiatives in FY2012

  • Opened Fridays for the first time in 3 years. The Library is now open 60 hrs a week, 6 days a week – a 15% increase from FY2011. 
  • Opened a Student’s Assistance Center in October 2011 to provide free homework assistance to students in grades 2-8. 
  • Incorporated Kindles and Nooks in the circulating collection 
  • Added a Blu-ray collection
  • Added a Speed view Collection (3day loan of DVDs & Blu-rays)
  • Initiated a local author’s shelf

Expanded Services in FY2012

  • Home delivery for patrons with disabling conditions
  • Speed view collection (7 day new popular fiction and non fiction)
  • Downloadable e-books
  • Downloadable audio-books
  • Family and special programming

How Are We Doing?
We asked you to rate the changes and new services on a scale of 1 to 10. You responded with very high marks. (9s and 10s) Thank you!! Here are samplings of your impressions of the Library

  • “I like the openness of the Main Circulation Desk” 
  • “Nice people, very helpful”
  • “The library is wonderful and well organized. Keep the good work”
  • “Impressed – everything is so easy and staff very nice and helpful”
  • “Super happy you made computers instantly accessible without having to stop at the desk and get ID code…!! That’s the way it should be. Thanks”
  • “Great services”
  • “Love the environment”
  • “Pretty clean”
  • “Excellent – so happy Library is open on Fridays and certification is back”
  • “Shelf check is so convenient”

Your suggestions for improvement
“More programs for older children (8-12)
“The children’s room could use more child friendly décor & demarcation”
“Better Lighting on the fourth floor; better air-conditioning”
“More confined space for toddler story time ….for tighter community feel”
“Having staff available on the second floor”

A million thanks!
The above accomplishments are a result of a group effort. Library staff admirably performed their new roles
during a period of anxiety and disruption. The community’s support and encouragement during the  decertification crisis kept us strong and focused. We thank the Massachusetts Board of Library  Commissioners for granting the Library’s appeal for a waiver of the FY 2012 Municipal Appropriation Requirement. We are especially grateful to the Franklin Town Council for providing additional funding critical in securing recertification.

The Library continually relies on the generosity of the Friends of the Library. Their support and monetary gifts have allowed the Library to fund museum passes, programs and collections. We appreciate their time and financial assistance.

The Student’s Assistance Center was a tremendous success in its first year. Twenty-five students in grades 2-8 received free homework assistance every week. The success of this program is due to dedicated, dependable and caring volunteers. Both the students and their parents were very grateful for this service.
Sincerest thanks to Nancy Rappa, Suzanne Stilgoe, and Monique Doyle for co-coordinating this effort.

The Beautification Committee, chaired by Susan Rittenhouse, has been working all summer to make the Library more welcoming and inviting.  Some of the improvements are evident on the first floor. We commend their efforts.

Andrea Burke and her committee worked hard over the summer to create an exciting array of adult programs and new outreach initiatives for the coming year. Check the library web site and
blog for more information. We thank them.

Moving Forward: Assessing the Future

A New Vision
The Library Board is undertaking a new vision to ensure sustainability, fiscal responsibility and community responsiveness. Your participation is critical as the process moves forward. We invite you to stay involved and welcome your suggestions.

Respectfully submitted,

Felicia Oti, Library Director


You can participate in their Strategic Direction Survey here

Visit the Library webpage for updates throughout the year

Published by the Town Clerk, this comes from the 2012 Annual Report

Mass Poetry Festival - May 3 - 5, 2013 (video)

Salem is not just for witch craft, it is also a place for words, and lots of them. The Mass Poetry Festival will be held in Salem May 3rd through the 5th.

Massachusetts Poetry Festival 2012 from Riley Fearon on Vimeo.

For more info on the Festival, visit their webpage here

February Programs at the Franklin Library - for children and adults

February Programs for Youth at the
Franklin Public Library

Our regularly scheduled programs have something for every age group throughout the week.  

Wee Read for 3, 4, & 5-year-olds at 10:30 A.M
This thirty minute storytime is for independent 3, 4, & 5-year-olds who are invited to attend "on their own." It features stories, songs, fingerplays, and other interactive activities to encourage reading and promote literacy. No registration is required.

Krafty Mondays for ages 6, 7 & 8 at 3:30 P.M
Come to the library and see what original masterpieces you can make. A short story and different craft will be offered each week during this thirty minute program. No registration is required. Weekly programs below:

"Valentine's Day Wreath" 
Monday, February 4th, 2013
Join us to make a unique wreath that celebrates Valentine's Day.

"Bundle Up"
Monday, February 11th, 2013
Brrrr…its cold outside! Come to the library and make a warm scarf.

Monday, February 25th, 2013
Come and see all of the things you can make with Duct Tape!

Mother Goose on the Loose for birth to age 2 at 10:30 A.M
Each thirty minute session uses nursery rhymes, songs, puppets, and more to promote the learning process of babies and toddlers. This program is designed for children up to two-years-old along with their caregiver. No registration is required.

Terrific Twos at 10:30 A.M.
Thirty minutes of stories, songs, and activities for children who are two-years-old. No registration is required.

Beginning February 6th, 2013 (The first Wednesday of the month)
Teen Advisory Board (T.A.B.) at 6:30 P.M.
Calling all teens: this is your chance to tell us what to do! One evening a month come help us plan teen programs, choose materials, and promote the library and we will provide the snacks. Membership looks great on job and college applications. Open to all!
Story and Craft for ages 4 and 5 at 10:30 A.M.
Stories, activities, and a craft for children ages 4 and 5 who are able to attend "on their own." This program lasts around 45 minutes. No registration is required.

Fun Club for ages 8 to 12, Every Thursday at 3:30 P.M.
This program is designed for tweens ages 8 to 12 years old and will feature different games, contests, and crafts each week. Come join us for some fun! No registration is required. Weekly programs below:

"Mardi Gras Party!"
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
Come celebrate Mardi Gras with us! We will make masks and noisemakers and play games to win prizes.

"Sweetheart Bingo"
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Happy Valentine's Day! Join us for a special game of Valentine Bingo. Registration is not required.

"LEGO Creations"
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Be inspired by the birthday of Dr. Seuss and use your imagination to build with LEGOs. No registration is required.

February School Vacation Week – Special Programs

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Family Storytime for all ages at 10:30 A.M.
Join us for thirty minutes of stories and music the whole family can enjoy. All ages are welcome and no registration is required.

Winter Carnival for all ages at 3:30 P.M.
Come in out of the cold to enjoy our indoor Winter Carnival featuring games, music, crafts, henna tattoos, face painting, refreshments, and more.  No registration is required to join in the fun.

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
Haunts, Haints, and Hollers: Scary Stories to Rattle Your Bones for ages 8 to 12 at 6:30 P.M.
International storyteller, Rona Leventhal, will reach into her large bag of multi-cultural stories to share a dramatic and exuberant experience. In this show you will find all manner of haints, dead folk, shape shifters, and mysterious players…from the spooky and eerie to the silly and transformative. This program contains some scary content that may frighten younger children.

Thursday, February 21st, 2013
Drop-In Craft for all ages at 10:30 A.M.
Drop-in and see what crafts you can make from a variety of choices. This is for all ages and no registration is required.

Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Family Drum-Fun-Circle for all ages at 10:30 A.M.
Join Tony Fonseca for an entertaining and exciting morning of music. Adults and children can have an interactive drumming experience or you can just sit back, listen, and enjoy the beats! All ages are welcome and no registration is required.

February Programs for Adults at the
Franklin Public Library

Craft Circle - Last Wednesday of every month at 3:30 PM
Come join the new "Craft Circle" beginning Wednesday, February 27th at 3:30 PM.  Bring your knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, embroidery, or other projects to work on and meet others with similar interests.  A great way to share ideas and get help as you work on a project.  This group is open to all ages and will meet the last Wednesday of every month.

Kindle eReaders – Tuesday, February 12th at 6:30 PM
This program will look at the Overdrive ebook service provided by the Minuteman Library Network and the Franklin Public Library.  eBooks can be checked out and downloaded from Overdrive and then transferred to Kindle devices. 

Nook eReaders – Tuesday, February 26th at 6:30 PM
This program will look at the Overdrive ebook service provided by the Minuteman Library Network and the Franklin Public Library.  eBooks can be checked out and downloaded from Overdrive and then transferred to Nooks, iPods, and other portable devices. 

Beginning in March 2013:
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Friends of the Franklin Library * P.O. Box 147 * Franklin, MA  02038 * 

In the News: Library, Train station, casino, drug lab

Friends of the Franklin Library will meet on Feb. 6

The Friends of the Franklin Library will hold their monthly meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. in the downstairs meeting room in the Franklin Library.  All are invited and welcome to attend.

Franklin's Depot Street station to see improvements

The MBTA confirmed Tuesday that it will begin planned improvements on the Depot Street commuter rail station this spring.

Opposition builds against Milford casino

Local officials and opposition groups were rallying on Wednesday following the surprise news that the developer planning a Milford casino filed a last-minute application on Tuesday for a license from the state’s gaming commission.

Sen. Ross filing legislation for drug laboratory oversight board

State Sen. Richard J. Ross, R-Wrentham, is joining his colleagues in the Senate Republican Caucus to request that a forensic services drug laboratory oversight board be created within the Executive Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

In the News: SPED Vans, education spending

Franklin School District to replace 2 SPED vans

The School Department has requested capital improvement funds from this year’s budget to replace two special education vans that, combined, have more than 200,000 miles on them.

Gov. Patrick proposes up to $1 billlion a year in new education spending

Gov. Patrick wants to increase education spending by up to $1 billion annually by fully funding Chapter 70, increasing learning time at middle schools, and expanding early childhood education

MassDOR: Tax Preparation Video for 2013

What changes in either the Federal or MA taxes could affect how you file for this year? This video from the Mass Dept of Revenue walks through the changes.

The video takes about 23 minutes

MassBudget: the benefits of Early Ed & Care....and the funding cuts

MassBudget    Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center    Democracy.
The Benefits of Early Education and Care...
and the Cuts to Funding
Early education and care can provide lifelong benefits for young children, and it also helps support the day-to-day needs of working parents.

Two new MassBudget reports examine the positive impact early education and care can have, along with the funding cuts that have affected these programs. The first paper, "Declines in Spending on Early Education and Care in Massachusetts," tracks trends in funding since welfare reform in the mid-1990s and finds that:

  • Under pressure from the recession and the large revenue losses that followed the tax cuts of the late 1990s and early 2000s, spending on early education and care has fallen by 25% since 2001 (adjusted for inflation)

  • When we combine spending for early education and care with the other major source of support for lower-income parents--cash assistance--we find a $1 billion decline since 1995 (adjusted for economic growth)

The second paper, "Economic Gains from Early Education and Care" is authored by PERI economist and UMass professor Arthur MacEwan. It documents the large economic benefits of high quality early education and care. This includes both the contribution of parents who could not work without the support of reliable child care and also the long-term gains from kids whose life prospects are improved by early education. As MacEwan puts it:

"High quality programs can enhance children's cognitive and social development, which will shape their well-being throughout their lives. The higher salaries that the children then obtain later in life, the greater economic contribution to society that these salaries tend to reflect, and the higher resulting tax payments are important elements of the gains that have been observed. There are, however, many other indirect economic gains: lower incidences of grade retention and special education; elevated high school graduation rates and college-going rates; reduced reliance on social support programs; better health outcomes; and less engagement with the criminal justice system."

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

Upcoming Event: Solar Anniversary Celebration

Please join us for a celebration to mark the 1-year anniversary of the First Unitarian Society in Franklin solar electric system. Come find out how much energy was produced right on our roof-top and how that translates into environmental impact and financial benefit. 

Refreshments and general information on solar energy will also be available.
Feb 24th, 12-1pm
262 Chestnut Street
Franklin, MA 02038

Ryan Elliott
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Second Generation Energy
12 Rosenfeld Drive
Hopedale, MA 01747 
Office: 800-653-4270
We Love Referrals!  Don't forget to tell your friends and neighbors, if they Go Solar with us we'll send you $500.  Click here for more details! 
What can solar energy do for you?
Find out at