Saturday, February 9, 2013

Winter Storm Update: Travel Ban Lifted

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 2/9/13

Governor Deval Patrick today lifted the order banning vehicle traffic on all state roads effective immediately for all communities west of I-91 and for Nantucket County, and the ban is lifted statewide at 4:00pm today, Saturday.  Please continue to avoid unnecessary travel to be safe and allow public safety, emergency, and road crews to do their jobs.  Visit Mass.Gov to view winter storm resources.

MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey says all MBTA service will remain shut down all day Saturday.

If you must travel, continue to use extreme caution.  MassDOT live online traffic cameras show current conditions on major state roadways.  More than 3,600 pieces of snow and ice removal equipment have worked around the clock during the storm clearing roadways.  Check MassDOT's winter driving tips

Visit the MBTA Winter web page to learn the latest information on MBTA service.

Things you can do from here:

Morning snow photo

In daylight, the snow is both pretty and awesome

snow on deck, #nemo 2013

The seats will be soft and comfy. The beer will be cold!

Early morning blizzard photo

looking out from the garage door, the snow is still coming down and swirling.

If you follow the shadow of the basketball pole, you might be able to make out the lump at the end of the driveway. That is about where the mailbox is and it is barely above the snow at this time.

Be safe. The road travel restrictions are still in place. As daylight begins to arrive, we can get out to shovel, clean out and take better photos!

Important storm-related updates regarding your Verizon FiOS service

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Verizon Services"
Date: Feb 8, 2013 11:40 PM
Subject: Important storm-related updates regarding your Verizon FiOS service


Dear Valued Verizon Customer,

In recent months, the East Coast has certainly had its fair share of significant weather events. As the latest winter storm unfolds, Verizon has deployed resources to support areas that could be impacted. Unfortunately, power outages are the most common weather-related issue our customers experience.  If you should lose power, below are some important tips about your FiOS® service: 
  • In the event of a power outage, your FiOS® Internet and/or TV service will not be available until your power is restored
  • If you have fiber-based voice service or FiOS® Digital Voice, the Battery Backup Unit (BBU) that Verizon installed to support your Optical Network Terminal (ONT) supplies up to eight (8) hours of corded phone service
  • Should the battery in your BBU cease to power your corded phone, you may still be able to make an emergency phone call by pressing the blue Battery Emergency Use button on your BBU. This should enable your ONT to reboot and provide up to one hour of additional talk time
  • Once power is restored, you may need to reset your ONT or reconnect/replace the battery to restore your FiOS service(s)

To Reset Your Optical Network Terminal (ONT)
  1. Unplug the electrical power cord of your Battery Backup Unit from the wall outlet
  2. Wait one minute and then plug the cord back into the wall and see if the ONT resets. If the ONT resets, then your FiOS service(s) should come back online. If not, please try to reconnect the battery according to the directions below
To Reconnect (Or Replace) The Battery In Your Battery Backup Unit (BBU)
  1. Unplug the electrical power cord of your BBU from the wall outlet
  2. Open the battery cabinet on the BBU (you may need a screwdriver to do this)
  3. Disconnect the battery leads and wait 10 seconds. Reconnect the battery leads
  4. Put the battery cabinet back on and then plug the power cord back into the wall and see if the ONT resets. If the ONT resets, then your FiOS service(s) should come back online. If not, you may need to replace the battery that Verizon provided.

For up-to-date information throughout the storm, please visit from your computer, smartphone, or wireless device. This site will allow you to create a repair ticket, find additional help for troubleshooting or restoring your service, and download our Verizon In-Home Agent which provides you with fast, easy solutions. 

Please stay safe, and thank you for being a loyal Verizon customer.


Your Verizon Team

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Customer Service ©2013 Verizon

Roy gets his assignments and votes to freeze UI

Rep Jeff Roy's office has shared two press releases. One with his committee assignments and one on a recent vote to freeze the unemployment insurance rate rather than raise it.

Committee assignments:

Unemployment Insurance Rate Freeze:

For additional information on Rep Roy, visit his webpage

Friday, February 8, 2013

Franklin Schools: Sunday Events Canceled

The schools are being proactive....

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Subject: Sunday Events Canceled


Due to weather conditions, all school and community activities scheduled for Sunday, February 10 are canceled. This includes all athletic practices and games.

Maureen Sabolinski

Superintendent of Schools

To listen to the above message, you will need audio software and speakers on your computer.
This e-mail has been sent to you by FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT. 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 FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT IN PERSON, by US MAIL, or by TELEPHONE at (508) 613-1777.

NationalGrid out ahead of this one

According to this press release NationalGrid is getting out ahead of the storm. And that is a good thing, one - they are doing the press release which they had not done previously, and two, spelling out how prepared they are. They may have been so in prior storms (although experience tells us otherwise) so they are making improvements!

Franklin Food Pantry updates

1 - The Franklin Food Pantry is closed today, Friday, Feb 8th. The Food Pantry follows the school schedule of storm closures.

2 - Due to the storm this weekend, the first day for the Pantry phone-a-thon has been canceled; Saturday, Feb 9th. The phone-a-thon will be held as scheduled on Saturday, Feb 16th.

If you would like to volunteer to help with the phone-a-thon, please contact Bob Hamilton via email at or by calling the Pantry at 508-528-3115 and using option 5 on the voicemail.

RMV Attleboro Branch Adds Permit Testing

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 2/7/13

RMV Attleboro, February 7, 2013MassDOT Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian today joined local officials and announced the availability of driver's license permit testing at the Attleboro RMV Branch, located at 75 Park Street. 

The Attleboro Branch is one of two express branches in the Commonwealth that provide limited license and registration transactions. The availability of the permit testing in Attleboro will help the RMV manage an anticipated influx of test takers during the busy school vacation period.

"The City has been a great partner and has made it possible to bring permit testing to Attleboro," said Registrar Kaprielian. "Teens and new drivers may now complete this important step in the licensing process closer to home."

The Registry delivered existing automated testing equipment to provide six testing stations in Attleboro. The move will save area residents from traveling to Taunton, Milford or Brockton to complete the 20 minute test.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles administered approximately 45,000 permit tests across the Commonwealth in 2012. There are 4.73 million licensed drivers in Massachusetts.  To perform many basic transactions, visit the RMV online today at its new web address:

Things you can do from here:

"many friendships ... will blossom in this building"

The new dormitory for Dean College was the scene for an official and ceremonial ribbon cutting.
Administrators named the 32,000-square-foot dorm after Dorothy and Glendon Horne. Glendon Horne graduated from the college in 1931. His wife left Dean her estate, a donation of about $2 million — the college’s largest single gift in its history. 
"It is something in our wildest dreams we never thought would happen," said Rooney of the gift. "It made the particulars of this building possible." 
Noting the building’s location along West Central Street, Rooney said, "In some ways, it will attach us to Franklin in a very different way."
New Dean College dorm on Christmas morning 2012

Read more:

In the News: Tri-County, Democrats, MBTA, police

Restaurant competition for Tri-County is rescheduled

Tri-County students preparing for the Massachusetts Restaurant Association’s annual culinary and restaurant management competition have another few weeks to hone their business plans and master their dishes thanks to Nor’easter Nemo.

Franklin Democratic Town Committee Caucus is postponed

The Franklin Democratic Town Committee Caucus planned for this Saturday, Feb. 9th at 9 am at Alumni Restaurant in Franklin has been POSTPONED due to the weather.

MBTA to suspend all transportation 3:30 p.m. on Friday

Due to the severe winter storm, the MBTA will suspend all modes of service effective at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013.

Franklin Police: Robber’s own unmasking is his undoing

A suspected robber provided detectives with all they needed to find him when he removed his disguise during a robbery last month, authorities said.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

National Grid: Blizzard update

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "National Grid"
Date: Feb 7, 2013 8:00 PM
Subject: National Grid: Blizzard update

To view this email as a web page, click here.
national grid

February blizzard update

With a severe winter storm on the way that some weather forecasters already are calling a storm of historic proportions, National Grid has started preparing for widespread, prolonged power outages that could result from the predicted blizzard-like conditions. Although the path of the storm is still being monitored, we are taking steps to ensure we are prepared for this storm and we want to make sure that you are too.
Be prepared by creating an emergency kit:
  • Water. The American Red Cross recommends one gallon of water per person per day
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Battery-powered or hand - crank radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers
Please remember that should you lose power during the storm, restoration may not happen immediately. Given the scale of the storm , with high wind and deep snow conditions , we must first ensure the safety of our crews and linemen. We will have hundreds of additional crews and support resources able to begin work around the clock to restore service but only once it is safe for them to do so. Please be prepared for extended outages by having the items listed above and also by staying connected.
We urge you to stay connected
In addition to Outage Central, National Grid offers a number of ways for customers to report outages or learn about restoration efforts and important safety information. 
Here's how:
  • Outage reporting hotline - Call 1-800-465-1212 to report an outage.
  • Text messages - Customers can receive text message alerts by texting the word STORM to NGRID (64743). Customers can opt out at any time by texting the word STOP to NGRID (64743). 
  • Find us on Facebook  or Twitter to connect with us and other customers. You can also view images from the field, get safety tips and the latest updates on our restoration efforts.
Remember, if your power goes out, you can access our mobile website by going to on your mobile phone. There you will be able to report outages, check the status of your outage, view outage maps, view important messages and access safety tips.
National Grid
Here with you. Here for you.
national grid
© 2012 National Grid USA Service Company, Inc.
This email was sent by: National Grid
One MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY, 11201, U.S.A.

February 2013 Snow Storm

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Feb 7, 2013 6:18 PM
Subject: February 2013 Snow Storm

Hello.  This is Gary Premo calling with information on the pending snow storm.  There will be regular pick up of trash and recycling on Friday Feb 8.  However, the recycling center on Beaver St will be closed both Friday and Saturday.  The parking ban will become active on Friday at 6pm through the duration of the storm.  School Officials are in constant contact with Public Safety and Town Officials regarding the possibility of cancellation/early dismissal for Friday, and will be sending out a message once a decision is made.  Thank you for listening, stay safe, goodbye.

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.

Note: Schools in Franklin are closed on Friday, Feb 8th

Attention: Franklin MBTA Commuter Rail Riders

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "T-Alerts Notification"
Date: Feb 7, 2013 7:23 PM
Subject: All Southside Lines/Routes Alert
To: "T-Alerts Notification"

Due to severe weather, the last trains from South Station on Friday, February 8th, are the following:

 Fairmont Line: No. 759  3:30 PM
 Framingham/Worcester: No. P517 2:45 PM
 Franklin: No. 713  2:40 PM
 Greenbush: No. 079  2:27 PM
 Kingston/Plymouth: No. 041  2:47 PM
 Middleboro/Lakeville: No. 015  2:10 PM
 Needham: No. 617      3:00 PM
 Providence: No. 811   3:30 PM

 Inbound service to Boston will be suspended at 3:30 PM

Franklin Schools Closed, Friday, February 8

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 4:37 PM
Subject: School Closing



This is a message from Superintendent of Schools, Maureen Sabolinski, to inform you that after consulting with state and local public safety officials, all Franklin Schools will be closed on Friday due to inclement weather. All activities on Friday and Saturday are canceled. The administration offices will be open.
Stay safe

To listen to the above message, you will need audio software and speakers on your computer.
This e-mail has been sent to you by FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT. 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 FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT IN PERSON, by US MAIL, or by TELEPHONE at (508) 613-1777.

Town Council - 02/06/13

The discussion of the Town Council around the proposal to move the Treasurer/Collector position from elected to appointed continued during this session. If I were to read how the Council would vote, most would not individually vote to approve of the change. They all seem to be in favor putting the proposal before the voters to decide.

The question and charter change would simply call for an appointment by the Town Administrator and ratification (approval or denial) by the Town Council. How the selection process for the candidate is conducted is still not defined. Should it be more like a school principal? or more like the current practice for the other appointed positions; fire chief, police chief, etc.

Letting folks have a say in the process and having a defined process before the vote is something that I think would make the voter's decision an easy one.
  • If the voter feels comfortable with the process to select the most qualified person with a preference for a Franklin resident, then I think they would be more likely to go for it. 
  • If the voters have no idea how the selection is made, the fear, uncertainty and doubt about the quality of selection and lack of participation in the selection will likely doom the vote.

The second major item on the agenda Wednesday evening was the annual auditor's report. It is worthy of note that this is occurring earlier than normal. From my own records reporting on this meeting, except for the forensic audit report to the joint Town Council and School Committee meeting in Jan of 2008, this is the earliest the report has been available. That the report is clean and early is a good indication that the internal processes with Franklin are in a good state of affairs. Are they perfect? No.

As mentioned in the Management Letter, there are some fine tuning possibilities. The formal risk assessment process is one. The separation of duties for the ambulance accounting is another. It is interesting that this separation of duties issue has cropped up and apparently is due to the budget cuts reducing personnel. If you recall, it was also a position reduction in 2005 that lead to the accounting error discovered in 2007 and resulted in the forensic audit. Of note, the best thing to come out of that audit was that the Town finances finally got on the same set of books. Prior to that the School and Town books were separate.

The third major item on the agenda was the final passing of the bylaw changes to the site plan process. You may recall that there had been a great deal of hullabaloo over this when it first came before the Council. More than one Councilor had angry words and cutting comments. A workshop was held to clear the air, help with their understanding, resolve their miss understandings and as a result, last night there was nary a whisper as the roll call voted to approve the measures. Council Chair Vallee voted against one measure and Council Pfeffer voted against one also, the third passed with an 8-0 vote (Roy was absent).

The individual reports from the meeting on Wednesday:

 The full set of documents released with the agenda can be found on the Franklin Town Council webpage

Blizzard watch issued for eastern Massachusetts; 12-24 inches possible

By all accounts Friday afternoon into evening is going to be the toughest time with the most snow fall. According to what is being shared by the various news and weather outlets this morning, the snow will last into Saturday.

Stay tuned for a decision on the Franklin Food Pantry phone-a-thon which has been scheduled for this Saturday (Feb 9) and next (Feb 16). We may decide to not make any calls this Saturday. The Food Pantry Board of Directors should have a decision to share on Friday morning.

Be safe!

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 2/6/13

The National Weather Service office in Taunton has issued a blizzard watch for eastern Massachusetts for late Thursday night through Saturday morning.

Things you can do from here:

In the News: charter amendment, culinary competition, Governor's case

Franklin council considers charter amendments

Town Council on Wednesday night mulled amending the charter to pave the way for a November ballot question on whether the treasurer/collector job should be appointed.

Tri-County prepares for state culinary competition

For more than a month, Seamus Geehan spent hours after school cutting smoked salmon into paper-thin slices, then rolling them into the shape of petite pink orchards.

Governor makes case for tax hikes, spending

Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday said consensus is building around his major new transportation initiatives, but his equally ambitious education plan could prove to be a "harder lift."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Live reporting - Closing



Pfeffer - has the Senior Center had another leak?
Mercer - There have been three different freeze ups since the Senior Ctr opened, all due to design flaws, there are fixes being put into place to avoid this in the future

Vallee - I got a call from the Globe about another community that is withdrawing from the Norfolk County Association
Nutting - we pay a lot of money to belong to the County. I can't really comment without fully understanding what the reporter was saying. I don't know how to get rid of a County. The assessment comes on the Cherry Sheet

Pfeffer - a number recieved anonymous letters, if you can't put a name to the letter we can and won't respond

Mercer - we are starting to go vertical, exactly on schedule

Kelly - we seem to be getting more of them than ever before, we also have a microphone here, without a name on it, we cannot respond to it

Vallee - parking meters, she is giving tickets 24x7, is what she is saying,please look at this issue
Bissanti - does she have a uniform?
Nutting, yes in winter it is covered

Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required

motion to adjourn

Live reporting - Legislation


1. Resolution 13-05: Hoffmann Farms, A Private Definitive Subdivision Acceptance of Covenant with Owner
motion to approve, passed 8-0

2. Resolution 13-06: Appropriation: Town Clerk - Advertising
motion to approve, passed 8-0

3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-695:Changes to § 185-31. Site Plan and Design Review – 2nd Reading
motion to approve, passed 8-0 via roll call

streamlining the site plan for the developers and the Town

4. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-696:Changes to § 185-20. H. Signs. Sign Approvals - 2nd Reading
motion to approve, passed 7-1 via roll call (no - Vallee)

5. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-697:Changes to § 185-45. N. Administration and Enforcement. Design Review Commission - 2nd Reading
motion to approve, passed 7-1 via roll call (no - Pfeffer)

Live reporting: Audit for 2012

Melanson Heath & Co., 2012 Audit

up to Page 12, MD and A, management discussion and analysis
Page 13
summary of future view

Page 15
unassigned fund balance $4,289
modest improvement over prior year, about 4.2% of general fund, auditor look at that number

stabilization accounts, fund increases due to actions voted but not yet spent

$15M vs. a year ago of $11M, $3M of that was committed 

Page 17 helps to understand why the increase in unassigned fund balance
change in fund balance seen here, majority of this is timing

there is a good deal of info in the footnotes
there is interest in OPEB, if you choose I could talk for hours on it

In the management letter, recommendations begin on Page 3
follow up to prior year, more formal risk process, formal = written

The Town has provided responses to the issues raised, we think what has begun is off to a good start

On Page 4 - issues 2 and 3 will be addressed collectively, billing collection and assessment of funds, no segregation of duties present

on Page 5
Policy on handling fund balances, deals with spending prioritization
there are different constraints on the source of funds, determine which buckets of money shold be used first, would help provide guidance on what to do, what to use

Page 6 - prepare for GASB 68
the handling of the Norfolk County unfunded liability would need to be added to the books
an informational comment, I can not anticipate what that number would be
it is likely to be a large number, liabilities will go up, assets will go down

Powderly - yes,I did notice the quicker turnaround
does this happen often? 

Nutting - we didn't have staffing, one clerk was doing both, we can resolve that with staffing and the outsourcing being looked at.

Risk assessment,the small towns will consider and accept the risk

Gagner, the risk assessment will be a multi year process, we have looked at the Treasurer and Comptroller depts, and once we have ours down, we'll expand to others

Nutting - eventually every department will go through the process, 

Many more appointed treasurers

Live reporting: Treasurer/Collector

Jim Dacey, Treasurer-Collector

Discussion on current proposal as drafted to start the work to move the position to an elected one

Kelly - can we handle this as we do the school principal?
Nutting - that is the recruitment process, does the council start getting involved every time something comes up. When I recommended the promotion of the current chief, we did that local as we had a candidate

Nutting - when someone comes in from the outside it is a different story, as soon as you get a committee it becomes an open meeting

Powderly - this is changing in general terms, the fine details of the process remain to be defined. While it is an elected position in some communities, the size of the budget does become the determinant?
Dacey - yes, the size of the budget is a key factor

Mercer - you get to choose the candidate and bring it to us?
Nutting - yes, there is a check in balance, we need to keep politics out of it. That would be true of any appointment

Dacey - to get the best possible candidate then we need to have it appointed

Jones - I think we need to let the voters determine this. I don't think we should take a position from the public.

Bissanti - do you feel that on a day to day basis, that you need to be in the trenches?
Dacey - my role is very hands on, there are things I do that no one else in the office does. Tax taking, investment choices, it is very hands on. My assistant is buried right now with the work that she has to do. If she would be the one to support the new treasurer, she would be hard pressed

Powderly - while moving from elected to appoint, the residents don't loose their voice. The Councilors hear from folks all the time. That won't change. I will always favor a Franklin resident, if I have to choose between three Franklin resident and some one who is very well qualified, for the stability of town I would go outside. It is a hard choice. No one can tell us more accurately than you what is needed. That is the most convincing argument. It can be seen as taking power away from people but I don't see that.

Jones - I think the voters are smarter than we think

Dacey - the problem is when someone is in for a week and messes things up, you won't be able to recover from it. It was almost three years before I go the job down pat.

Live Reporting - Town Council - Feb 6, 2013

Present: Mercer, Dellorco, kelly, Powderly, Vallee, Pfeffer, Jones, Bissanti,
Absent: Roy

November 28,2013, December 19, 2013, Executive Session
motion to approve, passed 8-0

This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29.This meeting may be recorded by Franklin Matters.






Teens Set to Run 4th Annual Charity 3v3 Soccer Tournament

The 2013 Soccer for Smiles to be held during school vacation in February promises fun for all participants while supporting a terrific local charity, the Random Smile Project. The Soccer for Smiles team is looking for contributions from local businesses and individuals as well as players from ages 5 to high school. The tournament is round-robin style and will be held February 18th, 19th, and 20th at Carpe Diem Field on 34 Saxon Street in Franklin, MA.

Soccer for Smiles 3v3 Tournament

Soccer for Smiles was formed in 2010 when four teenagers combined their love for soccer with their interest in contributing to the earthquake relief fund in Haiti. Colin Berg (16), Tim LaRowe (15), Alexa Frongillo (16), and Cobi Frongillo (15), coaches at the Franklin Soccer School, came together to plan and host their first charity soccer event. The teens were struck by the devastation faced by the people of Haiti after the earthquake. They realized also that many people in their local community were in need of support and felt that they could make an impact through a fun, athletic event with children. This led them to partner with the Random Smile Project whose mission is to provide a bridge of support to people going through difficult times.

With increasing participation of over 100 young players in each of three years the tournament has been great fun and very productive. Raising over $2,000 for Haiti, they recognized the power of soccer and charity. Over the last two years, the team focused on local charities and each year outpaced the previous year’s income. In 2011, the tournament raised over $4,000 for the Random Smile Project ( In 2012 the group chose beneficiaries of RSP and Team Isabella, helping a local girl and her family; contributions exceeded $5,000.

This year, the organizers of Soccer for Smiles look to go even higher hoping to get more participants over three days. Working again with the Random Smile Project, they aim to raise over $7,500. For more information and registration forms, go to or email them at .

Franklin Library: Fun Club - Mardi Gras Party

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 2/5/13

Things you can do from here: