Saturday, February 16, 2013

"the giving season spans the entire year"

Franklin Phone-A-Thon to raise money for pantry

Losing a day to the Blizzard of 2013 has not deterred the more than 30 volunteers for today’s Franklin Food Pantry Phone-A-Thon from endeavoring to beat last year’s fundraising total.

Franklin Food Pantry

Those staffing the phones have a list of more than 3,000 residents to call. "There’s 15 phones, and we have three different shifts," Lynch said, adding that Dean has graciously offered to feed the volunteers. 
That makes for a lot of dialing, but also a lot of excitement. 
"It’s absolutely fun," Lynch said. "It’s a great way for people to feel like they are making a difference." 
And whatever the final amount, she said, "We’re so grateful for all of the community’s support. It’s been wonderful."

Read more:

To make a secure donation online, you can visit the Franklin Food Pantry webpage

or use the Donate Button on the top right corner of the Franklin Matters page. The donation routes directly to the Food Pantry account.

Disclosure: I am  honored to lead the Board of the Directors of the Franklin Food Pantry. Helping our neighbors matters very much to me.

Rail Trail: Program Notes

An email with updates from the Franklin-Bellingham Rail Trail Committee;
The Franklin Historical Museum will be sponsoring a presentation this Sunday about the history of railroads in Franklin and our rail trail project.  Ron Clough, Forest Supervisor, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, will present a slide show at 1:00 on Sunday at the Museum at 80 West Central Street in Franklin. Ron will cover the history of railroads and when and how they came to Franklin, as well as their importance to the community and region. He will also discuss how things changed over time-- with a succession of different railroads in town and the abandonment of some  lines -- paving the way for the current interest in rail trail creation here and nationally.   
Following the slide show, Ed Barth of the Franklin and Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC) will discuss our efforts to re-purpose the railroad in Franklin into a multi-use, universally accessible recreational path.
Please also note that the FBRTC 3rd annual road race to benefit the trail will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2013.  You can register online at 
Thank you for being part of the rail trail effort!

SNETT Entrance on Grove St, Franklin, MA
For more information on the Rail Trail effort you can visit their website

Upcoming DOR Senior Circuit Breaker Info Sessions

Note: Franklin is scheduled for one of these meetings, March 13 at 2:00 PM at the Senior Center.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Revenue by Edward Peters on 2/15/13

DOR has had a great turnout for our early series of information sessions for seniors. These sessions are short presentations to educate taxpayers 65 and older about the benefits of the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit.

For tax year 2012, the credit is worth as much as $1,000 for eligible taxpayers 65 and older who either own or rent their home. The credit is refundable, meaning that if a taxpayer does not have an offsetting state tax liability, or has a liability that is smaller than the credit, they receive a check from the Commonwealth for either the entire credit or for the portion left after taxes are paid.

Seniors who live in public or subsidized housing are not eligible for the credit.
We hope to see you there!

Date/Time Location/Address Phone
February 20, 10:30 a.m. Concord COA, 1276 Main St. 978-318-3020
February 20, 12:30 p.m. Acton COA, 50 Audubon Dr. 978-929-6652
February 21, 10:30 a.m. Merrimac COA, 100 East Main St. 978-346-9549
February 21, 12:30 p.m. Ipswich COA, 25 Green St. 978-356-6650
February 25, 10:00 a.m. Natick COA, 117 East Central St. 508-647-6540
February 25, 11:30 a.m. Needham COA 83 Pickering St. 781-455-7555
February 25, 1:00 p.m. Wellesley COA, 219 Washington St. 781-235-3961
February 27, 1:00 p.m. Wayland COA, 41 Cochituate Rd. 508-358-2990
March 6, 10:00 a.m. Attleboro COA, 25 South Main St. 774-203-1906
March 6, 1:00 p.m. N. Attleboro COA, 204 Elm St. 508-699-0131
March 7, 1:00 p.m. Waltham COA, 488 Main St. 781-899-7228
March 13, 11:00 a.m. Norfolk COA, 28 Medway Branch Rd. 508-528-4430
March 13, 12:30 p.m. Wrentham COA, 400 Taunton St. 508-384-5425
March 13, 2:00 p.m. Franklin COA, 10 Daniel McCahill St. 508-520-4945

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Franklin Liquor: Wine Tastings

 Saturday, Feb 16th from 3:00 to 6:00 PM - Wine tasting and sale!

Wine tasting, Feb 16, 2013

Thursday, Feb 21 at 7:00 PM, Grady Family Vineyards, RSVP required as seating is limited

Grady Family Vineyards, Feb 21, 2013

For more information on the Grady Family Vineyards, you can visit their web page 

For more information on Franklin Liquors you can find their website here

Friday, February 15, 2013

State Champions at State House!

The Franklin High School girls soccer team visited the State House recently. You may recall the team won the State Championship last fall.

FHS Girl's Soccer Team visits MA state House

Senator Karen Spilka, Representative Jeffrey Roy, and Lt Governor Tim Murray are pictured with the team and coaches.

FHS Soccer

Thanks to Sandy Frongillo for sharing this photo and information!

FHS Winter Carnival 2013!

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Pantherbook by zacharyborrelli on 2/14/13

Franklin High School will be putting on its annual Winter Carnival on March 10th from 12-4pm.

Fun events for kids all ages will take place in the FHS field house and small gym. Admission is five dollars for all children over the age of three, all children under age 3 get free admission!  All proceeds from the event will go to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

This year's Winter Carnival will not only have fun activity for kids of all ages, but live music, entertainment, and food!

Any students interested in volunteering for the Winter Carnival should see Mr. Leighton, come to a Student Government meeting on Thursday right after school, or get in touch with your class representatives. Winter Carnival is not only for a great cause but is also a great way to earn community service hours!

So be there or be square, March 10th from 12-4pm in the FHS field house and small gym for Winter Carnival 2013!

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A "self-healing" asphalt

Franklin road conditions have been the topic of many conversations over the past several years. 200 miles of roads, a limited budget, how will Franklin keep them in good shape?

In this TED Talk "Paved roads are nice to look at, but they’re easily damaged and costly to repair. Erik Schlangen demos a new type of porous asphalt made of simple materials with an astonishing feature: When cracked, it can be “healed” by induction heating. (Filmed at TEDxDelft.)"

Impressive. I wonder how long until it is commercially available?

For additional background material on the conditions of Franklin's roads

The Franklin Road Condition report

Voices of Franklin: The road conditions on Ledge St

The Long Range Planning Final report references the need to budget for road repairs

Franklin Library: Family Storytime & Winter Carnival

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 2/14/13

Things you can do from here:

Legal Clinic at Chamber, Fri March 8

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce logo

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network (MSBDC) is holding a free legal clinic for small businesses at The United Regional Chamber of Commerce, 42 Union St., Attleboro, on Fri. March 8 , from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  

The law firm of Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP will be available to discuss general legal questions such as corporate structure, leases, contracts, insurance, employment, franchising, etc. You will be able to schedule a confidential 30 minute meeting with Chris Cassara, a partner at Partridge Snow & Hahn.  

To make an appointment, call MSBDC's office at 508-673-9783 x10. Any business participating in the clinic will be expected to sign a general waiver regarding conflicts, etc.

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce | 42 Union Street | Attleboro | MA | 02703

Thursday, February 14, 2013

New 2-Year DOR Strategic Plan Posted

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Revenue by Edward Peters on 2/13/13

DOR has posted its 2013-2015 Strategic Plan.  This plan outlines a comprehensive set of goals and actions which will serve as a roadmap to success for the agency.

The Strategic Plan describes how DOR will support the Executive Office of Administration and Finance's (A&F) Better Performance goal by taking a proactive approach to improve performance, effectiveness and efficiency across the agency, developing and actively measuring standards of quality for core processes, and actively working to improve the skills, processes and technologies to better support the core functions of the agency. The plan also describes how DOR supports A&F's Better Government goal by creating a customer-focused culture and processes that will support communication, collaboration and co-design with a broad range of stakeholders.

The plan is an important part of DOR's operational foundation and provides a blueprint by which its divisions can measure and report on their success.

Please take a look at our plan -- we trust that you will find it to be comprehensive, informative and useful.

Note: if you require an accessible version of the plan, please see the DOR homepage

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In addition to the links provided above, you can view the plan here

Curbside Chronicle: Feb - May 2013

The recent Curbside Chronicle is available here

You can also find this on the Franklin, MA webpage here

Rep Roy: Medway Girls Scouts

Rep Jeff Roy met with a Girl Scout troop from Medway when they visited the State House recently. Sen Karen Spilka hosted the troop.

Medway Girls Scouts visit State House

The photo includes leaders: Tracey Twamley, Eileen McGonigle, Pat Davis, and Kathy MacDougall. The Girl Scouts include: Maya Twamley, Marissa Galante, Cayla McGonigle, Anita Cuff, Grace Brueckner, Andrea Hester, MaryKate MacDougall, Sophia Flotta, Maevis Fahey, Olivia Cardillo, Katelyn Piche, Lindsey Blenkhorn, Lindsay MacLeod, and Lily Ouellette.

Photo credit to Rep Jeff Roy's office

Thank you, from National Grid

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Thank you, from National Grid

Despite challenges such as huge snow banks, narrower-than-usual roads and limited access to some facilities, National Grid has restored power to nearly all customers affected by the blizzard that tore through the state Friday and Saturday. Winter storm Nemo was yet another historic storm to affect our region with blizzard winds, downed trees and wires and as much as 2+ feet of snow in some areas. As soon as it was safe, our crews worked around the clock to restore service.
Throughout the storm, we have been boosted by the patience and words of encouragement offered by our customers via our call centers, social media and email responses. Your kind words have not gone unnoticed. As always, we thank you for your continued support of our crews, linemen and employees.

With Nemo behind us, we encourage you to stay connected now so that when the next storm hits, you'll be ready.
You can join the over 100,000 customers that have already registered for storm text alerts by texting the word STORM to NGRID (64743). You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter in order to stay connected. You can learn more about the other ways to stay connected during a storm by going to our Stay Connected webpage.

If you are still without power or want to report an outage you can reach us at 1-800-465-1212. For all other questions you can reach us at 1-800-322-3223.

We thank you again for your support.

National Grid
Here with you. Here for you.
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This email was sent by: National Grid
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In the News: Tech Day Camp, drunk driving, Scott Brown

Chamber to hold Tech Day Camp on March 23

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce will hold an all-day Tech Day Camp on Saturday, March 23, at Tri-County RVT High School, 147 Pond St.

A Franklin man was charged with drunken driving after a Main Street crash Tuesday in which his car ended up on its roof, police said.

Scott Brown takes Fox News job

Fox News Channel is hiring former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown as a contributor, and the Republican is making his debut in prime time on Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Food Pantry Phone-a-thon Feb 16th

Food Pantry Phone-a-thon sign on the triangle before the storm

The snow storm, blizzard Nemo, buried the opportunity to make phone calls last weekend. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate for this Saturday. 

Volunteers are still needed. You can contact Bob Hamilton via email at or call the Food Pantry 508-528-3115 and use option 5 to leave your name, phone number or email address.

Thanks to Dean College we will be using their phone bank and calls from us will show up as "Dean College" for those with caller ID.

If you would like to donate via the Food Pantry website, we are enabled to take your donation securely online.

Early Ed. in the Governor's budget + Globe Op-Ed

MassBudget    Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center    Democracy.
Early Ed. & Care in the Governor's Budget
Quality Early Education & Care can help prepare children for success in school and in life, and it provides parents the flexibility they need to seek and keep jobs. MassBudget's new brief, Early Education & Care in the Governor's FY 2014 Budget, analyzes the Governor's proposals for early education and child care. These include:

  • A 22% increase in funding for access to child care, as part of an effort to clear the current wait list

  • An expansion of education funding for pre-K students

  • New programs to train teachers and improve quality

Early Education & Care in the Governor's FY 2014 Budget is the first in a series of briefs that will explore, in greater detail, important issues in the Governor's proposal.

MassBudget Op-Ed in the Globe

In an Op-Ed in Today's Boston Globe, MassBudget President Noah Berger describes how the tax cuts of 1998-2002 have limited our ability to invest in our children, our communities, and the future of our economy.
"Tax policy debates are about how we pay for the things we do together for our communities, our families, and our economy. Working together through government allows us to accomplish things that are vital to us as a Commonwealth and that we can't do alone. This includes the roads, subways, and buses that help us get around and allow our economy to function; the schools that educate our children and strengthen our future workforce; the police and fire protection that keep our neighborhoods safe; the environmental safeguards that maintain our clean air and water; and the safety net that protects us when we fall on hard times.

About 15 years ago, at the height of the dot-com bubble, our state made tax policy choices that have shaped state policy ever since. At the time, our economy was so strong that it seemed we could cut taxes dramatically with no consequences. The state enacted a series of cuts to the income tax that are now costing us close to $3 billion a year. We cut the tax rate on most income from 5.95 percent to 5.3 percent, costing over $1.5 billion. We cut the tax rate on dividends and interest from 12 percent to 5.3 percent, costing about $850 million. We increased the personal deduction to $4,400, costing $550 million."

Mass. Business Taxes

MassBudget has updated our factsheet on statewide business taxes, How do Massachusetts Business Taxes Compare to Other States. When business are deciding where to locate or expand, they look at a range of factors: infrastructure, quality of the local workforce, available markets, and sometimes tax levels. Looking just at taxes, one prominent study--produced regularly by the Council on State Taxation (COST)--finds that overall state and local business taxes in Massachusetts are well below average.

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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Tax Tip of the Week

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Revenue by Ann Dufresne-DOR Communications Director on 2/12/13

Here's a deduction you don't want to miss when filing your MA tax return--the rental deduction. You may be entitled to a tax deduction equal to one half of the rent you paid during calendar year 2012 up to $3,000 for your principal residence in MA. Rent includes the amount you paid for heat, hot water, gas, electricity, furniture or parking, if the landlord makes no separate charge for these items. In tax year 2011an estimated 818,726 taxpayers claimed the rental deduction reducing paying filers' taxes by $117.8 million.Go to the TheFilingZone for anything and everything you ever wanted to know about filing your state returns.

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Franklin Library: Fun Club - Valentine Bingo

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 2/12/13

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In the News: ID bylaw, Recreation Dept

AG says voter I.D. bylaw can't apply to Bellingham town elections

Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office ruled on Tuesday that part of the voter I.D. bylaw passed at the October special Town Meeting is unconstitutional.

Franklin Recreation briefs

News from the Franklin Recreation Department.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Where are all the kids?

Sunday afternoon. Dolores and I walked to downtown and back. We saw a couple of snowmen. We saw a few kids digging some tunnels in the snow. We did see evidence of some snow forts and a snow ball fight that had happened.


And when we walked by Fletcher Field, the snow was unbroken. Glistening in the snow light.

6,000 kids in the school system. Gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Plenty of snow...

Where are all the kids?

More photos from the walk around Franklin Saturday and Sunday can be found here

TED: Kids need structure (video)

"Always be looking for that which you do well and that which you love doing, and when you find those two things together — man, you got it.” (Colin Powell)

"So, I tell young people everywhere, it ain't where you start in life, it's what you do with life that determines where you end up in life, and you are blessed to be living in a country that, no matter where you start, you have opportunities so long as you believe in yourself, you believe in the society and the country, and you believe that you can self-improve and educate yourself as you go along. And that's the key to success." Colin Powell

Franklin Library: Kindle eReader Instruction

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 2/11/13

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Monday, February 11, 2013

After Nemo (photo essay)

Walking around Franklin on Saturday afternoon and then again on Sunday provided some good photo opportunities.

Parmenter School
Parmenter School is ready to open two hours late today

Franklin Historical Museum
The Museum, in the snow, with the setting sun.... looking good!

Rockland Trust
I am not sure that the brand managers would appreciate with Mother Nature did with their sign!

Downtown view at the triangle

Looking west at the triangle
The roads are narrow, be careful moving about

The storm hid the name of this street
When walking Sunday, the street sign was able to reveal its name. The snow had cleared. (see below)

King of the hill anyone?
The corner of King St and Summer St heading into Franklin was piled high

King St empty on a Saturday afternoon?
The travel ban was still in effect and folks were abiding by it. Only a few snow plows came by during our walk on Saturday.

Tree shadow
Sunday brought bright sunshine

snow sculpted by the wind
Many yards slope and how the wind played with the snow revealed some interesting combinations

snow overhang
One of the Franklin Housing Association buildings has this nice big snow curve hanging there

snow curve, side view
The connections are made one flake at a time

Winter St
The mystery sign is appropriately Winter St.