Saturday, March 23, 2013

"I feel like I belong there"

The Milford Daily News has an article about a new skating team in Franklin that is preparing to compete.
The team originally consisted of Brianna Cummings, Madigan Smith, Alexandra Sousa, Michaela DeToma, and Holly Swinamer. Since those five girls first skated, the team has nearly quadrupled. It now has 19 girls from Franklin and area towns. 
The team, based out of Franklin’s Pirelli Arena, made a mark when Holly Swinamer’s mother, Tracey, approached team coach Joanna Zehme about a competition in Danbury, Conn. – The Holiday Challenge. 
"Honestly, we were so new and had such a small team, I wasn’t sure we could get enough skaters interested in traveling out of state for an overnight competition," Zehme said.

Read more:

In the News: casino, crash, fire

Foxwood plans $1 billion Milford casino

During a preliminary discussion with town officials this week, Foxwoods representatives outlined a plan to invest $1 billion in the casino they and a Colorado developer are proposing for Milford.

Three hurt seriously in Franklin crash

Two young men were flown by LifeFlight helicopters to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester Friday morning and another was taken via ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, all with serious injuries, after their SUV struck a tree.

Firefighters snuff Franklin chimney fire

Franklin firefighters put out a chimney fire at Stone Ridge Condominiums on Friday evening.

Performances today

Crossway Church presents ‘Jack and the Beanstalk," March 23

Members of Crossway Church, 282 Summer St., Franklin will present “Jack and the Beanstalk” on Saturday, March 23, at 4 p.m.

‘Strawberry Freckleface’ to be staged in Franklin

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School’s (BFCCPS) Fine and Performing Arts Department is proud to present two performances of Freckleface Strawberry on Saturday, March 23, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Thomas D. Mercer Auditorium, Horace Mann School, 224 Oak St., Franklin.

Pour Richards: Introducing In-Store Pick-up

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Connecting good friends with great wine!
Never Drink Ordinary!

Introducing In-Store Pick-up!
Introducing In-Store Pick-up!
Welcome to the first phase of our new e-commerce site.
Check it out....reserve online, and pick up when convenient.

Never Drink Ordinary.
Ann Williams and John Wass

Remember, join us for our Spring Holiday tasting this Sunday from 2-5 PM.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Top secret honey mustard sauce

No, actually the Parmenter School "Talent Show" goes on stage tonight at the Horace Mann Middle School Auditorium.

Sounds like a good time!

Trivia Bee (photo slide show)

The annual Franklin Education Foundation Trivia Bee was held last night at the Mercer Auditorium, Horace Mann middle School. Each team was sponsored by a business or group. Some teams were represented by members of that group, others were filled in by Franklin High School students. Good fun was had with the music theme. Some of the questions involved clips of music to be identified. One of the clips was played in real-time by the High School Jazz Band ("the A Train").

The five teams that made it to the final round were
  • Horace Mann PCC
  • Franklin School Committee
  • Keller PCC
  • ECDC
  • Remington PCC

Update: The Franklin School Committee won the final round and overall title!

A slide show of most of the sponsored teams is available here:

("Most" as there are 26 in this first pass, so I need to figure out which 4 teams I missed and add those.)

For more about the Franklin Education Foundation, you can find them on Facebook or visit their webpage

You're invited to "PodCamp WesternMass #5"

What is a PodCamp?
It is an event put together to share and learn from each other focused in this case on 'social media' tools. How to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other channels to help you or your business accomplish what you need to.

I'd like to share this event with you!
PodCamp WesternMass #5
Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EDT)
Holyoke Community College (HCC)
303 Homestead Ave
Kittredge Center
Holyoke, MA 01040
View Map
Want company? Share this event!

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Note: I am helping to organize this event.

In the News: grants awarded, grant scam

Sen. Spilka announces grant money for water conservation

Franklin, Medway and Hopkinton have received grant money from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to assist their efforts in water conservation.

Better Business Bureau warns of 'grant' scam

The Marlborough-based Better Business Bureau has received reports of suspicious calls concerning government grants.


Note: as good as the numbers are there is still a problem: "the number of unemployed residents is still 52 percent higher than it was before the downturn struck"

state seal
State emblem

Commonwealth of Massachusetts 
Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        March 21, 2013

Contact:–Kevin Franck, 617.626.7121(o), 617.823.7580(c)   Follow us on Twitter


Revised numbers show Massachusetts added 19,400 jobs in January and February, unemployment rate ticks down to 6.5%

BOSTON MA - March 21, 2013 –The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development today announced that Massachusetts has surpassed pre-recession job levels. With revised numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing more jobs were created in January than initially estimated, there are now 3,318,500 jobs in Massachusetts, compared to 3,304,300 in April 2008.

Revised jobs estimates show 18,900 jobs were created in January, an increase over the 16,100 jobs initially estimated.

Initial estimates show 500 jobs were created in February and the statewide unemployment rate ticked down to 6.5% from 6.7% in January. Five of the ten sectors added jobs in February with the largest gain in Professional, Scientific, and Business Services.   

Over the year, Massachusetts added 57,600 jobs, 52,500 of which were in the private sector.

February 2013 Employment Overview
Professional, Scientific, and Business Services added 3,200 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific, and Business Services added 18,200 (+3.8%) jobs with gains across all components.
Construction added 1,400 (+1.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction added 4,500 (+3.9%) jobs.
Other Services added 900 (+0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services added 3,500 (+2.9%) jobs.
Financial Activities added 700 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities gained 700 (+0.3%) jobs; Finance and Insurance lost 400 (-0.2%) jobs; Real Estate, Rental and Leasing added 1,100 (+2.7%) jobs.
Education and Health Services lost 3,600 (-0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 11,400 (+1.7%) jobs.
Leisure and Hospitality lost 2,400 (-0.7%) jobs over the month due to the loss in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 9,000 (+2.8%) jobs.
Manufacturing lost 1,700 jobs (-0.7%) over the month.  Over the year, Manufacturing lost 2,900 (1.1%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities lost 500 (-0.1%) jobs over the month.  Over the year, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 5,900 (+1.1%) jobs.
Information lost 400 (-0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information gained 2,300 (+2.7%) jobs.
Government gained 2,800 (+0.6%) jobs over the month, with the largest gain coming from Local Government, which added 2,000 (+0.8%) jobs. State Government added 800 jobs (+0.6%) and Federal Government jobs remained unchanged. Over the year, Government gained 5,100 (+1.2%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview
The February 2013 estimates show 3,250,300 Massachusetts residents were employed and 226,700 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,477,000. The February labor force decreased by 6,900 from 3,483,900 in January 2013, as 900 fewer residents were employed and 6,000 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force was an estimated 200 below the 3,477,200 February 2012 estimate, with 5,200 more residents employed and 5,400 fewer residents unemployed.  

The unemployment rate is based on a monthly sample of households. The job estimates are derived from a monthly sample survey of employers.  As a result, the two statistics may exhibit different monthly trends.

Beginning with the March 2011 estimates, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has assumed responsibility for the production of the CESState and sub-state jobs estimates. BLS has also implemented methodological changes which may increase the month to month variability of the estimates. See Changes to procedures for producing Current Employment Statistics (CES) State estimates.

Local area unemployment statistics for February 2013 will be released on Tuesday, March 26, 2013. The preliminary March 2013 and revised February 2013 unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, April 18, 2013.  See Media Advisory for a complete list of release dates.
Detailed labor market information is available a

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Reminder: FEF Trivia Bee - tonight

Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Horace Mann Middle School

Always a fun night for Franklin families, the 16th Annual FEF Trivia Bee will be held on Thursday, March 21st, at the Horace Mann Middle School at 7:00 p.m.

This year's theme is MUSIC!!

trivia bee
Franklin Education Foundation: Trivia Bee - flyer

More information about the Franklin Education Foundation can be found on the following website and Facebook page

Hockomock hockey and basketball rankings

Final Winter Hock 5 Rankings Released

After four months, the winter season has finally come to its end after two Hockomock teams competed in state championship games this past weekend. has released it's final Hock 5 Rankings for boys and girls basketball as hockey.

In the News: fundraiser, Palmieri

Hockomock Area YMCA fundraiser aims to collect $1 million for kids, families

The Hockomock Area YMCA has announced that it hopes to raise a million dollars through the 2013 Reach Out for Youth and Families Campaign, the organization’s largest fundraising effort of the year.

Boston Marathon profile: Nicholas Palmieri

Franklin's Nicholas Palmieri is running his first-ever marathon is honor of his father.

MassBudget: Aid to cities and towns - the Governor's budget

MassBudget    Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center    Democracy.
Local Aid to Cities and Towns
To help cities and towns pay for police and fire protection, parks, and other core services, the state provides funding through General Local Aid. Since 2001, that funding has fallen by 46%.

MassBudget's new brief, "General Local Aid in the Governor's Budget," describes the Governor's proposal for FY 2014. This includes:

  • A slight increase in funding for Local Aid--the first increase in 5 years.

  • A new distribution formula which places greater weight on each city or town's ability to raise its own revenue. The new formula only applies to that portion of funding above the FY 2013 level

Our interactive tool allows you to see how recent cuts to local aid have affected each city and town in the Commonwealth. Earlier MassBudget reports have also shown how local aid works and how funding for cities and towns has changed since the early 1980s.

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

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Franklin's Birthday Party (photo essay)

The annual party to celebrate the birthday of those who were born on March 2nd. This is the date that Franklin was born as a town. The party held at the Historical Museum on Sunday.

There were buttons for the special birthday guests to wear

birthday buttons

There were balloons

balloons inside museum

There was cake

cake and goodies

There was music performed by Emma Newton. Jamie Barrett was also scheduled to perform

Emma Newton

Did you know you could see the strap used for corporal punishment at the Brick School? This is just one of many items on display at the Historical Museum.

Franklin Historical Museum

You should spend some time exploring Franklin's history. The Museum is free (donations are accepted). The Historical Museum is open
Thursday 5:00 - 8:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

You can visit the Historical Museum's webpage here

or follow them on Facebook here

Access to healthy affordable food is possible

If you believe that eating healthy is a right not a privilege, then Healthy Futures Franklin is a cause to seriously consider:

Join us for this meeting, Wednesday evening from 6:00 - 7:00 PM at the Franklin Food Pantry.

The Food Pantry is located in the Rockland Trust parking lot in Downtown Franklin. The lights will be on. We'll meet in the conference room on the 2nd floor.

In the News: snow, Rizzolo, kindergarten

Towns tackle late-season snow
With the official start of spring just a day away, Milford area towns were hoping to be spared any more snow this winter. Mother nature had other plans, though.

Boston Marathon profile - Katie Rizzolo
Training for her fifth 26.2-miler.

Franklin Schools offering Ready Set Kindergarten Summer Program
The Franklin Public Schools Summer Program 2013 is offering Ready Set Kindergarten, a program for incoming Franklin Public Schools kindergarten students. In this fun-filled class, children will become familiar with a kindergarten classroom setting and daily routines.

Franklin Art Center: Spring/Summer Classes

APRIL 22-JUNE 14   $200
This is our last after school session.  We made this an 8 week session due to the school schedule. Current students may register now. We will open the registration April 1st.

*Saturday classes will run for 5 weeks  April 27-May 8  $125
                                there is no class May 4 and 25 

Franklin Art Center
Franklin Art Center

10-12        $90
Come in these three days and work on water based media, Monet's water lilies  and hand paint umbrellas.  

SUMMER ART CLASSES  website to be updated  call or email for more information
JULY 8- AUGUST 8   9:30-12 or 1-3:30  $225 includes materials and snacks

         Animals in Art  July 8-11                  9:30-12    Ages 10-14
                                                             1-3:30      Ages 5-9
 Under Water Art   July 15-18
            9:30-12    Ages 5-9

3D Week, July 22-25                            9:30-12    Ages  6-10   
 new clay and sculpture week            1-3:30     Ages 11-15
Inspiring Artists  July 29- August 1     9:30-12  Ages 5-9 
                                                                                 1-3:30    Ages 9-12 

 Art Studio Week August 5-8                9:30-12  Ages 11-15

All preschool classes include, exploratory time, circle time with story and lesson,
art activity, and snack time.  All lessons will reinforce Kindergarten readiness skills.

1pr A Monday, Wednesday, and Friday   9:30-11:30    $120
1pr B Tuesday and Thursday                   12:30-2           $60
Animal lovers will be inspired to draw paint and build their favorite animals.
A variety of different mediums will be explored to create 2D and 3D art.

2pr A  Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30-11:30  $120
2pr B  Tuesday and Thursday                12:30-2        $60
If your little one loves summer fun, the beach, sand, and sea creatures; come in and learn about the ocean and make a variety of 2D and 3D art based on the beach. 

Celebrate Easter Sunday at 3!

2 Great Ways to Celebrate!
Elaborate Brunch buffet complete with omelet station, carving station and chocolate fountain! $28 for adults and $14 for kids under 10 years.
Dinner starting at noon in the dining room. Entire dinner menu plus our Chef's specials. Click here to view specials.
* Reservations Required. Half price promotion and kids eat free not valid on Holidays.
461 W Central Street (Rt.140), Franklin, MA 02038 •

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Let's Eat, Inc. | 461 Central Street | Franklin | MA | 02038


MA Seal
MA seal

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        March 19, 2013
Contact:–Kevin Franck, 617.626.7121(o), 617.823.7580 (c)
Follow us on Twitter

for U.S. Labor Secretary

BOSTON – Tuesday, March 19, 2013 – Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne F. Goldstein released the following statement today on President Obama's nomination of Thomas Perez to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor:

"Tom Perez's life story, his experience at the state level and his unwavering commitment to protecting our nation's promise for all Americans make him an excellent choice to be the U.S. Secretary of Labor. He shares the Commonwealth's commitment to protecting vulnerable workers and I look forward to working with him."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring gardening (photo essay)

St Patrick's Day saw a whole bunch of folks getting dirty at the Community Gardens. Originally planned for some early planting, the soil was really too cold for that, but there were other activities to get into the green spirit.

Four new raised garden beds were installed. Three are shown here. The fourth is not far away.

new raised garden beds

Starter kits were made with empty plastic milk jugs. You cut around below the handle but not completely through. This provides opens to provide access to the square bottom and closes to provide a cover.

seed starter from a plastic jug

Using a hammer, puts some holes in the bottom of the jug to allow water to drain through.

the garden work table

Then fill with some good soil and some seeds.

sample of seeds being planted

Add water and tape together. Susan Baker proudly holds her finished product.

Susan Baker is ready

Pea seeds were available for taking.

pea seeds

The shed now has rain water barrels installed (Thanks Rich!)

rain barrels

The shed also has an announcement board installed (Thanks Rich!)

announcement board

In April, and hopefully warmer weather, there will be another scheduled event with a gardening theme at the Community Gardens. Get your green thumbs ready!