Saturday, March 30, 2013

Alisa Vitti: What If Drugs Weren’t The Answer?

Jonathan Fields has a great video series underway called the "Good Life Project". Alisa Vitti is his most recent guest. She provides some great insights into the relationship between what we eat and how healthy we are.

Viewing this, I am changing how I drink coffee.
Coffee, yes...

Spend 45 minutes and this may change your approach to what you eat and drink

What do you think?

Red Sox Nation alert!

Author Glenn Stout will be coming to the Franklin Library Monday, Apr 8th at 6:30 PM. He'll talk about his book "Fenway 1912"

library: Glenn Stout
Library: Glenn Stout

"the licensing of gaming establishments"

With the possibility of a casino coming to Milford up the road along i495, I'll share items related to the permitting process. The Gaming Commission will be holding a public hearing on May 3. The specific time and location of the hearing remains to be determined.
Casino developers will be required to submit a ‘Phase 2’ application that includes a specific site plan proposal if they pass the background checks currently being performed by the commission on the first-round applicants. 
Further information relative to time and location of the public hearing will be released at a later date. Those who wish to submit written comments on the draft regulations may do so by sending an email to with ‘draft regulations comment’ in the subject line.” Please be certain to identify in your comments the section number of the regulation for which you are commenting. 
For more information, please click here:

Read more:

To go directly to the "Master draft' of the new regulations, follow this link

To go directly to the existing regulations, follow this link:

Friday, March 29, 2013

New Sculpture Park Opening in Franklin

View it in your browser.

New Sculpture Park in Franklin

We need your help.

The Town of Franklin has approached the Franklin Art Center to combine their resources in order to create a unique, and first of it's kind, Sculpture Park.

The town has agreed to donate the land, the landscaping, and insurance. Construction of a parking lot is already underway as is the clearing of the land. Franklin Art Center will be responsible for contacting artists and sculptors, delivery, and design of placement of 10/15 pieces of sculpture, depending on size and complexity. Franklin Art Center has also agreed to approach the business and the community to try and raise money in order to make this an original and distinctive park, for the enjoyment and pleasure of the residents of Franklin, schools and surrounding areas.

All donations raised will go to the artists involved to assist with transportation, the construction of foundations if necessary, and installation of these one of a kind works of art.

Please help Franklin develop this special space that we call all enjoy. Even the smallest donation will help. Thank you.

Donate now →

More from the Center

Know A Sculptor

We are also looking for work to be on display at the park.

Contact us now →

Franklin Art Center

The team at Franklin Art Center wants to extend a hearty 'thank you' to all of our wonderful students. You're made the Art community shine, and we want to keep that going!

Learn about the Center →
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Copyright © 2013 Franklin Art Center

Our mailing address is:
5 Main St
Franklin Art Center
Franklin MA 02038

Franklin Art Center · 5 Main St · Franklin, MA 02038
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Dean College: 'Godspell' opens Apr 3

Godspell opens at Dean College on April 3, and runs through April 7. For tickets, visit

Franklin Liquors Easter Newsletter

Let Us Help You With All Your Easter Needs. In This Newsletter Are Sale Items, Gift Ideas, New items And Wine Suggestions For Easter. From Our Family To Yours Have A Very Happy And Safe Easter.

Franklin Liquors
Franklin Liquors

The newsletter can be found here

In the News: Tri-County, DelCarte, casino

Lt. Gov. tours Franklin's Tri-County Tech

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray visited and toured Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical School on Wednesday.

Franklin's DelCarte Conservation Area a 'hidden jewel' no longer

The DelCarte Conservation Area’s 136 acres of pristine, untamed woodlands soon will become a full-fledged recreational park, complete with an improved trail system and a nature-themed playground.

Casino Free Milford hopes to expand to more towns
A group of residents from the towns surrounding Milford who opposes the proposed casino here is seeking to expand its membership to include more area communities.

Weekend Travel Tips

MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead and travel safely during the upcoming weekend, with heavy traffic expected due to Easter Sunday observances. 
The heaviest traffic congestion on I-90 during busy weekends is expected at the I-84 interchange at Exit 9 in Sturbridge and at Exit 11A, I-495.

For more travel tips and tricks, follow this link

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Live reporting - Finance Committee - Budget Hearing

Present: Smith, Dufur, Quinn, Roche, Dewsnap, Aparo
Absent: GoldsmithFeldman, Huempfner

Susan Gagner, Jeff Nutting and Jim Dacey (from right to left as you watch the video broadcast)

Action Items 
Elections: $12,400 Source of Funds: Free Cash
Motion to approve, passed 6-0

Budget hearing

Debbie Pellegri, Town Clerk

Town Clerk A-33
Elections A-36
Historical F-11

simple budget expenses all the same, next year may go higher as expenses are increasing but not this year. salaries increase a little, otherwise not much of a change

Need to print hard copy for binding, and to microfilm the official copies
while the world seems to be going digital and web, the government hasn't

The Town election is completely funded by the town for November, no State help for this one

Traffic is increasing at the Museum
little league teams are celebrating 60 year anniversary 
the increases in budget due to needs for manikins, etc.

no admission, donations are accepted to the Friends of the Historical Commission

Tri-County School District
Stephen Dockray, Superintendent
John Roy, School Business Administrator

24% of the assessment is what Franklin contributes
could absorb the capital plan either in budget or decide to go with a debt exclusion to fund this

Bob Fahey, Veterans 
Veterans E-15

28 people on case load, 15 are widows, all but four are veterans in the 50+ age group
all medical costs are covered and reimbursed through the program, Medicare B

The State reimburses 75% of the expenses incurred

Are the pockets of people we are not reaching?
It is possible, we do a lot of out reach through the town, the cable channel, etc.

has been processing claims recently for Vietnam veterans for Agent Orange
had six lung cancer cases where they passed away during the past couple of years, their widows are now entitled to receive benefits

Bryan Taberner, Director of Planning and Community Development
Planning A-40

Steady as we go
started rough with the loss of Nick Alferi the Conservation Agent who passed away last July.
Replaced with two part people instead of the one full-time 

Can you recap some of the projects you have worked on?

  • NuStyle currently in work
  • working with DPW on Downtown Project with easements for the work
  • a lot of zoning work, biotech zoning district
  • increase economic opportunity areas, Hamilton Tech took advantage of
  • working on initiatives for retail downtown
  • cultural economic travel with the MetroWest Region
  • worked on the DelCarte project

Jeff Nutting will be attending a meeting on the Milford casino project
what is not said is that the above listing is all over and above the statutory requirements that are a priority
advertising is usually refundable to the Town as these are recovered by fees

Cindy Souza
Animal Control B-72

split arrangement with Bellingham
we pay for the dog pound and expenses, Bellingham pays the salaries
an increase of coyotes this year being seen this year

wildlife is attended to if is sick or injured

Stephanie Lutz, Director
Human Resources A-23

with state and federal changes, health insurance is becoming more and more complicated and time consuming
health insurance renewals for current employees, involved with the 9 labor unions
active safety committee to minimize risk and injuries
unemployment, health insurance for all the retirees
flexible spending, dental, life insurance claims

on the Joint Management committee for the State to help work other labor disputes

Benefits G-6
two vendors wouldn't quote as our rate is lower than the State GIC rate
have been leading among municipal governments for employee co-pays, and deductible changes
retired teachers were taken out of the State program 7 years ago, more subscribers and still $300,000 less than they were paying 7 years ago

Cindy Dobrzynski, Chair, Library Board of Directors
Felicia Oti, Director
Library F-1

increase in books to expand collection and replace some older books
a beautification committee now formed, looking at safety concerns
looking to improve services and make it a more inviting place
engaging community to solicit feedback
afternoon programs for 6-18
44 kids yesterday afternoon for arts and crafts, so Facebook and communications are helping

The book budget was $175,000 back when we were spending $900,000 on the library
Engineer looking at the interior of the Library to evaluate what can be done and for how much
may require some expense and possible borrowing to be handled under the debt plan

would really like to see the Library open on Sundays in addition to more more of this and that

Chief Gary McCarragher
Deputy Chief Paul Sharpe
Fire B-14
really should have 48 people, currently have 44 
to provide the full staffing with minimal overtime

while call volumes have remained steady, there are anticipated increase coming with the two new assisted living facilities coming online
increased work load has increased overtime and increased injuries which has then contributed to additional overtime, a vicious cycle

a one minute response time improvement can improve life by 13%

response time chart shows the performance vs the staffing levels

increasing reliance on overtime
# of lost time injuries continues to rise

in the next 5-7 years, approx 1/3 of the workforce will be lost due to retirements
institutional knowledge and experience will be lost

cost savings with regional savings can help fund personnel

working with HR to get a back training program
the difference between us and the Boston Celtics is we work 365x7x24 and our wins and losses are measured far differently
my personal belief is to right size the workforce
we have a 24 hour shift and a team sport, take one person out and the performance and the team suffers

Mike D'Angelo, Director
Facilities A-192

full coverage for all the facilities, construction, capital projects
decreases in budget due to better contracts for electricity, natural gas (out to bid now), 
materials and supplies, costs are continuing to increase, less than 1% increase for all of the facilities

more maintenance required as systems age account for fire alarm and monitoring systems increases

comparison of operating costs for new high school versus today's building
electricity will go up, gas will go down, water will decrease
not a lot of issues in first year as the warranty covers those items, after the first year we get to pick up those

There are a zillion little things that the average person doesn't see
looking to put LED lighting into the parking lots, cost to maintain, length of time between replacements will go up

Police Capt Stephen Semerjian

coming back to add $35K for part-time dispatchers given the other moves on the regionalization efforts underway
it is very uncomfortable to be alone in the dispatch area

even if the Council approves this in May, it will take a couple of months to get folks on and trained

Jim Dacey
Debt G-1

will need to amend the budget once the money is actually funded in August
it was modeled at 4.25% and could be a lot less than 4%
it is a good time to do this, the overall school building budget is less and the current interest rates are low, when looked at over 25 years, it makes a difference

very important to maintain reinvestment, the approx $480,000 short of the 3.5% would need to come from some other budget. With debt at 3.5%, it is a small amount given the total budget

it would be equivalent of a $1750 mortgage payment for the whole year, not just monthly (on a $50,000 annual income)

pension blended with all the communities, with a new GASB ruling, they will have to decouple and tell each community its own share
we are the largest contributor to the Norfolk County system

no layoffs expected this year so unemployment insurance holding its own. The schools do layoff the new teachers that don't make it and are not rehired so they use the unemployment

8 of 9 collective bargaining agreements in place, the fire dept is the one outstanding

Liability Ins G-16

Memorial Day F-13
flags for veterans day that the Boy Scouts put on the graves

Cultural Council F15
local money plus State funding results in the grants

Norfolk Aggie C-3
20 students at $2,000 per student
based upon the number of students enrolled in October

this covers all the budget hearings, could cover all the documents now or cover these for our regular session on Apr 2

will cancel the 4/1 and 4/4 sessions

Kindergarten registration

Friendly reminder, no school on Friday, March 29th for Good Friday.

Kindergarten registration will be held on Monday, April 1 and Thursday, April 4 at the Horace Mann School from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Please use the following forms to complete your child's kindergarten registration.

The forms can also be found on the School webpage here

"I do support the notion of having the job appointed"

The quote is from Jeff Roy in the Milford Daily News recap of the Town Council meeting. The article is short on detail and one of the reasons why I attend as many meetings as I can. I did miss last night and will catch the video replay to find out the full story around this and what else happened during the meeting. The agenda was full but this is the only item in the new today.
As the amendment reads now, the treasurer/collector would shift under the section of the charter that governs the town administrator’s power of appointment, joining such positions as fire chief, police chief and comptroller. 
However, the Town Council would have to ratify any candidate the town administrator brings before it. 
While Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting said he would request guidance from councilors during the search process — given the importance of the job — the language in the amendment does not stipulate that future town administrator’s make the same gesture. 
By voting against the amendment rather than tabling it, the council sent a clear message that the appointment process needs to be reviewed. Councilors agreed to spend time doing so with Nutting before voting on the matter again next month.

Read more:

Reading between the lines, the Council will vote for an amendment to be put before the voters if the right process and language can be agreed to. While this had been discussed, the language brought before the Council last night was language some of them did not like. The article does mention that some of them will work with Jeff Nutting to draft better language to bring back to the Council.

Have you returned your census form?



As posted to the Franklin news page

I found that my family's form had been misplaced within the house and I turned mine in a couple of weeks ago. Did you misplace yours?

In the News: Unsung heroines

Several local residents will be among the  "Unsung Heroines'' whose praises will be sung at the Statehouse next month.

Barbara Rondeau of Franklin volunteers in the town's "tax work-off program'' and leads Concerts on the Common and Santa Claus on the Common committees.

Read more: Spitz: Local women named 'Unsung Heroines' - News - Franklin, MA - Wicked Local Franklin 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Finance Committee - Agenda - Mar 28, 2013

The Finance Committee continues the FY 2014 Budget hearing with a meeting scheduled for Thursday, Mar 28 at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers. (The Conservation Commission normally meets in this room on Thursdays, their meeting was re-located to the 3rd Floor Training Room).

Action Items 
Elections: $12,400 Source of Funds: Free Cash

Budget Hearing 
Tri County C-2
Veterans E-15
Planning A-40
Animal Control B-72
Human Resources A-23
Town Clerk A-33
Elections A-36
Historical F-11
Library F-1
Fire B-14
Facilities A-192
Debt G-1
Benefits G-6
Liability Ins G-16
Memorial Day F-13
Cultural Council F15
Norfolk Aggie C-3

The full agenda for this meeting can be found here

Notes from the first two budget hearings for FY 2014 can be found here

Summer Fun Dance Camps

Imagine tutus, tiara, castles and wands. Make edible jewelry and paint with chocolate. Watch your favorite story book come to life, all while dancing! Patti Eisenhauer Dance is offering a variety of themed dance camps for young dancers this summer. In addition, the Intensive Dance Camp for older dancers is also being offered. All are welcome to both camps.
Isabella Wenzel of Franklin loves her magic wand
Isabella Wenzel of Franklin loves her magic wand

There are several options for the Summer Fun Dance Camps. Following are the dates and times for Week 1: Princess Camp, Ages 2-6, Aug 5 to 9, 10am to 11:30am. Little Princess will enjoy a magical day of dance, crafts, games and fun. American Girl Doll Camp, Ages 5-12, Aug 5 – 9, 12:30 to 2pm. Enjoy a fun day of camp with your favorite doll. Bring your doll to dance camp and enjoy a day of dancing come home with lots of handmade mini crafts. Campers can bring any large doll. It does not have to be the American Girl brand.

The schedule for Week 2 is as follows: Story Book Camp, Ages 2-6, Aug 12 -16, 10am to 11:30am. Your child’s imagination will be swept away into their favorite stories as they dance at this special camp. Each day will focus on a different story including Fancy Nancy, Mary Poppins, Angelina Ballerina and Pinkalicious! Candy Dandy Dance Camp, Ages 5-12, Aug 12-16, 12:30 to 2pm. Girls just want to have fun and they will at this candylicious camp! Enjoy sweet crafts, dance to candy songs and make homemade treats.

For a special treat, join the Lunch Bunch Program! Any camper can take advantage of our Lunch Bunch program. You can bring your own lunch and have a picnic with the teachers and enjoy a dance, movie, game or craft. Time is 11:30-12:30 and the cost is $30 for the week.

Tuition for each camp Summer Fun session is $95. There is a 15% discount if you pay your full camp tuition by April 15. Also, a 10% discount is added if you register for the second week.

The Intensive Dance Camp for older dancers will take place July 29 to August 2, 2013. This camp is for the serious dancer that wants to improve technique, flexibility and learn new types of choreography with Master Teachers. There is a strong emphasis on ballet at this camp. Please contact the dance center for details, times and pricing at

PEDC logo
Patti Eisenhauer Dance
In its 32nd year of dance education, Patti Eisenhauer Dance Center is a state-of the art Dance Center offering tap, ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop and gymnastics classes, as well as birthday parties. Classes are held for each age group from pre-school children through adult. Children are taught the discipline of tap, ballet and tumbling during their class each week. The center offers air conditioning and springboard flooring.

To register, please call or visit Patti Eisenhauer Dance Center, located at 31 Hayward Street in Franklin, MA. For more information, call 508-520-7873 or email: Visit or become a fan on Facebook.

PMC Franklin Kids Ride

PMC Franklin Kids Ride is now open for registration. Kids 3-14, please join us to raise money for Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The ride is Sunday, June 9th at Jefferson Elementary School. 

Please like the event page, PMC Franklin Kids Ride 

Register at:

In the News: nasty weather, Smart911

Meteorologists teach residents about nasty weather in Franklin

Nearly 40 people were certified as National Weather Service Skywarn spotters on Tuesday night at the library, learning how to spot the different cloud formations of a thunderstorm and the dangers, from lightning to hail, that they pose.

Milford becomes first in state to offer Smart911

Milford on Tuesday officially became the first town in the state to offer Smart 911, a system that allows residents to share personal information with public safety personnel ahead of time to speed responses and care.