Saturday, April 20, 2013

Looking back to get ahead

April vacation brought a quiet week on the news front within Franklin. This was a good thing in a way as the Boston Marathon bombing and hunt for the suspects has dominated the attention. With the second suspect in custody after a long day, the rain has come, perhaps to help the cleansing process. We can begin to return to the new 'normal', whatever that will be, it will be different.

In lieu of sending you to any of the news on the marathon bombers, let's take a few minutes to look back into the archives. What was happening on April 20th last year and each year prior that this site has been sharing news on Franklin matters?

In 2012
The FY 2013 budget documents were published

In 2011
The fire investigation of the old Masonic Temple was reported on

In 2010
Photos of the raised garden beds that were installed at the Senior Center, ECDC and Charter School for Earth Day (yes, these were installed and a year later the Community Garden opened).

In 2009
The MDN reported on information from the Town Council meeting the week before. The MDN reporter at the time was Joyce Kelly and we have had several others since then. I guess even though the reporters change the newspaper process has not.

In 2008
The answer to the "Where in Franklin?" picture was revealed.

Can't go back any further as this site actually started in Nov 2007. If I was publishing anything on Franklin in April of 2007, it was on my personal webpage Steve's 2 Cents. Checking there I actually skipped posting on Apr 20 but did post the Override Collection on Apr 18. This collection had all the information for the override vote in 2007 which remains as the only operational override Franklin has successfully passed.

The April showers today will bring the green grass and May flowers.

spring flowers
spring flowers
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Friday, April 19, 2013

A quiet moment

Given the rapidly developing events in the search for the Marathon bombing suspects, we can take a moment or two to reflect on the natural good life around us.

spring flowers
spring flowers

The residents of Watertown, Newtown, Belmont, Cambridge, Alston/Brighton are being asked to stay indoors. Businesses are being asked not to open. No vehicle traffic in or around that area.

Be safe folks!

MBTA Service Suspended - All routes

Service on the Franklin Line is listed as "normal" at this time suspended

All Southside Lines/Routes Attention Customers: per order of the MBTA Transit police all service is suspended until further notice. 4/19/2013 5:39 AM

For more current updates visit the MBTA webpage and subscribe to Alerts.

"a symbol of respect and sorrow"

Gov. Deval Patrick on Tuesday ordered that the flags of the United States and commonwealth be lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing - three of whom were killed and more than 170 others injured. 
From the Franklin Historical Museum to the Bellingham Fire Station and nearly every post office and school in between, lowered flags waving in the wind this week signify the grief. 
The order from Patrick stands until further notice, and applies to all state and administrative buildings, including town halls. 
President Barack Obama also issued a proclamation ordering flags at all public buildings and grounds - from parks to schools yards - to fly at half-staff until sunset on Saturday. He encouraged homes and businesses to do the same.

Read more:

Additional information about the US Flag code, how to care for it, display it, etc. can be found here

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Franklin 5K - May 4

On Saturday, May 4th, make a difference not only in yourself, but in the community, at The Franklin 5K (formerly called Run for Bob). All ages and abilities are encouraged to participate. What began as a way to honor the life and spirit of Bob Biagiotti, a member of the Hockomock Area YMCA who passed away unexpectedly, has evolved into an event celebrating children of all abilities – through this amazing 5K race.

hockomock YMCA
Hockomock YMCA

Since she started the event 9 years ago, Kris Biagiotti has afforded local children with disabilities the opportunity to participate in programs and activities that would not have been offered otherwise. In a fashion similar to Dick and Rick Hoyt, who were honored at the 2012 Hockomock Area YMCA Legends Ball, Kris has participated in road races pushing her daughter Kayla in a stroller modified for her disabilities. Kayla enjoys it, and Kris can give back to local charities whose events they attend, including The Franklin 5K.

Since 2005, this 5K event has raised $75,000 for the Hockomock Area YMCA Reach Out for Youth and Families financial assistance program and the YMCA’s Integration Initiative. This Initiative at the Y began in 2004 to allow children with special needs to participate alongside their typically developing peers in social and recreational programs and activities. “Since its inception, the integration program has become a fabric of the Y culture,” says Ed Hurley, president of the Hockomock Area YMCA. “Anyone who walks through our doors is welcomed, no matter their ability or financial circumstance, in all of our programs and activities.”

Over 500 families have been positively impacted. In 2012, the Y hired its first full time Association Director of Integration. As summer approaches, more children than ever will enroll in New Horizons, the Y’s fully inclusive camp setting offered in Franklin, Foxboro, and North Attleboro.

Kris and Kayla, “The K Girls”, have a story which parallels Dick and Rick Hoyt, the father son team known for their enduring spirit, teamwork and commitment to individuals with special needs and disabilities. At a Hockomock Area YMCA event this past July at the TPC Boston, Dick Hoyt spoke to the youth of the Initiative. “Through efforts such as the Integration Initiative, disabled children will be afforded access to participate in athletic programs and activities.” Continued Hoyt, “The Hockomock Area YMCA is to be commended for creating such a wonderful program for the youth in the communities it serves.”

When you come out on Saturday, May 4 at 10am, you will help to improve social skills, build self-esteem, increase physical activity and independence, and enhance mutual respect among people of all abilities.

Location for the event is Marsh & McLellan Companies, 431 Washington Street, in Franklin. The event will include kids’ activities, touch-a-truck, refreshments, silent auction, raffle, music, and more. Day of registration begins at 9am.

Register today by visiting Those who register prior to April 27 will be given a free dry-fit shirt. The cost is $25 through April 26 and will increase to $30 afterwards.

Medals will be awarded to the top 3 men’s and women’s finishers from several age categories and all participants will receive a finisher medal.

The event is presented by Iron Mountain. To find out more about the Hockomock Area YMCA’s Reach Out for Youth and Families program, Integration Initiative, or THE FRANKLIN 5K RUN • WALK • ROLL, contact Michael Bordonaro at 508.643.5225 or

Franklin Public Schools: Updates



By now we are all trying to make sense of the irrational tragedy that occurred at the Boston Marathon. This tragedy has touched our community as our many of our teachers,parents, neighbors and students were participants in this annual event. I know we will keep the victims in our thoughts and in our hearts. During these times channeling our actions into good can help us to remember that most of the people we meet are good and caring.

We want to welcome a new community group that serves to help any member of our community who may need assistance. The Franklin Neighbor Brigade is a community of volunteers from Franklin dedicated to helping an making a difference. They are ready with a meal, a ride or to help with household errands. If you know anyone who needs a helping hand please reach our to the Franklin Neighbor Brigade.
Here is the link for more information

Tour of Franklin HS / April 24
The School Committee and administration will be hosting a tour of Franklin HS on Wednesday April 24 at 6:00 pm. Meet in the lobby. Please join us.

Regards and enjoy the rest of the week,
Maureen Sabolinski
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.

Hockomock Sports profiles Elizabeth Alie

HockomockSports has a profile on Franklin's Elizabeth Alie
Why do you play lacrosse?I play lacrosse because it’s a fun sport and I love the team aspect of it. Our team is really close and I have so much fun playing on the field with all my friends. Lacrosse is a growing sport, so the competition gets better every year.  
Why is the 2013 season going to be a good year for Franklin High School?
We have a strong team this year with a lot of juniors and seniors who have played together for a couple years now. We also have a new coach who plays for the US lacrosse team and was the captain of the BC team. She has taught us so much in just a few weeks, and her experience with the game of lacrosse is really helping us. She is a great role model for us and we can see ourselves improving every day.

Read the remainder of Elizabeth's spotlight article here

Reminder: Mosquito Control

Good Morning.  This is Communications Director Gary Premo calling with important information regarding mosquito control.  The Norfolk County Mosquito Control District is conducting spraying by helicopter.  You may see blue/yellow/silver helicopters flying very low.  In light of Monday's tragic events in Boston, we know that your sense of security may be heightened.  Rest assured there is no cause for concern.  Thank you for listening; 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.

To get your own alert you can subscribe here

"Four stop signs aren't going to keep us quiet"

The Milford Daily News reports on the four way stop signs coming to the intersection near BJ's.

MassDOT expects to complete the signs and pavement markings by the middle of May. Its engineers have requested that the town put up message boards along West Central Street a couple of weeks in advance to inform drivers of the change. 
"We asked them to investigate the feasibility of a roundabout, which will take them at least six months," said Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting. 
In the meantime, Nutting said, town officials will monitor the number of accidents at the intersection to judge the effectiveness of the four-way stop. 
"I think it’s going to be a great interim step," he said, adding that there are still questions about whether a roundabout would work at the relatively small intersection.

Read more:

Related post
The Town council meeting on Apr 3rd had the intersection issue raised during the Citizens Comment and then a discussion at the end of the meeting under New Business

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The One Fund Boston

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Menino today announced the formation of The One Fund Boston, the purpose of which is to raise money to help those families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded during Monday’s Boston Marathon. 
“I am humbled by the outpouring of support by the business community and individuals who are united in their desire to help; The One Fund Boston will act as a central fund to receive much needed financial support,” Governor Patrick said. “At moments like this, we are one state, one city, and one people.” 
The One Fund - Boston
The One Fund - Boston
According to Mayor Menino, support from the business community was immediate. “Within an hour, I had calls from business leaders and local philanthropists who, like me, were heartbroken by the impact this hideous tragedy has had on individuals, their families, and friends. And they want to do everything they can to help these people physically and psychologically in the future.” 
The cornerstone donation to The One Fund Boston is a $1 million commitment from John Hancock. “John Hancock is honored to contribute to The One Fund Boston, aiding those who were affected by this terrible event,” said Craig Bromley, President. “The Boston Marathon is about courage and resilience and community. John Hancock, which has been headquartered in Boston for more than 150 years, will continue to stand by our city, the people of Boston, our
community partners, the runners, and the Boston Athletic Association as we unite in recovery and in renewal of our commitment to the Boston Marathon.” 
Other individuals and corporations making commitments to The One Fund Boston include Jack Connors, John Fish, CEO of Suffolk Construction, Brian Moynihan, President and CEO of Bank of America, Paul Grogan, President of The Boston Foundation, Steve Pagliuca, Managing Director of Bain Capital and co-owner of the Boston Celtics, Larry Lucchino, CEO of the Boston Red Sox, and Mike Sheehan, CEO, and Karen Kaplan, President of Hill Holliday. 
Boston law firm Goodwin Procter has volunteered to organize The One Fund Boston and has applied for 501(c)(3) status. One Fund Boston, Inc. will apply for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service. Although the Fund cannot guarantee that the IRS will make a determination that the organization qualifies as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity, if approval is received within the expected time frame, the determination will be retroactive to the date of the Fund’s formation, which is April 16, 2013. 
“We are one Boston. We are one community. As always, we will come together to help those most in need. And in the end, we will all be better for it,” Mayor Menino said. 
To contribute to The One Fund Boston, click on

Cupcakes for Jefferson

Come to The Cake Bar on Thursday, April 18th and help support the Jefferson Elementary PCC!

Cupcakes for Jefferson
Thursday, April 18th
The Cake Bar
The Cake Bar

The Cake Bar
17 E Central St.
Franklin, MA
(508) 553-8700

The Cake Bar specializes in gourmet sugar confections, made from scratch in small batches. Their cupcakes, and dessert bars promise to please your palette through their unique twists on classic dessert favorites. Some of their flavors include Sticky Toffee, Trifecta, Pinkalicious, Simply Carrot and Cookie Monster – just to name a few!

No forms are necessary - just drop in and pick up some cupcakes. We'd love to see you there!

"it's almost like the innocence is gone”

Local runners shared their experiences of the Marathon on Monday with the Milford Daily News:
Kimberly Austin, 39, of Franklin, was on Hereford Street heading toward Boylston Street when she heard the first explosion. 
“As I ran down Boylston, I made it to the 26 mile marker when I heard and saw the second explosion, and there was still the smoke from the first,” Austin wrote in an e-mail. “The police ran in and made all of the runners stop and everyone, including spectators on Boylston, turned around and moved out.” 
Austin is still rattled from Monday, but said that her family and running teammates are all fine. 
“It was a horrific and chaotic scene - the worst experience I have ever witnessed,” she said.  

Read more:

Senator Spilka: Statement on Monday's Events

April 16, 2013
Dear Steve,

Yesterday, we experienced a horrific tragedy as a state with the attacks on the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. I am confident in the resiliency and strength of Massachusetts and its residents and I know that we will bring those responsible for this terrible event to justice. We will overcome this tragedy.

In the coming day, more details will emerge. Right now, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, and all those who were affected by these unconscionable acts. Once again, our heartfelt gratitude goes to the first responders as well as the volunteers, runners, and spectators who rushed to aid the victims at the scene and showed their capacity to sacrifice their own needs to help their fellow human beings.

We experienced unfathomable horror and tremendous sadness on a day when we come together as a state, nation, and global community to celebrate and witness our nation's oldest and most prestigious race, the Boston Marathon. This day celebrates the spirit of the marathon run as a global phenomenon that transcends national boundaries.

The Boston Marathon was inspired by the Battle of Marathon, which took place in Marathon, Greece in the year 490 BC. An Athenian army messenger ran 26.2 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the Athenians' victory over the Persians. 

The very first running of the Boston Marathon began on Pleasant Street in Ashland in 1897 and stayed there for the next 26 years. The starting line was moved to Hopkinton in 1924 to increase the length of the race to 26.2 miles and MetroWest plays an important role, with the first 16 miles of the race traveling through our communities.

While emotions are still raw and the feelings of sadness and anger are high, we must focus on coming together to show our strength as a Commonwealth and as a nation. We must show our sense of community, honor, resilience, and our dedication to remain a strong, vibrant state, pushing forward to overcome tragedy. This is a time to gather together. A time to work together, no matter how different our backgrounds are or our lives may seem because, quite simply, we are all members of the Massachusetts community and we are all Americans. Facing such a tragedy together helps us understand that we have a stake in each other. We are bound by a common thread that makes us more alike than any of our differences.

Today, the Battle of Marathon is celebrated as a triumph of democracy over empire. In the coming days, weeks, and months, I believe that the communities and residents of the Commonwealth will be lauded for our ability to triumph over such terrible tragedy. We will show the nation and the world our courage and selflessness to care for those in need, and our capacity to remain hopeful. We will focus on looking towards a bright future and a better tomorrow even as we face some of our darkest hours.

I remain committed to keeping that sense of honor and unity with me. In my work, I promise to focus on building bridges and bolstering our communities so that we remain the strong and vibrant state the world knows us to be.

As always, if I can ever be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at or call my office at (617) 722-1640.

Warm Regards,
Karen E. Spilka
2nd Middlesex and Norfolk

Office of State Senator Karen E. Spilka
Room 511-C, State House
Boston, Massachusetts  02133

Office of Karen Spilka | Office of State Senator Karen E. Spilka, Room 511-C, State House | Boston, MA 02133
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Franklin Interfaith Council - Prayer Service - 7:00 PM

The Franklin Interfaith Council will host a Prayer Service at 7 PM on Wednesday, April 17th at the Franklin Federated Church, 171 Main St. in Franklin. This communal service is for all who are still feeling shock and grief over the horrific events at the Boston Marathon and who would like to join their neighbors in the greater Franklin community in a time of fellowship and prayer. All are welcome. An offering will be taken to benefit The One Fund

Chalk walk on the SNETT (photo essay)

Helen and Harriet Chalk took a walk on the SNETT trail this past weekend and sent in this photo essay. My thanks to the Chalk's for sharing their fun time on the SNETT.

the perfect day for a walk on the Franklin stretch of the SNETT

SNETT in Franklin

We decided to explore some of the smaller trails leading from the SNETT

exploring a side trail

The perfect trail for adventurous preschoolers!

up and down the trail

Just the bridge for a game of 'Pooh sticks'. Every family member finds a small stick, drops it in the water and watches the sticks race down the stream. First stick to reach the finish line of your choice wins.

Pooh sticks bridge

Beauty and tranquility on our doorstep...

fresh water stream

Examine nature close up...

checking out nature up close

Practice your writing skills....

a good place to practice writing

Take your kids outside this April vacation week and boldly explore our beautiful surroundings here in Franklin!

the excitement of the trail

Where is the SNETT Trail?
Off Grove St in Franklin

View Larger Map

To find out more about the efforts of the Franklin Bellingham Rail Trail Committee, visit their website

"the day was scary, and reminded her about priorities"

Some Franklin runners were able to finish the Marathon on Monday, some were among those stopped.
Jamie Tighe, of Franklin, was another one of thousands of runners who never made it across the Boylston Street finish line. 
After Tighe and her Dana Farber charity teammate had passed mile 21 but before they reached mile 22, police received word of the finish line bombings and immediately ordered runners off the road. 
“The police were just in the middle of the roads saying ‘You cannot be on the roads,’” she said.
Tighe said at first, she was disappointed when police stopped the race. She said her training went very well and she had been running faster than she expected as she approached the 35-kilometer mark. 
“Then when I heard what happened to other people and what serious it was, that takes a back seat,” she said.

“I finished about an hour before the blasts and I was two blocks away,” said Katie Rizzolo of Franklin. “Some people started screaming and running, but for the most part, everyone whipped out their phones, called their loved ones and got out.”

Read more:

Good Reads: keeping pace, Keller science


Running is like anything else in life: you have to pace yourself. For a runner, this is the most critical skill that one can learn.  Without a proper pace, the initial excitement, adrenaline and crowd surge of a race will give way to heavy limbs, clumsy feet and whole body exhaustion, among other more dangerous things.  And with today being the 117th anniversary of the Boston Marathon, on no day is this counsel more appropriate.

Keller Elementary School Science Night

A wonderful series of hands-on science nights are held each year at the Keller Elementary School in Franklin, MA.  Sponsored by the Keller Parent Communication Council (PCC) and staffed by volunteer PCC members, the Science Nights show how hard the PCC works to augment the curriculum at Keller Elementary.  The Keller PCC makes a real difference in the lives of Keller students!

Monday, April 15, 2013

April is a promise

According to Stobbart's Nurseries sign:

April is a promise that May is bound to keep

stobbarts nurseries
stobbarts nurseries

Boston Marathon: May the wind be at your back

Good luck to all of Franklin's entries in today's Boston Marathon.

If you want to follow the results, this listing from the site can help you by showing the individual bib numbers for the entries.

The weather forecast seems to be close to ideal for running. May the wind be at your back and the roads kind to your effort today!

Avoid lines, use the RMV webpage

RMV Prepares for Busy April Vacation Week

April school vacation days next week are among the RMV’s busiest of the year.  In preparation, MassDOT today again encouraged customers to do their business online if possible and unveiled new tools to help customers who must visit a branch better understand wait-times to plan their branch business.
As the article indicates, it would be good to visit the website  to see if you can conduct your business online and avoid lines in the RMV office

Sunday, April 14, 2013

First Annual Elks Care Elks Share 5k Fun Run and Walk

The Franklin Elks are pleased to announce the First Annual Elks Care Elks Share 5k Fun Run and Walk. The event will begin and end at the Franklin Elks, 1077 Pond Street, Franklin, Ma. on Saturday, May 11, 2013. Registration begins at 9:00 AM and the race begins at 10:00 AM. Pre-registration is $25 and day of race registration is $30.

Our website provides a link to register for the race and all the details of the event.

The race is USATF sanctioned, and timing will be provided by New England Timing. There will be awards for the top three finishers in each category, and t-shirts for participants who register by April 27th. Music, raffles, and refreshments will be available.

All proceeds from the race will be donated to the Franklin Food Pantry and the Wounded Warrior Project..

The Franklin Food Pantry currently serves more than 580 households throughout the local communities, distributing more than 150,000 pounds of food and provisions annually. The need for services is rapidly increasing - in the last year the number of clients has increased by 40%, and the number of pounds of provisions by 30%. 
The Wounded Warrior Project is the hand extended to encourage warriors as they adjust to their new normal and achieve new triumphs. Offering a variety of programs and services, the Wounded Warrior Project is equipped to serve warriors with every type of injury - from the physical to the invisible wounds of war.

Please join us in supporting these two deserving organizations

Could there be an Incredible Edible Franklin?

Pam Warhurst explains how they started:
We tried to answer this simple question: Can you find a unifying language that cuts across age and income and culture that will help people themselves find a new way of living, see spaces around them differently, think about the resources they use differently, interact differently? Can we find that language? And then, can we replicate those actions? And the answer would appear to be yes, and the language would appear to be food.

Food, ah yes. We all need to eat to live. This TED Talk describes how the community of Todmorden is working to change what they eat and how they eat. The Incredible Edible Todmorden is a story worth replicating.

We have the basics of this underway already in Franklin with the Community Garden. We just need to get more folks involved.

For more information on Todmorden, visit their webpage here

"poor man’s fertilizer"

The Milford Daily News has an article on area farmers getting ready for the growing season. The Fairmount Fruit Farm in Franklin is among the farms mentioned:
"We’re kind of in uncharted territory," said C.J. Koshivas, who operates the 30-acre farm along with his mother Diane and father Chuck. 
Because of the weird winter last year, Koshivas said his apple buds bloomed a lot earlier. Then, unexpectedly, a freeze hit. The family lost about 80 percent of the farm’s biggest cash crop, he said. 
Koshivas said, "The temperature didn’t fool the trees at all this year, so the buds were kept small and compact." 
His strawberries have also fared well so far. And he expects to host folks at the 887 Lincoln St. farm for pick-your-own strawberries sometime next month.

Read more:

For more about the Fairmount Fruit Farm at 887 Lincoln St, you can visit their webpage

In the News: transportation funding, snow and ice costs

Senate adopts $500M tax plan, with more money for transportation

Legislation raising gas, tobacco and business taxes in Massachusetts by $500 million and eventually dedicating up to $800 million a year in new revenues for transportation cleared the Senate 30 to 5 during a rare Saturday session.

Snow and ice costs top $16 million

The ice might finally be gone as winter lets up its grip on the region, but local municipalities are still left with one remnant of the snow – the cost of cleaning it up.

In Franklin, DPW Director Robert "Bruce" Cantoreggi said he expects to "be within 5 percent" of his department’s original $970,000 appropriation. Cantoreggi said town officials have opted to approve a budget that should be close to what the final snow and ice numbers are.

"Working through the Town Council, they’ve been proactive in having a realistic snow and ice budget," he said. Cantoreggi said that his department has also made some moves to cut down on costs like reducing salt use on side roads or making decisions to send out fewer trucks and focusing more on main roads.