Saturday, August 24, 2013

Voices of Franklin: FRANKLIN HEIGHTS: Family Community Dream or Foreclosure Nightmare?

The Franklin Heights development is a Townhome/Condo Community located off of Lincoln St. My family purchased our town home in May 2008, at that time there were two townhome buildings with 4 units per building on the property. We were told at the time of sale there were plans for a beautiful family community and 109 townhomes were to be built in two phases. 
Soon after our sale, we noticed that things weren’t happening the way that we were told they would. Since our development was not complete, our association was run by the Trustee, the current builder. He had the control over how our condo fees were distributed and we were unaware of how much money was not being used as we were told until the development went into foreclosure and we were told that our condo reserve was gone. During this time, we had no landscaping or road maintenance. Our yards were literally overgrown, there were big mosquito infested holes from where construction had begun but not finished. From what I understand, the Condo association is required to have a 10% reserve in the budget for units to be sold and re-sold. We have never, in the 5 years that I have lived here, been given a budget or statement of how our fees are distributed. Our fees were quickly raised to make up for this reserve that is needed. We are threatened with liens on our property if we are delinquent on payment. After the foreclosure, we were told (through our own research through the Registry of Deeds and demands for information from realtors on the property) that there was a new property developer taking over our development. The new developer has since only developed the 18 unit complex located on the property that was abandoned for years. It took our own research through the Registry of Deeds to find out that a member of this new company was the new Trustee of our association. He has told us that his hands are tied in relation to the existing townhome units. He will not answer my emails or talk to me about my concerns. He will only send impressions of legal action if I continue to speak out with my opinions. We are told by Continuing Care (Property Management Company that handles our association money) that there is no money in our budget for road/driveway maintenance, recycling, and regular maintenance of our units. This is all outlined as the responsibility of the Trustee/Association in our condo documents. All townhome units pay month HOA fees, some units as high as $310/month. Just recently, homeowners have begun to use their own money to make repairs to prevent damage to our cars and provide safe spaces for our children. 
My mission is to raise awareness about this development in hopes that drawing attention will force the “board” and “association” and “Trustee” to start running this neighborhood as a true association with unit owner involvement and proper maintenance of our units and roads. 
Thank you,
Rachel Brancato

Voices of Franklin guidelines

"we have a long way to go"

The Citizens Committee is exploring how to get the downtown train station on the historical register according to this article in the Milford Daily News.
Describing what comes with placement on the registry, McNiff said, "If it’s a commercial property, there are some tax benefits available. Work done on it would have to be reviewed by the historical commission if what’s being done does not conform with the historic nature of the building." 
"There are preservation grants that are available," he continued, "and those are open to communities and nonprofit entities. It’s a competitive program so you have to make an application." 
One of two T stops here, the downtown station dates back to the 1800s. "A lot of us who grew up in Franklin remember what the station looked like: a picture-perfect postcard," Benedetto said. "Now it looks like the South Bronx."

Read more:

The station roof was being repaired when I made the rounds in Franklin recently to capture some photos. Boarded up to do the roof construction certainly gives it a different appearance.

Downtown train station under construction

Bekah Redwine's "Bear Mitzvah" Project

Julia Redwine sent me an email with this message: "I wanted to share a special story that I thought may warm your readers' hearts."

A year ago July, a very special family friend of ours, seven year old Alexandra Pacher, lost her battle with leukemia. As one can only imagine, this was extremely heart breaking for Alexandra's family, friends, and our Franklin, MA community where Alexandra, her parents and dog Franklin lived.

Our daughter Rebekah was one who was very much affected by Alexandra's passing. Bekah and Alexandra were not close friends but had spent some time together over the years and for Bekah, it was just unfathomable that anyone so young would not only have cancer, but worse, pass away from such an unfair and cruel disease. Soon after Alexandra's passing, Bekah asked in honor of her own Bat Mitzvah which was coming the following June (June 22, 2013) if she could take on a special project in memory of Alexandra. At our temple, a large "mitzvah" project is not required for preparation of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah but Bekah wanted to do this in addition to the responsibilities that were actually required at our synagogue leading up to her special day - Alexandra's passing really affected her.

Bekah decided to sew 54 bears (18 in the Jewish religion is "chai" and means life - so triple chai is 54) in Alexandra's memory. Bekah spent the next 11 months sewing, stuffing and adding eyes, noses and bows to these cuddly critters. Alexandra's favorite colors were pink and blue so Bekah decided to tie these colored ribbons around the bears necks so that they can be given to boys and girls alike. 
Yesterday Bekah, along with Alexandra's mother, Tamara Pacher brought the 54 bears to the MGH clinic where Alexandra sadly spent a lot of time receiving treatments. Bekah and Tamara visited one of the pediatric inpatient floor as well to continue handing out these special bears. Next year our family is planning a trip to Israel and Bekah's intention is to sew and stuff an additional 54 bears over the next year and deliver them to a hospital there as well. 
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month so not only does Bekah hope that these bears bring some comfort to the children at MGH and want them to know she is thinking of them, but to also spread the word of how important it is to continue the commitment to fighting childhood cancer.

The story aired on Channel 7 and can be viewed here

New State Grants Benefit Community Cultural Programs

New State Grants Benefit Community Cultural Programs
Senator Spilka announces state grants for nonprofit cultural organizations and schools in Franklin and Medway

(FRAMINGHAM, MA) – Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) today announced that the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) has awarded grants totaling $10,780 to cultural organizations, schools and communities in Franklin and Medway.

These grants support a wide variety of cultural activities and projects that benefit local residents, while supporting jobs in the nonprofit cultural sector. The announcement was made as part of MCC's statewide funding program, which benefits in FY14 from a $1.6 million increase to its state appropriation, approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in July.

"MCC grants help to ensure that the unique cultural resources in our community and across the Commonwealth continue to thrive and benefit our citizens today and in the future," Senator Spilka said. "I am pleased to announce these new grants and cultural investments. State support for the arts, humanities and sciences is invaluable in connecting children and adults to diverse cultural experiences."

The MCC approved the following funding for local cultural councils in the community:

•             Franklin Cultural Council, $6,530
•             Medway Cultural Council, $4,250

Local Cultural Councils comprise the most extensive public cultural funding network in local concerts and exhibitions. Grants to local councils are determined by a formula that reflects the state's local aid system.

About the Massachusetts Cultural Council

The MCC is a state agency supporting the arts, sciences and humanities, to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts and its communities. It pursues its mission through a combination of grants, services and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities and artists. For more information, please visit

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fallen Heroes - Booklet

The booklet available for those attending the ceremony to unveil the street signs on May 15, 2011 marking the Fallen Heroes can be viewed here:

I'll second the acknowledgements listed on the back cover and especially to Rose Turco for allowing me access to this material to share here.

Many thanks!

Aviation Radioman 2C John W. Wyllie, Jr., U.S. Navy

Aviation Radioman Second Class John W. Wyllie, Jr., son of John and Elizabeth Wyllie, was born on December 4, 1922. John lived with his parents and two sisters at 460 Washington Street. John attended the Franklin Public Schools and was a graduate of Franklin High School Class of 1941. 
Aviation Radioman 2C John W. Wyllie, Jr. was in the service for 3 years during which he saw extensive combat flight duty in the various invasions in the South Pacific. 
Aviation Radioman 2C John Wyllie had completed 11 months of combat duty in the South Pacific and was scheduled to go overseas again. In August of 1945, while on an authorized Navy patrol bomber training flight, John lost his life as the bomber exploded in midair and crashed into the sea 20 miles southwest of San Diego, CA. 
Aviation Radioman 2C John W. Wyllie, Jr., U.S. Navy was 22 years old at the time of his death while in the service of his country during World War II.

Fallen Hero: RM 2C Wyllie

For the full series of Fallen Heroes you can visit this link

Now Opening for Business in New Locations

In June, we wrote about the 3 locations at the Silver Maple Commons on King St that were open for business. Two of these have now been filled by businesses relocating from downtown Franklin.

Salon Sorella is going into the spot left behind by the Phillip DePalma Salon and Day Care moving to Grove St.

Salon Sorella
Salon Sorella
You can visit Salon Sorella on the web at

Pretty Is Pink is going into the spot vacated by TD Bank over a year ago. I captured the temporary banner when walking by this past weekend.

Pretty is Pink
Pretty Is Pink
You can visit Pretty Is Pink on the web at

Both of these businesses now leave behind some empty space in the downtown business area. What will move in to take their place? Will it be a new business or another relocation to continue playing leap frog or dominoes or (you get the idea!).

MassBudget: A Well-Educated Workforce is Key to State Prosperity

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Well-Educated Workers = High-Wage Economy 
We have long known that a high-quality education is vital to helping children reach their full potential. A new paper from MassBudget and EPI documents the strong connection between a well-educated workforce and a prosperous state economy.     

A Well-Educated Workforce is Key to State Prosperity finds that states with better-educated workers have economies that create higher-paying jobs. In fact, in those states with the best-educated workers median wages are roughly 30% higher than in states with less-educated workers. Since 1979, the share of Massachusetts workers with a bachelor's degree or higher has more than doubled, and over those same years state-wide wages have increased significantly.    
Looking at other ways states have tried to strengthen their economies, A Well-Educated Workforce is Key to State Prosperity also finds that lowering tax rates does not seem to help states generate high-wage jobs. There is essentially no correlation between the overall level of taxation in a state and its average wages.  

As part of our ongoing effort to reach new audiences, we would like to encourage you to share our Facebook post with friends and retweet messages from our Twitter feed

A Well-Educated Workforce is Key to State Prosperity is co-authored by Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, and Peter Fisher, research director at the Iowa Policy Project. 

Visit the EPI BLOG for a summary of findings
View coverage of the paper in the Washington Post's GOVBEAT BLOG 
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

Franklin Library: Teen End of Summer Party

On Saturday, Aug 24th - 3:00 PM, there will be a party for teens at the Franklin Library.

Teen End of Summer Party
Teen End of Summer Party

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fallen Hero: Second Lieutenant John A. Schur, U.S. Army Air Corps

Second Lieutenant John A. Schur was born on July 26, 1922, the son of Mr. and Mrs. August Schur. John lived at 124 Beaver Street with his parents while attending the Franklin Public Schools. John graduated from Franklin High School in 1940 as Class Valedictorian. John was also very active in scouting and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. 
Following graduation from high school, John entered Northeastern University to study chemical engineering and was on the Dean’s List for his 3 years there. John left Northeastern to enlist in the U.S. Air Corps on October 17, 1942. 
In raids over Tokyo Second Lieutenant Schur was highly commended for his outstanding ability and courage when he left his post as navigator to repair and put back into operation radio and radar equipment which had become inoperable during the flight. In a later raid over Tokyo, 2nd LT John H. Schur was aboard a B-25 bomber loaded with bombs when the bomber sustained a direct hit and disappeared in a burst of an explosion over the heart of the city on March 10, 1945. 
Second Lieutenant John A. Schur, U.S. Army Air Corps, was 22 years old at the time of his death over Tokyo while serving his country during World War II.

Fallen Hero: Second Lt Schur

For the full series of Fallen Heroes you can visit this link

Fallen Hero: Private First Class Marshall E. Rollins, U.S. Marine Corps

Private First Class Marshall E. Rollins, the son of Carl and Bessie Rollins, was born on May 23, 1925. Marshall lived with his parents and sister at 51 Crescent Street. 
Marshall E. Rollins attended Franklin High School but left high school at the end of his junior year to join the Marine Corps. 
Private First Class Marshall Rollins served in the Fourth Marine Division for nearly three years, participating in the Battles of Roi, Namur, Tinian, Saipan and Iwo Jima. His division received a Presidential Unit Citation for their efforts in the Saipan battle. PFC Marshall Rollins sustained an injury in this battle but later returned to active duty on Iwo Jima. 
Private First Class Marshall E. Rollins was severely injured on March 10, 1945 in the fighting at Iwo Jima, was evacuated to the U.S. Hospital in the Mariannas and subsequently succumbed to his battle injuries in the Guam Hospital on April 2, 1945. 
Private First Class Marshall E. Rollins, U.S. Marine Corps, was 19 years old at the time of his death while serving in the service of his country in World War II.

Fallen Hero: Private First Class Rollins

For the full series of Fallen Heroes you can visit this link

Summer sunset

As the sun sets on Wednesday evening, the summer is also drawing to a close.

Parmenter sign

School starts next week with the Parmenter Elementary School schedule shown on their sign.

Beaver St railroad crossing updated

On Saturday, July 13 the railroad crossing was under construction on Beaver St resulting in road closure, a shuttle for the MBTA train and detours. What does the repaired crossing look like?

Beaver St railroad crossing
Beaver St railroad crossing

It looks a lot smoother than it did before. Has the ride over the crossing been smoother?

In the News: casino proposal requires dialogue

Milford casino: Surrounding towns line up

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has urged the towns that border or lie near the Foxwoods Resort Casino proposed for Milford "to engage in dialogue as soon as practical about the potential positive and negative impacts."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fallen Hero: Private Jules E. Perret, U.S. Army

Private Jules E. Perret, U.S. Army, was born on November 12, 1907 son of Jules and Maria Perret. Jules lived with his parents and three sisters at 29 Washington Street. 
Jules was a well known sportsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing. For many years he was an active member and tireless worker of the Franklin Rod and Gun Club. He did much towards the construction of the then new club house at Uncas Pond. Before volunteering to go into the service, Jules worked as a weaver in Canton, MA. 
Jules entered the service on October 12, 1943 and trained at Camp Croft, South Carolina. Pvt Jules E. Perret went overseas in March of 1944, first seeing action in North Africa and later serving in Italy where he met his death on August 15, 1944 in a vehicular accident. 
Pvt Jules E. Perret, U.S. Army, was 36 years old at the time of his death while serving his country in World War II.

Fallen Hero: Private Perret

For the full series of Fallen Heroes you can visit this link

Fallen Hero: First Lieutenant Gerald M. Parmenter, U.S. Army Air Corps

First Lieutenant Gerald M. Parmenter, son of Ernest and Maud Parmenter, was born on October 18, 1917. Gerald lived at 466 King Street with his parents and a twin brother. He attended the Franklin Public Schools and was graduated from Franklin High School in 1935 and from Hill College in Woonsocket in 1937. Gerald did accounting work at local businesses and was associated with his father at the Red Mount Poultry Farm here in Franklin. 
Prior to the war Gerald, who was very enthusiastic about aviation, obtained his license as a civilian pilot. Gerald enlisted in the Army Air Corp in August of 1942 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1943 at Yuma, Arizona. First Lieutenant Parmenter served as a pilot in the air transport ferrying command, piloting planes built in this country to the British Government in Nassau. 
First Lieutenant Gerald M. Parmenter died from injuries received in an air crash while in the line of duty near Ramsar, India in the Asiastic Theatre. 
First Lieutenant Gerald M. Parmenter was 26 years old at the time of his death on July 17, 1944 while serving his country during WWII.

Fallen Hero: First Lieutenant Parmenter

For the full series of Fallen Heroes you can visit this link

Hockomock Area YMCA held its annual Staff Recognition Luncheon

On Wednesday, July 31st the Hockomock Area YMCA held its annual Staff Recognition Luncheon honoring those who have worked at the Y for 10 years and more. The luncheon was held at Lake Pearl Luciano’s in Wrentham. 
This year, 16 Y employees reached their 10th year with the organization joining 89 other longtime Y staff members with more than 10 years of service. Jim Downs, Ben Dyer, Ed Hurley, Ann Livingstone, Greg Meinertz and Andria Rossi joined the 20 year club. 14 other staff were also recognized for service at the Y for over 20 years. MaryAnn Childs, the Y’s longest tenured staff member has been with the association for 29 years. 
Hockomock Area YMCA held its annual Staff Recognition Luncheon

Jeff Dufficy, chairman of the Board of Directors, thanked the group and remarked, “Our Y could not be as successful as it is without the incredible effort and dedication of so many committed staff. This is one of my favorite events of the year.” Immediate past Chairman Greg Spier added, “The YMCA’s most important asset is our staff.” 
Ed Hurley, YMCA president, celebrated 20 years with the Hockomock Area YMCA and said, “I love coming to work every day because of lives we impact and the amazing staff I have the privilege of working with.” 
The annual luncheon is organized by Vice President of Human Resources Marge Kraskouskas currently in her 27th year at the YMCA.

About Hockomock Area YMCA
The Hockomock Area YMCA is a not-for-profit charitable community service organization with facilities in North Attleboro, Foxboro, Franklin, and the Mansfield Arts & Education Center, serving more than 32,000 members from 15 local communities. For more information visit

In the News: STEM studies, RMV hours

At Franklin's EMC, Kennedy says enriching STEM studies important for schools, corporations
Andrew Higgins, a fresh-faced EMC Corp. employee, represents a workforce that U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III believes must grow.

Hours changed at Milford RMV branch

The Milford branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles is one of six Massachusetts locations that will open an hour later, at 9 a.m., beginning next month.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fallen Hero: Staff Sergeant Anthony J. Mucciarone, Jr., U.S. Army

Staff Sergeant Anthony J. Mucciarone, Jr., U.S. Army, was born on July 28, 1924 son of Anthony, Sr. and Vera Mucciarone. Anthony lived at 31 Cleveland Avenue with his parents, two brothers and one sister. Anthony attended the Franklin Public Schools ,was a member of the Franklin High School class of 1942 but left high school at the end of his junior year. Anthony entered the army on April 23, 1943. 
Staff Sgt Anthony J. Mucciarone, Jr. rose in rank from buck private to staff sergeant in two months and was awarded a citation for personal and group heroism for his combat participation with the invasion forces in Normandy, commencing on June 6, 1944. He was a member of the 29th Infantry Division which captured St. Lo after almost continuous combat since its landing in Normandy on D-Day. Staff Sgt Anthony J. Mucciarone, Jr. was also a member of the 116th regiment of the 29th which successfully attacked a heavily fortified and strongly defended beach in the vicinity of Vievill-sur-Mer. The Corps Commander cited the 29th’s repeated “personal and group heroism and its unflagging devotion to duty which overcame discomfiture, fatigue and determined resistance of a resourceful enemy.” 
Staff Sgt Anthony J. Mucciarone, Jr. died in combat in France on July 30, 1944 at age 20 years. Anthony rests eternally in the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France.

Fallen Hero: Staff Sgt Mucciarone

For the full series of Fallen Heroes you can visit this link

Fallen Hero: Private Daniel E. McCahill, U.S. Army

Private Daniel E. McCahill, U. S. Army, was born on June 11, 1919, son of Bernard and Mary McCahill. Daniel lived with his parents, three brothers and two sisters at 13 Pinehurst Street. 
Daniel attended the Franklin Schools and graduated from Franklin High School in 1938. He was a fine athlete affectionately known as “long Dan” or “big Dan” who played a hard fast brand of basketball. Dan continued his basketball play in an independent league after high school. 
Daniel answered his country’s call on March 21, 1941 and after a period of training with the 182nd infantry division was sent to the South Pacific war zone. Private Daniel McCahill was killed in action on November 11, 1942 at the Battle of Guadacanal. This campaign is well known for its pivotal role in turning the tide of the war in favor of the Allies in the Pacific Theatre. 
Pvt Daniel E. McCahill was 23 years old at the time of his death while engaged in combat fighting to recapture Guadacanal in World War II.

Fallen Hero: Private McCahill

For the full series of Fallen Heroes you can visit this link

School Committee has work to do

The School Building Committee meeting effectively covered two topics; the first an  update on the high school project, the second the results of the "Feasibility Study" for Davis Thayer Elementary School.

The School Building Committee did not make a recommendation.They feel that would be in the realm of the School Committee to decide first what it wanted to do and bring their proposal through the budget process ultimately to the Town Council for their decision. Other than Tom Mercer, chair of the School Building Committee, no member of the Town Council appeared to hear the presentation.

To summarize the three options:
  • address accessibility issues - $4.6M
  • add to and renovate facility - $23M
  • build new school - $28M
Davis Thayer: water runoff 1
the water runoff across the playground is one of the many items that could be addressed

To address just the accessibility issues would leave the facility with some items that would still need to be addressed at some time. The sound bite quoted in my notes and in the MDN article referenced a "bad Band-Aid". To decide on the addition/renovation would be rather costly for the 350 students that the school serves. To build a new school is not that much different and more costly.

The School Committee will need to decide what to do first. How does the building fit in their overall  plans? Where would the students be placed if the building was removed from the system? These and other questions along this line of thought would be the School Committee's responsibility to answer first. Then they would bring their proposal through the budget process ultimately to the Town Council and depending upon the money and funding sources, the taxpayers would have their say.

The details of the high school project status can be found here

The details of the Davis Thayer topic can be found here

"all three options make little sense"

The School Building Committee meeting on Monday heard the presentation from Kaestle Boos Associates on the options for Davis Thayer. Their initial proposal was to add to and renovate the existing facility. They also looked at addressing just the changes needed to make the building compliant with the requirements for accessibility. An alternative would be to start a new building on the existing site (or elsewhere). It was estimated to cost $4.6M to bring to compliance. It was estimated to be $23M to add to and renovate or $28M to build a new school.
Davis Thayer was built in 1924 and underwent an extensive renovation during the 1970s. Milani described the building as "sound." 
"It has good bones," he said. 
However, most of the school’s bathrooms, corridors, stairs and doorways are not handicap-accessible, and inside, there are numerous mechanical and plumbing problems. 
Milani said that just bringing the school into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act would cost $4.6 million. The committee mostly agreed that it would not be worth the money. One member described the option as an "expensive Band-Aid."

Read more:

My notes from the meeting can be found here

In the News: missing link

'Missing Link' to Upper Charles Trail to be complete next fall

Construction to the "missing link" portion of the Upper Charles Trail has begun on Mt. Pleasant Street behind Sacred Heart Church.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Live reporting - Davis Thayer proposal

The Davis Thayer proposal, hard copy handed out to be added later

Joe Milani, Kaestle Boos Associates
"Feasibility Study for Davis Thayer"

built in 1924, renovated in 1973, minor other adjustments since then

original documents for 1924 construction not available, hence information is based upon what is observed
did an opinion of probable cost (OPC)
did a revision to address if accessibility was addressed but nothing else was

do not have to comply with all elements of the building when reconstruction, do need to fulfill compliance with the sections being addressed

if spending more than 30% of the assessed building value, then do need to bring up to code
staying below this level  intentionally

dangerous situation for walking along the driveway entrance from School St, especially during winter

building in good shape generally but there are spots where there is water penetration through the brick surface; would recommnend repointing all the brick work on the exterior

all the windows were replaced with two circular windows which are still wooden and should be replaced.

roofing in good shape, put on in 2000
stainless steel put over the copper copings along the roof edge, not soldered properly, should be replaced
some downspouts missing from the portable, for any long term renovation, should replace the roof

doors not wide enough to meet compliance, 36" required

interior finishes are pretty good, lots of school work on the walls
suspended acoustical tiles were added in the 1973 renovation, can't see the ceiling clearly

there are asbestos tiles under some of the carpets, would need to be removed

gym floor is is good shape, has signs of water damage, 'Dutchman' repairs evident
recommend putting in synthetic floor

interior stairways; 2 front, 2 back of building
some ramps added to some of the entrances, not all hence not accessible
inside of stairways need additional handrails, stairwells wide enough, hand holds not sufficient

toilet rooms all have accessibility problems
will lose fixtures with renovation but do have enough space to provide sufficient fixtures for accessibility

max population planned for at 350, currently about 335 students

by and large equipment could be reused in renovation, spacing is an issue, need to separate incoming waste and outgoing good foods for safety reasons

water coolers in corridors not sufficient, should provide two levels, there exist only one

no handicap signage available, major crux of issue is elevator brings someone to first floor but other floors within building are not accessible

the building is sound it has sturdy walls

recommend replacement of PA and telephone system

used MSBA recommendation to utilize the space within the building
57200 required
45000 current
renovation and addition would be only option to meet requirements

put the two kindergartens in the 'old' cafeteria
use the first floor expansion to put in a new cafeteria and kitchen area with access from Union
no addition to second floor
elevator and stairwell would go to the basement to access the gym
elevator rises to second and third floor
filled in the media center to provide two more classrooms on the third floor

add parking spaces and a sidewalk from the School St entrance
allows catch basis, rain garden to catch the run off and prevent the current runoff washing out the playground wood chips to the street

$23M for renovation and addition on site; vs. cost of new building on site would be $28M

supplemental study for accessibility
bathroom renovations and addition of elevator
multiple adjustments on each floor

just doing the accessibility = $4.6M

OPC projected a 2.5 year build-out with some inflation

School Committee and Town Council were invited to participate in this review
Other than Tom, no Town Councilor participated

School Committee would need to absorb this info and bring it to the joint budget subcommittee

if this were to go with the new school option, would have to get in line (after the high school)

one of the things that present a problem is that the enrollments are fluctuating, increase since Jul 1, likely to the increase in expectations for the new high school

Planning is meant to increase the attractiveness of the Town

is this site a viable site at all?
there is land but there is a challenge with the existing available land
current space is just under 4 acres, MSBA would req about 10-15 depending upon the size of the school
site big enough for 3-400 but not for 6-800

it is a not starter due to the cost/pupil for renovations vs. new school for this size.

$4M would be a bad band-aid
what to do with the building is not this committee's charge. what to do to construct or renovation may be this committee's charge

This was an informational meeting on the Davis Thayer portion

Live reporting - School Building Committee Meeting - Aug 19, 2013

Present: Tom Mercer, Chris Feeley, Jeff Nutting, Mike LeBlanc, Mike D'Angelo, Maureen Sabolinski, Sally Winslow, Paula Mullen, Susan Rohrbach, Ed Cafasso, Peter Light, Sean Fennell, Cindy Douglas, Corinne Minkle, John Jewel (arrived about 7:00 PM), Bob Gilchrist, Joe Milani,

Meeting opens at 6:35 PM

Motion to approve minutes of July meeting, seconded, approved, passed - unanimous

Motion to approve a series of bills, each seconded, approved, passed - unanimous

Bob Gilchrist, from Agostini, Bacon

walked the group through of three pages of pictures (to be added) showing progress in construction

substantial completion scheduled for July 25, 2014

finish coat of paving will be done next summer so all will be new and fresh
striping this week, signs this week, everything on track for completion on Friday

Brian, FF and E process (furnishing, fixtures and equipment) (if building was turned upside down and shaken, whatever would fall out except for the computers (that is technology).

process started several months ago, approach in two tacks, one with furniture; small working group with furniture; second group on needs for equipment

field trip to Robert Lord showroom for furniture, to see a breath of the possibilities, talking the details of the various vendors and manufacture of the furniture; developed direction, prepared list for each room to determine the quantities required

what is equipment, what is reimbursable from MSBA
received listings from the groups last week, preparing the combination of the lists to see what it would come out at for the budget

more detailed review of the listing planned, planning for putting the FF and E out to bid for Dec/Jan time frame with a July delivery and installation

expecting bids to come in within 2-5% below budget more conservative approach than previous projects

Nutting - we still need to figure out how the studio will be paid for by the cable TV group, or what other option would be needed.

used to be approx $6500/room for FF and E, now running about $8K
varies based upon type of classroom setup

study done by architect showed $1600/per study cost; MSBA reimburses $1200, that is okay for elementary schools but not for the high schools where labs increase the cost

technology is separate from FF and E

Mercer - should have a better idea of the real numbers for FF and E in the next 30-60 days
Sabolinski - Peter Light and others at in with the teachers to take a conservative approach in terms of the needs for FF&E
Light - inventory of existing equipment was starting point, would it last 5 years? yes, or no. If no, then on the listing for replacement. Compiled this at the building level. What was submitted was what the teachers needed with review and aligned with the curriculum. Drove to rationale as required.
Sabolinski - I feel comfortable with the process
Light - some of the teachers spent quite a bit of time and due diligence on this planning process. All of the big ticket areas, visited multiple model schools to discuss the details with those now in the schools

What remains in the building is open for Franklin to keep, what we don't keep can be taken by the contractor as part of the demolition

if there is stuff in good shape, can move it to the new building and deploy it in a non-public space where it can be used but not really observed on a daily basis in a public space; as in the library

Plan for listing of FF and E and budget by the meeting in October, 'no later than' is the plan per Mercer
Desire to get the listing a week before the meeting

all the other model schools were using $1800/student as their target despite the MSBA model target at $1200

Fennell - the high schools are coming in over the $1200 that the MSBA has and I understand the logic and numbers presented.

Change order #3
additional electrical  discovered as required
credit for supports not needed
electrical outlets to be added at front of stage
underground manhole to accommodate some wire runs
door hardware
revising door widths, should have been 4' were at 3 something
increased seating capacity in language lab (state standard is 30, added 5 as classes generally run lager)
lecture hall seating change to adjust the riser height

motion made to approve, seconded, passed unanimously

two parking lots built this summer have light poles (actually will), will be wired to new building
need to run lighting to power them in the meantime, could be approx 25-30,000 for the additional wiring and conduit - wouldn't be more than 28K. light pole basis should be ready for end of Sep; it is a safety issue

motion to authorize Chair to approve up to $28K for lighting
seconded, passed unanimously

Nutting - can we add a column to show the MSBA approvals for the change orders as submitted

LeBlanc - when are we going to get the 'pending' items
Is there an opportunity cost to not put the top copy out now?
about 25-29K

Cafasso - question on the parking lots
Both paved lots will get turned over, 120 spaces were on old lot, will get over 300 spaces with what is turned over next week

Question on the grading between the old fields and the new building, and new building and the 'new fields' when the current school goes

switching to the Davis Thayer topic

Fallen Hero: Private Charles E. Mason, U.S. Army

Private Charles E. Mason, U.S. Army Signal Corps, was born on February 24, 1916, son of Fred and Minta Mason. Charles lived at 62 Pleasant Street with his parents and sister. Charles attended the Franklin Public Schools graduating from Franklin High School in 1934. During his high school years, he participated in the Memorial Day ceremonies on the Common by reciting the Gettysburg Address. 
Prior to entering the army, Charles was a member of a Naval Reserve Unit located here in Franklin and served under the command of Fred Cook. David Bullukian, another one of our Fallen 23, also served in this Franklin unit. 
Charles attended Boston Radio and Television School prior to his induction in July of 1941. PVT Charles Mason used this special interest in ham radios and used this skill to converse with people in the area while in the army. 
Private Charles E. Mason died of injuries received in an automobile accident at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey on December 28, 1941 at the age of 25.

Fallen Hero: Private Mason

For the full series of Fallen Heroes you can visit this link

Fallen Hero: Ensign William O. Martello, U.S. Navy

Ensign William Olindo Martello, U.S. Navy, was born on April 14, 1920, son of Theresa and Olindo Martelli. Willam was raised by Theresa and her second husband, Nicholas Martello, at 17 Howard Street with his four sisters and one brother. “Willie” attended the Franklin Schools and graduated from Franklin High School in 1937. William went on to Boston University where he graduated with honors with an A.B. degree and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa. 
William Martello was a student, artist and musician as well as a fighting man. “Willie” was an accomplished concert pianist and was rated as one of the most promising young pianists in New England. Prior to his naval service “Lindy” traveled on the Grace cruise line to South American as an onboard pianist. 
William O. Martello enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves on April 17, 1942 and later began his active naval service on April 8, 1943. William O. Martello attended Columbia’s naval officers training program and was commissioned an ensign upon completion of the program on July 28, 1943. He served as second in command aboard an invasion craft off the coast of the Anzio beachhead below Rome. Survivors of Ensign Martello’s landing craft, which had struck a mine in the waters off Anzio, reported that Ensign Martello had refused to heed the order to abandon ship, had fitted out a life raft with provisions, and when last seen, just as the ship turned over and went down, was hurling life belts into the sea for his crewmen swimming in the water. 
A month before his death Ensign William O. Martello wrote to his mother the following lines in a letter to her: 
“As for the war, we had to adjust ourselves to the personal problems it brought, and if a guy can’t take it, then his life is a failure. That is why I am not even afraid of death. If I did one thing that indicated cowardness, the rest of my life would be miserable.” 
Ensign William O. Martello, U.S. Navy, was lost at sea off Anzio on January 26, 1944 at the age of 23.

Fallen Hero: Ensign Martello

For the full series of Fallen Heroes you can visit this link

Survey says: Treasurer/Collector should be appointed

The sample size is small (only 15) so this may or may not be a good barometer for how the real ballot question will be answered in November.

Question: Should the Treasurer/Collector position be changed from elected to appointed?
Yes - 9
No - 6

The question opened on August 4 and closed on August 18.

Other survey question results over the years that you have participated in Franklin Matters can be found here

"It just needs an extra million bucks a year"

The Milford Daily News catches up to the Franklin DPW Initiative '14 plan introduced at the Town Council meeting earlier this month. It is anticipated that the plan will be part of a funding discussion sometime in the near future. It may come up before the current Council, if not, it should be part of the budget process for FY 2015 with the new Town Council.
"The residents know the roads that are really, really bad, and we know because we get calls about them all the time," said Cantoreggi. "Those roads are very expensive to fix." 
The town faces a roughly $50 million backlog of necessary road projects. And while the DPW plan would not immediately lift that burden, it would kick-start the effort. 
"We won’t get every road," Cantoreggi noted. "On the other hand, it will move things along a whole lot faster. 
"If we get the additional money, we will have a solid five-year plan," he added. "If we don’t, it’s going to take another 50 years (to tackle the backlog)."

Read more:

You can find my reporting from the Town Council meeting here

You can review the full road plan here.

DCR "added the Southern New England Trunkline Trail to its online database of state parks and trails"

Milford Daily News reports on a significant milestone for the SNETT trail, it is now included in the MA Dept of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) webpage.

"One of our major goals has been for DCR to create a website for the SNETT," said Jean Keyes, of Bellingham, a member of the group. "It’s their property, but it has never been mentioned on any of their sites listing options for recreation. We were really fighting hard to get that on there." 
In the last two years, volunteers have coordinated projects along the trail, from installing signs and gates to grading or widening certain sections. Starting at the Franklin State Forest, the SNETT stretches east to west, winding through Bellingham, Uxbridge, Blackstone, Millville and, finally, Douglas. 
Depending on available funding, there are plans to link the trial to the Blackstone River Bikeway, a proposed 48-mile trail that would travel from Worcester to Providence, R.I.

SNETT sign at Grove St entrance

Read more:

You can find the listing for SNETT here

Or find the top link to all the state parks here

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Find out about the Davis Thayer Proposal

There are two School Building Committee meetings this week that will be important. The first, on Monday will discuss the proposal to renovation Davis Thayer Elementary School. The second, on Wednesday will  review the construction phases on the high school project and review the new traffic patterns expected in September.

Monday's meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM in the 3rd Fl Training Room at the Municipal Bldg.

Davis Thayer renovation plaque 1973
Davis Thayer renovation plaque 1973

Wednesday's meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of the Municipal Bldg.

Current entrance from Oak St

Fallen Hero: Technical Sergeant Baldo S. Lazzerini, U.S. Army

Technical Sgt Baldo S. Lazzerini was born on January 29, 1913 in Franklin son of Quinto and Julia Lazzerini. Baldo made his home here in Franklin from age 16 with the Pacifico and Amelia Gianetti Family of 57 Hutchinson Street. Baldo’s active duty began upon his enlistment on March 20, 1941. 
Technical Sergeant Baldo S. Lazzerini served with the U.S. 5th Army, G-2 Intelligence service in Italy as an interpreter for General Mark Clark. T/Sgt Lazzerini was involved in the heaviest of fighting in Italy and had personally witnessed the surrender of Italian generals to Allied generals, with whose staff he was connected. T/Sgt Baldo Lazzerini’s brilliance in military operations, coupled with his knowledge of the Italian language gave him rapid rise in rank. 
T/Sgt Baldo S. Lazzerini died as a result of a military vehicle accident in Italy on June 24, 1945. 
Technical Sgt Baldo S. Lazzerini was 32 years old at the time of his death in service during World War II.

Fallen Hero: T/Sgt Lazzerini

For the full series of Fallen Heroes you can visit this link

Fallen Hero: Corporal David Laughlan III, U. S. Marine Corps

Corporal David Laughlan III, U.S. Marine Corps, was born on March 20, 1923 son of David and Elsie Laughlan. David lived with his parents, a sister and a brother at 55 North Park Street. David attended the Franklin Public Schools and graduated from Franklin High School, Class of 1941. David joined the Marine Corps two months before Pearl Harbor. 
Corporal David Laughlan III saw a great deal of action as a member of a rifle company fighting against the enemy on Saipan, the Marianas Islands on June 30 and again on July 1, 1944. CPL Laughlan volunteered to lead patrols into enemy territory obtaining valuable information of great value to his company commander. The information was used by his commander in planning the company’s many subsequent successful attacks against the enemy. Corporal David Laughlan III was injured on Saipan and was awarded the Bronze Star for his performance of valor. 
Corporal David Laughlan III later returned to action for the torrid battle on Iowa Jima and lost his life there on February 24, 1945. 
Corporal David Laughlan III was 21 years old when he became a battle casualty while in combat during WWII.

Fallen Hero: Corporal Laughlan

For the full series of Fallen Heroes you can visit this link

Franklin Library: Petting Zoo

The end of summer party will be held at the Library on Wednesday from 1:00 to 2:30 PM.

Barn babies petty zoo
Barn babies petting zoo

Thanks to one eagle eyed reader who was paying attention to the 'petty' when it should have been "petting"