Saturday, September 28, 2013

"denied the request without further discussion"

The Library Book Sale issue made it to the Milford Daily News in this recap of what has been published already:
"Our thought was, ‘Why do you kick $6,000 to $7,000 out of the window?' " said Kathie Nosek, who has planned the sale for the last two years. "Why would you not take that in addition to your sales?" 
Five days later, Nosek said Friday, the decision still perplexes her. 
"I think the Friends are still in shock about it to be honest," she said. "We never assumed that someone could be so mathematically challenged as to not look at the figures." 
Lucier on Friday questioned why the board would cancel an event that is put on at no cost to the library or town and which results in revenue for a library that needs it.

Read more:

A new caption for what the Ben Franklin statue is doing outside the library is 'he is also trying to make sense of this!"

What would Ben say?
Ben Franklin statue in 2008

Respectfully, there is nothing new in this issue. If you read through the Library Board's meeting notes, this 'issue' has been around for quite a while. There is something deeply disturbing in the relationship between the two groups that has not been resolved. It does take two to tango, and if only one party is willing to come to the table. It will be a long time before there is a dance.

In case you missed hearing about this, here is the replay:

The letter to the Friends of Franklin Library (FoFL)

FoFL President Maria Lucier's update

My reporting on the September Library Board meeting

The Library Board minutes for the August meeting

Library: Pencil Pizazz

The Library craft for Monday is "Pencil Pizazz"

Pencil pizazz

This posting originated on the Franklin Library blog

In the News: Gatehouse Media Chapter 11

GateHouse Media Inc. files prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy

GateHouse Media Inc., owner of The MetroWest Daily News, the Milford Daily News and more than 150 weekly newspapers and Wicked Local websites in Massachusetts, has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Delaware.

Friday, September 27, 2013

School Committee: MCAS and PARCC presentations

If you missed the School Committee meeting on Tuesday and want to review the presentations on MCAS and PARCC, the new test being piloted here in Franklin, you can view both documents here.

The overview on Franklin's MCAS scores

The overview on PARCC which is slated to replace MCAS

More about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) can be found here

More about MCAS can be found here

Farmers Market - Town Common - noon to 6:00 PM

The Farmers Market is open every Friday through October.

farmers market sign downtown

Stop by to get fresh produce!

farmers market on a sunny day

Great Weather for Autumn Hike on Saturday

The Autumn Trail Hike of the SNETT will take place this Saturday, from 10:00 to Noon starting at the trailhead on Grove Street in Franklin.

This free event is cosponsored by the Franklin Bellingham Rail Trail Committee and the Metacoment Land Trust.  In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation will be proving a professional guide.  Kid-friendly activities will be provided along a one-mile round trip hike.

This event is free and you can register at

SNETT sign on Grove St

in the News: Depot Plaza fire, new FinCom member, medical marijuana applicants

Fire at Franklin's Depot Plaza caught at right time

Firefighters early Thursday morning battled a fire inside Depot Plaza that was caught before it could inflict any major damage. 
The fire originated from an exhaust fan in one of the building’s bathrooms, Chief Gary McCarraher said, and flames spread to the ceiling and burned for some time. 
A piece from the roof fell to the floor, causing another fire that activated the buildings alarms at about 2:47 a.m., he said.
Read more:

New member appointed to Franklin finance committee

William Dowd, of Pine Ridge Road, will occupy James Roche’s empty seat. Roche, previously the board’s chairman, decided against seeking reappointment this year. 
"I am grateful for the opportunity and look forward to contributing," Dowd said Thursday. "I’m looking to make sure the town gets the biggest bang for its buck."

Read more:

3 area towns listed in applications for medical marijuana dispensaries

Three communities are listed as possible locations for medical marijuana facilities, according to a review of the applications by the Massachusetts Municipal Association. 
In Norfolk County, four applicants are eyeing Franklin — Baystate Medical Enterprises Inc., Commonwealth Biopharm Inc., Mass. Compassionate Patient Care Corp. and Mass Relief Inc. — and one, Growing Health Wellness Center Inc., has identified Bellingham as a potential town to set up shop.

Read more:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Divided Council moves zoning bylaw changes to second reading

In my reporting on this current Council, there have been very few instances where a vote was less than unanimous. On Wednesday, the zoning bylaw changes put forward to allow development of the Cook's Farm property ultimately passed by a 5-2 vote. There were only seven of the nine Councilors voting as two recused themselves for connections to the property or family in some way.

It is telling that the two 'No' votes rose from Tina Powderly (who has approached everything she has done with professional integrity and intelligence) and Glenn Jones (the subcommittee chair of the Economic Development Committee). One of the key arguments against the proposal as outlined by Councilor Powderly was how this proposal did not fit with anything in the Master Plan which had been also presented on Wednesday and approved unanimously by the Council. Primarily it allows for higher density development when Franklin has been operating since the 1990's to managed its growth.

The population grew rapidly due to development of the farms, increasing the need for schools which we were fortunate to build with much State help while we were growing. That help (read funds) has dried up and instead of increasing to meet our current needs has flatten out and started to decline. Franklin is dependent upon State funds to operate. We do need to grow to expand our tax base. That is the only way we can get help. But putting in additional homes may not be the best way at this time to do so.

There are additional problems with this proposal. The Planning Board will re-do their vote on the changes. Apparently during the meeting on Monday, the motion to approve the bylaws was made before the hearing closed, comments on the measure were not properly solicited, and while the vote did pass, one member has retracted their vote due to the situation. Planning Board Chair Tony Padula explained these 'house keeping' steps were needed. He expects to be able to re-do the vote properly during their next meeting October 7th. This is still before the Town Council can take the measures up for their second reading on Oct 16th.

There was also discussion around the dead end calculation and how it should be handled. Why the fuss over this? A safety issue. If the streets are too narrow emergency vehicles can not get in and turn around to deal with an emergency. If the road in is also the only road out, it could create a situation where an emergency vehicle needing to leave to transport patients to the hospital can not get out of the development. This situation would be created by allowing higher density development in a smaller space allowing for profit to the property owners and developer but putting the residents at risk in case of an emergency.

I agree with the 'No' vote caste by Councilors Powderly and Jones. Rushing into this change in zoning bylaws can have a lasting effect on Franklin. The Master Plan was just approved. We should spend time putting those recommendations into place so that Franklin can be a place to live safely in the future, not just now.

Additional links with the "live reporting" from the Town Council meeting can be found here:

Pumpkin Carving Contest - Franklin Historical Museum

Here's a chance to get into the spirit of the season! The Franklin Historical Museum will be holding a carved pumpkin contest in conjunction with the Harvest Festival, October 6th. A flyer is attached. 
The contest is for school age children grades 2 through 8. Carved pumpkins should be delivered to the museum between 11:00am and Noon on the 6th. Judging will be at 2:00 p.m. Prizes will be awarded. Cookies and Apple Cider will be served.

Join us for a fun afternoon, see how creative the kids can be, and have a look around at some of Franklin's History.The Museum is located at 80 West Central Street, just two doors from the Fire Station, in the old Town Hall and former Senior Center Location.

For additional information about the Franklin Historical Museum visit their webpage

or the Museum Facebook page

For additional information on the Harvest Festival stay tuned here or visit the Downtown Partnership webpage

Flu Clinic - Oct 17th

The VNA and Hospice of Greater Milford, in cooperation with the Franklin Board of Health is sponsoring the following seasonal flu immunization clinic for the residents of Franklin. These clinics are for town residents over 6 months of age.

Thursday, October 17, 2013, 1:00 - 3:00 P.M. 
at the Franklin Senior Center
10 Daniel McCahill Street

"The process is over"

What happened to the teacher in the incident reported at the opening of schools? The update from the School Committee meeting on Tuesday as reported by the Milford Daily News is:
The Franklin High School teacher accused in August of serious misconduct was fired last week following an internal investigation. 
The school district’s attorney found that the instructor showed "conduct unbecoming of a teacher," said Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski, who would not go into further detail. 
"The teacher was represented and had due process," she said on Tuesday.

You can read the full article in the MDN here:

When the video replay of the School Committee meeting is available you can view it here

"voted to repeal the new technology tax"

The Milford Daily News reports on the House action in Boston on Wednesday:
The House voted 156-1 on legislation geared toward repealing the tax. The Senate will likely take up the bill during its session Thursday. 
“To say I’m pleased is an understatement,” said Jay Fredkin, CEO of Cabem Technologies, a company with offices in Franklin and Newton. 
In calling for the tax’s repeal, Fredkin said, tech businesses throughout the state felt "blindsided." 
“They passed the law and days later it was implemented; no one had a clue what to do. Blindsided is exactly what happened,” the Franklin resident said.

Read more:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Live reporting - Closing

Harvest Festival - Sunday, Oct 6th - come on downtown to see everything, there will be lots going on
Senior Center Expo on Friday
Thanks to Beth and Bryan for their work on the Master Plan


Kelly - review all the facilities in town; can we review the 600 ft discussion to know more about it

Roy - I know the tour of the eleven schools take 5-6 hours

Mercer - tour of the new high school coming on the 7th of Oct at 5:00PM, time moved up due to daylight savings

Kelly - hope everybody goes to the Harvest Festival

motion to adjourn

Live reporting - Legislation

1. Resolution 13-69: Authorization for Intermunicipal Agreement with Town of Bellingham for Shared In-Home Respite Services
funded by a grant to hire a director and three part-time people
motion to approve, passed 9-0

Mercer and Bissanti recuse themselves

2. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-719: Changes to Chapter 185. Attachment 9. Schedule of Lot, Area, Frontage, Yard and Height Requirements – 1st Reading
motion to more to second reading, passed 5-2 (Powderly and Jones)

Powderly will not be moving this to second reading, I don't feel it is in the best interests. We have had a growth strategy, we can't support higher density at this time. There is nothing in this consistent with the Master Plan. it is not a whole list of things that are in conflict with the future.

Kelly - I think quite the opposite. Unless we are looking at smart growth opportunities, we are going to be in trouble. We need to look at what we have left and how we are going to use it. if 40B went into this lot, we would have a huge problem with the schools.

3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-720: Changes to Chapter 185-4. Districts Enumerated – 1st Reading
motion to more to second reading, passed 5-2 (Powderly and Jones)

4. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-721: Changes to Chapter 185-5. Zoning Map – 1st Reading
motion to more to second reading, passed 5-2 (Powderly and Jones)

5. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-722: Changes to Chapter 185-50. Residential VII Zoning District – 1st Reading
motion to amended, passed 5-2 (Powderly and Jones)
2nd amendment suggested by property owners, under sec 2b 1b
move to strike sec 2b 1b and reletter
motion passed 6-1 (Powderly)

6. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-723: Changes to Chapter 185. Use Regulations Schedule, Parts I through Parts VII – 1st Reading
motion to more to second reading, passed 5-2 (Powderly and Jones)

7. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-718: Changes to Chapter 185-7. Compliance Required – 2nd Reading
2/3rd vote required as this is a second reading
motion to approve, seconded passed 9-0 via roll call
eliminate parking lots in residential areas and allow this downtown

Live reporting - Master Plan

Jeff Roy provides an overview of the changes from the comment period and then reads the introduction to the final version of the report. (copy to be provided later)

Dear Fellow Residents 
We have long known that Franklin is a community committed to high-quality education and the superb delivery of public services. It is part of what drove us all here to live, work, and raise families. Indeed, our community has been recognized by Family Circle magazine as one of the Top 10 places to raise a family, is at the top of the 100 safest cities to live according to Neighborhood Scout, and was recently ranked 10th among the Top 100 places to live and launch a business by CNN/Money. Once a busy hub for the production of straw bonnets back in the 18th and 19th centuries, Franklin has diversified tremendously since then and hosts a 360-acre industrial park, a single tax rate for businesses and residents, trails for hikers and bikers, two commuter rail stations, and two exits off I-495 that offer easy access to Boston,
Worcester, and Providence, RI. 
Committed to continuously improving the quality of life for everyone in our community, Franklin has developed—over many months and with input from a wide array of constituencies—a vision for its future as well as goals, principles, and a plan to support and implement that vision. This undertaking, encompassed within these pages, is a comprehensive Master Plan that seeks to ensure that the Town of Franklin can continue to meet its current and ongoing economic, social, and environmental needs without compromising the future for succeeding generations. 
We began with a vision of Franklin as a vibrant community that supports the arts, non-profit organizations, higher education, and businesses in an atmosphere that allows growth and prosperity, while at the same time conserving our heritage, natural resources, and history. Also, we are committed to building on and celebrating that uniqueness as a community, maintaining the quality of life that is our strength and competitive advantage. 
This Master Plan is a blueprint for our future that will help to guide our choices and decisions as a Town. It is a report to the community that sets forth a policy framework to guide town decision makers in the future, and it advances an action agenda to achieve the town’s vision. Indeed, it is a plan for smart growth that balances preservation of our exceptional natural and cultural heritage and our quality of life with the pursuit of new and exciting opportunities for economic growth. 
The Plan was designed, in part, to fulfill the requirements of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 41, §81D, for the development of municipal comprehensive or master plans. Citizen participation was crucial to its development, and it will be vital to its implementation over the next five to ten years. Aside from the invaluable knowledge that residents bring to the planning process, citizen participation is the only way to ensure that both majority and minority perspectives will be heard, evaluated, and accounted for as the Plan evolves. It is a “living document” which is meant to address and respond to the goals and aspirations of the community for the course and direction of our town. 
The implementation tool included within the Plan is vital to its success. The goals and objectives can, in many instances, be measured by comparing actual performance with the quantitative targets included in the implementation component of the Plan. We trust that the Town’s decision makers, guided by an Implementation Committee, will use this as a structure for acting upon our recommendations. We realize that the goals, objectives, and actions outlined in this Plan are ambitious and comprehensive, but they were created to address the desires, needs, and concerns of the residents of Franklin. 
We have all enjoyed the opportunity to serve Franklin over the past two years, and we offer this Master Plan with our best wishes and intentions. We stand ready to help and assist with its implementation and look forward to continued success and good fortune for our friends and neighbors in Franklin.
signed - very truly yours
Jeffrey N. Roy
Master Plan Committee Chair

The document and sections thereof, can be found here

Thanks to the Planning Dept and their hard work, we could not have delivered this without their help.

Pfeffer - referring to the use of the term 'work force housing' the emphasis on the term is contrary to the way Franklin has grown. there is a recommendation to increase funding. No one would disagree with that but I have trouble with this phrasing.

Roy - we did spend time discussing this, the term is standard in the planning arena. It may be misunderstood. It is a term of art that we felt should remain in their. It is not to lower the quality. I do agree with you that where the money will come from is an issue. I have read multiple annual reports and I have one on my desk where the citizens are asking about where they are going to come up with funding for schools. These goals are lofty. The decisions will be left to you as leaders for this community. It is not a statement of what we are going to do, it is a goal. I appreciate your input. We felt it was important.

Motion to accept, passed 9-0

Vallee - We will set up a committee to work the actions

Live reporting - license transaction, zoning bylaws public hearing

New All Alcoholic Beverages Restaurant License:
Artistry Franklin

looking to open before Thanksgiving

motion to approve license, passed 9-0

Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-719: Changes to Chapter 185. Attachment 9. Schedule of Lot, Area, Frontage, Yard and Height Requirements- 7:10 PM
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-720: Changes to Chapter 185-4. Districts Enumerated – 7:10 PM
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-721: Changes to Chapter 185-5. Zoning Map- 7:10 PM
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-722: Changes to Chapter 185-50. Residential VII Zoning District – 7:10 PM
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-723: Changes to Chapter 185. Use Regulations Schedule, Parts I through Parts VII – 7:10 PM

hearing opens with all of the bylaws at once.

Mercer and Bissanti recuse themselves

Jeff provides overview on the package

Richard Cornetta, represents the Cook Family Trust property
Christopher and Ralph Cook

requesting to amend language to striking section in entirity
to remove section that could create a jurisdictional conflict between Planning Board and Conservation Commission
reference to dead end streets, Planning Board has been designated as ruling body, would have approved language codifying language that would have defined the dead end street
as an alternative remove dead end streets

Vallee - getting conflicting info
Nutting - 600' is required by the Planning Board and we would like to keep it
Cerel - proposed alternative would not be legal, they happen to be the special permit authority
zoning has to be uniform, predicable and fixed
it is the only place as an oversight and needed elsewhere
if an emergency vehicles were to be blocked it could be an issue particularly giving the density of the proposal

Nutting - this zoning bylaw will go to other places,
Cornetta - we are no proposing a change in the length, this is just the first place where you have codified the standard. By placing a hardline, you are taking some authority from the Planning Board.

Padula, Planing Board Chair, 600' as stated is for the maximum 12 homes on a 600' road; the homes are likely to be sprinkled, when sprinkled you can cut the space required between houses, it is there for a reason, I don't think the whole bylaw should be changed to cater this plan.

Pfeffer -
one is applied to subdivision and one applies to special permit
if the road gets blocked, emergency vehicles get blocked

McCarragher - if it is beyond 600' you also need a secondary egress, a secondary road to get people out of the area. When you put larger populations in there, you need a secondary road. If you increase the density, you increase the risk - 20 units versus 5, we usually can get in pretty good but it is getting out that is an issue

Powderly - we have multiple recommendation to keep this in, while this might be the first time we are doing this, if we are being smart to do this, then we should do that.

Padula -

Cornetta - we do not disagree with what is being said here tonight, our comment was meant to ilusstrate that this is the first time you are doing this. If you could look at the distinctiion between lop roads or dead ends, maybe we could look at an other design to meet the requirements. The project still is functional with this language.

Bill Roche - President of Franklin Country Club, the Board of Governors has voted to endorse the rezoning

live reporting - Town Council meeting - Sep 25, 2013

Present: Mercer, Dellorco, Kelly, Powderly, Vallee, Pfeffer, Jones, Bissanti, Roy
Absent: none

July 17, 2013; August 7, 2013 Executive Session
motion to approve minutes, passed 9-0

This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29. This meeting may be recorded by Franklin Matters.


Planning Board Chair, Tony Padula mentioned that he wants to re-do the vote on the zoning bylaw package to clean up some housing keeping issues with the vote. The motion to approve was made before the hearing was closed. One member has retracted their vote. The vote can be re-done on Oct 7th and back to the Town Council in time for the second reading of this package.

Finance Committee - William Dowd
motion to approve, passed 9-0

Disability Commission - Mark R Thompson
motion to approve, passed 9-0

Franklin - Fall color

fall color along King St

Friendly reminder that the Town Council is scheduled to meet on Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM in the council chambers. The agenda and associated documents was posted here

Library Board - Aug Meeting

The minutes of the August meeting at which the October Book Sale was voted to be not held were posted to the Library website on Tuesday after being approved during Monday's meeting..

I am probably not alone in finding it interesting that the book sale which has been held with a preview for Friends of the Franklin Library members on Friday night, open to the public at the DPW garage on Saturday and again on Sunday with the 'bag of books' sale was referred to as a 'one day' sale.

Prior posts:

Monday's meeting

The Board letter to the FoFL

The FoFL response

Disclosure: my wife is a member of the Friends and as a kindergarten teacher takes advantage of the book sale to purchase books for her classroom.

Library: "The Science of Crime Scene Investigation"

The Library is hold a crime scene investigation activity for kids in grades 1 to 4 on Friday, October 4th.

Pre-registration is required as space is limited. Register by following this link:

Franklin Public Library
Silly science and mystical math

In the News: new exam, name released

Franklin district to begin field testing new exam

The Franklin School District has been selected to field test a new computer-based exam that education officials believe will eventually replace the MCAS test.

Police release name of man who died in Franklin crash

A Millville man died on Monday when his silver sedan collided with a dump truck on Washington Street, police said Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Library Board "will not reconsider"

The Library Board of Directors held their September monthly meeting on Monday evening at the Library meeting room. The Board was outnumbered by citizens and members of the Friends of the Franklin Library who came to find out if the October Book sale suddenly canceled at the Aug meeting would be reinstated. 

The meeting began after Chairman Cindy Dobrynski arrived late apologizing for traffic having delayed her. She sternly outlined the requirements for citizens comments, need to be recognized by the Chair before speaking, use of appropriate language and failure to do so could result in removal from the meeting.

Maria Lucier, President of the FoFL, was recognized and read the following statement.
Since 2005 the semi-annual book sales held by the Friends of Franklin library (FoFL) have produced approximately $150,000 in net revenue that has been used to fund books, programs, passes, e-books and numerous other items for the library, including the chairs that everyone at this meeting is sitting on. 
That’s just from the book sales – the FoFL has also received considerable funds from other sources. The last 2 book sales have netted over $13K, and the October book sale would be expected to show over $6K in profits – and all of this is achieved without any cost to the library or town.

These funds have been realized because of the efforts of dedicated volunteers, who put in over 1500 hours a year to make the book sales happen, and who promote the library within their own sphere of influence.

The stated reason for this board’s decision is that the October book sale is not needed due to the popularity of the ‘on-going’ in-house book sale. But there is no reason for the two things to be mutually exclusive, and it makes more sense to supplement the semi-annual book sale revenues with the in-house revenues, resulting in the greatest benefit for the library. 
The FoFL respectfully requests that this board vote tonight to reinstate the October book sale.
After a couple of other members of the audience were recognized and added points to the overall question, Cindy made her statement. The Board's strategic planning process included a survey which began last year. The Board is encouraging the library to seek other sources of revenue. She stated that the quoted dollars of revenue from the ongoing monthly sales (reported at about $150/month) have increased substantially. The Board did not want to wait until this Sep meeting to make their decision. They chose to do so at their scheduled Aug meeting. The minutes from the Aug meeting will be available after they are scheduled for vote at tonight's meeting. She encouraged dialog to go forward preparing and planing for creative fund raising events in the future. The Board is looking to create opportunities to bring people to the Library. They have decided to suspend the Oct Book Sale. They are looking to develop creative events. They don't want to be dependent upon a twice a year book sale. Their objective is to increase patron visits to the Library. The Board will not reconsider their decision.

The Library Board of Directors on Monday evening:

Library Board of Directors: (left to right) Kathleen Gerwatowski, Susan Rittenhouse, Cynthia Dobrzynski (Chairman), Felicia Oti (Library Director), Monique Doyle (Vice Chair) and Sandra Brandfonbrener

Board information

Additional information on the Board can be found on the Library webpage

Reading the minutes from meetings earlier this year was insightful.

In Feb 2013, the Board acknowledged reviewing a gift policy the prior month

In March, the Board approved "a “books for sale” shelf in the Library"

In April, the Board acknowledged "exploring the creation of a charitable foundation to develop alternative sources of funding." and that the he Board was scheduled to discuss the book sale "issue" at the May meeting.

The survey was referenced as still being available on the Library webpage (I did not find it). The Franklin Matters archive does have the link from June 2012 when the survey was announced by the Library blog

The survey is still open and results will be made available after the survey closes (no date specified during meeting).

Why aren't all science theories taught like this? (video)

If only...

I love this!

And if you liked that, you'll also like this

MassBudget: After the Tech Tax Repeal: Remembering the Big Picture

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

After the Tech Tax: Remembering The Big Picture  
In order to strengthen our economy and improve the quality of life in Massachusetts, the FY 2014 budget included new investments to fix and improve our transportation system and to make higher education more affordable. 

One of the things that made such investments possible was $160 million in new revenue from a "tech tax" that covers computer design services and the modification of pre-written software. It now looks as if the "tech tax" is going to be repealed, without being replaced now by a new ongoing revenue source. In the longer term we are likely to see an ongoing debate in our Commonwealth about how best to pay for important investments in transportation, education, and other systems that play a critical role in helping people reach their full potential and enhancing the future prospects for our economy.

Our new factsheet, "After the Tech Tax Repeal: Remembering the Big Picture," describes a variety of ways to generate additional revenue to support our long-term needs.  We consider three basic approaches: 
  • Reforming or eliminating special business tax breaks     

  • Reducing opportunities for tax avoidance     

  • Reexamining other major tax cuts of the past two decades, including changes to the income tax that cost the state nearly $3 billion per year.   
Rather than an exhaustive list, "After the Tech Tax Repeal: Remembering the Big Picture" summarizes some of the revenue options we could consider as we think about the best, fairest way to improve our schools, roads, bridges, and public transit systems. 

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

two-vehicle crash on Washington Street

The Milford Daily News reports on the fatal accident on Washington St on Monday.
At about 1 p.m., a silver sedan with a New Hampshire license plate collided head-on with a dump truck, according to police. The driver of the sedan, a male, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. There were no other injuries. 
Part of the driver's side of the sedan appeared to be lodged underneath the truck. 
The circumstances surrounding the crash remain under investigation by the Franklin Police Department’s accident reconstruction specialists, officers David Gove and Rick Grover.

Read more:

"a huge growth in the solar industry"

The New England Appliance and Electronics Group unveiled the third largest rooftop solar farm in the state atop its Grove Street warehouse. With its 7,200 panels, the installation will produce 2.1 megawatts of energy — enough to power 1,500 households — cutting the company’s electrical costs by 20 percent. 
"The solar farm on our roof will cut a huge percentage of our energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint," said New England Group president Steve Moran, speaking in front of the warehouse. 
State representatives Jeffrey Roy, D-Franklin, and Kate Hogan, D-Stow, presented the company, a cooperation of 122 appliance and electric stores, with citations from the State House.

Read more:

Monday, September 23, 2013

A pep talk for teachers and students (video)

Kid President has a message for teachers and students. Spend a couple of minutes with this to get some inspiration and then go be awesome!

Now go be awesome!

For more Kid President videos and the story behind the videos, visit

Autumn color

A few trees are turning color already.

autumn colors
changing colors

"The guests preferred the old cans ‘by an overwhelming majority"

That’s the key word in discussing expiration dates: “fresh.” A new report released by the Natural Resource Defense Council and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic yesterday, titled “The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America,” lays bare the illogical, patchwork of sometimes meaningless dating requirements for food products. Even the dates printed on milk, the heart of expired-food fear that lurks in the back of the fridge, hold little meaning.

Read the full article here ->

new neighbors - Eagle Brook Village

The Town Council is considering zoning bylaw changes to allow a higher density development on the Cook's Farm property. Have you noticed that Wrentham is soon to be hosting a good sized development just down the road on RT 140?

Eagle Brook Village is under construction by DiPlacido Development. It looks to be about 90 homes in five styles according to the lot plan and house models shown on the developer webpage.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

What one question would you ask the Franklin candidates?

I posted my offer to the candidates here earlier. Now that the line up has been determined, we can prepare for those who chose to have an interview. One regular reader has already submitted a question around the empty storefronts downtown. What would you ask your candidates?

You can submit multiple questions. You might want to ask a different question of a Town Councilor than that of a School Committee person.

The candidate offer

The final line up for those candidates to appear on the ballot

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Sep 25, 2013

July 17, 2013; August 7, 2013 Executive Session

This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29. This meeting may be recorded by Franklin Matters.



Finance Committee - William Dowd
Disability Commission - Mark R Thompson

Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-719: Changes to Chapter 185. Attachment 9. Schedule of Lot, Area, Frontage, Yard and Height Requirements- 7:10 PM
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-720: Changes to Chapter 185-4. Districts Enumerated – 7:10 PM
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-721: Changes to Chapter 185-5. Zoning Map- 7:10 PM
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-722: Changes to Chapter 185-50. Residential VII Zoning District – 7:10 PM
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-723: Changes to Chapter 185. Use Regulations Schedule, Parts I through Parts VII – 7:10 PM

New All Alcoholic Beverages Restaurant License:
Artistry Franklin

Master Plan


1. Resolution 13-69: Authorization for Intermunicipal Agreement with Town of Bellingham for Shared In-Home Respite Services
2. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-719: Changes to Chapter 185. Attachment 9. Schedule of Lot, Area, Frontage, Yard and Height Requirements – 1st Reading
3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-720: Changes to Chapter 185-4. Districts Enumerated – 1st Reading
4. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-721: Changes to Chapter 185-5. Zoning Map – 1st Reading
5. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-722: Changes to Chapter 185-50. Residential VII Zoning District – 1st Reading
6. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-723: Changes to Chapter 185. Use Regulations Schedule, Parts I through Parts VII – 1st Reading
7. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-718: Changes to Chapter 185-7. Compliance Required – 2nd Reading





O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required


The documents associated with agenda can be found on the Franklin webpage

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Sep 24, 2013

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

"The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law."

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the September 10, 2013 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mrs. McIntyre
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
Correspondence: none

2. Guests/Presentations
a. Educational Assistant Contract Ratification
b. MCAS Overview – M. Sabolinski; J. Edwards
c. PARCC Assessment – M. Sabolinski; J. Edwards

3. Discussion Only Items
FHS Update – M. Sabolinski
Policy: First Reading

  • FF - Naming Facilities

4. Action Items
a. I recommend acceptance of a check for $835.56 from Target for Franklin High School.
b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $1,000.00 from Franklin Lifesavers for supplemental services for school health professionals.
c. I recommend acceptance of a check for $839.11 from Stop & Shop A+ School Rewards for the Franklin High School.
d. I recommend approval of the recurring field trip request of HMMS Chorus students to travel to NY City for Les Miserables on May 10, 2014 as detailed.
e. I recommend approval of the contract ratification for the Educational Assistants for 2013-2014 and 2014-2017 as detailed.
f. I recommend moving “Policy FF – Naming Facilities” to a second reading at the next meeting.
g. I recommend acceptance of the donation of 20 copies of Twerp from Random House for Horace Mann students.

5. Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report
School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business
To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

7. Executive Session
Contractual Negotiations

8. Adjourn

Fertile ground

Yes, Franklin was a good farming community. Evidence of this exists today even along Forest St where a corn stalk is growing along the curb.

corn stalk on Forest St

another view

another view - corn stalk on Forest St

Library: Do Not Disturb

If you want some privacy or quiet, a sign to hang on the door of the room you want to use would be a good thing to have. The Library craft session on Monday will help you make a 'Do Not Disturb' sign.

Library - Do Not Disturb
Do Not Disturb

This was re-posted from the Library website