Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Franklin Annual Report 2014: Fire Department

Continuing our read through the Annual Report we turn to the Fire Dept.

The Department

The Franklin Fire Department is divided into two divisions: Operations and Maintenance, which is the largest and responsible for dispatch, emergency medical services, fire suppression and hazardous materials response. Administration and Support Services is responsible for personnel, budget and finance, training, code compliance and coordinating the Town's emergency preparedness.

Our Mission

The mission of the Franklin Fire Department is to:

  • Have a positive impact in the lives of citizens and visitors of Franklin in their time of crisis by providing compassionate, contemporary, community driven services.
  • Safeguard human life from the perils of fire, sudden illness, injury or other emergency medical condition, natural and man-made disasters as well as preserve the environment and property from ensuing destruction.
  • Be responsible for a safe, productive and pleasant work environment for our employees, and provide them opportunities to gain new skills and advance their personal career goals.

Tower One - fully extended during the Harvest Festival 2014
Tower One - fully extended during the Harvest Festival 2014

Operational Objectives

• Initiating advanced life support to patients within 8 minutes of receiving the telephone call at our communications center.
• To access, extricate, treat and transport and transport trauma patients to a level one trauma medical facility within one hour of the occurrence of the injury.
• Interrupt the progression of fires in structures within 8 minutes of open flame ignition.
• To insure response readiness remains greater than 70%.
• Provide safety and survival skills for all school students in grade K through 5 consistent with the Student Awareness Fire Education (SAFE} initiative of the Commonwealth.
• Provide educational opportunities for department members to insure optimal performance and safety.
• To develop and maintain "best practice" to insure personnel and citizen safety.
• Insure fire safety through timely, consistent code compliance services to all external customers.
• Provide all department services in a manner that satisfies the needs of our customers.

Message from the Fire Chief

Similar to Fiscal Year 2103, Fiscal Year 2014 continued to be challenging for the members of the department to meet the high level of emergency services we strive to maintain for the citizens of Franklin . Unlike our report last year, Fiscal Year 2014 proved to have reason for hope, with the department receiving a Federal Staffing for Adequate Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant in the amount of $ 741,000. This grant allows the department to replace four firefighter - paramedics positions lost to budget constraints in Fiscal Year 2009 and will pay the salaries and benefits for these positions for the next two years. The last of the four personnel new completed the Academy in the end of May. The department also saw the return to work of two members on long term injury leave, which also aided in daily operations, leaving three employees on long term injury from 2013. These additions greatly improved day to day operations, substantially reducing the department's reliance on overtime.

As outlined in previous reports, in November of 2012, reduction in overall staffing levels forced the department to reduce minimum daily staffing to 9 personnel. The effect on service level has been negative, with a decrease in response time in the King Street District by 5%, increase in on-scene times by over 50% and an increase in overall time of incident, department-wide by 9%. While these conditions continue we are hopeful to increase minimum daily staffing back to 10 on-duty personnel in the beginning of Fiscal Year 15, with the return to duty or retirement of last 3 individuals on long term injury leave.

As indicated above, the department hired four new members to the department - 3 residents of the Town. We welcome William Blanchard, Jamie Murphy, Christopher Schmall and Joseph Padykula to the fire department. All have a varied range of experience in the fields of emergency medical and fire services and are a great addition to our organization. Additionally at the end of this year Robert Donovan stepped down as the Department's SAFE Officer. As SAFE Officer, Bob was responsible for providing and organizing public education for our department that focused on our school aged children and elderly populations. Bob lead this effort with distinction for years - we are grateful for his service and dedication in this position. This year the department responded to more than 3,400 emergency responses an overall increase of less than 1% from last year. This modest increase reflected no major increase in any call type category from Fiscal Year 2012.

In addition to emergency response, the department also continued to try to expand its fire prevention education activities, providing safety and survival education to the most vulnerable population to fire - our children and seniors. Through the dedicated efforts of SAFE Officer Robert Donovan, the department continued to educate over 100 children per month as well as attend various activities at the Senior Center. Lieutenant Tom Carlucci with Firefighter Keith Darling and Doug Perro provide dedicated assistance in completing this important service to our citizens.

Franklin Fire Dept
Franklin Fire Dept
Our employees continue to be the chief reason for maintaining our current the level of success and level of services we provide our citizens. They continue to work tirelessly to protect life and property within Franklin. In addition to their on-duty responses, our employees commit countless hours in continuing education and training targeted to maintain and improved upon their emergency skills. Additionally, they continue to press forward in attempt to provide the highest level of service to the community based upon advancement in the fire-rescue field and advancements in technology. These efforts have yielded significant and broad insight into the requirements necessary to maintain and improve upon the services we provide to the citizens of Franklin.

Respectfully Submitted,
Gary B. McCarraher, Fire Chief

You can find out more about the Fire Dept on their informative town webpage

They publish their response performance statistics quarterly

Details on the two fire stations and the various types of equipment that the Fire Dept has available can be found here


The section on the Fire Dept also included some charts and information that was not as easy to share as the text. You can find the Fire Dept section on page 115

The full annual report can be obtained from the Town Clerk's office (hard copy) or viewed and/or downloaded from the Franklin website here

Annual reports of prior years can also be found online at

“This is a deep league…every night is a game”

Josh Perry, Managing Editor at Hockomock Sports writes:
There was the possibility that Franklin would look at the scouting report and play with zero energy or maybe the Panthers would fall into the trap of looking ahead to Friday night’s showdown with two-time defending league champions North Attleboro. 
That was what New Bedford was hoping for, but instead Franklin dominated from the opening tip, gave up only six points in the first half, allowed the Whalers to make only five shots from the floor, and cruised to a 71-17 victory on Tuesday night in the new gym. 
“At halftime that was one of the things that the team talked about was let’s not play to anyone else’s level, let’s play our game and let’s focus on getting better,” said Franklin coach John Leighton. “I think our kids did a good job defensively…make them work for every shot.”
Franklin's Lexi Martin #22 - Hockomock Sports photo
Franklin's Lexi Martin #22 - Hockomock Sports photo

Continue reading the article on Hockomock Sports here

"you have to look at the positives"

Milford Daily News gets to write about the new tot lot at Fletcher Field.
"At every school in town there are playgrounds age appropriate for 5- to 12- year-olds, but there is only one in town - on Mason Street - that’s for 2- to 5-year-olds," he said. "This was a great addition for the town." 
A baseball theme was chosen for the tot lot, Jette said, because Fletcher Field is the "mecca of town baseball."
Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News:

Fletcher Field tot lot
Fletcher Field tot lot

Addtional photos and video of the tot lot can be found here

Blackstone Valley: January Things to Do

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor

Happy New Year!
January Things to do 

in the Blackstone River Valley 

National Heritage Corridor

For a complete, detailed listing of events, see the event calendar

Coffee with Charlene

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Join Charlene Perkins Cutler for her monthly coffee hour.  
4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

This month's topic:  WATER POWERED!
Location:  BirchTree Bread Company
                  138 Green Street, Worcester, MA
For more information, click here

Grant writing workshop

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Blackstone Heritage Corridor offers a variety of opportunities for funding assistance to our partners.  Join Executive Director Charlene Perkins Cutler as she provides guidance to developing successful grant applications.

Time:        4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Location: Blackstone Heritage Corridor offices
                 1 Depot Square, Woonsocket, RI 02895

For more information, click here

Save the Dates!

We are looking ahead to some great activities and opportunities.  Mark your calendars, and look for more information in upcoming newsletters.

Late January (date TBD)  Celebration of the designation of
                                           Blackstone River Valley
                                           National Historical Park
                                           with U.S. Senator Jack Reed

February 17(Tuesday) -   Coffee with Charlene

March 17     (Tuesday)  -  Coffee with Charlene 

March 19     (Thursday) -  Blackstone Heritage Corridor 
                                           Annual Dinner 

Find us Here!

Are you planning to attend these events?  Look for us!

March   7 (Saturday) - Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce 
                                      Home & Business Expo
                                      Northbridge High School

March 14 (Saturday) - Land & Water Conservation Summit
                                      University of Rhode Island

March 21 (Saturday) - Mass Land Conservation Conference
                                      Worcester Technical High School 

Partner Events in January

January   1 - First Day Hike at 
                      Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park
Visitors will enjoy a trek along the Lady Carrington Towpath. Hike highlights may include winter wildlife along the waterway, fields and forest while featuring the historic canal from farm to factory.   Meet at River Bend Farm Visitor Center, 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge, MA.

For more information, go to the BRWA web page:

January 15 - You're the Expert at the EcoTarium (EcoTarium)
You're the Expert is a live show, podcast, and new public radio program on WBUR that uses comedy to make academic research more accessible and exciting. Through games, sketches, and hilariously misguided guesses, a panel of hilarious comedians will try to get to the bottom of what a distinguished scientist does all day. 

For more information, go to the EcoTarium web page:

January 21 - BRWC/FOB Board Meeting
Monthly Board meeting of the Blackstone River Watershed Council/Friends of the Blackstone.

For more information, go to the BRWC/FOB web page:

January 22 - BRWA Board Meeting
Monthly Board meeting of the Blackstone River Watershed Association

For more information, go to the BRWA web page:

January 24 - Superbowl of Birding
Winter is a wonderful time to bird in northeastern Massachusetts and southeastern New Hampshire. In celebration of this season, the Joppa Flats is hosting the Superbowl of Birding XII (Snow date: Sunday, January 25).

For more information, go to the Mass Audubon web page:

January 25 - Wingmasters Presents:  North American Birds of Prey

Come see live birds of prey up close on Sunday, January 25 in this indoor presentation that will introduce you to different types of raptors including eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls.

For more information, go to the Mass Audubon web page:

January 25 - BRWA Annual Winter Hike
Join the BRWA for their annual winter hike at Hassanamesit Woods, a property of the Grafton Land Trust. This 200-acre parcel has a history tied to the Nipmuc Indians, and archaeological studies are underway to uncover and preserve the land's rich cultural heritage. The ecology of the area is characterized by both upland and wetland areas, supporting a rich diversity of plants and animals. The land here drains to the nearby Quinsigamond River, shortly before emptying into the Blackstone River.

Meet at the gated end of Salisbury Street, which is located off of Keith Hill Rd in Grafton, MA near Rt 122.

For more information, go to the BRWA web page:

Your event could be featured here!

Include a description of the event, the event date/time, and other information shown on our event listing form.  

Would you like to include a picture?  Be sure to send it along with the form!

Call for Event Listings!

Is your organization hosting fun, informative, adventurous, or educational activities?  We would love to help you get the word out!

Click below for a copy of our submission form

We will try to include all events and activities.  Simply start by providing some basic information about your event, and we will take it from there!
blackstone heritage corridor logo

The Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor is a unique cultural landscape of industrial history and immigration in the interconnected system of the Blackstone River watershed. An energetic nonprofit, the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, Inc. partners with organizations, local communities and businesses, and residents to insure the long term vitality of the Corridor.

water wheel
Water Powered!
Forward this email

Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor | One Depot Square | Woonsocket | RI | 02895

Meeting notes archive for 2014


Downtown Project status meeting
Dean College - July 10, 2014

Economic Development Committee
EDC - 12/17/14

Finance Committee

Budget hearing #4

Budget hearing #3

Budget hearing #2

Budget hearing #1

audio version (the meeting was not recorded by Franklin TV)

School Committee
(during 2014 I was on the Board of Directors for the Franklin Food Pantry and the Board meeting was usually a conflict with School Committee meetings)

Town Council


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Franklin Annual Report 2014: Finance Committee

Our fiscal year, which started July 1, 2013, began with the departure of Jim Roche, our chairman for many years. Jim served the town of Franklin well and we wish him great luck in his future volunteer endeavors. We were privileged to witness Representative Jeff Roy recognize Jim’s long term volunteer efforts to our town with a citation from the State House. During the year, Brett Feldman, another dedicated and integral Finance Committee member, was elected to the Town Council. We wish Brett much success in his new role. Fortunately, great citizens offered to volunteer and we added Bill Dowd and George Conley to the committee.

It was another busy year for the Finance Committee, with much focus on the progress of the new high school construction project. During the year the committee met 12 times. Four of those meetings were focused on the Fiscal 2015 budget process, with the end result being the approval of a projected $110 million operating budget for the town. The budget allows the addition of 10 new teachers, one police officer, additional hours for the library to be open on Sundays as well as other increased municipal services. Throughout the year, many discussions related to the deteriorating condition of our public roadways led to the recommendation of an override proposal to the Town Council for FY 2015. Additionally, initial planning expenses related to a potential expansion project for our heavily utilized and space constrained public library were recommended for FY 2015.

Outside of our regularly scheduled meetings, we increased our participation in the Capital Budget and Economic Development subcommittees. We continued our participation in the active joint budget subcommittee meetings attended by Councilors, School Committee Members & Finance Committee members. Additionally, several members participated in the annual meeting of the Association of Town Finance Committees held at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School.

Our accomplishments over the year included the review of a 5 year long-term financial plan for Franklin and recommendations on revisions to the Town’s Fiscal Policies. And while towns must operate within Federal, State & local laws as well as municipal finance rules & regulations, continued focus and public debate enables progress and improvements.

Some improvements are less visible, like the favorable restructuring of town debt in a low interest rate environment. Other improvements are more apparent, such as capital expenditures and expansion of our public recreation space.

I am grateful for my fellow committee members and their ongoing dedication to continued improvements and the financial well being of our town.

Respectfully Submitted,

Susan Dewsnap
Chairman, Franklin Finance Committee

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building

The full annual report can be obtained from the Town Clerk's office (hard copy) or viewed and/or downloaded from the Franklin website here

Annual reports of prior years can also be found online at

Franklin Annual Report 2014: Historical Commission

Continuing our walk through the Annual Report we arrive at the Historical Commission


Franklin Historical Museum (free) Location: 80 West Central St, downtown, near the fire station.

Hours: Thursdays 5 to 8; Saturday 10 - 1; Sunday 1 - 4

Monthly Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at the Museum and all are welcome to attend.


We have now completed our fourth year at the new museum and have been well received by the citizens of Franklin and surrounding communities. The museum continues to explore and celebrate the Town's cultural diversity, achievements and unique place in history.


Our mission is to preserve, protect and develop the historic and archeological assets of Franklin.


The commission is appointed by the Town Administrator and ratified by the Town Council. We have 7 full time members with voting privileges along with non-voting associate members. We invite all residents, with an interest in Franklin, to contact us to become associate members.


All of our members take turns hosting at the museum at one time or another. We have continued to increase our hours of operation so that we are available to the public at diffi:rent times. We are always loolda& for people to belp as host at the mueeum. It is a fun, relaxing and a great learning expericiK:e. Try it ....... you'll like it!


We held many events during this past year and had over 1,000 visitors at the museum. Some of the events included:

Birthday Party

We once again enjoyed celebrating Ben Franldin's Birthday.
We served a birthday cake and sang "Happy Birthday".

Wedding Gowns

Once again, we had our famous event exhibiting gowns from 1893 through 2010. Both young and old seem to enjoy this display.

Veterans Uniform Display

This is always a favorite display both with young and older residents. It's strriking to walk info the museum and see all the uniforms from all branches of the armed services standing at attention.

Sebool Participation

We encourage elementary and high scbool student visits to the museum to learn about Franklin throughout the year. It's important to see how Franklin "used to be" as compared to the present time. One student said "I wish I lived back then!" Teachers are welcomed to make arrangements with us to bring their class in for a visit.

Antique Appraisal Day

This is a very popular event that we hold each year at the museum. People are invited to bring up to three (3) items to be appraised. Very well attended.

Movie Night

One June 29th we showed the musical 1776. This was a first time event and enjoyed by all who attended. The popcorn was good too!

Annual Events of the Downtown Partnership

The Commission takes part in the annual events planned by the Downtown Partnership such as Harvest Festival (pumpkin carving contest) and Strawberry Festival. Our museum was opened and many first time visitors came by.

Demolition Requests

Under the demolition bylaw passed by the Town Council, the Commission is instructed to review any demolition request of a property 60 years and older. We look into the property to see if there is any historical significance and then write a review. In some instances, we ask that a plaque be displayed representing what existed on the parcel of land. Developers are very agreeable to this.

Audio Conversion Project

We are working with a FHS student, Micbael Labine and instructor Mark: Brady who spearheaded this project. We are converting all our old record albums to digital status. The turntables being used are fimded by a grant from the Teacher's Association secured by Mr. Peacock. It's great to be able to work hand in hand with Town and School personel. Thanks to all involved in this project.

Old Museum on Washington Street

We continue to look into possible uses for the "'Od Museum" on Washington Street. Any thoughts, give us a call.

Frieads of Historical Museum

The Friends, along with our regular and associate members, work very bard to bring special events to the museum. Without their support, we could not bring these special programs to the museum. Donations are always welcomed!

In conduslon, we feel that the Franklin Historical Museum has reached so many of its goals and we look forward to offering the residents of Franklin continued years of enjoyment. We are grateful for your support and look forward to another exciting year.

Respectfully submitted,
Franklin Historical Commission
Deborah L. Pellegri, Chair
Delwyn Arnold
Bob Percy
Marlene Oliver
Mary Olsson, ViceChair
Colette Ferguson. Treasurer
Connie Lawson

Associate Members
Mary O'Neill
Kai Olsson
Alice Vendetti
Minessa Konicki

Franklin Historical Museum
Franklin Historical Museum
The full annual report can be obtained from the Town Clerk's office (hard copy) or viewed and/or downloaded from the Franklin website here

Annual reports of prior years can also be found online at

screen grab of Franklin Historical Museum webpage
screen grab of Franklin Historical Museum webpage

You can also find more information on the Historical Museum webpage here

TED Talks: 2014 Ideas

I have shared a TED Talk or two here and with this review, I am finding that there are more that I could have watched and possibly shared.

As you watch this overview or summary of some of the best ideas TED has shared this year, you can also watch the individual videos they reference. Click through to the YouTube page. The links to each video are listed in the details.


TED Talks: Ideas from 2014
TED Talks: Ideas from 2014

You can also find the year in ideas queued for you here

Monday, December 29, 2014

Franklin Annual Report 2014: Community Garden

It’s hard to believe that we are already into our fourth season at the King Street Community Garden! We are continuing to succeed in our mission to provide Franklin residents with a place to meet, learn, and grow, by providing a healthy space in which we can share the joy of growing organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

In partnership with the Town of Franklin, the Recreation Department and the nonprofit Friends of Franklin Community Gardens,

Your Community Garden Committee:
• Identifies appropriate locations
• Coordinates design and construction of new gardens
• Develops and enforces rules and regulations for the gardens
• Oversees the plot lottery, gardener registration and plot distribution

We pledge to continue:
• Supporting our community in growing local food
• Providing locally harvested food to those in need
• Promoting increased social interaction through gardening within our community
• Developing an educational garden for all ages

We are proud to report that in 2014, for the first time since the garden began, every single one of our 50 garden beds is occupied and growing and our waitlist for beds is empty. Five of those beds are producing fresh food for the Franklin Food Pantry and the St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry, allowing us to share the harvest with everyone.

Our work is paying off in more than just produce. Recently, we learned from a past-season gardener that with the knowledge she gained from participating in the Community Garden last year, she was able to build and maintain a raised-bed garden this year at her own home.

Our system of biweekly work days, in which gardeners help out with general garden maintenance, is continuing to prove effective. Our gardeners’ dedicated efforts to mulch and weed early in the season have resulted in the clearest paths we’ve ever seen. Thanks are also due to the Franklin DPW for their regular donations of wood chips.

We look forward to many more harvests to come! If you would like to join us for the 2015 season, please visit the Franklin Recreation Department in person or online. For more information about the Community Garden, contact us at or visit our website at


The Community Garden Committee meets the First Monday of the month at Town Hall. Check the Town of Franklin Meeting Calendar for details.

If you are interested in serving on the committee, please contact any committee member or visit the Town Clerk’s office.

Christopher Clay, Chair
Bonnie Kaiden, Vice-Chair
Kiernan Reed, Secretary
Amy Acevedo, Member
Rich Clauser, Member

Respectfully Submitted,
Kiernan Reed

one of the raised beds in June 2014
one of the raised beds in June 2014

The full annual report can be obtained from the Town Clerk's office (hard copy) or viewed and/or downloaded from the Franklin website here

Annual reports of prior years can also be found online at

FHS Boys Hockey win

From HockomockSports we find the results of the FHS boys hockey game in the Mount St Charles Tournament:
FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Franklin, 6 vs. La Salle (PA), 2 (@ Mount St. Charles Tournament) - Final - Alec Borkowski scored two goals and had two assists for the Panthers who took fifth place at the tournament.

For all the results across the Hockomock League on Sunday, check here

Tips to celebrating New Year's Eve safely

From the MA Gov blog we find tips on celebrating New Year's Eve safely:
From all-day festivals in Pioneer Valley to breathtaking firework displays on the Charles River, New Year’s Eve is an exciting and fun holiday in Massachusetts. Friends and family gather to mark the turning of the calendar in one of the most festive celebrations of the holiday season in the Commonwealth. 
While communities come together to kick-start 2015, it’s important to stay safe while celebrating. The Highway Safety Division (HSD) and the Department of Fire Services (DFS) of Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) provide tips and resources to make sure you and your family safely ring in 2015.
photo from MA Gov posting
photo from MA Gov posting

Continue reading to find the safety tips

First Night Boston -