Friday, January 31, 2014

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 1/31/14 - THU 2/6/14

1/31 FRI   9:30am-7pm   Learning Express Franklin - donating 10% of sales to Munroe Fund.
1/31 FRI   6:30pm-8:30pm   Art Night Uncorked @ Franklin Art Center.

2/1 SAT   8am-11am   Girls Softball/Boys Baseball Walk-In Registrations. Elks Lodge, Franklin.
2/1 SAT   9am-5pm   New England Bonsai Gardens Re-Opening. Bellingham, MA.
2/1 SAT   1:30pm-2:30pm   Coffee (or tea) & Craft for Adults @ Franklin Public Library. Create a   Valentine's Day wreath. 

2/2 SUN   1pm   FPAC Concert Series: Ben Rudnick & Friends. FREE admission. 38 Main St., Franklin.

2/4 TUE   1:30pm   Conversations About Dementia. Call to sign up: 508-520-4945. Franklin Senior Center.
2/4 TUE   7pm   Finance Committee Mtg., Franklin Municipal Building, Council Chambers.

2/5 WED   7pm   Town Council Mtg., Franklin Municipal Building, Council Chambers.

2/6 THU   6:30pm   Report Card Info Session for Parmenter & Jefferson Schools. Parmenter School Library.

For more details click HERE and select the event of interest.

If you know of an event or have a suggestions for the calendar, please email Renata at

Franklin Schools: early dismissal Friday

From the sign at the Parmenter School

Parmenter sign

Representative Roy Announces February Office Hours

Boston, MA -- State Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin) announced today that constituent office hours will be held in Franklin for the Month of February on the following day: 
Franklin – Thursday, February 27th, 5:00-6:00 PM,
Franklin Municipal Building, Room 106 - 355 East Central Street Franklin, MA 
Christopher Yancich, his legislative aide, will be accompanying him. 
Representative Roy stated that all office hours are open to any residents of Franklin and Medway who may have questions or concerns that they wish to bring to his attention. Walk-ins are welcome; no appointment necessary. He looks forward to hearing from you. 
He also invites all constituents to call him at his State House office at (617) 722-2400, stop by Room 134 in the State House, or email him at

In the News: medical marijuana, Tri-County robots

Medical marijuana license hopefuls will hear today
Rina Cametti will be biting her nails today as she waits to learn if her new company will be one of the winners out of 180 other competitors vying for one of the state's new medical marijuana distribution licenses. 
"I'm anxious to see the final decision," said Cametti, who started Baystate Medical Enterprises in Franklin to take advantage of the new law allowing limited distribution of medical pot. "I'm trying to be positive, but there are a lot of great applicants."

Franklin: Tri-County robotics team wins grant
The robotics team at Tri-County Vocational Technical High School has received a needed injection of funds to help propel its work on a robot designed to throw and catch a ball. 
TE Connectivity, a Norwood manufacturer, has awarded Tri-County's team, founded in 2009, $13,750 through a corporate grant program. The company's manager of manufacturing, Bob Vozella, of Franklin, is a Tri-County graduate.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Franklin Children's School preschool registration

Franklin Children's School preschool registration

Franklin Children's School preschool registration
Franklin Children's School preschool registration

State Grants Benefit Water Conservation Projects in Ashland, Franklin, Medway

EEA announces state grants for water conservation projects in Ashland, Franklin and Medway

(BOSTON, January 29, 2014) – Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan this week announced more than $1.1 million in grants to communities across the Commonwealth for water conservation and management projects, including over $222,000 locally in Ashland, Franklin and Medway.

"Conserving natural resources and improving access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water are critical issues in these communities and across the state," Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) said. "These grants will help towns boost their water conservation efforts to best protect natural resources, while ensuring a sustainable, high-quality water supply going forward."

The grants are part of the EEA's Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI), which seeks to improve degraded water resources and maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems. SWMI grants support projects that will improve the handling of wastewater and stormwater, conserve natural resources and ecosystem habitats, manage demand for water in municipalities and improve the water supply.

"Water resources are of great concern to residents of Franklin and Medway, particularly given our proximity to the Charles River," said Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin). "These grants will go a long way to enhancing water management in our area and the preservation of our waterways."

"I am pleased to see Franklin awarded this important grant," said Senator Richard Ross (R-Wrentham). "It will go great lengths toward improving efficiency in water management in the community."

"Ensuring we have clean water is an essential function of government," said Representative Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland). "These grants are investing in clean water now so we have what we need 10, 20, 30 years down the road."

"In addition to advancing state and local water conservation partnerships across the region, this grant provides Medway with the resources to evaluate the source of water loss occurring in the town water system," said Representative John Fernandes (D-Milford). "Identifying and correcting that problem makes more water available for new and expanded development, which creates more revenue for the town."

The following local communities were awarded grants:

·         Ashland: $67,455 for a wastewater analysis planning project to analyze the feasibility of constructing a wastewater treatment plant in Ashland.

·         Franklin: $119,460 for regional evaluation of water management alternatives to reduce streamflow impacts in the Upper Charles River Watershed.

·         Medway: $35,420 for a Demand Management Implementation Project that will conduct audits of both the Town's water system and the ten largest industrial, commercial and institutional water users served by the Town. 

For more details on the SWMI grant program:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Live reporting - Zoning Workshop (part 2)

B. Areas for Discussion requested by Economic Development Committee

1. Increase areas for Multi-family Housing

why are discussing increasing areas for housing when we were discussing that this residential housing is costing us money

it is a difficult situation with the way the State is funding education. 

about 1200 apartments and condos in Franklin

we have to fix zone 6 first, it doesn't really fit on the map, no one has asked for it

zone 6 had been stopped before because it was helping to drive the school population

multifamily zone doesn't discriminate between rental or condo

2. Increase areas for Commercial/ Business Development
brings up the RT 140 discussion again
what is the right area to increase commercial within the town

in the current industrial area downtown Thompson building, but then it is next to the train station and it is not prime for residential

Bernon Family trust owns the land near the town line past Garelick Dairy

be aware of issues where zones come together, home owners are used to the buffer

only 2% of the land is zoned commercial, 18% is zoned industrial, and 80% is zoned residential

re-write neighbor and put that on the map would address the need

what is the benefit of more commercial space? does it put more money in our pocket?

we need commercial/industrial more than residential. A property owner pays about $5K and one kid in the schools cost $10K

the only way you control what goes on in your neighborhood is to own the land

consider getting Garelick to Maple St to re-zone as commercial

discussion on Washington St property with industrial switched to residential

2. Other Proposed Zoning Changes
Commercial I Zoning District

  • Amend the dimensional requirements for Commercial I in the Town’s Zoning By-law’s Schedule of Lot, Area, Frontage, Yard and Height Requirements
  • Amend the Town’s Zoning Bylaw to require sufficient parking in the Commercial I zoning district.

zoning comparisons are hard to make from community to community, each has been so customized for the local requirements

consensus to leave C1 alone

meeting closed

Live reporting - Zoning Workshop

Present: Taberner, Dahlstrom, Vallee, Nutting, Pfeffer, Kelly,Williams, Padula, Halligan, other members of the Planning Board; some members of the Downtown Partnership, including Dean College

1. Proposed Zoning Map Changes
Alpine Row

  • Rezone properties along Alpine ROW currently zoned Commercial I to the Downtown Commercial Zoning District.
  • Rezone properties currently zoned Commercial I along Alpine ROW to the General Residential V Zoning District

discussion around changing some of the downtown section currently C1 to the Downtown Commercial zone, discussion around the three residences along Alpine, keeping them as they are as C1 and move along with the others to the downtown commercial zone

Josephine Street

  • Rezone properties along Josephine Street currently zoned Industrial to General Residential V.

discussion around some wet lands currently zoned industrial and suggestion to make it residential, shouldn't increase opportunity for residential due to the wet lands and lot size requirements. Two of the lots are already in the Town's hands as the owner didn't want to pay taxes on swamp

Cottage Street/Union Street Area

  • Rezone properties along Cottage Street and Union Street currently zoned Industrial and Business to Commercial I and or Commercial II.
mostly clean up of lot lines and change of zoning to provide more flexibility and adjust the zoning to the actual lot lines

West Central Street, East of Beaver Street

  • Rezone properties along the south side of West Central Street from Beaver Street east (approximately .15 miles) to General Residential V.

proposed clean up of property lines, some are lingering from prior years clean up efforts. The zoning should align with the property lines

the real question is should RT 140 be zoned commercial all the way... or do we keep the commercial where it is outside the direct downtown...

discussion on both sides for commercial and again for keeping it R4 (but cleaning up the lot lines)

if you re-zone it, it won't happen overnight.

if someone came in to buy the whole set, then they could come before the council to get a zoning change

Think of tomorrow, sometime that will be all commercial

Girls Softball - Boys Baseball Registration

Saturday, 8:30 to 11:30 at the Elks Club  or online

Girls Softball - Boys Baseball Registration
Girls Softball - Boys Baseball Registration

Hockomock YMCA: one-day, free introductory classes - Feb 9th

The Hockomock Area YMCA will offer one-day, free introductory classes in swimming, sports, gymnastics, and enrichment on Sunday February 9th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at its branch on 45 Forge Hill Road in Franklin. These 30-minute classes will be taught by YMCA expert coaches and include programs in Sports like parent-child All-Star Kids and Football Rookies; parent-child swim classes as well as preschool and school age aquatics; and in Gymnastics, including Boys Super Heroes. Also in Arts & Enrichment, we are offering sampling classes in Me, Mommy & Music, Junior Chef, and Little Wizards. All in the community are invited to attend and sample a variety of the programs available year-round at the Hockomock Area YMCA’s full facilities in Foxborough, Franklin, and North Attleboro.

explore the YMCA

The Y is about youth development: we strive to help children and teens reach their full potential by helping them grow—physically, mentally and socially—from young children into engaged, active members of their communities.

“This event is a great way for kids who have never been in the water or in a sports class to get comfortable with the experience and to begin to develop life skills and interests,” says Jim Downs, VP of Operations at the Hockomock Area YMCA. “Or, if your child wants to try a new program, you’ll find dozens of options in a fun, supportive environment,” he adds.

Getting out on a winter afternoon – for a fun YMCA experience – brings huge rewards. Through Y programs, kids have the opportunity to find new talents, try new activities, gain independence, and make lasting friendships and memories. And, of course, it’s fun too.

Explore the YMCA
“Over the years, thousands of children have learned lifelong skills at the Y and we are proud to be able to continue to make events like this available,” Downs says. “It’s really part of the important role the Y plays in our community.”

Call or stop by to pick up a schedule of classes that will be offered for kids age 2-11. Signups will be available starting at noon the day of the event. For more information on the February 9th event or programs offered at the Y, please call 508-528-8708 or visit

About Hockomock Area YMCA:
The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility. With over 33,000 members, half under the age of 18, their promise is to partner and collaborate with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities they are privileged to serve. Their programs and activities emphasize the development of the whole person in spirit, mind, and body and are available to all individuals regardless of their ability to pay.

Electric Youth to Rock Showcase Live

Electric Youth 2014 will debut at Showcase Live, Patriot Place, in Foxboro on Friday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. This annual fan-favorite performance offers high-powered family entertainment with music for all ages. Accompanied by an eight-piece band of world-class musicians, EY will deliver a fully choreographed show with an extensive repertoire of classic rock and contemporary pop music. Hear the best of Aerosmith, The Beatles, Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Frank Sinatra and more. Don't miss this exciting evening of timeless hits and non-stop entertainment! 
Electric Youth performing
Electric Youth performing

Ticket prices are $18 for Loge Seats and $28 for Premium Seating. Tickets can be purchased at Call (508) 528-8668 to reserve a table for large parties. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for dinner and best seat selection.

"the wrong type of butter can secretly ruin your health"

Vani Hari, the Food Babe, writes:
Land O’ Lakes was a staple in my household growing up. We’d use the whipped butter like it was nobody’s business – my mom would use it on her infamous parathas (Indian stuffed flat bread), in countless desserts and to make homemade ghee. Once I found out what was really happening at Land O’Lakes, my Mom and I had a little chat. I explained to her that Land O’Lakes is owned by a pro-GMO company called Dean Foods. Land O’Lakes co-developed genetically engineered alfalfa, directly contributing to the GMO animal feed supply. I also explained that Land O’Lakes contributed nearly $100,000 to the “No on I-522 Lobby” – the bill to label GMOs in Washington State. This is all on top of the fact that Land O’Lakes is not organic, raises their cows with growth hormones linked to cancer, antibiotics and harmful pesticide ridden GMO feed. I told my Mom she has to stop buying Land O’Lakes if we are going to change this world!  
Knowing all these facts, plus the health risks of consuming GMOs, my Mom finally asked “what butter can I buy?” Well there are many brands out there that are light years ahead of Land O’Lakes. Here’s a Butter Buying Guide that will help you (and my Mama) navigate the butter aisle next time you hit the market
Food Babe: Butter Choices
Food Babe: Butter Choices

Click through to view the product choices for healthy butter

Land O'Lakes has been a brand staple in my household so we'll be shopping for a new brand

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Franklin, MA; School Committee - Agenda - Jan 28, 2014

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the January 14, 2014 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mr. Clement
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
Correspondence: none

2. Guests/Presentations
a. Remington Middle School Update – Paul Peri, Brian Wildeman
b. District Improvement Plan (DIP)-Progress Report – Joyce Edwards
c. PARCC Update – Joyce Edwards
d. Capital Plan

3. Discussion Only Items
Fuel Up Grant and Play 60 – M. Sabolinski, S. Winslow, M. Goodman

Policy – First Reading
1. KCDA– Memorial Commemorations

4. Action Items
a. I recommend adoption of the 2014-2015 School Calendar as presented at the 1/14/14 School Committee meeting with any changes discussed.
b. I recommend approval of the budget transfers as detailed.
c. I recommend acceptance of a check for $3500.00 from Gen Youth Foundation for a “Fuel Up Grant” for Parmenter Elementary School.
d. I recommend acceptance of a check for $4000.00 from Gen Youth Foundation for a “Fuel Up Grant” for FHS.
e. I recommend acceptance of a check for $4000.00 from Gen Youth Foundation for a “Fuel Up Grant” for Davis Thayer.
f. I recommend acceptance of a check for $3900.00 from Gen Youth Foundation for a “Fuel Up Grant” for Horace Mann.
g. I recommend acceptance of the donation of $1088.00 from various parents for the Music Dept.
h. I recommend acceptance of the donation of $225.00 from various parents for the Music Dept.
i. I recommend acceptance of a check for $2260.00 from the Franklin Music Boosters for the Music Dept.
j. I recommend acceptance of a check for $325.25 from All-American Publishing for the FHS Athletic Dept.
k. I recommend approval of the request to take Parmenter students to the Veteran’s Auditorium in Providence, RI on April 8, 2014 for a performance.
l. I recommend moving KCDA – Memorial Commemorations Policy to a second reading.
m. I recommend adoption of the FY14 Capital Plan.
n. I recommend approval of the request of Tony Joseph to take Keller Elementary School 5th graders to Roger Williams Zoo, Providence, RI on April 29, 2014 as detailed.

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

Downtown Zoning Workshop - Weds - Jan 29, 2014 - 7:00 PM

Downtown Zoning Workshop
Wednesday, January 29th at 7:00 pm
Town Hall-training room

The following will be discussed:

A. Zoning Changes as Recommended in 2013 Master Plan Implementation Plan

1. Proposed Zoning Map Changes
Alpine Row

  • Rezone properties along Alpine ROW currently zoned Commercial I to the Downtown Commercial Zoning District.
  • Rezone properties currently zoned Commercial I along Alpine ROW to the General Residential V Zoning District

Josephine Street

  • Rezone properties along Josephine Street currently zoned Industrial to General Residential V.
Cottage Street/Union Street Area
  • Rezone properties along Cottage Street and Union Street currently zoned Industrial and Business to Commercial I and or Commercial II.

West Central Street, East of Beaver Street

  • Rezone properties along the south side of West Central Street from Beaver Street east (approximately .15 miles) to General Residential V.

2. Other Proposed Zoning Changes
Commercial I Zoning District

  • Amend the dimensional requirements for Commercial I in the Town’s Zoning By-law’s Schedule of Lot, Area, Frontage, Yard and Height Requirements
  • Amend the Town’s Zoning Bylaw to require sufficient parking in the Commercial I zoning district.

B. Areas for Discussion requested by Economic Development Committee

1. Increase areas for Multi-family Housing
2. Increase areas for Commercial/ Business Development

Reminder: MBTA Parking is switching pay-by-phone providers

Update: MBTA Parking is switching pay-by-phone providers starting 2/1/14. 


Visit or call 1-866-234-7275 for details. 
Last updated: Jan 27 2014 10:14 AM

Click here for more information:
Sent by the MBTA  (or write

"165 earning passing marks"

Milford Daily News reports that 230 candidates took the test last week to get on the list for the Franklin Police Dept. They are looking to hire one more police officer to bring their total to 45. The decision to hire will likely be approved as part of the FY 2015 budget cycle which will begin with Finance Committee budget hearings in Mar/Apr and commence with a Town Council decision in June.

Pleased with the turnout on test day, Semerjian said the candidates’ level of experience could vary. 
"We may see people with extensive police experience, we may have part-time officers from other agencies, and we may have green candidates who have to be sent through the academy," he said. 
Not until the department receives an OK from the council on its request to hire one officer will it begin reviewing and winnowing down the list of candidates who passed the exam, which remains valid for three years. 
Already, the Police Exam Solutions test process has proven faster than the Civil Service system in terms of releasing results, Semerijian said. For results from the Civil Service exam, he said, the department would have faced up to a six-month wait.

See more at:

Franklin Schools: Capital Budget planning

The school Committee is scheduled to discuss their capital budget submission to the town this evening. The budget is in two parts, one for facilities and one for technology.



The full agenda for the meeting can be found here

Franklin Schools: MCAS and PARCC test schedule

The MCAS and PARCC test schedule for the Franklin schools is scheduled for discussion Tuesday evening at the School Committee meeting.

The full agenda for the meeting can be found here

"Demystifying the Core Standards"

"Demystifying the Core Standards" is the title of the presentation scheduled for the School Committee meeting Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014

The full agenda for the School Committee meeting can be found here

Monday, January 27, 2014

Crossroads at the Town Common

The light snow Saturday night into Sunday was still drifting about with Sunday's breezes. The sidewalks approaching the bandstand on the Town Common marked a crossroads on Sunday morning.

crossroads at the Town Common
crossroads at the Town Common

Stay warm!

Culinary Cabaret 2014

Don't Miss the Fantastic and Flavorful Culinary Cabaret 2014! 
Mark your calendars for Culinary Cabaret 2014, to be held on Friday, March 7 from 7-10 p.m. at Clarke Luxury Showroom in Milford! The third annual signature food and wine event showcases the culinary and performing arts, featuring inspired cuisine and creative cooking demonstrations by area chefs and culinarians. 
Culinary Cabaret
Culinary Cabaret
Electric Youth will headline the evening's entertainment. Savor fine wines and delicious appetizers and dishes from Artistry Kitchen, Culinary Underground, Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse, J & L Catering, Not Your Average Joes - Westborough, Prezo, Tavolino, Whole Foods Market, 3 Restaurant and more. 
Clarke features a kitchen-theater classroom and gallery of designer kitchens, providing an award-winning setting and inventive backdrop to eat, drink, learn and celebrate. Enjoy a special evening out with family and friends! 
Tickets are $75 and are available for purchase now at Proceeds will benefit Electric Youth and the ensemble's 2014 European concert tour, featuring a July 4th performance for U.S. troops.

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown – The Musical, Feb 7-8

The BFCCPS Fine and Performing Arts Department is proud to present two performances of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown – The Musical on Friday, February 7, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, February 8 at 2:00 p.m. at the Thomas D. Mercer Auditorium in Franklin. The musical features BFCCPS students in grades six through eight, along with a live orchestra comprised of students, parents and alumni. 
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown is a musical based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz in his comic strip, Peanuts. Though considered a “good man” by his friends, Charlie Brown can't seem to win the heart of the Little Red-Haired Girl or his friend Lucy who has a crush on the piano-playing Schroeder. Meanwhile Snoopy and Linus daydream and the rest of the friends battle with kites, school, baseball and misunderstandings before finally coming to realize what makes them truly happy. 
The show won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and features songs “My New Philosophy”, “Me and My Blanket” and “Happiness.” 
Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children and are available at the door. Tickets may also be purchased in advance at the BFCCPS office at 201 Main Street in Franklin. 
The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School (BFCCPS) is aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum frameworks and offers a challenging classical education

"community will gain a lot from it"

In 1974, a student in Palma Johnson’s second-grade class at John F. Kennedy Elementary School wondered why Massachusetts didn't have a state bug. 
There was already a state bird, a state fish and a state tree, but not an official insect. One student suggested the ladybug. 
Together, the class drafted a petition to make the ladybug the state bug. When its petition came before a committee, the students, dressed, of course, as ladybugs, traveled to the State House and testified. 
Improbably the bill passed both the House and Senate. And when then-Gov. Francis Sargent signed it into law, the children were there to watch.

Read the full article at:

Ladybug floor mat at JF Kennedy School
Ladybug floor mat at JF Kennedy School

Related posts on the Ladybug Spots:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Franklin's Board of Health revises proposed tobacco regulations

More Massachusetts towns have enacted tobacco regulations in the past two years than in the history of the state’s anti-tobacco campaign, adopting new restrictions largely aimed at how businesses can sell such products. 
Since 2012, 12 communities, including Ashland, have raised the legal purchase age for tobacco products beyond 18. Fifty cities and towns ban the sale of blunt wraps, and 39 have set a minimum price for cigars. 
Town health boards have the power to pass the regulations without approval from Town Meeting or a higher governing body. 
Anti-tobacco activists, doctors and advisers, attend Board of Health meetings and public hearings both to offer up statistics pointing to the health hazards of smoking and to present model regulations that communities mold to their circumstances.

See more at:

Franklin's Board of Health is among those looking to make changes, The proposed revisions can be found here

The public hearing held at the January meeting resulted in the regulations being tabled to a future meeting without a decision at that time.

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building
The proposed regulations (link provided above) have been revised and the new set posted to the Franklin website as of 1/23/14.

The old set is no longer on the Board of Health page. You can find the old set on the Franklin Matters page. The new set is shown here:

Visit the Franklin Board of Health page on the town website here


Updated: I printed both the old set of proposed regulations and the new set to walk through the document line by line, page by page to find the changes. This is what I find:

  • Definition add for "Retail Tobacco Store"
  • Section 4.1 - changed date from Feb 1 to April 1, 2014
  • Section 4.2 - changed date from Feb 1 to April 1, 2014
  • Section 4.3 - changed age from 21 to 18
  • Section 7.1 - added language to create an exception for in-store humidors
  • Section 15 - changed date from Feb 1 to April 1, 2014

If you find that there are changes that I missed, please let me know.

February is Library Lovers Month - What is your favorite book?

To help celebrate February as "Library Lovers Month", the Friends of Franklin Library (FoFL) would like to know what your favorite book is, and why (just a couple of sentences). It can be a book you read recently, or one you read years ago. Maybe you have a favorite author you can tell us about. Who knows, maybe we'll each find a new book or author to enjoy!

Ben Franklin reading outside the Franklin Library
Ben Franklin reading outside the Franklin Library

Entries will be accepted until Feb 28, 2014.

As you submit your entry, you'll have the opportunity to view the other entries.

Rail Trail Supporters: Stock up for the Patriots and Superbowl

An email on Saturday evening from the FBRTC:
It's too bad the Patriots are not in the Super Bowl next weekend, but chances are you'll still have that Superbowl party you planned.  So take the opportunity Sunday to stock-up for next weekend and help the rail trail effort at the same time.   
Franklin Bellingham Rail Trail Committee
Franklin Bellingham Rail Trail Committee

The Franklin and Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC) is hosting a wine tasting at Pour Richards Wine ( 14 Grove Street in Franklin) from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.  Come taste fine wines and learn about the efforts to develop the Southern New England Trunkline Trail.  
Pour Richard's Wine & Spirits
Pour Richard's Wine & Spirits
And we won't pass judgement on how much you buy, but the more the better!  Pour Richards is generously donating a portion of their profits on sales to the FBRTC. Samples from Tastefully Simple will also be served along with other appetizers to pair with your wine! 
More details at or 

We hope to see you.

Ladybug Spots

Additional information is contained in this one page document if you would like to be involved with sponsoring a ladybug

Related posts:

Cows now ladybugs

From the Town Council meeting

Emeritus at Franklin: Events for seniors and senior caregivers

Emeritus at Franklin, the new senior living community slated to open in May 2014, is hosting two events for seniors and senior caregivers, which are free to the public, in February.

Surviving the Challenge of Caregiving Being a caregiver is a demanding role, and one that requires a good deal of self-care. Rosemarie Lanchester, a certified hypnosis consultant, will present five simple steps for caregivers to take better care of themselves.
Date and Time: Saturday, February 8, 10 a.m.-noon
Location: Hampton Inn, 735 Union Street, Franklin
RSVP: 508.520.1150 or 

Discovery Luncheon: Are you or a loved one looking for a safer and more enjoyable way to spend your golden years? Come discover how Franklin's newest Assisted Living and Memory Care community can help seniors continue to live fulfilling, productive lives even in the midst of the challenges of aging.
Date and Time: Tuesday, February 11, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Location: Hampton Inn, 735 Union Street, Franklin
RSVP: 508.520.1150 or 

About Emeritus at Franklin: Emeritus at Franklin was designed for seniors whose needs include assisted living and memory care. Nestled in a charming neighborhood, this lovely residential building will feature 81 new apartments, an experienced and compassionate care staff, three homemade meals served restaurant-style daily, a dynamic activities program and weekly housekeeping services.

Visit for more information

"There’s a pharmacy in your head"

Bill and Linda Hamaker simply couldn’t stop laughing in the conference room in Franklin’s Hampton Inn Saturday morning. 
Their laughter, completely unprovoked by jokes or humor, soon spread to the room of about half a dozen who wanted to explore the idea of laughter yoga, for which the Hamakers are certified instructors. 
Life is better when you are laughing
Life is better when you are laughing
The Walpole natives say this unconventional form of yoga first came to them during a three-day seminar at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge. 
Based on the teachings of Dr. Madan Katria, a physician from Mumbai, India, laughter yoga is based on reconnecting with the unrestricted laughter we once experienced as children, Linda said.

You can read the full article in the Milford Daily News at:

Check out the Let's Laugh Today webpage for their complete schedule of events

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Vani Hari aka the Food Babe, Takes On The Industry

Jonathan Fields is running a series of videos called the Good Life Project. He interviews a variety of really interesting folks to find out more about them, what they do and what they think a good life means. In this segment, he talks with Vani Hari, the Food Babe, who is doing some really good work in understanding what we are eating and what that 'food' is really doing to us. Watching the interview is well worth the 35 minutes to find out about Vani's story, what got her into this food research, then you can go to her website or Facebook page for the details on what to do (or not do).

"workshop on how to build a rain garden"

Through a $16,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the town has partnered with the Charles River Watershed Association to create a two-year rain garden training program, the first of its kind in Massachusetts. 
rain garden at Parmenter School
rain garden at Parmenter School
The training is to feature a classroom component where participants will learn how rain gardens work as a natural filter for polluted stormwater runoff, said Pallavi Mande, who is organizing the program for the association. 
The other component will be class trips to a sample garden at the Department of Public Works headquarters on Fisher Street. The educational excursions, Mande said, should prove "a successful way to get people motivated, rather than just providing outreach on the benefits of a rain garden. 
"People don’t feel compelled to take action until they get a little more in terms of training," she added.

See more at:

The rain garden project is looking for a catchy name, you can find out more about this and submit your idea here

"a false perception that the industry is dying"

During a manufacturing roundtable, he and state Rep. Jeffrey Roy, D-Franklin, began the process of eliciting feedback from leaders in the industry on what they’ll need to improve and build those connections. Fourteen manufacturers, a fraction of the more than 7,000 companies in the state, attended, along with other lawmakers, public officials and Tri-County administrators. 
Tri-County cut its manufacturing program in 2002 in response to a decline in interest, closing its machine shop, said Superintendent Stephen Dockray. But, he said, voc-tech schools are prepared to provide a solution to the workforce shortage as long as they can get the right equipment. 
"We need to partner with many of you to purchase the machinery to train our students in manufacturing," Dockray said. "But it’s expensive."
Tri-County Voc Tech in Franklin
Tri-County Voc Tech in Franklin

See more at:

NEW DATE - United Regional YPO Event - "Networking Made Easy!"

The United Regional Young Professionals Organization (YPO) will be holding its first quarterly educational workshop called Networking Made Easy! hosted by Ed McDonough, a Business Coach, Speaker and Marketing Consultant, on Thursday, February 27th from 6-7:30 PM at the Fisher College North Attleboro campus. The event will provide business professionals tips and techniques on how to make and keep business connections, and other do’s and don’ts of networking. 
Young Professionals Organization
Young Professionals Organization
Ed is the founder of Executive Coaching in Walpole, MA. Since 2001 Ed has been a successful entrepreneur and multi-business owner who has a unique talent for developing and implementing long-term profitable marketing strategies. 
In addition to his business owner experience, Mr. McDonough spent over 25 years as a top-level Information Technology professional and Project Management Consultant in Corporate America, making him well versed in all facets of the business environment. His real-world brick and mortar business experience combined with his passion for effective web-based marketing has lead him to coach business owners throughout North America to success from the ground up. 
Don’t miss this opportunity to discover how you can make more and better business connections! 
The United Regional YPO consists of a diverse group of young professionals who have an interest in social and business networking, community involvement and professional development. 
The cover charge is $5.00 with pre-registration on the YPO website or $10 at the door. Attendees may register for this event on the YPO’s website or by contacting 508-488-YPO1 (9761).

Friday, January 24, 2014

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 1/24/14 - THU 1/30/14

1/25 SAT   8:30am-11:30am   Franklin Girls Softball Walk-In Registration, Elks Club, Franklin.
1/25 SAT   9am-10am   dance-FIT class to benefit Munroe family, Helen Owens Fitness in Franklin.
1/25 SAT   10:30am-12:30pm   Family Tracking at Stony Brook Sanctuary, Norfolk. Registration required.
1/25 SAT   4pm-7pm   Three Stories Band, Pizza & Beer Extravaganza at Pour Richard's, Franklin.

1/26 SUN  2pm-5pm   Wine Tasting with Appetizers to benefit Franklin and Bellingham Rail Trail Committee,  Pour Richard's Wine and Spirits, Franklin.

1/27 MON  7pm    Planning Board Meeting, Municipal Building - Council Chambers, Franklin.

1/28 TUE   7pm   School Committee Mtg., Municipal Building - Council Chambers, Franklin.

1/29 WED  7pm   Town Council - Zoning Workshop, Municipal Building - Council Chambers, Franklin.

Downtown Franklin on a warmer day
Downtown Franklin on a warmer day

For more details click HERE and select the event of interest.

If you know of an event or have a suggestions for the calendar, please email Renata at

Important change to Respite Companion Program

Do you recall the Respite Companion Program introduced at the Senior Center recently?
(If not, you can check out this link or this link and come back. We'll wait for you!)

The Senior Center has some good news to announce. They were able to get the grant amended.  It does say in the brochure that both the caregiver and the care recipient have to be 60 years of age or over.

The Senior Center found that they had turned down 25% of the folks who wanted respite care since September because the age of the caregiver was under 60. They have removed the age requirement for the the caregiver. The age requirement for the care recipient remains at age 60 or over.

This makes sense. Looking around at those I know in this situation, most of the caregivers are under sixty with the care recipient over sixty. The 'sandwich' generation is not just a media sound bite. It is real.

If you would like to check out the Companion Caregiver Program, contact the Senior Center. You can call the Senior Center to register: 508-520-4945

Franklin Senior Center
Franklin Senior Center

For more information about the Senior Center and all the programs they offer, visit their page on the official Franklin website

MassBudget: Analyzing the Governor's Budget for FY 2015

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

The Governor's Budget for FY 2015 
Yesterday, the Governor filed his budget proposal for FY 2015. Our new Budget Monitor shows how the Governor's budget would affect programs across state government, from health care and education to public safety and the environment--including information on tax revenues. 

The Governor's proposal does not include significant new revenue, which means that the investments he specifies are relatively modest. They include:

  • Higher Education, which would see a third straight year of increases--albeit to levels still 22% below where they were in 2001 (adjusted for inflation)

  • Elder Services, where increases would expand access to home care and improve quality

  • Early Education and Care, where continued funding growth would help move more children off the wait list and into early education and care programs
 Read our full BUDGET MONITOR
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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"There’s the understanding that change is scary"

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School, among the oldest charter institutions in Massachusetts, has sought approval from the state to double its enrollment and expand its district to include other towns. 
The school, which opened in 1995 in a Main Street building leased from the Archdiocese of Boston, has applied for two major charter amendments that would allow it to add 450 students over the next 10 years, increasing its enrollment to 900, and extend the district beyond the boarders of Franklin to include 13 other communities. 
If the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approves the school’s requests, prospective students from Bellingham, Blackstone, Holliston, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Millis, Norfolk, Plainville, Walpole and Wrentham would be on equal footing with those from Franklin in terms of their chances for gaining a seat at BFCCPS.

See more at:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Standard & Poor's gives Franklin the best grade yet!

As initially reported during the Town Council meeting on Wednesday evening, Standard and Poor's Rating Services has given the Town of Franklin the highest rating yet: AA+

In summary they wrote:
The stable outlook reflects what we view as the town's very strong liquidity position and strong budgetary flexibility. In addition, we believe Franklin's very strong economy and access to the Boston Metrolpoitan Statistical Area (MSA) ledns stability to the town's tax base. Consequently, we do not expect to change the rating with the outlook's two-year time frame. While unlikely, if management is unable to maintain structural balance resulting in what we view as weak budgetary performance and flexibility, we could lower the rating.

Congratulations, Franklin!

Additional details from the live reporting at the Town Council meeting on Wednesday can be found here:

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building