Saturday, March 22, 2014

The NSA Debate at TED

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”  Benjamin Franklin
As we live in the first community named for Ben, we should be as concerned about liberty and security as much as how Franklin will find funds to pay for our roads and other services. Hence, there are two important TED Talks from this week I will share here. Pull up a comfy spot (if you're not in one already) and spend about an hour with Edward Snowden and then the response from the NSA.

Edward Snowden at TED  "How we take back the Internet"

Richard Ledgett: "The NSA responds to Edward Snowden’s TED Talk"

"I would say the last year has been a reminder that democracy may die behind closed doors, but we as individuals are born behind those same closed doors, and we don't have to give up our privacy to have good government. We don't have to give up our liberty to have security. And I think by working together we can have both open government and private lives, and I look forward to working with everyone around the world to see that happen."  Edward Snowden

Franklin High's weight coach is strong

Two year ago, shortly after she was introduced as Franklin High's new strength coach, Liane Blyn became a legend in the school's weight room. 
It was a YouTube video, later posted on the school newspaper's website, showing Blyn dragging a yellow Hummer that had the students abuzz.
Read the full article here (subscription required)

and the video of her pulling the Hummer from a dead stop

Hockomock Area YMCA kicks off the Reach Out for Youth and Families annual campaign

Brian Earley and Michael Patch return to lead the charge in the Hockomock Area YMCA’s 2014 Reach Out for Youth and Families Campaign. Brian joined the Board of Directors of the Hockomock Area YMCA in 2011 and is currently vice chairman. He is General Manager of Patriot Place and active in the town of Franklin, where he resides with his wife and four children. North Attleboro native Michael Patch grew up as an avid YMCA member and is currently chairman of the YMCA’s North Attleboro Branch Board of Managers. Michael is President of CSM Group, Inc. and lives in North Attleboro with his wife and three sons. 
Michael Patch [left] and Brian Earley [right]
"We are thrilled to have Brian and Michael lead our annual campaign," notes Jeff Dufficy, Chairman of the Y’s Board of Directors. "Brian and Mike are great champions of our mission and their passion to help improve the quality of life in the communities we serve is infectious and inspiring."

The Hockomock Area YMCA is recruiting more than 400 volunteers to help tell the story of the Y and its impact. The campaign will officially kick off on March 27th at the Hockomock Y’s annual breakfast beginning at 7:00 a.m. at Gillette Stadium, Putnam Club (East Side). Volunteers, community partners, and friends will come together to be inspired and to help friends and neighbors in need. 
In 2013, the Hockomock Area YMCA invested $1,732,470 in confidential scholarship assistance and subsidized programs. Through the community’s support, people of all ages and from all walks of life are enjoying lives that are more healthy, confident, connected, and secure. This includes cancer survivors and their families enrolled in the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA initiative, over 600 children with special needs participating in inclusive YMCA programming through the Integration Initiative, and thousands of middle school students taking part in Adventures in Respect, the Hockomock Area YMCA’s bullying prevention initiative. The Hockomock Area YMCA is more than a place; it is a cause that is committed to strengthening communities. 
According to Ed Hurley, President of the Hockomock Area YMCA, “We are grateful for the thoughtful generosity of our community. Last year, more than 15,000 local children and families benefited from a Y experience through the contributions of over 3,000 Reach Out for Youth and Families donors.” To RSVP for the annual breakfast, contact To learn how you can volunteer for this year’s campaign, please contact Peter Waisgerber at (508) 643-5251.

About The Hockomock Area YMCA
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities in the areas of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. At the Y, strengthening community is its cause. Every day, the Y works side-by-side with its neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn and grow. For more information about the Hockomock Area YMCA, please visit

Friday, March 21, 2014

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 3/21/14 - THU 3/27/14

FRI 3/21   6:30pm   Art Night Uncorked - Franklin Art Center.
FRI 3/21   7pm   Casino Night to benefit Franklin Youth Baseball

SAT 3/22   9am-12pm   Patriot’s Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser to benefit BFCCS students, Elks Lodge Franklin.
SAT 3/22   8pm   Concert: Lori McKEnna with Mark Erelli, First Universalist Society, Franklin. (sold out)

SUN 3/23   12:30pm   Cupcake Decorating for Teens. The Cake Bar, Franklin.
SUN 3/23   1pm   FPAC Free Concert Series: Opera for Kids - Franklin.

MON 3/24   7pm   Planning Board Meeting, Franklin Municipal Building.

TUE 3/25   7pm   School Committee Meeting, Franklin Municipal Building.

WED 3/26   6:30pm   Cooking Matters - FREE class. Hockomock YMCA Franklin.
WED 3/26   7:00pm  Finance Committee - Budget hearing #4 (may be last one of series)

THU 3/27   7am-9am   Power of Voices - YMCA Annual Youth and Families Breakfast. Patriot Place - Foxborough.

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

*If you have any suggestions or events for the calendar, please email

More on PARCC

Additional articles on the Common Core and PARCC

March 19, 2014 Letter written by Ludlow Superintendent regarding too much on standardized testing

Just out today, March 20, 2014


Related post:

Franklin Downtown Partnership Announces 2014 Event Dates

The Franklin Downtown Partnership has set the dates for this year’s Strawberry Stroll, Harvest Festival, Holiday Stroll and Beautification days. The FDP also announces its General Meeting Dates and invites the general public to attend and learn more about important issues and happenings in town. 
Franklin Downtown Partnership
Franklin Downtown Partnership
Downtown Beautification Day will be Saturday, May 17, 9:00 a.m. to Noon. The Partnership, the Franklin Garden Club and many volunteers will install more than 1,200 flowers and greens, and community service hours will be available to students. Contact Eileen Mason at for details about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities. Winter Beautification Day will be Sunday, November 23. 
The Partnership’s 11th annual Strawberry Stroll will take place on Thursday, June 12, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. A sidewalk sale, entertainment and the Partnership’s mouthwatering Strawberry Shortcakes will kick off summer in sweet style. The FDP currently is signing up sponsors for this event. Contact event Co-Chairs Nicole Fortier,, or Bryan Taberner,, for more information. 
The always-popular Harvest Festival will be Sunday, October 5, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. This annual event will draw at least 6,000 visitors to town for a fun afternoon of local entertainment, shopping, food and games. Booth registration information will be available on the FDP website in June. 
The Holiday Stroll is set for Thursday, December 4, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. A visit from Santa, holiday music, crafts and specialty shopping draw hundreds of people downtown for this special holiday evening. Roberta Trahan and Gregg Chalk will co-chair this event. 
Along with these popular events, the FDP also set its General Meeting dates: May 1, September 4 and November 6. The Partnership invites all business owners and residents to join discussions about issues affecting the area and learn more about the FDP’s efforts in revitalizing downtown Franklin. The meetings take place at 8:30 a.m. at the Dean College Campus Center. 
More information about the events, meeting dates, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities can be found at
The Franklin Downtown Partnership is a 501(c)3 organization that works to stimulate economic development downtown to create a positive impact throughout the area. To that end the FDP runs events and takes an active role in downtown improvement projects like beautification efforts and streetscape design. The Partnership currently has close to 200 members and welcomes all businesses and residents. 
Any business, organization or resident interested in membership or sponsorship should contact Executive Director Lisa Piana at or (774) 571-3109, or visit the office at 9 East Central Street.

Franklin Art Association: Special Show Meeting

   Please come - We need all to help us

Who:        All members and all new members to join in

Place:      Guarino's, 75 Jefferson Road, off King Street, Franklin 

When:      Wednesday, March 26   

Time:       7-9 PM

Franklin Art Association
Franklin Art Association

Objective:  Request for help* with FAA Spring Show, at Dean College, May 16, 17, 18 

*All tasks will be reduced to small responsibilities  No one will have to do anything they cannot do.
Detailed information with be available for each 'assignment'. 
It is a wonderful way for newer members to become more part of FAA.    We want and need you!    
We want to get to know you newer members and 'work' with you.   
Please come, we need everyone's help.     Mark your calendars now to come over. 
See you there!

       Thank you.    Bill Wallhausser and Gail Eckberg,  Co-chairs, Spring Show

MassBudget: Rewarding Work: The Minimum Wage and Tax Credits

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Rewarding Work:
The Minimum Wage and Tax Credits
Rewarding Work: The Minimum Wage and Tax Credits discusses the important roles played by both the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the minimum wage in expanding economic opportunity for low-wage workers. This Facts At A Glance finds that the EITC and a strong minimum wage are complementary policies:

  • The EITC is particularly effective at helping those lower-income working families with children.

  • The EITC works best when coupled with a strong minimum wage to mitigate any downward pressure on wages.

  • While a very effective wage supplement for many low-wage working families, the scale and scope of a state EITC can't substitute for adequate wages.

This Facts At A Glance also examines an employer tax break related to the minimum wage that was recently adopted in New York, one that creates a variety of problems for low-wage workers.

Read this Facts At A Glance

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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Live reporting - Finance Committee - Budget Hearing #3

Present:  Dowd, Smith, Conley, Fleming, Heumphner, Dewsnap 
Absent:  Dufour, Aparo, Quinn

Nutting, Gagner, Dacey

Minutes from meeting of Mar 13th to approve
motion to approve, second, passed 6-0

Library - Felicia Oti
About $300K below the state requirements
attempting to show good faith effort to get a waiver and continue to operate
$950K would be the standard and we can't afford it

a couple of personnel changes, two part-timers add 5 hours
proposing to open Sunday, looking to use the book sale revenues to support Sunday
increased expense budget to get closer to the standard

Q - how are the Sunday hours
A - the people are coming every month, it is increasing. I don't want to be too optimistic but it is looking good

Nutting - there used to be two large sales by the Friends of the Library; to avoid that effort, and sell every day, the library is doing this; getting more and more interest; you don't get the same selection as you might have but you can go more frequently

Oti - We are thankful for the additional staffing, we are looking to being more youth in and then they are more likely to check out a book while there
everyone wanted to have us open on Sunday, Sunday's will be beneficial for families, students...
the community donates the books, comes to buy the books, and then we can give back by opening the hours

Q - what is the trend on circulation?
A - ereaders down due to licensing issues, we are working through all the issues, folks want the current books and publishers are not wanting to deal with this.

Police - Chief Semerjian, Kevin Ryan

only change in the budget is for the request of an additional officer
part of the demand is that the current workforce has been here sometime, at any point in time we can have three folks out due to vacation, so this would help us cover
we added one a year ago and we would like to add another now

we have some folks out on injury and that is a taken slot that we can't replace yet

Q - add folks with experience?
A - we look to add the best candidates, we try to keep a balance of the ages

we ran a test where 165 folks passed to file the wait list
we can take a transfer it is quick and easy, or if we get a new hire, they go off to the academy for training before coming back for local training

we did the test, now need to finalize the actual process
in the old days, it was everything about the test, now we need to figure it out
we are a few months away from doing it for the first time
we can keep the list as long or as short as we want
for transfers we can take an officer from any other dept
we have more options on transfers now

Q - question on 11 in B-7
A - actually the number of holidays, not the number of people

Q - B-8 is that software?
A - That is what runs all our operations, it is an annual cost for support

Facilities - Mike D'Angelo

844 under general government
maintenance of all town and school properties aside from the pump stations that DPW manages
requesting an additional custodians for the new high school
had cut 8 custodians in 2007, with the new school and new facility more glass, etc.
the need for help is driving the request
cleaning about 43,000 sq ft per night with the new person

estimate of the electric cost for the new building
hundreds of cameras, the TV studio, estimate from the architect
consumption of gas will be less compared to the current building, still an estimate

looking at July 24/25 for the school to be turned over to the Town
other change is the collective bargaining for salary increases

1.2 million sq ft of building space

Q - $100K less in natural gas
A - we are doing better, we are trending down, with energy upgrades, those are paying off
took out some modulars so that helped
electrical will go up and gas down but overall, it is likely to be about the same for the new building as the old

phone costs are going down, our minute rate is going down
we are trying to do a lot of things, gives folks raises and does more but up only 6,000 year to year after adding a person

finished out the LED lighting on the elementary schools
3 year payback on electrical and then the service costs will go down with LED as well

Q - do you have training to do for the new equipment in the high school
A - starting about in Apr we'll be getting training on all the systems before we take over. Typically there is constant training for my staff, school staff and kitchen staff, etc. extensive training for every system. they are warrantied for a full year

Nutting - lt looks like we will be opening at or over capacity, we usually lose some students to other high schools

Fire Dept - Chief McCarragher, Paul Sharpe

Fire budget is as is, no salary increases due to no collective bargaining agreement
four firefighters being paid for by a Federal grant that expires in Oct 2015
currently the grant pays for all salary and benefits

Dispatch union is under contract

biggest jump is in training, the State got out of training and now need to register with the national service. All the medics need to certify

ambulance billing was farmed out last year, this year it is in the budget

fire service is really a team sport, now that we are the staffing level, we can do some long term planning
a couple of success stories
in capital budget added automated lift systems
last year 12 injuries, this year only 2

capacity to retire all the command staff in the next seven years, working on succession planning
bringing others in to do training to help with the succession training
we are not the only department facing this

Q - training? yearly
A - 20 hours, a one time training program

Q - response time efforts? if you lost the four people, how would it effect the performance
A - we would not be able to sustain the performance; medical on scene; 9 mins to 18 doesn't seem long but if you are not breathing for that time, it is huge
could see some savings from the regional dispatch, could also see some savings from bundling on the ambulance contract billing

less injuries, less overtime, beyond response time there are other issues with staffing
forced overtime 58% less this year than last year

60-70% of the calls are medical emergencies
remainder is for fires, emergencies and other calls of the 'last resort'
other public service we will provide

quarterly report for grant, 16 fires, half out of town support and half in town
still a substantial work load, looking to do a more robust risk reduction program
looking to put out a program to avoid falls, if we reduce 25% of those calls, that is a savings and can help build capacity
assisted living facilities are a call per unit per year, if we take some calls away,that helps

Q -how many times do we call out of town ambulances?
A - about 100 times a year, we look at that closely
there is a business side to that, if we can staff that, there is some income potential as well

we used to be 8 to 8 busy, most of the calls went to the industrial parks, during the down turn the residential area increase, when the economy comes back, the industrial area may increase, if the residential doesn't go away, then we have an increase

About 100 time out of time, so it balances out

Regional dispatch

this has been on going for the last three years funded by the State
Legislature passed the bill to allow us to go regional, this is truly the best regional operation
telephone tree in a time compressed environment
with regional, it will save time and be more efficient

some incidental costs like a start up business
there is a cost per call and we will be about half of the total volume

Q - it is not just shifting money, it will save money?
A -  yes

Q - if the infrastructure is in place will there be expansion capability?
A - Yes, we may be able to expand. There are options with additional partners, there are two other who do want to come in. Once you see success, you'll see people moving towards this

Q -
A - peak period is likely to be 5-7 at anytime during the day
discipline based call handling, trained with the system and the nature of the call, they take the info and go right to dispatch

Q -
A - land line phones are easy but cell phones are problematic, newer cell phones are getting better. The state Police actually handles the cell phone 911 call. There is a technology solution and a people solution

old business
new business

next meeting, Wed Mar 26th
more admin dept, school dept
potentially voting next week on the final depending upon what time it is

motion to adjourn

Franklin Voices: Open Letter to the Franklin Town Council

This came in from a couple of sources. A few of the Town Council in their closing comments referenced this having heard it was already making the rounds. Their comments indicated no set plan (contrary to the statements within the letter). Their comments also referenced their prior 5-4 vote as proof that the Council is not likely all on board (contrary to the implications of the letter). The Councilors also stressed that if any resident wanted to get the details to reach out to them. Their contact information (email and phone numbers) are posted on the Franklin webpage. They would be happy to discuss to clarify any possible misunderstandings.

Open Letter to the Franklin Town Council regarding 150 Emmons Street property (Old Municipal Building)
On behalf of Franklin, Massachusetts property owners, business owners, customers and citizens of Franklin we urge the Town Council to put on hold any decision to sell the Emmons Street property, including an RFP, for one year. 
* Please Note - Franklin, MA residents, property owners, or business owners are eligible to sign this open letter. Resident address information will not be displayed on site, and will only be used when verifying and delivering signatures to Town Council on April 2nd, 2014. Please indicate your business address if you are a business owner and note in the comment field. 
1. We believe it is critical to understand the impact of the new traffic pattern prior to the Council deciding what type of development it would like to see on the site. 
2. This would provide the business community and customers with alternative parking during the streetscape project construction. We cannot afford to lose any business during the construction process due to the lack of parking or access to properties. 
3. If the Council decides to sell the property after the streetscape is completed it will potentially command a higher value at that time. 
4. The property has been in the town’s control for over a century. Another year will not make a difference to the financial condition of the town, but a hasty decision will affect the town for years to come. We ask that you give the community time to participate in the decision-making process.

You can add your name to the petition by opening this link

If the link above is having some trouble try this one

150 Emmons St - the subject of the discussion
150 Emmons St - the subject of the discussion

The building was originally a school (right side of building as pictured) and then renovated in the 1990's to add the left portion and become the Franklin Municipal Building. It served in that capacity until the move to the building at 355 East Central St. Currently the building is used by the Recreation Dept.

My notes from the public meeting earlier this month can be found here

The next formal discussion on the future of the building is currently scheduled for the Apr 2 Town Council meeting.

Cultural District Committee - March 20th

Pursuant to expressed interest from the community, the Town of Franklin is currently working towards the creation of a state designated Cultural District. 
As is required, the Town is looking to form a Cultural District Committee to partner with interested organizations and institutions in order to identity all cultural facilities and activities as well as to shape concrete goals and objectives for the proposed Cultural District.

The Committee should consist of cultural organizations, specifically those that represent artists in the community, as well as historical and community organizations. Non-profits, private businesses, government agencies, educational and faith based institutions are all encouraged to participate in the partnership. 
Anyone interested in participating, or in need of additional information should contact the Town’s Department of Planning and Community Development.
The organizational/informational meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Mar 20th at the Library beginning at 7:00 PM

Additional information can be found in this flyer:

National Register Historic District marker on the Franklin Town Common
National Register Historic District marker on the Franklin Town Common

FSPA dancer advance to Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) International ballet competition

Three advanced Ballet Conservatory students from the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) placed at the top of their age divisions in the Classical Dance category of the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) New England regional semi-finals, held February 7-9 in Providence, RI. The prestigious YAGP, for aspiring dancers ages 9-19, is the world’s largest international student ballet competition, with semi-finals in 10 U.S. states and five foreign countries. Shaina McGillis, 15, of Franklin, placed among the top 24 women in the Senior Age Division (ages 15-19), Noura Sander, 13, of Easton, placed among the top 12 women in the Junior Age Division (ages 12-14), and Mikaela Guidice, 11, of Norfolk, placed among the top 12 men and women in the Pre-Competitive Age Division (ages 9-11). Of the more than 5,000 students who participated worldwide, both Noura and Mikaela now advance to the YAGP Finals in New York City on April 4-11, joining a select group of some 350 promising dancers from 30 countries. 
FSPA Ballet Conservatory students (L-R) Noura Sander, of Easton, Mikaela Guidice, of Norfolk, and Shaina McGillis, of Franklin, placed at the top of their age categories at the New England regional semi-finals of the 2014 Youth America Grand Prix  (YAGP) international ballet competition. Noura and Mikaela will go on to compete in the YAGP New York Finals on April 4-11 .

Now in its 15th season, YAGP has since its inception awarded over $2 million in elite scholarships and dance contracts. Alumni are now dancing with some of the most prestigious companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, English National Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and more. Bess Kargman’s award-winning documentary “First Position” followed six YAGP dancers as they competed in semi-final and final rounds of the competition. YAGP has earned a distinguished reputation as a showcase for emerging talent from the U.S. and abroad, and it is a distinct honor to be chosen for the NYC Finals from the semi-final round.

Mikaela, Noura and Shaina are coached by FSPA Ballet Mistress Cheryl Madeux, who formerly danced with American Ballet Theatre (ABT), Hartford Ballet and Joffrey Ballet companies. Madeux’s own ballet competition experience includes the National Society of Arts and Letters Ballet Competition, where she was awarded first place at age 15, and the Prix de Lausanne and Paris International Ballet Competitions, where she was a finalist for both. 
Madeux has developed the Ballet Conservatory at FSPA, expanding the training from its foundations in the Vaganova syllabus to incorporate the new American Ballet Theatre (ABT) National Training Curriculum as well. Madeux, who received her Vaganova training from the Nutmeg Ballet Company in Torrington, CT, is an examiner for the ABT National Teacher Training Curriculum and a summer faculty member for the ABT Young Dancer’s Workshop in NY. This is the first year Madeux has prepared FSPA dancers for the YAGP competition, and she is delighted with the students’ showing. 
"Seeing all three of our students recognized at the top of their age division in the semi-finals is wonderful, and to have two of our dancers advance to the finals in NY is extraordinary,” says Madeux. “This is quite an accomplishment for them and for our school. The opportunity to perform on a New York City stage and be exposed to the best teachers and professionals is priceless. I am sure they will never forget it. "

Noura, who will dance both contemporary and classical variations at the YAGP Finals, has aspired to be a professional ballet dancer since she was very little. “I love the gracefulness of ballet and I also love the discipline,” she says. “It makes you work your hardest and strive to do your best.”

Mikaela, who will perform a classical variation, praises the pure joy of dancing. “I love everything about ballet!” she enthuses. “It makes me happy. I can’t imagine my life without it, so I definitely plan to dance in college and maybe someday dance professionally.” 
Madeux is pleased with the growth her students have demonstrated in the months of training, noting that the girls’ positive attitude, talent and disciplined approach to learning serve the young ballerinas well. “As a professional dancer, I have always appreciated my teachers and all they did for me,” Madeux says. “Now that I am the teacher, I realize that, much like a parent, we can only do so much. It is the talent and dedication of the students that will determine their own success. In my mind, these three young ladies have already won.” 
For more information about FSPA’s Ballet Conservatory program or recreational ballet classes at the school, including summer camps and ballet intensives, call (508) 528-8668 or visit

Voices of Franklin: Future PARCC MA Community Meetings + Flier "Do you know what Common Core is?"

Good Morning, Steve! 
Went to one of the MA DOE PARCC meetings last night (Tuesday) at the Framingham State Univ.  A two hour presentation and Q&A ran to three hours plus.  Attendees were interested/concerned parents just trying to learn more about Common Core and PARCC field tests that will be starting this April. Teachers (from K-12), school committee officials and college professors.  I would say about two dozen attendees.  Ran into some Medway educators and learned about a meeting Medway is holding next week which may be of interest to Franklin parents/educators/school committee members. 
In addition below is the link to MA DOE website with listing (below) of future PARCC MA Community Meetings run by Bob Bickerton, Senior Associate Commissioner and/or Maureen LaCroix, Special Assistant to Deputy Commissioner. 
I picked up an extra copy of Power Point presentation, if you would like it to provide to readers, it's 12 pages long. 
Thank you 
Sandra Fredrick

Good links for background information:

PARCC Community Meeting Dates and Locations

*Additional dates and locations may be added. Registration is not required, but recommended so that we can better plan the events.

-March 20, 3:00-5:00 and 6:30-8:30--Holyoke High School, 500 Beech St., Holyoke, MA 01040

-March 20, 7:00-9:00--Medford High School, Caron Theater, 489 Winthrop St., Medford, MA 02155

-March 26, 6:30-8:30--Tahanto Regional Middle/High School, 1001 Main St., Boylston, MA 01505

-March 31, 3:00-5:00--Berkshire Community College, Campus Cafeteria, 1350 West St., Pittsfield, MA 01201

-April 1, 6:00-8:00--Springfield Central High School, 1840 Roosevelt Ave., Springfield, MA 01109 

Flyer for Medway meeting on Mar 27th

Sunrise Montessori - Open House - Apr 16

Sunrise Montessori School, Inc. 
Wednesday, April 16th from 9:30am to 11:00am 
Families are welcome to tour the classrooms, meet the teachers, watch a lesson presentation and learn more about our Montessori preschool and kindergarten programs. 
For further information, please call the school's Director, Karen Roeber, at 508-541-8010 or see the school's website at: 
Sunrise Montessori School, Inc. is located at 31 Hayward St., Franklin and is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
The sign will look a little different without the snow!
The sign will look a little different without the snow!

Senior Center: A new edition of The Franklin Connection is available

A new edition of The Franklin Connection has been published on the Town of Franklin web site.

Click the link below to read the latest edition

Senior Center - Open House Mar 31
Senior Center - Open House Mar 31

Franklin Schools: Upcoming Events


Hello All
Happy Spring / Yea for no more snow !
Last day of school June 20 ½ day
A few activities that may be of interest:
Franklin Education Foundation Trivia Bee/ TonightCome to the FEF Trivia Bee- 7:00 p.m at the Mercer Auditorium at Horace Mann Middle School. Music, snacks and healthy competition for Town-wide dominance. 

PARCC Pilot Assessment Parent WorkshopMarch 20 at Horace Mann MS 6:30 p.m. - Panel presentation and hands on workshops with sample questions. Breakout sessions for K-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
Putting for Patients/ FHS Community Service ClubGet your golf skills ready for the good weather- participate in Putting for Patients, a town-wide fun-filled afternoon of mini-golf to benefit Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund. Open to students and adults of all ages. Sponsored and organized by FHS students. Sunday, April 6 from 1:00-4:00 at FHS.  For more information see flyer on  FPS web site  News You Can Use:  or on the web: 
Best Buddies 2nd Annual Dodgeball TournamentThe Best Buddies and the Franklin Schools are pleased to announce that the tournament will be held on Sunday May 4th from 2-5 p.m. at Horace Mann Middle School. Teams can sign up in all age brackets and the games use safety "foam/sponge" balls. For more information see News You Can Use website:  or or email Mark Berthiaume at Last year $15,000 was raised to support Best Buddies programs. 

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building

This e-mail has been sent to you by FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT. To maximize their communication with you, you may be receiving this e-mail in addition to a phone call with the same message. If you wish to discontinue this service, please inform FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT either IN PERSON, by US MAIL, or by TELEPHONE at 508-613-1777.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Town Council - 03/19/14

The collection of posts reported live during the Town Council meeting of March 19, 2014.

The published agenda and documents as released for this meeting

Live reporting - Closing


affordable  housing trust looking for housing to buy to turn around for affordable hosing

the medical marijuana is a grow only facility, it is not a dispensary
it was overwhelming approved by the Town voters, it was zoned appropriately with tight security
the permittee is going through the permitting process

4th of July report is spare in details

following up on the housing trust, we are a cash buyer
8 page application
we have $1.2 M to spend and use for affordable housing

Jones - congratulate Thayer PCC, raised $17,000 last Saturday
FEF is hosting the trivia bee, good luck to them

Vallee - I will give this to the Citizens Committee to look at a hospital to open a triage center

Kelly - all the phone numbers are on the website, don't play to the rumor mill
don't be afraid to call us, we will talk through the discussion

Padula - I talked to Dr Rooney about the issue
we had an issue recently and the police and fire were really huge taking care of us
this council voted 5-4 last time, for peopple think the council will go one way, a 5-4 decision is not the case

– Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required

motion to adjourn

Live reporting: Legislation

meeting at a hospital, we transport over 1,000 a year to Milford. We may not get a hospital in town, I understand that but we may be able to get a clinic so they would be able to get some urgent care

1. Resolution 14-14: Purchase of land at 92 Wachusett Street – Authorization and Appropriation – Requires 2/3 Vote

Padula recused himself to avoid a conflict

motion to approve, seconded, passed 8-0 (via roll call)

2. Bylaw Amendment 14-731:Amendment to Chapter 82, Appendix A, List of Service Fee Rates – 1st Reading

motion to move to second reading, seconded, passed 9-0

trash fee rate increase from 212 to 216 effective July 1
there is a cost of living increase in both the collection and disposal costs, use of reserves will avoid a further increase. This is the last year of the 5 year contract which we'll then re-bid for the next term

some folks have a second recycling bin, more have a second trash, the increase for the second is not double as the truck is already going there

Live reporting - liquor license discussion

Wine & Malt Package Store License 

Kelly - I was looking to set up a protocol to so everyone would be aware and be able to respond if they so choose

Mercer - I'd like to see one policy for both liquor as well as the beer/wine

Cerel - most desirable licenses are the all alcohol and package, they can free up with sale of business or from the census update

Nutting - we'll work to get a policy drafted

Cerel - the licenses are structured so they are subject to the Town Council approval no matter the other terms of sale. There is a movement afoot on Beacon Hill for the legislature to get out of the business and leave it to the local authorities (i.e. Town Council)

Live reporting: DPW update - Initiative 2014

Brutus Cantoreggi, DPW Director – Presentation: Roads, Water, Trash, & Lincoln Street 

Robert Cantoreggi, Director 
Deacon Perrotta, Deputy Director
Mike Maglio, Town Engineer 
Laurie Ruszula, Water and Sewer Superintendent

overall road rating is 76, was 77 when the first analysis was completed last year

lack funding for pavement presentation

Chap 90 funding varies from year to year

Council appropriations vary depending upon 'free cash' and other priorities

looking for $1.5 million for road improvements, pavement preservation

the total backlog is $42M for all the roads

Would like to add sidewalks where they don't exist

Q - Regent Circle?
A - this would be subject to the $7.5 M bond for the water bond
We don't have a consistent source of funding for the roads. We need to decide to do an dedicated override of something to obtain funding

Q - triage for the roads?
A - there are two programs, one is the water line replacement program and one is the maintenance. Some of the 'triage' would be crack seal, chip seal, overlay extends the life of the road. Ultimately we would need to replace the road.

Q - so the people in town understand what we are doing, short of replacement what are we doing?
A - chip seal on Chestnut will last but not as long as Longabardi which takes less traffic

Q - if we don't do the override, what do we do?
A - we present to the Council the best five year plan. The roads are just going to get worse. Think of Franklin like a wagon wheel, a hub with lots of spokes. We have done the main ones, but the lesser roads all the subdivisions are coming due at once.
A $1.5M would go a long way to handling the road problems. The price of asphalt affects things, this is a strong plan.

Q - if we were to do an override, we could have to do it every year?
A - no, if it is dedicated, it stays for the purpose unless the vote is changed.

$130 for the average taxpayer per year = the $1.5M

Q - if the $1.5M get us there, other wise the $42M... so Brutus floats out of here and doesn't need to come back
A - assuming the State doesn't change their funds

Q - we have an app that we have been using, can you tell us how it has been going?
A - rough figures, we have received 103 about potholes, 45 about street lights
10-15% come from the phone, the rest from the computer systems

Q - what is the policy for mailboxes?
A - the current policy if for reimbursement up to $40

Update on the holidays for trash collection
trash delayed one day for the major holidays, not the current 10
with one day, you can fall back on Saturday, if there are two delays, you are into the next week
it would help to reduce by eliminating the lesser holidays, would not be effective until next fiscal year (after July 2014)

We are building cool parks how many other communities are doing that?

We will be doing High St when we do the Main St work

The presentation doc can also be found here

Live reporting: DPW update - road projects

Brutus Cantoreggi, DPW Director – Presentation: Roads, Water, Trash, & Lincoln Street 

Robert Cantoreggi, Director
Deacon Perrotta, Deputy Director
Mike Maglio, Town Engineer
Laurie Ruszula, Water and Sewer Superintendent

The presentation can also be found here

Live Reporting: Town Council - Mar 19, 2014

Present: Feldman, Padula, Mercer, Kelly, Vallee, Pfeffer, Jones, Bissanti, Williams
Absent: None


– 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.

– Hillside Nurseries


»Historical Commission - Caitlin Coyne
motion to approve, passed 9-0

»Municipal Affordable Housing Trust - Eric Buliung
motion to approve, passed 9-0



Franklin, MA: Finance Committee - Budget Hearing #3

The Finance Committee has their next in the series of budget hearings scheduled for Thursday, Mar 20 at 7:00 PM.

The agenda is scheduled to review the budget for the Senior Center, the Library, the Police and Fire Dept as well as the regional dispatch function.

The agenda document can be viewed here

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building

Additional information on the Finance Committee can be found on their webpage

The notes from the prior budget hearings can be found here