Saturday, April 26, 2014

Indian Rock (video)

On my walk I diverged to explore what I believe is Indian Rock. It is supposed to be located off Jordan Road and off Indian Lane. Further off Indian Lane, there is another side street that according to Google maps is called King Phillip Road. (There is no street sign on the corner however.) At the end of this cul-de-sac, there are well worn trails to the rock.

looking down from Indian Rock
looking down from Indian Rock

looking up to Indian Rock
looking up to Indian Rock

Warren Reynolds posted about his visit to Indian Rock here

For Franklin parents (video)

In this TED Talk, Jennifer Senior says:
"We are now so anxious to protect our kids from the world's ugliness that we now shield them from "Sesame Street." I wish I could say I was kidding about this, but if you go out and you buy the first few episodes of "Sesame Street" on DVD, as I did out of nostalgia, you will find a warning at the beginning saying that the content is not suitable for children. (Laughter) Can I just repeat that? The content of the original "Sesame Street" is not suitable for children."

For the full transcript of Jennifer's talk

All Joy and No Fun
All Joy and No Fun

Who is Jennifer? 
Maybe you have read her articles in New York Magazine or perhaps her new book "All Joy and No Fun"

Downtown Partnership - Networking Luncheon - May 2

Networking Luncheon 
Friday, May 2nd 1:00 pm 
Franklin Downtown Partnership
Franklin Downtown Partnership
Dean College Dining Hall$6.50 
Come enjoy meeting other Franklin Downtown Partnership members 
Please e-mail Joel Carrara at

Friday, April 25, 2014

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 4/25/14 - THU 5/1/14

FRI 4/25   9am-11:30am   DCR Healthy Heart Trail with Franklin YMCA
FRI 4/25   6:30pm   Art Night Uncorked - Franklin Art Center

SAT 4/26   10am-2pm   Prescription Drug Take-Back, Franklin PD
SAT 4/26   11am-2pm   Tastebuds Fresh Marketplace Grand Opening Celebration
SAT 4/26   8pm   Concert: Zoe Lewis with Heather Pierson, First Universalist Society Franklin

SUN 4/27   4pm-6pm   Ice Skating Fundraiser for Relay For Life, Pirelli Arena in Franklin

MON 4/28   3:30pm   iStories at Franklin Public Library
MON 4/28   7pm   Planning Board Meeting, Franklin Municipal Building
MON 4/28   7pm   Library Board Meeting, Franklin Public Library

TUE 4/29   7pm   School Committee Meeting, Franklin Municipal Building

WED 4/30   4pm-8pm   FSPA Open House
WED 4/30   6:30pm   Estate Planning Basics Workshop, Tri-County RVTHS
WED 4/30   7pm   Town Council Budget Hearings, Franklin Municipal Building

THU 5/1   8:30am   Downtown Partnership Meeting, Dean College Campus Center
THU 5/1   7pm   Town Council Budget Hearings, Franklin Municipal Building

NOTE: Earth Day Clean Up in Franklin is rescheduled to Saturday, May 3rd due to expected rain.

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

Request for Expressions of Interest (REI)

The Town of Franklin is pleased to present this Request for Expressions of Interest (REI) for the future redevelopment of 150 Emmons Street, site of the former Municipal Building. The
Town-owned property consists of one (1) parcel totaling 34,795+/- square feet (0.7988+/- acres), located at one of the key gateways to Franklin Center and adjacent to Dean College. The Town has chosen to proceed with a REI at this time to solicit informal, yet serious proposals, subject to the process detailed herein, from qualified developers and other interested parties who wish to purchase or lease and redevelop the property. 
The REI process is critical for a better understanding of existing market conditions, the formation of potential development options for the property, and the identification of community priorities.  This process will provide the community with the information needed to ensure a meaningful and productive public process, which will lead to a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) in autumn of 2014. The Town has the following goal for the development of the 150 Emmons Street site:
Redevelopment of the site into a key gateway into Downtown Franklin, which will
maximize short-term and long-term benefits to the Town and its residents. 
Each Expression of Interest must include a letter of interest and a project description/narrative. The letter of interest must be signed by the principals, describe the proponent’s interest in the property and the general intentions concerning the future use of the site. This letter shall also contain the nature and status of the organization acting as the proponent (whether a non-profit or charitable  institution, a corporation, a business association, or a joint venture) and the jurisdiction in which it is registered to conduct business. The project description must include narrative that provides an overview of the proposal, the market niche the project intends to serve, the experience and qualifications of the development team, and the capabilities the developer can marshal to achieve project objectives. A description of expected financial benefits to the Town, both short-term and long-term, must be included in each Expression of Interest. 
The Town offers you the opportunity to learn more about the site through participation in an
Information Session and Site Tour scheduled for Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 10 a.m. The Town invites you to examine the information contained within this document, its attachments, and related reference documents that are available for review in the Department of Planning and
Community Development during normal business hours (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday - 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Wednesday - 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and Friday - 8:00 AM to 1:00 P.M), or on the Town’s website  ( 
The Town hopes to hear from individuals and organizations who will present compelling and
appropriate development proposals for the use of 150 Emmons Street. Please submit Expressions of Interest to the Department of Planning and Community Development by Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.
150 Emmons St - the building offered in this REI
150 Emmons St - the building offered in this REI

Bryan Taberner, AICP, Director
Department of Planning and Community Development

355 East Central Street
Franklin, MA 02038

Fax: 508-520-4906

Find the full document on the Franklin webpage

Franklin Recreation (@FranklinRec) replied to one of your Tweets!

oops, due to the weather forecast for Saturday the Earth Day activities have been rescheduled for next Saturday, May 3

@FranklinMatters @MattTotaMDN @YourFranklin Franklin Earth Day event for this weekend postponed till May 3, 9am-12pm - @FranklinRec

Steve Sherlock,
Franklin Recreation replied to your Tweet!
  Steve Sherlock
Steve Sherlock @FranklinMatters
Earth Day - Apr 26 (video) - 24 Apr
Franklin Recreation @FranklinRec
@FranklinMatters @MattTotaMDN @YourFranklin Franklin Earth Day event for this weekend postponed till May 3, 9am-12pm
02:03 PM - 24 Apr 14

Reply to @FranklinRec
Retweet Favorite

Family programs, Small Press Fair, Martha's Vineyard Poets, and more!

Family programs, Martha's Vineyard reading, and more
View this email in your browser

This year's festival includes no shortage of family activities, from creating poetry keychains to penning cat-inspired haikus. Check out the full listing here!

In the spotlight...

In each newsletter between now and the festival, we will be highlighting a different session. 


Surrounded by Water: A Group Reading by Martha's Vineyard Poets

Saturday, May 3 • 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Hawthorne Hotel, Library
with Justen Ahren, Rachel Baird, and more
Sometimes you just can't leave! Representative poets from Martha's Vineyard will provide a sense of their lives surrounded by multiple bodies of water. Martha is an unforgiving mystery, even to other residents of our state. Reading from works that cast a distinct view of what it means to live off-shore in MA, these poems provide compelling reasons to stay or to go.

Buy your festival button online or at any of these stores: 

The Book Shop of Beverly Farms

Brookline Booksmith

Grolier Poetry Bookshop
Porter Square Books
Rodney's Books
Harvard Bookstore

Concord Bookshop

Jabberwocky Bookshop

Spirit of '76 Bookstore

The Roost
Salem Trolley Depot
SSU English Dept.

What else should you check out at the festival? We're glad you asked! Take a peek at:

Poetry for Repair and Renewal: The Widows' Handbook

Behind Every One...A Poetic Celebration of Special Needs Families

Poets with New Books (Sessions 1, 2, 3)

Poetry, Terror, and Translation

CelticPoets: A SpringSong Session

Grief and Healing in the Age of Endless War

And don't forget sessions with our headliners, Kim Addonizio, Lucie Brock-Broido, Cornelius Eady, Li-Young Lee, and more!
Copyright © 2014 Mass Poetry, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up on our website.

Our mailing address is:
Mass Poetry
15 Channel Center Street, Suite 103
Boston, MA 02210

Add us to your address book


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Franklin Voices: Lawrence Benedetto - Chair, Citizens Committee

Greetings:  Allow me to begin by introducing myself and explaining the purpose of this email.  My name is Lawrence Benedetto and I Chair the Franklin Citizen's Committee.  I am sending this independent of the Committee, although I may share its content at some later time.  I obtained most of your email addresses as a result of your participation in the recent 150 Emmons Street hearing.   
Although there may be disagreement in the desired disposition of 150 Emmons Street, I suggest we are all in agreement in doing whatever is best for the community at large.  Further, I want to encourage your further participation in certain endeavors that are upcoming, several of which the Committee has been partner to or will likely take the lead on. As you may know, the Committee is appointed to and answerable to the Council.  Our charge is to seek quality development that is aesthetically enhancing and financially beneficial to the community.  Our composition is made up of three current Councilors, two former Councilors, a former State Representative and myself.  
It is my belief that the more citizen participation we have  the better the ultimate results.  But, unless it is a hot-button issue, or a NIMBY matter, most Council meetings are unattended, press coverage is minimal, the citizenry is absent.  One purpose of this email is to arouse interest; it is an opportune time, Franklin has potential to excel.  

To this end, allow me to share with you past agenda and possible future agenda issues and some limited successes we, and the Council, have been able to provide:  
1. Gateway initiative.  Cook's Farm on the east entrance to Franklin and focus on the Davis Thayer site on our western end; recognition of, and compliments for the improvements and beautification of Dean's property adjacent to Davis Thayer.  We all recognize and remember those places we see that have "a pretty downtown" or "attractive village".  Although things are improving, it was not too long ago the Boston Globe characterized downtown Franklin as "seedy".  Certainly the train station fills that billing. 
2. Train Station roofing and painting.  We have worked two years to achieve the small improvements that have been made.  I cannot tell you how many hours have been spent in that endeavor.  THERE IS A MEETING ON MONDAY, 28 April at 0800, WITH THE T TO SEEK ADDITIONAL MAINTENANCE ON BOTH FRANKLIN STATIONS.  FRANKLIN ONCE HAD A PICTURE-POSTCARD TRAIN STATION, WE WANT THAT AGAIN.  WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT AND PARTICIPATION.  Details available at the Town Administrator's office. 
3. The town has a substantial investment at Chilson Beach and at the synthetic soccer field there.  The cleaning up of the former dump site (now recycle center) and improvements are commendable.  The next objective is the acquisition of the land between the center and I-495 so that the town can expand our recycling efforts as well as any future green initiatives that may arise.  The town is now in the process of meeting with the state to arrive at a mutual agreement.  AGAIN, YOUR VOICE AND SUPPORT IS WELCOMED IN THIS IMPORTANT TASK. 
4. Franklin's composition of taxable property is 80% residential; 2% commercial according to information offered at one of our meetings.  When we have children to educate, seniors to provide for, and significant municipal obligations, it is imperative that our tax base be expanded and to this end our position is "quality development that enhances our community aesthetically and financially", as alluded to above.  
5. Our position on 150 Emmons Street was to return it to the tax rolls, eliminate an expensive blighted building, create a development complimentary to the town and college and use the proceeds for a permanent home for the Recreation Department on town property either at Chilson Beach or Wachusett Street (Verna property).  Last year the Recreation Department served approximately 5700 children of the community; 4700 of which were athletic programs, the remaining services were in child care, music and the arts.  Our children and our seniors need to continue to be a priority and sound business decisions will allow for that. 
6. The proposed addition to the library and an historical enhancement/improvement of the Brick School are future agenda issues that I am confident will be forwarded and supported by the Committee.  Thankfully, the library appears to be moving along; the Brick School is another matter. 
7. We have reviewed certain permitting and zoning issues as well as soliciting the input from the Planning Board and Zoning Board (regular attendees) to allow Franklin to compete with its neighbors for desirable projects.  We have considered proposing a by-law for "unkempt property" and withdrew it to allow for additional research and consideration.  It is likely to appear again. 
8. The town's history of maintaining its property, although somewhat better of late, is abysmal, to be kind.  The destruction of a 41 year old high school, the condition of 150 Emmons Street, the weed infested downtown and major roadways in the summertime, the lack of maintenance on the Union Street project (one million dollars, plus), are a few of the topics we have discussed and will revisit this year.  The logic of creating a public beach and soccer facility across the street from a poorly maintained municipal dump was perplexing, to say the least! 
9. The development of a performing arts facility in the central business district (cbd) is certainly welcomed.  There is much discussion about the anticipated road construction that is upcoming.  The Committee has raised the issue, and sent forward, suggestions that it is an opportune time to approach Rockland Trust, the largest landowner in the cbd, for consideration of a public-private endeavor, which should include parking for the downtown businesses as well as arts center and general rehabilitation/reconfiguring of the area. IMPORTANT! 
10. The Downtown Partnership has done a good job in past years planting flowers and trying to enhance the cbd.  I cannot emphasize too strongly how simple flower boxes and landscaping, along with regular maintenance of trees and weed control, can positively impact a community's appearance and reputation.  The town needs to do more in this regard in partnership with the business community. In closing, the above represents some of the work we have done, in partnership with the Council, Town Administrator and staff and community supporters.  Obviously, much more needs to be done.  
Franklin, recently designated as "the safest small city in America" has tremendous potential and resources.  We all need to step up and exploit the possibilities.  I urge you, and your organizations, to join us, or participate in any way you are able, to make our community a better place for all.  Emmons Street is but one issue among the many issues the community faces.  Best regards, Larry Benedetto.    

Earth Day - May 3 (video)

Note: received an update via Twitter that the Earth Day has been rescheduled to Sat May 3

Early in the morning, the train whistle blowing as it approaches, the traffic sign on the triangle in downtown Franklin announces Earth Day - this Saturday, Apr 26 from 9:00 AM to noon at Beaver Pond.

For more information on Franklin's Earth Day

Earth Day 2014
Earth Day 2014

For more information on Earth Day around the world, visit this page

Blood Drive - Jun 7

Please join us for a Blood Drive 
Saturday, June 7, 2014
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
Franklin United Methodist Church
82 West Central Street
Franklin, MA 02038

positive id required

Boston Children's Hospital - Blood Donor Center
Boston Children's Hospital - Blood Donor Center

This Blood Drive is in honor of Oak Street Elementary Student Noah Smith 
To make an appointment please log onto 
Sponsor code for this drive is FRMETHCH or call Susan Touhey at 508-404-6914

Franklin Fire: Emergency Medical Services - Transport Profile

During the Apr 16 Town Council meeting, Fire Chief Gary McCarragher gave a presentation on the ambulance service with a bunch of good info on response rates, the nature of the ambulance calls, where the patients are transported to, etc.
Franklin Fire Dept
Franklin Fire Dept

My live reported notes for the presentation can be found here

The presentation used is shown here:

The full set of notes from the Town Council meeting on April 16 can be found here

The notes for all the meetings attended and reported on going back to 2008 can be found here

Franklin Library: Wally the Green Monster

Wally the Green Monster makes an appearance at the Franklin Library Thursday morning, Apr 24 at 10:30 AM

Wally the Green Monster
Wally the Green Monster

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Franklin Letter Carriers Help Franklin Food Pantry Stamp Out Hunger in Community Food Drive on May 10

On Saturday, May 10, Franklin letter carriers will help the Franklin Food Pantry Stamp Out Hunger when the carriers pick up food donations from town residents at their mailboxes and deliver them to the Franklin Food Pantry.

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is a nationwide effort organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) that provides food to local food banks and pantries that would otherwise be faced with depleted stocks during the summer months. The food drive is the nation’s largest single-day drive, collecting 74.4 million pounds of food last year and 1.3 billion since its inception 22 years ago.

Stamp Out Hunger - May 10
Stamp Out Hunger - May 10

“Stamp Out Hunger is an opportunity for the Franklin letter carriers to help people in need who live in our own backyard,” says Rich Maloney, Franklin member of NALC. “It is a truly moving experience when you see our fleet of mail trucks arrive at the Food Pantry with bags of food donations from the community. Last year we collected and delivered four thousand pounds of food that helped feed area families in need. With the help of our community, we hope to collect even more food this year.”

The Franklin Food Pantry is experiencing an increased need for its services which mirrors trends seen nationally and throughout Massachusetts. “We have seen a 43 percent increase in families returning weekly for bread and produce during the last year,” says Erin Lynch, director of development for the Franklin Food Pantry. “With more than 600 local households unable to afford three meals a day, the number of pounds of provisions we distributed increased by 30 percent.”

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive comes at an ideal time for the Pantry. “We receive tremendous support from the community during the November/December holiday season,” says Lynch. “But donations slow down after the first of the year, and by springtime, our inventory becomes very low. We do not have enough food to help the hundreds of families who are counting on us for supplemental food assistance. Thanks to the Franklin letter carriers, and the generosity of town residents, this food drive allows us to replenish our inventory in preparation for the summer season.”

Franklin residents can help out with the food drive by leaving a bag of non-perishable food where their letter carrier normally delivers their mail on Saturday, May 10. Letter carriers will then pick up the bags during their normal mail rounds and will deliver the food to the Franklin Food Pantry. Residents can also drop off their donations at the Pantry from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 10, or during the Pantry’s regular business hours, Tuesday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Pantry is located at 43 West Central Street, Route 140.

While all non-perishable food donations are welcome, items that are currently most needed at the Pantry include:

  • Canned tomato products
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned ravioli
  • Tuna (white in water)
  • Cereal
  • Olive and/or canola oil
  • Dry spices and herbs (parsley, garlic powder, basil, cinnamon, etc.)
  • Vinegar
  • Gluten free products

The Pantry is also in need of the following non-food items:

  • Deodorant
  • Dish Soap
  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Baby diapers/wipes

For more information on the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, visit

Established in 1987, the mission of the Franklin Food Pantry is to provide immediate hunger relief and healthy sustainable solutions, by empowering the community through resources, education and collaboration. It is part of the Greater Boston Food Bank network and depends entirely on support and donations from volunteers, corporate partners and the community at large.
Franklin Food Pantry
Franklin Food Pantry
The Franklin Food Pantry is located at 43 West Central Street, Route 140 and can accept donations during business hours, Tuesday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Non-perishables may also be dropped off after hours in the bin by the front door, or monetary donations may be mailed to Franklin Food Pantry, PO Box 116, Franklin, MA 02038. For more information, visit, like the Pantry’s Facebook page, or call 508-528-3115. The Franklin Food Pantry is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization FEIN # 04-3272663.

ROCK AND ROLL AND LAND PRESERVATION: How WBCN Radio Helped Save the Blackstone Gorge

Former WBCN Radio disk jockey Carter Alan, now Music Director at WZLX, will speak on Thursday, May 15th at the First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut Street, sponsored by Metacomet Land Trust. Carter will speak about the impact WBCN had on the culture of the time. Carter will share stories from his book, Radio Free Boston: The Rise and Fall of WBCN.

Metacomet is a nonprofit conservation organization based in Franklin, and now active in 13 communities in south central Massachusetts from Norfolk to Douglas. The trust will hold its annual membership meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. and the free program will begin at 7:00 p.m. 
The connection between the local conservation group and the rock music scene of Boston dates to 1992, when a unique and untouched stretch of the Blackstone River on the border between Massachusetts and Rhode Island was at risk of development. Would it be sold for development or could it be saved? 
An unusual grassroots campaign by Metacomet took to the airwaves of Boston’s leading rock radio station, WBCN. In less than a year, the needed funds were raised and this special place was preserved as a bi-state public park. How did it happen? Come hear the story of how a small group of local conservationists enlisted the support of the on-air personalities at WBCN and helped save the land.
Tom Bik, of Blackstone, who has been active in the conservation group since its founding in 1988, said “WBCN was instrumental in getting our message out to save the Blackstone Gorge. The Gorge is a unique place, still untouched by human hands.” Blaring the Cream anthem “I Feel Free,” WBCN went on the air in March 1968 as an experiment in free-form rock on the fledgling FM radio band. It broadcast its final song, Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” in August 2009. 
In between, WBCN became the musical, cultural, and political voice of the young people of Boston and New England, sustaining a vibrant local music scene that launched such artists as the J. Geils Band, Aerosmith, James Taylor, Boston, the Cars, and the Dropkick Murphys, as well as paving the way for Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, U2, and many others. Along the way, WBCN both pioneered and defined progressive rock radio, the dominant format for a generation of listeners. 
Carter was a DJ at WBCN for nineteen years and is the author of U2, Outside Is America, and Life on the Road. In Radio Free Boston, Carter tells story of a city; of artistic freedom, of music and politics and identity; and of the cultural, technological, and financial forces that killed rock radio. 
Carter will answer questions at the end of his talk. Copies of Radio Free Boston will be available for purchase at the event and he will sign copies.


Find out more about the Metacomet Land Trust by visiting their updated webpage

or visit them on Facebook

Franklin Downtown Partnership General Meeting Agenda - May 1

Franklin Downtown Partnership General Meeting Agenda
Thursday, May 1, 2014, 8:30 a.m.
Dean College Campus Center
Golder Room

I.     Open Meeting

II.    Adoption of Agenda

III.   Introductions
Franklin Downtown Partnership
Franklin Downtown Partnership

IV.   Town Update -- Jeff Nutting, Town Administrator
       a.  Streetscape
            i.    Construction schedule update
            ii.   Introduce Maxine Kinhart
            iii.  Communications logistics
            iv.  Update on island design and plantings
       b.  Emmons Street project
            i.   Next steps
            ii.  Updates on possible state funding options
       c.  Other town updates

V.    Report from Executive Director
       a.  Brochure/Map project
       b.  FDP Event Calendar -- review (handout)
       c.  Membership/Sponsorship
       d.  Steering Committee for Emmons Street project
       e.  "Adopt a Block" -- Devin Gray

VI.   Strawberry Stroll Committee -- Nicole, Jane, Bryan

VII.   Networking Luncheon -- Joel Carrara

VIII.  Beautification Committee -- Eileen Mason

IX.    New Business
        Ladybug Project -- Franklin Cultural Committee

X.    Adjourn

Beautification Day:  May 17th