Saturday, January 17, 2015

"This land must be preserved in perpetuity"

The 'radar' found this well written letter on the Pond St issue:
Thanks for your coverage of the recent Pond Street (Franklin) zoning hearing. As a former member of the town’s industrial development commission, open space committee, public land use committee, and historic commission I am baffled that the town is still attempting to sell this land. 
Pond St lot - Mine Brook and Charles River seen along left of photo
Pond St lot - Mine Brook and Charles River seen along left of photo
Anyone who looks at a map, and one would like to hope that the town’s administrative officials and elected officials would have done so, can see that the town’s Pond Street parcel is the only good access to hundreds of acres of the Army Corps of Engineers conservation land along Mine Brook and the Charles River. This land must be preserved in perpetuity as part of a flood control system, but it is available for many kinds of “passive” recreation such as walking, jogging, cross country skiing, canoeing, etc. However, because it is almost entirely “land locked” by privately owned parcels, this beautiful meadowland that attracted settlers here in the 1600s, is unknown to most residents. 
In the past, both as an individual and through my position with the Open Space Committee, I have advocated for any development of this land to include parking for residents to use if they wish to reach the Army Corps land. Despite verbal assurances, it is my understanding that little if any requirement to this effect has survived into RFPs. 
It is past time for the town to put aside the idea of squandering this keystone property in a short-sighted effort to pad town coffers. Instead, the town should invest. Set aside this land for conservation and recreation, provide the modest improvements needed to make it safe for the public, and work with the very willing officials of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (with whom I met recently) to open up this treasure in our midst.


- See more at:

Another small business goes

Heard from the Lanni's on Friday evening that regretably they closed Tastebuds Fresh Marketplace as of Thursday, Jan 15th.  The 'goodbye' message posted to their website reads:
It is with great sadness that we are forced to close Tastebuds Fresh Marketplace, effective, Thursday January 15, 2015. Though we have had realized our dream of opening and operating Tastebuds, the reality was that we could not garner the customer base over the last ten months to assure its continued success. 
We wish to thank our loyal customers who have given us continual support and encouragement over these past months. We truly hope that you have enjoyed the foods and services we provided. They came, genuinely, from the heart. 
Going forward, please always try to support your local "mom and pop" stores. They are the backbone of your community and deliver heart felt value. Shop and Support Local, you'll never be sorry.

Tastebuds Fresh Marketplace
Tastebuds Fresh Marketplace

What message is there for us from the recent closures of small business (Artistry Kitchen, Rick's and now Tastebuds)? 

Business gets a tally everyday on how well they do. How many dollars come in the door versus what it costs them to provide the goods/services they offer to us. We need to remember that we vote for a business by spending our money there. It is a collaborative effort. The business also needs to deliver goods/services for a price that we are willing to pay. Our vote (via the dollars we spend) either tells them they will stay or go. 

From the archives regarding Tastebuds:

Now open - Mar 2014

Grand Opening - Apr 2014

Opening on Sunday - Jun 2014

"a highlight of defense both ways"

From Hockomock Sports we find that Mansfield High beat the FHS girls basketball team on Friday night.
It was tight, physical, defensive, and at times pretty ugly for both teams, but in the end Mansfield kept its hopes of catching North Attleboro for the division title alive with a 43-30 victory over Franklin on Friday night at the James Albertini Gym. 
The win keeps the Hornets at two losses in the league, which is tied with the Panthers for second behind unbeaten (in the Hockomock) North. 
“I think it’s been three, four years since we’ve beaten them,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “They’ve sort of had our number… I think this is a big win for our team to get them at home.”
Mansfield freshman Meg Hill (31) scored 13 points and pulled in 11 rebounds to help the Hornets overcome division rival Franklin and stay in the league title hunt. (Josh Perry/
Mansfield freshman Meg Hill (31) scored 13 points and pulled in 11 rebounds to help the Hornets overcome division rival Franklin and stay in the league title hunt. (Josh Perry/

You can read the full article here

The good, the bad and the inspiring- The Climate Minute Podcast

New post on Mass Climate Action Network (MCAN)

The good, the bad and the inspiring- The Climate Minute Podcast

by massclimateaction
* Some media is not displayed in this email and must be viewed on the website.
The news this week ranged from good to depressing, from new methane rules (good) to 400pm in the air (depressing.) We try to put it all in perspective.
Because we recognize the necessity of personal accountability for our actions, because we accept responsibility for building a durable future and because we believe it is our patriotic duty as citizens to speak out, we must insist that the United States put a price on carbon.
Thanks for listening.
…Ted McIntyre
Trouble clicking? Copy and paste this URL into your browser: 
Thanks for flying with

Mass Climate Action Network
Mass Climate Action Network

News from Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

O'Donnell Looks Back on Norfolk County Real Estate Activity in 2014

Looking forward to an ambitious agenda for 2015, Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell took a look back at Norfolk County real estate activity in 2014.

Register O'Donnell noted, "We saw both promising and some sobering indicators when it came to the Norfolk County real estate market in 2014. The total dollar volume of residential and commercial property sales grew this year by 13%. Furthermore, the average sale price based on the volume of residential and commercial property sold - which was pegged at 7.4 billion - rose from $618,581 to $706,786, an increase of 14%. In my opinion, these healthy increases were driven by reduced property inventories."

There was mixed news on the financial market front. Calendar year 2014 witnessed a greater financial commitment by lending institutions as mortgage indebtedness for real estate increased by 27% in Norfolk County to 20.3 billion. However, the mortgage refinancing market remains a challenge due to continued historically low interest rates as well as stringent credit requirements.

Other indicators the Register noted that struck a note of caution was the flatness in overall real estate activity in 2014. "There were 10,507 real estate deeds recorded at the Registry as compared to 10,613 in 2013. Additionally, the total number of mortgages recorded against Norfolk County property fell by 31%," noted O'Donnell.

A continuing factor facing homeowners and the real estate industry is the number of deed foreclosures filed in Norfolk County, which were up by 5.2% from 195 to 205 from the previous year. "The Registry continues to work in partnership with South Shore Consortium and Neighbor Works Southern Mass to help Norfolk County homeowners who have received a notice of foreclosure from a lender. This is a top priority of my administration," noted Register O'Donnell.

Homestead recordings, which provides for limited protection against the forced sale of an individual's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt of up to $500,000, were down by 11%. The decrease could be attributed to a 2011 law which does not automatically require a homeowner to refile for a homestead after refinancing their property, according to the Register.

Register O'Donnell concluded by saying, "2014 was a somewhat promising and challenging year for the Norfolk County real estate market. However, a small but encouraging thaw in the mortgage market coupled with an improving economic outlook should bode well for the industry and consumers in 2015."

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, "like" us on or follow us on twitter @NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High Street, Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry's website Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101, or email us at

Register William P. O'Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

phone: 781-234-3336

Norfolk Country Registry of Deeds
Norfolk Country Registry of Deeds

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Norfolk County Registry of Deeds | 649 High Street | Dedham, | MA | 02026-1831

HMEA: Benefit Beatles Concert - You're invited!

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January is always a tough month. The holidays are past and Spring is no where in sight. If you are experiencing cabin fever or just looking for a fun night out, we welcome you to join us for a special evening filled with good food and great music - all to benefit individuals supported by HMEA.

WHO: "STUDIO TWO" Beatles Tribute Band
WHAT: Concert to benefit HMEA
WHEN: Saturday, January 24th, 2015 | 8 pm - 11 pm
WHERE: Finnegan's Wake Restaurant, Walpole MA

Presented by: Lippolis Plumbing


All proceeds will benefit HMEA
(Horace Mann Educational Associates)

HMEA is a non-profit agency providing supports and services for children and adults with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. 

$15/Per person - available in advance or at the door

For ticket information call Phil @ 781-218-4170
or contact Marie Maloney at

See you there!

The HMEA Team

HMEA Inc. Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  

| 8 Forge Park East | Franklin | MA | 02038

Friday, January 16, 2015

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 1/16/15 - THU 1/22/15

FRI 1/16   6:30pm   Art Night Uncorked at Franklin Art Center
FRI 1/16   8pm   Frozen Friday DJ Public Skate at Pirelli Arena, Franklin

SAT 1/17   9am-4pm   Franklin Public Library Book Sale

SUN 1/18   9am-12pm   Franklin Public Library Bag Sale
SUN 1/18   1pm-4pm   Ben Franklin’s Birthday Celebration at Franklin Historical Museum, special glass harmonica performance at 1:30pm

TUE 1/20   5:30pm   Community Walking: FREE Walk Halls at Franklin High School

WED 1/21   12pm-6pm   Workshop Wednesday at The Cake Bar: Cute Bugs Cupcakes
WED 1/21   5:30-7:30pm   Community Walking: FREE Walk Track at Franklin High School
WED 1/21   6:30pm   Doggie Tales at Franklin Public Library: Read to a therapy dog. Registration required.
WED 1/21   7pm   Franklin SEPAC workshop: ADHD and Executive Functioning - free and open to all, Municipal Building
WED 1/21   7pm   Lions Heart Teen Service Organization - Parent Info Session at Adirondack Club

THU 1/22   5:30-7:30pm   Community Walking: FREE Walk Track at Franklin High School
THU 1/22   6:30-8:30pm   Franklin Newcomers Club Outing at Pour Richard’s
For all the Town of Franklin Public Meetings click HERE.

For event details click HERE.

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

Town Council - Jan 7th video available for viewing

The video from the Town Council meeting on January 7th with the public hearing on the Pond St zoning bylaw change is now available for viewing on the Franklin website.

Thanks to Franklin TV for providing this important video.

You can follow this link

You can also go to the Franklin webpage, from the left column find the "Live Videos and Archive" link and then select the year and month of the video you wish to view.

Franklin webpage for live video and video archives
Franklin webpage for live video and video archives

Also worthy of note, a new sticker has been placed on the bottom of the microphones to indicate the "Mute" buttons more clearly.

sticker added to microphones to make it more obvious that there is a mute button
sticker added to microphones to make it more obvious that there is a mute button

"Also, need to mention that the sticker is wrong. By default, the mics are always on and you have to push the button to mute it, meaning, if you want it muted, you'd have to sit there holding the button down the whole time."

Senator Spilka: Encouraging Economic Growth and Innovation in Massachusetts

January 15, 2015

Yesterday I announced key pieces of my economic development legislative agenda for the new 2015-2016 legislative session. I will continue to advocate for programs and policies that encourage economic growth, job creation and innovation across all sectors of the Massachusetts economy.

I'm always looking for new ways to help Massachusetts companies start, grow and thrive here. We need to continue to support all sectors of our economy, foster innovation and improve education and workforce training opportunities. I look forward to a new session advocating on behalf of smart economic development policies for MetroWest and the Commonwealth.

Continue reading to learn about some of my economic development priorities for the new session, including civic innovation, crowdfunding, entrepreneurship and education.

For other news and updates, please connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

A terrific group of people from the tech community and government shared feedback on the latest version of the Innovative Communities bill.

A product of a November Tech Hub Caucus policy "Idea-a-thon" event, the new Innovative Communities Program would connect and educate Massachusetts startups and municipalities. The program is the result of a collaborative process, pulling together best practices from existing government programs and incorporating input and ideas from startups, government offices and municipal groups.

The bill creates a new program charged with guiding startups through the purchasing process and helping them to more easily pursue local government contracts. Startups would have the opportunity to sell their technology to innovative cities and towns that have chosen to be designated as "Innovative Communities." These civic technology solutions would allow communities to better serve residents and use resources more efficiently and effectively.

Read press coverage of the Innovative Communities Program in State House News and the Boston Globe.

This bill authorizes the state's Executive Offices to establish a pilot Innovator-in-Residence program, placing successful entrepreneurs in state agencies to identify ways to make agency services and operations simpler, more efficient and more responsive. The program would encourage improved public-private coordination, address entrepreneur and business obstacles and opportunities and identify ineffective or duplicative government programs.

This bill amends the Uniform Securities Act in Massachusetts to include an exemption to securities registration requirements for emerging businesses seeking small-scale investments through crowdfunding. The bill helps local small businesses raise seed funding and grow more easily while still protecting investors from overly high-risk investments.

The legislation creates a State Seal of Bi-literacy to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. The bill supports foreign language educational programs in the Commonwealth as a way to promote global trade and prepare our students to compete in a global economy.

I will also file legislation to make the tax process more predictable and transparent for companies in all industries and encourage companies to maintain or establish their corporate headquarters in Massachusetts.

As always, if you would like additional information or have any concerns or comments, please call my office at (617) 722-1640 or email me at

Warm Regards,

Senator Karen E. Spilka
2nd Middlesex and Norfolk

Office of State Senator Karen E. Spilka
Room 320, State House
Boston, Massachusetts  02133

Senator Karen Spilka | | Office of Karen Spilka | Office of State Senator Karen E. Spilka, Room 511-C, State House | Boston, MA 02133
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