Saturday, July 11, 2015

Lewis St Neighborhood - Roadway Improvements

Pavao Construction will be starting the Lewis St. Neighborhood Roadway Improvement Project the week of July 6th, 2015 and will continue through the fall. 

Crocker Ave at Summer St
Crocker Ave at Summer St

Work will include drainage and roadway improvements on Lewis Street, Hill Ave, Crocker Ave, Cook Street, and Keough Street.

equipment and work underway on Lewis St
equipment and work underway on Lewis St

Access to residents will be maintained, but we ask that travelers seek alternate routes during construction.

work on new sidewalks along Uncas Ave
work on new sidewalks along Uncas Ave

Where is Lewis St?

Off East Central St, opposite Rockland Trust

"I raised an addict - what could I have done differently?"

Patricia Byrne writes:
It has been a very interesting month. I have connected with old high school friends who have active or recovering addicts in their families. I have been contacted by people who are living the nightmare of Addiction as parents, spouses, children and friends of addicts as well as addicts themselves. Many have shared powerful stories of recovery. I have written or spoken the words ‘I am sorry for your loss’ too many times to count, though we really do need to keep counting… Every person we lose leaves a gaping hole in the world. That hole will swallow us all if the tide is not turned. 
I did not intend to start a blog, and I am a bit unsure of where to take it from here. I am, after all, just the Mom of an addict who posted a bit of a hissy fit to her Facebook. I don’t think I can keep tossing out hissy fits, it would get old pretty quickly. I have decided that I will post when something is swirling around in my head enough to make me sit down and write about it, since that’s what happened the first time. It may be a few things in a short amount of time, followed by a lull. We’ll just have to see where this blog leads me. 
This is a new journey and I’m glad for the company of all who would like to walk this path with me. We have certainly walked it alone for far too long. 
Today’s thought: What could I have done differently?
image from Heroin. Stop the Silence. Speak the Truth.
image from Heroin. Stop the Silence. Speak the Truth.

Continue reading her thoughtful post "I raised an addict -what could I have done differently?"


MetroWest Health Foundation: July News

July 2015

MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey Data Shows Teen Smoking Decline After Tobacco Purchase Age Goes to 21

A new EDC study has shown significant declines in teen smoking after raising the minimum sales age for tobacco to 21. The study, which examines trends in the actual prevalence of smoking associated with raising the minimum sales age, was published online June 12 in the journal Tobacco Control.

The research focused on Needham, Massachusetts, which in April 2005 became the first town in the United States to raise the minimum tobacco sales age to 21; no other localities did so until 2012. The study found a significantly greater decline in smoking in Needham when compared to 16 communities west of Boston that maintained a minimum sales age of 18. The study examined data from the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, a biennial census survey of more than 16,000 high school students funded by the MetroWest Health Foundation.

The analysis, done in collaboration with researchers at Brown University and Harvard Medical School, found that from 2006 to 2010 teen smoking in Needham dropped from 13 to 7 percent-a significantly greater decline than in the comparison communities where smoking decreased from 15 to 12 percent. This larger decline was consistent for both males and females, whites and nonwhites, and students in grades 10, 11, and 12. Cigarette purchases in stores among current smokers also declined significantly more in Needham than in the comparison communities.

Researchers say the findings support local action to raise the tobacco sales age to 21.

"Needham is an example for other communities considering policy changes to reduce youth smoking," said Shari Kessel Schneider, who led the study with her EDC colleagues and researchers from Brown University and Harvard Medical School. "Our findings support efforts to raise the minimum sales age as a mechanism for preventing youth access to cigarettes, smoking initiation, and ultimately nicotine addiction."
The foundation is also working to extend the Tobacco 21 movement across other MetroWest communities. Through a foundation grant, the Natick Board of Health is working with local public health departments to enact new tobacco regulations and enforcement policies. The following MetroWest communities have already raised the age of minimum purchase to 21:

New Report Captures 10 Years of Foundation Progress on Adolescent Health Issues

The greatest threat to the health of MetroWest adolescents is not illness or chronic disease. It is the consequences of risky behaviors that can lead to injury, disability, social problems and even death. Since the MetroWest Health Foundation was founded, it has had an interest in keeping children and adolescents safe in their communities. 

In its first five years of grantmaking, the foundation funded a variety of responsive projects focused on youth, such as self-injury and suicide prevention training for school personnel, a crisis stabilization program for deaf students, and the creation of several wellness centers in schools. Then in 2004, the foundation launched its first major proactive initiative, the Youth Substance Abuse Initiative and in 2008 the foundation reinforced its interest in youth health by establishing adolescent mental health as one of its three priority areas.

As an extension of its work in the area of adolescent health, the trustees of the foundation made a commitment in 2006 to conduct the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey every two years for a total of ten years. Based on the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, this census survey is now implemented in every middle and high school in the foundation's 25-town region. The survey data provides invaluable insight for schools and communities about the behavior of its adolescents. For the foundation, it has been used to help determine priority areas as well as measure the success of our funding initiatives.

As we come to the conclusion of the initial ten-year commitment, it seems like an ideal time to reflect on the foundation's impact in risk behaviors addressed in the health survey. This "report card" looks at data from four areas - bullying, mental health, substance use and sexual behaviors - and discusses the foundation's efforts and impact. In doing so, we do not imply causation but rather seek to explore our contribution to any changes in behaviors.

An overall grade is provided for each of the four initiative areas based on the level of improvement in the data at the grantee and regional levels. Progress has been very good in the four areas:

Bullying - Significant Improvement
Mental Health - In Progress
Sexual Behavior - Moderate Improvement
Substance Use - Significant Improvement

Click here to read the full report.

Tools You Can Use: Health Literacy

Did you ever forget what your doctor told you once you left the office? Or, didn't really understand all the medical lingo you heard?  

More and more of us need help with "health literacy" - defined by the US Department of Health & Human Services as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions. It is easy to understand why only 12% of Americans are considered to be health literate.

The MetroWest Racial & Ethnic Disparities Workgroup has been working to increase the health literacy of the region. Last fall, the workgroup sponsored a forum on health literacy which highlighted what providers could do to help patients become more literate through tools like "Talk Back" or through the use of patient navigators. Now the workgroup has assembled a list of curated online resources designed to assist both providers and consumers. The site has links to over fifteen websites that offer tools and resources that can better prepare patients for health care visits.   

To check out the latest resources from the workgroup, go to the Strengthening the Field section of our website and click on Health Literacy

MetroWest Prevention & Wellness Partnership is Transforming Patient Care

A recent meeting of the Advisory Council for the 
MetroWest Prevention & Wellness Partnership highlighted the progress the Partnership is making linking clinical and community services to improve patient care. 

The advisory council heard from representatives of Charles River Medical Associates, a large physician group practice participating in the project.  Primary care physicians within this practice are screening older adults for fall risk at 11 sites across MetroWest. Patients that are identified to be at risk for falling are referred to and enrolled in evidence-based programs in the community. These programs include education workshops that reduce the fear of falling (A Matter of Balance), exercise programs to increase strength and balance (Tai Chiand home safety evaluations to reduce fall hazards in the home.  
Community partnerprovide feedback to Charles River's referral coordinator to keep physicians informed about their patient's progress in community programs. Since March, Charles River has referred 76 patients to the Partnership's programs.  The Partnership is also launching similar initiatives to address pediatric asthma, hypertension, and tobacco use. 
The MetroWest Prevention & Wellness Partnership is one of nine projects funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health through the Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund. These projects will be testing how formal partnerships between clinical providers and community organizations can improve health outcomes and reduce the cost of care.  The MetroWest Health Foundation is providing ten percent matching funds to the MetroWest Partnership, serving Hudson, Marlborough, Northborough and Framingham. 
For more information about the MetroWest Prevention and Wellness Partnership, contact Alex DePalo, Project Coordinator, Town of Hudson Health Department, (978) 568-9658.  
MetroWest Health Foundation
161 Worcester Road, Suite 202
Framingham, MA 01701

T: 508.879.7625
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MetroWest Health Foundation | 161 Worcester Road | Suite 202 | Framingham | MA | 01701

Zentangle Class Wednesday July 29th at Jane's Frames

This class on July 29th is one of the opening events for the Franklin Cultural Festival

Zentangle spoken herelogo
Zentangle Class
Join us for the next Zentangle 101 class
Wednesday , 
July 29th

6:00-8:30 at Jane's Frames

Zentangle is a meditative art form that anyone can do!
 No art experience is needed.  

. Please RSVP soon as the class  fills up quickly! After you call or e-mail, I will send you additional information about the class.

 After 14 months of enjoying the relaxing and inspiring process of creating Zen-tangles,  in June  2012 , I was fortunate enough to attend a  three and a half day long course, along with over 100 attendees from all over the world, in order to become a certified Zentangle teacher.
The instructors,  Marie Thomas and Rick Roberts,

are the co-founders of Zentangle.   I am so pleased to be a Certified Zentangle Teacher,  and I now am proud to add CZT after my name! 

What is Zentangle?
Zentangle is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. 
Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.

For more information go to QUICK LINKS on right sidebar.

A very Special Thank you goes to my friend Cathy Corcoran, a true Angel on earth, who introduced me to Zentangle 16 months before I became a CZT.. I have been enjoying this relaxing and inspiring process ever since. It was through Cathy's joy of presenting what she loves, generosity of spirit and inspiration that drew me into the world of tangling. I am forever grateful!

Joyfully and Thankfully Yours,

Jane Curran, CZT
Jane's Frames

Zentangle Class
Relaxing & Eye Opening
Quick Links

Anyhting is possible, one stroke at a time
Zentangle tiles from class
A sample of creations from an Zentangle Class of first time tanglers.
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Jane's Frames | 11 East Central Street | Franklin | MA | 02038

Star Players and Dean College collaborate on "The Wiz"

The Star Players of Massachusetts and Dean College announced the cast and dates for the production of “The Wiz.” 
Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6-8 and 2 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Friedman School, 500 Norton Ave., Taunton, and 7:30 p.m. August 20-22 and 2 p.m. Aug. 22-23 at the Dean College Main Stage Theater, 99 Main St., Franklin.
The Wiz - performed by The Star Players and Dean College
The Wiz - performed by The Star Players and Dean College

Continue reading here

For ticket information and to purchase online, check here

Friday, July 10, 2015

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 7/10/15 - THU 7/16/15

FRI 7/10   10:30am   Ecology of Sound - Rainforest Music - Franklin Public Library
FRI 7/10   12-6pm   Franklin Farmers Market at The Town Common
FRI 7/10   6:30pm   Art Night Uncorked at Franklin Art Center
FRI 7/10   8-9:50pm   Frozen Friday DJ Public Skate at Pirelli Arena

SAT 7/11   1-3pm   Zentangle Workshop at Franklin Art Center
SAT 7/11   1pm   Little Pig Joins the Band: A Musical Author Visit - Franklin Public Library
SAT 7/11   3pm   Visual Storytelling Workshop for grades 5-12, Franklin Public Library

SUN 7/12   8am-5pm   Fight Hunger! Annual Paintball Challenge to benefit Franklin Food Pantry - (159 Milford St., Upton)

MON 7/13   1pm   Mike the Bubble Man at Franklin Public Library

TUE 7/14   10:30am   Get Ready for Kindergarten (ages 3-5), Franklin Public Library
TUE 7/14   1pm   Subaru/Leave No Trace - Camping and Hiking Safety, Franklin Public Library
TUE 7/14   7:30pm   Franklin and Bellingham Rail Trail Committee Monthly Meeting at Franklin YMCA. Public welcome.

WED 7/15   10am-6pm   FSPA Open House for Prospective Students and Families
WED 7/15   10:30am   Terrific Toddlers - 18 month to 3 years old, Franklin Public Library
WED 7/15   1pm   Marvelous Marvin Math Blast at Franklin Public Library
WED 7/15   6pm   Concerts on The Common: Sharon Band, Children’s Program: Rob Peters the Bubble Music Man

THU 7/16   10:30am   Story and Craft for ages 3-6 at Franklin Public Library
THU 7/16   1pm   Lego Club for ages 3 to 12, Franklin Public Library
THU 7/16   3pm   Memory Cafe for Caregivers and their Loved Ones at Franklin Senior Center

For all the Town of Franklin Public Meetings click HERE.

For event details click HERE.

For Franklin Public Library Summer Programs click HERE.

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

2015 Girls Lacrosse Awards features the "Player of the Year" and 6 from FHS

The Hockomock League awards for Girls Lacrosse named several athletes from Franklin High School including the Player of the Year, Emily Jeffries and Underclassman of the Year, Kendall Reardon.

Player of the Year

Franklin senior midfielder Emily Jeffries has been named the 2015 Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year. Jeffries led the Panthers to a fourth straight Kelley-Rex Division title. She was also selected as a league all-star and the Hockomock MVP by league coaches.

“Emily is an excellent scorer and can be trusted in big situations but also provides defensive effort in the midfield,” said Managing Editor Josh Perry. “She was the primary player on draw controls and was a vocal leader on the field for both the attack and the defense for the best team in the league.”
FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Defense - Nicole Ellin, Franklin

Franklin senior Nicole Ellin was a rock at the back for the Panthers, just as she was this past fall for the soccer team. Ellin, who will be playing lax and soccer at Bard next year, scored nine goals for the Kelley-Rex champions, claimed 49 draw controls, 30 ground balls and had 27 caused turnovers to lead the stingiest defense in the league. Ellin was named a league all-star and helped Franklin win its first sectional title in 2014 and reach the sectional semifinal this spring.

Defense - Sam Jones, Franklin

Franklin junior defender Sam Jones was another standout performer for the four-time defending league champions. Jones, who was selected as an all-star by Hockomock coaches, scored once for the Panthers and pulled in 13 draw controls. She also scooped 22 ground balls and had 20 caused turnovers. Jones and the Franklin defense were one of the reasons that the Panthers got back to the sectional semifinal and their only losses this year were to teams in the top 10 in the state.

Attack - Julia Jette, Franklin

Franklin junior Julia Jette was one of the attackers that the Panthers could count on in big games. The University of New Haven-commit scored 38 goals on 76 shots and added 36 assists this spring. She also added 12 ground balls and six caused turnovers. Jette was one of the five Panthers that were named league all-stars after Franklin won another league title. Jette is one of a host of returning players that has Franklin the favorite to win the title again next year. 2nd Team

  • Defense - Tracy Pisani, Franklin
  • Attack - Kenzie Pleshaw, Franklin
  • Attack - Kendall Reardon, Franklin

Underclassman of the Year

Franklin sophomore attacker Kendall Reardon was named the third annual Girls Lacrosse Underclassman of the Year after an impressive season with the league champion Panthers. 
Reardon recorded 50 shots this season and scored 24 goals and had 18 assists to complement the rest of the powerful Panthers attack and grew into an important player as the season wore on. She became a regular in big moments, including scoring an overtime free position goal against Lincoln-Sudbury in the sectional semifinal.

For the full listing of the Girls Lacrosse awards

Dacey's Market liquor sales restricted by Town Council

The Town Council had a busy meeting on Wednesday. They approved the sewer extension for a single family home on Crocker Ave and penalized Dacey's Market for liquor sales to an underage person. They sent a zoning bylaw change to the Planning Board for the area around the current Thompson Printing facility. They also authorized the funding of the trust fund to help resolve the OPEB issue.

Sewer Extension

The single family home owner will pay for the sewer extension and repaving the road where the sewer line is laid. The land is mostly ledge and won't support a septic system per Franklin's Health Dept inspector. The vote was 8-0 for this item at the second reading. Members of the Council had objected to the absence of the home owner for the first reading of the bylaw change. The home owner was present on Wednesday.

Dacey's Market

Dacey's Market was handed a 7 day penalty, 4 days to be served beginning July 16th and 3 days held in abeyance for 2 years. This is the second instance for underage liquor sales. The first took place in 2011. 

The underage sale was discovered when an off duty sargent was making a personal purchase and observed the individual making his purchase. A vehicle license check confirmed the underage status. An officer on duty happened to be in the area, he was contacted. Confirmed the underage status and made a vehicle stop to confirm the liquor purchase. He confiscated a CT license. The individual claimed to not have used it as the store employees regularly did not check for licenses.

The owner of Dacey's Market was present. He had purchased the license validation machine after the 2011 incident to prevent underage sales. If the machine says the license is good, he makes the sale. The license itself may be good but it may still not match the individual. Dacay's has 5 days to appeal the Council decision by going directly to the ABCC, otherwise the penalty will take effect as agreed to.

Zoning Bylaw

A zoning bylaw change was referred to the Planning Board to begin the process of changing the last industrial zone in downtown to residential. This was an outcome of a prior zoning workshop the Council, Planning Board and other Town official held March 25, 2015. (My meeting notes can be found here)

The area around the location of the current Thompson Building is the target for the change. It already abuts another similarly zoned parcel. The proposed change is hoped to provide additional residential space near the downtown area. The Planning Board will do their public hearing process and bring the bylaw back to the Council where there will be a public hearing and two readings before a vote. 

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building

OPEB Trust Fund

Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) account is underfunded by the Town of Franklin to the tune of about $80M. An actuarial study currently underway will confirm the current requirement. Franklin had established a trust fund to help manage the money being put aside. The primary purpose for such would be to increase the rate of return on the funds invested. Current regulations impose a more conservative return opportunity for the money in 'stabilization' funds but allow for more aggressive funding opportunities in a managed trust fund.

The trust fund was established previously. The management committee had been meeting to discuss investment options and finally reached their decision. The Council's action was to approve the transfer of $1,875,334.64 (plus accrued interest) to the Trust Fund.  

The complete set of notes recorded live during the meeting can be found here

Important Traffic Notice for Interstate 495

From the Town of Franklin "news" section:

The MassDOT has notified us about upcoming work on 495 this weekend. 
They will be working on the Beaver Street Bridge deck on the southbound side. They will have reduced lanes on Interstate 495 and will be placing a temporary stop sign at the bottom of the southbound onramp (Exit 17) at Route 140. This may result in backups on the ramp, but they will have a local police detail on site as well. 
They will be doing the same on the northbound side in the next couple of weeks.

This was shared from the official Town of Franklin page

The MA DOT webpage has skimpy info on the project # 78213

In the News: Fight Hunger paintball fund raiser, butterfly aviary in Holliston

This is the fourth year Jones has organized the event. The way it works is, everyone who shows up that day pays an additional $5 cover, which goes straight to the pantry. Typically, the event raises about $500. 
“It’s not a lot of money but it’s something,” said Jones. “The food pantry is always in need of monetary support.” 
Fox 4 will also raffle off a paintball gun and other items in a 50/50 drawing. 
For Jones, the event is a convergence of two interests. As a former town counselor and now as a civilian, the Franklin Food Pantry has always been a focal point.
Continue reading the article here

additional info on the Paintball Challenge can be found here

The average lifespan of a butterfly is between two and three weeks. The commission plans to harvest the eggs and create kits to give to youth groups to make the aviary self-sufficient. 
The commission also hopes to set up a reserve over the winter to pay for the aviary. Plant material is the biggest expense, said Kilkelly. 
The aviary will be open to the public during the day until November. Saturday’s grand opening will be from 1 to 4 p.m. at the golf course on 212 Prentice St.
Continue reading the article here

Thursday, July 9, 2015

2015 boys lacrosse Awards features the "Player of the Year" and 7 from FHS

The Hockomock League awards for boys lacrosse named several athletes from Franklin High School including the Player of the Year, Jack Vail and Coach of the Year - Lou Verrochi.

Franklin senior attacker Jack Vail has been chosen as the 2015 Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year. Vail led the Panthers to a third straight Kelley-Rex Division title and was chosen as the Hockomock MVP by the league coaches. This is the second year in a row that Vail has been named Player of the Year.

“Jack was the best player on the best team in the league and an easy choice to be Player of the Year,” said Managing Editor Josh Perry. “Whether he got the ball behind the cage, in transition, or at the ‘X’ Vail was capable of scoring. He also had one of the most accurate shots that I saw all year and was capable of great goals.”
FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Defense - Alec Borkowski, Franklin

One of the Catholic Memorial players remarked that he had never seen a player force as many turnovers as Franklin senior Alec Borkowski. He was one of the driving forces behind the outstanding Panthers defense that led to a league title and the program's first trip to the sectional semifinal. Borkowski was named an all-star by the league's coaches and was also selected as a second team Eastern Mass. All-American after an impressive senior campaign that drew rave reviews from opposing coaches.

Defense - Sean Lockhart, Franklin

Another member of the relentless Franklin defensive core, junior pole Sean Lockhart was a tenacious on the ball defender and his ability to guard high up the field allowed the Panthers to pressure the ball and transition quickly. Lockhart is one of the returning Panthers that will be looking to build on the program's best season that included wins over perennial powers Xaverian and Wellesley. Lockhart was also selected as a league all-star by Hockomock coaches.

LSM - Michael Sullivan, Franklin

Franklin senior LSM Michael Sullivan combines speed and tenacity and was capable of making plays that could change a game, as he did with a diving save/assist against Xaverian in the playoffs. The Siena College-commit showed that he was capable of taking over a game. Sullivan, who was the 2013 Underclassman of the Year, was named a league all-star and was selected to play in the BostonLax All American Game.

Midfield - Austin Kent, Franklin

Franklin junior Austin Kent emerged last season as the 2014 Underclassman of the Year and continued his stellar attacking play for the Panthers this spring. Kent scored 36 goals and added 16 assists as part of Franklin's powerful attack, but he also showed the ability to be a factor on the defensive side especially in transition. His speed and his ability to dodge opened space for his laser of a shot. Kent was chosen as a Hockomock all-star by the league's coaches.

  • Goalie - DJ Shea, Franklin
  • LSM - Matt Pleshaw, Franklin
  • Midfield - Kyle Lundgren, Franklin
  • Attack - Eric Civetti, Franklin

Coach of the Year - Lou Verrochi, Franklin

Franklin head coach Lou Verrochi has been named the third annual Boys Lacrosse Coach of the Year. Verrochi led the Panthers to a third straight Kelley-Rex Division title and to the program’s first ever Div. 1 South semifinal. 
“Coach Verrochi kept the Panthers focused as the playoffs began and inspired his team to compete with some of the state’s best,” said Managing Editor Josh Perry. “With the Xaverian game going against his team, he called timeout to rally the troops and prevented a collapse. With a team that has as many personalities as Franklin had this spring, Verrochi worked hard to keep everyone working towards a common goal.”

For the full listing of boys lacrosse from Hockomock Sports

Franklin Community Coalition on Opioid Abuse (Video)

The video recording from the June 30th meeting to start the Community Coalition addressing opioid epidemic is now available for viewing.

My notes from the meeting can be found here

The next meeting is scheduled for August 12 location remains to be determined