Saturday, August 15, 2015

Did you check out the new Lifelong Learning catalog of courses?

Fall/Winter Catalog - 2015
Fall/Winter Catalog - 2015
How about learning how to make wine?

How about "CSI - Franklin style"?

Maybe "Getting Paid to Talk"

These and other courses are in the Fall/Winter catalog that was delivered recently.

A copy of the catalog is shown below and also available on the Lifelong Learning webpage.

Registration for your choice can be done with this form

New high school ball fields making progress

On the walk last weekend, I checked out the progress on the ball fields. The softball and baseball fields are coming along. The tennis courts are coming along. The new turf field is in the finishing stages also. 

Actually, it look like the turf was being delivered Friday morning so the next photos may include some green carpeting.

turf field retaining wall
turf field retaining wall

turf field perspective
turf field perspective

turf field sidelines
turf field sidelines

stone dust being laid out
stone dust being laid out

with back to the school, another view of the stone dust work
with back to the school, another view of the stone dust work

with back to the school, more of an angle shot across the field
with back to the school, more of an angle shot across the field

with back to the school, close up along the end line
with back to the school, close up along the end line

bleacher position for baseball field
bleacher position for baseball field

bleachers for baseball
bleachers for baseball

access to fields
access to fields

tennis courts, appears to be room for 4 set
tennis courts, appears to be room for 4 sets

tennis courts, another view
tennis courts, another view

Franklin Family Movie Night - Aug 21 - "Toy Story"

Via Tracie's Facebook posting:

Woody and Buzz in the original Toy Story
Woody and Buzz in the original Toy Story
Bring your whole family and enjoy watching Toy Story on the big screen in a classic Franklin setting - Beaver Pond! 
The movie itself will start at dusk, but WOODY AND BUZZ ARRIVE AT 7:00!
Kids will get an opportunity to meet and play games with both characters. 
In addition to the characters arriving early, a whole host of local small businesses will be represented at booths offering treats, fun toys, and other retail offerings! The marketplace opens at 6:30. 

Toy Story will be the movie shown with an appearance by Buzz and Woody
Toy Story will be the movie shown

Best wishes to Samantha and Kendra!

Samantha Moccia, Greater Norfolk’s 2016 Distinguished Young Woman, and Kendra Dombroski, Greater Franklin’s 2016 Distinguished Young Woman will travel to Holyoke for the week of Aug. 9 to participate in the Distinguished Young Women Massachusetts State Program. 
Both young women participated in the local DYW preliminary program in May and won their respective titles with accompanying scholarships and the opportunity to advance to the state level of the national scholarship program for high school girls.

Continue reading the article in WickedLocal Franklin

Distinguished Young Woman - State Final - Aug 15
Distinguished Young Woman - State Final - Aug 15

For additional info on all the participants, follow this link

MassBudget: Analyzing the State Budget for FY 2016

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Analyzing the State Budget for FY 2016 
With the House and Senate having overridden a number of the Governor's vetoes, the Fiscal Year 2016 (FY 2016) budget is now largely complete. This year's budget makes few major changes in overall funding provided to educate our children, keep our communities safe, protect our most vulnerable, strengthen our economy and improve the quality of life in our communities. Click HERE for our full analysis.

The budget does include several significant new initiatives, including:
  • Increasing the value of the state earned income tax credit from 15% of the federal credit to 23%. This will provide additional income to over 400,000 lower wage workers and their families (click HERE for town-by-town detail). Besides improving lives now by helping parents to pay for necessities like food and clothing for their children, this additional support is also likely to expand opportunity for these children over the long run: there is growing evidence that when the income of a lower income family increases, the children often do better in school and earn more as adults.
  • Providing significant new tools for the administration to improve management at the MBTA. The budget creates a new MBTA Control Board and authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to appoint the Director of the MBTA. The budget also suspends for three years the Taxpayer Protection Act (commonly called the Pacheco Law) that regulates privatization. The law requires that privatization efforts achieve savings by efficiency improvements rather than by reducing pay and benefits for workers (click HERE for more detail).
  • Addressing substance abuse with targeted investments throughout MassHealth, public health and mental health. In particular, new initiatives support first responders and others in the community struggling to address the challenge of opioid addiction.
The final budget, like the budget proposed by the governor back in March, relies heavily on temporary strategies to balance the budget. It spends $300 million in capital gains tax revenue that would have gone into the Rainy Day Fund under current law. It also counts on $100 million from a tax amnesty and $116 million from putting off paying some of our FY 2016 MassHealth bills into FY 2017.

As has been the case for many years, state budget choices are being shaped by fiscal challenges that date back to the late 1990s: after cutting the income tax by over $3 billion dollars between 1998 and 2002 our state has had to make deep cuts in areas like higher education, local aid, and public health. Meanwhile, the highest income residents in the Commonwealth are paying a substantially smaller share of their income in state and local taxes than do the other 99%. If our tax system were reformed so that the highest income 1% of taxpayers paid roughly the same share of their income in taxes as everyone else, that would raise about $2 billion that could be invested in things like making college affordable, improving our transportation systems, and providing all children with the supports they need to thrive.
Please click HERE for our full analysis.
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

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

MassBudget website screen grab
MassBudget website screen grab

"they will need to raise the funds"

The town may soon see the return of a local celebration that had lit the skies each July. 
Town officials have said that Franklin's Independence Day fireworks display, which has been absent for the past several years, may make a comeback once work at the new high school ends. The school site was used because of its size. 
"We have not had fireworks for three or four years during the construction of the high school," Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting said in an email. "Now that it is nearly complete, we are told that the state fire marshal's office would permit fireworks at that location once they review proposed plans."

Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News (subscription may be required)

fireworks at Gillette Stadium for a NE Revolution game
fireworks at Gillette Stadium for a NE Revolution game

Friday, August 14, 2015

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 8/14/15 - THU 8/20/15

FRIDAY 8/14/15
12-6pm   Franklin Farmers Market at The Town Common
6-10pm   Feast of St. Rocco
6-10pm   St. Mary’s Annual Bone Marrow Drive
6:30pm   Art Night Uncorked at Franklin Art Center
8-9:50pm   Frozen Friday DJ Public Skate at Pirelli Arena

SATURDAY 8/15/15
9am-4pm   Book Sale with DPW Touch a Truck at Franklin Public Library
10am   Giant Games on The Lawn at Franklin Public Library
11am-11pm   Feast of St. Rocco
12-10pm   St. Mary’s Annual Bone Marrow Drive

SUNDAY 8/16/15
8:30am   Franklin Yoga and Wellness: SUP Yoga on Beaver Pond
9am-12pm   Bag Sale at Franklin Public Library
12-9pm   Feast of St. Rocco
12-9pm   St. Mary’s Annual Bone Marrow Drive

MONDAY 8/17/15
1pm   Drop In Craft at Franklin Public Library

TUESDAY 8/18/15
10:30am   Get Ready For Kindergarten (ages 3-5) at Franklin Public Library

10:30am   Terrific Toddlers at Franklin Public Library
4pm   Animal World Experience - Wild Heroes at Franklin Public Library

THURSDAY 8/20/15
10:30am   Story and Craft (ages 3-6) at Franklin Public Library
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 FPL Summer Programs details click HERE.

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

Gearing up for the opening of school

The School Committee met on Tuesday, the first of their two meetings this month. Much of the meeting concerned preparations for the opening of schools later this month.


  • New administrators for high school introduced (B Redding and C Williams present. M Weber and L Markiesian will come to a future meeting)
  • New Director of Student Services,  Debbie Dickson
  • Handbooks for all schools reviewed and approved, they'll be posted to school website on Friday
  • School calendar survey results released and discussed. Overall a 55.6% response rate (81% from parents and 23% from faculty). No significant changes to current process for now.
  • Reorganization of Instructional Services position with recognition that the demands of the position have changed so the "Director of Instructional Services” position was eliminated and replaced with an “Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning” position. Joyce Edwards held the former and was appointed to the new position.
  • Among the action items was the formal acceptance of the "donation of a panther statue from the Graci Family for FHS." 
  • Student placement letters (i.e. teacher assignments) are scheduled to go out Aug 21; students are still enrolling and there are teachers still be hired.
  • On Friday the bus routes will be posted along with a document on how bus stops are chosen. There is a formal method with detailed criteria that will be posted to the website. 
Franklin High School
Franklin High School

The notes from the live reporting done during the School Committee meeting can be found here:

FSPA Summer Theater presents: Disney’s High School Musical

A record-breaking, chart-topping pop culture phenomenon, High School Musical is family friendly and full of fun! Based on the wildly popular 2006 Disney Channel original movie musical written by Peter Barsocchini, the stage version features the hit songs “We’re All in This Together,” “Bop to the Top,” “Start of Something New,” and “Get’cha Head in the Game.” 
With high energy and winning style, the movie’s memorable characters come to life, as star athlete, Troy, falls for brainy beauty, Gabriella, the new girl at fictional East High. When the two audition for lead roles in their high school musical, they threaten the status quo and divide the school’s social cliques. 
Along the long the way, these jocks, brainiacs, thespians, and skater dudes teach us about first love, peer pressure, and the importance of breaking free of others’ expectations and learning to be true to yourself.
FSPA Summer Theater presents: Disney’s High School Musical
FSPA Summer Theater presents: Disney’s High School Musical

Today at 7:30pm

THE BLACK BOX, 15 West Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038

Tickets are available via THE BLACK BOX online

Franklin Library: Book Sale, Touch a Truck, and Giant Games

So the month of August has rolled around, summer is almost over, and there is another Library Book Sale. This one has a "Touch a Truck" opportunity along with it and on the front lawn of the Library there are Giant Games!

Franklin Library - Book Sale
Franklin Library - Book Sale

Franklin Library - Giant Games
Franklin Library - Giant Games

These were shared from the Franklin Library page here

and here

In the News: let's laugh class, modulars removed, handbooks approved

The First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut St., will host a laughter yoga class from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 28. 
Laughter yoga is a body and mind practice for well-being that involves deep breathing and a few stretches, clapping, deep relaxation and playful laughter exercises that do not include jokes or comedy. 
Any age and any level of physical ability can participate, and the class will take place in the meetinghouse of the church. Attendees are asked to bring a bottle of water and to contribute a $5 donation to the church for the class. There is a $10 maximum per family. 
Led by certified laughter yoga teachers, Linda and Bill Hamaker. For more information: 508-660-2223, 
See other opportunities to laugh at

The Milford Daily News
The Milford Daily News

Those passing by the Davis Thayer Elementary School recently might have noticed something different - or something missing. 
The town has recently removed two modular classroom units that had been on the school's front lawn, leaving a newly-seeded field in their place. 
Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski said the units had been there for some time - at least a decade. 
"It was a period of increased enrollment - Franklin schools pretty much doubled," she said. "There were modular classrooms at the Kennedy, Parmenter, Oak Street and Davis Thayer schools."

Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News (subscription may be required)

The Franklin School Committee reviewed and approved school handbooks this week as it prepares for the beginning of the upcoming school year. 
Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski said at Tuesday's committee meeting that the district had made it a policy to review the handbooks yearly. 
Assistant Superintendent Sally Winslow said, while the handbooks contain the district's overall policies and procedures, a substantial amount of work had been to ensure the documents reflect each school's culture. 
"We've been doing this for three years," she said. "It's pretty seamless, I'd say." 
One addition, Winslow said, was including information about suicide awareness in the middle school and high school handbooks.

Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News (subscription may be required)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Live reporting: SAFE Community meeting

My live reporting from the FHS auditorium on Wednesday evening was via Twitter which I then captured to include other tweets with the same tag. Thanks to the others using the tag (#opioidFranklin). You'll see the results below.


  1. Opioid addiction is a complicated issue
  2. There are genetic components as well as environmental
  3. The body loves to adapt to the world, this adaption creates addiction
  4. Undoing the addiction takes time
  5. The earlier treatment is applied, and the more support there is for the individual, the more likely they will recover
  6. There are two support meetings weekly in Franklin,  we need more
  7. There are health insurance issues to be worked, the DA has started that conversation
  8. The whole body approach is necessary for success
  9. This is a community issue and the community can solve this
  10. There is hope, it will take work and time

Click through to Storify to see the full listing or scroll with the inner bar.

Random Smile Project: Wiffleball Tourney - Saturday, Aug 22

Random Smile Project 

Wiffleball Tourney 

Sat Aug 22 

Fletcher Field

Register your team at

rec division champs
rec division champs

The official rules for the tournament can be found here

or download a PDF copy here

37th Feast of St Rocco opens tonight

37th Feast of St Rocco opens tonight

overall schedule for the Feast of  St Rocco  2015
overall schedule for the Feast of  St Rocco  2015

entertainment schedule for the Feast of St Rocco  2015
entertainment schedule for the Feast of St Rocco  2015
food for the Feast of St Rocco  2015
food for the Feast of St Rocco  2015
Additional information on the St Rocco Feast can be found on the St Mary's Parish page

or on the Facebook page here

"it takes, on average, eight years to remission"

For an American society that wants a quick fix, there are multiple problems with the opioid epidemic.

A Harvard professor and Massachusetts General Hospital addiction expert spoke Wednesday night about the mechanisms of, and strategies for, combating and de-stigmatizing substance abuse disorders. 
John Kelly, a professor of psychiatry and the director of the hospital's Addiction Recovery Management Service, spoke to the second meeting of the Support for Addicts and Families by Empowerment, or SAFE, at Franklin High School.
Kelly said addiction was caused by several factors, including genetic predisposition and exposure to the drug itself.
"Some ask why people get addicted - the real question is: why we aren't all addicted," he said. "This relates to the genetic component."
Continue reading the article in the MIlford Daily News here (subscription may be required)

Emma Frances Dalton Memorial Golf Tournament - Oct 9

Good Morning Steve, 
My name is Nicole and in October, My husband Will and I will be hosting the first annual Emma Frances Dalton Memorial Golf Tournament to honor our daughter, Emma.  Emma passed away just a week shy of 7 months from a mitochondrial disease, called Leigh's.  
We live in Franklin, and I am writing to ask if you would consider helping us spread the word of our event.  We have created a website if you have a minute and are interested in hearing more about our story.  
Anything you could do would be greatly appreciated.   
Thank you!
Nicole and Will Dalton
Juniper Hill Golf Course in Northborough Friday, October 9th @ 9am!
Juniper Hill Golf Course in Northborough Friday, October 9th @ 9am!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Concerts On the Common: Westwood Swing Band

  • Storyteller Elaine Kessler (children’s program 6-6:30 PM) 
  • Westwood Swing Band (6:30-8:30 PM)

Westwood Swing Band
Westwood Swing Band

From the Westwood Swing Band webpage:
"The Westwood Swing Band exemplifies the hard-driving sounds of big bands of the swing era. Its 16 instrumentalists and female vocalist perform from the repertoires of such noteworthy artists as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Glenn Miller, and Artie Shaw. The band’s members, many of whom are professional or semi-professional musicians, are capable of offering up solo’s and ensemble play that reflect both virtuosity and feeling. 
The roots of the band began in the mid-1980’s, when Mark Rogers assembled a few musicians interested in playing jazz together. Initially this was a seven-piece combo with ever-changing membership. In 1992 the band solidified into an ongoing enterprise under the "Westwood Swing Band" banner, as Mark, its director, had in the meantime moved to the town of Westwood, Mass. Six of today’s band’s members have played with the band for 20 years or more without interuption. The band still rehearses weekly in the town of Westwood."

Franklin Food Pantry needs volunteers to stock their shelves

We need volunteer stockers! Join volunteers Missy and Liz and donate your organizational skills to a good cause. 
Help us replenish the inventory on our Pantry shelves. 
Available shifts are Mondays, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.; and Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 2 p.m. 
A weekly commitment would be ideal. There are some physical requirements such as lifting and stairs. 
Contact Maria Weiss at if you are interested. 
Franklin Food Pantry Facebook photo
Franklin Food Pantry Facebook photo

For more about the Franklin Food Pantry, you can visit them on the internet at  or on Facebook

“Who is this epidemic killing? Kids in their mid-twenties. That would be me in 10 years.”

Why do teenagers get involved to help with the opioid epidemic? One can easily understand how the parents get involved. Concern for their children and the children of close friends are good reasons. But teens? What brings them to the issue?

In the case of Ben Waters, he felt he really needed to help. He is working on his Eagle Scout badge and needed a project. This would fit the requirements. But that is too easy an answer. The more he found out about the epidemic, the more he realized he had to help.

“Who is this epidemic killing? Kids in their mid-twenties. That would be me in 10 years.” Ben and I met recently at Panera Bread to discuss the epidemic and the efforts of the coalition.

Coalition meeting Aug 12, 7:00 PM
Coalition meeting Aug 12, 7:00 PM
Ben had reached out to Jeff Roy offering to help. He went to visit the Norfolk District Attorney’s office and started meeting others involved from the various coalitions that had formed. He heard about a coalition meeting in Needham and went. He was impressed by what he heard from Dr. John F. Kelly, the director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service at Mass General Hospital. Dr Kelly was the speaker that night at the Needham meeting.

He reached out to Dr Kelly to arrange for him to speak in Franklin. This is what is scheduled for Wednesday night in the Franklin High School Auditorium at 7:00 PM.

He has spent time going door to door, handing out flyers to spread the word. Dr Kelly has information that both parents and kids need to hear. When we got together for this talk, his enthusiasm seemed boundless. All that energy and drive is going to do some good, especially for those in and around the opioid epidemic.

"immediate changes are unlikely"

Though the school district is examining the way it builds its calendar, immediate changes are unlikely. 
The School Committee discussed the matter at its Tuesday night meeting after hearing the results of a survey of the district's parents and teachers. 
Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski said 81 percent of the district's parents participated in the survey, a rate she attributed to the nightmarish 2014-2015 winter season. 
"I think it really generated discussion - there was a lot of anxiety about the last day of school," she said. "We thought it would be a good idea to send a quick survey out to our families and faculty to see what folks were feeling."

Continue reading the article here (subscription may be required)

The document shared at the School Committee meeting with the survey results can be found here

StoryCorps launches new project: The Great Thanksgiving Listen

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It may still be August, but it's never too soon to start planning for the holidays! And this Thanksgiving, StoryCorps wants to be a part of your family's traditions.

Our Founder and President, Dave Isay, was on Good Morning America yesterday to share some exciting news about The Great Thanksgiving Listen. Click here to see Dave on GMA.
On Thanksgiving weekend 2015, StoryCorps will join forces with ABCNPR and TED to record interviews between students and their elders across the country. Our educational partners will include Facing History and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).

The Great Thanksgiving Listen will use smartphone technology to foster meaningful connections among families, communities and classrooms. Plus, with permission from the participants, each interview will be uploaded to the StoryCorps archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Are you an educator who's Interested in being part of #TheGreatListen?
Sign up for a free toolkit here
Support our work if you believe every story matters.
Copyright © 2015 StoryCorps, All rights reserved.
We want to share more StoryCorps with you. You are receiving this email because you recorded an interview, made a contribution or signed up for our mailing list.

Our mailing address is:
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