Saturday, February 17, 2018

FM #139 - Legislative Forum on School Funding (audio)

This internet radio show or podcast is number 139 in the series for Franklin Matters.

This recording is of the Legislative Forum on School Funding held on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 in the Lecture Hall at Franklin High School.

The event featured opening remarks by School Committee Chair Anne Bergen and then a panel discussion facilitated by Vice-Chair Denise Schultz. The panelists were Senator Karen Spilka, Senator Richard Ross, and Representative Jeffrey Roy.

The Forum itself runs just about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Without further ado, here is the recording


My notes from the Forum can be found here

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but I can't do it alone. I can use your help.

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Thank you for listening.

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If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark and Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission

I hope you enjoy!


Jennifer Knight of SAFE Coalition tying some comments and points together at the end
Jennifer Knight of SAFE Coalition tying some comments and points together at the end 
You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes = search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters on iTunes
subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters on iTunes

FHS boys and girls basketball teams top KP

Via HockomockSports and Twitter we share the results of the FHS sports action on Friday, Feb 16, 2018

Boys Basketball = King Philip, 49 @ Franklin, 62 – Final
– Franklin pulled away in the fourth quarter to hold off an upset attempt from King Philip. The Panthers led 36-35 going into the final period and scored 26 points to secure the win. Senior Paul Mahon paced Franklin with 21 points while junior Jalen Samuels added 17 points.

Girls Basketball = Franklin, 57 @ King Philip, 41 – Final

For the other results around the Hockomock League on Friday

Via the Twitterverse

Follow this Twitter list to get all the FHS Sports updates

Franklin Student Wins National Gold Medal in Music

Mia Quinn, who lives in Franklin and studies voice at Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios, has been awarded the National Gold Medal of Excellence for 2016-2017 in Preparatory Voice, with a remarkable score of 97. The Royal Conservatory of Music awards the National Gold Medal to the student who has achieved the highest score in the country within their specific skill level for each instrument. 
Mia Quinn
Mia Quinn

Mia, now 11 years old, has been studying voice, as well as performing and recording albums with the Recording Ensemble at Encore for over two years. Under the guidance of her vocal instructor, Lisa Ostrow, (who has guided students to national gold medals twice before), Mia began her studies in voice using the curriculum of the RCM right from the start.

The Royal Conservatory of Music provides a recognized national standard of success in music study from beginner to advanced levels. It inspires excellence through individual student assessments that are central to the Program, while also supporting teachers with high-quality and innovative resources. 

The RCM allows students to measure and celebrate accomplishment and track their progress throughout the country. All students and teachers across the United States are invited to participate, and Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios is proud to be able to offer these opportunities at the school and through outreach to the surrounding communities.

A number of students from Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios, located in Franklin and Millis, participate in the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) assessment sessions each year. The RCM assessment process represents an extremely exciting opportunity for students, on a national level, to demonstrate the skills that they have honed through practice. Locally, assessments are held at Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios, which is a Founding School and a regional assessment center for this internationally-acclaimed program. 
Mia Quinn and Lisa Ostrow
Mia Quinn and Lisa Ostrow

Student participants come from all around the New England area to take the assessments, while adjudicators travel from all across Canada in order to administer the exams. Not only do the adjudicators judge students based on ability to perform on the instrument of their choice within their skill level, but they also administer academic assessments in music theory, harmony, history, and analysis.

Ostrow, Vocal Director and co-owner of Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios, had this to say:
"Mia's accomplishment is extraordinary. Having scored an unprecedented score of 97 on her vocal assessment, her National Gold Medal is a true testament to the dedication she brings to her music studies, the level of support she receives from her family, her innate talent, and her tremendous desire to achieve. And, best of all, Mia is an absolute joy to work with - fun and funny, and incredibly sweet. We are very proud of her, as we are of all our students."

In December, 2017, Mia received First Class Honors with Distinction on her Level 1 vocal assessment with a score of 92, and is on her way to perform at Carnegie Hall as a result of having won her Gold Medal!

For the assessments, students are graded on proficiency in the following areas: Performance; technical requirements; aural skills; rhythm; and, sight-reading ability. Encore will be hosting another round of regional assessments this spring and is very much looking forward to the opportunity to meet and interact with young musicians from all over the Northeast.

To learn more about Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios and the Royal Conservatory of Music program, please visit:

3 Bent Street, Franklin, MA 02038 
352 Village St., Millis, MA 02054
Phone: (508) 533-7700
Fax: (508) 533-7760

Vacation Week Skating Schedule at Pirelli Veterans Arena

"February school vacation is here! And what better way to spend the week than by going to public skating. Day-time public skating hours will be held every day this week. Head down to the rink for some school vacation fun!"

Vacation Week Skating Schedule at Pirelli Veterans Arena
Vacation Week Skating Schedule at Pirelli Veterans Arena

The Pirelli Veteran's Arena is a full service DCR skating facility, managed by FMC Ice Sports, and offers a variety of skating programs for all ages and abilities

Light one of three finalists for Acton-Boxborough Superintendent

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The school committee presented their three finalists for the position of superintendent of schools for the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District. The names of the finalists were announced and their resumes presented Thursday evening. 
Committee member Diane Baum, who chaired the Superintendent Search Screening Committee, said the committee reviewed 25 applications and interviewed nine candidates before settling on the finalists. 
Baum thanked the 14-member committee for its work, saying they were a diverse and thoughtful group that put in a great deal of effort to come up with the finalists."

The Finalists:

  • "Peter Light, Baum said, is the current assistant superintendent of Franklin Public Schools."
  • "Anthony Parker is the current principal of Weston High School, where he has been since 2006."
  • "Dr. Peter Sanchioni is the current superintendent for Natick Public Schools, where he has been since 2008."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The FTC will never ask you to send money

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information
by Andrew Johnson
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

If someone claiming to be with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) contacts you and asks you to send money, it's a scam. Do not pay. Report it. Spread the word to your family and friends.

Read more

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 2/16/18 - THU 2/22/18

FRIDAY 2/16/18
9am   FDP’s Networking Breakfast @ Dean College Dining Center
10am-12pm   Knitting Group @ Franklin Public Library
10am   Protect Yourself from Medicare Fraud @ Franklin Senior Center
11:30am   Mommy and Me Fitness (ages 3-8) @ Fairmount Fruit Farm
5:30pm   Heart with Hope Restorative Yoga (for parents and loved ones of those suffering from addiction) @ Sacred Tree Yoga, Norfolk
7pm   Yoga for Recovery @ Sacred Tree Yoga, Norfolk
7pm   Franklin’s 240th Birthday Party @ The Black Box

SATURDAY 2/17/18
9am-3pm   Book Sale ($1 a book) @ Franklin Public Library
10am-1pm   Franklin Historical Museum Open
2-3pm   Dean College Students Arts and Crafts Event @ Franklin Public Library
7-11pm   Margarita Night (Elks Fundraiser) @ Elks Lodge

SUNDAY 2/18/18
7:30-10:30am   Sunday Breakfast @ Franklin Rod and Gun Club
9am-12pm   Bag Sale @ Franklin Public Library (*please note the Library is only open for the the Bag Sale, but closed for any regular Library business due to holidays)
1-4pm   Franklin Historical Museum Open

MONDAY 2/19/18
All Day   Franklin Public Library Closed - holiday
10am   Storytime (all ages, free) @ Fairmount Fruit Farm

TUESDAY 2/20/18
All Day   Superhero Training Camp Week @ Franklin Public Library
11am   Circuit Breaker Tax Credit Can Save You Cash! @ Franklin Senior Center
6pm   Lenten Soup Supper and Book Study (weekly until March 21) @ St. John’s Episcopal Church

All Day   Superhero Training Camp Week @ Franklin Public Library
10am   Animal Tales (for ages 2.5-5) @ Fairmount Fruit Farm
10am   Roulette Fun @ Franklin Senior Center
1pm   The Greg and Axel Show @ Franklin Public Library
5pm   Book Bites @ Franklin Public Library
6:30pm   Doggie Tales @ Franklin Public Library
6:30pm   Christian Zen Weekly Meditation @ McMahon Guest House (1061 Upper Union Street)
7:30pm   Dean College Presents ’Twelfth Night’ @ Dean College Main Stage Theatre

THURSDAY 2/22/18
All Day   Superhero Training Camp Week @ Franklin Public Library
10am   Gary Highlander Presidential Series Biographies: George Washington @ Franklin Senior Center
12pm   Urban Sketching (no experience necessary) @ Franklin Public Library
1-6pm   American Red Cross Blood Drive @ Franklin Elks Lodge
1-2pm   Superhero Slime! @ Franklin Public Library
6:30pm   Genealogy Club Meeting @ Franklin Public Library
7pm   Healing Hearts Community Support Group @ Franklin YMCA
7:30pm   Dean College Presents ’Twelfth Night’ @ Dean College Main Stage Theatre 

For the Town of Franklin Public Calendar click HERE.

For all other events and Franklin happenings click HERE.

*To submit an event for the Community Calendar, please use this FORM

Franklin Public Schools: Message in response to event in Parkland, FL

Dear Franklin Families and Colleagues,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to convey deep sadness for the tragic loss of life at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We are heartbroken for the students, their families, and our colleagues.

I am sure many in our school community are asking: How safe are the Franklin schools? and How can we support students as more details emerge?

The safety and well-being of Franklin students and staff are our highest priority. Our buildings remain locked and well-supervised when school is in session; all visitors must check in at reception upon arrival and present identification. Security cameras provide coverage around all of our buildings. We have open communication with the Franklin Fire and Police Departments, and our response teams regularly review and practice safety protocols and procedures through training with staff and students. Additionally, we continue to refine our practices through continuing education on best practices within the field of school safety. Parents or staff members with concerns about safety should contact the building principal with specific questions.

We also stress climate and culture in each of our schools, centering our work around core values and relationships. It is important that each student feels connected to an adult and we strive to ensure we have supports in place to help students in crisis. We emphasize the importance of speaking up when there is a concern, and we have examples when students, parents/guardians, and staff have come forward to bring a concern about a friend or classmate to an administrator's attention.

You may be looking for resources to ensure that our students are supported as they learn more about the tragic event in Florida. This resource, from the American Psychological Association, may be of assistance to you:

Counselors, teachers, and administrators are available to help any student who may be experiencing difficulty as a result of the news. Please reach out to any member of the administration if we can be of help in any way.

With respect,

Sara E. Ahern, Ed.D.

Oak St/Horace Mann schools
Oak St/Horace Mann schools

Franklin Downtown Partnership Announces 2018 Event, Meeting Dates

The Franklin Downtown Partnership has set the dates for its 2018 events and meetings, and a few of those events have new dates and times thanks to input from members and Franklin residents.

The annual Strawberry Stroll, which traditionally had been held on Thursday afternoons, will be Friday, June 8, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Residents told us that holding the Strawberry Stroll on a Friday evening would make it easier for them to come downtown and enjoy the event,” says Executive Director Lisa Piana. “The feedback told us more families could spend time together downtown without the Stroll competing with after-school activities and sports. We think it will be a very positive change for families and for our downtown businesses and restaurants.”
2018 Event, Meeting Dates
2018 Event, Meeting Dates

Thanks to a member’s suggestion, the Partnership’s networking events are now monthly breakfast meetings (instead of lunch) held in the Dean College dining center. The first breakfast meeting in January drew 15 members who shared ideas and enjoyed a meal for less than $6.

Future networking breakfasts are scheduled for March 16 and April 20. Everyone is invited to drop in between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. and join the discussion over a cup of coffee or a delicious meal.

The general public is invited to the FDP general meetings to hear the latest news about events, downtown projects, town updates and member announcements. General meetings are scheduled for the following Thursdays: April 5, June 14, September 6 and November 1. Meetings begin at 8:30 a.m., last one hour, and are usually held in the Campanella Board Room in the Dean College Campus Center.

Downtown Franklin’s annual Beautification Day will be Saturday, May 19, from 8 a.m. to Noon. Groups are encouraged to volunteer and community service hours are available.
Eileen Mason coordinates the effort for the FDP along with the Franklin Garden Club.

The Harvest Festival will happen Saturday, October 13, with a rain date of Sunday, October 14. The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. downtown.

Winter Decorating Day will be Sunday, November 18, from 9 a.m. to Noon. Organizer Eileen Mason will need volunteers for Sunday and also on Saturday the 17th to help sort greens.

The Holiday Stroll date is still under consideration by the FDP Board and will be announced in a timely manner.

More information and a handy downloadable event list can be found at, and on the FDP’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow the Partnership for updates and notifications about sponsorship and participation opportunities.

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is a nonprofit, 501©3 organization made up of more than 240 business owners, community leaders and residents working to stimulate economic development downtown and create a positive impact throughout the area. Go to for more information.

Introducing the Tri-County Education Foundation

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School (RVTHS) educators pride themselves in providing innovative ideas and technologies which maximizes every student's potential and their future. Keeping up with this fast-paced growth is challenging because the investment reaches far beyond the financial means of the school district.

Superintendent Stephen F. Dockray together with Christopher Ward, President of the Tri-County Education Foundation are pleased to announce the new Tri-County Education Foundation (The Foundation). The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization administered by a 10-member Board of Directors comprised of area business, finance, and education leaders with a vested interest in sustaining quality vocational-technical education programs and growing a capable workforce.

The Foundation is a separate entity from Tri-County RVTHS, but shares the vision of providing and supporting both academic and vocational opportunities to benefit every student.

"The Foundation was created by members of the community in an effort to support the common goal of academic and vocational excellence for more than 1,000 students from eleven towns within the district," said Christopher Ward, President of the Tri-County Education Foundation. "We hope to financially support academic and vocational projects and to provide student scholarships that Tri-County RVTHS cannot financially back due of limited funding or state law."

The monetary funds the Foundation receives to support these academic and vocational projects will come solely from donations, memorial gifts, and various fundraising activities that will take place within the community. All donations are tax deductible.

The Foundation is currently seeking sponsorships within the community for financial support and commitment to the Tri-County community. Those organizations who would like to inquire about becoming a Tri-County Education Foundation sponsor, please go to the website at:

Tri-County RVTHS, located at 147 Pond Street in Franklin, is a recipient of the High Schools That Work Gold Achievement Award and serves the communities of Franklin, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Plainville, Seekonk, Sherborn, Walpole, and Wrentham.

Introducing the Tri-County Education Foundation
Introducing the Tri-County Education Foundation

Saturday Ski Trip to Bretton Woods, NH - March 3

 Saturday Ski Trip

to Bretton Woods NH

A Great Getaway for the Family

Enjoy a day on the slopes

Enjoy a day on the slopes

     OR other winter activities


MARCH 3, 2018

   Depart FHS Parking Lot - 5:30 AM

   Depart Bretton Woods -   4:30 PM
     Special Ticket Price: $109* 

*Includes Transportation and Lift Tickets

       *Individuals under 18 years of age 

must be accompanied by a parent or guardian

Ski rental available separately at Bretton Woods
Ski rental available separately at Bretton Woods
About Us
Lifelong Community Learning is a program of the Lifelong Learning Institute, dedicated to providing quality learning experiences for residents in the Town of Franklin and surrounding communities. Diverse and enriched education and experiences are the goals of Lifelong Community Learning....a resource for all ages.          
FPS- Lifelong Learning, 355 East Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038

Sent by in collaboration with
Constant Contact

"It has come a long way since 50 years ago”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Fifty years ago today, the first 9-1-1 call was made, and the emergency system became the foundation for first-responders. 
Since that first call made on Feb. 16, 1968 in Haleyville, Alabama, the 9-1-1 system has evolved and has become much more than just a centralized number for emergency calls. 
“Telecommunicators, 9-1-1 dispatchers, are essentially the first first-responders,” said Chris Campbell, president of the Massachusetts Communications Supervisors Association and director of communications in Seekonk. 
“They handle the calls from the inception until first responders arrive, and in some instances they stay on the line throughout the whole incident,” he said."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The Metacomet Emergency Communications Center is the regional dispatch operations serving the towns of Franklin, Norfolk, Plainville and Wrentham. They will dispatch police, fire and EMS. Construction is underway with plans to be operational in the Fall of 2018.

Metacomet Emergency Communications Center
Metacomet Emergency Communications Center

Hearts of Kindness on the Town Common

I walk around Franklin a lot and spotted some hearts all over the Town Common Tuesday morning. Via the grapevine, I heard that the Franklin Cultural Council had helped to sponsor the work of several schools to produce the hearts. Town Administrator Jeff Nutting mentioned it during the Town Council meeting on Wednesday.

Apparently so many hearts were made they ran out of rope to hang them on Monday and were to return on Thursday to finish.

From the Hearts of Kindness page on Facebook, I share their post.

Additional photos that I took on my walks this week.

Hearts of Kindness on the Town Common
Hearts of Kindness on the Town Common

Hearts of Kindness on the Town Common 1
Hearts of Kindness on the Town Common 1

Hearts of Kindness on the Town Common 2
Hearts of Kindness on the Town Common 2

Hearts of Kindness on the Town Common 3
Hearts of Kindness on the Town Common 3

Franklin Library: Book Sale, Arts and Crafts on Saturday - Feb 17

In addition to the monthly book sale on Saturday, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Join the arts and crafts event at 2 PM where Dean College students will assist with your craft.

Franklin Library: Book Sale, Arts and Crafts on Saturday - Feb 17
Franklin Library: Book Sale, Arts and Crafts on Saturday - Feb 17

Note that the Library will be closed on Sunday and Monday for President's Day

Library will be closed on Sunday and Monday for President's Day
Library will be closed on Sunday and Monday for President's Day

These were shared from the Town of Franklin Library page
and here

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Tri-County Regional Presents Cory’s Cause to the Senior Class

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School recently presented Cory’s Cause to the senior class. Cory Palazzi, of Taunton, is permanently disabled after suffering a brain injury caused by a heroin overdose which resulted after first becoming addicted to prescription opioids from an athletic injury. Cory now struggles to walk and has to use a wheelchair at times. He is legally blind, his speech is slow and he has trouble controlling certain muscles which makes him unable to do simple everyday tasks without help.

The presentation was given to seniors as a part of the Positive Attitudes for Work Success (PAWS) program. PAWS prepares students for commitment to productive citizenship, gainful employment, personal responsibility and the setting of high standards of achievement in both vocational and academic courses. Seniors participate in a monthly seminar to address topics of concern in their transition from high school to college, career and/or military. All students are required to participate in the PAWS Program.

During the presentation, seniors were fixated on Cory and listened as he talked about his experiences with drugs. His presence was very compelling and made the result of drug use and overdose very real. At the end of the presentation, many students asked Cory questions and were emotional over what they had seen and heard. Students also had the opportunity to shake his hand and thank him for his courage to share his story.
Tri-County Regional Presents Cory’s Cause to the Senior Class
Tri-County Regional Presents Cory’s Cause to the Senior Class

“Tri-County is committed to making sure our students are well informed of the Opioid Crisis in today’s society,” said Michelle Tilden, Senior PAWS Advisor for Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School. “This has been a great opportunity for our seniors to hear the real-life story of someone whose life has been totally changed due to opioid addiction. We hope it has been a valuable life-learning experience for them and, as Cory says, that at least one life has been impacted by his presentation.”

Massachusetts, as is our whole country, is in an opioid epidemic. Athletes in particular, due to their risk of injury and the resulting pain, may be at risk for misusing prescription opioids. Representative Jeffrey Roy, a member of the S.A.F.E. Coalition attended the assembly. Mr. Roy currently serves on the Board of Advisors. S.A.F.E. is a coalition of community partners who have come together to provide support, education, treatment options, and coping mechanisms for those affected by substance abuse disorder.

Cory and his family have taken their experience and he, his mother Lori Palazzi and stepfather Dave Gonsalves now speak at schools about the dangers of drug usage and offer a message of hope for those faced with addiction. In an effort to help those who are dealing with the challenges the family once faced, they have formed the Cory’s Cause Foundation. Their goal is to help educate people about addiction and overdose, and to remove the stigma through sharing Cory’s story with the hope that other families won’t have to endure the pain that they’ve suffered. For more information on Cory’s Cause and to learn more about his story visit

Tri-County RVTHS, located at 147 Pond Street in Franklin, is a recipient of the High Schools That Work Gold Achievement Award and serves the communities of Franklin, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Plainville, Seekonk, Sherborn, Walpole, and Wrentham.