Monday, July 22, 2019

"how much hydrocodone and oxycodone went to individual states and counties"

From the Washington Post, an article of interest for Franklin:
"For the first time, a database maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration that tracks the path of every single pain pill sold in the United States — by manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies in every town and city — has been made public.

The Washington Post sifted through nearly 380 million transactions from 2006 through 2012 that are detailed in the DEA’s database and analyzed shipments of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills, which account for three-quarters of the total opioid pill shipments to pharmacies. The Post is making this data available at the county and state levels in order to help the public understand the impact of years of prescription pill shipments on their communities."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 

Check out the interactive database for numbers state and county

In the News: FY 2021 state budget deal reached

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Three weeks after the start of the new fiscal year, Democratic leaders finalized a fiscal 2020 budget agreement over the weekend to end a weeks-long stalemate and authorize $43.1 billion in state government spending over the next year.

The deal, which is expected to be voted on Monday by both the House and Senate, puts the state in position to potentially have a budget in place in time for the Legislature to avoid having to approve another stopgap spending measure. If Gov. Charlie Baker signs it within 10 days, Massachusetts may also avert being the last state in the country without a signed full-year budget, as it was last year.

After negotiations that began in early June, House and Senate leaders chose not to include new taxes on opioid manufacturers or e-cigarettes and vaping products. Both tax plans were initially proposed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and backed by the Senate, but the House felt they should go through the committee process.

The budget also dropped the Senate’s proposed freeze on tuition at the University of Massachusetts next year, and did not increase funding for the five-campus system beyond the $558 million recommended by the governor and both branches, making a tuition hike for students next year likely."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

While the bill was filed Sunday per the article the web page had not yet been updated as of Monday morning. The budget should find its way here eventually

In the News: college students not aware of SNAP benefits available

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

"Hunger is a problem for some college students in MetroWest, and there’s a federal program that could help them.

However, a recent study shows millions of students are potentially missing out on the program, because they either don’t know about it or the eligibility rules are too complicated to understand.

The program is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Nearly two million college students didn’t receive SNAP benefits in 2016, even though they were potentially eligible, according to a December 2018 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. The report recommended the U.S. Department of Agriculture improve its efforts to clarify SNAP eligibility requirements, and make them more accessible."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Visit the SNAP web page for additional info on benefits

Norfolk County 2nd Quarter 2019 Real Estates Activity Shows Mixed Results

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Norfolk County 2nd Quarter 2019 Real Estates Activity Shows Mixed Results
Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reported that 2nd quarter (April-June 2019) real estate statistics showed a slight decrease in residential and commercial sales, while mortgage lending numbers experienced a small uptick and foreclosures were way down.

Register O'Donnell noted, "The 2nd quarter figures showed an overall 1% reduction in the number of properties sold countywide from 4,971 to 4,918 for the same quarter of 2018. The flat real estate sales tell us there are still challenges when it comes to real estate inventory. It has been an ongoing issue and one that certainly needs to be watched closely."
Register O'Donnell further stated, "The recently concluded 2nd quarter also saw the average Norfolk County real estate sales price, for both residential and commercial properties, decrease 11% to $776,889. Total dollar real estate volume, again for both residential and commercial, was $2.4 billion, a 16% decline year over year. These figures were impacted by the $177 million sale of Steward Norwood Hospital that took place on 6/28/18."

For the 2nd quarter 2019, the number of land documents recorded, (such as deeds, mortgages, Homesteads, mortgage discharges, etc.) was 37,019, a slight 1% drop-off from the previous year. Register O'Donnell noted, "This relatively flat figure tells us we have a ways to go before we see robust growth in the real estate market."

One good piece of positive news was the 7,108 mortgages recorded at the Registry in the 2nd quarter compared to 6,826 for the same time period in 2018. Additionally, total mortgage borrowing was $3.8 billion for the second quarter compared to $4 billion during the 2nd quarter 2018. "With the reduction in interest rates, consumers seem to be more comfortable when it comes to borrowing money," stated the Register.

Norfolk County homeowners continued to benefit from the Homestead Act. A total of 3,396 Homesteads were recorded during the 2nd quarter, a 1% increase year over year. "The Homestead law provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge Norfolk County residents to consider this important consumer protection tool," noted O'Donnell.

Foreclosure activity in Norfolk County continued to show signs of improvement. A total of 27 foreclosure deeds were recorded versus 48 filed during the 2nd quarter of 2018. In addition, there was a significant 38% drop in the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage recordings, the first step in the foreclosure process.

O'Donnell stated, "One foreclosure is one too many, and while the eastern Massachusetts economy remains on a solid footing, there are still those in Norfolk County experiencing economic hardships. The Registry continues to work with Quincy Community Action Programs, (617-479-8181 x376), and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, (508-587-0950) to help homeowners who have received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage document. A third option is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General's Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400."

Register O'Donnell concluded, "While real estate sales were mostly flat during the recently concluded quarter, a cause for optimism was the uptick in lending numbers. A continuing strong economy in eastern Massachusetts, and the possibility of further interest rate cuts as signaled by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to congressional committees, should bode well for the overall real estate market going forward."

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at or follow us on and/or

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. 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 via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at

Register William P. O'Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

phone: 781-234-3336
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, 649 High Street, Dedham,, MA 02026-1831

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Norfolk County 2nd Quarter 2019 Real Estates Activity Shows Mixed Results
Norfolk County 2nd Quarter 2019 Real Estates Activity Shows Mixed Results

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - July 23, 2019

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

“The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.”

1. Routine Business
a. Review of Agenda
b. Citizen’s Comments
i. In the spirit of open communication, “the School Committee will hear public comment not related to an agenda item at the beginning of each regular School Committee Meeting. The Committee will listen to, but not respond to any comment made. A Committee member may add an agenda item to a future meeting as a result of a citizen comment” – from Policy BEDH
c. FHS Student Representative Comments
d. Superintendent’s Report

2. Guests / Presentations
a. none

3. Discussion / Action Items
a. Superintendent’s Evaluation
I recommend your approval of the Superintendent’s composite evaluation for the 2018-2019 school year as discussed.

b. Policy First Readings
I recommend moving the following policies to a second reading as discussed: BEC – Executive Sessions
BEDG – Minutes
JKAA – Physical Restraint of Students

4. Discussion Only Items
a. none

5. Information Matters
a. School Committee Sub-Committee Reports (e.g. Budget; Community Relations; Policy; Transportation; Public Schools Advocacy; Ad Hoc Superintendent’s Evaluation)

b. School Committee Liaison Reports (e.g. Joint PCC; Substance Abuse Task Force; School Wellness Advisory Council [SWAC]; MASC

6. New Business
a. To discuss any future agenda items

7. Consent Agenda
a. Minutes
I recommend approval of the minutes from the June 25, 2019 School Committee meeting as detailed.
b. Executive Session Minutes
I recommend approval of the minutes from the June 25, 2019 Executive Session of the School Committee meeting as detailed to be released.
c. ECDC Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $920.00 from Bridgewater State University for in-house enrichment at ECDC as detailed.
d. Jefferson Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $348.00 from the Jefferson PCC for supplemental supplies at Jefferson Elementary School as detailed.
e. FHS Gifts
I recommend acceptance of three checks totaling $727.65 as follows:
• Alliance Energy, LLC $500.00 supplemental curriculum materials
• Scholastic, Inc. $199.65 in-house enrichment
• Coca Cola Give $ 28.00 in-house enrichment
f. JFK Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $1,401.20 from the JF Kennedy PCC for supplemental supplies as detailed.
g. Oak Street Gift
I recommend acceptance of two checks totaling $4,229.54 from the Oak Street PCC as follows:
$1835.00 Library books
$2394.54 Supplemental Curriculum Materials

8. Payment of Bills Dr. Bergen

9. Payroll Mrs. Douglas

10. Correspondence
a. Budget to Actual – Miriam Goodman
b. Student Activity Accounts Report – Miriam Goodman

11. Executive Session
a. Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, §21(a)(2) to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with nonunion personnel or to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with nonunion personnel.

12. Adjournment

The documents released for this meeting can be found on the Town of Franklin page
raised garden beds at Davis Thayer in June
raised garden beds at Davis Thayer in June

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - July 24, 2019

a. This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and show on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon Channel 29. This meeting may be recorded by others.

a. Citizens are welcome to express their views for up to five minutes on a matter that is not on the agenda. The Council will not engage in a dialogue or comment on a matter raised during Citizen Comments. The Town Council will give remarks appropriate consideration and may ask the Town Administrator to review the matter.

a. June 5, 2019
b. June 12, 2019
c. June 26, 2019

- None

a. Swearing in of 3 Firefighters
b. Board of Registrars, Richard Kerr

a. West Central Street Zoning
b. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 19-842: Changes to Chapter 185 section 40.D(3)(a)
c. Acceptance of Clearview Drive as Public Way

- None

- None

a. Capital Budget Subcommittee
b. Budget Subcommittee
c. Economic Development Subcommittee

a. Resolution 19-49: Authority For Town Administrator to Negotiate and Execute Tax Agreement with Owner Of Ground-Mounted Solar Facility Located Off Upper Union Street (Motion to Approve Resolution 19-49 - Majority Vote (5))

b. Resolution 19-50: Order of Layout, Acceptance, and Taking of Clearview Drive and Drainage Lot Parcel A (Motion to Approve Resolution 19-50 - Two -Thirds Majority Vote (6))

c. Resolution 19-51: Acceptance of Gift-Franklin Public Library (Motion to Approve Resolution 19-51 - Majority Vote (5))

d. Resolution 19-52: Appropriation of Funds Received from the Franklin Community Cable Access Inc. to the Town for the Public Safety Communications Infrastructure. (Motion to Approve Resolution 19-52 - Majority Vote (5))

e. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 19-842: Changes to Chapter 185 section 40.D(3)(a) -1st Reading (Motion to Move Zoning Bylaw Amendment 19-842 to a 2nd Reading- Majority Vote (5))




a. Pending Litigation: 290 Beaver St LLC v. Town of Franklin, Norfolk Superior Court Docket NO. 1932CV00593 - Challenging Validity of West Central Street Zoning District.


Two-Thirds Vote: requires 6 votes
Majority Vote: requires majority of members present and voting

The agenda doc can be found on the Town of Franklin page

The meeting packet (all documents released for this meeting)

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - July 24, 2019
Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - July 24, 2019

"Advocates said ranked choice voting increases voter engagement and increases diversity in elections"

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

"Activists met last week at the State House to celebrate progress on ranked choice voting efforts and highlight bills that would allow municipalities to enact the voting reform at the local level, and legalize the process statewide.

“We’re all here in this shared effort to ensure that every voter in Massachusetts has a greater voice when they go to the polls,” said Mac D’Alessandro, state director for Voter Choice Massachusetts, which organized the event.

The group gathered activists from across the state for a lobby day featuring meetings with legislators to discuss the issue.

“We need to do everything we can to expand voting enfranchisement and expand access to voting rights and democracy,” said state Sen. Jason Lewis, D-Winchester. “Ranked choice voting is an important strategy to move us in that direction.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Other Ranked Choice Voting or RCV references
Sample ballot of ranked voting using written numbers
Sample ballot of ranked voting using written numbers

Franklin, MA: Joint Budget Subcommittee Agenda - July 24, 2019

Joint Budget Subcommittee
July 24, 2018 - 6:00 PM

3rd Floor Training Room
Municipal Building
355 East Central Street

1. FY 2020 and Beyond Budget Overview

Who is the "Joint Budget Subcommittee Meeting"? 
The committee is comprised of members of the Town Council, School Committee and Finance Committee supported by members of the Town and School Administration.

July 24 meeting agenda

June 19 meeting agenda and supporting materials

Franklin, MA: Joint Budget Subcommittee Agenda - July 24, 2019
Franklin, MA: Joint Budget Subcommittee Agenda - July 24, 2019

Cool thoughts for another hot day

From the archives, a winter walk in February of 2014 can help bring about some cool thoughts for another hot day. 

What has changed since Feb 2014? or not?

Winter Walk in Franklin

and a current photo that was shared Saturday afternoon via Instagram to the Facebook page. Thanks to the folks at NerdsToGo for this!

Cool thoughts for another hot day
Cool thoughts for another hot day

Saturday, July 20, 2019

BLACK BOX Cabaret presents “I Only Wanna Laugh" - Jul 27

On Saturday, July 27 at 8 PM, BLACK BOX Cabaret presents “I Only Wanna Laugh,” an evening of musical shenanigans with Ali Funkhouser, The ACME Rhythm Section, and violinist Irina Fainkichen. A graduate of Oklahoma City University's prestigious Music Theatre program, Ali played Margot and understudied Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, directed by Laura Bell Bundy, at THE LEXington Theatre Company in Kentucky. 

Ali toured internationally with Electric Youth across the U.K., France, Italy, Austria and Slovenia, and on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas. National tour credits include Evita (directed by Hal Prince) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Additionally, she sang the role of La Novizia in Puccini's Suor Angelica with Chelsea Opera in New York City. Ali was trained at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts and is an alumna of Broadway Artists Alliance. She studies improv comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC.
Ali Funkhouser
Ali Funkhouser

With Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC), Ali was recently seen as Katherine in Disney’s Newsies opposite Broadway’s Christopher Rice (choreography by Chaz Wolcott). A lifelong member of FPAC, Ali has performed three solo cabaret shows at THE BLACK BOX blending comedy and traditional musical theatre.

Tickets are available at, by calling the box office at 508-528-3370, or at the door. A full cash bar is available. A suburban hub for great music and the home of the Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC), THE BLACK BOX is located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin.

Concerts on the Common: Leeds Band - July 24

Enjoy Franklin’s Summer Concerts Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.
There are also fun programs for the kiddies from 6:00 to 6:30 PM.

7/24 Leeds Band
Kids program: Story teller - Elaine Kessler

7/31 Electric Youth 
8/07 DJ Mike Rutkowski
8/14 Southland Train - Kids program: Mike Rutkowski
8/21 Frank Padula Band - Kids program: Jamie Barrett *rescheduled from Wed Jul 17 due to  the stormy weather

Concerts on the Common: Leeds Band - July 24
Concerts on the Common: Leeds Band - July 24

Correct schedule for 2019

FTC Consumer Alert: Medicare does not give out DNA kits

Medicare does not give out DNA kits
by Lisa Lake,  Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Here's one that goes to show just how creative scammers can be. The FTC is getting reports that callers claiming to be from Medicare are asking people for their Medicare numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal information…in exchange for DNA testing kits. 

The callers might say the test is a free way to get early diagnoses for diseases like cancer, or just that it's a free test, so why not take it? But the truth is, Medicare does not market DNA testing kits to the general public.

Read more 

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

Friday, July 19, 2019

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA: FRI - Jul 19 to THU - Jul 25

Friday, July 19
 SUMMER Family Yoga (outside if permitting)
 Knitting Group
 Farmers Market
 Book sale
 SUMMER PERFORMER: Todd Brodeur Frisbee
 Dancing on Dean: "Old Town"
 Lauren Kinhan with the Mark Poniatowski Trio
Saturday, July 20
 Book Sale
 SNETT Train - group walk/dog walk
 Franklin Historical Museum (Always free)
 SUMMER EVENT: Mobile Mini-Golf
 Bag Sale
Sunday, July 21
 2019 Annual Franklin Hockey Golf Tournament
 Franklin Historical Museum (always free)
Monday, July 22
 SUMMER MOVE ALONG (outside if permitting, otherwise in Community Room)
 SUMMER PROGRAM: Picnic Storytime
 TEEN SUMMER Writer's Block
 Library Board Meeting
Tuesday, July 23
 Cool Cruisers
 SUMMER PERFORMER: Mr Vinny's Shadow Puppets
 School Committee meeting
Wednesday, July 24
 SUMMER PERFORMER: Davis Bates: A Universe of Songs and Stories (Community Room)
 SUMMER Crafternoon!
 Concerts on the Common: Stories with Elaine Kessler
 Concerts on the Common: Leeds Band
 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
 Town Council Meeting
Thursday, July 25
 Baby Tummy Time
 TEEN SUMMER Board Game Cafe!
 Franklin Historical Museum (always free)
 SUMMER Thursday Movie Night

For the interactive version, please visit
For the Town of Franklin Public Meeting Calendar

Submit an event for the Community Calendar, please use this link

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA: FRI - Jul 19 to THU - Jul 25
Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA: FRI - Jul 19 to THU - Jul 25