Saturday, June 15, 2019

"Thank You Leo!" (video)

"This year an FHS student performed a thoughtful act of kindness EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. We wanted to show him how much we appreciated him, and say "Thank You Leo!" via @YouTube"

IRS reminder: Taxpayers should do a Paycheck Checkup now

IRS reminder: Taxpayers can help determine the right amount of tax to withhold from their paychecks by doing a Paycheck Checkup now

The Internal Revenue Service encourages taxpayers to look at their tax withholding now to take charge of their tax situation and avoid a surprise at tax time next year. Doing a Paycheck Checkup now using the IRS Withholding Calculator means taxpayers have the majority of the year to spread out any changes they make to their withholding.

Paycheck Checkup:
Withholding Calculator:

The agency said the average tax refund was $2,729 for tax year 2018. While some taxpayers may find it advantageous to get a large tax refund, others may wish to have more of their money in their paychecks throughout the year. Whatever the goal, the IRS wants taxpayers to know that while taxes must be paid as income is earned during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments, they can make adjustments that will influence the size of their refund.

Tax reform changes

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made significant changes that affected almost every taxpayer. Most changes took effect in 2018 and taxpayers first noticed them on the tax return they filed earlier this year.

The new law increased the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per qualifying child, while also raising the income limits for the credit. This means more people will now qualify for the Child Tax Credit. There is also a new $500 credit for older dependent children and qualifying relatives. While the tax-law changes nearly doubled the standard deduction, they also suspended personal and dependency exemptions that existed in the past. Because of these changes, fewer taxpayers itemize their deductions, and new limits apply to many of these deductions. These restrictions apply to state and local taxes, mortgage interest and miscellaneous itemized deductions, and higher limits apply to charitable contributions.

As a result, many taxpayers ended up receiving 2018 refunds that were larger or smaller than expected. Others found they owed additional tax when they filed. For that reason, taxpayers may need to raise or lower the amount of tax they have taken out of their pay.

While a withholding check is a good idea any year, the IRS also encourages taxpayers who have a change in life circumstances to do a Paycheck Checkup. Personal changes that may affect taxes include marriage or divorce, birth or adoption of a child, or the ‘aging out’ or loss of a dependent.

Using the Withholding Calculator

The Withholding Calculator helps taxpayers get their tax withholding right by making sure these and other tax changes are taken into account. Taxpayers enter their deductions and credits into the online tool, as well as estimate income from other sources, such as a spouse, bank interest, second jobs and gig-economy employment. To use the Withholding Calculator most effectively, taxpayers should have a copy of their 2018 tax return, as well as a recent paystub for themselves and their spouse if married and filing jointly.

The Withholding Calculator will recommend the number of allowances that a taxpayer should claim on a Form W-4. In some instances, it will recommend that the employee also have an additional flat-dollar amount withheld from each paycheck.

Form W-4

While the Withholding Calculator is primarily designed for taxpayers who earn wages, it can also benefit those with pension and annuity income.

If the Withholding Calculator suggests a change, the employee should fill out a new Form W-4 and give it to their employer as soon as possible. Similarly, recipients of pensions and annuities can make a change by filling out Form W-4P and giving it to their payer. They should not send these forms to the IRS. For more information, visit the Withholding Calculator, available on

Form W-4P

Estimated taxes

Some workers are considered self-employed and are responsible for paying taxes directly to the IRS. Often, this includes people involved in the gig or sharing economy. One way to pay taxes directly to the IRS is by making estimated tax payments during the year. The next deadline for tax year 2019 estimated taxes is June 17.

Gig or Sharing economy

The TCJA also changed the way tax is calculated for those with substantial income not subject to withholding. As a result, many taxpayers may need to raise or lower the amount of tax they pay each quarter through the estimated tax system.

The revised estimated tax package, Form 1040-ES, on is designed to help taxpayers figure these payments correctly. The package includes a quick rundown of key tax changes, income tax rate schedules for 2019 and a useful worksheet for figuring the right amount to pay.

More information:

FS-2019-4: Tax withholding: How to get it right

FS-2019-6: Basics of estimated taxes for individuals

In the News: Franklin mulling retail marijuana shop, breweries

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"A retail marijuana store is on the agenda for consideration by the Planning Board next week, along with two proposed breweries. 
The board will hold public hearings on each proposal on Monday in the Town Council chambers at the Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central St. 
The hearing on the first brewery convenes at 7:05 p.m., followed by the second brewery at 7:10 p.m., and a hearing on the retail marijuana shop at 7:20 p.m. 
“This is our first retail marijuana (proposal),” Town Planner Amy Love said, noting the proposal is for a 5,000-square-foot facility at 1256 West Central St. “It’s in a marijuana overlay district.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The public hearing notifications were posted here

The complete Planning Board agenda can be found on the Town of Franklin page

As Built Brewing (Facebook image)
As Built Brewing (Facebook image)

“No one wants it but the town doesn’t seem to care about that"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Plans for a new cell tower are causing a stir in Franklin. 
Homeowners near the proposed site of the 116-foot tower, on Edwards Street, say the project will hurt property values and pose a safety risk. They’re also accusing a town official of unethical behavior. 
“It’s going to be an eyesore. My house value is going to go down,” said Christine Maguire. “And even the thought of it possibly being a health hazard is bothersome to me.” 
Vertex Tower Assets, LLC, needed special permission from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals to build in Maguire’s neighborhood, which is not zoned for the 116-foot tower. At a public hearing in early May, and over the protests of a few residents, according to meeting minutes, the board granted that approval."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Where is the cell tower to be located?

With the Police Station so close, why couldn't the Town get the additional revenue?

In the News: Massachusetts Walking Tour; marijuana cultivation facility changes ownership

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

Massachusetts Walking Tour - Ten Mile River Watershed
"The Massachusetts Walking Tour -- this year highlighting the local area’s Ten Mile River Watershed -- runs June 17 through 29. All on foot, the traveling musicians give a free concert in each community they stop at and host daily community hikes to bring awareness to local natural resources. In each town, they invite local performers to share the stage with them, promoting local arts and culture in the process. 
Like traveling minstrels of old, songwriters Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards are getting ready to pack up their instruments and other gear and take their show on the road. 
The pair is marking the 10th year of their Massachusetts Walking Tour - this year highlighting the region’s Ten Mile River Watershed."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Visit the Mass Walking Tour page for details on the route and concert schedule

Massachusetts Walking Tour - 2019
Massachusetts Walking Tour - 2019

marijuana cultivation facility changes ownership
"The Cannabis Control Commission on Thursday approved the sale of New England Treatment Access, which operates a marijuana cultivation facility in Franklin, but not before commissioners raised concerns about the buyer’s track record in Florida. 
The vote was unanimous in favor of the sale to Georgia-based Surterra Wellness, led by the former head of the Wrigley chewing gum empire William “Beau” Wrigley Jr., but commissioners added conditions to require Surterra to submit plans to comply with Massachusetts regulations around edible products, advertising and marketing. 
Those conditions, requested by Commissioner Kay Doyle, stemmed from reports that a Surterra facility that processes marijuana products was shut down for having not completed a food safety inspection and that the company violated Florida restrictions around advertising and marketing of medical marijuana products."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

MBTA: Franklin Line shuttle weekend - Jun 15-16

Bus shuttles replace train service from Forge Park to Norwood Central stations June 15-16 to allow for track improvement work. 

Buses will operate close to the train schedule but may experience delays up to 20 minutes.

Affected stops:

  • Norwood Central
  • Windsor Gardens
  • Walpole
  • Norfolk
  • Franklin
  • Forge Park/495
Last Updated: Jun 10 2019 11:58 AM

MBTA: Franklin Line shuttle weekend - Jun 15-16
MBTA: Franklin Line shuttle weekend - Jun 15-16

Friday, June 14, 2019

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA: FRI - Jun 14 to THU - Jun 20

Friday, June 14
 Knitting Group
 Farmers Market
 Book sale
 FDP Strawberry Stroll
 FPAC presents "Cabaret"
Saturday, June 15
 Book Sale
 Family Yoga Adventure
 Franklin Historical Museum (Always free)
 Bag Sale
 FPAC presents "Cabaret"
 Raindate - FDP Strawberry Stroll
 Stay for a Stitch
 FPAC presents "Cabaret"
Sunday, June 16
 Father's Day
 PMC Kids Ride
 Franklin Historical Museum (always free)
Monday, June 17
 SUMMER MOVE ALONG (outside if permitting, otherwise in Community Room)
 So, You Want to Be a Dungeon Master?
Tuesday, June 18
 Cool Cruisers
 Summer Program: Space Science!
 Book Bites
Wednesday, June 19
 SUMMER PERFORMER: Sparky's Puppets Show
 TEEN SUMMER EVENT: Drag Prom (Community Room ) (CALEIGH)
 Drum Circle with Mike Leo
Thursday, June 20
 Baby Tummy Time
 TEEN SUMMER Board Game Cafe!
 Franklin Historical Museum (always free)
 Personal Essays That Get Published!
 Blast Off to Bed Astronaut Storytime!

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 - Jun 14 to THU - Jun 20
Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA: FRI - Jun 14 to THU - Jun 20

Clothesline Art Cash and Carry Fundraiser and "A Berry Fine Art Show"

Among the many activities today at the Strawberry Festival is a Clothesline Art Cash and Carry Fundraiser. This is a fund raising effort for the Franklin Art Association.

The Franklin Art Association will also open its Annual Spring/Summer Fine Art Exhibition and Sale, "A Berry Fine Art Show," at the Rockland Trust Annex, 44 Main Street, Franklin, Massachusetts (between Rockland Trust at 58 Main Street and FSPA at 38 Main Street).

The show, which is free and open to the public, will kick off on Friday from 4-8 PM, coinciding with Franklin Downtown Partnership's Strawberry Stroll.

The Fine Art Exhibition and Sale includes works in oil, acrylic, water media, photography, pastel, charcoal, and mixed media. In addition to the exhibited works, small works and unframed art will be available for purchase.

Saturday hours are 11 AM – 7 PM with a wine reception from 4- 6 PM capped off with an awards presentation for the juried exhibit. In addition to first, second, third and honorable mention ribbons awarded, there will be a Best of Show award and attendees may vote for a "People's Choice" award.

Sunday hours are 12 Noon - 4 PM with a Raffle and People's Choice award presentation at 3 PM.

The small building between FSPA and Rockland Trust is where "A Berry Fine Art Show" will he held
The small building between FSPA and Rockland Trust is where "A Berry Fine Art Show" will he held

Get your copy of "Our Family Farms"

The Franklin Agricultural Commission has created a nice one page listing of the farms along with a map of their location in Franklin. 

You can stop by the Agricultural Commission booth at the Strawberry Stroll to pick up a copy.

You can view and download a copy here

Get your copy of "Our Family Farms" at the Strawberry Stroll
Get your copy of "Our Family Farms" at the Strawberry Stroll

Staff Spotlight: Ms. Waters

From Pantherbook, we share this acknowledgment of Ms Waters by Halle Goldsmith:
Ms. Waters has been teaching at Franklin High School for a total of twenty-three years and has put on around 115 productions, but has finally decided to retire. 
When she first started teaching, she wanted to teach inner-city kids. At the time, Mayor Menino only allowed people who lived in Boston to teach in Boston. So after her student teaching period at Dorchester High in Boston, she started teaching at FHS. 
Waters wasn’t always a teacher though. Before teaching, she worked in retail merchandising in the fashion industry and had the hopes of being an actress. When asked why she decided to start teaching she answered, “I became a single mother with three children, I was divorced, retail is 364 days a year job and I never thought I would remarry. I thought I should pick a profession that I could enjoy while taking care of my children. I ended up remarrying, but I fell in love with teaching.”

Continue reading the article

Ms. Waters (Pantherbook photo)
Ms. Waters (Pantherbook photo)

2nd Annual Milford Fourth Of July Parade Is Coming Together Well

The Milford Fourth of July Committee announces that plans are underway for the 2nd Annual Milford Fourth of July Parade on July 4th, 2019 starting at 10:00 AM. Last year thousands lined Main Street in Milford for the first ever parade celebrating the Fourth of July. "Year one really surprised us", said Co-Chair Ray Auger. "We were thrilled that first annual parade went off really well. It's really great to be a part of creating a new town tradition." "We are excited for parade for number two!", added Co-Chair Joey Callery.
2nd Annual Milford Fourth Of July Parade
2nd Annual Milford Fourth Of July Parade

The committee of seven, including Molly Auger, Renee Callery, Jenny Lyons, Nicole Romiglio and Erin Curley have been working over the past few months to deliver a festive parade that promises to bring the spirit of American independence to Milford for years to come.

The parade steps off at 10:00 AM sharp at the corners of 109 and 16 and ends at Draper Park. Spectators will witness creative representations of Americana from local businesses, organizations and individuals. A bike parade will allow children to participate in a portion of the event as they follow a Juniper Farms Ice Cream truck from the old Middle School East to Draper Park. Plus historical figures will make appearances throughout the route, crowds will be entertained by local musicians and there's still many more surprises in store.
Milford Fourth of July Parade
Milford Fourth of July Parade

This year the parade will feature a community honor inspired by a special guest at last year's event. The committee asked Milford School Bus Driver Moe Hutchins to ride in an automobile provided by Imperial Cars as a thank you to her dedication and service to the community. 

This year the committee made it official with the Milfordian of the Year Award. This award is given to a citizen who stands out as selflessly contributing to make Milford a better place. A candidate for Milfordian of the Year is someone who has shown years of often unrecognized contribution to making the town a better place. This year's Milfordian of the Year is Chief Tom O'Loughlin. The Chief will be riding in the parade and the committee encourages the community to cheer him on.

The Milford Fourth of July Parade has an interactive Facebook page (@MilfordFourthOfJulyParade) and an email for any questions needed to be answered at For the participation form and more info visit the Milford town website and search Fourth of July Parade.

Franklin Library: Book Sale and bag sale - June 14-15

Step a block away from the Strawberry Stroll to take in the Franklin Library Book Sale. Or start at the Book Sale before going to the Stroll.

Book Sale -All books are just one dollar!
Friday, June 14, 1:00-5:00 PM 
Saturday, June 15, 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. 

Bag Sale - $5 A Bag
Saturday, June 15, from 1:00-4:00 PM. 
Come fill a brown bag with all the books you can!

Franklin Library: Book Sale and bag sale - June 14-15
Franklin Library: Book Sale and bag sale - June 14-15

FPAC performs "Cabaret" at THE BLACK BOX Jun 14-15

In a Berlin nightclub, as the 1920s draw to a close, a garish Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience and assures them they will forget all their troubles at the CABARET. 

With the Emcee’s bawdy songs as wry commentary, CABARET explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich. Cliff, a young American writer newly arrived in Berlin, is immediately taken by English singer Sally Bowles. 

Meanwhile, Fräulein Schneider, proprietor of Cliff and Sally’s boarding house, tentatively begins a romance with Herr Schultz, a mild-mannered fruit seller who happens to be Jewish. Musical numbers include “Willkommen,” “Cabaret,” “Don’t Tell Mama” and “Two Ladies.” CABARET contains mature themes.
  • Friday, June 14 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, June 15 2:00 pm
  • Saturday June 15 7:30 pm
Seating is General Admission, Cabaret-Style so we recommend large parties arrive early to be able to sit together.

CABARET is sponsored by the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation and the Waters Corporation.


Presented by arrangement with Tams-Witmark, A Concord Theatricals Company

FPAC performs "Cabaret" at THE BLACK BOX Jun 14-15
FPAC performs "Cabaret" at THE BLACK BOX Jun 14-15

In the News: Business groups advocate for education reform

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

"Representatives of 31 business groups laid out their education reform asks in a letter to lawmakers Wednesday, as the Education Committee continues to weigh changes to the state’s school funding formula.
The letter, circulated by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education and signed by groups including Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, said employers are reporting trouble finding qualified candidates for open jobs while students are graduating unprepared to secure those positions. 
The groups call passing school funding reform legislation “a unique and rare opportunity to take urgently needed steps to ensure each and every student in our commonwealth receives the high quality education they need to take their rightful place in our economy and our communities.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The letter referenced

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Strawberry Stroll Performance Schedule - June 14

Dean Bank Stage:
4 PM to 5 PM - Matt Zajac
5 PM to 8 PM - The Northeast Groove

Intermission Patio:
4:15 PM - 4:45 PM - FSPA
5 PM - 6 PM - Jamie Barrett
6 PM - 6:30 PM - FSPA
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM - The Padula Brothers

In Front of MyFM Remote Station
5:15 PM - Feet in Motion (for 15 minutes)
6 PM - Feet in Motion (for 15 minutes)

Strawberry Stroll Performance Schedule - June 14
Strawberry Stroll Performance Schedule - June 14
Get your copy of the Strawberry Stroll map

Franklin Fire Chief approved: James G. McLaughlin

Good thing I went to the Municipal Building for the Economic Development Committee meeting, as I was leaving, I realized that a Special Meeting of the Town Council has been called. Turned on my recording device and sat down using Twitter to capture my notes.

Agenda doc and memo from Town Administrator Jamie Hellen

Franklin Fire Chief approved: James G. McLaughlin
Franklin Fire Chief approved: James G. McLaughlin

Economic Development Meeting: recap - June 12, 2019

The Economic Development Subcommittee of the Town Council met on Wednesday evening, June 12. There were two items on the agenda (see link below).

Updates on three grants in progress. One already mentioned during the recent water/sewer proposal will save Franklin a half percentage point on the loan interest for work on the pump station repairs.

Another grant (valued about $48,000) is a joint effort with Bellingham on vulnerability planning.

The discussion moved to the plastic bag ban proposal brought forward by a group of FHS students (mostly sophomores and juniors).

The students will come back with their formal presentation and a revision to the bylaw language as proposed last time with modifications as outlined (see link for proposal). Timeline was not fully resolved it could be later this summer or in September.

The audio recording was captured and should be ready in day or so.

Meeting agenda and links to prior discussions on bag ban:

Economic Development Meeting: recap  - June 12, 2019
Economic Development Meeting: recap  - June 12, 2019

FHS has top winning percentage of all high schools in MA

Regular readers know that when I share the results of the Franklin High School sports teams, they are usually wining. The Boston Globe published the listing of all the wins/losses for all the schools for all three seasons (fall, winter and spring). Franklin is #1 with a winning percentage of 74.79.

That says something about the FHS program, the students, and the community they represent.

Way to go Franklin!

The full Globe listing  (subscription may be required)

FHS has top winning percentage of all high schools in MA
FHS has top winning percentage of all high schools in MA

In the News: gas service restored; motorcycle fatality; millionaires tax amendment withdrawn

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

"Gas service was restored to 32 homes in a local neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon, after Columbia Gas cut service at about 3 p.m. Tuesday during construction on a leak. 
As of midnight Wednesday, only two customers remained without service, as they were not home while crews went door-to-door with a Franklin police officer, representative from Columbia Gas and a locksmith to enter homes and disable service at the meter, according to Columbia Gas. 
Crews finished working at about 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, fully restoring service to all affected homes, according to the utility company, with no further interruption of gas service."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"A Franklin man died Tuesday after a motorcycle crash at the intersection of Beaver and Second streets, authorities said. 
Evan Maillet, 21, died after the 4 p.m. crash, according to a statement from Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Framingham Police Chief Steven Trask. 
On Tuesday, Maillet was riding his motorcycle when he crashed into a Ford Ranger."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Democrats from Andover, Wellesley and Gloucester have dropped their bid to pass a constitutional amendment that authorizes the Legislature to establish a graduated income tax structure. 
State Sen. Barry Finegold of Andover and state Reps. Alice Peisch of Wellesley and Ann-Margaret Ferrante of Gloucester had proposed a constitutional amendment that adds a 4 percent income surtax on household income above $1 million per year. 
The amendment was listed as withdrawn in the hours before the Constitutional Convention resumed at 1 p.m. Wednesday."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)