Saturday, August 17, 2019

5 candidates certified, 22 total candidates thus far for the Franklin Biennial Election

The listing of the 22 candidates who have taken out papers to run for the open positions on the Franklin Biennial Election is provided via Town Clerk, Teresa Burr. 5 of the candidates have had their papers certified to confirm their ballot entry. 

There are 28 seats open so there is plenty of room for additional candidates. The listing will be updated weekly to provide the 'scorecard' of who's taken papers, who's turned them in, etc.

Download your copy from here

Find more information on the Franklin Election Nov 5, 2019 in the "election collection"

5 candidates certified, 22 total candidates thus far for the Franklin Biennial Election
5 candidates certified, 22 total candidates thus far for the Franklin Biennial Election

Franklin 2050: The Climate Crisis - Oct 17

Climate change is real; you can see it happening all around us, not just in America but on a global scale. Improbable weather events are happening in the most unlikely places. Yet it’s hard to get one’s head around it and figure out what the solution is.

The 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is a call to action to avert the changes. The IPCC and 97% of climate scientists worldwide say the changes that are necessary to avert disaster are stark: 50% reduction in carbon emissions is needed by 2030, and net carbon effect by 2050.

But we have an Administration in denial, and mass media that’s more concerned with the latest tweet than explaining what’s going on in the climate, and what can be done about it by citizens in cities and towns in the Commonwealth.

How will the average citizen learn about what can be done to minimize the effects?

Several of us from Franklin got together along with the Franklin Democratic Town Committee, 350 Massachusetts for a Better Future, and Massachusetts Climate Action Network to plan a community-wide educational forum to examine the causes and effects policy implications, and actions to take at the town and state levels. 

It’s called “Franklin 2050: The Climate Crisis” and it’s happening Thursday, October 17 at 7:00 PM at Franklin Elks 1077 Pond Street in Franklin.

Hope to see you there in this free forum event!

Richard Halpern
Franklin, MA

Register for the event

Visit the IPCC page to get more information

You can also get a copy of the report directly

2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report
2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report

“We thought this was a safe community”

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

"Arriving back from a four-day vacation at 3 a.m. last month, a family living on Palomino Drive knew their house had been burglarized when they opened the front door.

“As soon as we came in, we already knew someone had broken in,” said homeowner Srinivas, who didn’t disclose his last name because he feared for his family’s safety. Inside, shelves were broken and a light streamed into the hallway from their master bedroom – left on by the thieves.

“It appears the person entered through the side of his house, prying open a window,” said Franklin police Detective Nicholas Palmieri. “Very little evidence left behind.”

More than $25,000 in cash and goods were stolen, including ornate jewelry and important documents, Palmieri said."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

In the News: EEE 2nd case in MetroWest; Plans for divider on RT 1 in Wrentham

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

Health officials announced that the city is among several communities in the region at “critical” risk for a potentially fatal mosquito-borne virus, after a person aged 19 to 30 in Grafton tested positive.

Friday’s news marks the first time that an Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)-positive human case has been confirmed in the region and the second EEE-positive human case in the state, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Six days ago, an individual from Plymouth County was confirmed with the disease.

Besides Framingham, the DPH said risk ratings were raised to critical in Hopkinton, Grafton, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Upton, Westborough, Marlborough, Millbury, Northborough and Sutton.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

A head-on crash on Rte. 1 earlier this month was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for Wrentham Police Chief Bill McGrath.

The chief took to his department’s Facebook page the morning after the Aug. 4 crash, vowing to do what he can to press for safety improvements along the dangerous stretch of road.

“Too many injured and dead over the years,” he wrote, noting that the crash - caused when a left-turning car was struck - resulted in several people getting injured, including a 6-year-old Wrentham girl who suffered a head injury.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

FTC Consumer Alerts: Claims in weight loss ads might be false

Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission
by Rosario Méndez , Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education

Some ads for weight loss products promise miracles. They might say that the product works for everyone or will let you lose weight permanently. Those claims are lies. Dishonest advertisers will tell you anything to get you to buy their product. 

They might have images of "doctors" in their ads and even "news" reports to make you believe that the product works.Today, the FTC launched a new website, based partly on the LeanSpa case, to help people identify false weight loss claims.

Read more

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

Friday, August 16, 2019

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA: FRI - Aug 16 to THU - Aug 22

Thu Aug 22, 2019

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 - Aug 16 to THU - Aug 22
Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA: FRI - Aug 16 to THU - Aug 22

FPAC to Host Dance Master Class with Broadway’s Clay Thomson - Aug 29

The Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) is excited to host a Matilda-themed Dance Master Class with original Broadway cast member Clay Thomson on Thursday, August 29 at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts at 38 Main Street in Franklin, MA. Thomson will be returning to Franklin in the fall to choreograph FPAC’s production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical.

There will be a Beginning/Intermediate level class (minimum age 9) from 4:00-5:30 pm and an Intermediate/Advanced level class from 6:00-8:00 pm. Students will learn choreography from the Broadway production with Clay Thomson. The Beginning/Intermediate class is $25, the Intermediate/Advanced class is $30, and both classes together are $40.
Clay Thomson
Clay Thomson

Currently appearing in KING KONG on Broadway, Clay Thomson started out as a competitive gymnast at the age of four, which eventually led him into the performing arts. At age twelve, Clay joined the Cameron Mackintosh/NETworks tour of Oliver!.

After Clay completed his freshman year at Pennsylvania State University studying Musical Theatre, Clay toured the U.S, Canada, and Japan with the Broadway First National Tour of West Side Story as A-rab. Soon after returning from tour, he made his Broadway debut in Disney's Newsies, playing Spot Conlon. After that, he was cast in the Original Broadway cast of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical.

In 2014, Clay left Matilda to perform in New York City Center Encores' productions of Little Me and The Most Happy Fella. Clay has also made numerous television appearances, performing on shows such as Dancing with the Stars, The 2013 TONY Awards, The 2012 and 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Late Show with David Letterman, The View, Good Morning America, Good Afternoon America, and more.

Clay has taught master classes around the U.S, including classes at Broadway Dance Center, Broadway Artists Alliance NYC, Camp Broadway, Broadway Workshop, Broadway Classroom, and dozens of high schools, dance studios and universities all around the country. He is featured in the viral YouTube video #CupsTapDance as well as his most recent appearance in The Happy Tap Dance #TAPPY.

To reserve a spot in the Master Class, call 508-528-8668. Follow Franklin Performing Arts Company on Facebook, Instagram (, Twitter (@fpac_online), and YouTube.

Ribbon Ceremony at the New Home of the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School - Aug 10

The Benjamin Franklin Educational Foundation (BFEF) hosted a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new home of the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School (BFCCPS) which is now located at 500 Financial Park in Franklin. The new 72,000 square foot facility will open to 708 incoming students on Tuesday, September 3rd for the 2019-2020 school year.

The Benjamin Franklin Educational Foundation secured funding for the new school primarily through a $24,550,000 tax-exempt bond issued by MassDevelopment and purchased by Citizens Bank with participation by HarborOne Bank, Websterfive Bank and Radius Bank. The bond financing was supplemented with a $2,000,000 loan provided by The Property and Casualty Initiative. Project management of the new facility was provided by Daedalus Projects, Inc. and the building was designed by the Boston based architectural firm Arrowstreet, Inc.

Donald Tappin, President of the BFEF welcomed attendees to the event and thanked the members of the BFEF with a special focus on the leadership team who managed the expansion project with both tenacity and perseverance. Tappin shared that ”The foundation board is extremely excited to see what the future holds for

BFCCPS. We are building upon the school’s already proud heritage. Having a home of its own offers limitless possibilities for their students, faculty and staff.” During the event, Gerald Cimmino the Treasurer of the BFEF announced that the construction of the school’s gymnasium is slated to begin in October, 2019 with completion of the project expected in the spring of 2020.

Upon the momentous occasion of the school’s opening, Mrs. Heather Zolnowski, the Executive Director of the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School expressed her sincere gratitude to the volunteer members of the project’s leadership team for the time, energy and determination they poured into this project. 

“This building affords us the ability to strengthen our academic program, to build hands on experiences into our academic goals and objectives, and to provide after hours programming to support our students and families. This new property will allow us to strengthen the culture we have built over the last 24 years. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who had a part in bringing this dream to fruition.”

Special awards were issued to Roger Stone, Senior Vice President at Citizens Bank as well as the Tappin and Cimmino families for their extraordinary dedication to the school over the last seven years of the expansion project.

Following the ceremonial ribbon cutting invited guests received guided tours of the facility led by members of the Educational Foundation, and school board, as well as school administration.

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School opened in 1995 and is one of the original 13 Charter Schools in the state of Massachusetts. Priority in the school's annual enrollment lottery is given first to siblings of current students, then to residents of Bellingham, Blackstone, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millis, Millville, Norfolk, Plainville, Upton, Walpole, and Wrentham.

The rigorous educational program at BFCCPS offers a strategic partnership with parents, foreign language instruction, commitment to arts education, character education, and community service activities.

For the 2019-2020 academic year, BFCCPS has increased enrollment from 50 students to 92 students per grade in grades Kindergarten through grade five. Applications for the 2020-2021 school year will go live on November 1, 2019.

About Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School’s mission is to assist parents in their role as the primary educators of their children by providing students with a classical academic education coupled with sound character development and community service. Our mission is supported by four distinct, yet interconnected pillars that provide for a collaborative, rigorous education for all students. These pillars guide, direct and define the school in all it does. Learn more at or visit us on Facebook.

I was able to participate in the opening and a few of my photos are here. I'll have more later. More photos from the event made available by BFCCPS can be found online

ribbon ceremony
ribbon ceremony

the commons, multipurpose meeting and cafeteria space view from second floor
the commons, multipurpose meeting and cafeteria space view from second floor

new school sign at the entrance
new school sign at the entrance

DJ Mike to Entertain at St. John’s Summer Block Party - Aug 25

Music and Fun Maker DJ Mike will be spinning the music at St. John’s Summer Block Party set for Sunday, August 25 from 12:30-3:30. His music plays from 1:00-3:00.

The very popular DJ Mike will entertain and have your kids dancing and moving with his music and amusing challenges. DJ Mike always plays a good mix of current songs that kids and teens love.

Plus, visitors can enjoy fun games such as corn hole and spike ball in the front lawn. Snacks and drinks will be provided for adults and children. The block party is free and open to the community.

Bring your friends and neighbors. It’s the perfect way to end the summer and celebrate as the kids get ready to go back to school. See you at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 237 Pleasant St., Franklin.

For more info or directions: Call 508-528-2387
Visit on Facebook at St John’s Episcopal Church
See the website at

DJ Mike to Entertain at  St. John’s Summer Block Party - Aug 25
DJ Mike to Entertain at  St. John’s Summer Block Party - Aug 25

The Newcomers are back! - Wednesday, September 11

Come join your friends and neighbors at the Franklin Newcomers and Friends monthly Meeting. Meet us upstairs at "3" Restaurant on Wednesday, September 11th at 7:30 PM.

The Newcomers are back! - Wednesday, September 11
The Newcomers are back!
No need to be a newcomer to the area . . . and no need to RSVP. Come join us and have fun while you make connections in your community. We are a multi-generational club offering a wide range of activities for all ages with an emphasis on fun and camaraderie. We are a member driven organization and are always excited to welcome new faces and new ideas.

Residents of Franklin, or any surrounding town that doesn't have a Newcomers Club, are welcome to join us the 2nd Wednesday of the month (occasionally we switch Wednesdays to accommodate holidays or speakers). 

We run our meetings September through May. We meet at "3" Restaurant, 461 W. Central Street, Franklin, upstairs in a private room. Complimentary hot appetizers and beverages are provided and a cash bar is available.

Additionally, we hold many fun and varied events to stay connected throughout the year. Look for us on our website, or on our Facebook page or on, Franklin Newcomers & Friends Club.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Affordable housing - What can Franklin do?

Yes, Franklin is sitting above the 40B line at 11.89% per Town Administrator Jamie Hellen. The percent has been known to vary. With additional residential building underway, the number can and will change. 

At the Economic Development Subcommittee meeting on Wednesday (coincidentally), a proposal for 100+ apartments was discussed for the former Keigan auto dealership with no affordable housing as part of the proposal.

Affordable housing should be part of the "What will Franklin look like in 2028?" discussion. Will today's children growing up here, be able to come back after college (assuming they choose that one of many routes), and afford to live here?

Franklin is not alone in this situation, a report in the Milford Daily News today shows the median home price across MA is now approaching $440,000.
"Massachusetts home sale agreements shot up 9% in July, compared to a year ago, and the median price of a single-family home put under agreement last month rose to almost $440,000."

 Maybe Franklin can begin like Salem has.
"The city of Salem has released a four-part video series to help residents better understand the housing shortage and the importance of creating affordable housing policies for the culturally and economically diverse city.

“Homes for Salem,” produced by the city with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, is a part of a larger community conversation about housing challenges and possible solutions, said Mayor Kimberley Driscoll.

“It’s making people stop and think about what is happening in the community, especially those who may not be directly impacted,” Driscoll said. “It puts a face on the housing challenge by having those affected tell their story.”

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FSPA Celebrates 35th Anniversary

The Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) will celebrate its 35th Anniversary Season beginning in September. Since 1985, FSPA has been dedicated to the enjoyment of the arts for all ages and to the artistic growth and development of young people. Founded by Director Raye Lynn Mercer and built upon the notion that arts experiences are an integral part of a well-rounded education, FSPA provides a nurturing environment where students grow skills for the stage – and for life. 

Children develop a sense of independence and accomplishment at an early age, while gaining confidence, poise, and self-esteem. The performing arts impart life skills, expanding students’ ability to communicate effectively, whether in the secondary school classroom or other public speaking opportunities. The arts also enhance creativity and imagination, developing improvisatory skills to navigate a rapidly changing world.

With a distinguished faculty of Boston-area artists, expansive roster of classes and extensive calendar of wide-ranging performance opportunities, FSPA serves students of all ages and levels of ability, whether for recreational enjoyment or serious study.

FSPA’s Music Department offers private voice lessons and instruction on all instruments, along with group voice classes, music theory and chamber music, jazz, and percussion ensembles. Performing opportunities for singers include the FSPA Glee Club, studio voice recitals, opera scenes, acoustic coffee houses, and musical theater showcases. FSPA’s innovative Little Music School program teaches children as young as 18 months to play the piano and offers creative and engaging general music classes for children ages 1-5.

The Dance Department provides programs for all ages and levels in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, commercial dance, dance for musical theater, and contemporary, and also features classes for boys, adults and beginner teens. Performance opportunities include Spring Concert, Ballet Conservatory performances, Next Step and CenterStage ensembles, and FSPA Dance Company. Many dancers are also cast, by audition, in Franklin Performing Arts Company’s annual holiday production of The Nutcracker, featuring professional orchestra and special guest artists.

For drama students, beginning in kindergarten, FSPA offers an extensive range of acting and musical theater classes that build performance skills and explore theater games, improvisation, character development, and scene work. Musical theater troupes for students in grades 5-12 are cast each year, with annual performance trips to Walt Disney World for select ensembles. FSPA students also perform, through audition, in Franklin Performing Arts Company’s annual season of shows alongside FSPA alumni, professional performers, and Broadway guests.
FSPA Celebrates 35th Anniversary
FSPA Celebrates 35th Anniversary

Alumni of the Franklin School for the Performing Arts have gone on to Broadway, national tours, extensive regional theater, professional opera, TV and feature film, professional dance companies, and more.

For more information, visit or call 508-528-8668. Follow FSPA on Facebook, Instagram (@fspaonline), Twitter (@fspaonline), and YouTube.

Quick Summary: Economic Development Meeting - Aug 14, 2019

I chose to use Twitter to capture the highlights of the Economic Development Subcommittee meeting on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Assuming the audio recording works out, I'll share that later. In the meantime, the two main topics were discussed in the approx hour and 20 minute session.

I managed to grab a photo of both the draft site plan drawing and a rendition of a proposed building for the former Keigan location. Understand that both are 'draft' and may change during the life of the proposal.  

from the back of the Training Room, almost a full house with 20+ folks
from the back of the Training Room, almost a full house with 20+ folks

camera snapshot of the draft plans for the former Keigan location
camera snapshot of the draft plans for the former Keigan location

camera snapshot of the photo rendition shared at the meeting, the rendition may change as the proposal works its way through the process
camera snapshot of the photo rendition shared at the meeting, the rendition may change as the proposal works its way through the process

MassBudget: Statement on Federal Public Charge Ruling

  MassBudget: Statement on Federal Public Charge Ruling     
August 13, 2019

Statement on Federal Public Charge Ruling 
Statement by Marie-Frances Rivera, President of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget), in response to the Department of Homeland Security's release of the finalized rule on public charge: 

"President Trump's Department of Homeland Security yesterday released a rule that makes deeply troubling changes in our nation's immigration policies. The rule will make it very difficult for people who are not wealthy to receive a visa to immigrate to the U.S., become permanent residents (get a "green card"), or gain citizenship. 
This rule makes family income and the current and possible future use of benefits such as MassHealth (Medicaid), food stamps, or certain forms of subsidized housing grounds for being denied legal access to enter or stay in the U.S. This will push people into an impossible choice: forgoing critical supports for their families or risking the chance to remain in the U.S. 
This ruling puts the health and wellbeing of our communities in jeopardy. Many immigrants who are legally in the United States may fear accessing medical care and other basic supports that they need and are eligible for under federal law. 
People not directly subject to the rule may also fear that they should drop or avoid receiving those benefits. Our research indicates that such a rule change could cause as many as a half a million Massachusetts residents - including 160,000 children - to withdraw from needed benefits for fear of having an impact on a family member's immigration status.
Public benefits are tightly woven into the fabric and economy of our state. If we want our communities to thrive, everyone must be able to live without fear and get the care and support they need to remain healthy and productive. To deem a person unworthy to stay in this country due to their economic status puts a price tag on who is allowed to participate and thrive in our society - it obstructs racial and economic equity in our Commonwealth.
MassBudget is proud to stand with our recently emigrated neighbors, friends, colleagues, and family members who enrich our communities in countless ways. This rule, along with other harsh executive orders and actions by the Trump Administration, is part of a continued effort to provide opportunity for some, but not for all. It should be reversed as swiftly as possible."

Interested in learning more about public charge? Read our report on the "chilling effect" of this rule and its impact on Massachusetts here

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 02109

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 1 State Street, Suite 1250, Boston, MA 02109

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