Thursday, December 3, 2020

Town of Franklin: Spear Phishing Incident Recap Document - 12/02/2020

The summary document of the spear phishing incident as presented to the Franklin (MA) Town Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec 2, 2020. 



Town Administrator Jamie Hellen presenting to the Town Council on 12/02/20
Town Administrator Jamie Hellen presenting to the Town Council on 12/02/20

School Committee Budget Workshop - Recap - Dec 1, 2020

Quick Recap:

  • lots of information to digest in this broad overview of the finances supporting education in the school district
  • at one point in this workshop, in attempting to answer a question about "What if?" (261 districts spend more than Franklin currently does), the discussion led one member to go off. The response to this was professional and articulate by the Superintendent and Business Administrator
  • attempt at quantifying the impact of 'unfunded mandates' was thoughtful and conservative albeit incomplete but that is the situation 
  • more to come as there will be a 'deep dive' with the Finance Committee on Dec 15
  • Consensus was to bring back the Legislative Forum (held in three prior years) and start planing for
Photos shared via Twitter during the meeting can be found in one folder:


As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #schcomBW1201

  • #schcomBW1201 SchComm budget workshop about to begin at 6 PM. Listen in to gain insights on the budget issues the schools face (and how they might begin to resolve them, I hope)
  • School Committee budget workshop - Tuesday, Dec 1 - 6:00 PM  = use your web browser to watch the Live Stream   #schcomBW1201
  • Missed a few minutes for recording purposes, my tech issue, #schcomBW1201 workshop framed in opening comments by Chair Bergen, Business Admin Miriam Goodman acknowledges work of intern to prepare deck/info. Superintendent will also lead parts of workshop
  • Use agenda doc  to follow along if necessary. #schcomBW1201
  • #schcomBW1201 opening slide frame process and timeline for budget development and discussion towards approval (based upon typical budget - this year FY 21 is not yet completed by State)
  • "Where should we be within the range of per pupil expenses?" "We should spend with the money allocated by the town" counseling is a priority we have not yet addressed #schcomBW1201 Community relations is a priority where are we spending, how are we spending.
  • "We need to paint the picture of what we need and let the community decide. SEL work is important and from that comes special ed, gifted and talented, etc. Would support more counseling." Need to create vision around portrait of a graduate and how much it will cost #schcomBW1201
  • "We can make a wish list but how can we deliver if we don't have the basics." "How much is needed to provide the best education in MA for the students here in Franklin?" Individualized training for professional development, not just throwing money at PD. #schcomBW1201
  • Moving to info gathered, 3 years of data and comparison among comparable districts #schcomBW1201 use agenda doc to follow link to pupil expenses
  • Next up, what would our pupil expenses look like if we matched 50% of the state average (which is more than we do today) #schcomBW1201
  • 261 districts spend more than Franklin currently does. #schcomBW1201 continuing this thought line, it would add $15M to our budget (where the money would come from is another story) not an all inclusive listing, other committees have seen something like this
  • Franklin is at the 25%, are we comfortable to be there. Franklin currently finances teacher benefits what would the PPE look like? Is that calculated in the same way across the districts. Pfeffer goes off the edge in workshop misunderstanding the numbers discussed #schcomBW1201
  • Calm, professional response from Superintendent Ahern to Pfeffer concludes that the official budget proposal will come forward later in the cycle. Business Admin Goodman also a great response. #schcomBW1201
  • The listing and comparison is enlightening. It is not insulting to share info on what we could have and others do have. They need to know to make an informed decision to determine what we get (or don't) #schcom1201 moving to unfunded mandates working diligently to define
  • Quantification of unfunded mandates is hard, Student opportunity act outlines issues with the funding behind that. Did make estimates for some items included in second link in agenda doc #schcomBW1201
  • #schcomBW1201 the funding is highly regulated and some of the providers are uncomfortable with the reporting requirements. The funds coming into the Town end up in general coffers (not school side).
  • Use of revolving accounts, enrollment, student teacher ratio are among other topics being prepared for a FinCom discussion scheduled for Dec 15 #schcomBW1201 what else would Committee like to see in pamphlet for informing the Community.
  • "FPS budget is not funded fully, would like to see it proposed to be in line with the Town designation". Common questions: what have we list, what are we saving? Updating what's there is needed. #schcomBW1201 add key elements of portrait of a graduate.
  • Question on the enrollment, and significant changes re: trend of pandemic enrollment, also part of a recent Globe article. Did see an increase in pure home school students (approx 28 to 70). % attrition per demographer is good compared to other Communities #schcomBW1201
  • Pamphlet is one way, we'd take to Community relations to see how we can get it. Working with Anne Marie to produce a video on school budget 101, about 75% done. Explain difference between level funding and level service. #schcomBW1201
  • Legislative forum? Yes. To plan for! motion to adjourn, via roll call vote passes 6-0 (D'Angelo not present) That's all for tonight, catch you next time #schcomBW1201


School Committee Budget Workshop - Recap - Dec 1, 2020
School Committee Budget Workshop - Recap - Dec 1, 2020

Via Pantherbook: FHS to live stream "Clue" Dec 3 and Dec 4

Comedy with Murder? Who would have thought the two could go together?

What is Clue(the play) about?
Clue is based on the iconic 1985 movie inspired by the Hasbro Board Game. The plot has to do with a mysterious invitation from an anonymous host at a mansion where six strange guests assemble for an unusual dinner party where murder and blackmail are on the menu. The murder is solved by a detective, while the actual ending differs between productions. The play has three different endings.

When is the play?
The play is occurring on December 3rd and 4th at 7pm. 

For more info and tickets, continue reading the article on Pantherbook
Via Pantherbook: FHS to live stream "Clue" Dec 3 and Dec 4
Via Pantherbook: FHS to live stream "Clue" Dec 3 and Dec 4

Voices of Franklin: Alan R Earls - The most diverse slate of Town Council candidates?

I have heard it remarked by several people during the course of the current campaign for our lone open Town Council seat, that" it's nice to see some diversity among the candidates." The commentators have not said what they mean, but I think I know. And perhaps they are also referring to the fact that I believe two of us can claim a Latino identity! Of course, others may score us low on diversity, since all four candidates appear to self-identify as men.

Be that as it may, I really would prefer that people think in terms of the truer diversity our candidacies represent, namely diversity of experience, outlook, and ideas. We have a budding expert on government, an IT professional, a PhD researcher and entrepreneur, and a writer to choose from.  And, I suspect that short litany of characteristics doesn't begin to properly credit the diversity in thought that we represent.

Returning to the more conventional view of diversity and identity politics, I would have to say that my own "identity" as Latino is neither comfortable nor meaningful. My grandparents, from whom that identity springs, were grateful to leave "the old country" and never looked back. Not that they didn't carry a heritage with them but they viewed language and ethnicity as incidentals, which love of family and capacity for personal growth trumped entirely.

Their story was one of enthusiasm for a new national identity. They had found their promised land and spent a lifetime embracing it and loving it.  So, even though the experts in Washington call me Latino, I will continue to think of myself as the proud descendant of immigrants who voted for democracy over autocracy, and opportunity and economic freedom over autarky and a corporative dictatorship. They became American, and I am the proud heir of their choice.


Alan Earls

Candidate for Town Council
Independent Writer


If you have something to say, you can find the guidelines here


FHS' Batla, Perez, Brady named Hockomock girls cross country all-stars

Below are the official 20020 Hockomock League Girls Cross Country All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Kelley-Rex Division MVP
Emma Lawrence, Milford

Kelley-Rex Division All Stars
Alexandra Batla, Franklin
Angelina Perez, Franklin

Honorable Mention

Sydney Brady, Franklin

For the full listing of the Hockomock League girls cross country all-stars


FHS' Batla, Perez, Brady named Hockomock girls cross country all-stars
FHS' Batla, Perez, Brady named Hockomock girls cross country all-stars


FHS' Calitri, Walmsley, Sieczkiewicz, and Anderson named Hockomock boys cross country all-stars

Below are the official 20020 Hockomock League Boys Cross Country All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Kelley-Rex Division MVP
Nicholas Calitri, Franklin

Kelley-Rex Division All Stars
Nicholas Calitri, Franklin
Declan Walmsley, Franklin
Griff Sieczkiewicz, Franklin

Honorable Mentions
Joshua Anderson, Franklin
For the full listing of the Hockomock League boys cross country all-stars
FHS' Calitri, Walmsley, Sieczkiewicz, and Anderson named Hockomock boys cross country all-stars
FHS' Calitri, Walmsley, Sieczkiewicz, and Anderson named Hockomock boys cross country all-stars

Tri-County RVTHS Athletics: cancels winter athletic season



"elimination of commuter rail service on the weekend drew the most opposition"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

"A MAJORITY of Massachusetts residents believe that if the MBTA sharply cuts back on services to balance its budget next year those commuting options will not return after the state’s economy fully reopens, according to a new MassINC poll.

The MBTA has proposed a variety of service cuts as part of a plan to deal with a $579 million shortfall in a budget decimated by the decline in ridership during the pandemic. The Fiscal and Management Control Board plans to vote on the package soon, and has faced blowback from riders, legislators, and transit advocates.

The online survey of 1,340 Massachusetts residents found that 64 percent somewhat or strongly oppose the cuts in service proposed by the MBTA, including less frequent subway and commuter trains, the elimination of 25 bus routes, and the cancellation of ferry service."

Continue reading the article online
Related article on the proposed MBTA service cuts
You can (and should) provide feedback to the MBTA if you use the Franklin LIne
You can (and should) provide feedback to the MBTA if you use the Franklin Line

I-90 Exit Number Conversion Advisory

Dear Customer,

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is in the process of converting all exit numbers on freeways to a milepost-based numbering system, per Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requirements. Currently, interstates and freeways in Massachusetts utilize a sequential exit numbering method. Construction began in the Fall of 2020 and is anticipated to be completed in the Summer of 2021.

This notice is to inform you that exit numbering conversion will begin on Interstate 90 on December 13, 2020. Construction details are as follows:

•       Corridor: Interstate 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike)
•       Location: Boston to West Stockbridge
•       Approximate start date: Dec. 13
•       Approximate construction duration: 4 weeks
•       Hours of operation: 8:00 PM - 5:00 AM

Please note that all work is weather dependent and construction dates may be adjusted accordingly. This work will not impact the tolls on this roadway.

For more information on the project and construction status, to leave a comment or sign up for project updates, please visit:


Video overview



Goodbye exit 16, ext 17; hello exit 41, exit 43
Goodbye exit 16, ext 17; hello exit 41, exit 43

Via Franklin Police a timely reminder

Via the Franklin Police (@franklinpolice) comes this timely reminder:


This time of year we tend to see an increase in thefts, here are some tips on how to keep your belongings safe:
• Check the tracking information to see when the delivery is scheduled
• Request delivery days and times when someone is going to be home  
• Coordinate with a neighbor to take package in 
• Doorbell camera or motion activated camera around house 
Please report any suspicious behavior when it is occurring (508) 528-1212. If you see any cars or trucks, please be sure to give the dispatcher that information.

Via Franklin Police a timely reminder
Via Franklin Police a timely reminder

Holiday Cookie Generator

In the realm of fun holiday cookies, this one is good... Thanks @JDinRI for spotting to share:
"Cookie friends (too many to tag individually), have you seen this amazing thing?"
An interactive holiday cookie generator

An interactive holiday cookie generator
An interactive holiday cookie generator

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Broadway Star Michael James Scott to Perform Album Release Concert in Franklin

THE BLACK BOX will present Broadway’s Michael James Scott - A Fierce Christmas Album Release Concert on Saturday, December 5th at 7:30 PM - Virtual Livestream.

 The Aladdin star is releasing his first studio album, “A Fierce Christmas,” on December 1 with a special release concert at THE BLACK BOX on December 5. “A Fierce Christmas” is giving new life to classic holiday tunes by showing off Scott's gospel and Broadway roots. Scott's debut album will be released by Scratch Seventeen and available on all music platforms.

For Scott, there was more to A Fierce Christmas than just making an album; he's making a statement. "This whole process I've been thinking about how my protest is joy," he said. "Broadway is shut down, my very close friends are out of work, and the country is in a racial awakening. This is Michael James Scott's protest; a gay, Black man out and proud from the Broadway community putting joy into the world. “That's where this album really came from. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, but what's amazing is that everyone celebrates the holidays and this beautiful time of gathering. I think it's important for people to know that it's OK to put out joy. It's OK to put out love. It's OK to put out light and laughter. What better way to put it out there than at the holidays? We need some light."

 Tickets for the Livestream available for $25 and include the EP download.  For tickets and more information, visit or call the box office at 508-528-3370.


Broadway Star Michael James Scott to Perform Album Release Concert in Franklin
Broadway Star Michael James Scott to Perform Album Release Concert in Franklin


Voices of Franklin: Paul DeBaggis - Thoughts on the current election

While I love the give and take of Franklin politics, the current special town council election seems headed toward creating a thorny precedent. Can the town uphold its reputation as having a “nice, small-town atmosphere?”  Will an average gal or guy have the money needed to run for office, or to contribute to a candidate?  To me, these questions are as essential to our local character as our views on housing, water supply, or education.

The Cobi Frongillo campaign website advertises, that along with lesser amounts, it encourages donations of $250 and $500 or more. This seems to contradict that candidate’s talking points of service, caring, community, and vision. Communities shifting to big-time politics generally create an era in which party politics rather than individual merit become dominant. I, for one, frown on this.

Where is the caring or the service when a local election becomes a case of “to he or she with the most money goes the victory”? How does the average voter preserve an equal standing with the one who can easily drop a $500 check into a particular campaign coffer?

Next year, at the Franklin regular town election, will multiple candidates seek large, disproportionate campaign contributions? If so, big money campaigns and less recognition of the individual voter will inevitably follow. This election may set that stage. Elections for the privileged—that’s no future Franklin Dream.

Paul DeBaggis
100 Milliken Avenue 

Franklin Police Awarded Technology Grant

Franklin Police Awarded Technology Grant

Chief of Police Thomas J. Lynch is pleased to announce that the Franklin Police Department is the recipient of funding from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant managed by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Office of Grants and Research (OGR).

The monetary award of $37,500 will be used to purchase technology to help officers investigate and bring to justice offenders who undermine the safety and security of our community.

Some of this technology includes equipment that will allow for officers to have access to the Franklin Police Records Management System remotely, access to criminal offender history and Registry of Motor Vehicle information.

About Officer Byrne:

Edward R. Byrne was destined for a life in law enforcement, having a father who was an officer with the New York City Police Department. Born on February 21, 1966, Eddie-as he was known by family and friends-was an outgoing and friendly person who had a strong calling to public service and wanted to make his city, New York City, a safer place. In 1986, Eddie became a New York City Transit Police Officer, to help ensure the safety of New York City's subway commuters. In 1987, Officer Byrne joined the New York City Police Department's finest, assigned to the 103rd Precinct. Well liked by his brothers and sisters in blue, Eddie was passionate about his job and loved the opportunities it offered him to interact with the people he had sworn to protect. 

In the early morning hours of February 26, 1988, Officer Byrne was on detail protecting a witness who had agreed to testify in court against local drug dealers. Officer Byrne was in his patrol car outside the witness' home around 3:30 a.m. when two armed gunmen crept up to his car from both sides. One of the men knocked on the passenger-side window to distract Officer Byrne just as a second perpetrator ran up to the driver's side window and, without uttering a sound, opened fire. Officer Byrne was shot five times in the head. Both gunmen, along with two other perpetrators who served as lookouts, fled the scene. Officer Byrne was rushed to Mary Immaculate Hospital where he died of his wounds. He was only 22 years old. 

The four assailants were captured six days after the murder and were eventually sentenced to 25 years to life. They were members of a gang who had been instructed by a jailed drug kingpin to kill a police officer. 

NYPD lost one of its finest that day, and Eddie's family lost a loved and cherished son and brother. Leaving behind his parents and three brothers, Eddie's brothers have continued the family tradition of law enforcement and justice by dedicating their careers to the field. 

In honor of Police Officer Byrne, a major U.S. Department of Justice initiative was titled the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. The Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers this program, which allows states and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and to improve the justice system. It has been nearly 20 years since state and local law enforcement first began applying for the program named after this young fallen hero. BJA is honored to administer "Byrne" funding to communities nationwide in memory of Officer Byrne.

Franklin Police Awarded Technology Grant
Franklin Police Awarded Technology Grant

December 2020 E-Newsletter News & Updates!

The Town of Franklin Coronavirus Information Portal is available on our homepage and is updated frequently to provide residents and business owners with the latest information and resources. Find Franklin specific data under the "Town of Franklin News" tab.
The Town is holding a special election on Saturday, December 5th to fill a vacant Town Council seat. Voting will be held at Franklin High School from 7:00am - 8:00pm.
  • The last day to request an absentee ballot is December 1st.
  • Mail in ballots can be returned in the official mailbox at the Municipal Building or via USPS.
  • Mail in ballots must be received by 8:00pm on December 5th, 2020.
Please find all information related to this election on our Town Clerk's website.
The Franklin Police Department is still collecting toys until December 15th at the police station. We had a very successful "Fill The Cruiser" drive over the weekend, but we still need help. Gift cards for older children also are very helpful, as they are harder to provide for. Gifts can be dropped off at the front desk.

Also please remember to have a 9pm routine where you make sure your valuables are out of your car, and you lock it up. Don't be an easy target for a thief by leaving your car open. Too many of these types of losses are preventable if people just get into a routine of securing, and locking up in the evening.
The School Committee recently adopted the skills, descriptors and the graphical representation of the District's Portrait of a Graduate. The Portrait of a Graduate represents the community's consensus of five essential skills each student practices and develops, individually and collaboratively through teamwork throughout all grades in Franklin Public Schools. Understanding that the development of these skills is a lifelong process, FPS looks to provide a foundation for graduates' future learning, growth, fulfillment, and success.

  • Confident & Self-Aware Individual
  • Empathetic & Productive Citizen
  • Reflective & Innovative Problem-Solver
  • Curious & Creative Thinker
  • Effective Communicator & Collaborator

Additional language that describes the skills in more detail can be found HERE.

Superintendent Sara Ahern and DT Facilities Analysis Subcommittee Chair Elise Stokes recently shared information related to the Davis Thayer Facilities Analysis with Franklin Matters via podcast. To learn more about the process and current findings, please listen to the podcast found here.
In partnership with Dean Bank and the Random Smile Project, we are excited to share our new economic development initiative - Franklin Gift Cards! The perfect shop local gift this holiday season! Learn more about where to purchase and redeem at
Are you a local business owner looking for information? Email Anne Marie Tracey at
The Franklin Senior Center is hosting its first-ever Drive-in Movie! We will show the classic holiday movie, A Christmas Story on Friday, December 11th at 4:30 PM. Drive thru the Curbside Café to pick up your complimentary pizza, popcorn and soda, then park in the parking lot where sound will be broadcast directly to your car radio. Curbside Café opens at 4:00 PM and bathrooms will be made available. Space is limited; call to sign up for this fun event!  

GATRA Go United will be starting December 2020. 
This public transit service is an accessible curb to curb service that can be booked by an app similar to Uber or Lyft. If you do not have the app, you can also book by calling 800-698-7676 to book a ride. More information about the service can be found at This on-demand service is open to all residents of Foxborough, Franklin, Norfolk and Wrentham. The vehicle will come to your pick up location and drop you off anywhere within the town boundaries of Foxborough, Franklin, Norfolk and Wrentham, Monday-Friday between 7:00 AM-6:00 PM and Saturday between 9:00AM-6:00 PM.  
This service replaces the existing Franklin Area Bus and Tri-Town Connector fixed route bus services in the area. It will not replace the long distance dial-a-ride for medical trips. This service, called Miles for Health, will still be available for trips to medical facilities in Boston, Worcester, and other locations with essential medical destinations. More information about which locations will
be available on each weekday will be available on the GATRA website.

The Senior Center's calendar is full of events and activities! Find details in their December Newsletter!
The Museum is excited to announce that our new exhibit, the Clara J. Foss Johnston Memorial Federal Parlor at the Oliver Pond House, which was generously donated by James C. Johnston, Jr. is now open and ready for visitors! Come by on Sundays from 1-4pm to see it.
Curbside Pick up continues at the Library! Find out more on their website and make note of the upcoming holiday hours:
  • We will be closing at 2:00 p.m. on December 24th & December 31st.
  • The Library will be closed and Curbside Pickup will not be available on December 25-27, 2020 and January 1-3, 2021.
The library is continuing to put out a calendar FULL of fun events for all ages such as story times, family events, crafts, cooking, book club and more. Some examples of upcoming programming include:
  • A Winter Storywalk at Delcarte
  • Zoom Holiday Cooking Classes
  • Teen Noon New Year's Eve Mystery Party
  • Kitchen Table Art Workshop and more!
Visit their website and sign up for the Library Newsletter to stay in the loop!
Newly hired Firefighter/ Paramedic Michael McConaghy and Dylan Voss graduated from the Massachusetts Fire Academy on November 6, 2020 after 10 weeks of extensive training. Congratulations to both!

The Department received an Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) FOR $8,500 from Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). The funds will be used to upgrade the A/V equipment in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Fire Headquarters.

Our 1949 antique Franklin aerial truck was been "placed in service" to support the Town lighting events on November 21 (Downtown) and November 29 (Common). It also participated in the Medway Annual Christmas parade on Saturday November 28th.

The Franklin Fire Department wishes everyone an enjoyable and safe holiday season!

  • Dec. 2 - 10:00 hours - VIRTUAL Coffee Social held via Zoom. Call our office for details and log-in info. All Vets are welcome to join the conversation!
  • Dec. 7 - National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
  • Dec. 13 - U.S. National Guard's 384th Birthday

Please contact our office if you (or a family member residing in Franklin) are a Purple Heart recipient so we can add you to the Franklin Purple Heart Registry.

Thank you to the Franklin DPW for installing our beautiful new Purple Heart Community signs at the entrances to our town as well as an Active Military or Veteran designated parking space sign near the front entrance to the Town Hall.

If any veteran, veteran's spouse, widow or dependent needs assistance or just someone to talk to, please call the Veterans' Services Office. We are here for you!