Saturday, June 27, 2020

Senior Center: Virtual events for July 2020

Hello Everyone, hard to believe this is the last week of June already!

Virtual programming
This is where you will see the options for virtual programming (online usually via zoom) and who to contact to join.  Please reach out to the hosts in advance so that you get the invite link for the program you want to attend. You can also check out happenings on our town page.

Please check the events calendar for our special events on Mondays!

11am - Fitness with Judith - 30 minute exercise class - email for the link To attend
11am - Low Vision Support Group - email for instructions on how  to phone in. MEETS EVERY OTHER TUES)
11am - Audio Book Discussion Group - email for instructions on  how to phone in. MEETS EVERY OTHER TUESDAY
5:30pm - Quarantini Time - virtual cocktail hour - email for the link to  attend

11am - Be Well Coffee Hour - email for the link to attend - this is an  informal hour of conversation, socialization, friendship and you can ask Nurse Trish  questions. 
4pm - Caregiver support group (2nd & 4th Wed of the month) email  for the link to attend.

11 am - Fitness with Judith - 30 minute exercise class - email for the link

11am - Sunshine Club - email for the link to attend. You must be a member of the supportive day program or respite program to attend.
12:30 - TOPS program - email for the link to attend

July special virtual events
July 13th - Join our favorite Franklinite Steve Sherlock to discuss Everything Franklin, happenings, hot topics, and history - email to attend

July 16th - 1pm Award winning author Dr. Andrew Budson presents -"Seven Steps to Managing Memory: What's Normal, What's Not and What to Do About It" - email to attend

July 20th - The signs and symptoms of stroke and the importance of time! - Do you know that the faster a stroke is treated the better your chances of a full recovery are?  Learn the signs and symptoms to help save someone's life.  Presented by Nurse Trish - email to attend

July 27th - 10am Sound Renewal, a mindful meditation with Molly Rabuffo - email to attend

July 27th - 3pm MEMORY CAFE - stay tuned for more details on who is performing. 

Attached you will find:
  1. Donna's awesome activity sheet
  2. Wacky Wordies - brain crunchers
  3. All Puns Intended 

Love, virtual hugs and good health to you all!  We are still here for you!  Please feel free to email Donna and I with questions, concerns or just to check in!
Ariel & Donna

Please feel free to share this email with anyone you think might enjoy it.  If you want me to add someone to the email blast list just send me a message with their email in it. 

When searching for information about the Coronavirus, COVID-19 please use caution!  Unfortunately there are many false sites that contain viruses and malware that can threaten your computer.  Many look like real sites.  Your best bet is to go directly to the CDC, WHO or your local government page (links below).   

For those of you who attend our Memory Cafe events I invite you to learn more about attending a VIRTUAL Memory Cafe through Zoom!  There are many options to choose from.

If you need help with Zoom please reach out to the Franklin Senior Center.  We are happy to help you connect! 508-520-4945

All puns intended

Wackie Wordies

Donna's activity sheet

Video links

Senior Center: Virtual events for July 2020
Senior Center: Virtual events for July 2020

Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #24


Friday, June 26, 2020

Dear friends,

Voting by mail is the best way to enfranchise voters and ensure free, open, fair, and safely accessible elections in pandemic conditions. In a major bipartisan victory for free, fair, and safely accessible elections, last week my Senate colleagues and I passed a number of important reforms to enable people to cast their ballots this Fall without risking their health and safety. This legislation also begins to chip away at the systemic racism that has long been embedded in voting rights and access, and still is today.

I spoke on the Senate floor in favor of the amendment I filed to automatically send every active registered Massachusetts voter a ballot in November, no request or application necessary. During the committee process, every elections advocate supported legislation to automatically mail ballots in the general election. We know that mailing the actual ballots, rather than applications, would make voting easier for voters and local clerks alike, and we know it's a better approach to enfranchising voters of color. That's precisely why I crafted and filed the 2020 Vote By Mail Act ( in April to expand ballot box access in our Commonwealth, as well as the amendment that I brought to the floor last week. Watch my full floor speech ( to learn why, unfortunately, automatic vote by mail will not be a reality for our 2020 elections.

Although automatic vote by mail for the 2020 statewide elections was not in the cards, sending mail-in ballot applications to all registered voters is a significant step in the right direction, as is expanded in-person early voting. I am proud that the bill we passed in the Senate ( includes health protections for poll workers and an allowance for local clerks to process ballots before election day – two provisions that were central components of my 2020 Vote By Mail Act. I am also proud that the Senate adopted a number of critical amendments, including my own to improve voter education about the new voting processes and requiring public votes to change polling locations, and amendments I cosponsored to improve voter accessibility options, strengthen the online ballot request portal, and ensure polling place changes will not have racially disparate impacts.

I'll continue my direct voter education efforts, as I did for the local elections, about how people can vote by mail in September and November. In fact, that work already started! I was glad to meet (via video conference, of course) with residents of a retirement community in our district earlier this week to discuss the voting options for the Fall.

I am deeply grateful for the work and support of community advocates like MassVOTE, Massachusetts Voter Table, AARP Massachusetts, ACLU of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG), Lawyers for Civil Rights, NAACP Boston Branch, The Chelsea Collaborative, MIRA: Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition and dozens more organizations that endorsed automatic, universal vote by mail. I will never stop fighting for full and equitable access to the ballot for every single voter in our Commonwealth until we enact and implement elections policy that enfranchises everyone.

If you or any of your loved ones in my district have fallen on hard times during this public health crisis and need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office. My team and I are hard at work connecting constituents with resources they need, whether it is collecting unemployment benefits, accessing food stamps, reaching state agencies, and more. My office line is 617-722-1555 and my email is We are here to help.

Wishing you and your families strength, health, and resilience.

Yours in service,
Senator Becca Rausch

The newsletter was shortened for publication here. To review the full contents, visit

Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #24
Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #24

"Coffee with the DPW Director" - June 30

A Zoom “Coffee with the DPW Director” meeting will be held next Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 9:00am with DPW Director Robert “Brutus” Cantoreggi for any resident to listen to a brief presentation on the current drought conditions. The presentation was given to the Town Council on their June 24th meeting. 

Residents can ask questions about water usage, development or any other topic on water resources.

Link to access the meeting here: 

or Call-In Phone Number: 1-929-205-6099, enter Meeting ID 84275794979, press “#”.

"Coffee with the DPW Director" - June 30
"Coffee with the DPW Director" - June 30

"The planned implementation of a new school funding law in the new fiscal year is on hold"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday morning signed an interim budget to keep state government running when the new fiscal year begins on July 1 since the Legislature has not yet developed a fiscal 2021 spending plan.

The governor filed the $5.25 billion interim budget a week ago and said Friday that the amount is sufficient to fund government operations through July and “will make it possible for the treasurer to deliver local aid payments to cities and towns.”

House and Senate leaders have not laid out a timeline yet for completion of a budget for the full fiscal year.

With just a few days until the new budget year begins, the Baker administration this week told municipalities that upcoming monthly local aid payments will largely be based on fiscal year 2020 estimates. The planned implementation of a new school funding law in the new fiscal year is on hold, at least for the time being.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Gov Baker's video update Friday, June 26:

Recycling Center Closed Saturday, July 4

The Recycling Center will be open on Friday, July 3 (8am-3pm) and Sunday, July 5 (9am-1pm), but will be closed on Saturday, July 4 in observance of the holiday.

Other info on the Recycling Center can be found on the Town of Franklin page

Recycling Center Closed Saturday, July 4
Recycling Center Closed Saturday, July 4

Friday, June 26, 2020

"Some 2,000 hidden infections were already spreading through major cities"

From the New York Times, comes a great read showing research on how much travel (without social distancing and other measures) spread the virus around  before the country acted on it. 

Note: this is best viewed on a laptop/desktop. The phone screen was too small to display the scrolling data.
"Invisible outbreaks sprang up everywhere. The United States ignored the warning signs. We analyzed travel patterns, hidden infections and genetic data to show how the epidemic spun out of control."

screen capture of NY Times article
screen capture of NY Times article

Tracy Novick: "COVID doesn't care"

Great summary by Tracy Novick of the recently released guidelines for school districts on how to prepare for September.
  • If you managed to read through the 27 pages, good. Check out this summary.
  • If you haven't got there yet, check out this summary:
"COVID-19 doesn't care about your politics.
It doesn't care about the economy or small businesses or the GDP.
COVID-19 doesn't care about learning loss.
It doesn't care about language acquisition or student growth or meeting state standards.
COVID-19 doesn't care about socio-emotional learning.
It doesn't care about your mental health or your social connections or student support.
COVID doesn't care.

We can want, desperately, to have things back to normal, to have children back in classrooms, to have families back to work, to begin to repair what we've lost by schools being closed.

But COVID doesn't care."
Continue reading Tracy's summary

The DESE guidelines can be found

the dogwood tree in my backyard, a pleasant sight this time of year
the dogwood tree in my backyard, a pleasant sight this time of year

Town Council Budget Hearing videos available

The video for both of the budget hearing sessions held by the Town Council on the FHS football field are available for replay.

June 17  =

June 18  =

Town Council Budget Hearing videos available
Town Council Budget Hearing videos available

Pantherbook: FHS "Student Finds Her Voice in Black Lives Matter Movement"

From Pantherbook we share the following:
"Many Franklin residents gathered at the Common on June 2nd, to peacefully show support for the Black Lives Matter movement and stand against police brutality.
At the protest, people knelt for nine minutes to honor George Floyd, a Black man who recently died at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
After the nine minutes of silence, several speakers came up to talk about Black Lives Matter. Two of these were FHS students Ndoumbe Ndoye and Kianna Thomas."
Continue reading the article online at Pantherbook:

Picked up by the Franklin radar via Twitter:

Kianna Thomas Speaks at the Common. Credit: Kianna Thomas
Kianna Thomas Speaks at the Common. Credit: Kianna Thomas

Pantherbook: "The Graduation Parade: Reflecting and Looking Forward"

From Pantherbook we share the following:
"Throughout a challenging, confusing ending to their final year of high school, the class of 2020 showcased their resilience in many ways. Their effort to make the most of the year was visible in carefully crafted music videos, an Instagram account dedicated to the graduating class, and a parade and virtual graduation.

This graduation parade, which was put together with the hard work of the class officers and admin, was an amazing success. The Town Common was packed with family, friends, and community members. A fun environment of celebration was created with decorated cars, music from a radio station, and even the shooting of confetti.

When speaking with the graduates in the weeks after the parade, there was an overwhelmingly positive response. While this certainly wasn’t the expected ending to their senior year, many graduates looked on the bright side, and some even said the parade was better than a regular graduation ceremony. Graduate Megan Torrey said, “The parade was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. I’m so grateful for what the Town of Franklin has done for us to make our senior year so special.”
The Franklin community certainly showed up to help these graduates celebrate, and it was well deserved. Whereas tickets are very limited in a regular graduation ceremony, the parade was beneficial because the whole town could come out to cheer on the seniors. It also offered the seniors the chance to see and reconnect with their teachers from elementary, middle, and high school years."

Continue to read the article at Pantherbook

Picked up by Franklin radar via Twitter:

Franklin All-Access 
Comcast Channel 8; Verizon Channel 26

04:30 PM FHS Graduation 2020

Franklin Pride 
Comcast Channel 96; Verizon Channel 28

01:30 PM FHS Senior Awards 2020

03:30 PM FHS Graduation 2020
09:30 PM FHS Car Parade 2020

The full schedule can be found in the TV guide for this week

"The Graduation Parade: Reflecting and Looking Forward"
"The Graduation Parade: Reflecting and Looking Forward"

In the News: "Screening children for COVID-19 symptoms will be the responsibility of parents"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Massachusetts released guidelines to superintendents Thursday with a goal of getting students back into classrooms this fall after the coronavirus pandemic forced districts to turn to remote learning in March.

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley released the guidelines after weeks of discussion with members of the state’s Return-to-School Working Group, infectious disease physicians and pediatricians.

“Districts and schools should begin planning for a fall return that includes multiple possibilities, with a focus first and foremost on getting our students back into school buildings,” Riley said.

The suggestions are “initial guidance for school reopening this fall that prioritizes getting our students back to school in person -- safely, following a comprehensive set of health and safety requirements.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Today, @MASchoolsK12 released initial guidance for school reopening this fall that prioritizes getting students safely back to school in person, following a comprehensive set of health and safety requirements.

Read more:"

Initial guidance

Shared from Twitter:

Video update link =

In the News: "Superintendent challenges Pearlstein report"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The superintendent at the center of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home crisis is challenging an independent investigator’s conclusions about his qualifications for the job and hinted at potential legal action to fight his impending termination.

An attorney for Bennett Walsh, who has been on paid administrative leave since late March as COVID-related deaths in the facility mounted, said Walsh was not given an opportunity to rebut portions of the report by former prosecutor Mark Pearlstein before its publication.

Pearlstein’s report outlined management issues before the pandemic began and a series of “utterly baffling” decisions that led to the deaths of at least 76 veteran residents. The investigation concluded that Walsh was not “not qualified” to lead the facility.

Walsh’s attorney, former Hampden County District Attorney William Bennett, is “reviewing legal options” after Gov. Charlie Baker said while releasing the report that he would fire Walsh. Such a move, Bennett said, “violates the order of the Superior Court and denies Mr. Walsh the opportunity for a fair and public hearing.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Press release on report  =

Report itself =

MassInc: Small Businesses requested to reply to Recovery Survey

MassInc: Small Businesses requested to reply to Recovery Survey
Dear Business Owner,

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center has partnered with the MassINC Polling Group and others to conduct an important statewide survey about how the coronavirus has impacted small businesses in Massachusetts. We are asking for your input to ensure that economic recovery programs and policies are informed by your current needs.

This survey is for small businesses with 500 employees or less. It's available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and Mandarin. It should take less than 10 minutes of your time. Your answers will be analyzed together with other responses and will never be used to identify you personally. This survey will be open for a short period of time, so please respond as soon as possible.

Thank you very much for participating in this important initiative. Please feel free to share this survey with other Massachusetts business owners to ensure wide representation.

Survey link =
Small Businesses requested to reply to Recovery Survey
MA Small Business Development Center Network Southeast Regional Office | 200 Pocasset Street, Fall River, MA 02721

Sent by in collaboration with
Trusted Email from Constant Contact - Try it FREE today.
Try email marketing for free today!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Franklin Residents: Full Water Ban in effect June 25, 2020 due to drought conditions

Due to drought conditions in our region, a water ban is now in effect. Please find details on our website at


The following water uses are NOT allowed:
  • Irrigation of lawns and landscaping via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems
  • Washing of vehicles, except in a commercial car wash or as necessary for operator safety
  • Washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks
The following water uses are allowed:
  • Watering gardens, flowers and ornamental plants by means of a hand-held hose
Violators may be fined up to $200.00

Franklin Residents: Full Water Ban in effect June 25, 2020 due to drought conditions
Franklin Residents: Full Water Ban in effect June 25, 2020 due to drought conditions

Franklin Public Schools: Superintendent’s Report to School Committee - June 23

Superintendent’s Report to School Committee
June 23, 2020 School Committee Meeting

Active Anti-Bias Education in Franklin Public Schools

At the last school committee meeting, Ms. Stokes asked for an update related to the work of FPS in being inclusive and combating bias, hate, and discrimination. I humbly submit some of the actions within FPS over the past several years to be a more equitable and inclusive school community:

1. Establishment of our core values including a Safe and Inclusive School Culture
2. In 2019-2020, placed cultural proficiency as a theme across all four district goals, instead of a stand-alone initiative: social-emotional learning; rigorous and engaging curriculum;
high-quality instruction to meet the needs of each learner; effective two-way communication.
3. Developed a district-wide response protocol for incidents of hate, bias, and discrimination based on Teaching Tolerance’s “Responding to Hate and Bias at School”
4. Professional development on cultural proficiency
  • a. Administrative professional development -- 10-hour course with Dr. Kalise Wornum of KWD Diversity 2019-2020.
  • i. Outcomes: studying your students and their families; examining one’s bias; “marking the moment” to address incidents of bias, and having difficult conversations
  • ii. Theme of 2019-2020 -- get to know your students
  • iii. Sent administrators to see Dr. Adolph Brown (via membership in Middlesex Partnership for Youth) to build the capacity of our leadership team
  • iv. Administrative Team is reading White Fragility this summer as an anchor text
  • b. Curriculum leaders and professional development -- 30-hour session on curriculum development using Understanding by Design; thread through the sessions on culturally proficient/responsive curriculum design
  • c. School-based professional development led by building principals
  • i. Outcomes: marking the moment; understanding one’s bias; examining materials and resources for bias
  • d. Courses at FHS
  • i. Offered “Race in America” during 2018-2019 but didn’t run in 2019-2020 due to low enrollment
  • ii. Being offered for 2020-2021
  • iii. Seal of Biliteracy in 2020-2021, a credential that promotes second language acquisition, and recognizes this skill among our English Learners
  • iv. Economics for Citizenship-”...understanding and navigating national and global economic questions and concerns.”
5. Expanding literature and reading materials in elementary classrooms
6. A World of Difference Peer Program at all three middle schools and Franklin High School where student peer leaders (under the guidance of faculty advisors) provide instruction to their fellow students on understanding and eliminating bias within the school community
7. Clubs at Franklin High School: Diversity Awareness; SAGA; International Club, World of Difference, American Sign Language Club
8. Examining current practices to address systemic racism more explicitly, which is an expectation of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education during their regular program review, including around Civil Rights

We are certainly not perfect and there are more actions to pursue. FPS is committed to anti-racist and inclusive practices. We plan to return to the School Committee in the fall with a more in-depth presentation as well as additional steps within our improvement goals/initiatives.

We also especially look forward to ways to engage with the broader community to promote this work across the town of Franklin.

ESY Information
Remote Extended School Year (ESY) services will begin on July 8th. Updated individualized Remote Learning Service Plans outlining what remote ESY services will be provided and how they will be provided will be sent to parents/guardians by the end of this week.

On June 7th the district received Summer 2020 Guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The Student Services administration is carefully reviewing the guidance to determine if we can meet the health and safety requirements and provide, on a limited basis, some in-person instruction later this summer to students with the highest level of need. Further guidance from DESE is expected later this week. We want more than anything to be able to provide in-person ESY services this summer but the health and safety of our students, families, and staff is the top priority. We will continue to provide ongoing communication with families throughout the process.

Art Highlight from RMS
In the spirit of sharing highlights from the school year, I am very proud to be sharing a project by Ms. Jane Pichette, an art teacher at Remington Middle School. She drew sketches of each of the graduating grade 8 students and as a parting gift, sent them this postcard to their homes.

A slideshow of her work can be found here:

The Superintendents Report can be found on the Town of Franklin page

State to call for water ban due to drought conditions

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 #tc0624
  • Real time reporting underway for Town Council meeting 6/24/20 #tc0624
  • Roll call and protocol of meeting by Chair Tom Mercer run through #tc0624
  • 32 folks present to start. #tc0624 citizen comments - for items not on agenda. None stepped up to do so. Next up, appointments, some had not responded as of last time. 2 for this time; motion to approve, second, vote via roll call 9-0
  • Next up expenditure limits #tc0624 for revolving funds, this caps the max amount for the fund to hold/spend. Generally based upon nature of account (i.e. volume) vote via roll call passed 9-0
  • Next up new revolving fund for treasurer for tax title, #tc0624 to handle tax title collections effect July 1. Passed via roll call 9-0 also removes $32K from ops budget eventually
  • Next up MECC stabilization fund, sets aside money for several years in lieu of the assessment currently not needed but will be in the future. #tc0624 was discussed during FinCom and TC budget hearings on detail
  • MECC stabilization fund discussion, some ops money moved to this and will be out aside for the future use when free assessment expires in FY 25 and FY 26 #tc0624 also for use of fire and police capital costs passed 9-0 via roll call
  • Next up first of two readings for water fee increase #tc0624 assuming pass tonight, gets a second reading to take effect 9/01/20, an increase of 10% motion to move to second reading, passes 9-0
  • Mostly for $13M water treatment plant underway some grants and low costs loans helping to pay for this to bring wells 3 and 6 back online (currently offline due to high iron and manganese counts) Q are we looking at a water ban re: drought status? #tc0624
  • Drought coming due to lack of rain, #tc0624 slides to be added later, these are screen captures from the meeting
  • Discussion and clarification around water ban, which we don't have annually (except for prior drought and well fire last year), we have supply but our permit restricts pumping volume. #tc0624 3 and 6 solve volume issues next year when complete
  • If you water your lawn you are paying water and sewer fees (but nothing actually goes to the sewer) #tc0624 could you separate a meter for lawn watering? Garelick is also an open item as it is a large user and not completely out of bankruptcy yet
  • Private wells can use water under drought as we don't regulate them, they do come from the same aquifer. Should have sign to indicate #tc0624 Q on quarterly increase? Approx $10/q or $40/year. Wells 1, 2, 4 are the biggest producer. There will be a water conservation plan!
  • Ball fields will be reduced to once per week watering, #tc0624 if we stopped completely it would cost so much to restore, town buildings are turned off. Coffees to be set up to answer questions on water and supply, vs. permit especially with drought level 2 happening
  • What about the pandemic effective of water? Slide shows some volume increase, hand watering is still available, #tc0624 personal well use still uses town aquifer water there is a Community assistance program with income guidelines, call DPW
  • Could increase awareness of the program given 4.4% of low income folks in Franklin per some stats as only about 70 folks take advantage of program #tc0624 finally vote to move to 2nd reading, passed 9-0
  • Next up salary schedule for Town Clerk, only elected official who earns a salary from the Town. All TC, SchCom, and other board committee members are volunteer. #tc0624 motion to approve, passes 9-0
  • Next up police assoc contract for approval #tc0624 final collective bargaining agreement on municipal side to reach deal. Motion to approve, passed 9-0 via roll call
  • Next up capital plan round 2; recall round 1 done in Jan, rest set aside until after winter and snow/ice confirmed. This these amounts can be used for one time purchases (not operations) #tc0624 FinCom and capital subcomm both approved, vote via roll call, passed 9-0
  • Next up, fiscal year transfers, balance accounts within the budget, #tc0624 good news overall, given pandemic and revenue lost, this is living within the FY20 budget, passes via roll call 9-0
  • Next up, town administrator temp authorization for outdoor dining, #tc0624 discussed in prior meeting this formalizes the process underway. Passed 9-0 via roll call
  • Thanks to Chrissy for her work on the licenses, 3 active cases, 1 increase in week. Good work by all to do this! Keep at it! #tc0624 future items, nothing at this time all around. Comments: thanks for turning out for the budget hearings. Have a great 4th!
  • Thanks for folks signing in tonight, thanks to Mike dangelo, Pete fasciano and Franklin TV crew for their work. Motion to adjourn, passed 9-0 via roll call, real time reporting ending now, catch you all next time! #tc0624
screen capture of TC meeting water update #1
screen capture of TC meeting water update #1

screen capture of TC meeting water update #2
screen capture of TC meeting water update #2

screen capture of TC meeting water update #3
screen capture of TC meeting water update #3

screen capture of TC meeting water update #4
screen capture of TC meeting water update #4

screen capture of TC meeting water update #5
screen capture of TC meeting water update #5

screen capture of TC meeting water update #6
screen capture of TC meeting water update #6

screen capture of TC meeting water update #7
screen capture of TC meeting water update #7

DPW update doc on the Town of Franklin page