Saturday, December 19, 2020

Memorable Toys Presentation - Dec 21


I just wanted to share that Alan Earls is going to give a presentation on Monday, December 21 at 11:00 AM via Zoom. The presentation is on the most memorable and in-demand toys of the 1950s. It should be fun, please join us! 
The link to join is below: 

Franklin Senior Center is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Memorable Toys
Time: Dec 21, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

To Join Zoom Meeting Click Below:

Meeting ID: 979 7686 1534
Passcode: 787126
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,97976861534#,,,,,,0#,,787126# US (Chicago)
+16465588656,,97976861534#,,,,,,0#,,787126# US (New York)

Thank you, 

Erin Rogers 
Director, Franklin Senior Center
10 Daniel McCahill Street, Franklin, MA 02038
508-520-4945 (phone)
508-520-4917 (fax)

Memorable Toys Presentation - Dec 21
Memorable Toys Presentation - Dec 21

Franklin Senior Center: Email Blast Dec 18, 2020

Hello Everyone! Hard to believe is Christmas in a week.

Staying Connected

Link to the Senior Center -

Link to the Senior Center Calendar -

Link to Franklin Matters -

Link to the Town's webpage -


Wine buying guide for the Holidays - Wine podcast discussing wines. 

Paul Eugene - Chair cardio dance - half hour of fun and exercise! 

Tai Chi for beginners 36 minutes standing or sitting 


Marcin Patrzalek - Because last week's song blew me away, so here is more incredible guitar! 

Toccata & fuga in D minor J.S. Bach on the Nyckelharpa 

Christmas Music in front of the fire 

Just for Fun

Have you ever wondered who is behind all the information when you search Google?  Here is the story of how millions of people, speaking hundreds of different languages get trillions of answers in under a second. 

Kids share their favorite snacks with their Great Grandparents 

Night of a million lights - 3 million Christmas lights show set to music 

Heroic Police Dog 


Jeanne Robertson - Don't Ho Ho Ho in the Dark! 

Brighten your day in just 2 minutes 

Kindness Matters

Waitress with dying husband gets the tip of her life 

Cops pull over parents for the best reason ever! 

Attached you will find:

  1. Donna's activity pages "TOYS"

  2. Christmas Crossword

  3. Fruitcake Crossword

  4. Wacky Wordies

Upcoming Events email to attend unless noted otherwise.

*Monday Dec. 21st at 1pm Tele Bingo call the Senior Center to play 508-520-4945

*Monday Dec. 21st at 2pm Grateful Days Memory Cafe Email 

*Tuesday Dec. 22nd at 5pm - Quarantini Time a virtual, social, cocktail hour.

*Tuesday Dec. 22nd at 1pm - Low Vision Group - email 

*Wed. Dec. 23rd at 1pm - Caregivers Support Group email 

*Thursday Dec. 24th -  CLOSED

*Friday Dec. 25th - CLOSED Merry Christmas!

Plus Exercise, Yoga, Discussion Groups and more.  Check out our newsletter or online calendar for a full list of all activities available

*Curbside Cafe - SPECIAL- Ham Dinner

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.

Ariel Doggett

Virtual Program Coordinator
Respite Coordinator

"We rise by lifting others" - Robert Ingersoll
There is no act of kindness too small

Franklin Senior Center: Email Blast Dec 18, 2020
Franklin Senior Center: Email Blast Dec 18, 2020

FM #416 Finance Committee Meeting - 12/15/20 (audio)

FM #416 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 416 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the Finance Committee meeting held Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020. 

The meeting was conducted in a hybrid mode; some of the key participants were in the Council Chambers, the remainder participated virtually via Zoom conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

Quick Recap:

  • The promised 'deep dive' into the school budget almost happened. "almost" in that if one viewing the meeting had fully read all the pre-released documents, they could sorta follow the questions and answers. Unfortunately, a key question answer was interrupted. I think (yes, my observation) the Central Office (Sara and Miriam) missed a couple of opportunities to make a better case for the budget details and what the district has done.
  • That said - the new monthly format for the FinCom meetings is a work in process and holds great promise. As an adjunct for the Town Council, the opportunity for detailed discussions on particular departments has only really occurred in these meetings. The Council used to get full presentations from each department as part of the budget hearings before more recently switching to their shorted 'hold' and question process.
  • The transfer from the water enterprise 'emergency fund' to make the payment for the water treatment plant was authorized. This was the payment that ended up mis-directed as part of the spear phishing incident.
  • Preliminary discussion on topics for the next few meetings and a review of the current stabilization fund balances was covered before the meeting closed.

The recording runs two hours and seven minutes, so let’s listen to the Finance Committee meeting of Dec 15, 2020.  Audio file =


Meeting agenda and related files

My notes:


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( 

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

Finance Committee member Susan Dewsnap
Finance Committee member Susan Dewsnap

Town Administrator Review session Dec 16, 2020 - recap

Quick Recap:
  • Since I missed the first of these review sessions, it was interesting to try and make sense of what was being done. The Town Council goals and objectives (set in a working session at the beginning of the year) become Jamie's goals. This review was to mark and discuss progress on them. More of the discussion seemed to be on the next steps or what's left to be done than, this is what you did and how well you (we) did. (my two cents)
  • The document (linked to)  picked up on the Recreation/Open space section and was completed during this session. The report from the subcommittee will come before the Council sometime in the near future.
  • No surprise and I think most folks would agree, the work done by the Town executed by Jamie (and overseen by the Council) has done quite well during this challenging pandemic year.
  • "Your performance has been commendable"

Photos captured during the remote/hybrid session and shared via Twitter 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  #tarjh1216 

  • Real time reporting underway for the Town Administrator Review, a continuation from the Dec 2 meeting (I missed that one) #tarjh1216
  •  Picked up on the Recreation/Open space section which straddles pages 6-7 of the doc linked #tarjh1216
  • Question on the remediation of the invasive plants floating at DelCarte (actually a meeting for me in queue to talk with Conservation agent on this item) concern about keeping this in the radar as it will take time #tarjh1216
  • The SNETT section between Grove and Union is owned by CSX. Until it is available, can do much planning for it. #tarjh1216 shouldn't it be part of the open space or rec or master plan?
  • If we at least layout the desire and plan for the trail section. It is something to refer to. #tarjh1216 how do you get from Grove St to DelCarte? The map could at least provide some options. (Aside: since I didn't get 2 the first one, this seems like an odd approach 2 a review)
  • ( aside: cont'd - There seems to be more discussion on what should be for futures rather then an evaluation of what was done);  adding the netting to the high school fields. #tarjh1216 next set - Community
  • Acceptance of public ways, funded for take over but that doesn't include the road rebuild if required. #tarjh1216 a map of where to find the electric charging stations. Maybe future subdivisions get set for private ways so owners would maintain
  • Finalizing the three year collective bargaining cycle is a great goal accomplished. Makes sense to have them together. Municipal aggregation in place, less than 5% opted out. Substantial amount of Community still don't understand it #tarjh1216 look at ways to improve comms
  • #tarjh1216 question on the 5G bylaw, requires additional equipment, smaller range but better signal. Have Verizon in to present an overview of what it is and how it works. There is not a lot we can do, the bylaw is to protect private property from the installation of equipment
  • In the research to avoid ending up in court, it needs to be simple. Protects public property and so we know what is around the Community. #tarjh1216 moving to civic engagement. Civic academy on hold, survey possible (sometime)
  • #ThinkFranklinFirst has been a success in the early days. Investing in cloud based technology has positioned us to do business online, which saved us during COVID. Unipay does allow for online payment of water, sewer, trash, etc. #tarjh1216
  • #tarjh1216 what is a citizens academy? Seen elsewhere, structured differently to get into more of the municipal process and workings of town government. BTW subcommittee is Jones (chair), Mercer, Kelly, and Pellegri. Next up presentations and discussions list completed
  • Except for master plan update and charter review which is likely up for 1Q. #tarjh1216 next up thoughts, etc. Added to the prior listing during the year. EPA still cleaning up 300 Fisher st, it will take another 3-5 years. National Grid has made improvements already
  • Clearly not the items scheduled to start in April. #tarjh1216 we are as far along as we could be in these circumstances. What is vision or priority not historical homes? List provided by the Assessors. Try to get a priority listing from historical commission.
  • #tarjh1216 let's talk COVID, there is a lot into addressing the goals this past year. Everyone was flexible and continues to be so. The COVID section was added as it was not planned for but was a key workload during the recent months. $4.5m in Federal aid, it expires 12/31/20
  • Not likely to get additional with the rumored help from Congress possible before year end. UV project being worked this week. Three campus schools possible to be completed by 12/31 micro grants processed should have some participation locally. #tarjh1216
  • Thanks to the Council for supporting the fee reduction. This chamber is upgraded with tech to support the meetings, other Communities come here to see how we do it. #tarjh1216 it is an incredibly difficult environment but we have come together and be successful
  • Kudos to Chrissy for work on the micro grants. Feel bad we couldn't help some of our small businesses but that was set by others. Folks may have a hard time understanding the coordinating to get things accomplished during COVID #tarjh1216
  • Concern over expense of the PPE required for 1Q, where will the money come from for that? #tarjh1216 everybody has stepped up to make it through 2020. "Your performance has been commendable" motion to adjourn, second, passes 4-0 
Town Administrator Review subcommittee Chair Glenn Jones
Town Administrator Review subcommittee Chair Glenn Jones

"the meltdown happened one Zoom meeting at a time"

Tracy O'Connell Novick (@TracyNovick) shared a lengthy Slate article on the school re-opening debate.
"How the School Reopening Debate Is Tearing One of America’s Most Elite Suburbs Apart"
"It was mid-August. The playgrounds of Brookline, Massachusetts, had finally reopened, and so the news spread fast. Sharon Abramowitz had resigned from the school committee. If a lab wanted to manufacture a school committee member to help the 7,800-student Brookline School District through the COVID crisis, it probably would’ve ended up with Abramowitz. The sociologist-anthropologist-epidemiologist had studied Ebola, written interagency guidelines about what community engagement should look like during a crisis, and, after the district shut down in March, spent 40 hours a week in volunteer meetings on Zoom trying to make a safe reopening feasible. But now she was moving full time to her second home in Vermont.

As summer turned into fall, the school district was melting down. Parents largely wanted their kids learning in person, but it looked like Brookline wasn’t going to pull it off, even though the wealthy town just outside of Boston probably has the highest infectious-disease-expert-per-capita rate in the country. Abramowitz was fed up. “Sorry to be all UNICEF about it,” Abramowitz, who does work for UNICEF, said when we spoke in September, “but education is a fundamental human right for all children.”
Continue reading the article

Tracy's tweet:

"What we know – and still don’t – about the worst-ever US government cyber attack"

The Boston Globe has the following:

It’s going to take months to kick elite hackers widely believed to be Russian out of the US government networks they have been quietly rifling through since as far back as March in Washington’s worst cyberespionage failure on record.

Experts say there simply are not enough skilled threat-hunting teams to duly identify all the government and private-sector systems that may have been hacked. FireEye, the cybersecurity company that discovered the intrusion into US agencies and was among the victims, has already tallied dozens of casualties. It’s racing to identify more.

“We have a serious problem. We don’t know what networks they are in, how deep they are, what access they have, what tools they left,” said Bruce Schneier, a prominent security expert and Harvard fellow.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
While Franklin suffered from the spear phishing attack which resulted in a diverted payment, the attacker/nefarious character did not access the Franklin network. They used the person inside to do their work. The Russian hack into the major systems of some companies and several government agencies was sophisticated in planning as they apparently hit the supply chain for a piece of software used to protect networks. Once inside, the "trojan horse" allowed access and control. The scope and objective of the hack remains to be determined.
Related articles:

Multiple federal agencies have been targeted in a sweeping cyber attack. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP
Multiple federal agencies have been targeted in a sweeping cyber attack. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP


"Electric trolleys, also known as streetcars, were a common mode of conveyance"

Interesting article on transportation of the past. Franklin also had trolley cars operating in the same period.
"Marlborough – A century ago, the city of Marlborough had an arguably more robust public transit system than it does today. It was possible to travel south to the Southborough border, north to Hudson, and east and west across the city on Main Street, all thanks to the Marlborough Street Railway Company. Electric trolleys, also known as streetcars, were a common mode of conveyance in numerous cities in the United States beginning in the 1880s. By 1895 the country had nearly 900 trolley companies running on over 10,000 miles of track.

It was possible to travel to additional destinations outside Marlborough using other trolley companies. The Marlborough and Westborough Street Railway ran from North Grafton, Westborough and Southborough to Marlborough, providing transportation to Westborough’s Lake Chauncy, which had an amusement park and dance pavilion, and the state hospital. The Worcester and Marlborough Street Railway also had a trolley line that ran from Marlborough westward through Northborough and Shrewsbury to Worcester."

Continue reading the article online

IRS: Stay home and stay safe with IRS online tools

The Internal Revenue Service today (12/16/20)encouraged taxpayers to take necessary actions now to help file federal tax returns timely and accurately in 2021.

This is the fourth in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. A special page, updated and available on, outlines steps taxpayers can take to make tax filing easier in 2021.

With continued social distancing, taxpayers can stay home and stay safe with IRS online tools and resources that help them find the information they need. These tools are easy to use and available 24 hours a day. Millions of people use them to find information about their accounts, get answers to tax questions or file and pay taxes.

Free File

Almost everyone can file electronically for free. The IRS Free File program, available only through or the IRS2Go app, offers brand-name tax preparation software packages at no cost. The software does all the work of finding deductions, credits and exemptions. It's free for those who earned $72,000 or less in 2020. Some of the Free File packages also offer free state tax return preparation.

Taxpayers comfortable filling out tax forms electronically, can use Free File Fillable Forms, regardless of income, to file their tax returns either by mail or online.

Choosing a preparer

The IRS has several options for finding a tax preparer. One resource is Choosing a Tax Professional, which offers a wealth of information for selecting a tax professional. The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help taxpayers find preparers in their area who currently hold professional credentials recognized by the IRS, or who hold an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion.

Other online help

The Interactive Tax Assistant answers general tax questions, including helping to determine if a type of income is taxable or if someone is eligible to claim certain credits and deductions. With changes to income and other life events for many in 2020, tax credits and deductions can mean more money in a taxpayer's pocket and thinking about eligibility now can help make tax filing easier next year.

Taxpayers may qualify for credits like the Child Tax Credit and Child and Dependent Care Credit. Taxpayers whose dependent does not qualify for the CTC might be able to claim the Credit for Other Dependents. Individuals paying higher education costs for themselves, a spouse or a dependent, may be eligible to save some money with education tax credits or deductions. Additionally, low- to moderate-income taxpayers may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Beginning in January 2021, the Interactive Tax Assistant will be updated to include answers to more tax law questions.

Taxpayers can check the status of their refund using the Where's My Refund? tool. The status is available within 24 hours after the IRS receives their e-filed tax return or up to four weeks after they mailed a paper return. The Where's My Refund? tool updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so taxpayers only need to check once a day.

The best and fastest way for taxpayers to get their tax refund is to have it direct deposited into their financial account. Taxpayers who don't have a financial account can visit the FDIC website for information to help open an account online.

For more information about planning ahead, see Publication 5348, Get Ready to File PDF, and Publication 5349, Year-Round Tax Planning is for Everyone PDF.

Shared from the IRS News Release

Commuter Rail: Franklin Line - maybe this is the last weekend for shuttle buses

Walpole – Forge Park/495 = September 12 – December 20, weekends

Shuttle buses replace trains between Walpole and Forge Park/495 to allow for work on the Franklin Line Double Track project.

Learn more about the Franklin Line Double Track project

See all Franklin Line service changes


Commuter Rail: Franklin Line - maybe this is the last weekend for shuttle buses
Commuter Rail: Franklin Line - maybe this is the last weekend for shuttle buses


Franklin Art Association: Virtual Gallery on Facebook

Check out our *third* FAA Virtual Gallery which is up on the FAA Facebook pages, as well as Instagram.   

The Facebook video is 3 minutes long while Instagram limits their videos to one minute. 

Franklin Art Association:  Virtual Gallery on Facebook
Franklin Art Association:  Virtual Gallery on Facebook


Friendly reminder from Franklin Fire Dept.

Help us find you.  In an emergency seconds count.

Friendly reminder from Franklin Fire Dept.
Friendly reminder from Franklin Fire Dept.

 Shared from Twitter:

"Speaker DeLeo Signals He May Leave House, Discloses Talks With Northeastern"

The Boston Globe has the following:

"Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo on Friday filed a much-anticipated ethics disclosure notifying officials he is in talks for a job with Northeastern University, potentially marking the beginning of the end of his tenure as the longest-serving House leader in Massachusetts history.

“I write to disclose that I intend to begin negotiating prospective employment opportunities with Northeastern University,” wrote DeLeo in a letter to the clerk of the House, Steven James.

The terse document — hand-delivered by DeLeo’s chief of staff, and also submitted to the state Ethics Commission — is the first official sign DeLeo is preparing to resign from the top House post he’s held since January 2009. As of Friday, DeLeo said, he had not “personally” had any discussions with anyone from the school."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
Related articles on the DeLeo transition:


Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo speaks at a bill signing ceremony at the State House in Boston in 2016. (Elise Amendola/AP)
Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo speaks at a bill signing ceremony at the State House in Boston in 2016. (Elise Amendola/AP)

Friday, December 18, 2020

Franklin's Weekend Outlook - Dec 19-20

Appropriately, in this winter landscape, FPAC presents "Winter Wonderland" this weekend. Franklin Federated features their Christmas service to be live streamed, and the Historical Museum is open on Sunday to view their new exhibits and get an ornament as a last minute gift. You can also purchase a #ThinkFranklinFirst gift card online to help local businesses.

** Saturday, December 19
4:00pm -  Winter Wonderland
7:00pm -  Winter Wonderland

** Sunday, December 20
10:00am -  Franklin Federated Church will LIVESTREAM Christmas Service
1:00pm -  Historical Museum (open and free admission)
4:00pm -  Winter Wonderland

#ThinkFranklinFirst gift cards can be purchased online

If you have an event to add to the calendar, you can use the form to submit it for publication:
Community Calendar
Community Calendar



FPAC presents "Winter Wonderland" - Dec 19-20

In this most unusual 2020 holiday season, the Franklin Performing Arts Company is pleased to present a musical outing to help you find the spirit of Christmas.  Wear a holiday mask, bundle up, and come to THE BLACK BOX Parking Lot Theater for a socially distanced experience filled with live holiday music, dance, and fun!  FPAC’s festive Winter Wonderland will have available for purchase delicious treats and a last-minute Stocking Stuffer Boutique.  

Your family or patron grouping will be assigned table seating to enjoy the show, presented in two entertaining short sets, with performances by your favorite FPAC entertainers and special Broadway guest stars!

Tickets available at a Adult, Student/Senior and a  Family price - A family includes two parents and their child/children (17 years old and younger).  Additional family members should purchase the appropriate ticket.  It will help our planning if family groups who wish to sit together purchase tickets in the same transaction (or notify the box office to combine tickets from more than one purchase). 

Purchase tickets online


FPAC presents "Winter Wonderland" - Dec 19-20
FPAC presents "Winter Wonderland" - Dec 19-20

Franklin in COVID Red Zone Means Pre-Registration for In-Person Masses at St. Mary’s

In response to today’s report (12/17/20) from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that Franklin has now entered the “red zone,” St. Mary’s has implemented new procedures that will affect anyone who wishes to attend Mass in person. The Archdiocese of Boston requires that these new procedures be implemented by all parishes located in cities or towns that qualify under the Commonwealth’s definition of the “red zone.”

Beginning this Saturday, December 19, all parishioners who wish to worship in person must:

1.    Pre-register online ( prior to arriving at the church. From the home page, click on the “Mass Registration” link. Then choose a Mass, provide your name(s), an email address, and a phone number. This information will be retained for two weeks and will be used for contact tracing only, if necessary.

2.    Allow a temperature screening to take place. Everyone with a temperature below 100.4 degrees will be allowed into the church building.

Alternatively, St. Mary’s live-streams the Saturday, 4 pm and Sunday, 10:30 am and 12:00 PM Masses. To access live-streaming, go the and click the “Live-Stream Masses” link at the time of the Mass. Once each Mass ends, a recording is also available through the same link. St. Mary’s also offers a Sunday, 7:30 AM Mass that is not live-streamed.

Pre-registration and temperature checks will not be required once the Department of Public Health deems that Franklin is no longer in the “red zone.”

About us:

The community of St. Mary is a Roman Catholic parish of the Archdiocese of Boston located at 1 Church Square, Franklin MA. Founded as a parish in 1877, it currently serves the spiritual needs of over 4,500 families.

Pre-Registration for In-Person Masses at St. Mary’s
Pre-Registration for In-Person Masses at St. Mary’s