Saturday, January 23, 2021

Town Council meeting recap = Jan 20, 2021 - Public House license approved, several streets accepted

Quick Recap:
  • New all alcohol license for the Public House (in Franklin Village - former location of British Beer Co)
  • Multiple streets accepted, allows for formal Town ownership, completes a process that broke when developers completed their projects in some cases years ago. Minimal patching and plowing could be done without acceptance, major repairs prohibited as government money can not be spent on private property.
  • Storm water bylaws required minor technical adjustments to bring them inline with the EPA MS4 permit. This was the first reading for the four individual bylaws to be heard. All were approved for second reading.
  • Councilor Kelly went on a 'rant' around the storm water utility fee during the storm water bylaw update thinking that the changes were bringing the utility fees to the discussion. That was not the case, the utility fee proposal, discussion, and decision will be a separate item for a future agenda but the rant continued.
  • First responder vaccine distribution completed on Wednesday, process caught attention of Milford Regional Hospital who wants to leverage our experience. No word yet on what's next for vaccine distribution. Awaiting info from MA DPH on who, what and when available. Stay tuned.

Photos captured during the meeting can be found in one folder

recording of meeting to be made available soon

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  #tc0120 

  • Shifting from one Zoom session to another to report on the Town Council meeting about to begin. Agenda doc has connection info #tc0120
  • Meeting called to order #tc0120
  • Chair Tom Mercer runs through protocol message for meeting #tc0120 reminder on incorrect calculation of interest on tax bill for 3Q. Corrected bill mailed, due date extended. online portal has correct amount.
Citizen Comment
Approval of prior minutes
  • Approval of minutes for Dec 2, 2020 via roll call passes 9-0 #tc0120 proclamation postponed to meeting in Feb Public hearing opens at 7:10 PM - license hearing for Public House
Public hearing - new alcohol license
  • Targeting for opening in May/June depending upon renovation being done, menu some carry over from The Gavel. 'Upscale American' would be Indoor and outdoor service weather permitting, capacity inside 180 (occupancy 200). No license pledge needed, self funded. #tc0120
  • All servers to be too certified, may come back with an operation manager later. #tc0120 fees reduced for this year per bylaw previously approved. Landlord needs to do something 1st, license needed to be confirmed, then restaurant would proceed. Motion 2 close hearing via roll
  • Opening hearing on street acceptances, then back to approve the license (rather than have them wait) motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0 via roll call (Hamblen remote) #tc0120 kudos for Chrissy Whelton on this process No to the street acceptances, first wave of several
Public hearing on street acceptances
  • Last tweet should have said NOW to streets, not 'no' #tc0120 what is practical difference between public and private; primary difference town takes care of road repairs and snow plowing, the total mileage of roads helps with state reimbursement.
  • #tc0120 Q on sidewalks along Baron would they removed at sometime, and narrow like Coronation Dr. Baron is one of the work roads, can't work on it without funding, haven't taken hard look at it. Would be done via public hearing. The road is a mess. It is a concern
  • #tc0120 reinforce the state of disrepair of Baron, can't put money in it unless it is accepted. Often folks don't walk on the sidewalks, use the road instead. Don't count on getting two sidewalks, we need to reduce impervious coverage. EPA in charge of the potential fine
  • #tc0120 just not possible with EPA restrictions. Multiple councilor comments on road condition and planning for redoing eventually. It costs the Town to create the acceptance plan. We plow/filling potholes for safety reasons where streets were intended to be accepted
  • Baron due to condition would be a full depth reconstruction. #tc0120 landscaping on Coronation is aborhent claims of severely compromising safety to save some money. 1st step is recognizing the road, let's do that. Homeowners responsible for keeping sidewalks passable
Subcommittee Updates
  • #tc0120 motion to close hearing, passes 9-0 via roll call EDC met last Weds, started discussion on housing, had a pretzel discussion, need to come back with some definition, 5:45 next meeting to discuss food truck bylaw. TA review rescheduled! storm water bylaw ...
  • Passed a year ago, info sessions planned, 2 held before pandemic. #tc0120 storm water page has info and maps for property impervious coverage; utility fee more fair application, credits available, will offset ops budget funds eventually 
  • 14 Communities already have a utility fee, ours is less than the others. #tc0120 fee would raise about $1.4M each year. Would free operations capacity in FY 22 and FY 23. Check your property on the map 
  • #tc0120 Dellorco and Jones add to reinforce Hamblen's comments on the utility fee to manage the EPA mandate. Did check proof of proposed billing statement that would include the utility fee and appear on next water, sewer invoice. There are legislation tonight ...
  • To set up for the utility fee, no action on the fee itself tonight. #tc0120 * Moving to legislation for action. 
Legislation for action
Town Administrator report through to closing
  • Town Administrator report, FHS gym completed the vaccine clinics nothing wasted on doses, had backup plan for utilization of the extras Milford Regional asking for us to help them plan distribution. As to what is next? Don't know. #tc0120
  • #tc0120 early education and K-12 before the over 65 with multiple co-morbidities Health Director Liberty can now order vaccines. Some distribution will be on-site for some groups, rather than in a facility like the gym
  • #tc0120 waiting for the State to tell us when we get the next batch. For distribution to the general public, it would likely use the high school for parking, flow, etc. Billable units. Driving downtown, no cars parked at all at 11 in the morning.
  • #tc0120 "shout out to Project Envoy for helping in this way, great to see the community help." "It is sad to see the downtown so quiet and empty." "Congratulations to Declan Lynch for his scholarship win." Hotline is off the charts at SAFE Coalition with requests for help
  • #tc0120 thank the Board of Health and our paramedics, it was really well done. To hear the comments from the other Communities, it was heartening. Motion to adjourn, passes 9-0 via roll call Catch you all next time!
Town Council meeting recap = Jan 20, 2021 - Public House license approved, several streets accepted
Town Council meeting recap = Jan 20, 2021 - Public House license approved, several streets accepted

Franklin Senior Center: Email Blast Jan 22, 2021

Hello Everyone!


Staying Connected

Link to the Senior Center -

Link to the Senior Center Calendar -

Link to Franklin Matters -

Link to the Town's webpage -

Link to Mass.Gov COVID - 


Brain Games.  Work out your brain 

Smiling can trick the body into helping you elevate your mood because the physical act of smiling actually activates neural messaging in your brain. A simple smile can trigger the release of neural communication boosting neuropeptides as well as mood-boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.  Make sure you SMILE today! 


Qigong for beginners - 30 minutes 

The Alps - A scenic journey of relaxation and beauty set to calming music. 60 minute scenic film 


Beatbox brilliance - Tom Thum - TEDx talk 

The Robotic Musician 

Street Artist Playing Hallelujah on crystal glasses 

Just for Fun

Rolling Stone Readers Picks for the top 10 greatest cover songs. 

Amazing secrets hidden in everyday items - How many of these were you aware of? 

Admiral McRaven's motivational speech.  16 minutes that will change your life. 

9 of the most mysterious islands on the planet - WOW!  I just added places to my bucket list 


Funniest Flight Attendant safety speech 

Man loses his teeth playing guitar wait until you see what happens next! 

Kindness Matters

The Science of Kindness 


Upcoming Events 

email to attend zoom events unless noted otherwise.

*Monday Jan. 25th at 2pm - Memory Cafe' Sponsored by Benchmark - Join us for an hour of music and socialization.

*Tuesday Jan. 26th at 5pm - Quarantini Time a virtual, social, cocktail hour.

*Tuesday Jan. 26th at 1pm -Audio Book Discussion Group- email 

*Wed. Jan. 27th at 4pm -Alzheimer's Support Group - email 

*Thursday Jan. 28th at 10am- Discussion Group - call to sign up 508-520-4945

*Thursday Jan. 28th at 1pm - Tele-Bingo call the Senior Center to sign up 508-520-4945

*Thursday Jan. 28th at 1pm - Franklin Historical Museum Tour with Jim Johnston via zoom

*Friday Jan. 29th at 11am - Sunshine Zoom - for members with memory loss - 1 hour of socialization, games and gentle exercise. 

Wednesday Feb. 3rd at 1 pm - Fireside Chat with the staff of the Franklin Senior Center Hear what's on the schedule for February, Ask questions of the staff, provide input as to activities and events you would like to see or just catch up with us all.  Call to sign up for this zoom event or email 

Attached you will find:

  1. Donna's Fun filled Activity Pages - Do you remember the Carol Burnett show?!?

Love, virtual hugs and good health to you all!  We are still here for you! 

Ariel and the staff of the Franklin Senior Center

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.

Ariel Doggett

Virtual Program Coordinator
Respite Coordinator

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

SchComm: Davis Thayer Facility Analysis subcommittee meeting recap - Jan 20, 2021

Quick Recap:
  • In the prior meeting, the SubCommittee heard the financial analysis and education research required to complete Stage 1, Phase 2. A couple of points were left open and the meeting ran out of time. This meeting picks up where that left off. (The link for the prior meeting recap is located below)
  • There was a clarification on the role of the School Committee (they determine educational use and requirements) and Town (they manage the facility building and would determine a future use) if the School Committee declares it not needed for education. This subcommittee is follow the policy and process to determine if the building is needed or not. Given the excess capacity in the current facilities, it is likely to be determined not needed.
  • Solutions (the after school care program) is not constrained in either facility (Davis Thayer or Keller), the program would adjust depending upon where the students were. It is a fee based program and effectively self supported.
  • Discussion among the subcommittee reveals no consensus on readiness for decision. Meetings to be scheduled weekly for a period to work through this discussion. Overall concern is to make a decision soon. The planning for transition to the new school will require time and effort to make that transition successful.
Photos captured during the meeting can be found in one folder
The audio recording of this meeting will be available soon

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  #DTFA0120

  • Getting ready for live reporting of the SchComm Davis Thayer Facility Analysis subcommittee meeting agenda doc contains link info #dtfa0120
  • #dtfa0120 open at 5:30 with roll call of members, three present (all accounted for) motion to approve minutes of prior meeting, passed 3-0 via roll call (Pfeffer, Scofield, Stokes - chair)
  • Davis Thayer facility analysis page #dtfa0120
  • Clarification on buildings as property of the Town and used by SchComm; SchComm determines school use, if not longer desired, the Town has decision process. #dtfa0120
  • #dtfa0120 Pfeffer raises question on sentence within report reviewed prior. Re: town budget for support of DT facility. Q - from prior meeting on Solutions, A - no constraints on space at Keller, and re: staffing, minimal requirements, could be handled in transition ...
  • Not a financial issue for Solutions operations, they haven't been full at either location, they could be more efficient at one. #dtfa0120 architect report had recommended using Keller as it was already paired with DT feeding Sullivan middle school
  • Focus on DT question first, Parmenter is also a consideration for closing but also has other programs that were not considered as part of the architect report and would be more work to figure out. DT 'easier' / 'cleaner' to work numbers for. #dtfa0120
  • #dtfa0120 could DT be used for other educational purposes. Was briefly discussed at Central Office; alternative high school, office space, among ideas raised. Space is still excess, will have space elsewhere as the years move along and the population wave moves thru
  • Educational adequacy and access still pose issues as it stands today. Addressing those comes at a cost (not cheap) for an aging building. #dtfa0120 clarification on title I, will follow the students (targeted assistance) but can't exceed what's provided for Parmenter
  • Will write the Title I grant accordingly. #dtfa0120 difference between positions and people. Some roles might not be needed but folks in those today and be used elsewhere in many cases. BTW approx. 50+ participating via zoom
  • #dtfa0120 not an easy decision, some students would be bused across town. We need to think about that. Discussion on meeting frequency, what info is available vs. what is required (diff among subcomm members). Discussion on outline of info for full SchComm
  • #dtfa0120 other options for consideration. Page 1 - if option to close for FY 22 is desired, need to make soon to start transition planning; logistics, school culture, etc. Page 2 other options to slow the closure and/or redistrict
  • No option on redistrict without closure, issue is with excess space and the ease of closing (without redistricting) is the better financial option. Esp if closing elementary schools and combining middle schools is long term plan, the way to go #dtfa0120
  • Redistricting is something you only do once, if at all. #dtfa0120 the full SchComm will likely take up 'master plan' after this Committee does it's work. Map of district shared to highlight the middle school sending areas in the 3 colors
  • Discussion on impact of apartments at Waverly and Dean, and they currently do not have an impact on the school population. #dtfa0120 discussion on how to make the decision, not as quantitative as one thought. Subcommittee members to put decision thought process on paper to ...
  • Have members review to see what if anything is needed or ready. Discussion on FY 22 vs 23 is key to reduce options, members not ready to commit to that tonight. #dtfa0120 could do VLA students as part of the phased approach. Voting is on recommendation not actual decision
  • Opening for Community questions, comments #dtfa0120 apprehension around closing is present and could be worse with decision. Dealing with unprecedented times. We don't know what next year will bring. #s represent real students and people.
  • #dtfa0120 4th graders would be there for one year and then to Sullivan for middle school. Taking a logistics approach. Can it be done in the time required? We need this to be a thoughtful process. Make decision and go. We need to do the rest of the work
  • Other options to communicate on this issue, #dtfa0120 motion to adjourn, passes 3-0 via roll call 


Jan 14, 2021 recap =  (audio) =

SchComm: Davis Thayer Facility Analysis subcommittee meeting recap - Jan 20, 2021
SchComm: Davis Thayer Facility Analysis subcommittee meeting recap - Jan 20, 2021

FHS gymnastics tops Taunton on Friday

From we share the FHS sports results: 

Gymnastics = Taunton, 128.2  @ Franklin, 140.45 – Final

For other results around the Hockomock League

Results confirmed via Twitter

FHS gymnastics tops Taunton on Friday
FHS gymnastics tops Taunton on Friday

Q & A with the FPS Digital Learning Integrationists - Feb 3

Franklin Public Schools, MA (@FranklinPSNews) tweeted on Fri, Jan 22, 2021:
Families: Mark your calendars for the next Q & A with the FPS Digital Learning Integrationists on Wednesday, February 3rd from 7 - 7:45 PM. They are here to help and answer any questions you may have. 
Google Meet link =
@mertenladybugs @MZogby @Jim_dEntremont

Shared from Twitter:

Q & A with the FPS Digital Learning Integrationists - Feb 3
Q & A with the FPS Digital Learning Integrationists - Feb 3

Fund raiser for Teddy Gallagher's - Jan 23, 2021

Matt Zajac writes:

Another local music venue is in danger... Teddy Gallagher's Irish Pub
 is fighting to keep their doors open and could use your help! This Saturday, 1/23, at 3 PM, they will be streaming live from the pub, raising funds to help keep this longstanding Franklin restaurant/bar from having to close.
There will be live music from myself (Matt Zajac), Ricky Robidoux/Dan Sutton  duo, and many more! Please join us from the comfort of your own  living room and support this local business!!!
The event will be streaming live from Teddy Gallagher's  Facebook page where you will be able to donate to the cause!"

Shared from Facebook: 

FHS Gymnastics: Meet Emma, meet Lizzie

FHS Gymnastics (@fhs_gymnastics) tweeted:
Meet Emma! @FHSSports @FranklinHS @FranklinMatters @R_Lanigan @BostonHeraldHS @MetroWestSports @HockomockSports @MyFM1013 @KatCornetta @FHSTrainingRoom

Meet Lizzie! @FHSSports  @FranklinHS  @FranklinMatters  @R_Lanigan  @BostonHeraldHS  @MetroWestSports  @HockomockSports   @MyFM1013  @KatCornetta  @FHSTrainingRoom
 @lizziebrown36  @Mtgbrigham


CommonWealth Magazine: Student Opportunity Act to be funded in FY 22 budget; sports betting bill filed again


"GOV. CHARLIE BAKER will propose fully funding the first year of the recently updated school funding formula when he releases his fiscal 2022 budget proposal next week – a commitment that was delayed by a year due to COVID-19.  

Baker made the announcement on Friday at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting, which was conducted virtually due to COVID-19. 

Baker did not go into details other than to say the administration will “keep our commitment to local school districts by fully funding the first year of the Student Opportunity Act.” 

The governor did not give an exact dollar figure for how much additional money he will put into education aid. But based on past estimates, it will likely be more than $300 million. "

Continue reading the article online

"Sports betting is back.

State Sen. Brendan Crighton, a Lynn Democrat, reintroduced a bill this week to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts, reviving a debate that died without action at the end of the last legislative session.

“Looking at the states around us, folks are going to bet on sports whether or not we legalize this, but right now the money’s going to the black market and to other states,” Crighton said in an interview with CommonWealth. “With the black market, you’re not getting any consumer protections. We think it’s important to bring people out of the shadows into the regulated market.”

Last summer, the Massachusetts House voted on a bill to legalize sports betting. The House then included sports betting in its version of an economic development bill. But the Senate never held a vote on the policy, and it was left out of the final version of the economic development bill."

Continue reading the article online

MBTA Commuter Rail: Winter schedule now in effect, NO weekend service on Franklin Line

Winter Schedule will take effect on January 23. Weekend service will only operate on the Middleborough, Fairmount, Providence, Worcester & Newburyport/Rockport Lines. Schedules are now available at South Station, North Station, Back Bay &

On January 23rd, the 2021 Winter Service Schedule will go into effect. This Schedule will introduce:

- Additional trains on the Middleborough, Fairmount and Newburyport Lines.

- A revised weekend service with trains only operating on the Fairmount, Worcester, Providence, Middleborough, and Newburyport/Rockport lines.

Paper Schedules will be available in South Station, North Station and Back Bay starting the week of January 18th.

Last Updated: Jan 22 2021 02:55 PM

For other updates and the online schedule visit

MBTA Commuter Rail: Winter schedule now in effect, NO weekend service on Franklin Line
MBTA Commuter Rail: Winter schedule now in effect, NO weekend service on Franklin Line

COVID Vaccines: Fact Versus Fiction

"Vince Venditto, UK College of Pharmacy, is busting myths about COVID-19 vaccines to help inform your decision to get vaccinated":

"Over the past year, a novel, highly contagious virus has spread across the world. Scientists and researchers have worked quickly to respond with vaccine development, two of which have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use so far.

As the vaccine rollout continues for frontline health care workers and others in the most vulnerable populations, it is important to separate fact from fiction with regard to the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

Vince Venditto, PhD, assistant professor in the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Science, has extensive expertise in vaccine design. He was trained in organic synthesis and vaccine development. He is currently working on a clinical trial with community pharmacies to understand the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in Kentucky.

He is busting myths about the vaccines to help inform your decision to get vaccinated. "

Continue reading the article online:

One in a series of COVID myth articles, early this week we shared:

Vince Venditto, UK College of Pharmacy, is busting myths about COVID-19 vaccines
Vince Venditto, UK College of Pharmacy, is busting myths about COVID-19 vaccines (University of Kentucky photo)

Friday, January 22, 2021

Franklin's Weekend Outlook: Jan 23 - Jan 25, 2021

Saturday, January 23
11:00am -  Preschool & Kindergarten Open House (Sunrise Montessori)

Sunday, January 24
1:00pm -  Historical Museum (open and free admission)
3:00pm -  Project BOE - Informational Meeting (virtual session)

Monday, January 25
7:30pm -  S.W.A.N Paint Night; Strength, Wellness & Networking (virtual session)

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

Franklin's "Watch list" for 2021

The "watch list" for Franklin in 2021. These are the items I see facing Franklin this year. The insights developed in over fourteen years of reporting on Franklin and in particular over 100 meetings during 2020 are behind the summary of items here. This is the short story. 

If you need or want more on these, stay tuned, I'll be following these throughout the year. If you want a better explanation of one or more, send me an email. If there are enough inquires, I can also schedule a Q&A session like held Thursday for the Senior Center.

Pandemic and recovery

  • This should not be a surprise, our individual health and the health of the community will begin to determine how much the economy can recover.

Town budget/School budget for FY 2022

  • While we averted a real problem last year, the question remains: what will happen this year? We get a peek with the release of the Governor's budget next week (by statue required by Wednesday). Given 22% of our budget is state aid (DLS numbers via DLS Dashboard), that is a key starting point.
  • The economy will help via the local receipts (assuming we recover from COVID-19). The School budget is the big unknown (from my point of view). The District is making progress on the Davis Thayer situation (but no timeline or approval yet on closing the building). While that is underway, the other buildings that could also be closed are not yet on the table for discussion.

Affordable housing

  • The population of Franklin has seen slower growth recently. What is the proper mix of housing for the population we have and anticipate? Will it be affordable for the folks to live here? All good questions and the discussion will be held in earnest this year.

Franklin election (November 2021)

  • Yes, the Town Council, School Committee, and many other positions are up for election in November. Who will run? What issues will they be facing? Will we see more youthful and diverse candidates?

Citizen engagement

  • The voter turnout for the Sep and November 2020 elections were the highest numbers seen although by percent, we have turned out more (in 2016). The pandemic likely contributed to both the voter numbers and smaller per cent. Mail ballots were a key contributor. Will they become the 'norm'? What about early voting for a local election?
  • The access to public meetings has made more engagement possible. Franklin residents can participate via Zoom, live stream, or cable channel. Less of an excuse to not be able to see and hear what is going on whether Town Council, Planning Board, School Committee or any number of other public boards and committees.


What would you add to this list?

What was the "watch list" for 2020?