Saturday, August 7, 2021

Franklin Food Pantry: Time for a nibble!

Franklin Food Pantry
Time for a nibble!

Happy Summer Days!
As a much-appreciated donor, we want you to see how contribution has supported some particular programs for our neighbors in the recent months.

This first ever distribution was a huge hit with our neighbors, their families and our staff. We distributed over 175 bags of items for a summer feast, including hot dogs, hamburgers, rolls, chips, condiments and cotton candy. Fun Bags of chalk, bubbles, footballs, American flags and more brought smiles to many faces. It was a brutally hot day but so worth it. Given the immense success, we hope to secure funding to permanently add July 4th Bags to our Holiday Distributions for Thanksgiving and Winter.
We have incredible volunteers led by Jen Kuse who care for our 11 beds at the Community Garden on King Street. We also are lucky enough to receive fresh produce from local churches who grow fresh produce on their own premises. Your funding supports the costs for this vital program, including purchasing seeds, plants and equipment; renting and maintaining the beds; packaging the produce, and more. Below you will catch a glimpse of the amazing fresh herbs and vegetables - and wild flowers - that are grown, harvested and distributed to neighbors each week!
Thank you for your continued support of the Franklin Food Pantry! We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and we will see you in the fall as we kick off two our largest fundraising events of the year: the annual Turkey Trot and our popular food elves program!

Franklin Food Pantry | 43 WEST CENTRAL STREET, Franklin, MA 02038

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Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Fire Department

The Department
The Franklin Fire Department administration is led by a Fire Chief who is assisted by an Executive Assistant. The department is divided into two divisions, operations and administration, which are each under the direction of the two Deputy Chiefs. The operations division is responsible for dispatch, emergency medical services, fire suppression and hazardous materials response. The administration division is responsible for personnel, budget, training, code compliance and coordinating the Town’s emergency preparedness.

Our Mission
The Franklin Fire Department is committed to providing the highest level of public safety services for our community. We safely protect lives and property through fire suppression, training, emergency medical and transportation services, disaster and crisis management, fire prevention and public education.

Operational Objectives
Initiating advanced life support to patients within 10 minutes of receiving the telephone call at our communications center.
To access, extricate, treat and transport trauma patients to a level one trauma medical facility within one hour of the occurrence of the injury.
Interrupt the progression of fires in structures within 10 minutes of open flame ignition.
To insure response readiness remains greater than 70%.
Provide safety and survival skills for all school students in grade K through 5 consistent with the Student Awareness Fire Education (SAFE) initiative of the Commonwealth.
Provide continued valuable services to the senior population with home safety inspections and smoke/carbon monoxide battery replacement.
Develop a partnership with the Franklin Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC).
Provide educational opportunities for department members to insure optimal performance and safety.
To develop and maintain “best practice” to insure personnel and citizen safety.
Insure fire safety through timely, consistent code compliance services to all external customers.
Provide all department services in a manner that satisfies the needs of our customers.

Message from the Fire Chief
The creation of the rank of Battalion Chief, on each group, will provide a supervisory position responsible for all operations of on-duty personnel, in addition to administrative duties and individually assigned collateral duties. Operationally, the Battalion Chief will allow us to achieve a proper span of control on each group, meeting industry-wide consensus standards and ensuring for the safety of all on-scene personnel.

We have also implemented an EMS Captain position that is responsible for the emergency medical services and transportation mission. A critical role for this position is to provide efficient and consistent QA/QI of EMS incident reports, in order to maximize our transport reimbursements back to the Town. For fiscal year 2020, the Department received its largest reimbursement from rescue billing, which was over $1.5 million.

In January 2021, the Department will be adding four additional Firefighters/Paramedics to the organization to provide greater safety to the community as well as the members of the department. This additional staffing will also create more company cohesiveness and efficiency in daily operations.

Overall, the Department responded to 4,466 calls for service this past fiscal year. Emergency medical service calls accounted for 64% of those calls. While during the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for calls for service decreased by approximately 15-20%, the overall annual call volume only decreased by 20 calls total.

Thankfully, the community did not suffer any fire related deaths this year. Department members suffered five loss time work related injuries during the fiscal year which is reduced from last year.

Continue reading the report on page 93 of the printed version or page 99 of the PDF version

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Fire Department
Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Fire Department

The Guardian: "COVID-19 discoveries: what we know now that we didn’t know before"

"How COVID spreads
When COVID first hit the UK, so too did sales of hand sanitiser. On 28 February, Boris Johnson said: “The best thing people can do to prevent the spread of coronavirus is wash your hands.”

The emphasis was, in part, because it was thought one of the key routes by which COVID was spread was by people touching contaminated surfaces and then touching their own face – so called “fomite transmission”. Websites even appeared designed to alert you should you reach for your features, while many people became concerned about whether to disinfect groceries and parcels.

But experts now argue that the role of tiny virus-containing particles called aerosols, emitted along with larger droplets when infected people breathe, speak or cough, were overlooked – and that ventilation in indoor settings is crucial to reduce the spread of COVID."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

The Guardian: "COVID-19 discoveries: what we know now that we didn’t know before"
The Guardian: "COVID-19 discoveries: what we know now that we didn’t know before"

Reinvention Boot Camp - Thursday, Aug 26


You've set a course to reinvent yourself and made some progress.  Maybe as a freelancer, a consultant, or a business startup.  

But you could use some advice, ideas, connections or encouragement. 

That's what the Reinvention Bootcamp is all about.  

Join our panel of highly experienced Business Advisors for guidance & insight.  Then break into small groups with fellow "ReInventors" and one of our Advisors  to get specific and practical input tailored to your questions.  

You'll leave this workshop inspired and ready to jumpstart the next  phase of your reinvention journey!  

Thursday, August 26, 10-11:30 am 



Presented by the 50+ Job Seekers Networking Program and The Encore Boston Network

Reinvention Boot Camp - Thursday, Aug 26
Reinvention Boot Camp - Thursday, Aug 26

Statement from Senate President Karen E. Spilka on Masks in Schools

Statement from Senate President Karen E. Spilka on Masks in Schools 


Next month, almost a million children will return to Massachusetts K-12 public schools. Of these kids, nearly half will be under 12 years old and therefore ineligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to the classroom. 


Throughout the spring and summer, I joined parents and teachers in the hope that our children could return to school with a sense of normalcy. With the rise of the highly contagious Delta variant, however, the situation is clear: COVID-19 case counts are rising. The number of deaths is once again rising, including among those who have been vaccinated. This means that we are not quite ready to return to our pre-pandemic 'normal.' 


Public health experts and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that universal masking in schools is an effective way to keep our vulnerable children and residents safe as we continue to fight this global pandemic. Parents, school staff and students seek clear, consistent direction as the school year starts, and they deserve to get it from the state. That's why I am calling on the Baker Administration to require masks in school this fall. 


No one wants to go back to the dark early days of this public health crisis, and so we must do everything possible to keep people safe and our economy stable. Wearing a mask around vulnerable populations, including unvaccinated children and others, is a small and simple action we can take to do this.  


Our children deserve to learn, grow and thrive in a safe and healthy environment, free from the disruption, anxiety and fear of a COVID-19 outbreak in their school. Massachusetts residents have shown such amazing compassion, caring and resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to keep going until our youngest and most vulnerable can be vaccinated. More Perfect Union - 020 - Climate Change

"In this episode, Frank and the group discuss the current climate crisis, projections, and what efforts the U.S. and the rest of the world need to make to keep things under control."

Direct link -> More Perfect Union - 020 - Climate Change More Perfect Union - 020 - Climate Change


Cake Bar update - closing Aug 14 to re-open (TBD) with new owners

"Hi everyone! It is with sadness we inform you that The Cake Bar is closing its doors. We want to thank the town of Franklin, surrounding towns, and all our customers for your loyalty and friendship throughout the years. Our last day will be Saturday, August 14th, so come in to get your treats and smoothie bowls while they last.

We know you need your smoothie fix, so look for upcoming news about Sippin’ Smoothies and bowls on Facebook or Instagram! @sippinsmoothies   

The new owners will continue to provide you with beautiful, delicious custom cakes and cupcakes, and will also turn it into a wonderful place for breakfast and lunch. They will be shutting down for renovations but make sure to look for the grand opening in the fall! We’ll see you there and we can all give them a big welcome!

Thank you all so much - The Cake Bar"

Cake Bar update - closing Aug 14 to re-open (TBD) with new owners
Cake Bar update - closing Aug 14 to re-open (TBD) with new owners

Friday, August 6, 2021

Franklin's Event Outlook: Aug 6 - Aug 12, 2021

Another busy day at the Town Common with the Farmers Market; music, kids crafts, "Touch a Tractor", and then Concerts on the Common with two music sets and a movie!

Friday, August 6
2:00pm - Farmers Market
3:30pm - Kids craft activity by Library Youth Services
5:00pm - Concerts on the Common: "David Penza"
6:00pm - Concerts on the Common: "Backyard Swagger"
8:00pm - Movie Night: Frozen II

Saturday, August 7

10:00am - Historical Museum (always free)

Sunday, August 8
1:00pm - Historical Museum (always free)

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

The Town meeting calendar is found
The School district meeting calendar is found
Community Calendar
Community Calendar

Franklin Election 2021: What does the Board of Health do?

From the Annual Report of 2020 is this brief section on the Board of Health:

"The three-member elected Board of Health is the policy making arm for the Health Department. The board members assist in the drafting of public health bylaws and regulations. The board also presides over administrative hearings concerning health department licensed and permitted activities. The board members are utilized for consultation on issues relative to public health as well."
One position is up for election on November 2 for a 4 year term. The other positions will be up for election in 2 years. This staggers the membership to maintain institutional knowledge. The Board of Health Chair, Bridget Sweet current holds the seat up for election this year.

What does the Health Department do?
"The Franklin Health Department is charged with protecting the public health and well-being of the community, in accordance with federal, state and local public health laws and regulations. 
The Franklin Health Department's responsibilities include inspecting and permitting new and repaired/upgraded individual septic systems, witnessing percolation testing, biannual inspections of all food service and retail food establishments, investigating complaints of public health nuisances, enforcement of the state sanitary code relative to housing, licensing of children's recreational camps, inspection of semi-public swimming pools and spas, tanning salon and manicure/pedicure establishment inspections. The Health Department also issues permits for individual private drinking water and irrigation wells."

State Required Duties of the Board of Health can be found here

The Board of Health can be found on the Town of Franklin page

Find more information on the Franklin Election Nov 2, 2021 in the "election collection"

Franklin Election 2021: What does the Board of Health do?
Franklin Election 2021: What does the Board of Health do?

Head's Up: MIAA has changed their high school scheduling system

Thanks to Medway Athletics (@MedwayAthletics) for tweeting earlier this week:
"Looking for Fall Schedules

The @MIAA033  has changed its scheduling system and the MIAA App is no longer being used.

Please visit the ArbiterLive link below (a work in progress)…   or directly for Franklin High School go to

More updates including iPhone/Android App coming soon. Please be patient."
Found via Twitter:   Note: I swapped out the Medway High link for the FHS link.

While we are on the MIAA webpage, what are the schedules for each of the seasons (as it stands now) for the 2021-2022 school year?

Head's Up: MIAA has changed their high school scheduling system
Head's Up: MIAA has changed their high school scheduling system

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Design Review Commission

The purpose of the Design Review Commission (DRC) is to promote safe, functional, and attractive development of business and commercial areas to unify commercial properties, both visually and physically, with surrounding land uses and to protect and preserve the unique and cultural features within the Town. The Commission uses the Town codes and bylaws to ensure new developments and sign installations enhance the New England character of the Town’s commercial centers and thoroughfares. The DRC has approval authority on signage and recommendation input to the Planning Board on Site Plans as to landscaping and lighting and Building Plans as to exterior design, colors, and materials.

The DRC is comprised of 5 regular members and 2 associate members. Currently there are vacancies on the Commission: one full time regular member and two associate members. All members are resident volunteers who are appointed by the Town Council. Current Commission members are Mark Fitzgerald, Chair, Chris Baryluk, Vice Chair, Samuel Williams, and James Bartro.

During FY20 the DRC reviewed and addressed several Site Plans as to landscaping and lighting and exterior Building Plans as to elevations, design, colors, and materials. Reviews included projects such as the apartments at Dean Avenue Downtown. In addition, sign applications were received, hearings held, and decisions issued for over 50 signs during the past fiscal year.

Due to concerns regarding the Covid-19 virus, Design Review Commission Meetings are held remotely via Zoom. Anyone wishing to attend a meeting may do so by clicking on the Zoom link or by calling the phone number provided.

Meetings are held at 7:00 pm on two Tuesdays a month. Meeting times, dates, and agendas are posted on the Town’s website:

Respectfully submitted, 
Mark Fitzgerald, Chair 

The full Annual Report for 2020 can be found online

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Design Review Commission
Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Design Review Commission

Hey Franklin, a COVID-19 vaccine clinic scheduled for Aug 25

COVID-19 vaccine clinic is scheduled for Aug 25, 2021 at Davis Thayer...
Schedule at this link ->
Hey Franklin, a COVID-19 vaccine clinic scheduled for Aug 25
Schedule at this link ->

Hey Franklin, a COVID-19 vaccine clinic scheduled for Aug 25
Hey Franklin, a COVID-19 vaccine clinic scheduled for Aug 25 More Perfect Union - 019 - Public Health

"In this episode, Frank and the group discuss public health, what's a right and what needs to be enforced, and why the government needs to play a part in protecting the public."

Direct link ->

More Perfect Union - 019 - Public Health
More Perfect Union - 019 - Public Health

COVID-19 Response Reporting for Franklin. |

The link should bring you to the data released on Thursday August 5, 2021.

Franklin doubled it's case count since last week's report. Jumping from 16 to 32

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Celebrate National Farmers Market Week

"National Farmers Market Week kicked off on Aug. 1. It’s an annual celebration launched in 1999 by the US Department of Agriculture to call attention to the benefits of farmers’ markets and their contribution to the community. 
From sweet corn to tomatoes and raspberries picked that day, the markets offer us a host of seasonal, local foods and generate revenue for family farmers by selling directly to shoppers. Food producers — cheese and pasta makers, bakers, condiment creators, and others — benefit, too, by the direct sales. 
“Farmers’ markets bring us access not only to nutritional foods, but also preserves farmland and puts money in the local economy,” says Hal Shubin, who helps run the Belmont Farmers’ Market. Customers may grumble that the foods are costlier than at supermarkets, and some are, although plenty are competitively priced. Everything is fresher, which contributes to a longer shelf life. 
And the markets are a place where you see your friends and neighbors. The celebratory week brings special events, music, games for kids, giveaways, lectures, and more. To find a farmers’ market near you, visit"
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

For the events scheduled for the Franklin Farmers Market this Friday

Farmer Nick will have his tractor on the Town Common Friday
Farmer Nick will have his tractor on the Town Common Friday

More from the US Dept. of Agriculture on National Farmers Market Week

Franklin Election 2021: What does the Planning Board do?

 From the Town of Franklin Planning Board webpage we can share:

"The Planning Board, established under Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 41, Section 81A, is an elected board comprised of five members, each with a four year term and one appointed associate member.

The Planning Board’s primary responsibilities are to administer the Subdivision Control Law pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 41 and to issue certain special permits and site plan approval under the Town of Franklin Zoning By-Laws in order to ensure the public safety, interest and welfare of the residents of the Town. State and local laws and regulations governing procedures for these approvals are MGL Chapter 40A (the Zoning Act); MGL Chapter 41, Sections 81K - 81GG (the Subdivision Control Law); Chapter 300 of the Franklin Town Code Subdivision Regulations; and the Town of Franklin Zoning Bylaws Chapter 185.

The Board conducts meetings and public hearings in compliance with Town of Franklin General Laws to review and consider preliminary and definitive subdivision plans, Site plans and Special Permits, Approval Not Required (Form A) plans, and Certificate of completion applications.

The Planning Board also considers and prepares amendments to the Town of Franklin Zoning By-laws and the Town of Franklin Subdivision Regulations. The Board conducts public hearings on amendments created by the Board and on zoning amendments that are submitted to the Board by way of citizen petition or by landowners or other town boards through the proper procedures for submitting to Town Council.

All material received by the Planning Board in connection with applications is considered public information and can be seen during posted office hours."
Two positions are up for election this year. The positions current held by Anthony D Padula and Joseph F Halligan, Jr. ->

The Planning Board Project project page on the Town of Franklin site lists the approved projects and the projects currently in the approval process.

Find more information on the Franklin Election Nov 2, 2021 in the "election collection"
Franklin Election 2021: What does the Planning Board do?
Franklin Election 2021: What does the Planning Board do?

MA News: vaccine required for nursing home workers; contact tracing extended; ballot question proposals filed

 COVID-19 vaccine requirements

"GOV. CHARLIE BAKER announced Wednesday that the state will require all nursing home and long-term care facility staff to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by October 10.  
The decision marks an evolution for the Republican governor, who has resisted imposing vaccine mandates on public employees. The decision is intended to protect the population most vulnerable to COVID-19 — the elderly. Some major area hospitals have issued similar mandates to protect vulnerable patients."
Continue reading the article online 

Contact tracing extended to 2021 year end

"THE STATE’S CONTACT tracing effort is ramping up again in the midst of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. 
The program was scheduled to shut down in September but instead the contract with the operator, the nonprofit Cambridge-based Partners in Health, is being extended through the end of the year. The number of contract tracers, currently at 130, is also being increased by as much as 300."
Continue reading the article online

Ballot question proposals filed
"PROPONENTS FILED 30 ballot questions with the attorney general’s office on Wednesday in an attempt to circumvent Beacon Hill and win approval directly from voters in 2022 for laws dealing with the gig economy, voting, hospital operations, newborn babies, the Transportation Climate Initiative, smoking, the sale of alcohol, and assorted other matters.

Most of the proposals are unlikely to make it on to the ballot because, even if they pass muster on constitutional grounds with Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, they would still require the gathering of more than 93,000 voter signatures, a time-consuming and expensive process. Several of the proposals were filed in multiple forms in an effort to increase their chances of gaining approval from Healey’s office."
Continue reading the article online

MA News
MA News

St. Vincent de Paul Announces Friends of the Poor Walk - Sep 25, 2021

Each year, the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Mary’s Church walks to bring awareness to the Franklin Community of the struggles some residents experience that impact their daily lives. For thirty years, SVdP has been helping people in need in regardless of race, religious beliefs or ethnic background.  The SVdP members work closely with many charitable and government organizations in Franklin.

The SVdP members are all volunteers. Members assist people in a number of ways to help them retain their dignity and to help them to become self-sustaining. Some ways in which the SVdP society assists those in need include:

Guide them to other resources, both state and charitable
Provide clothing and furniture through our SVDP Thrift Stores
Supply non-perishable food and paper products from our pantry to supplement other food resources
Assist financially during an unexpected crisis helping to pay rent, medical, car repairs etc.  

Last year we helped Franklin Families 345 times for $59,319.00

This year walk participants will follow a route around the town common. Participants may walk between one and three miles. One time around the common is a third of a mile.  Registration opens at 8 AM. The walk begins at 9 AM.

If you would like to support our mission of helping residents of Franklin in need, you may make a financial donation in one of two ways.

1. Send a check to: SVDP 1 Church Square Franklin, MA 02038 Or   
2. Online to the SVDP team at:

If you have any questions, please call SVDP 508-918-2291. All donations stay in Franklin and all information is kept confidential.

Annual Friends of the Poor Walk - Sep 25
Annual Friends of the Poor Walk - Sep 25

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Cultural District Committee

The Cultural District Committee is an appointed volunteer board formed to provide oversight and management of the Town’s Franklin Cultural District. The Cultural District Committee (CDC) is comprised of up to seven members, all of whom are Franklin residents.

CDC’s mission is to enrich and inspire our residents and visitors by fostering local cultural, artistic, culinary and historical development aligned with local partners in a defined walkable area that is easily accessible and serves as the center of cultural economic activity. The CDC has been working to collaborate with Franklin’s cultural district partners, focusing on supporting and participating in their efforts.

The Goals of the CDC’s work include: Actively promoting the arts by attracting local artists and supporting cultural activities within the Town; Encouraging business and job development; Helping to preserve and promote the Town’s historical sites and events; Building community spirit within Franklin and encourage civic involvement; and Helping to create an appealing, attractive, and vibrant destination for tourists.

Formal status as a “Massachusetts Cultural District” was awarded on January 18, 2019, by vote of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) Board of Directors. Each year the Town is required to file a report to MCC regarding the status of the Cultural District, outline goals for the coming year, and provide a summary of how the Town utilized any MCC funding.

During FY20 MCC awarded Franklin Cultural District a $5,000 grant; the majority of funds went towards providing the Cultural District’s Partners with small grants for collaborative arts and culture events and activities.

Since the CDC was created in FY18 the CDC has enjoyed participating in a variety of annual events within the Cultural District and region. In October 2019 CDC members participated in Franklin Downtown Partnership’s Harvest Festival. On June 3, 2020 two members of the CDC participated in the MetroFest: At Home Edition! to highlight the Franklin Cultural District and its arts and culture resources.

In the spring of 2020 the CDC organized a Cultural District Photography Scavenger Hunt Contest. This was seen as a great opportunity for participants’ to learn more about the Franklin Cultural District while using their artistic talents and skills. Residents were invited to exercise creativity while maintaining a safe physical distance from others due to COVID-19. Four winners received gift cards to their chosen Franklin Cultural District Partner.

Social Media The CDC continues to work hard to market the Cultural District in a variety of ways, including the Franklin Cultural District’s new website (, use of Constant Contact, and creation of a monthly newsletter.  In order to promote awareness of cultural activities and events throughout the Franklin community the CDC has worked to create a vibrant social media presence: 
Twitter @franklin culture
Instagram @franklinculture

The CDC holds regular monthly meetings, and subcommittees comprised of Committee members and partners meet as needed. In addition, CDC hosts quarterly Cultural District Partners meetings. These meetings rotate among weeknights and locations in town in an effort to provide flexibility in attendance, as work schedules vary throughout the town. The meetings are publicized through social media, as well as print media. All meetings are open to the public. During the last three months of FY20 the CDC held its meetings remotely via the Zoom platform. The CDC and its Partners will continue to improve the Cultural District area, build upon our current strengths of performing arts and art education, strive to create opportunities for all arts and culture related organizations and individuals, and continue to support and promote the arts throughout the Franklin Community.

Franklin’s Cultural District Committee consists of the following residents:
  • Nancy Schoen, Chair
  • John LoPresti, Vice Chair
  • Pandora Carlucci, Clerk
  • James Barrett 
  • Roberta Trahan 
  • Evan Chelman

Respectfully submitted, 
Nancy Schoen, CDC Chair

The full Annual Report for 2020 can be found online

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Cultural District Committee
Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Cultural District Committee