Saturday, January 8, 2022

#LoveFranklin - Open Mic Night at THE BLACK BOX - 12/08/21 (audio)

FM #689 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 689 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the audio recording of the #LoveFranklin Open Mic Night held on Wednesday, Dec 8, 2021 at THE BLACK BOX.  

The evening master of ceremony duties were shared by MacKenzie Atwood and jamele adams.

The original raw recording runs an hour and 36 minutes. You’ll be listening to the edited version which is shortened by about 12 minutes. 

Key reasons for shortening the recording (1) to spare your ears the jarring sound of cleaning the microphone between performers. (2) A couple of the audience participation exercises were shortened. (How much indistinct audience/crowd noise can you listen to?). 

One percussion performance added at the last minute during the evening was also shortened. The percussion exercise was good to be in while it happened but would have been headache inducing to listen to. So we spared you that. No other performance was shortened or edited in any way.

Let’s listen to the Love Franklin Open Mic Night of Dec 8, 2021.


The lineup for the "Love Franklin" Open Mic Night at THE BLACK BOX

1. jamele adams - poem

2. Mia Magliari - All I Ask by Adele

3. Audrey Olmstead - She by Dodie

4. Hope Guanga - If I knew by Bruno Mars

5. Mackenzie Atwood - Back In (self written poem)

6. Joe Maple and Audrey Olmstead - Can't Help Falling in Love with you

7. Meghan Whitmore - Her Personal Story

8. Andrew Mitchell - Crisis by Joshua Bassett

9. Maria Zaki - Complainers by Rudy Francisco

10. Steve Sherlock - Poem: Variations on the theme of "A dark and stormy night"

11. Hope Guanga - Crocodile Rock by Elton John

12. Judi Perez - percussion exercise

jamele closes with a recap of some of the audience inspirations

More information about the Freedom Team can be found online ->

More of my poetry can be found at 


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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!


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for the 'selfie exercise' with Meghan Whitmore
for the 'selfie exercise' with Meghan Whitmore

Pantherbook article on this event ->
Pantherbook: LoveFranklin Open Mic Night - Dec 8, 2021

State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy: Remarks at Jan 6 vigil in Franklin

Jeffrey N. Roy (@jeffroy) tweeted on Fri, Jan 07, 2022:
"Remarks at Jan. 6 vigil in Franklin"
Shared from Twitter:

"As Senator Rausch indicated, our day in the Massachusetts Legislature started with finishing the work of the 191st General Court on January 5, 2021.

We passed multiple pieces of legislation on the final day of the session. This work included wide-ranging pieces of legislation, including one early item that was a resolution for Franklin’s Frank Liotta, on the occasion of his 90th birthday. Another piece that passed around 2 AM was a law I had been working on for two years on the prevention of campus sexual violence.

We worked until around 5:00 AM on January 6, and I finally went to bed exhausted to get some sleep."

Continue reading Rep Roy's remarks here ->

Audio of the event will be ready for publication and sharing this weekend. Franklin TV also captured a video recording. When that is ready for airing, I'll share the schedule.

State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy: Remarks at Jan 6 vigil in Franklin
State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy: Remarks at Jan 6 vigil in Franklin

Milford Daily News/Wicked Local Franklin coverage

Recap: Economic Development Subcommittee becomes a "plus group" as it starts "Franklin For All" zoning study

Quick Recap:
  • The promised zoning study for downtown Franklin kicked off at this meeting branded as "Franklin for All". Emma Battaglia, Senior Housing and Land Use Planner from MAPC, provided an overview of the project and Community Engagement Plan
  • "The EDC will serve alongside two representatives from the Planning Board, Greg Rondeau and Beth Weirling, and one representative from the ZBA, Bruce Hunchard, to form the “EDC+” “Franklin For All Steering Committee”
  • Stay tuned for focus groups and forum sessions (dates and times in the doc linked below) as the study works through its process.


As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter while I attended the meeting via the Zoom conference bridge. 


Photos captured during the meeting can be found in one album

Note: for some reason, the way the presentation was displayed via Zoom, it did not enable me to go full screen to view each or any of the slides. So while I usually can grab some 'screen captures' that was not possible for this meeting and we will need to wait for the presentation doc to be posted (as was promised).

The presentation doc is available ->

The Twitter hashtag #edc0105 can be found online The thread begins with

  • Shifting zoom to the #edc0105 meeting in progress
  • Emma from presenting #edc0105 meeting agenda doc
  • Newsletter included the ink to the new 'Franklin for all' page referred to. Slides not previously shared. Not able to screen grab with current view of this hybrid meeting #edc0105
  • Link to new Franklin for all page… #edc0105
  • Communication materials to be developed for sharing, forum coming  Mar 7, 2022 #edc0105 
  • Opens ? To committee, need to define terms used, as Franklin center can mean multiple things. Will this address design too? Yes
  • Alternative trans methods? Through infrastructure aspects
  • Q on what can be done to address recalcitrant property owners? What can be done to get the owners to the table and involved? How do we get Dean involved too? #edc0105 Jan 24 forum with owners key. Presentation doc to be posted to ToF page later
  • How do you involve stakeholders that are not here? Aware of opportunity at forge park, owner not interested currently. That is a larger area of concern given the other stakeholders required. MassHighway, etc. #edc0105
  • Motion to adjourn, passes via aye vote and meeting ends. Up next Town Council at 7 #edc0105

Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days

The Community Engagement Plan can be found in the full agenda doc (linked above) or in the extracted section ->

Emma Battalgia, Senior Housing and Land Use Planner from MAPC
Emma Battaglia, Senior Housing and Land Use Planner from MAPC "Million dollar homes shock no more in Franklin, MA"

Realtor Warren Reynolds has some very interesting statistics on the real estate market in Franklin, MA as he looks back at 2021. A worthy read especially to help inform the ongoing discussion around Franklin housing as well as the need for more affordable housing in Franklin.
"Highest home sale in 2021
The highest price paid for a single-family home in Franklin during 2021 was $1,677,900. While decidedly small potatoes in many of the affluent communities throughout Greater Boston, it was the highest price ever paid for a home in Franklin listed on MLS-PIN. 
Before 2021, Franklin’s record-high sale price on MLS-PIN was $1,577,000, which was set in 2020. 
Franklin’s sale price record broken five times in 2021
What’s most noteworthy about 2021’s housing market in Franklin is that the town’s record-high sale price set in 2020 was surpassed FIVE times just one year later in 2021!"

One of the key markers in the demographics study done for Franklin Public Schools in the number of annual home sales. The ability for housing to turnover is one of the factors for population. Franklin had dropped in annual sales during 2020 and has recovered to more of a recent volume with 332 sales.

The number of single-family home sales in Franklin recorded on MLS-PIN during 2021 was significantly higher than the previous year’s total
The number of single-family home sales in Franklin recorded on MLS-PIN during 2021 was significantly higher than the previous year’s total

Continue reading his recap of 2021

Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities - maybe one of these could be yours!

Job Opportunities

To apply for a vacant position, please submit a resume and cover letter to  Please put the job title in the subject line of your email

Companion Caregiver - Franklin Senior Center 

Recycling Center Laborer - Department of Public Works 

Part-time and Substitute Custodians - Facilities Department 

Substitute Library Assistant - Franklin Public Library  

If you do not have a resume, you may send a completed Application for Employment instead.

To receive notifications of all job opportunities in the Town of Franklin, subscribe here .

Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities - maybe one of these could be yours!
Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities - maybe one of these could be yours!

Town of Franklin, MA: Reminder that the tree collection will be held Jan 10 to Jan 14

Town of Franklin, MA (@TOFranklinMA) tweeted on Fri, Jan 07, 2022:
The Franklin Department of Public Works will commence Christmas Tree Collection Jan 10 - Jan 14 during normal trash collection hours


Shared from Twitter:

Reminder that the tree collection will be held Jan 10 to Jan 14
Reminder that the tree collection will be held Jan 10 to Jan 14

"Franklin For All" Community Engagement Plan ready for your reading and review

"MAPC has developed a Community Engagement Plan to clearly delineate the approach for community engagement throughout the process. The purpose of community engagement for this project is to: 
1. Inform residents and business stakeholders (business owners, landlords, developers) about how zoning can be a tool for equitable land use to meet housing demands, develop vibrant neighborhoods, and support economic revitalization.
2. Solicit feedback on stakeholders’ visions for Franklin Center and develop a plan for rezoning the area to best achieve the overall vision.
3. Engage and educate members of relevant boards/commissions who will be tasked with approving and implementing the rezoning strategy. 
The Community Engagement Plan provides a stakeholder analysis that identifies populations or groups that may be underrepresented or hard to reach when the Town is engaging stakeholders through typical community engagement techniques. The plan includes an engagement strategy chart detailing specific approaches for each of the groups who have been identified for more proactive engagement with the aim of ensuring diverse participation. 
Project outreach will be town-wide with a special effort to reach groups who may be most impacted by zoning changes as it relates to housing affordability. It is assumed that populations and groups that are already active and engaged in Franklin will be reached through more typical engagement techniques and that additional efforts or techniques are not required to actively engage them in this planning process. In order to get in touch with historically less-engaged groups, the project team will coordinate with local conveners and/or local media as two potential outreach sources. 
In addition, the Community Engagement Plan outlines the specific tools that will be used throughout this process to conduct outreach and engagement, including print, digital, and 'on the ground ' engagement tools like focus groups and forums along with how they will be used."
The Community Engagement Plan section of the EDC meeting agenda can be found here ->

The full EDC agenda doc is found here ->

The presentation doc used in the Jan 5, 2022 meeting is available 

What is the study area?
'Franklin Center' is the term to encompass both of the key downtown and the Franklin Crossing sections along with the brief extensions from those areas as outlined in the map.

The Community Engagement Plan section as an embedded document:

"Franklin For All" Community Engagement Plan
"Franklin For All" Community Engagement Plan

WGBH - "Which leaders should be stepping up where in latest COVID surge in Massachusetts?" (video)

Adam Reilly (@reillyadam) tweeted on Fri, Jan 07, 2022:

"We're back after a holiday hiatus with a really good show--sharp insights from , , and about a week in which the politics of COVID were inescapable. 7 pm, Ch 2!"

If you missed the live broadcast, you can catch the reply on YouTube

WGBH - "The Politics of COVID"
WGBH - "The Politics of COVID" (note original title - then changed and reposted to YouTube)

Friday, January 7, 2022

Franklin's Event Outlook: Jan 7, 2022 to Jan 13, 2022

The weekend got quieter with the snow storm arriving Friday resulting in the Electric Youth performance being moved out to Feb 26. COVID case counts could also have been a factor as it was for the cancelation of Joe Landry's presentation scheduled for Weds Jan 15 at the Senior Center.

The Second Sunday Speaker scheduled for the Historical Museum is assumed to be on. If there are changes, the calendar will be updated.

The Franklin Matters Q&A session will remain on the schedule as participation via the Zoom conference bridge works well. Email me ( for the link if you want to get your questions about Franklin answered.

Be well. The COVID-19 cases are setting new records. If you aren't yet vaccinated, please do so. Otherwise social distancing and masking is the next best protection.

Saturday, January 8
9:30am - St Mary's Women's Faith Formation
10:00am - Historical Museum (always free)
4:00pm - PPD to Feb 26 -> Electric Youth
8:00pm - PPD to Feb 26 -> Electric Youth

Sunday, January 9
1:00pm - Historical Museum (always free)
1:15pm - Second Sunday Speaker: Byzantine & Russian Icons

Wednesday, January 12
11:00am - Franklin Matters Q&A
1:00pm - CANCELED - Joe Landry highlighting the “Schools of Franklin”

Find the full calendar

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 calendar is found

Community Calendar
Community Calendar

Recap: Board of Health approves change to septic bylaw, will look at mask requirements and encouraging vaccinations

Quick Recap:
  • Meeting in hybrid format, board members remote, staff and some public in person at Municipal building, other public also remote
  • Public hearing on change to septic regulations to better protect current and future homeowners from system failures.
  • State regulations had changed no longer permitting tanks sizes less than 1000; clarification on the need to replace is NOT due to this change but WHEN and if the system failed. 
  • After discussion change was approved. Health Director Cathleen Liberty to work on language to better explain the change and requirements.
  • Multiple other items of regular business conducted. Vaccine clinic for youth scheduled, nurse visits and action increasing; Winter St property being readied for demolition but actual permit not yet pulled;
  • Citizen comment on the lack of a mask mandate given the rise in COVID cases will bring about a meeting to review the topic and enforcement (which is really the key issue) before the regularly scheduled Feb meeting.


As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter while I attended the meeting via the Zoom conf bridge. 


The Twitter hashtag #BoH0105 can be found online The thread begins with 

Photos captured during the meeting can be found in one album ->

  • About to begin reporting on the Board of Health meeting, #boh0105
  • Agenda doc for meeting… #boh0105
  • Motion to accept meeting minutes as submitted, so moved, seconded, passes 3-0 via roll call #boh0105
  • Opens public hearing on septic systems, #boh0105 looking to have title 5 changes certified by structural engineer/professional rather than putting the burden on the resident, also addresses smaller tanks previously allowed and not permitted now …
  • Only for systems that have failed and require a replacement. #boh0105 clarification on when to be implemented (only if system fails)
  • If tank is too small per state regs, a failure would require replacement, a state requirement.
  • State law calls for sewer connections if available where a septic system fails or is not feasible #boh0105
  • Existing 1000 gallon tanks would be replaced with 1500 per state requirement, #boh0105 this is not a town mandate, this curbs issues for home owners and buyers for future and brings better alignment with state alignment
  • Public hearing closed, motion to accept changed language, seconded, passes 3-0 via roll call. Motion to be effective 4/1/2022, seconded, asses via roll call. #boh0105 "user friendly language" to be circulated to board 4 review before publication
  • Moving to other agenda items; #boh0105 Winter st progress noted, awaiting demo permit; work underway, asbestos removed from siding. Report reviewed
  • Nurse Alecia providing updates; over 4k cases, 56 deaths, no home kit testing part of numbers, another clinic coming 1/19 at the Senior Center. Clinic scheduled for FHA #boh0105 Town has ordered test kits for local and 1st responders use, likely through Health Dept
  • Current supply for staff and families, new epidemiologist starting new week, full time here as part of Metacomet Shared Services.
  • Next up Cleveland Ave upgrade approval from board, agent did recommend, motion, second, passes via roll call #boh0105
  • No new business; public comment - Max - why the BoH hasn't been advocating local masking? Have generally been following the State, thought of regularly, enforcement is really the issue, who would? The BoH is not prepared to do so. #boh0105
  • Perhaps review a stronger advisory on masking and encouraging  vaccine effectiveness for Feb or sooner meeting? #boh0105 work by dept has been enormous, there are limits. The board will support the Dept however possible.
  • If something isn't always enforced doesn't always mean we don't have it. Motion to adjourn, seconded, passes 3-0 via roll call #boh0105 
Board of Health Chair Bridget Sweet during the meeting
Board of Health Chair Bridget Sweet during the meeting

Franklin Residents: CLOSURE OF TOWN OFFICES AND BUILDINGS - 1/07/2022


Dear Franklin Citizen:

All town administrative offices and buildings will be closed January 7, 2022 due to the impending overnight snow storm, and in certain instances, staffing limitations due to COVID situations. 

All non-emergency personnel will continue to be available for remote work through your regular department business hours tomorrow. Staff will still be available via phone, email and other networks to conduct business.  Please call tomorrow for service and a staff member will get back to you or email us. Please see the department directory.

Emergency information is here:

Franklin DPW direct contact is here:

Please stay safe Franklin! And stay in touch with our social media channels for any updates. 

Shared from ToF page ->


Electric Youth shows postponed to Feb 26, 2022

"Electric Youth 2022 debuts at THE BLACK BOX with two shows on Saturday, February 26th at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm, offering high-powered family entertainment with music for all ages! Backed by an eight-piece band of world-class musicians, EY delivers high-energy music, including contemporary pop, classic rock and country hits. 

Electric Youth 2022 includes Erin Belger, Tzintli Cerda, Devin DeAngelis, Finley Doherty, Hayley Driscoll, John Fitzhenry, Anya Fox, Sami Goldman,  Tatiana McAlpine, Audrey Miningham, Ashley Pepin, Abby Settle, Abby Trombert, and Madigan Wirkus, 
The EY singer-dancers are backed by Boston musicians who’ve performed, recorded and toured with such music legends as Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, Diana Ross, The Temptations and Van Morrison.

Don’t miss this exciting evening of timeless hits and non-stop entertainment! "

Electric Youth shows postponed to Feb 26, 2022
Electric Youth shows postponed to Feb 26, 2022 (EY Instagram image)

Oh my! omicron driving new record, again this week

COVID-19 case counts continue to be driven by the omicron variant. Last week's positivity was 8%, this week we are at 17.06%. Yup, more than doubled.

Last week's positivity was 8%, this week we are at 17.06%

Yes, the chart doesn't look the same as last week for a rather significant reason: The Y axis scale has changed due to the rise in cases exceeding the prior view.  Last week's chart also show for comparison.

chart for week of 1/6/22 - note scale for Y axis vs for last week
chart for week of 1/06/22 - note scale for Y axis vs for last week

chart for week of 12/30/21 - note the Y axis scale is less than 80
chart for week of 12/30/21 - note the Y axis scale is less than 80

Make your own data visualization from this

Boston Globe community coverage COVID-19 page ->

The CDC page for COVID-19 tracking  ->