Saturday, March 26, 2022

Franklin For All - One Week Left to Complete the Visioning Survey! - Due April 1

Franklin For All - One Week Left to Complete the Visioning Survey!

Franklin! You have one more week to give us your feedback on the Downtown for Franklin for All before the survey closes on April 1st. The responses from the visioning survey will be used by our project consultants at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to create the draft zoning recommendations.

To learn more about Franklin for All, visit our project webpage:

Access the survey here:

Shared from Town of Franklin page ->

Franklin For All - One Week Left to Complete the Visioning Survey! - Due April 1
Franklin For All - One Week Left to Complete the Visioning Survey! - Due April 1

Senator Rausch: March 2022 - Beacon Hill Roundup

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Senator Rausch State House Briefing   
Part 2, Chapter 14 (March 24, 2022)   

Spring has sprung! We finally made it through winter; days are getting longer, flowers are poking through the soil, and my colleagues and I are working hard on Beacon Hill! 

Before I get into the legislative nuts and bolts, I want to take a moment to wish you a happy Women's History Month. This March (and every month), I am grateful for both the prominent and invisible work that women do – every day – to keep our world running. Without question, I stand on the shoulders of so many women trailblazers, without whom my work for our Commonwealth would not be possible, and I pledge to continue uplifting women around me in my service as your State Senator. It has been an absolute blast highlighting women leaders from our district through my weekly Local Leadership Lunches (read more below!), and I hope you'll join me for the last few Facebook Live streams as we wrap up the month.

In the Legislature, my colleagues and I are gearing up for the FY '23 state budget deliberations, an opportunity to pour billions of dollars into our Commonwealth's municipal governments, schools, infrastructure, and local projects. Last year I secured more than a million dollars for initiatives and innovations that uplift our communities, including $250,000 for a youth mental health text line pilot program (that's now up and running – more below!). If you have any budget priorities, please do not hesitate to share them with me and my team.  

With only four months to go before the end of session, my colleagues and I continue to advance forward-thinking bills through the legislative process. The Senate unanimously passed the I AM Bill, ensuring menstrual products – a basic human need – are provided for free in schools, prisons, and shelters across Massachusetts. We also unanimously voted YES on a sorely needed Veterans Home Bill to significantly improve oversight and management of facilities taking care of our veterans. I passed an amendment that ensures public transparency and accountability, so that veterans, their families, allies, and advocates have the information necessary to identify areas of improvement and prevent the recurrence of the tragedies that befell so many in Holyoke and Chelsea during the early days of COVID.  

In this newsletter, you will find updates on my brand-new Small Business Advisory Council, Local Leadership Lunch series, grant opportunities for small business owners, a pilot youth mental health text line I secured in the FY '22 budget, and more. For real-time updates, please follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you are a constituent and need assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me and my team via phone (617-722-1555) or email ( We are here to help.   

I wish you and your loved ones strength, health, resilience, and joy.     

Yours in service,  
Senator Becca Rausch   

Our mailing address is:
The Office of Senator Becca Rausch
Massachusetts State House, Room 218
24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133

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An Update from Your Congressman Jake Auchincloss - 3/25/22


Hello, I'm your representative in Congress, and I write to keep you informed.

I want to share with you significant developments since I last wrote, as well as three town halls I'll be hosting this weekend around the District.

Investments in Our District
The annual appropriations package, which President Biden recently signed into law, included $16.2 million for ten community projects across our Congressional District. These investments will improve public health and foster economic development across the Massachusetts Fourth. From a cleaner water supply to support for domestic violence survivors, this funding makes an immediate and monumental impact on our communities. The details of the 10 projects can be found here. You can watch my floor speech about securing funding for these projects here.

We are now beginning the next year's (fiscal year 2023) budget cycle, and I will have the opportunity to advocate for direct funding for 15 community projects across the district. I am engaging a diversity of stakeholders in selecting these projects to solicit a wide array of ideas. If you would like to participate in our process of selecting governmental or non-profit entities for direct funding, please complete this form by Monday, April 11, at 11:59pm. My office will review all submissions, though we cannot guarantee the inclusion of requests. I look forward to working with constituents of MA-04 to determine how I can best advocate for our district. 

Supporting the Ukrainian People
As Russia continues to wage its unjustified and unconscionable war, I am working with my colleagues to support the people of Ukraine. I, along with Representatives Seth Moulton, Mike Gallagher, and Peter Meijer, introduced the Yachts for Ukraine Act. This bill would allow Russian-seized assets to be repurposed to rebuild Ukraine following Russian attacks. The value of the Russian oligarchs' assets that could be seized as a result of this legislation is in the billions of dollars. The Yachts for Ukraine Act would ensure these assets are permanently reallocated to humanitarian assistance and reconstruction efforts in Ukraine.

With this legislation, our message is simple: if you're an oligarch, we're coming for your assets, wherever you have them hidden. If you're in Ukraine fighting on the frontlines of democracy, more help is on the way. As your Representative, I will continue to work to support our allies in Ukraine and hold the Russian aggressors to account.


Visiting Local Businesses & Non-profits
Recently, I toured the Amazon Fulfillment Center. This is the largest fulfillment center in Massachusetts — employing about 1,200 people in the region. I loved meeting with the staff and seeing how our Amazon orders go from a "click" to a delivery.

I also visited the Children's Museum of Greater Fall River with Representative Carole Fiola and Jo-Anne Sbrega, the museum's executive director. This museum brings joy to kids across the Fourth District, as it successfully combines educational opportunities with engaging playtime.

Closing out this week I visited the Manet Community Health Center Satellite Clinic in Attleboro and the Attleboro New Hope New Domestic Violence Shelter to discuss recently secured funding and the crucial care they are providing in our district. 

Town Halls
This weekend, I'll be hosting a series of three in-person town halls. This is an opportunity for you to come meet me, ask about issues important to you, and get updates on what I'm doing to serve our community. Members of my team will also be on hand to connect you with casework services in our office. Details about the town halls are below, I hope you'll be able to join me. If you're able to attend, please RSVP with the relevant link below.

Mansfield, Foxborough, Norton Town Hall Meeting: Saturday, March 26th at 12:00 PM

Mansfield Town Hall
6 Park Row, Mansfield, 02048

Taunton Town Hall Meeting: Saturday, March 26th at 2:00 PM

Taunton City Hall
15 Summer Street, Taunton, 02780
City Council Chambers

Needham Town Hall Meeting: Sunday, March 27th at 4:00 PM

Needham Town Hall
1471 Highland Ave, Needham, 02492
Powers Hall

To stay up to date on the state of play in Congress, please make sure to like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram.




Jake Auchincloss
Member of Congress


WASHINGTON DC OFFICE • 1524 Longworth House Office Building • Washington, DC 20515 • Phone: (202) 255-5931

NEWTON DISTRICT OFFICE • 29 Crafts Street Suite 375 • Newton, MA 02458 • Phone : (617) 332-3333

ATTLEBORO DISTRICT OFFICE • 8 N. Main St. Suite 200 • Attleboro, MA 02703 • Phone : (508) 431-1110
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image 028 - Franks Musings - Ukraine (audio)

In this episode, Frank Falvey sits down to talk at length about the ongoing war in Ukraine; Putin's tyranny, negotiations for the future, nuclear weapons the call for all Ukrainian men to fight, and more.

Audio file -> 028 - Franks Musings - Ukraine  (audio) 028 - Franks Musings - Ukraine  (audio)

MA Senate Passes $1.65 Billion Supplemental Budget

The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday (3/24/22) passed a $1.65 billion supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22). The legislation makes investments in the state’s long-term COVID-19 response; addresses staffing shortages in schools; provides support for home and community-based services, assistance and protections for families experiencing housing and energy insecurity; funds winter road improvements; extends outdoor dining services as well as beer, wine and cocktails to-go, and provides for the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees in Massachusetts. Notably, the bill also would divest the state pension fund from Russian assets in response to the Russian war in Ukraine.


“Massachusetts has avoided the worst of the financial downside from this pandemic and its effects thanks to a history of careful financial planning and consistent investment in those programs and services which support public health and build resiliency in our communities and our Commonwealth,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “Today’s supplemental budget continues this trend by providing targeted funding to healthcare, housing, education, and transportation needs. Importantly, this budget ensures that Massachusetts can continue to offer sanctuary to refugees fleeing from violence abroad even as war continues in Ukraine. Thanks to an amendment championed by Senator Comerford, we are also investing crucial funding to the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance to continue providing victim services, including children’s advocacy centers and sexual assault programs. I want to thank Chair Rodrigues and his staff, the members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and my colleagues for their work to ensure that the needs of Massachusetts residents are met.”


“The passage of this supplemental budget today addresses a number of time sensitive needs as we look to simultaneously support our ongoing response to COVID-19, while continuing our Commonwealth’s recovery,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport)Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “Thanks to Senate President Spilka’s leadership and the overwhelming support of the Senate membership, we made clear with the passage of this supplemental spending plan that we will always prioritize protecting our most vulnerable populations, supporting our health care and education workforce, investing in local infrastructure needs and taking the necessary steps to ensure vital public services will be available and accessible to all who need them across the Commonwealth as we recover from the impacts of the pandemic.” 


Responding to COVID-19

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and ensure robust preparation in the event of a future variant outbreak, the bill invests $700 million for the state’s COVID-19 response. This funding would ensure the continued no-cost availability of crucial services offered to residents during the pandemic, including on-site testing, vaccinations, and treatment, as well as public health staffing needs resulting from COVID-19.


To further protect families facing housing challenges, the supplemental budget extends through March 2023 several protections for tenants experiencing COVID-19-related financial hardship, including extending the requirement that a court grant a continuance in an eviction case for nonpayment of rent when the tenant has a pending rental assistance application.


The supplemental budget also extends popular pandemic-related provisions including outdoor dining services, and beer, wine and cocktails to-go through April 2023. The legislation also extends COVID-19 related bonuses for members of the Massachusetts National Guard.


Responding to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

The supplemental budget responds to the Russian Federation’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent violence against Ukrainian civilians. An amendment unanimously adopted on the floor of the Senate requires the Commonwealth's Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board to divest any holdings from companies officially sanctioned by the Biden administration or incorporated in Russia. The supplemental budget also allocates $10 million for the Office of Immigrants and Refugees to support the resettlement of international evacuees, including Ukrainian evacuees.


Housing and Energy Assistance

The supplemental budget includes several provisions relating to housing stability and support for individuals currently experiencing or near homelessness. The Senate proposal includes $100 million for the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program which provides eligible families with funds that they can use to keep their housing or obtain new housing. One amendment added to the budget on the Senate floor would increase the cap of the RAFT program to $10,000 for the remainder of the fiscal year. Another amendment clarifies existing law to ensure that in all eviction cases where the only valid reason for the eviction is nonpayment of rent, that the tenant has access to protections. The supplemental budget also dedicates $20 million to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides crucial assistance to families facing high utility bills. To increase oversight, the bill also directs the department of housing and community development to make detailed quarterly reports on the state's eviction diversion initiative.


The supplemental budget allocates $2.8 million for rates at shelters for homeless individuals and also ensures that down payment assistance funds received from the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency or the Massachusetts Housing Partnership will not be considered taxable income.


Health Care & Mental Health

The bill allocates $346 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding for Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) resources to ensure that eligible Medicaid users throughout the Commonwealth are able to receive health care and medical services in their own homes or local communities.  Alongside this investment, the bill also appropriates $55 million in state resources to support reimbursement rates for human and social service providers that have also been doing crucial work during the pandemic. To address the crisis of mental health care, the bill also dedicates $10 million to suicide prevention and intervention services, focused on staffing and other resources at crisis centers, and the establishment of a statewide 988 suicide prevention hotline.


An amendment adopted to the supplemental budget allocates $24 million of the state’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds specifically for the creation of new behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment beds.



In response to reports of staffing shortages in public schools, the supplemental budget includes a provision authorizing the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to issue emergency educator licenses until 180 days after the end of the public health emergency. For private special education schools operating under Chapter 766, the budget allocates $140 million to fill immediate staffing needs.


Other funding items of note include:


  • $100 million for a new Winter Road Recovery Assistance Program for cities and towns to repair potholes and roads and bridges worn down by adverse weather conditions.
  • $20 million for Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) funding which supports no-cost counseling, advocacy, and intervention services to victims of crime, thereby covering the immediate needs of the Victim and Witness Assistance Board as they are experiencing a shortage of federal funding
  • $10 million for Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC)
  • $8.4 million for Department of Children and Families foster family rates
  • $8 million for Early Intervention staff stabilization supports
  • $5 million for state election costs
  • $5 million for the Department of Mental Health to expand clientele housing supports
  • $1.8 million for mental health services for international evacuees resettled in the Commonwealth
  • $1.7 million for state park investments, including water safety initiatives
  • $609,000 for additional staffing to implement the Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy legislation, which was passed early in the session
  • $500,000 to expand the capacity of the Commission on the Status of Women


A version of this legislation having previously passed the House of Representatives, the differences will need to be worked out by the branches before advancing to the Governor’s desk

Download a copy of this news release as a PDF ->

MA Senate Passes $1.65 Billion Supplemental Budget
MA Senate Passes $1.65 Billion Supplemental Budget

Friday, March 25, 2022

Franklin's Event Outlook: Mar 25, 2022 to Mar 31, 2022

If you haven't tried Pokomoto, this could be a good excuse to do so and help the FHS Red Cross Club with their fund raisers on Friday and Saturday. The Winter Farmers Market opens Saturday. The Historical museum has its normal hours on Saturday and Sunday.  67 Degrees is getting lively and has a comedian scheduled for Thursday, Mar 31.

Friday, March 25
11:00am -  FHS Red Cross Club fund raiser

Saturday, March 26
10:00am - Winter Farmers Market
10:00am - Historical Museum (always free)
11:00am - FHS Red Cross Club fund raiser

Sunday, March 27
1:00pm - Historical Museum (always free)

Thursday, March 31
7:00pm - Rhonda Corey - Comedy in the Taproom

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

From the Hindu Kush to Franklin - Conversation with Chris Woolf (audio)

FM #758 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 758 in the series. 

This shares my conversation with Franklin author Chris Woolf. I met Chris when he did the Second Sunday Speaker Series at the Franklin Historical Museum. He talked of his adventurous trip to Afghanistan and we scheduled to get together at the Franklin studio to explore more of his story.

Links to Chris’s web site, the book link, and he and his wife’s voiceover company are included in the show notes. 

Let’s listen to my conversation with Chris as we follow his life journey from Britain, via Afghanistan, to the US, and ultimately to Franklin.  Our conversation runs about 35 minutes. Audio file ->


Chris Woolf 

The Voice Depot   (voiceover company)

Bumbling Through the Hindu Kush - A Memoir of Fear and Kindness in Afghanistan 

Video link to Historical Museum presentation to be added when available from Franklin.TV 


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.  

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 or

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 your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"


Chris Woolf, left in 1991, right in 2021
Chris Woolf, left in 1991, right in 2021

“Bumbling Through the Hindu Kush - A Memoir of Fear and Kindness in Afghanistan”
“Bumbling Through the Hindu Kush - A Memoir of Fear and Kindness in Afghanistan”

Quinn, Padula, Peterson, DiGiorgio, Vinson named Basketball All Stars; Early & O'Leary honorable mention for Hockomock League

Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Girls & Boys Basketball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league. We share the FHS selections and provide links below for the full League listing.

  • Olivia Quinn, Franklin
  • Stef Padula, Franklin
  • Katie Peterson, Franklin
Honorable Mentions
  • Brigid Early, Franklin

  • Henry DiGiorgio, Franklin
  • Sean Vinson, Franklin

Honorable Mentions
  • Sean O’Leary, Franklin

Complete Hockomock League listing for girls

Complete Hockomock League listing for boys

Quinn, Padula, Peterson, DiGiorgio, Vinson named Basketball All Stars; Early & O'Leary honorable mention for Hockomock League
Quinn, Padula, Peterson, DiGiorgio, Vinson named Basketball All Stars; Early & O'Leary honorable mention for Hockomock League

Panther News: Friday, March 25, 2022 (video)

Panther News for Friday, March 25, 2022, a half day for all schools in Franklin as a professional development day for faculty.


"despite legislation having good intentions, there can be unforeseen cost elements"

"The State Auditor’s Division of Local Mandates released a report yesterday that identified 29 state statutes passed between 2016 and 2020 that have a significant financial impact on Massachusetts cities and towns without sufficient state funding to offset the costs.

The “Five-Year Statutory Fiscal Impact Report” finds that the state continues to pass laws that often require resources from cities and towns for implementation, and that these measures are largely financed by local property taxes as state aid lags behind increasing local costs. The report also documents that state aid as a share of total municipal revenue decreased between fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2020, while state assessments on cities and towns increased. "

Continue reading article online ->

Download a copy of the full report here ->

“Five-Year Statutory Fiscal Impact Report”
Five-Year Statutory Fiscal Impact Report

Registration is open for Summer 2022 Music Programs with Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Music Academy

Summer 2022 Music Programs

July 25 - August 5, 2022

8:30 am – 12:30 pm


Summer Music is back!  Sign up your student for 40 hours of musical instruction over two weeks.  The two week program includes ensemble rehearsals, recreational time, and a concert on the last day. Location varies based on program. Click the link for complete details. 


  • CONCERT BAND – For students entering grades 5-6 with 1 or 2 years of experience.

  • SYMPHONIC BAND – For students entering grades 7-9 with 1 or more years of experience.

  • ROCK BAND JR. – For students entering grades 4-6, no experience is necessary.

  • CONCERT STRINGS – For students entering grades 4-5 with 1 or 2 years of experience.

  • SYMPHONIC STRINGS – For students entering grades 6-9 with 1 or more years of experience.

  • SUMMER ELEMENTARY GLEE – For students entering grades 3-5, no experience necessary.

  • SUMMER MIDDLE SCHOOL GLEE – For students entering grades 6-9, no experience necessary.





Registration open for Summer 2022 Music Programs with Lifelong Learning
Registration open for Summer 2022 Music Programs with Lifelong Learning