Saturday, July 23, 2022

Spier Family Issues Giving Challenge at Hockomock Area YMCA

Greg and Kathy Spier of Foxborough are once again issuing a $25,000 challenge grant to support the Hockomock Area YMCA’s commitment to address food insecurity in area towns and neighborhoods. The Spiers and the Spier Family Foundation will match every donation made July 25th through August 5th up to $25,000. When the Spier Family Kindness for Kids Challenge is met, it will result in $50,000 to benefit food security initiatives through the Hockomock Area YMCA.  

Every Wednesday, since March 2020, the Hockomock Y has provided free family-size grocery bags valued at $50 each at their branches in Foxboro, Franklin and North Attleboro to anyone in need. To date, more than 58,776 grocery bags have been distributed.  Additionally, the Y has been working with community partners and school nutrition departments to ensure that children and families have access to healthy meals when school is not in session. This summer, meals are being provided in Milford and North Attleboro.  Since March 2020, the Hockomock Y has provided 420,219 meals to those in need. 

Individuals and families continue to face financial stresses as a result of the pandemic including basic needs like food.  With the ongoing increase in the cost of groceries and gas, we are again seeing an increase in the number of people challenged with food insecurity.  “We are grateful to be part of communities full of caring people committed to improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods by working together to address community challenges,” said Jim Downs, CEO of the Hockomock Area YMCA.  “I am so proud of the work our Y continues to do in partnership with others to alleviate hunger in our communities through our Food Access initiative.  We are only able to do this through the philanthropic support of a caring community.”

“Greg and Kathy Spier have been passionate, steadfast supporters of our Food Access Initiative and their generous challenge will help ensure that we continue to be here for our neighbors,” added Downs.   

The Spier family’s impact in our local communities runs deep.  Their legacy at the Hockomock YMCA includes the naming of the indoor and outdoor aquatics centers at the Y’s Invensys Foxboro Branch, along with Greg and Kathy’s parents, Sonja and the late Alex Spier. 

Through the Spier Family Kindness for Kids Challenge, Kathy Spier expressed her hope that this challenge “will inspire people to make a gift to help people, spread kindness and provide a caring hand to those who need it in our communities.”

“We were so thrilled with the overwhelming response to last year’s Kindness for Kids Challenge,” added Kathy. “Knowing that the need continues in our community, and proud of how our YMCA is responding, we are offering this challenge again to provide an opportunity for people of all ages to come together and make a difference.” 

Greg Spier shared, “My dad always talked about wanting to leave the world a better place than he found it.  That’s why he and my mom, and Kathy and I, are such passionate supporters of the Hockomock Area YMCA.  We continue to see firsthand the impact our Y is having in responding to so many critical emerging needs.  Kathy and I are so grateful for how our Y is responding to the ongoing challenges of food insecurity.”

“The Hockomock Area YMCA remains committed to ending hunger in our neighborhoods and we join them in these efforts. Please consider a gift and we will proudly match it, July 25th through August 5th,” says Greg Spier. “Thank you in advance from the bottom of our hearts for making a gift and for your generous support.”

Every gift matters. To learn more about this challenge and ways to make a gift, visit

To learn about other ways to support this initiative, please contact Katie Moore at 

For more information about the Y’s food securities initiatives, visit 

About Hockomock Area YMCA:
Where Cause Meets Community.  At the Hockomock Area YMCA, strengthening community is our cause. The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility. 
The Hockomock Area YMCA is committed to partnering and collaborating with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities they are privileged to serve. The Hockomock Area YMCA is a not-for-profit charitable cause-driven organization with facilities in North Attleboro, Foxboro, Franklin, and Mansfield. For more information visit
(L-R: Kathy Spier, Greg Spier, the late Alex Spier and Sonja Spier)
(L-R: Kathy Spier, Greg Spier, the late Alex Spier and Sonja Spier)

Senator Rausch: 10 Days to Go

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Senator Rausch State House Briefing   
Part 2, Chapter 18 (July 21, 2022)   

I hope you and your loved ones are staying cool and enjoying the beautiful summer that Massachusetts has to offer. 

I write to you from the marathon of policymaking happening here on Beacon Hill. With less than two weeks to go before the end of our formal legislative session, I continue to advance justice and equity in all the bills coming before us, as well as legislation that has not made its way to the Senate floor. Want to tune in to the legislative action as it unfolds? Check out the upcoming Senate schedule and stream any of the debates as they happen live on the Senate floor. 

In this newsletter, you'll find an update on legislation and the Fiscal Year 2023 budget (many big victories!), Senate action to advance reproductive justice in Massachusetts, and a roundup of some local events. 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   

Virtual Evening Office Hours

Virtual Evening Office Hours

My team and I host virtual office hours every month. Residents from any part of the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District, as well as residents of the Norfolk, Worcester and Middlesex District (which takes effect in January 2023), are welcome to share their questions and opinions on state issues with me and my team via video chat or phone call.    

Sign up for a 15-minute appointment here.    
Upcoming virtual office hours:    

Monday, August 1, 5-6 PM 

Monday, September 12, 5-6 PM 

Monday, October 3, 5-6 PM 

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

Franklin School Committee Goals Session (large group portion) - 07/19/22 (audio)

 FM #828 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 828 in the series. 

This session shares the Franklin, MA School Committee Goals Session Workshop held on Tuesday, Jul 19, 2022. The meeting was conducted in the third floor training room. 

School Committee Chair Denise Spencer opens the meeting at 6:02 PM. Tracey Novick, Field Director from MASC, facilitated the goals session. 

The recording for the major large group portion of the workshop is shared here. Once the group broke further into small group work, I stopped the recording. The output of the small group sessions will be written up and work on these goals will continue to be done by the School Committee in future sessions.

The show notes contain a link to the agenda and to my notes.

The recording runs just about 38 minutes, so let’s listen to the large group portion of the goal setting workshop of the Franklin School Committee on July 19, 2022.

Audio file ->


Workshop agenda 

School Committee page -> 

Photos from the workshop session can be found in one album ->

My notes in this ThreadReader PDF -> 


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

Tracey Novick, Field Director from MASC
Tracey Novick, Field Director from MASC

Teachers Are Among Most Educated, Yet Their Pay Lags

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America Counts: Stories Behind the Numbers

Students consult with their teacher on their project of building a machine.

Teachers Are Among Most Educated, Yet Their Pay Lags

Although teachers are among the nation's most educated workers, they earn far less on average than most other highly educated workers and their earnings have declined since 2010.

More than 95% of elementary, middle and high school teachers have a bachelor's degree or more. In 2019, the average earnings of elementary and middle school teachers with a bachelor's degree or more who work full-time, year-round was $53,800. For high school teachers, it was $57,840.

Read More

Just over one-half of elementary and middle school teachers and 58% of high school teachers also have a graduate degree. They still earn less ($61,130 and $64,340, respectively) than that of other equally educated workers. 

Young teachers and older/middle-aged teachers have lower earnings than most of their similarly educated peers.

Continue reading to learn more about:

  • Age and sex

  • Teachers' earnings, which declined since 2010

  • The data

About America Counts

America Counts tells the stories behind the numbers in a new inviting way. It features stories on various topics such as families, housing, employment, business, education, economy, emergency management, health, populationincome and poverty. Contact our Public Information Office for media inquiries or interviews.

Don't miss an America Counts story! Subscribe here.

Dan Rather: The Latest Act In An American Tragedy

Making sense of 187 minutes  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
The Latest Act In An American Tragedy
. (Photo by Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images)

What act will this end up being in the drama that is Donald Trump?

This is a uniquely American tragedy, with no shortage of farce. It was seven years ago that the Trump circus hit the stage of presidential primary television debates. The con man's crass bravado was cast as a sideshow by a lot of the "sophisticated" punditry, yet they bestowed upon the carnival barker what he has always craved — a bright media spotlight.

Looking back, we now know without equivocation what many suspected all along — that this man was a force of "unbridled destructive energy," to use the phrase of the January 6 committee chairman Bennie Thompson.

Tonight's hearing was focused on the actions, or particularly the inaction — a damning lack of action that was itself a form of action — of Trump as the Capitol was under siege by violent insurrectionists. These were the infamous 187 minutes between when the riot began and when the president finally issued a tepid statement calling for it to end. In the interim, American democracy and the lives of elected officials, particularly Vice President Mike Pence, faced mortal danger. 

As Republican congressman and committee member Adam Kinzinger stated today, "President Trump didn't fail to act...he chose not to act."

It was so clear what Trump should have done. It was clear to many who were in the White House at the time. But he was unmoved. 

What strikes me tonight more than anything is how close it was. How close we came to a level of bloodshed and tragedy that is beyond our ability to fully comprehend. If President Trump had gone to the Capitol, as he wanted...If Vice President Pence had been but a few seconds later in his escape...If the rioters had seen the objects of their ire....

Revisiting those moments, the terror felt visceral, a fierce and dismaying shiver down the spine. Secret Service members saying goodbye to family members. Let that sink in for a moment.

Another truth is also even more stark in light of what we heard: how much has been obscured. The use of the passive voice is intentional. We don't know who the actors were, but we see the results of how much has been covered up. The disappeared text messages from the Secret Service are all the more damning. No calls logged. No pictures allowed of the president. No contemporaneous documentation of the president's actions. 

The general contours of January 6 are now well known, and have been for a while. But the details we are hearing are vital, for us witnessing it in real time and for the judgment of history. It is all so unbelievable. And yet it is real. We must never lose the ability to be shocked anew. 

Tonight's witnesses, like most of the others before them, were women and men who had worked in the Trump White House. They were his allies, and can be judged accordingly. But it is also clear that what happened on January 6 was far beyond the pale for many. And yet not for Trump. It is all so obvious. And many said so at the time. Yet in the year and a half since that day, most elected Republicans have scurried back in cowardice to seeking Trump's good graces. This hearing tonight, like those that preceded it, emphasizes how cowardly and craven that Faustian bargain is. 

Today we learned that there will be more hearings. One of television history's most gripping serial shows will have another season. And there is ample speculation — driven by desperate hope from many — that the Department of Justice may be working on a sequel. We shall see. This drama is not over. But its denouement remains to be written. 


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© 2022 Dan Rather
548 Market Street PMB 72296, San Francisco, CA 94104

Friday, July 22, 2022

Franklin's Event Outlook: July 22, 2022 to July 28, 2022

There is plenty to do both indoor and out. In this heat, please take care. 

Friday, July 22
12:00pm - Art show "Feminine Devine" - Amy Adams (67 Degrees Brewing check open hours)
2:00pm - Farmers Market (Town Common)
2:00pm - Heath Nisbett (live music) (Town Common)
3:30pm - Concerts on the Common: Bus-14 (Town Common)
3:30pm - Farmers Market Fun: Super hero masks (Town Common)
4:00pm - Food truck: Gotta Q Smokehouse BBQ (Town Common)
6:00pm - Concerts on the Common: The Reminisants (Town Common)
6:00pm - Patrick Durkin (live music) (67 Degrees Brewing)
6:00pm - Charlie Rock (live music) (La Cantina Winery)
8:00pm - The Zajac Brothers (ticketed event) (THE BLACK BOX)

Saturday, July 23
10:00am - Franklin Historical Museum (always free)
12:00pm - Art show "Feminine Devine" - Amy Adams (67 Degrees Brewing check open hours)
12:30pm - Hog Wash BBQ  (food truck) (67 Degrees Brewing)
4:00pm - Emily & Nick  (live music) (La Cantina Winery)
6:00pm - Northeast Groove  (live music) (67 Degrees Brewing)

Sunday, July 24
12:00pm - Art show "Feminine Devine" - Amy Adams (67 Degrees Brewing check open hrs)
1:00pm - Franklin Historical Museum (always free)

Tuesday, July 26
7:00pm - Library Book Club (Franklin Public Library)


The Franklin Art Association Art Gallery remains open during business hours at Escape into Fiction (Main St, Franklin)

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 School district calendar is found

Community Calendar
Community Calendar