Saturday, August 5, 2023

Escape Into Fiction appeals to local support to survive

"As a small business owner I have to constantly monitor our progress. So far this year we have met so many new customers and we have grown so much!!

But the reality is that in order to stay where we are, right on Main St, and to continue in a healthy business pattern we will need to make sure we are making enough business.

We’ve been asked many times, so I thought I’d share. Here are the numbers it will take for us to remain and stay viable.

Shopping local matters. The store is asked almost daily for donations, participating in local events, and about employment. Without local support we can’t manage it all.

Thank you for those who are already loyal! We are so appreciative"

Franklin Food Pantry looking for two parents to help coordinate the Food Elves Campaign

The Franklin Food Pantry is recruiting for two volunteer District Parents for Food Elves in the Oak and Jefferson elementary school districts this year. The Food Elves Campaign is The Franklin Food Pantry’s largest fundraiser of the year! 

In 2022, The Elves raised over $93,000! 

Food Elves are middle and high school students in the Franklin community organized by, and working with, District Parents.
Food Elves Campaign
Food Elves Campaign

Between December 1 and December 12, Food Elves pass out The Pantry’s signature purple envelopes and flyers to houses in their elementary school districts and set up their online pages to raise funds for The Pantry. 

Food Elves are assigned to District Parents who help guide them through the process. District Parents are typically assigned 20 -30 students (depending on the district).

The District Parents play a very important role in the campaign! Six district parents correspond to the previous six school districts that our current middle and high school students attended: 
Jefferson Elementary School (recruiting)
Parmenter Elementary School
Oak Street Elementary School (recruiting)
Hellen Keller Elementary School
John F. Kennedy Elementary School
Davis Thayer Elementary School (now closed but students who attended still canvas in the Davis Thayer district)

What Does a District Parent do?
You are the direct contact for the Elves who sign up in your district. 
You assign streets to the Elves (The Pantry will provide street maps corresponding to elementary school districts).
Elves indicate their Elementary Schools when they sign up.
You help the Elves organize kick-off activities in the neighborhood.... 
o Distribute lawn signs
o Oversee envelope and flyer distribution
o Help them to say thank you
You sign off on community service hours (The Pantry will provide you with forms)
In-person Elves get 12 hours
Online Only Elves get 10 hours
You collect and deliver checks to The Pantry.
Elves can also choose to fund raise online only – you will not have any responsibilities to these Elves!

The Pantry will provide a staff contact to help District Parents. 

Time commitment: November 1 – December 15 
1 hour meeting with Pantry and other District Parents for kickoff
Meet with Food Elves to assign streets (in person at your home), give out lawn signs and envelopes
Answer Food Elf questions via email
Collect envelopes from Food Elves
Return envelopes to The Pantry 

If interested in participating for the Oak or Jefferson district, please contact Jen Johnson at the Food Pantry. Her email is

Franklin, MA: School Committee Meeting - August 8, 2023 - 7 PM

Franklin School Committee
August 8, 2023 - 7:00 PM
Municipal Building – Council Chambers

Call to Order Ms. Spencer
Pledge of Allegiance
Moment of Silence

I. Routine Business
A. Review of Agenda
B. Payment of Bills Mr. McNeill
C. Payroll Ms. Spencer
D. FHS Student Representative Comments
E. Superintendent’s Report

II. Guests/Presentations
A. 2022-23 Annual Report Draft
B. Summer Curriculum Review
C. Summer Learning Program Review

III. Discussion/Action Items
A. none

IV. Discussion Only Items
A. none

V. Information Matters
A. School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
B. School Committee Liaison Reports

VI. Consent Agenda
A. Approval of Minutes
I recommend approval of the minutes from your July 25, 2023 meeting as
B. ECDC Surplus Books
I recommend declaring the list of books as surplus for ECDC as detailed.

VI. Good of the Order

VII. Citizen’s Comments

VIII. New Business
To discuss any future agenda items

IX. Executive Session - to return to open session only for the purpose of adjourning
A. Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, Section 21 (a) (3) for the purpose of discussing
strategy as it relates to collective bargaining with the Franklin Cafeteria Union, as
an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the
Committee, as declared by the Chair.
X. Adjournment

The agenda doc (including remote participation info)

Franklin, MA: School Committee Meeting - August 8, 2023 - 7 PM
Franklin, MA: School Committee Meeting - August 8, 2023 - 7 PM

Senior Story Hour - WFPR: Episode 055 - Senior Olympics, Independence Day, Hurtful Words, Homelessness (audio)

In this episode, the Franklin Senior Center Writers Group share stories, poems, and writings about hurtful words, Senior Olympics, Independence Day, Homelessness, and much more.

This episode aired on Franklin Radio for July 2023.

Audio file ->

Senior Story Hour - WFPR = The Franklin Senior Center Writer's Group
Steve Sherlock hosts the Franklin Senior Center Writer's Group for a monthly reading of short stories, essays, poetry and more. If you'd like to join in person or remotely (via Zoom), contact the Franklin Senior Center to get on the mailing list.
Find more episodes here (or on your favorite podcast app) ->

FEMA & FCC announce national test of Wireless Emergency Alert - Oct 4 at 2:20 PM

FEMA (@fema) posted Thu, Aug 03, 2023:
"@FEMA and @FCC will conduct a national test of the Wireless Emergency Alert and the Emergency Alert System this fall. 
Cell phones, wireless devices, TVs and radios across the country will be sent a test alert around 2:20 pm on Oct 4."

additional details on the test:

Shared from ->

FEMA & FCC announce national test of Wireless Emergency Alert - Oct 4 at 2:20 PM
FEMA & FCC announce national test of Wireless Emergency Alert - Oct 4 at 2:20 PM

OneFranklin: Recap of Wednesday's Joint Budget Subcmte Meeting - 08/02/23

Thank you One Franklin for attending last night's budget meeting! We were just about 200 strong (half in person and half zooming in) and our engagement was recognized and commended by our elected leaders. There is a link to the YouTube recording of the meeting at the bottom of this post.
We want to thank Tom Mercer, Chair of the Town Council, for bringing this group together to solve this financial crisis, and for his many years of leadership in Franklin. Councilor Mercer praised the One Franklin Committee's efforts to engage the community and went on to validate our initiative during his opening remarks.
"We are thrilled to see a dedicated group of folks that are ready to dig into the details of overrides and ballot questions…most in the community still have a lot to learn about the town's financial situation. Personally, I believe an override is needed just to continue the level of services provided to the community."
The meeting continued with our Town Administrator, Jamie Hellen's budget forecast, which is bleak. There is simply not enough revenue to support the services we have in town, and the deficit will increase over the next five years forcing cuts to all departments. The only debate was whether the forecast was too conservative and the outlook worse than anticipated as inflation (forecast at 2.5%)has shot up at rates of 7% in 2021 and 6.5% in 2022. In addition, Administrator Hellen identified several other potentially significant risks that are not accounted for in his budget (reduced state funding, increased IT expenses, etc.).
Department directors were asked about some of the most significant cost drivers in their expense budgets. DPW discussed how our lack of funding has caused our road ratings to go down. Police talked about how items required are not funded in their expense budget and instead must rely on the capital budget, which Franklin has in place for improvement projects (for example the new van for the senior center). Many will recall the staffing shortages that are affecting our police department as well, most recently losing two officers due to mandatory overtime obligations.
These were high level discussions, and more granular details will come as departments present to the full Town Council in the coming months. However, this session of the Joint Budget Subcommittee highlighted that it's not only our schools that are being forced to go without. Across the board our elected leaders continue to stress that the 'pot is not big enough'.
This is the starting point. Here is what we can expect, and what we all can do to support progress.
Our expectation is that the School Committee and the Superintendent will meet and begin to formulate the amount of money (above what was presented) they believe is required for an adequate school budget. They will bring this back to the Joint Budget Subcommittee. Concurrently, the Town Administrator will meet and gather information from the other municipal departments and do the same. For the sake of transparency, these amounts will specifically outline what the revenue will fund. The Joint Budget Subcommittee will facilitate this effort in order to bring all departments together and present an override amount to the entire Town Council.
This is not going to be an easy endeavor. It's crucial that we determine the correct number to bring forward for a vote, meaning we present the community with a number that is high enough to accomplish our goals, and low enough to be accepted. There are some that will find no number acceptable, and this is always the case. However, we believe that through education and transparency, our residents will show up unified in support of those providing our most essential services here in Franklin.
As discussed in last night's meeting, we want to ask the community to do their part in allowing this difficult and tedious process to be completed as quickly as possible. That said, our Superintendent and Town Administrator are expected to have little bandwidth for projects above and beyond this undertaking plus their standard professional obligations. One Franklin wants to support their effort every way we can.
Stay tuned for emails from and spread the word! There will be upcoming events, activities and opportunities to contribute to the success of our goal.
We are One Franklin!!!
OneFranklin: Recap of Wednesday's Joint Budget Subcmte Meeting - 08/02/23
OneFranklin: Recap of Wednesday's Joint Budget Subcmte Meeting - 08/02/23

Joint Budget Subcommittee starts process, hears of urgency to do so (audio)

FM #1032 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 1032 in the series. 

This session shares the Town of Franklin (MA) Joint Budget Subcommittee meeting held on Wednesday, Aug 2, 2023. The meeting was conducted in the Council Chambers. Remote participation was enabled for the public for this session. 

The Joint Budget Subcommittee is composed of the budget subcommittee of the Town Council, 3 members of the Finance Committee and of the School Committee to avoid a committee quorum for each of the respective bodies.

Chair - Tom Mercer, Brian Chandler, Cobi Frongillo and Melanie Hamblen of the Town Council

George Conley, Nicole Corbosiero, and one not present of the Finance Committee

David McNeill, David Callaghan, and Denise Spencer of the School Committee


  • Chair Tom Mercer opened meeting setting the stage for the process

  • An overview of the 5 year forecast was provided by Town Administrator Jamie Hellen

  • Town Council meeting of Aug 16 will include more details on the override process, including the Campaign and Political Finance rules and regulations that need to be followed (note that Brookline recently failed in compliance with these matters in their own process)

  • Police Chief Lynch, Fire Chief McLaughlin, DPW Director Cantoreggi, School Superintendent Giguere answered some questions provided insights into their operational cost drivers 

  • Next step to committee meet again in October, Town and School to work on a more detailed update to the forecast for review and discussion by the Committee

  • Resource constraints among Town and School personnel were acknowledged in getting to the next level of detail, it will take time to do it right

  • Urgency in this matter was recognized

  • Ultimately, the total wish number needs to be developed, and from that a practical number developed for a proposal to the Town Council for an operational override. On this timeline, it would be scheduled for 2Q 2024.

The show notes contain a link to the agenda, the Franklin TV meeting video, and to my notes.

The recording runs almost 3 hours, so let’s listen to the Joint Budget Subcommittee meeting of Aug 2, 2023.

Audio file ->


Franklin TV video replay link ->

You may access the agenda and links for the meeting here:

My notes captured during the meeting via Twitter can be found in one PDF ->

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

Joint Budget Subcommittee page -> 


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

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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"

Joint Budget Subcommittee starts process, hears of urgency to do so (audio)
Joint Budget Subcommittee starts process, hears of urgency to do so (audio)

Friday, August 4, 2023

Franklin's Event Outlook: August 4, 2023 to August 10, 2023

Friday, August 4

2:00pm - Franklin Farmers Market (Franklin Town Common)

2:00pm - Thrift Threads thrift shop (Franklin Federated Church)

3:00pm - Cousin's Maine Lobster (food truck) (Franklin Town Common)

3:30pm - Steve Poirier (live music) (Franklin Town Common)

6:00pm - Frank Padula Band (live music) (Franklin Town Common)

6:00pm - Laura May Duo (live music) (La Cantina Winery)

8:00pm - Movie Night: "Back to the Future" (Franklin Town Common)

Saturday, August 5

10:00am - Franklin Historical Museum (always free)

1:00pm - Science Workshop (middle school/teens) (Franklin Public Library)

2:00pm - The Highwayman performed by Matt York (live music) (Franklin Public Library)

4:00pm - Patrick Durkin (live music) (La Cantina Winery)

5:00pm - Michael Rivelis (live music) (Birchwood Bakery & Restaurant)

Sunday, August 6

10:00am - FUSF Service "Nurturing the Fruits of Mindfulness" (First Universalist Society of Franklin)

1:00pm - Franklin Historical Museum (always free)

4:00pm - FSPA Senior Voice Recital (THE BLACK BOX)

Tuesday, August 8

10:00am - FSPA Open House (Franklin School for Performing Arts)

11:00am - Books to Go (Horace Mann Middle School)

7:00pm -  FBRTC Meeting (67 Degrees Brewery)

Wednesday, August 9

1:00pm - Senior Scribblers (writing group)

Thursday, August 10

6:00pm - Dave Penza (live music)


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

Find the full Community event calendar

The Cultural calendar displays only the cultural events

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 

Franklin's Event Outlook: August  4, 2023 to August 10, 2023
Franklin's Event Outlook: August  4, 2023 to August 10, 2023

Roadwork Notice: Paving for the Union Street Mill & Overlay Project Starts Week of August 7, 2023

Notice from the Department of Public Works:

Paving for the Union Street Mill and Overlay Project will be starting the week of August 7, 2023 by the Town's Contractor, Massachusetts Broken Stone Company, weather permitting.

The project work will take place on Union Street from before School Street to Arlington Street.  

Detours will be in place and may change daily. Please seek alternate routes. Delays should be expected.

Shared from ->

Roadwork Notice: Paving for the Union Street Mill & Overlay Project Starts Week of August 7, 2023
Roadwork Notice: Paving for the Union Street Mill & Overlay Project Starts Week of August 7, 2023

More Perfect Union - 86 - Discussing The Fourth, Mass Shootings, Regulations, Legislation & more (audio)

In this episode, the group sits down to discuss their fourth of July traditions, mass shootings that happened over the weekend, how legislation and regulations help, the other components of this problem, and much more.

Franklin.TV: A More Perfect Union (audio) A More Perfect Union (audio)
More Perfect Union - WFPR
Discussing American Politics and Current Events
Peter Fasciano, Dr. Michael Walker Jones, Dr. Natalia Linos, Jeff Roy, and Nick Remissong host a round table discussion on current events and American politics, bringing about thoughtful conversation, compelling discourse, and a look at what the future might hold for the United States.
Find all the More Perfect Union episodes online ->  or subscribe with your favorite podcast app

Want to track who's taken papers for each position? Thanks to our Town Clerk, you can

This will be updated periodically and I'll share weekly. 

The Election Collection for this year will contain all the information shared here during the run up to and just after the election on November 7, 2023. ->

Want to track who's taken papers for each position? Thanks to our Town Clerk, you can
Want to track who's taken papers for each position? Thanks to our Town Clerk, you can

Night Owl Farm schedules "Nutrition Myths Workshop" - Aug 11

"New workshop alert!!

Learn about common misconceptions surrounding nutrition and food.

Come join this safe space to ask questions & get support. No judgement! Bring all your burning nutrition questions.

Learn more and sign up here:"

Town of Franklin: E-Newsletter for August 2023

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August 2023 Edition

Biennial Town Election

The Biennial Town Election is set for Nov. 7, 2023 at Franklin High School from 6am - 8pm. Nomination papers are available now, they must be returned to the Office of the Town Clerk by Sept. 6 no later than 5PM. Questions? Contact the Office of the Town Clerk at 508-520-4900 or email

Please note that Oct. 28 is the last day to register to vote. You may check or update your information via the State's Online Voter Registration tool. For additional Election information, please visit the Town Clerk's webpage.

Changes to Downtown Parking

Check Signage

The public is reminded to check all parking signs and street signs throughout the summer as downtown parking changes are implemented.

To ensure quick and easy payment processing within our municipal lots, parkers are encouraged to download Flowbird, our mobile park and pay application. Learn more about Flowbird via our online parking portal.

Depot St. & Ferrara's Municipal Parking Lot Rate Structure

Sunday - Thursday

  • 5AM to 12PM - $3.00 flat rate all day 
  • 12PM to 6PM - $2.00 flat rate all day 
  • 6PM to 12AM is Free!

Friday & Saturday

  • 5AM to 2AM - Free

Please note there is no overnight parking allowed. Police take notice and violators will be susceptible to a $50.00 fine, per violation.

As announced in the July 1st Downtown Parking Changes Memo, changes to the parking bylaw were pending Town Council approval. Town Administration and Town Council have since refined the parking bylaw as of July 19, 2023. The following changes are in effect as of Aug. 1, 2023.

  • Parking lots are operational 7 days a week at 5AM for the first commuter train.
  • Curfew is 5AM to 12AM Sunday - Thursday (Existing flat rate structure)
  • Curfew is 5AM to 2AM Friday - Saturday (Free)

Visit the Town of Franklin's Online Parking Portal for more information.

Department of Public Works

Hydrant Painting Applications Due

Flex your creative skills during the 2nd Fire Hydrant Painting Event hosted by the Town of Franklin Department of Public Works! Registration is open until Aug. 11, 2023. Proposed designs must be submitted for approval along with a completed application. Applicants will be notified by Aug. 25, 2023. All approved and completed painted hydrants will be reviewed.

Judging will take place between Oct. 2 - Oct. 12, 2023. Winners will be announced at the DPW Touch a Truck event on Oct. 14, 2023. Highest vote winner in the following categories: Under the age of 12; 12 to 17; 18 & over; judges' choice.

Learn more and access the application here.

Road Work Updates

The Town has a variety of road work projects in progress. Below is a status update from our Engineering Department.

Union Street: Union St. road work is underway. The DPW's contractor has milled the asphalt surface from School St. to Washington St. and will be preparing the surface for paving a new top coat of asphalt in the next couple of weeks.

Arlington Street Neighborhood: The Arlington St. neighborhood road work project is also moving right along as the contractor has reclaimed the old pavement, paved the first course of asphalt and has been installing new curb with sidewalks to follow. The final top course of pavement is expected to be complete sometime in Sept.

Grove Street: The second phase of the Grove St. improvements is also expected to start up this month. The work will include extending the multi-use path from where we left off in Phase 1 at Tobacco Road to the trailhead of the SNETT. Road work will include improvements and paving from Tobacco Road to Kenwood Circle. The work will continue through this fall and into next summer.

Town of Franklin
355 East Central Street
Franklin, MA 02038 (508) 520-4949
Visit our Website

Town of Franklin | 355 East Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038

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