Showing posts with label amendment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label amendment. Show all posts

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Franklin, TV: Uvalde, TX! - A new name to add to the list.

by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director 05/29/2022

For anyone interested in The List, it looks like this.

Mass shootings happen frequently. The List from just the past decade includes supermarkets in Buffalo and in Boulder, CO.; a rail yard in San Jose, CA.; a birthday party in Colorado Springs; a convenience store in Springfield, MO.; a synagogue in Pittsburgh; churches in Sutherland Springs, TX, and in Charleston, SC; a Walmart in El Paso; a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis; a music festival in Las Vegas; massage parlors in Atlanta; a Waffle House in Nashville; a gay nightclub in Orlando; and a movie theater in Aurora, CO.

Even school shootings happen often enough that we know some of the names: Sandy Hook Elementary School, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Oxford High School, Santa Fe High School, Columbine High School. Robb Elementary School in Uvalde has joined this horrific list.

I note the locus of these events. The frequency of extreme gun violence is proximal to the gun culture and permissive laws of a given state. There’s a message here. Massachusetts has stronger gun regulations. However, responsible citizens can still reasonably obtain and use guns. The 2nd amendment is working in MA. Perfectly? No. But, we do have a balance of rights and responsibility.

The U.S. population in 1970, 200Million. Today, we are 330 million.
U.S. vehicular death in 1970, 53,000. Today, it’s around 36,000.
More people, but fewer deaths. A 60% reduction through reasonable regulation. The point? 2nd amendment rights can continue – through reasonable regulation.

Altogether, guns killed about 45,000 Americans last year. Can we ever get to zero? No. But, we can make progress. Many 2A defenders say, “ It’s ‘mental health’ issue.” But, they don’t support comprehensive background checks or red flag regulations that address that very issue. It’s time for reason. It’s time for Congress to act.

“With great power comes great responsibility.” – The Sword of Damocles Guns can give us power, but we need to exercise responsibility.
Congress has the ultimate power – and the great responsibility.
It’s time, lest that sword fall upon Washington come the next election. 

It’s time.
And – as always –
Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm. 
And, thank you for watching.

Get this week's program guide for Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( online   

Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (
Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (

Sunday, August 8, 2021 More Perfect Union - 021 - Amendments Part I

"In this episode, Frank and the group discuss the history of the U.S. constitution, amendments, and the need for more amendments in the modern age."

Direct link -> More Perfect Union - 021 - Ammendments Part I More Perfect Union - 021 - Ammendments Part I


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Legislature Advances Fair Share Act to 2022 Statewide Ballot

Legislature Advances Fair Share Act to 2022 Statewide Ballot

Proposed constitutional amendment would fund transportation and education investments

At a Joint Session of the Massachusetts Legislature, members of the House and Senate on Wednesday held a Constitutional Convention where they advanced an amendment to the state Constitution to provide greater investments in education and transportation funding.

The Amendment, which now goes before the people of the Commonwealth for a vote in 2022, establishes a four percent tax on annual taxable income in excess of $1 million. The revenue generated, estimated by the Department of Revenue to be as much as $2.2 billion annually, would fund repair and maintenance projects for roads, bridges or public transportation as well as funding for public education, including support for early education and childcare and public higher education.

"As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and prepare for the Commonwealth's long-term success, we must be bold as we strive to create the future we want to see," said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "I'm thrilled the Fair Share Amendment has advanced, moving us one step closer to being able to make the critical investments in transportation and education that the public wants and deserves."

"Massachusetts has a bright future ahead of it and the House of Representatives is committed to a continued focus on education and transportation investments," said House Speaker Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy). "Today's vote allows the Fair Share Amendment to be placed on the ballot and put before the people for a vote. This measure is one step in a multi-pronged strategy to make our Commonwealth a more equitable place to live, work and raise a family."

"When the Fair Share Amendment was first introduced in 2015, there were about 15,000 Massachusetts residents earning over $1 million a year," said Representative James O'Day (D-West Boylston), the lead House sponsor of the constitutional amendment. "Now in 2021, there are about 18,000 residents earning over $1 million a year. Clearly, there are millionaires and billionaires who can afford to pay their fair share in taxes, which will support our neighbors and local communities with investments in public education and transportation. Thank you to Speaker Ronald Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka for prioritizing the Fair Share Amendment so early in the session." 

"The Fair Share Amendment once again received strong support from legislators and, in public polling, typically receives support from more than 70% of voters in Massachusetts," said Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester), the lead Senate sponsor of the proposal. "The reason it is so popular is that most people recognize that our wealthiest residents can afford to pay a bit more in taxes to fund investments in public education and improving our transportation infrastructure that will grow our economy, expand opportunity, and make our Commonwealth more just and equitable for all."

Should voters approve the ballot measure, the income level would be adjusted annually to reflect increases in the cost of living by the same method used to determine federal income tax brackets. This would ensure that, over time, the additional four percent tax would continue to apply only to the highest earning individuals in the Commonwealth. The tax would apply to all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2023. 

The legislature must approve a constitutional amendment in two consecutive joint sessions before the question appears on the ballot for voter approval. The Fair Share Act was approved for a first time on June 12, 2019, in a 147-48 vote. This week's June 9, 2021, vote of 159-41 ensures the proposal will appear on the November 2022 statewide ballot.

Boston Globe coverage (subscription may be required)

Sunday, February 28, 2021

"new Netflix series looks at the importance and legacy of an amendment that calls for equality and freedom"

"Chances are it is the most influential amendment to the US constitution that you aren’t familiar with. Given its impact, it is astonishing how little the 14th amendment is discussed in public life. Americans can’t rattle it off like the first and second amendments – but its words have fundamentally shaped the modern definition of US citizenship and the principles of equality and freedom entitled to those within the country’s borders.

Sitting at the crux of these key ideals, the 14th amendment is cited in more litigation than any other, including some of the US supreme court’s most well-known cases: Plessy v Ferguson, Brown v Board of Education, Loving v Virginia, Roe v Wade, Bush v Gore, Obergefell v Hodges. And because these noble notions are embedded in the 14th, it has the remarkable ability to generate both boundless hope (for the promises of that more perfect union aspired to in the constitution’s preamble) and crushing misery (for the failures to achieve such promises)."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Radiolab did a spin off podcast where they examined Supreme Court decisions and then all the Constitutional amendments - well worth listening to, I did learn a lot.

Radiolab's first ever spin-off series, More Perfect
Radiolab's first ever spin-off series, More Perfect

Franklin's has a series on Monday called "Towards A More Prefect Union"
Frank Falvey converses with Rep. Jeff Roy, Dr. Michael Walker-Jones and Dr. Natalia Linos. The show airs on Monday's at 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Work is also underway to make a podcast version of this show available.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

In the News: 100 years of the 19th Amendment; ZēLUS Beer designed specifically active lifestyle

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Massachusetts ratified the 19th Amendment 100 years ago, ensuring a woman’s right to vote. Though more women are running for office and casting more ballots than men, female elected officials are still in the minority. Women make up 28.5% of the Massachusetts Legislature. 
When Shirley Anita Chisholm, the first black congresswoman in the United States, met 6-year-old Yvonne Spicer, she said her job was “to help people.” 
Spicer, who lived in the congresswoman’s hometown of Brooklyn, New York, was immediately enamored by her. 
“I think about that experience and where that seed was being planted when I was six,” said Spicer, Framingham’s mayor and the first African-American woman popularly elected mayor in Massachusetts."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"ZēLUS Beer was designed specifically for your active lifestyle"

"Though the Zelus Beer Company launched in 2015, the Medfield brewer has been somewhat incognito, operating from an office and warehouse not open to the public. 
The company is set to change that soon; it has been building a “tap room” at 1 Green St. to feature its offerings, and plans to open it in coming days. 
Company founder Geoffrey Pedder said the company - named for Zelus, the Greek personification of competition and rivalry - began with the intent of connecting to anyone who’s active. 
“It was designed and developed with athletes in mind,” he said. “We do want to be known as the home for wellness beers, which is a big segment of the market.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

According the the Zelus webpage, the tap room is indeed open

Zelus Beer Company
Zelus Beer Company

Friday, June 1, 2018

"provide a strong legal protection for women’s rights"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"After hours of debate Wednesday night, the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution passed the Illinois House. 
The resolution was approved 72-45, making Illinois the 37th state to ratify the ERA, which outlaws discrimination based on gender nationwide. The Senate approved the measure 43-12 on April 11. 
“I’m glad that the common sense, the recognition that women deserve and are entitled to the same protections as men, won the day,” said Rep. Steve Andersson, R-Geneva. “What we’re going to do is raise the level of all ships. Men, women, everyone does better because of this.” 
Originally brought to the states for ratification in 1972, only 35 state legislatures voted for the amendment before a 1982 deadline set by Congress."
"In 2017, Nevada became the 36th state to ratify ERA. With Illinois’ action Wednesday, only one more state needs to ratify it. But Congress will have to remove the deadline for it to become the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Did MA pass this? 
Yes, as the 19th state to do so in June of 1972. For additional info, the wikipedia page is rich with history, tidbits and links

Sunday, May 6, 2018

MassBudget: Analyzing the House Budget Amendments for Fiscal Year 2019

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

May 3, 2018

Analyzing the House Budget Amendments for FY 2019

During four days in which it considered amendments on education, health care, local aid, and each of the other major areas in which our state budget provides funding for services in our communities, the House made only very modest changes to the budget proposal from its Ways and Means Committee.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center's new Budget Monitor describes the major amendments in each area of the budget. The amendments increased funding overall by $79.6 million dollars, which is two tenths of one percent of the total state budget.
The chart below provides an overview of the amounts added in each major category of the budget.
MassBudget: Analyzing the House Budget Amendments for Fiscal Year 2019
Read the full Budget Monitor here.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

Sent by in collaboration with
Constant Contact

Thursday, May 17, 2012

“This is not what our founding fathers had in mind”

From the Town Council meeting Weds night, the Milford Daily News reports:
Councilors largely refused to discuss the merits of the amendment. 
“I do not feel this is the forum for this topic,” Councilor Glenn Jones said, a sentiment that was echoed by at least three other councilors. 
Councilor Matthew Kelly pointed out that the council has a history of being non-partisan, and said accepting or rejecting the amendment would infringe on that tradition. 
Unlike the councilors, residents at the meeting were willing to take sides in the matter.

Read more:

My reporting on this section of the meeting can be found here:

The full statement by Graydon Smith can be found here

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Live reporting - People's Right

Jeff Roy speaks for the proposed amendment to the US Constitution in favor of People's Rights.

Additional info on this can be found

Needham and Medway had enacted this support this week and there are a number of other communities who have also joined this effort.

Tina Powderly is not sure that this is the right forum and concerned about the precedent that this would set.

Matt Kelley agrees with Councilor Powderly that this is not the right forum.

Graydon Smith, Franklin resident and member of the Long Range Finance Committee. The amendment ironically does nothing for people's rights. The amendment undermines the rights of people. No protection for dissenting voices. (full copy added here

Mr Hill speaking for the amendment, the bill of rights were intended for people not corporations, political entities of corporations have been granted rights more than what the forefathers had in mind. Please pass the resolution supporting the People's Rights. It has to come from cities and towns, it is not going to come from the top down. We the people are giving up the power to corporations unless Franklin steps forward to join this effort.

Bissanti - thanks to Jeff Roy for bringing this forward. It is something that can be done.

Jeff Roy - thank you for engaging in the discussion. I have a general sense of where the Council is at this time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Verizon Cable License Amendment - public comment period

The cable license between Franklin and Verizon is being amended to bring the revenue into agreement with the current revenue from Comcast. Actually a reduction from 5% to 4.8% of gross revenues would come to Franklin.

The comment period begins 14 days after the notification (12/16/10), hence 12/30/10 and runs for 21 days (hence Jan 20th).

Franklin Amendment Verizon Cable License

Related post from the Town Council meeting on Nov 17th discussing the possible public access channel operation

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Live reporting - Zoning bylaw amendment

  • Zoning Bylaw Amendment to Chapter 185-18. Nonconforming Uses and Structures- Dept of Planning & Community Development
Presentation lead by:
David Roche - Building Commissioner
Nick Alfieri - Conservation Agent
Brian Taberner, Director, Downtown Planning and Community Development

Alfieri - As an example, 450 Maple St, built about 28 feet from the road, therefore it is pre-existing as non-confirming, to put a deck on that would be completely compliant still had to go through the Zoning Board of Approvals (ZBA) to get the approval. It will save time and money. This streamlines the ZBA process.

Vallee - this is an excellent amendment

Whalen - sounds good, what would be an example of something more controversial or how it could not be abused?

Alfieri - Speaks directly to single and two-family houses only. Others would still need to go through the ZBA. If the alteration itself is non-conforming, it would still go through the ZBA process.

Doak - how did this change from prior

Alfieri - They split non-conforming structures from non-conforming uses into two separate sections

Cerel - Nick and I worked closely on this, the section is obtuse, in the absence of a local bylaw you had to go through the rigmarole.

Doak - this seems to fall in the category of common sense

Feeley - what would you like us to do with this?

Nutting - put this on the next agenda to put through the process to get to the planning board

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

action items, continued

Resolution 08-45: Grant of Utility Easement – off Panther Way
easement, to the right of the rink along the tree line behind the high school
they hope not to be disruptive whatsoever
passed unanimously


Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-617: Amendment to Chp. 185, Town Code: Water Resource District – 1st Reading

moved to second reading
approved unanimously


Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-618: Amendment to Chp. 185, Town Code: Biotechnology Uses – 1st Reading

moved to second reading
approved unanimously


Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-619: Amendment to Chp. 185-5: Zoning Map - Biotechnology Use – 1st Reading

moved to waive the reading, approved
moved to second reading
approved unanimously


Bylaw Amendment 08-622: Amendment to Personnel Code, Salary Structure - 2nd Reading
Yes - Bartlett, Whalen, Zollo, Feeley, Vallee, Pfeffer


Bylaw Amendment 08-623: Water Map Amendment: Spring Valley Estates - 2nd Reading
per capita use of water is one of the lowest in the state
Yes - Bartlett, Whalen, Zollo, Feeley, Vallee, Pfeffer


Town administrator report
water conservation effort is underway
4th of July celebration is coming
reminder that the election is on Tuesday, vote
addressing questions/concerns of citizens who have called are come forward wants to encourage this, appreciates this, encourages others to do so


Zollo - What is the status of the Audit report
Feeley/Nutting - it is coming up on the next agenda
Pfeffer - Franklin Country Club behind on notification paperwork for change in management for their liquor license
Bartlett - where are we in the process with the town web site


Councilor Comments
Zollo encourage the voters to get out and cast their vote on June 10th
Pfeffer - still wants the School Dept presentation on the audit results, graduation moved along very well; complaining about the speeding and recent accidents on Cottage St
Whalen - encourage vote, if you have questions please reach out; the best possible result would be a high turn out
Vallee - attended DPW Open House, there is some new equipment, a lot of old equipment that will need to be replaced
Bartlett - graduation did move along very quickly, also attended the all-night party, thanks to the Police and Fire for their assistance; encourage to vote on June 10th, vote counts more in a local election than any other election
Feeley - encourage vote on June 10th

Nutting - thanks a list of folks for the Earth Day activities in planning and making the day a success