Saturday, March 22, 2008

Riding around for pictures

If you saw an odd looking guy on a bike stop here and there to take pictures today, that might have been me. I was scouting for new entries in the "Where in Franklin?" series.

If you did happen to see me, that could be a helpful clue to a future picture :-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Where in Franklin? #38

Where in Franklin? #38, originally uploaded by shersteve.

As we change seasons this week, we'll step back to another change of seasons and see if you can identify where in Franklin you'll find this?

The guidelines for playing "Where in Franklin?" can be found here.

Where in Franklin? Answer #37

Where in Franklin? Answer #37, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The correct answer to picture #37 is the water tower along Upper Union Ave near the Forge Park Industrial Park.

Thanks to ltsjs for the answer.

Stay tuned for the next opportunity.

In the News - mayhem charges, food pantry, school committee self-evaluation

'Project Mayhem' charges brought
By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

Police are filing criminal complaints against several Franklin High School students who allegedly planned to wreak "chaos and mayhem" in the style of "Project Mayhem" from the movie "Fight Club" last Friday, said Deputy Police Chief Stephan H. Semerjian.

Police thwarted the students' day of confusion after School Resource Officer Dan MacLean, along with a high school janitor and a girlfriend of one of the suspects, alerted them, he said.


read the remainder of this article in the Milford Daily News
originally reported last week, you can find that article here


Tough economy hits food pantries
By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

Spikes in food, gas and even real estate prices are driving a growing number of local people to turn to food pantries in recent weeks, according to Linda Pouliot-Whitez, executive director of the Franklin Food Pantry.

"We've been getting two, three new clients a week," said Michelle Reid, an outreach director at the food pantry who attributed the increased need partially to higher real estate taxes, which caused landlords to bump up rents.

read the full article in the Milford Daily News

Franklin School Committee sets new goals
By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

In a special meeting Tuesday night, School Committee members gave self-evaluations of their work, which included many high marks and noted several new areas for improvement.

The School Committee agreed to set goals earlier in the year for the superintendent and to review its policy manual in a methodical manner.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In the News - Town Council rejects sign

Posted Mar 19, 2008 @ 10:51 PM


The Town Council last night swiftly rejected a proposal to place a welcome sign downtown, saying it would "denigrate" the common.

Based on feedback from the Downtown Partnership, Historical Commission chairman and Town Common Committee, the Department of Planning and Community Development recommended installing the sign at the corner of Pleasant and Main Streets as part of ongoing downtown revitalization.

The sign, which would look similar to those already installed in the area, would be funded by a state grant, which must be spent by June 30, said Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Listen to the full Town Council discussion here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Town Council Meeting Summary 3/19/08

The audio recordings for the town meeting 3/19/08 are available in the following sections:

Town Administrator's Report etc. (audio)

The Town Administrator, Jeff Nutting, makes his report, followed by old business (none), new business (one), and councilor comments before the meeting adjorns.

Time: 8 minutes, 38 seconds

MP3 File

Approval for backup generator at the High School (audio)

The replacement for the failed backup generator at the high school was finally approved by the Town Council.

Time: 11 minutes, 34 seconds

MP3 File

Approval for Summer St Paving (audio)

Franklin Town Council approves transfer of funds from developer to allow for the paving all at once of the Summer St section where sewer extentions were made. Passed by a 6-0 vote with 1 abstention (McGann).

Time: 7 minutes, 35 seconds

MP3 File

Discussion on proposal for sign on the Town Common (audio)

Franklin Town Council discusses the proposal for a sign on the Town Comon. Proposal was eventually withdrawn before a vote was taken as there were objections from some of the Council.

Time: 10 minutes, 56 seconds

MP3 File

Habitat for Humanity presentation (audio)

The Franklin Town Council hears presentation from the Old Colony Habitat for Humanity which just expanded their scope to include Franklin and Bellingham.

Time: 25 minutes, 12 seconds

MP3 File

Tavern License Transfer Approved (audio)

Franklin Town Council approved unanimously the transfer of license for the former Franklin Tavern per bankruptcy court proceedings. ABC approval is still required.

Time: 2 minutes, 20 seconds

MP3 File

Note: When Chairperson Chris Feeley defers to Jeff Nutting, Jeff in turn passes to Maxine Kinhart, who passes to Attorney Mark Cerel. This transfer does not get picked by the recording.

New School Business Administrator chosen

The School Committee last night unanimously voted to hire town resident Miriam Goodman as the new school business administrator.

During a break at last night's special meeting, committee Chairman Jeffrey Roy called Goodman, offered the job and reported that she accepted.

Goodman is director of administration and finance for the Woonsocket, R.I., Education Department, a post she has held since 1999.

She was one of four finalists in the search for a new business administrator following the committee's ousting of Dolores McCoy last fall. McCoy was put on administrative leave when officials discovered she had made numerous accounting errors, including putting $590,000 in expenses from last year into this year's budget.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

The interviews conducted by the School Committee can be found here.

Dark Tide - Book Review

I had published my short form book review of Dark Tide previously.

My long form of Dark Tide was published Tuesday as part of the month long Love Affair with Books on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog.

You have my permission, indeed encouragement to click on over, read it and participate in the conversation.

Dark Tide is the focal point for On the Same Page at the Franklin Library this year.

Sunshine Week

While many public officials are hesitant to share information about what the government is doing, what many Americans don't realize is that the business of public officials is highly accessible, especially when it comes to how taxpayers' dollars are spent.

To raise such awareness, the Daily News is participating in Sunshine Week, an annual project aimed at creating awareness about freedom of information and government secrecy.

A Daily News reporter hand-delivered written public record requests to several Milford and MetroWest town officials last month, asking for each one's three most recent town-issued cell phone bills.

How did Franklin fare?

Franklin Police Chief Stephen Williams also refused to provide complete bills.

Franklin Town Attorney Mark Cerel wrote a letter on Williams' behalf, explaining he would provide general billings, but not an itemized record.

"Public safety and security and personal privacy interests preclude making any of the records available," wrote Cerel. "There is a significant risk that he would inadvertently disclose an exempt telephone number in reviewing a high volume of calls, thereby creating a public safety and/or security risk or a personal privacy violation."

The town later provided general billings of all townwide-issued cell phones, which includes Williams' phone, free of charge. Franklin pays about $3,000 each month for all town employees' cell phones.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

This is a nice attempt to participate in "sunshine week". Rather than make an issue on the phone numbers themselves, I'd have preferred an analysis of the kinds of coverage the phones have.

Do they have basic phone service or a higher level of service?

Then you could have a discussion on what level of phone service is appropriate by department for a local community to provide.