Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In the News - more on cats, zoning issue, by-law emergency

Posted Aug 12, 2008 @ 01:28 AM


A feral cat colony living behind Highwood Condominiums is the pride and joy of elderly resident Dorothy "Dottie" Luff, but other residents living closest to the cats' feeding station say the felines are just a nuisance.

"No one wants to hurt the cat people or send (Dottie) into distress," resident Madelyn McAneny said yesterday. "But these cats are using my yard as their litter box."

A group of neighbors gathered yesterday to dispel public perceptions surrounding the controversy over these cats.

"It's not that we don't like animals," Highwood Road resident Ruth Bayer said. "We're just concerned with the health issues, the smell and our property values."

"This is not us against Dorothy," McAneny added.

Last month, Pioneer Property Management responded to heightened complaints and notified residents the cats would be trapped and removed from the site. But pleas from officials and caretakers, including Luff, have halted the trapping.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Posted Aug 12, 2008 @ 01:06 AM


Planners recommended the town adopt a zoning change to allow a wider variety of development near the Knights of Columbus on Rte. 140.

The Planning Board last night voted in favor of recommending Town Council rezone a portion of West Central Street (Rte. 140) from Business/Single Family III to Commercial II.

Town Planner Beth Dahlstrom and Town Engineer William Yadisernia also supported the change.

"The Knights of Columbus is selling the property, and we want to increase the redevelopment potential of the lots in that area. The Knights of Columbus is in need of substantial redevelopment," Yadisernia said.

Neither he nor Dahlstrom knew the prospective buyer of the Knights' property, which they estimated to be between 7 and 10 acres.

The proposal involves seven adjacent parcels of land (on the zoning maps, parcels 270-024-000 through 270-030-000), including the Knights of Columbus property, a Dunkin' Donuts, a gas station, and single-family homes, Dahlstrom said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Posted Aug 12, 2008 @ 01:25 AM


Anticipating vast increases in the price of home heating oil this winter, Councilor Stephen Whalen is proposing the town suspend a prohibitive bylaw to enable more residents to convert from oil to natural gas.

"One of my fears is, a lot of people are going to be caught off-guard by the huge increase in heating oil," said Whalen, who is a senior financial analyst with Liberty Mutual Group.

He had just read a report projecting oil will cost homeowners 70 percent more than last year, and gas, 25 percent to 30 percent more, when he received an e-mail from Maple Street resident Joshua Phillips objecting to a bylaw that prevents him from tapping into natural gas, said Whalen.

"I'm not an expert, but there is a consensus in the financial community that oil will go up more than gas," said Whalen.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Sunday, August 10, 2008

In the News - cookies, St Rocco's, vacant houses

The St Rocco's Festival cookie contest recap with winner Donna Copponi

Donna's winning recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies

Plenty of good food at St Rocco's

And on the vacant house front:

Pellegri, who has been Franklin's town clerk for 24 years, said she finds the number of vacancies listed - 778 - alarming.

That figure is down slightly from April, when the listing was 805, she said, but in past years, it is typically in the high 400s or low 500s, Pellegri said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Franklin changes

Go away for a few days and upon return to Franklin you can find some changes.

A new foundation is being put together for a house in an empty lot on King St:

Franklin: Foundation on King St

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Work on the columns at the old Town Hall, new museum resumes downtown:

Franklin: Column work resumes

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And quite a stir is being raised over some feral cats. The article appeared yesterday in the Milford Daily News and got picked up by the Boston Globe today.

Friday, August 8, 2008

"most people just don't get it "

Posted Aug 08, 2008 @ 12:36 AM


The Financial Planning Committee last night outlined its mission, putting public education and communication in budgetary matters as top priorities, along with creating a three-year fiscal forecast.

The group was created by Town Council in response to citizens' calls for a long-term financial plan as frustration grew over repeated Proposition 2 1/2 tax override requests. The group was meant to serve as a proactive solution to the recurring fiscal deficits.

"I think education and communication are 95 percent of what our task is," said Councilor Stephen Whalen, a committee member.

"It's a reasonable goal to have a really strong educational component," Whalen said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Thursday, August 7, 2008

"they have all the school buses"

Posted Aug 06, 2008 @ 10:00 AM


They may be nearly impossible for law enforcement officials to prevent, but if anthrax attacks like those following the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened today, state and local officials say they could deal with the aftermath.

While every city and town in the state has an emergency plan which details information like shelter locations and evacuation routes, in the weeks following the mailing of anthrax to more than a half-dozen news agencies and members of Congress, there was a flurry of activity as plans were updated to include the possibility of a biological attack. At that time, millions of dollars in grants were handed out to improve detection of dangerous agents, including anthrax.

"The protocol we had pre-2001 - we thought this was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime event," said Martin Greene, deputy director of the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services' Hazardous Materials Response program.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

"It will be a great addition"

Posted Aug 06, 2008 @ 10:47 PM


Town Council last night unanimously endorsed the Franklin Veterans Iraq/Afghanistan Monument Committee's proposal to erect a memorial on the Town Common.

The endorsement is subject to the council's final approval of the monument layout, which Veterans Agent Robert Fahey said will not displace existing war monuments.

The names of Lance Cpl. Shayne Cabino, a Franklin youth killed in action Oct. 6, 2005, and Staff Sgt. Robert Pirelli, a Franklin resident killed in action Aug. 15, 2007, will be engraved on a bronze plaque with a statement honoring all those who have served in Iraq.

On the monument's rear face, another bronze plaque will honor those who served in Afghanistan. It would include names of anyone from Franklin killed in action there if that were to happen.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"There is no money"

Posted Aug 05, 2008 @ 11:44 PM


Despite impassioned pleas to keep the Red Brick School open as a kindergarten, the School Committee last night voted to give the town ownership of the historic building.

Matthew Kelly was the only School Committee member to vote against declaring the school surplus and giving it to the town, and member Ed Cafasso was absent.

This year marked the 175-year anniversary of the Red Brick School, which is one of the oldest one-room brick schools in continuous operation and is on the National Historic Register.

The building may still be used for education under the town's authority, said School Committee member Roberta Trahan. She said two educators have already expressed interest in using it: the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School, and art instructor Don Carlucci, who runs the Franklin School of Modern Art.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Monday, August 4, 2008

Town Council Agenda - 8/6/08


August 6, 2008
7:00 PM

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - June 18, 2008
E. APPOINTMENTS – Design Review Commission
- Town Common Memorial – Bob Fahey, Veterans’ Agent


1. Resolution 08-51: Authorization to Hold Bonfire- Tri-County School
2. Resolution 08-52: Authorizing Submission of Financing Application
3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 08-616: Adult Entertainment Establishment Districts-2nd Reading
4. Bylaw Amendment 08-626: Chapter 125, Town Code: Peace & Good Order – 2nd Reading

O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required

This agenda can also be found on the Town website here

The information package for this meeting can be found here (PDF)

School Committee meeting 8/5/08

Contrary to what the new Town website says, Jeff Roy did confirm via email that the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, 8/5/08 is in the Council Chambers in the Town Hall at 7:00PM.

If you want to attend the meeting don't go to the Horace Mann Auditorium.

School Committee Agenda 8/5/08

Franklin School Committee Meeting
August 5, 2008
Municipal Building – Council Chambers
7:00 P.M.


Call to order Mr. Roy
Pledge of Allegiance
Moment of Silence

1. Routine Business
• Citizen’s Comments
• Review of Agenda
• Minutes:
I recommend approval of the minutes from the July 15, 2008 Regular School Committee Meeting, and the June 11, 2008 Executive Session.
• Payment of Bills Mr. Kelly
• Payroll Ms. Armenio
• FHS Student Representatives

• Correspondence:
  1. Letter from Senator Karen Spilka
  2. Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations:
  • None

3. Discussion Only Items
• Policy KF – Building Use – First Reading

• Policy Manual Review – First Reading
  • Policy BCG – Policy Revision & Review
  • Policy BCG-E – Policy Manual Review Procedure
  • Policy BGB – Policy Adoption
  • Policy BGF – Suspension of Policies
  • Policy BIBA – School Committee Conferences, Conventions & Workshops
  • Policy BID – School Committee Member Compensation & Expenses
• Strategic Plan Discussion

• Superintendent’s Goals for 2008-2009

• GATRA Report Submission

• Brick School

4. Action Items:
  1. Take action on Brick School as recommended by Building Use Subcommittee.
  2. I recommend acceptance of the donation of various scientific supplies, glassware, equipment, safety and storage resources by Spherics, Incorporated for the Franklin High School.
  3. I recommend the approval of an additional ESP at Franklin High School (see attached e-mail from Linda Waters).
  4. I recommend that you accept my report on Superintendent’s goals for 2007-2008.
  5. I recommend acceptance of a check for $2,000. from the Parmenter PCC for field trips as detailed.
  6. Re-votes from last meeting as listed

5. Information Matters:
Superintendent’s Report
  • a. Strategic Plan
  • b. Superintendent’s Goals
  • c. GATRA
  • d. ESP for Franklin High School
School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business:
  • To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

7. Executive Session
  • Contractual Negotiations

8. Adjourn

You can also view this agenda on the School Committee page here

Sunday, August 3, 2008

"We are still hoping"

By Rachel Lebeaux Globe Correspondent / August 3, 2008

Franklin's 175-year-old one-room schoolhouse is in line to close this year because of budget cuts, despite fund-raising efforts by supporters.

The School Committee may vote as early as Tuesday on the Brick School's fate, during its 7 p.m. meeting in the town's Municipal Building. The session would immediately follow a 5:30 p.m. meeting of the school district's building use subcommittee, which will assess the feasibility of continuing to use the facility as a school.

Jeffrey Roy, the School Committee chairman, who also chairs the subcommittee, said closing the Brick School this fall "is a likely scenario."

Read the full article in the Boston Globe West Section here

In the News - perfect match, Shakespeare on the Common

Perfect match found for Franklin woman

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

Day after day, for the past three months, 19-year-old Kristin Graci waited to hear whether her bone marrow team at Dana Farber Hospital found a perfect DNA match for her bone marrow transplant.

She needs the procedure to increase her odds - by about 60 percent - of never having to suffer from rare type AML leukemia again, she said.
Doctors told Kristin a bone marrow transplant gives her an 80 percent chance at a permanent cure, compared to 20 percent without it, she said.


Franklin will make Shakespeare Common

By Tanya Girgenrath/Daily News correspondent

What do Boston Common and Franklin Town Common have in, well, common? The fact that both will be playing host to free summer productions of Shakespeare in the park.

Our local show, directed by Nick Paone and put on by the Franklin School of Performing Arts, will be the opening act in a weeklong event called the Whatever Theater Festival.
The festivities will kick off Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. with a free showing of Shakespeare's comedy ``A Midsummer Night's Dream'' on Franklin Common. There will be a repeat performance Saturday at 2 p.m. The show will star many local actors of all different ages.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

"We don't want anything sneaky going on"

Posted Aug 01, 2008 @ 11:29 PM


Leaders of the citizens' group, "It Does Not Fit, Do Not Permit" say they will remain vigilant in opposing "irresponsible development" and keeping a watchful eye on developers.

About 50 members of the group descended upon the Zoning Board of Appeals July 24, to fight a commercial development plan Councilor Joseph McGann and former police chief Lawrence Benedetto proposed in January for 704 Washington St. The members expressed frustration that the two sought a second continuance and did not appear.

Following the meeting, McGann said, in a phone interview, that a sale of the property was in progress, and attorneys were ironing out a few formalities. McGann declined to name the prospective buyer or how they intend to use the property and said he and Benedetto would not provide any more details about the project. Benedetto has an unlisted phone number and could not be reached for comment.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Previous postings here include:

Friday, August 1, 2008

In the News - vandal, car thiefs, DCU

Cops say kids trespassing at site

By Michelle Laczkoski/Daily News staff

Police arrested two teenage boys Wednesday night after a passerby saw them trespassing on a construction site on Summer Street.

The boys, ages 16 and 14, were arrested just before 9 p.m. Both face charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, Deputy Chief Stephan Semerjian said.


Rash of car break-ins prompts warning

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

Responding to several dozen reported car break-ins recently, including 11 Wednesday night, Deputy Police Chief Stephan H. Semerjian is warning residents to lock their cars and secure valuables like GPS devices and laptop computers.

Downtown residents have been reporting the break-ins for the past five weeks, Semerjian said.


DCU expands

By Aaron Wasserman/Daily News staff

Digital Federal Credit Union expects to open in Franklin later this month, its first branch in the Milford area and Norfolk County.

Tim Garner, the credit union's vice president of marketing and strategic planning, said this week the company has been scouting several locations along Interstate 495 for new branches and this is the first to materialize. It has been working on the project for nearly two years.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

"it's an investment in our town"

Posted Jul 30, 2008 @ 11:10 PM


Property owners could be charged an annual fee of about $40 under a stormwater management plan proposed by the Department of Public Works.

DPW Director Brutus Cantoreggi said the fee would raise about $500,000, which could be used to pay for infrastructure repairs and retrofits, additional catch-basin cleaning, street sweeping and maintenance of stormwater facilities to comply with federal mandates.

Establishing a stormwater utility would provide a stable source of dedicated funding, assist with making long-term improvements, and give a more equitable apportionment from different land uses than the tax base does, he said.

Another goal in the stormwater management plan is to keep water in Franklin, rather than letting it flow into the Charles River, Cantoreggi said.

However, there is a hitch to the proposed plan: It may not be legal.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Listen to my recap of the 3 things you should know from the Town Council meeting 7/23/08