Saturday, September 13, 2008

Recycle electronics at Gillette today update


The Sony recycling event at Gillette Stadium is a logistics marvel! You don't need to leave your vehicle. You drive through a brief slalom-like set of cones, get directed to a lane and stop. Recyclers are ready to empty your vehicle into large boxes. As the boxes fill, they are fork-lifted onto trucks. As soon as you are empty, you drive up to be handed a Sony recycle bag and pointed to the exit. A quick drive out and you're on your way again.

It's the least amount of time you'll ever spend getting out of an event at Gillette! Well worth the effort loading your car with electronics to recycle!

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Industry: Vacumet - holography

I found this press release recently and want to add it to our growing collection of what is happening in the industry located here in Franklin.

Franklin, MA, September 08, 2008 --( Vacumet, Corp., the world’s leading vacuum metallizer, today announced the launch of its new commercially available holographic stock design library. Vacumet’s new library houses over 100 holographic stock designs and represents two years of research and development efforts and an over $2 million investment. Vacumet’s holographic stock designs are being used to create unique, illuminating effects for packaging across industries, including food and beverage, beauty, publishing, home entertainment and holographic security. While maintaining the expanding holographic stock library, Vacumet will continue to offer its award-winning custom holographic design service.

The new library offers an assortment of exclusive stock patterns and utilizes all manners of holographic techniques, including dot matrix and conventional “full wave” holography. Vacumet’s library represents both traditional and modern patterns, and is currently stocking a variety of “Multiple Dots” patterns, “Cracked Ice/Broken Glass” designs, as well as distinctive lenslet and kinetic plaid designs. Vacumet plans to continually add to this stock library and will announce additional exclusive holographic stock patterns in the coming months.

“Brand differentiation and shelf appeal continue to be important factors in building a successful point-of-purchase sales strategy,” said Joe Formosa, business manager for HoloPRISM® at Vacumet. “With our extensive holographic stock design library, Vacumet can provide virtually limitless packaging solutions than can increase brand visibility while boosting sales.”

About Vacumet Corp.

Vacumet Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Scholle Corporation, is the single largest commercial metallizing company in the world. Its metallized products are used in the production of some of the most exciting and functional, barrier, cosmetic, labeling and promotional packaging products for major brands across industries and around the world. Vacumet products and processes are representative of its ongoing commitment to sustainable packaging. For more information, please visit

Vacumet Corp. - Holography
is located at 24 Forge Park, Franklin, MA 02038 USA

"a profound sense of history"

Posted Sep 12, 2008 @ 11:08 PM


It happens, sometimes, in the White House - or a ranch house in Franklin - that great minds come together and do something amazing.

In the name of promoting literacy, 108 renowned authors and illustrators joined forces and created the anthology: "Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out."

The star cast of contributors include a National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, four Pulitzer Prize winners, three National Book Award recipients (and eight finalists), two MacArthur "Genius Fellows," 13 Newbery Medal winners (and 15 finalists), eight Caldecott Medal recipients (and 20 honors) and 12 Coretta Scott King Award winners (and 22 honors).

The idea for the historical book arose nearly a decade ago in the Franklin home of Mary Brigid Barrett, the founder, president and executive director of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

The book's website is found here

National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance website

I love the quote attributed to Barbara Tuchman that is found on the NCBLA home page:

"Without books, history is silent, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill... They are the engines of change, windows on the world, and ... 'Lighthouses erected in the sea of time.' They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print."

What was the last book you read?

Have you read Dark Tide, Stephen Puleo's book on the Molasses Flood? The library has a number of copies available as part of the program this year "On the Same Page".

Friday, September 12, 2008

In the New - author in residence, senior residence assistance


Jed Horne, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and former editor of the Times Picayune (New Orleans) will be the author in residence at Dean College.

Horne, author of the book "Breach of Faith," will read, present and sign copies of his book at a community event on Wednesday, Sept. 24, starting at 7 p.m., in the College’s Campus Center.
The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. The event is sponsored by Dean College’s Student Government Association.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 10:01 AM


For the past two years, resident Ron Higginbottom and Town Councilor Joseph McGann have been making life at home safer for more than 100 Franklin seniors.

Every time the Senior Center's nurse inspects an elderly resident's home to prevent falls and finds a lack of grab bars in the bathroom, Higginbottom and McGann volunteer to install one there, said Senior Center Director Karen Alves.

As part of the center's Safe and Secure at Home program, the nurse visits seniors' homes and conducts risk assessments for falls, she said.

"Statistics say that for a lot of seniors, when they take a fall, it's usually a hospital visit or death (that results). Typically, they'll break a hip, which leads to a nursing home," Alves said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

For a picture of Ron Higgenbottom's Town Council Proclamation, look here

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In the News - superintendent search, local princess

Posted Sep 10, 2008 @ 10:00 AM


The School Committee last night unanimously supported conducting an internal search to replace outgoing Superintendent Wayne Ogden, who announced his resignation Aug. 27.

"We have a lot of internal talent. I think it's important to promote from within," said Vice Chairwoman Paula Mullen.

Choosing an internal candidate will save money and has the added bonus of having a ripple effect, she said, as selecting a current staff member will leave an opening for another employee to fill.

An external candidate, on the other hand, would have a learning curve in getting to know a new and large school district, Mullen said.

The other six School Committee members expressed similar thoughts.

Noting that the last search for a superintendent took "quite a while," School Committee member Ed Cafasso said the district would save time and money by selecting Ogden's successor from an internal pool.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 12:06 AM
Last update Sep 11, 2008 @ 12:10 AM


As a little girl, Gabrielle Murray dreamed of being a princess and becoming a professional singer.

Not too much to ask, if you're 5 years old.

Today, at 26, Murray actually is a princess - the only princess - at King Richard's Faire in Carver, which runs on weekends now through Oct. 19.

"Little girls believe she really is a princess, and a lot of them believe she's the princess from (the movie) 'Enchanted,"' said Gabrielle's mother, Elaine Murray.

"You tell them no, and they won't believe you. Even grown men - she goes by them and they go all mushy," she said, chuckling and shaking her head.

Even sitting at the dining room table at her Franklin home in regular clothing, sans her soft pink gown and tiara, it's easy to imagine Murray as a princess.

Like a royal from the Renaissance, her flowing red locks fall to her waist, she kicks into high soprano and takes on a slight English accent as she belts out one of Princess Aria's songs, pining for true love to find her.

Amid the jousting, jugglers, angels and variety acts, Murray plays Princess Aria Lumere all day, she said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

live reporting - information matters

5. Information Matters

Superintendent’s Report
  • Enrollment / Class size(already covered)
  • PCC Leadership (new listing in your packet)
  • HMMS / Oak Street / ECDC (repairs complete, sheet rock left off temporarily to allow for drying, good response by Fire Dept., got to test the ConnectEd system and got almost universal compliments, far more difficult was connecting with the media outlets and getting them to believe that I was indeed the Superintendent. Their system is set to handle the snow warnings. They still need to speak to the State and see if we need to make up the day.)
  • Courses not offered this year
School Committee Sub-Committee Reports - none
School Committee Liaison Reports - none

meeting adjorned to Executive Session not to return to a public forum this evening

live reporting - action items

  • I recommend easement of land behind High School to Town for Senior Housing Project as described in the attached document. approved unanimous
  • I recommend acceptance of a check for $4,800.00 from the Horace Mann PCC to support the Video Yearbook, Middle School Magic & Talent Show. approved unanimous
  • I recommend acceptance of a check for $2,500.00 from the Parmenter PCC for the Kindergarten field trip to Davis Farmland and the Gr. 1 field trip to the Acton Discovery Museum. approved unanimous

live reporting - superintendent goals

Superintendent goals

Cafasso -
I think there need to be fewer quick goals.
  • The high school
  • An early budget process
  • Maintain student performance
The principals were here and warned us that the cuts would lead to declines in student performance. I think we need to understand this and stabilize this.

I agree with the foreign language analysis. We received the report but we need some actions from it. We should look at this K-12

We should also consider a transitional goal, assuming we get an internal candidate.

Incorporating a budget goal, getting a document beneficial to us and to the financial planning objectives.

live reporting - class size update

40% (200 sections) with less than 25 students per class
  • 20 of these are the Freshman collaborative sections which were protected

60% exceed 25 students per class
  • 167 sections with 25-29 students
  • 61 sections with 30-34 students
  • 44 sections with 35 or more students
Appears that the cuts have affected the electives with larger class sizes

Yes, we protected the core classes and allowed the electives to grow. Those classes can generally deal with the larger class sizes better than the core.


Ogden -
Better numbers are forthcoming with the official numbers that are due into the State in October. These are preliminary and raw numbers. We'll have a better understanding and explanation when the school year has settled.

We are at a saturation size for cuts. Many classes are over-sized. When you have to provide feedback to 100-150 students, you get shortcuts and less meaningful feedback. Some researchers say that 80 kids is the maximum to allow teachers to provide appropriate feedback.


Cafasso -
NEASC has no specific number that they are looking in for?

Ogden -
No, there is no specific target at that level. This will peek their interest. They will start asking questions to get into where the numbers may be changing the actual learning experience. They will ask those kinds of questions. They will give us 6-8 months to respond. They will decide to continually receive a update through our five year anniversary date, or they could take the step to put us on a probation status (we are already on a warning status).

Cafasso -
We have 500 plus 8th graders and 300 plus seniors, this will be an increase of a hundred students at the high school next year. We'll need to think about this as we try to handle the budget for next year.

Cafasso -
Horace Mann has 45 over the guidelines, Remington has 36. You followed a similar effort in those places.

Wittcoff -
We average 28 but that means some are 30 and some are 24. We artificially we able to handle the math but that created problems such that science is higher (with 30 in both sections).

Cafasso -
Jefferson, Kennedy, Thayer are taking the brunt of the hit with the class size and cuts in teachers.

Ogden -
The teachers and principals looked at the numbers but also at the complexity of the learning requirements to make their decisions. The other factor is space. 25 fourth graders in a room is tight.

Cafasso -
Only plus looks like there will be less in the middle schools next year than there are this year (approx. 25).

Ogden -
The teachers are very worried and very challenged about this year in delivering to the high standards they we all have. The kids are not feeling the stress if it is there. There is a high spirit.

Mullen -
The high science class size is a concern and you have the newer facilities to utilize.

Ogden -
Not a universal problem but there are enough large class sizes to be concerned about the overall student performance.

Wittcoff -
When she talks to the teachers about their labs, they won't talk about giving up with they do. They haven't started labs yet, they will somehow maneuver to accomplish as many labs and experiments yet. Talk to me later to see what has been done.

Mullen -
Can you remind me, I know the teachers are not teaching 4 classes.

Wittcoff -
This is due to how the middle school model has transformed. 4 classes in their discipline, split team teachers teach 2 in two different subjects, then all teach in that multi purpose session (re-teaching, homework session). If not teaching, three times during the week they are in planning or prep or meeting with parents, etc.

Mullen -
Can you sustain the numbers in your building?

Wittcoff -
I have looked at the numbers and we can sustain next year. I think it is the 2011 year that the 6th grade can't sustain and then each year there after we would need to add a team for 7th and then 8th as the "bubble" moves through.

Sabolinski -
She did a wonderful job with the projections and those numbers are without the Franklin Heights grow.

Rohrbach -
During the override tour, we had stated that our class sizes would be higher than our target in about 50% of the classes. What are we at now?

Ogden -
I think we are about 40%. The elementary numbers are not as high because when we had the 180,000 to play with we added back three teachers at the elementary teachers. Overall the estimate was right. Elementary was a little low, the high school was higher but it averages out.

Mullen -
I had the opportunity to attend the PCC meeting at FHS. There was a question from one of the parents: Are there desks for everyone. The answer was interesting, there are desks for everyone as there are empty rooms so the desks from those rooms were repositioned to help out.

live reporting - superintendent replacement

Roy - should we outside, or look inside, or do some combination of both?

Mullen - I think we should look internally, saves some money, internal brings a better start, hit the ground running

Cafasso - last search did take some time and money, with the problems we have we can't afford the focus elsewhere

Kelly - hate to jump on the same train but we have good staff here, let's see what we can do

Trahan - not much more to add than what has been said, it will save us time and money to help us focus on the pressing issues we have

Rohrbach - endorse the concept of going internally first

Roy - do an internal posting via FIRSTClass, put us on a time line to complete the internal search by the end of October

Cafasso - expand it to other recent departures from the system, they have the experience, they probably read the papers and have heard

Approved to go forward this way!

Live reporting - Annie Sullivan Middle School Tribute

2. Guests/Presentations
  • Annie Sullivan Middle School Tribute
--- video and audio presentation ---

Ms Beth Wittcoff, Mr Eric Ledebuhr

Live reporting - school committee 9/9/08

All committee members present: Armenio, Cafasso, Kelly Mullen, Roy, Rohrbach, Trahan


7:01 PM - Call to order Mr. Roy

Pledge of Allegiance
Moment of Silence

1. Routine Business
  • Citizen’s Comments - none this evening
  • Review of Agenda - strategic plan update will move out as the meeting did not occur yesterday
I recommend approval of the minutes from the August 26, 2008 School Committee Meeting.
6 - approved, 1 abstain
  • Payment of Bills - Mr. Kelly unanimous approval
  • Payroll Ms. Armenio
  • FHS Student Representative - Brittany MacLeod

In the News - parking, tutors

Posted Sep 09, 2008 @ 01:01 AM


Downtown does not have a shortage of parking but continued development could create one, according to a recent study.

The study was done to identify parking problems to help town officials best plan revitalization.

The assessment, done in March and April, included a survey taken by downtown business owners and residents, a parking space inventory, site visits, research and analysis, said Franklin's Director of Planning Bryan Taberner.

An initial inventory found cars used just 1,150 of the 2,088 parking spaces (about 55 percent) downtown, he said, and on numerous site visits, a "substantial" number of spaces were not in use most days and times.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here


Milford Daily News
Posted Sep 08, 2008 @ 06:00 PM


Franklin Public Library is seeking volunteers to teach English to non-native adults in the community who want to improve their language skills. Qualifications for this position are dependability, a friendly and optimistic attitude, patience and a sense of humor. To learn about other cultures and countries and see America through someone else’s eyes, give this a try. ESOL training, materials and computer assistance are provided.

Classes begin Monday, Sept. 15, from 7-8 p.m., in the library lobby near the reference area.
If you are interested in making a contribution to your community through volunteering, please call the Franklin Public Library at 508-520-4940 X4517.

This was posted in the Milford Daily News here