Saturday, April 18, 2009

Franklin's Music Options for Saturday 4/18/09

Yes, choices.

1 - You can listen to Garnet Rogers (with Marc Douglas Berardo opening) at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse. Tickets are still available ($15 each; cash or check at the door). More info on the Circle of Friends website

2 - Cafe Dolce is featuring Phil Fox from 7:00 - 9:00 PM.


the t-shirts are ready for those helping with Earth Day in Franklin

200 t-shirts were distributed in 45 minutes this morning to the early arrivals at Franklin's Earth Day. Needless to say a good crowd as many more came later to work and still did so without receiving a new t-shirt.

Let's hope the sight of so many people around town cleaning up will inspire our fellow citizens to be more mindful of where they put their trash and recycles.

Earth Day

I'll be at Beaver Pond shortly, come and join me help clean up Franklin!

Franklin's Earth Day Celebration
Saturday April 18th, 2009
Beaver Pond
Starts at 9:00 AM

Volunteer to clean up targeted areas and assist with planting flowers and shrubs around Franklin.

- Please bring your own water bottle.

- Please bring your own gloves and rakes.

- Community service certificates will be issued.

- T-shirts to the first 200 volunteers.

- Clean up goes to 1:00 PM

Get some Eco-Info at Beaver Pond:

- Water conservation kits and rain barrel display.

- Mercury thermometer exchange for digital thermometers.

- Recycling tips and composting information.

- Energy conservation tips.

- Much more ! ! !

Industry: Winchester Electronics

In our continuing series on Industry operating in Franklin, I find this press release about Winchester Electronics. HD refers to "high definition". The new parts being announced would be used by the likes of Verizon, Comcast, and carriers of the HD signal until it arrives in our homes.

Winchester Electronics introduces KINGS(R) Brand Passive Optical Fiber Video Patching System

The new EL Series(TM) provides the missing link to realizing an all fiber broadcast facility. Networks no longer have to convert HD signals into copper for patching. The optical jackfield provides the same functionality and look and feel as a full normal copper jackfield.

LAS VEGAS, Apr 16, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- At the National Association of Broadcasters Show, Winchester Electronics takes the wraps off its EL Series(TM) of optical fiber broadcast cable connectors and components.

According to Jerome Farnan, Director of Fiber Optic Technology at Winchester Electronics, the EL Series optical fiber video jacks and patch cords are based on an expanded light beam connection technology that replaces existing coaxial copper components or traditional ferrule-based fiber connectors.

In addition to lower costs, smaller diameter fibers, larger carrying capacity, lower signal degradation and lower power requirement, the new EL Series connector components eliminate reliability issues associated with dirt and scratches common with traditional fiber connectors.

The expanded beam fiber connector technology is based on a non-contact method of mating optical fibers that reduces the possibility of handling damage, as well as making blind mating of components simple to do.

In this new approach, when the light beam carrying the video/audio/data enters the connector a spherical optical lens converts the light beam into a series of parallel rays that pass through a mechanical gap. The transmitted beam is then focused down on the receiving fiber end of the connector.

"The advantage of this design is that the optical fiber ends are easily maintained and more resistant to contamination in harsh environments than standard fiber optic interfaces," said Farnan. "Also, the large diameter of the light beam at the separable interface minimizes the effect of any dirt or debris on the optic surface."

Totally signal agnostic, the EL Series is equally adept at carrying HD SDI, Ethernet IP, Analog Video or any other data format traveling along the fiber.

A key design decision made early in the development of this new family, said Farnan, was to incorporate the push/pull style of mating used in previous Winchester copper connectors to allow technicians to connect and disconnect in a simple, quick, three-step process. Because the EL Series Quickconnect scheme is similar in function to that used in Winchester's copper interconnect components, the shift to optical connections is virtually transparent.

Most HD capable professional broadcast equipment is now available with optical transceivers, so the ability to switch fiber optic signals directly eliminates the need for electrical to optical conversion for long distance runs. Using fiber frames designed for telecommunications does not fit with the workflow of the broadcast environment. When there is a problem with a live-to-air signal, the technician wants to route the signal immediately, with no concern for a scratched fiber end, or fiber cable bent too tightly. The EL system allows routing in a passive manner using a fiber jackfield with the look and feel of a copper jackfield using rugged fiber patch cords made from bend insensitive fiber with expanded beam connectors.

"Just like a copper jack, when inserted into the front of the EL Series optical fiber jack, the EL Series connector will automatically switch the optical signal being routed through the back of the video jack to the front connectors," said Farnan.

In a broadcast studio environment, the EL Series DINconnect patch cord is similar in function to the traditional BNC to BNC copper wiring terminated to the rear of a copper jackfield. The patch cord has an EL Series connector on one end and an industry standard LC, SC, FC, ST, (or any single or multi-mode) fiber connector on the other end.

The EL Series Optical Fiber Video Jack's small 1.85 by 1.62 by 0.38 form factor allows easy integration into existing patch bays, up to 32 per jackfield. It uses a rear DIN 1.0/2.3 style mechanical latching for security of the Normal path. Because it is an optical rather than copper mechanical switch, the connector components require no power and are designed for 10,000 mate/unmate cycles. Customer termination of installed fiber is possible with the splice-on version of the EL connector, where a factory terminated expanded beam insert is attached to the fiber using fusion splice technology.

The EL Series Patch Cords are made from nickel plated brass, while its optical alignment pin is made of gold-plated stainless steel capable of 10,000 cycle performance without any signal degradation. The optical insertion loss is 1.5 dB typical for either a patched or a normal connection. Return loss is 55 dB typical and 45 dB minimum. Mechanical withdrawal force on the patch cord is 0.5 pounds minimum, while the pull force on the rear side is 20 lb. minimum.

Available in sample quantities, the EL Series evaluation kits contain optical fiber video jacks with associated patch cords.

Winchester Electronics Corporation, a 68-year old Connecticut-based company, is a leader in designing and manufacturing electronic connectors and interconnect solutions. In addition to its headquarters in Wallingford, the company maintains a global manufacturing and engineering network, and operates manufacturing facilities in Wallingford, CT; Franklin, MA; Rock Hill, SC; Nogales, Mexico; Suzhou, China; and Penang, Malaysia.

SOURCE: Winchester Electronics Corporation

Winchester Electronics Corporation
Denise Johnston, 203-741-5491
Howard Geltzer, 212-362-9067

Copyright Business Wire 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Slidecast: Strategic Plan Overview (audio)

The Strategic Planning Overview is now available as a slide cast. The slide show has been synchronized with audio to create a complete listening and viewing experience.

This was the presentation to the Town Council on Wednesday, April 15th.

The slidecast without audio is available here

If you have any questions, you can contact me via email (see link on right column) or via a comment.

Updated: The survey is available here

"You will gain so much knowledge in a short period of time"

Milford Daily News
Posted Apr 17, 2009 @ 01:20 AM


During the start of the Finance Committee's budget hearings for town departments last night, Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting said he anticipates Franklin will run a deficit of $5 million to $6 million for fiscal 2011.

"I have no doubt about it," Nutting said.

Wage and health care co-pay concessions made by all town and school staff are only a one-year stopgap, he said.

"We're building ourselves into a hole for fiscal 2011 - but the other alternative is to lay off 62 teachers and about 35 municipal employees," Nutting said.

Read the full article about the Finance Committee meeting in the Milford Daily News

Read all the live reporting posts covering the same meeting here

Finance Committee - 04/16/09

The collection of live reporting posts from the Finance Committee meeting to start the annual budget review held on Thursday 4/16/09

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Live reporting - Cultural, Animal

Cultural Council

starter funds for matching grant to provide support to local artists in the community

Animal Control

in conjunction with Bellingham, salary paid by Bellingham, we pay certain expenses and gain 24x7 coverage

been going on for 15 years, well oiled and operating

Expansion could be considered but the kennel size would need to be increased
Would cost more to add to the kennel than it would generate in revenue to offset

end of budget hearings

Reminder - Financial Planning Committee meeting being held at Horace Mann/Mercer Auditorium on Monday April 27th, 7:00 PM

Earth Day - 9:00 AM on Saturday April 18th, start at Beaver Pond

motion to adjourn

Live reporting - Historical, Memorial, CATV

Historical Commission

Jeff - keeping documents up to date, pay a few bills for the historical commission

had increased from 1,000 to 2,000 in anticipation of the new building up and running. It hasn't yet but it will be used fully once the new building is open.

Memorial Day

purchase of flags for the graves to be put on by volunteers


We have to budget a minimum amount per subscriber
used to offset the costs of the broadcasts going out over the air waves
set by the license

Live reporting - Treasurer/Collector - Debt

Jim Dacey -

FY 2010 debt peaks, debt stabilization fund set up years ago to handle this peak

(hand out to be updated/included later)

We don't have a lot of room in this part of the budget, these are legal obligations, they need to be paid.

3.5% is reserved for mortgage payment, so we always have room for capital without having to raise tax rates.

The building lasts 60 years, we'll pay it off in 17 years and maintain it.

The police station and Parmenter School are fully paid off.

15 years ago, the call provision was not written into the note at that time.

The Four Corners Building when it gets sold, the funds would be held to pay off the bond until 2014. The excess amount over the purchase price would be held in reserve for use on other capital expenses. Likely to pay off the library and look at other uses of the remainder of the funds.


New expense item, $35,000 for attorney's title search on foreclosures
Really moving the line from another section of the budget due to proper accounting rules

Reduced 25,000 bills down to 17,000 envelopes to mail (postage savings) with senior services.

Lockbox services handle about 80,000 pieces. Even items dropped in the box at the building or handed over the counter get sent out to the lockbox. They image and index, it makes a really good tool to use.

Live reproting - Senior Center

Karen Alves

we provide more than twice the services than you see here
shifted salary of part time bus driver to revolving account using the revenue from the trips to cover the salary
TriValley Elder services we cut this year. They are funded via other sources so it won't affect the services currently being delivered.

How many volunteer hours do we provide?
10,700 hours

The amount of services you provide for the amount you get is amazing.

Nothing has been broached with the other towns in regionalization of services.

The Senior Center benefits from the tax workoff program. Residents over 60 can work in Town departments and gain credit at minimum

The amount of grants received to support the Senior Center operations is approx. $120,000 which would effectively double the existing budget.

Live reporting - Public Health Services

David E. McKearney, R.S.

nursing services for the community, flu clinics, home visits as mandated by the Dept of Health.

It is a good deal for Franklin, we could not do this internally for less.

Live reporting - Health

David E. McKearney, R.S.

One adjustment, we will eliminate 5 vehicles assigned to staff. Jeff decided this recently. Some individuals that still need transportation will get a travel reimbursement. There would be an adjustment to add the travel expense to some of the budgets, like Health. It should still be a net savings.

May need some additional insurance coverage for business use of the personal car. The expense for that would be in the persons arena.

There is a bubble flowing through, with the freeze implemented this year, we will start 2011 in a 5-6 million hole. We have been pushing the bubble off for about 6-7 years.

Live reporting - central services

Norma Collins

copy paper, copy machines, no salaries linked to the line item
did have some savings this year with the annual report now posted on the Town website, less hard copies will be required.
postage will increase May 11th

How many actual annual reports are actually printed?
Jeff - thousands

The expense in the report is in the first copy. After that, the cost is reduced due to the volume.
We still need to do a hard caopy for the public record.

Live reporting - Finance Committee - 4/16/09

Brett S. Feldman
Juan Rivera
Patricia Goldsmith
Phyllis Messere
Rebecca Cameron
John F. Caulfield
Mark Cataldo
Robert Teixeira
James Roche
Tina Powderly (late)

Craig Maire

Jeff Nutting provides a brief overview, the budget is still fluid, out of balance by about $115,000-215,000.

The local option tax upon meals could yield about $600,000-800,000 for a full year. We would still need to see how DOR would calculate the collections and disbursements. All kinds of talk, the vote is the only thing that counts though.

You need to get a budget out so you might make it contingent upon the final numbers when they come out in May, June.

Jim Roche - things will be up in the air until the last minute this year.

Susan Gagner - the budget does include the wage freezes already accepted by the unions thus far. The department heads have also taken a reduction in expenses.

Jim - didn't mean to gloss over that fact. As a citizen, I appreciate the effort put in by the unions. People say the government should be run like a business and on one hand I agree, on the other hand what they are giving up they are not getting back when the times get good again.

Bob Fahey - Veterans Service Officer, Outreach coordinator at Senior Center
Over $2 million dollars come into Franklin from the Veterans Administration
1 - for a service connected disability
2 - not service connected disabled but are disabled

$1092/monthly benefits to widows of veterans currently residing in Franklin

If these benefits were not coming to the town, then these folks would be on the Town side of the budget. Likely two, three or four times

19 currently on the Town rolls for veterans

This is truly a human services benefit. What you put forward, the town is reimbursed at a 75% rate a year later.

Currently expending an average of $11,000 per month. Hard to predict exactly how the services are requested.

Town budget is currently calling for 120,000 (versus run rate of 132,000)

MA is the only state that has a local veterans administration. We don't expect changes in reimbursement. What changes may occur to the benefits for the individuals is calculated later.

The benefit allocation does include a cost of living increase already.

Difference in requested vs recommended is due to the salary and the adjustment of the 3% increase frozen. You'll see that in all the budgets.