Saturday, June 19, 2010

Freeman Rail Trail Expansion Moves Forward

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 6/18/10

Freeman Trail Event, Lt Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today announced funding to design a major expansion of the popular Bruce Freeman Rail Trail through Westford, Carlisle, Acton and Concord.

The $931,500 in capital funds will design the next two phases of the Freeman Rail Trail, the first of which will extend the trail south by nearly five miles.

"This strategic investment in designing the expansion of the Freeman Trail will enhance the transportation and recreational infrastructure in the region, providing long term healthy transportation benefits to the residents of Acton, Westford, Carlisle and the many people in the surrounding communities who use and enjoy the Trail," said Governor Deval Patrick.

"As part of our administration's transportation reform we have committed to improve service within all transportation systems in the Commonwealth," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.  "Today's announced design funding for the expansion of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is another example of infrastructure improvements that will offer our residents increased recreational and healthy transportation opportunities in the region."

The funds will design the next two phases of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail from the end of the current trail through Westford and Lowell south through Westford, Carlisle, Acton and Concord, including construction of a 10-12 foot paved asphalt multi-use trail, construction of a pedestrian bridge over Route 2A/119, and rehabilitation of six existing rail bridges along the Trail. A segment of the trail crossing Route 2 will be designed with the Concord Rotary Project. In October 2009, the Patrick Administration awarded an additional $500,000 in "Transportation Enhancements" funding to support final design of phase 2A of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.

The estimated construction cost of the first phase of Trail expansion through Acton, Westford, and Carlisle is $7.7 million.  Learn more about Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Works programs to create jobs and promote economic development.

Things you can do from here:

In the News - Strawberry Festival

By Ashley Studley/Daily News staff
Posted Jun 18, 2010 @ 12:04 AM
Last update Jun 18, 2010 @ 02:31 PM

On a new night with later hours than in past years, the celebration of summer drew an excited and hungry crowd.
"They all want strawberry shortcake for dinner," said Donna O'Neil as she sold the dessert in the municipal parking lot on West Central Street.
Hosted by the Downtown Partnership, this year's event was paired with the organization's Third Thursday event - which features specials and promotions by downtown businesses during summer months.

Franklin, MA

Friday, June 18, 2010

What if? - poll fixed

Update: Google was having a problem with the poll question. It was resolved on 6/17/10. The question is now available and open until midnight on June 25th.

Based upon the discussion around the article in the Milford Daily News on Tuesday 6/15/10, a new poll question has been added to the center column.

The question asks if the override question had been phrased differently would the results have been different. In particular the question is:

If the override was split into 2 separate questions, would you have approved the school override? Q1 - $2.1 million for schools   Q2 - $900K for roads/the town

The article and full comment stream can be found here:

Strawberry Festival - photo recap

Strawberry shortcake? Yes, indeed. The fresh shortcake, luscious strawberries and sweet creamy topping created a line.

The GATRA "strawberry shuttle" was in operation.

John Kinney performed in from of the shortcake line.

Amongst the songs Jamie Barrett performed was the "City Known as the Town of Franklin"

The flowers on the railroad bridge are continuing to blossom and share their color with those who come downtown to Franklin.

As a member of the Franklin Downtown Partnership, it is good to see so  many folks coming down for events like this. There are additional Third Thursday events in July and August. Mark your calendar for a good time in downtown Franklin!

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Planning Board - 06/21/10 - Agenda

7:15 PM

Continued Public Hearing 
485 East Central St - Franklin Market
Site Plan and Special Permit

Initial Public Hearing 
485 East Central St - Franklin Market
Site Plan and Special Permit

The full agenda document can be found here:


Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: 4th of July Schedule

The schedule of events for the Franklin, MA 4th of July are as follows:

Franklin 4thJuly 2010 Schedule

Additional information can be found on the 4th of July Coalition website here:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Conservation Commission - Agenda - 06/17/10

7:15 – 7:45 PM
Call to Order, Minutes, Agent’s Report, Committee Reports
7:45 – 8:00 PM
14 King Philip Road – Leland
Construction of In-ground Swimming Pool, Patio & Fence
Continued - Public Hearing – Notice of Intent

                Enforcement:  26 Shady Lane

                Discussions:  31 Hayward Street – Moseley
                                                  Minor Buffer Zone Discussion

                Extension Permit:  South Hill Estates
                Chairman & Commission Comments  

Franklin, MA

Third Thursday - Strawberry Festival - activities

The listing of activities for the Third Thursday/Strawberry Festival can be found here:


Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the document

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Summer concert schedule

The bandstand on the Town Common will be busy each Wednesday this summer.

The full schedule of performers is show below:
Franklin Summer Concerts 2010

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the document

Franklin, MA

Town Council - 06/16/10

The live reported posts from the Town Council meeting of Wednesday 6/16/10 can be found here:

Franklin, MA

In the News - road construction, unemployment funds, food pantry, art show

Franklin due for busy road construction season

Franklin puts money aside to pay laid-off workers

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Poll Issue update

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Known Issues for Blogger by brett wiltshire on 6/16/10

Many users are reporting that poll gadgets are failing to render, displaying a 'Not Found' message. We're investigating the issue and will post a reply as soon as we have more information to share.

Thanks for your patience.

Things you can do from here:

Bottom line: I'll wait until it is fixed and then enable it. The poll will be open for at least a week to ensure appropriate response time.

Live reporting - Closing

reinforce statement on the use of the new trash bins only on and after 7/1/10
the bins were purchased with the fees in the solid waste account and not from general operations

Notice last week was an affront per the EPA notifications 
it was caught before the water went out into the system
When there is a real problem, the folks may not pay attention as much due to these 'extra' notices
The DPW does a great job on the water, it is a 24x7 operation

Library director (Felicia Oti) did a report it is on the web site
looking at the collaboration


Pfeffer - can we have the sewer by law up for review
Nutting - we really need a policy discussion, have given out in limited quantities before
may see more when the economy picks up, should look at what the council adopted 10 years ago
need to figure out how to handle the issues, it does go to the whole growth issue
you don't want to be chasing new schools

Pfeffer - 4th of July committee looking for money
thanks to the firemen for attending and presenting their opinions
thanks to the DPW for the landscaping work at the fire stations, it looks really good.

Jones - realizing that there are vacancies, there is an opportunity to get involved

motion to adjourn, passed 7-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Action items

1. Resolution 10-32: Ad Hoc Recycling Committee
motion to accept, passed 7-0

2. Resolution 10-33: Acceptance of Gift Franklin Library
motion to accept, passed 7-0

3. Resolution 10-34: Acceptance of Gift – Maintenance of Brick School
motion to accept, passed 7-0

The Charter School has been using the building for an annual fee of $1, they are about to make a decision on long term utilization, these funds cover the building expenses in the meantime

4. Resolution: 10-35: Appropriation – Unemployment Trust Fund
motion to accept, passed 7-0

Better to put this in now with this years money knowing at least 18 will need to be covered than have to come up later

5. Resolution 10-36: Consolidation of School Maintenance Function With Town
motion to accept, passed 7-0

a continuation of the program started 2 years ago, now being extended to a five year term
a great success
as a team we have been able to do a better job than individually

6. Bylaw Amendment 10-646: Request for Sewer Map Amendment: Seven Lot Subdivision Off Beech Street at #23 – 2nd Reading
motion to accept, passed 6-1 (Pfeffer no)

All offers have been received in writing and are agreeable

Pfeffer - 7 houses, 3 bedrooms each, too many kids with the house revenue not paying for the school

Vallee - was this section the one we paved before
Yadisernia - this is not the same section, if he only did the cut in, he would have a smaller peice, by replacing the 100 foot, now 200 foot section that is where he will do a full overlay for the width of the street

Mason - I agree with Council Pfeffer on the school issue, especially in light of our trouble getting additional funds for the schools. Due to prior council decisions, as long as the applicant has meet other terms and conditions, these were approved. I think we need to re-look at the by-laws and see if we need to do anything.

7. Bylaw Amendment 10-647:Request for Water Map Amendment: Seven Lot Subdivision Off Beech Street at #23 – 2nd Reading
motion to accept, passed 6-1 (Pfeffer no)

Yadisernia - this adds some valves that we need and add where we can

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Open Meeting Law


Update of the New Open Meeting Law – Mark Cerel

The document Mark references can be found here:

implications of the changes
need to be enforced by all committee chairpersons
notice now excludes Saturdays in the calculation of 'notice'
listing of topics does not necessarily equate with the agenda, needs to be fairly specific
should supplement the meeting notice as soon as practical, make a reasonable attempt
enforcement has been shifted to the Attorney Generals Office

obligation of the chair to notify the participants of recording
recorder does need to notify the chair if recording is being done

citizens right to speech is not expanded by these changes

grounds for executive session have not changed
need to declare that to take up the topic in open session would be prejudicial
new language for the Town will be developed

Franklin's minutes as currently prepared currently exceed most requirements
documents used in the meetings now come under the meeting record requirements

Civil penalty of $1,000 as a last and final step for violations

"deliberation' is a term still being defined, it is in flux at this time
"meeting" is also a problem as it contains conditions of 'deliberation'

"reasonably anticipates will be discussed at meeting" the exact meaning of this phrase is to be determined

attorney/client privilege - equally available to municipal clients as it is to common clients, interpretation of this with Open Meeting Law remains to be defined

I asked for a clarification on my own recording of the meeting as it is being recorded and broadcast by the Town.
per Mark's response, I will need to declare for future meetings (no issue, just wanted to make sure what I needed to do).

Franklin, MA