Monday, August 9, 2010

ice cream as 'a treat that's refreshing and new'

At Spruce Pond Creamery's takeout window, Kenneth Josephson ordered two scoops of maple walnut ice cream, the only flavor he's tried for many years.
"I liked maple walnut when I was young. I still like it," said the retired engineer. "If you like something, why change it?"
That might surprise Marc Bluestein, who opened the combination ice cream parlor and organic pizzeria at 370 King St. in Franklin 11 years ago with his brother Gary.
They've prospered by adapting to new nutritional trends by serving a diverse and healthy menu featuring organic pizza and organic beer and all natural ice cream, which they make on site.
While many ice cream parlors are small specially shops located in a plaza or squeezed between bigger buildings, Spruce Pond Creamery is spacious and has a country ambience with a rear balcony overlooking its namesake pond.
"The only thing I don't have is a pasture with cows," said Bluestein, who has owned two other restaurants in Rhode Island and also worked many years in finance and administration.
The creamery serves about 50 flavors of all-natural homemade ice cream as well as "no fat, no sugar" soft serve yogurt and several varieties of sorbet.
Read more about other ice cream places in the area in the Milford Daily News here:

Trivia question: Something is wrong with this sign, can you tell what it is?

Updated 8/13/10:

The answer to the question is that the sign is the "old" one and not the one showing today:

This picture was taken on an overcast day in June. The picture above shows the sign in April before Spruce Pond updated it to show that they can now server beer and wine.

Franklin, MA

Plansee - "we are hiring"

The 60,000-square-foot factory specializes in special metals, known as refractory metals, and precision machining. It produces parts for X-ray machines, light bulbs, flight-safety parts and more.
It moved from Holliston to the Franklin Industrial Park in 1996, where it continues to grow with the help of experienced workers who are required to have some related skills before starting the job.
"They have to be a (computer numerically controlled) machinist. ...They have to have a capability with the machines," Okorn said.
"They have to be able to read blueprints and interpret technical drawings," added Sontgerath.
While machining skills are important, Sontgerath said training is also available.

Read more about the job opportunities at Plansee USA LLC in the Milford Daily News here:

You can visit the Plansee website here

Franklin, MA

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Franklin, MA: Planning Board - 08/09/10 - Agenda

The application for the Franklin Market (Price Chopper) comes back to restart the whole process on Monday, August 9. You may recall that due to a technicality where the developer had not completely notified all the abutters, what had transpired in the prior hearings gets wiped out and they start all over.

Franklin. MA Planning Board: Agenda 8-9-10

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

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - 8/10/10

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

Mission Statement
The Franklin Public Schools, in collaboration with the community, will cultivate each student's intellectual, social, emotional and physical potential through rigorous academic inquiry and informed problem solving skills within a safe, nurturing and respectful environment.

"The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law."

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 Executive Session and Open Session of the July 20, 2010 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills - Mr. Glynn
Payroll - Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
Correspondence: none

2. Guests/Presentations
a. School Handbooks - Principals
b. District Improvement Plan

3. Discussion Only Items - none

4. Action Items - none

5. Information Matters

Superintendent’s Report
a. MSBA Update
b. Personnel Update
c. Schedules / Teacher Assignments
d. Center For American Progress
e. New Staff Orientation (8/24, 25, 26 – RMS 8:00 A.M.)
f. Foreign Language Technology Presentation
g. Proposed School Committee Presentations 2010-11

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

Franklin (MA) Public Schools: District Improvement Plan

The following document is scheduled for discussion at the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, August 10, 2010.

The document outlines the District Improvement Plan (fondly referred to as the 'DIP'). The District Improvement Plan takes the Strategic Plan and sets out actions to bring the district to a level of achievement for each of their strategic objectives.

The format of the document should be easy to follow. Each page lays out one of the Core Values, with columns to show the strategies, resources, responsibilities, timelines, etc. to take action on.

Franklin (MA) Public Schools: District Improvement Plan_4SC_2010-12

How does this look to you?

What feedback would you have for the Administration, School Committee and whomever else participates on Tuesday evening?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Native Plants of Franklin

Were any of you able to identify last week's native plant? If you said milkweed, you win!

(Thanks to Wikimedia Commons for this second image.)

Common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, is better known for what eats it than for its flowers; but don't let that give you any wrong ideas about its flowers! Milkweed has stunning spheres of blossoms that from up close look like they have been folded from origami.

And of course, what eats the plant are the larvae of monarch butterflies. They eat milkweed, and nothing else. Here is a female monarch looking for leaves to lay her eggs on.

And this is what the caterpillars look like.

If you want to see more monarch butterflies in your yard, plant milkweed! Seeds can easily be collected in the Autumn from meadows where milkweed grows, or they can be ordered from sources such as

And here is our next mystery native flower. Hint: I've zoomed in rather close. Another hint: it's in bloom now.

Don't forget, you can post your answers (or wild guesses!) in the comments section. Happy botanical sleuthing!

Franklin, MA

Spanish-American War Memorial

This what the platform looks like in a recent photo reflecting the work underway:

From the archive, this photo was taken of the memorial in 2007:

The story of the memorial work and gun restoration can be found at the end of the Town Council meeting notes from Aug 4th:

Franklin, MA

"officials don't have an estimate for the cost of renovations"

Renovating the science lab is a top priority educationally, according to Light. He also pointed to the auditorium as an area that could use work.
Light said auditorium seating predates the rest of the school by about a decade, and was salvaged from a town middle school. The stage is not handicapped-accessible. Some eight feet behind its curtain, there's a large cement wall.
"The renovation is more about the core of the building," Director of Facilities Mike D'Angelo said. "It's built to educate kids in 1971. It's not built to educate them in 2010."
 Read the full article about the tour of Franklin High School by local and state official in the Milford Daily News here:

Franklin, MA

Friday, August 6, 2010

Town Council - 08/04/10 - notes from meeting video

Present: Kelly, Jones, Vallee, Whalen, Mason, Pfeffer, McGann, Zollo, Powderly
Absent: none

Motion to approve, passed 9-0

B. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Meetings of the Town Council are Recorded
Change of Council Meeting Dates – Sept. 1 to Sep 8, and Sep 15 to Sept. 29
motion to approve change of Sep meeting dates, passed 9-0

F. HEARINGS - none

1. Resolution 10-40:Affordable Housing Strategy and Development Action Plan

very little discussion, the summary of it is that the numbers available are from the Census 2000 data (very out of date) but the report is required by the State to be submitted every five years, (i.e. now) so it will go forward with outdated data. The overall document is very similar to the document and plan already in place and operational.

Pfeffer requested consideration of housing for veterans in addition to the focus already in place on new home buyers and seniors.

Motion to approve, passed 9-0

2. Resolution 10-42:Establishment of North Grove Street Economic Opportunity Area
This proposal is similar to ones passed last year to help provide incentives to businesses to come to Franklin. Hard to say how effective the incentives have been. Zollo requested to present such data as available for future.

Motion to approve, passed 9-0

3. Resolution 10-43:Establishment of South Grove Street Economic Opportunity Area
similar to that already discussed above, no further questions or discussion

Motion to approve, passed 9-0

4. Resolution 10-44: Establishment of Financial Way Economic Opportunity Area
similar to that already discussed above, no further questions or discussion

Motion to approve, passed 9-0

5. Resolution 10-45: Purchase of Land at 459 Pleasant Street-Authorization and Appropriation
Purchase funds coming from the Open Space fund, it is not funds that can be used for operational or capital expenses.  Roll call and two thirds vote required to pass.

The purchase price ($320,000) is higher than the assessed value. The house is in poor condition and probably needs to be torn down. It had been inhabited but when visited a couple of weeks ago this was vacant. 

Motion to approve, passed 9-0 (unanimous roll call)

6. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 10-645: Site Plan Review & Design Review – 2nd Reading

Motion to approve, passed 9-0

1 - On going sewer inflow and infiltration system work has reduced from 500,000 to 300,000 gallons per day. The flow goes through the Beaver St interceptor and then to the plant which we pay for. This is a significant reduction and a great cost benefit to the town. I'll get a more complete update on the whole sewer system for the Council sometime this fall.

2 - We will be constructing Wachusetts St over the next several months. Parents will be notified as it will affect the drop off and pick up of students with school in session. The base coat should be done before the winter, we'll let it settle and then do a final coat next year. We'll do our best to ease that inconvenience but we have a lot of work to do.

3 - CGKV Architects have been chosen for the high school renovation project.

4 - Thanks to the Franklin fire fighters for their hard work on the Norfolk fire. They did a tough job in a difficult situation.

5 - Improvements being made to the Spanish War Memorial. Cottage St Sheetmetal did work for us to take the rust off. The paint color to reflect the time period is underway, then it will be epoxied so it will not rust.

Maxim Nordifeld 37 MM

Bob Fahey has some money left over from the major memorial work which is being used to update this memorial. The plaque will be mounted on a granite pedestal. We'll work with the Historic Commission on the guns placement with the memorial.


Zollo - ETA on the King St/i495 lights, when will they be fully functional?

Nutting - I don't know exactly but it will be done before the winter. They still have to get the base coat down, I am not sure when they'll do the final coat.

McGann - Jeff is there anyway you can get a report on the water treatment plant on how long it runs and how long it is down? Two retention ponds are right up to the top.
Nutting - I am not sure what it is. It has been down for a month. $5.8 million for the plant. I can get you a report yes.

McGann - What Jeff mentioned earlier, an electrician I have worked with (Bill Nichols) passed away in the fire. Others are in bad shape but recovering.

Thanks to my three neighbors on Lewis St. for their support.

My condolences to Phillip Brunelli and his family on the passing of his mother.

The old police station had been on East St and prior to that had it been the American Legion. The gun had previously been in front of the American Legion for some time, then at a private residence before coming to the Town Common via the DPW.

Where the final placement of the gun will be remains to be determined. We don't want to detract from the names on the memorial. 

The gun was on a ship that was retired in 1919 and sold as a yacht to someone in Wisconsin. 

Nutting - I'd like to see the Historic Commission help determine where it should be.
The muzzle is full of concrete. There are some around but I am not sure how rare it is.

Pfeffer - I think it is wonderful that we are taking care of this gun but the bottomline is better communication is needed. A long rant ensues but that is the justifiable gist.

The old fire station has been repaired, new carpets, etc. If I see this, then others in town will as well. People get excited about money being spent if there is no money.

Are we in a hiring freeze?

Nutting - Not necessarily, it is on a case by case basis. We haven't hired anybody, we have no plans to do so. There have been no new hires in the last 30-60-90 days. 

Mason - on behalf of the council wishing Officer Clifford best wishes on a speedy recovery. He was hit by a hit and run driver while on a construction detail yesterday.

O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required
not required.


motion to adjourn, passed 9-0

Franklin, MA

Survey reminder

The current survey on the new trash and recycle system is open for your input through Aug 14th.

You can find the survey here:

Note: As of 8/5/10 8:00 PM there were 43 responses. Thanks!

Franklin, MA

In the News - fire, robbery, Norfolk explosion

Follow up articles on incidents previously reported are found in today's issue of the Milford Daily News:

Franklin storage facility catches fire

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Masked man tries to rob CVS

Franklin, MA

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Trash/Recycle Status Survey

Updated: 8/15/10 - the survey is now closed the results are posted and available here.

This survey will remain open until August 14th to allow plenty of time for folks to respond.

Note: email subscribers may need to click through to Franklin Matters to view and respond to the survey.

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: ZBA canceled

FOR AUGUST 5, 2010.

AUGUST 19, 2010.

You can also check the agendas for the Zoning Board of Appeals on the Franklin, MA website:

In the News - Chestnut St fire, attempted theft, business growth

Fire damages Franklin business overnight

Man tries to steal drugs from CVS in Franklin

Franklin, MA

Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee Meeting - Agenda - 8/10/10

Proposed Agenda for August 10, 2010
Location: Franklin YMCA 45 Forge Hill Road
Start Time: 7:30PM

I. Call to Order / Introductions of New Attendees
A. Introduction of new attendees
B. Review & approve minutes of previous meeting

II. Report from our representative from DCR
A. Gates & Grading

III. Membership Committee Report (Denison, McKeown, Sawyer)
A. Committee to report on membership activity

IV. Report from Finance Committee (Rossetti)
A. Report from Treasurer

V. Report of Fund Raising Committee (Sawyer)
A. Report on fund raising activities
a. Report Road Race Committee by Dave Labonte

VI. Report from Grant Writing Committee
A. Extend committee with more members & participation

VII. Unfinished Business:

VIII. New Business:

IX. Set Date & place for Next Meeting and Adjourn

More info on the Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee can be found here:

Franklin, MA