Saturday, August 28, 2010

Native Plants of Franklin

Hello Franklin! Did you recognize last week's mystery native, perhaps because it grows in the cracks of your driveway, or between the mulch and the curb of the grocery store parking lot?

This plant is called spotted spurge (Euphorbia maculata) and if you grow anything at all out-of-doors in New England, then you have likely plucked out this plant as a weed.

This is what it looks like when spotted spurge is left to its own devices for a few months. It grows absolutely flat against the ground, and has a lovely tinge of purple to its stems and leaves. Spurge is an annual plant that flourishes in hot, dry conditions that kill everything else.

I am a bit baffled as to why every source considers this plant to be just a weed, worthy only of killing, and I am currently leaving it to grow in parts of my garden to see how it does as a groundcover. So far it has been great! It was one of the only plants that didn't seem to suffer during the drought.

Just for fun, here is a closer look. This plant is in bloom. There they are: each flower is barely a millimeter across.

And here is next week's flower. Do you know what it is?

Feel free to post your guesses in the comments section here. Cheers!

Michelle Clay writes about gardening here in Franklin at the Clueless Gardeners Blog.

Franklin, MA

In the News - house fire, Tom Rush

Families lose homes in Franklin fire

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

FRANKLIN BRIEF: Circle of Friends presents an evening with Tom Rush

Franklin, MA

Friday, August 27, 2010

Farmers Market - today - noon to 6:00 PM

"I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day."

The Farmers Market will be open on the Town Common today from noon - 6:00 PM.

Franklin, MA

In the News - attempted murder, house fire

Franklin teen charged with attempted murder

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

House catches fire in Franklin

Franklin, MA

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Attn: Business Owners - Training Grant Money Available!

                                            The United Regional Chamber of Commerce logo 

The Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Express Program is now accepting applications from organizations with 50 or fewer employees in Massachusetts - including all plants and branches. All applicants must contribute to the Workforce Training Fund via DUA/UI investments.

The mission of the Workforce Training Fund Express Program is to provide organizations with the resources to invest in the Massachusetts workforce and businesses, to improve employee skills, and to maintain the economic strength and viability of the fund.

Training funded by this program should address the priorities of the fund which include projects that will result in job retention, job growth or increased wages and for projects where training would make a difference in the company's productivity, competitiveness, and ability to do business in Massachusetts.

For more information, attend a Workforce Training Grant Information Seminar on Thurs., Sept. 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Chamber's Attleboro office. Please call 508-222-0801 to register.

How to Stop Eating Crap to Stop Feeling Like Crap

This "Howcast" is one of a series on healthy eating.

What do you need?

You Will Need

Portion-size guide
Vegetables and fruit
Whole grains
Healthy drinks
Grass-fed beef (optional)

The Franklin Food Pantry website can be found here:

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

EPA Storm water proposal information

Reminder that the last informational meeting for the proposed storm water permit process will be held today in Milford.
Thursday, August 26, at 10:00 AM at the Physician's Conference Room (First Floor) in the Milford Regional Medical Center, located at 14 Prospect Street, Milford. Free parking is available at the Cancer Center, directly across the street from the Hospital, on Prospect Street

A summary of the storm water permit process can be viewed here:

2010 08 18 Summary of RDA Storm Water General Permit

The presentation used for the Aug 18, 2010 information meeting can be found here:

EPA Information Meeting – August 18, 2010_HANDOUTS

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

Franklin, MA

In the News - open positions, trail grants, adult ed

Franklin looks to fill open committee posts

Trails grant workshop offered

Franklin, MA

$3 Million in Additional Education Funds for MetroWest

Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) announced today that six MetroWest towns in her district will receive $3,111,517 in additional education funding thanks to the federal Education Jobs Fund signed into law by President Obama on August 10, 2010.

Under the allocation of funding, which is designed to preserve teaching jobs, Ashland will receive $253,982, Franklin will receive $1,295,418, Holliston will receive $343,005, Hopkinton will receive $315,671, Medway will receive $484,561 and Natick will receive $418,880.

“This additional federal money allows Chapter 70 education aid to be fully funded in every community in the state,” state Senator Spilka. “This announcement, coming on the heels of $250 million in Race to the Top funds, demonstrates how, by working together, we can translate the Commonwealth’s single-minded commitment to education into results.”

The $204 million from the federal Education Jobs Fund to school districts across the Commonwealth brings state support for public schools to its highest level in history. A combination of state and federal dollars totaling $4.07 billion will ensure all school districts receive more state aid - at least $25 per student - than they did last year. The new funding will support an estimated 2,700 teaching positions across the state.

The Education Jobs Fund provides $26 billion nationwide to preserve jobs for teachers and other school-based employees. The Commonwealth's $204 million appropriation will be directly distributed to school districts through the state's education funding formula and combined with state and federal funds to ensure that every school district across the state meets its foundation level budget for the 2010-2011 school year. With this new infusion of federal funding, Chapter 70 will be fully funded without using nearly $60 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds available for general government purposes.

This year the state will commit nearly $3.85 billion in Chapter 70 education funds to cities and towns. By combining these state dollars with $204 million in Education Jobs Funds and $20.7 million in existing ARRA funds, the state will meet its commitment to helping every school district reach foundation level spending targets in Fiscal Year 2011.

Yesterday, Massachusetts received $250 million from the federal Race to the Top program. These funds will be used to implement landmark education reforms, including providing new and more immediate opportunities to turn around underperforming schools and close achievement gaps, expand access to successful charter schools and authorize new Innovation Schools to provide greater choice for students and their families.

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Disclosure Announcement

Keeping my promise to let you know when things change, I do have an announcement to make. I am honored to have been offered a role on the Board of Directors for the Franklin Food Pantry.

I have accepted this role and look to help the Food Pantry in a couple of ways. One, they have expanded the membership of the Board and are embarking on a strategic plan initiative. I believe my project management skills and my work creating a good customer experience can help in this effort. Two, I will work to help the Food Pantry in their communication efforts. Drawing upon the experiences I have had using and implementing social media tools, I will help to spread the word about the work of the Food Pantry.

What won’t change?
My priorities won’t change with this new role. My number one priority remains my focus on finding appropriate full-time employment. (I forgot this reference to my job search was still here.) My second priority remains contributing to the well being of my immediate and extended family.

My third priority has been giving back to my community via the work I do for Franklin Matters. I see the Food Pantry time requirements fitting within the time I have available. The Food Pantry will allow me to explore what matters in Franklin in an important way. I see this as a natural extension of the outreach efforts I have already made through the Franklin Downtown Partnership and the United Regional Chamber of Commerce.

What may change?
The Food Pantry Board is currently scheduled to meet on the last Tuesday of the month. Depending upon how the calendar works out, this poses a potential conflict with the School Committee meetings. As a result of this conflict, I may be reporting on the second School Committee meeting more from the video archive than the in person/live reporting I have been able to do.

I should note that my role with the Food Pantry Board has changed. In addition to my original responsibilities, I have taken on the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors. (updated 5/2011)
I also serve as Chairman of the Board Development Committee. This last one is temporary (I hope) as we work to expand the Board with folks who share the passion for helping our Franklin neighbors. (updated 10/2011)

My disclosure statement can be found here

and here

The bus is coming. The bus is coming!

Yes, it is that time of the year where the school bus schedule is reviewed. Getting up and out in the morning for school begins next week.

You can view the bus schedule here:

Franklin Public Schools 2010-11 Busroutes

You can also go to the Franklin Public Schools Transportation page to find this info and more:

A quick summary of the changes to the schedule was covered in the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, August 24th.

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

Attention: business property owners

Do you own business property in Bellingham, Franklin or Milford?
Do it have at least two acres of impervious surface?

What is impervious surface? 
Impervious means that the water can not penetrate to seep through the surface. Concrete or asphalt are common impervious surfaces. Building roof tops also count in the calculation.

If you have not yet attended one of the information sessions on the new regulations the EPA is proposing for pilot in these three communities, you should.

There is one more Thursday, August 26 at 10 AM in the Physician's Conference Room at the Milford Regional Medical Center, located at 14 Prospect St., Milford.

Free parking is available at the Cancer Center, directly across the street from the Hospital, on Prospect Street.

The presentation used at a prior information session can be viewed here:

Additional information on the proposed EPA regulations can be found here:

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

Franklin, MA

In the News - Y expansion, class size

Franklin YMCA hopes to expand

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Franklin administrators bemoan large class sizes

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA Public Schools: Handbooks

The parent/student/family handbooks for each school in the Franklin Public Schools were approved by the School Committee during the meeting on Tuesday, Aug 24, 2010. You can cruise amongst the individual school webpage to find the handbooks or all of them can be found in one place here:

ECDC FY 11 final Family Handbook 3 (PDF)

Jefferson Parent Handbook 10-11 Final August 2010 (PDF)

Keller Parent and Student Handbook 2010-2011-FINAL (PDF)

JF Kennedy FINAL Handbook 10-11 (PDF)

Oak Street FINAL Family Handbook 2010-2011 (PDF)

Parmenter Family Handbook 2010-2011.FINAL (PDF)

Davis Thayer FINAL Family Handbook 2010-2011 (PDF)

Horace Mann MS FINAL (PDF)

Remington MS_Handbook_FINAL_10-11 (PDF)

Annie Sullivan MS Student Handbook FINAL 2010-2011 (PDF)


FHS Bullying Appendix A FINAL 2010-2011 (PDF)

Note: These handbooks were the 'official' ones approved at the meeting, if an individual handbook is changed after this time, THE official one should be found on the respective Franklin Schools page.

Franklin, MA

School Committee - 08/24/10

The collection of posts from the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, Aug 24, 2010 can be found here:

Franklin, MA